Well I've had a big stategy meeting today with various people about the medium to long term ICT plans for the academy and I put forward that we should be concentrating on web based and thin client technologies and providing remote desktop connections to users off the school site (as well as other things) Our Sponsors ICT people were very much on my train of thought, and after explaing how the technology differers from a traditional network, and the long term benefits of adopting this approach the principal also now sees the advantages as well. Infact it was a very positive meeting so positive that the principal is considering this approach for both the academies that are under his control providing it proves to be cost effective as a solution.
The main motivation for this is we are just commensing the process of our new build, and we will have a large injection of funding to spend on ICT. Problem is we need to have an ICT proposal on the table pretty soon so we can convince the governors and other academy sponsors that this is the right way forwards, and not the dreded managed services route. So I now need to obtain proposals for a full terminal server type system including remote access from home via a web browser etc. for costing purposes and he would also like me to arrange to see 1 or 2 schools who are sucessfully using this sort of technology already. (Also if anyone is using it on a multi site configuration over a WAN that would be even better.)
So firstly can anyone recommend some companies to approach for a total solution for this sort of technology?
Any pros and cons of the different systems on the market - the ones I know of are Citrix, Sun global desktop or just plain Microsoft Terminal sevices on its own.
And lastly is anyone who's using this sort of technology in a big way willing to let myself, our principal and probably one or two other people associated with the academy come and visit your school to see what you're doing and have a chat with you. This would be sometime in September I think.
Cheers in anticipation,
edit: And yes I have asked this question before, but I'm in a different school now and we're one year further on so I though we'd start a fresh.
Last edited by maniac; 29th June 2009 at 06:37 PM.
Yep - Cutter Project have provided exactly what you are after to schools. They use Sun Ray thin clients and Sun Global Desktop for access out of school.
Go an see an existing cutter project school.
One thing I will say though is don't put all your eggs in one basket - as I have found out recently thin clients will save lots of money in the long term and cover 90+% of the school use, but there is always a 10% that is simply not suitable for thin clients, ask my head of Art, he wanted photoshop installed on a room of 31 thin clients. Answer had to be no
Now we need to find other fat clients for him to use, which is proving a pain!
A lot of Secondaries are starting to address this kind of agenda using Moodle and Joomla in the same way that many primaries are using Merlin or other sharepoint based calendar filling software.
Cutter Project sound great, as does a WAN, VPN and Collaboration. Also many RBCs have their own offering - has anyone got a preference in how this model should run - (for a really good reason)?
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited by superfletch; 29th June 2009 at 11:31 PM.
Theoretically photoshop would run but the cost of the server spec needed to run 31 machines worth would be very expensive. 31 desktops or laptops would do this much better.
Cheers for that piece of advice it is something I'm acutely aware of and we would never go completely thin client, but we could certainly achieve about 80% I think. A majority of our machines we have at present are just used in individual departments for a bit of word processing or net browsing, so a thin client solution is absolutely ideal for this scenario!
We've had a Citrix thin-client now for over 2 years and I wouldn't turn back. It's perfect for the majority of computer use in the school and has also provided all students and staff with a decent remote access solution. The compression Citrix uses makes it great working over a WAN.
The company I used was Precedence Technologies, who are specialists in this field in education and I can highly recommend them.
I'm more than happy for you to visit and I know of a few other sites close to me that are doing the same thing.
I do have a school that is at about 80% and they are very happy.
The whole art to this is sitting down with us and working where thins fit and more importantly where they do not fit. It is all about expectation management, the technology just works.
Any questions drop me a PM
I have a school in Kent running over 100 Sun Ray, they would be more than happy to let you in to have a look.
Go for the Cutter Project... just waiting on delivery of TS solution for 200 terminals all preconfigured and ready to go... v impressed so far
linescanner (30th June 2009)
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