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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Thin clients in BSF in Technical; Does anyone know of any BSF projects that are looking at using thin client for all or part of their ...
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    Thin clients in BSF

    Does anyone know of any BSF projects that are looking at using thin client for all or part of their IT service provision.

    I'm keen that we at least consider it as
    1) we're in a listed building so any additional cooling required in new suites is going to be disproportionately expensive and also more expensive to run than no cooling.
    2) I want to push anytime anywhere access to applications NOT data. What use is data if you can't process/use it. Schools may well be on office 2010 by then but if students have Macs, linux or just iPhones we're creating an unnecessary barrier.
    3) our school runs many evening classes and I don't know what provision there is for support outside of the schools agreed hours. My experience is that thin clients require less in class support than fat PCs so there would be less problems and of those more that could be fixed without a site visit.
    4) every other thin client benefit.

    Fat clients in specialist media suites (IT, DT, Music, Art), thin clients everywhere else with applications delivered either locally or virtually (Xen App) (reduced regression testing, quickly retasking a room for a different subject in case of timetable changes etc)

    I'm after some case studies, arguements for and against.
    But preferably some numbers to support my case for as it seems to be the obvious solution to many of the issues we currently expereince.

    Chris

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    e_g_r's Avatar
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    Rochdale BSF through Capita IT services is looking at this model.

    Fat client for high end and thin clinet with home access to apps in school/central service.

    Seem to be the prefered model for Capita IT BSF projects.

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    We are one of the first two BSF schools in Rochdale; we are just at the last stage of finalising provision before Financial Close. Our new(ish) school will not have any thin clients in it; it will be about 50:50 mix of fixed fat clients and laptops/netbooks.

    This emerged as a result of looking at each crrriculum area in turn and picking the most appropriate solution; neither I nor the service provider had any idealogical preference, and the decision was driven about 50%by curriculum need and 50% by the fact that there is little physical room in the new building for workstations that require a permanently fixed screen/keyboard/mouse.

    Becuase they have to provide initial costings, they made an assumption about the proportion of laptops/thin cleints/fat clients in their initial costings which would have given us up to 100 thin clients (out of 600ish end user devices on site) but it worked out that they simply weren't appropriate for what we needed to do with them.

    We will be using the Virtual Desktop functionality that would have been avaialble on thin clients in school to provide more external connectivity for staff and pupils, than they originally anticipated.

    I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the process so far it terms of equipment: they have much more flexibility in their approach than I thought, and in terms of end user devices there is going to be quite a mixed economy throughtout the Rochdale schools, I suspect. Of course, the central sevices are a different issue, but these are things that either do not directly concern delivery in the classroom, (such as centralised IP telephony) or just make sense to do centrally (such as e-mail and web filtering).

    Earlier this year (as part of gearing up for BSF) we went and had a look at some schools in another LA near us where BSF was more advanced (Bradford) - now there you had the other side of the coin - you could have whatever device you wanted as long as it was a SunRay thin client box.......when the Business Manager of a secondary school starts talking to you in quite technical terms about issues with LDAP integration then you know there have been problems....

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    We aren't a BSF school but we are working towards a setup like you described above. We're currently about 30% thin client. We also use this system (Citrix) to provide home access which has the added benefit of allowing users from home to get a school Windows desktop on any client, OSX, Linux and so on.

    We used Novus to help with the original setup if you look on their home page they have some case studies (link on the top menu bar) of academy schools that they've worked with.

    Novus Group

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e_g_r View Post
    Rochdale BSF through Capita IT services is looking at this model.

    Fat client for high end and thin clinet with home access to apps in school/central service.

    Seem to be the prefered model for Capita IT BSF projects.
    He is from Rochdale and was at the meeting on Friday. Look at his username and compare it with the mailing list you will find out who it is

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    Axel's Avatar
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    This may be a little off topic - but may be interesting to some....

    The Carbon Trust offer interest free loans for renewal projects where there is a demonstrable saving in energy. We are working with a Borough Council who have applied for this loan to assist in the migration of old thin clients to modern greener Ultra-thin clients.....

  8. Thanks to Axel from:

    john (18th November 2009)

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    Thanks for all the replies.
    I accept there is a break even point in numbers of devices for them to become cost effective

    My arguements are that:
    1) anywhere access (home, school, field trip)
    2) from any device (students own laptops in school connecting via guest wireless less network back into school as if they are offsite, netbooks running software they wouldn't normally be able to meanign cheaper capital investment and ongoing costs (just heard of a BSF school stung for £5k for replacing vandalised laptops! Didn't budget for that!), iphones windows, linux, mac)
    3) everyone uses the same software. Noone trying to bring in MS Works spreadsheets that have removed all the macros /changes everyone else put in that shared document!)
    4) reduced power usage in school
    5) reduced space
    6) easier to secure (and less reason to nick one unless the bloke you're planning to sell it to down teh pub has a thin clietn server at home too!)
    7) less requirements for technical intervention in the classroom (so better support as less time travelling)
    8) less noise
    9) less heat
    10) less software deployed to the fat desktops (as it can be streamed or accessed remotely) reducing regression testing, reducing the complexity of the setup of each desktop, reducing reimage time (smaller images as less software), allowing software to be made available in any class at any time.

    Schools in the USA seem to have a different model and manage IT across a whole district and have been benefiting for some time from the "economies of scale" that BSF now promises in teh UK. Not sure why we couldn't do it that way...
    Check out
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lzFpbG"]YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.[/nomedia]
    for an example of a successful thin client installation.

    Also check out the other video interviewing the same guy 2 years previously when they were using something other than Citrix but now seem to have switched... I'll leave it for you to search this one out! ;0)

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    This may be a little off topic - but may be interesting to some....

    The Carbon Trust offer interest free loans for renewal projects where there is a demonstrable saving in energy. We are working with a Borough Council who have applied for this loan to assist in the migration of old thin clients to modern greener Ultra-thin clients.....
    Could you send me details on the cost savings you used in your application so that I can put a figure on the power savings please?

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    @ cjohnsonuk

    The youtube link doesn't work for me can you confirm that it is correct?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    He is from Rochdale and was at the meeting on Friday. Look at his username and compare it with the mailing list you will find out who it is
    No for some strange reason there are 2 of us.

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lzFpbGrPrg"]YouTube- Citrix XenDesktop Customer - Collier County Interview[/ame]

    try this instead
    Sorry my mistake

  14. Thanks to cjohnsonuk from:

    cookie_monster (19th November 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e_g_r View Post
    No for some strange reason there are 2 of us.
    ah well i was nearly right

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    There only seems to be one e_g_r in the member list

    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/members/list/e15.html

  17. #15
    e_g_r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    There only seems to be one e_g_r in the member list

    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/members/list/e15.html
    Its more to do with the fact that the original poster and me share something!!!

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