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This is a repost of a Jan 21, 2002 post - you can find it in the archives on K12LTSP....

Now that their is apparently a lot of new subscribers to this list, this post talks about the benefits of an LTSP environment, particularly TCO - Total Cost of Ownership.....something that seems to be a recurring question -- Kirk
Just so that some out there are not going to go forward with this picture as a TCO calculation, TCO is made up of a lot more than server$ / # of workstations.

Gartner, IDG and other major analyst firms estimate that a typical Windows PC on a desktop in a typical CORPORATE environment costs $12,000-$15,000 a year to run. This is based on a TCO comparison, and one that might be well to "sell" to school administration.

A partial list is:
        Cost of Hardware on the desktop
        Cost of Servers to support the desktop
        Network Infrastructure, wiring, routers, switches, proxies, etc.
        Desktop OS, local applications
        Network Server OS, server applications
        Password [re]set, maintenance, authorities and authorizations
        Internet access controls
        Active content monitoring, intrusion detection, Firewalls,
        security applications, penetration testing, authentication,
        Vulnerability scanners, incident response, policy deployment, etc.
Enterprise Management
        Off-site storage
        Business Continuity
        Disaster Recovery
        Help desk, user support, diverse skills availability
        Maintenance, installations, etc.

If you actually run the TCO of individual desktops against a server-thin client structure, things like Citrix / Windows terminal server make lots of financial sense, as a terminal server environment decreases the maintenance cost significantly over "fat" desktops. Then take it to LTSP, and the Server OS cost, no desktop OS, no installed local software, etc. go to zip - the TCO is WAY, WAY lower than a Windows or even Mac (with it's 80% less TCO cost than Windows) desktop environment.

OK, so it takes the "Personal" out of "Personal computer", but, put in financial terms, there is NO basis for any argument.

So what is the cost of adding 1 Win2k Server to an LTSP environment? The $700 (<$200 edu) price of the software? No, I would conservatively put the initial cost of the install in the $25,000 range, with at least this in recurring TCO costs.

Whenever you figure out the TCO on something, there is both the non-recurring (plan, design, implement) cost, and the recurring (operate, maintain) costs. Keep that in mind as well. And it is not a factor of what you are paid, but how many hours it takes, and how many different diverse skills it takes to support the complexities of a "real" IT environment.


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