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Re: [K12OSN] Preparing K12Linux F11

Jeff Siddall wrote:
Steven Santos wrote:

I think the case for LTS is as strong today as it always has been.
I completely agree with you on including LTS 4.x in a Centros version.

Where I disagree with you is on legacy hardware being the driving factor.
Cost of operation is still the leading factor as far as I am concerned.

I second that.

I am new to LTSP and am rolling it out in a 10 user office on brand new
hardware specifically because it is cheaper to support than an office
full of fat clients.

In my case I have one LTSP server (Phenom II X4 + 8 GB RAM) + 10
mini-ITX thin clients (Intel Little Falls board + Morex T3310 + 1 GB RAM
+ 24" LCD).

The server hardware cost about $1200 and the client hardware costs about
$460 each for a total of $5800.

Previously each of these 10 users was getting a $1000 Windows PC every 4
years for a total of $10000.  Even if _all_ the LTSP equipment is
forklifted every 4 years (which is unnecessary -- at least for the
clients) then the total hardware cost of LTSP is still about 40% less
than Windows fat clients.

Add to that the energy savings of more than $2000 every 4 years, plus
the centralized support savings and there is still an excellent business
case to be made for LTSP on _brand new_ hardware.


I'm seeing two flaws in Jeff's argument. The first is that he's comparing $1000 MS Windows PC's to an LTSP lab. I, by contrast, am comparing $300 Ubuntu GNU/Linux machines to an LTSP lab. BIG difference. The second is that I'm talking about an LTSP 5 lab, not LTSP 4, with the business-case question. An LTSP 5 solution requires considerably beefier hardware, client and server both, than LTSP 4.

Now, do that above calculation for a typical 20- to 30-seat K-12 computer lab, and the LTSP 5 solution just got considerably more expensive by comparison. The "ongoing maintenance" argument won't fly; the decision-makers will see that greater up-front cost and say "NO!" to LTSP-anything. Remember, our expertise is geekdom; theirs is administration/education. Different skill sets.

If we stick with LTSP 4, though, we can continue to reuse old PC's or even use $100 thin clients instead of $460/seat. That $1200 server Jeff mentioned just became a fire-breathing screamer; I've done it on a a dual Athlon MP with 4GB DRAM. Now, we just got way cheaper than even the $300 ZaReason boxes, and our case for LTSP remains very strong.


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