First let me describe the task: My lab has approached me about setting up a simple GIS for a colleagues 'non-spatial' lab. There are a couple of key characteristics to the intended setup:
- Fully open source. The workstation will be running OSGeo-Live.
- Single workstation. They only want one new computer in there, and they have no network set up as of yet, so it'll be stand-alone.
- It has to play double duty: it will both as the server of a spatial database that holds all the data collected for the lab (so an Admin account needs to have full access to this database), but also act as a workstation for students who can come in, view the data, run analysis, but CANNOT edit the data.
- System needs to be low on maintenance, so sysAdmin jobs kept to a minimum.
I'll quickly explain my background: I have training mainly as a GIS analyst, working almost exclusively so far as a Desktop GIS user. I have recently started looking into GIS sysadmin stuff and webserving. I have SQL experience, Geodatabase design training, and data management experience on a single user network database. Unfortunately, this is a situation where money is tight, and I was the only person in the lab who knows even a small amount of IT. The answer to my question might be: hire someone who does this for a living. That, however, is not an option.
Now I've chosen the OSGeo-Live distro for obvious reasons, and the fact that it comes pre-packaged with more abilities than will be asked of it by this user group. This is important, however, because with time this lab wants to:
- build a central server that will include spatial info, and
- start serving maps over the internet. This, however, is not my task right now. It would be good, however, if I made the system as extendable as possible so when these upgrades become a priority they don't have to do a complete system overhaul.
Now that's my situation, here are my specific questions:
Database: What's the best way to setup a multi-user spatial database on a single computer that also acts as a workstation? Partitioning with admin account write access?
Backup: Since there is no network infrastructure now in place, what would be a good local system for backing up the spatial database? Seperate internall hard drive with a simple cron bash script?
Resources: Could someone please point me in the direction of some intro sysAdmin resources for small scale (single lab) network and database sysAdmin, design, implementation.
Thanks so much in advance, Scott
EDIT: Also, I've read a bit on choices of database. I'm inclined to go with PostGIS because it might make it easier to migrate to a larger network later on. But Spatialite is intriguing because it is simpler and would require less maintenance and a less restrictive setup. Is it true that going for Spatialite now would make migration to a larger enterprise setup harder in the future?