[K12OSN] Anyone quantified savings using LTSP?

Bill Moseley moseley at hank.org
Sun Jan 27 19:25:19 UTC 2008

I've seen a few use-cases where some claims are made on cost savings
using LTSP.  I'm curious if anyone here has looked at this recently at
their own schools.

I was looking at thin clients the other day, and although I'm not sure
the very inexpensive $85 Norhtec clients have enough power, it's
looking like $150-$200 clients are possible.  

Our school is considering one option of using the Mac Mini for the
student workstations.  So potentially, that's $400+ savings up front
per seat if using something like a $200 thin client.  Actually, that
might be an underestimate considering that the thin client hardware
would probably have a longer duty cycle than stand-alone workstation.

Of course, it's not that hard to come up with donated PCs, so that's a
bigger savings.

Software purchase, upgrades, and licensing seem like another
significant per-seat expense.  I assume most schools migrated from
Windows, but the licensing requirements might be similar to Apple.
Anyone have any numbers in this area?

Energy savings might be a consideration, too.  Some of the thin
clients have very low power consumption.  Swapping out 100 PCs with
300 watt power supplies to 100 thin clients that consume 10 watts
might not be a huge difference in cost but not insignificant.

Finally, it's hard not to imagine the management of 100 thin clients
is significantly less than 100 workstation.  Still, I doubt that often
results in any savings.  Rather just a change in admin tasks.  Have
you realized any quantifiable differences in management costs?

Anything else?

Bill Moseley
moseley at hank.org

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