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Hardware Thread, chrome books in Technical; Hi We're talking about ways in which we can start to look at the cloud/ VDI etc. One of the ...
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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    chrome books

    Hi

    We're talking about ways in which we can start to look at the cloud/ VDI etc.
    One of the options we'd like to explore is the chromebook. I wondered if anyone had a contact as google that could get us a couple of devices for trailing?

    Dan

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    As far as I know, Google don't often deal with things like that. Chromebooks are generally available devices now anyway - you can buy them at PCWorld and Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=758129031

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    Business & Education - Chromebook

    Google is advertising them for schools, through a lease system I think. Not sure if this is US only though.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arwen View Post
    Business & Education - Chromebook

    Google is advertising them for schools, through a lease system I think. Not sure if this is US only though.
    Their UK pricing is there too - Business & Education - Chromebook

    B
    asically, 15pm per Chromebook, + 2pm if you want 3g capability + the 3g data plan with the phone company.

    Its a 3 year replacement cycle, so you're paying 540 for it.
    Last edited by localzuk; 12th September 2011 at 05:05 PM.

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    Wouldn't a Samsung reseller be able to supply a demo unit?

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    I'm looking to buy a Samsung Chromebook for myself to play around with. Does anyone have one and is it worth a punt?

    Looking at getting this:
    Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook (Titan Silver): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

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    For a VDI system you'll probably have to use the Citrix connector as I don't think it even comes with an RDP client. Expensive but it would probably work really well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    Does anyone have one and is it worth a punt?
    I thought about it, as I think the idea of a computer that just does web browsing is a great idea, but then a reliased I could set that up myself - get a cheap netbook, install Debian, have it load a web browser on boot. I got a Acer Aspire One 522 in the end - the 722 is now out, if you want the next model up, or the 522 is now available for cheaper (around 200).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Wouldn't a Samsung reseller be able to supply a demo unit?
    Samsung have lent me Netbooks in the past to try out and demonstrate and gain feedback from students before purchase (or not so in the case of one unit) you need to talk to your reseller however. Insight have been very helpful for us on this score loaning me HP PCs to check images and fitment in our bracket system as well as Samsung Netbooks and Laptops

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    SPM
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    @ dhicks

    It is a hell of a lot more expensive to maintain Windows though, and although hardware is dirt cheap nowadays, labour isn't. With Chromebooks and Google Apps for Domains you get a Google domain email server, authentication server and access control for zero cost for education plus Zero Maintenance, Zero Touch clients.

    The TCO of Chromebooks is about 30% of the TCO of Windows laptops for schools - at least those are the figures schools deploying Chromebooks to replace Windows laptops in the US returned. This is mainly down to labour cost savings.

    The other advantage and another recurring theme in feedback from schools in the US is that the like Chromebooks because they are "invisible" ie. they let teachers get on with teaching and students get on with learning school work rather than learning the OS or doing end user maintenance and housekeeping tasks on the device, and therefore allow higher productivity in school than experienced with Windows or Mac devices.
    Last edited by SPM; 23rd December 2012 at 09:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPM View Post
    It is a hell of a lot more expensive to maintain Windows though
    Indeed, that's why I went for Debian. Chrome web browser on top of Debian seems to be pretty much install-and-forget - Chrome does auto-updates with no fuss and it seems to handle most media (PDF, etc) it comes accross.

    With Chromebooks and Google Apps for Domains you get a Google domain email server, authentication server and access control for zero cost for education plus Zero Maintenance, Zero Touch clients.
    You do end up being rather dependant on Google, though, with all your data winding up on their servers.

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    SPM
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Indeed, that's why I went for Debian. Chrome web browser on top of Debian seems to be pretty much install-and-forget - Chrome does auto-updates with no fuss and it seems to handle most media (PDF, etc) it comes accross.



    You do end up being rather dependant on Google, though, with all your data winding up on their servers.
    When they say Chromebooks are zero maintenance, zero touch, that is exactly what they are. A sysadmin never needs to touch or log into the client laptops, not even for app installation - these can forced from a web control panel on Chromebooks that are associated with a domain. There is also no local user authentication server or mail server required, as Google Apps for domains can handle authentication, email, calendar, and intranet web pages with user access control, and this can be set up and managed remotely via a web interface - without setting up a single server or client. It is way beyond even Linux servers/desktops for low maintenance.

    With Chromebooks, you are only dependent on Google for user authentication. However whether you go for Chromebooks or Windows or Linux desktops, you are going to be tempted by Google Apps for Domains, simply because of the cost savings, low maintenance, and functionality you get out of them. I set up Google Apps for Domains for my previous employer to replace local Linux email, Samba PDC authentication servers, and file, print, and web servers maintained in-house for use with Windows clients, and although we didn't replace the Windows clients - the most expensive maintenance overhead, we did save a ton of money and server maintenance and hardware overhead by doing this.

    There are no doubt sysadmins who see this as negative because it means fewer sysadmins are required to maintain similar infrastructure, however I can only see positives. First, only the drudgery is replaced - desktop maintenance and support, hard drive re-imaging, physically putting together and setting up servers etc. You will still need sysadmins to maintain the Google Domains for schools and businesses, networking, WiFi, DNS domains, and other local servers. Lowered costs will allow more widespread deployment and more sophisticated computer systems in education, and you will still need sysadmins to manage content servers eg. blackboard, Moodle (local and cloud based), local virtual desktop servers and Windows terminal servers to provide Windows apps. In the US the thing that prevents more widespread deployment of 1:1 laptops before Chromebooks was shortage of locally available sysadmin staff. The ability for each sysadmin to manage much larger number of installed devices means that they can command higher salaries.

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