[Server-devel] village server

Anish Mangal anish at activitycentral.com
Sat Aug 17 10:19:57 EDT 2013

On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 6:27 AM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>wrote:

> Hi,
> I assume this situation is also solar-powered. What is the range over
> which the school server has to be accessible? Do you wire the APs back to
> the central location or provide solar power directly to each?
Well, in Bhagmalpur, we plan to install solar backup someday; currently
it's backed up via a UPS. In our case, there are 2 ubiqity picostation
access points, one connected directly to the server and getting it's power
from the same system. The other AP is in repeater mode and has it's own
backup/supply. I'm not saying this will be the case everywhere, just giving
my example :-)

> I fully agree that the school server needs its own power in a solar
> environment. At the first school in Lesotho, the solar installation
> provides more than enough power so that the server did not require
> additional panels. However, additional panels were installed to enable the
> server to be located nearer to the 'computer room' when it was expected all
> computer classes would be conducted in that room.

> At the second school, the laptops are charged from individual panels so
> that the school server needs a dedicated solar panel and set of batteries.
Even in the community server situation, I would expect it would be on say
> from 0700-1100 and shut down overnight.
Do you mean 7am-11pm or 11am? I definitely see the server being powered for
more than 4 hrs in many cases.

Also, looking a little beyond the examples you and me cited, this is an
interesting problem to think about.

* In some situations, say small villages, it might be conceivable to
provide the School Server's wifi network in the entire (or a major chunk of
the village). I'm typically looking at 4-6 picostations per village,
serving about a 100-150 users. This is more like a "Village-wide School
Server" :-)

* In other scenarios, this is not going to work well AT ALL. When kids
often have to travel (walk!) a few kilometers to get to school, you can't
really give them wifi access when they're at home. Thus, here the XS plays
exactly the part it's called, "a School Server" :-)

In any case, the constraints of power, and solar backup will be present,
and we can assume the Server is powered on atleast 6-14 hours a day.


P.S. This is what Bhagmalpur looks like from a satellite:

> On 08/17/2013 02:35 PM, Anish Mangal wrote:
>> I think this may be the case in a few other places as well. For example
>> in Bhagmalpur, the school server isnt deployed at a school but a
>> somewhat central location in the village and the children can access the
>> server anytime, not just during school hours.
>> Also one might think that the XS consumes negligible power when compared
>> with 50 xo laptops but keep in mind that the server needs to come across
>> as an 'always on' appliance, including all the wireless APs. Thus while
>> the laptops might be used for, say 2-3 hours a day. An XS must be kept
>> on always, along with the hard disks, and along with all the wireless
>> APs. In such a scenario I would say the the XS preferably have its own
>> power supply and backup system.
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