Whilst each site will be different, having an agreed blueprint for setting up the network saves time on site & improves both reliability & functionality.
This design can be put onto a pre-prepared installation CD to have a 'CampServer-in-a-Box' to speed installation up still further.
A good network design can be used as a training aid during sessions.
The usual KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) rules apply
- Internet connectivity
- This will necessarily be location specific. We can neutralise this difference by simply getting an ethernet feed from the WAN router to our internal server/gateway.
- Applications: Wiki, Blog, Photos
- LAN Equipment
- Hubs/Switches for __ Labs with __ computers each
- Cat 5 patch cables for __ Computers
- Cat 5 trunks for __ labs
- Wireless Access Points
Bring enough tools, especially crimping tools. There was only one crimping tool at AfricaSource II, which caused a bottleneck.
In many countries connectivity is expensive and poor. Managing the use of connectivity can be a key priority. For example, at Africa Source 2 a 3GB cap on monthly traffic was imposed by the local ISP (and was almost before the camp had even begun). To save bandwidth, bring as much software and documentation on CDs as you can, and create local repositories for storing a wiki, and uploading photos.
Useful guidance: http://bwmo.net/
The hub of IT activity should be the server room. This is also where all network configuration will happen. Make sure to document how the network works, including all relevant IP addresses etc. As most of this documentation is crucial to the set-up and operation of the network make sure it is always available to the technical staff. Rather than having electronic documentation, it might make more sense to keep the technical details in a small notebook in the server room. Make sure everyone knows where the notebook is, and that is is not removed!
Change control is important - see Metche for a project to enhance a basic ~root/Changelog.txt