@BrianW Thanks for your post. This is good food for thought, and right on the issue I am now involved with. We just started up a high school in a remote village in Kenya (Asilong Christian High School). There are two Windows laptops and one MacMini on a local network with wireless access points at the school, but no internet access.
I have downloaded various RACHEL content packs as well as Kiwix and some Wikipedia distributions. I have made some minor modifications to deliver these up from webservers running on the the three computers.
I need to do some additional research to understand how to use the RACHEL platform from the PCs / Mac, as that may be more easily maintainable than the traditional server approach.
I did some customization of the web pages to help make it more personal to the school. This system will be deployed in the next two weeks, and I will collect some feedback and post here on the findings.
On my next trip to Kenya, I would like to take a RACHEL Plus to do a comparison on the speed of the system as the connections increase. We are likely to have 40+ simultaneous wireless connections from Android tablets and I am interested in seeing how each installation performs. The video content will put the heaviest load on the system, and if the performance for a large class is not good, it will discourage the teachers from using the video approach, or modify the access to limit the number of students that access video at one time.