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Re: [K12OSN] Anyone quantified savings using LTSP?

I'm currently doing a pilot setup of 3 thin clients in a machine shop. There are currently no computers near the machines. The intention is to provide electronic (read-only) access to drawings at the machines and to enable machinists to record information in a spreadsheet (stuff like cycle times, reject rates, etc.)

Here are the costs using my existing Linux terminal server:

$150 - 17" widescreen monitor
$240 - SYM1110 thin client
$10  - roll-up spill-proof keyboard
$15  - optical scroll-wheel mouse

If we were to insist on using Microsoft Office, the additional cost would be:

$75  - user license for our existing Windows terminal server
$260 - MS Office 2003

Due to the space constraints, traditional desktop computers are probably not an option for us, but I configured one quickly on dell.com and it costs $578 (including 17" widescreen and XP Pro). Adding MS Office 2003 (bought from Amazon.com) brings the total to $838.

The real alternative for us was putting laptops at each machine. This ironically turned out to be cheaper--it's on sale for $528. That's with a 15" widescreen and XP Pro. Adding MS Office 2003 brings it to $788. Of course a damaged laptop is more likely to get completely replaced that repaired, so you're likely to spend more in the near future.


Thin client with Linux: $415
Thin client with MS:    $750
Desktop with MS:	$838
Laptop with MS:		$788


Bill Moseley wrote:
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?


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