Squid is an open-source, freeware web proxy/cache server. I have at least two school sites that can benefit from it. Classical Magnet and especially Pathways. Both sites are running off of T1s. Pathways surprised us by rolling out over 100 more PCs this fall than we thought (they're up around 220+), which means that when all of those kids are hitting web sites to look at lessons, they soak up all of their available bandwidth and performance slows to a crawl. Placing a Squid server at their site will address this by caching files locally when the first student looks at that math site, a request will go out over the T1 and on to the Internet. When students two through fifty look at the same site, the Squid will deliver the pages from it's cache and no traffic will hit the T1.
I built Squid on my test Linux server here at home this evening, and aside from two minor glitches during the installation, it just worked. I keyed in the proxy information into my browser's config and *zoom* Squid starting doing its thing.
Tomorrow I'll setup a Squid server at work. We'll test drive it by redirecting our own staffs' PCs to use the proxy. If it's solid over a week or so, I'll knock out a couple more servers and get them installed at Classical and Pathways.
Progress on my Christmas week server switchover: 2.9 down, 1.1 to go. I retired HP_NMS02 this morning (replaced by HM-LNX-NMS02). More interesting things (like Squid) distracted me from doing the last .1 on the list server. And, I have had neither the time nor the cojones to tackle HP_NMS01. Mañana.