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I'm coming from the DOS/WIN/NT world (helped administer some minis in college
running HP-UX and VMS, but that was a long time ago).
A local "good cause" is in need of some info-systems-type help, and I'm going to
volunteer my time. They have NO money, but they really need some custom
programming done (read: lots of information needs to be compiled and maintained
for each patient, and they don't have an effective way to do that).
They also need a reliable way to share some common databases between a
half-dozen workstations, and their current network goes down *way* too often. I
think placing the common DB on a Linux box might be the answer (not planning on
making the network aware of the Linux box -- just the handful of machines that
will need to interact with it)
The goal is to put the server up, turn off the monitor, and have the thing
function without complaint for months. I can probably talk someone into running
backups (or changing tapes at pre-determined times), but there's no way that
anyone has the time to learn how to fiddle with the system once it's set up.
With that in mind:
1) I like the way NT Server can be set to mirror disks, and run stripe sets.
Which versions of Linux/BSD/Whatever offer a comparable level of support?
2) Is remote administration possible? Built in?
3) The simplest solution (using my current set of tools) would be to run fat
clients, and just keep a common database on a file server. Any problems with
this solution? Client-server is NOT needed here, but just out of curiosity: are
there any good, cheap SQL servers available for Linux?
Ideally, I'd like to be able to
o program the software
o pass around a set of install disks
o put Linux and a network card in a spare computer
o Configure the clients so they can find the Linux server
o and leave the thing alone. Let someone there swap tapes once a week, and have
the server implement RAID to make it that much more durable.
But like I said, I'm not too familiar with Linux (though I've already bought the
LSL sampler disk and I intend to put in MANY hours learning this thing). What
am I missing?
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