Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (71 mails)

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[opensuse-edu] openSUSE Server qualities and goals?
  • From: James Tremblay aka SLEducator <fxrsliberty@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 13:40:14 -0400
  • Message-id: <49BE8EFE.9070401@xxxxxxxxxxx>
We at the openSUSE Education project are dedicated to helping schools
and school district's make the transition towards the low cost open
source alternatives that are already mainstream in there production
versions. The top ten things we offer are these prepackaged and tested
versions of server applications key to the implementation and operation
of a modern technology based curriculum. Any school district or private
school that employed these solutions could realize a savings of over 50$
per year in licensing and support costs per student and more if they are
used to replace commercial versions that require licensing per teacher
as well. Combined with the enhanced educational opportunities acquired
by moving into the culture of sharing teacher\user experiences and the
savings are immeasurable.

1) openSUSE presents and easy to install, licensing free, way for
schools to provide authentication services, file and print services,
database and web server systems as well as application delivery
services. These represent the bulk of school spending. with Microsoft
server 2003 costing on average 1000$ per copy excluding access
licensing, these expenses add up quickly.

2) Dan's Guardian, Internet filtering and proxy services. This projects
replaces the customary subscription model filtering system with and "add
on" module to the very popular SQUID Internet proxy and cache system
deployed with every major Linux distribution and frequently installed on
commercial websites. This project uses a donation request system for
it's services but does not restrict it's products functionality.

3) Elgg, with this project a school can create a social interaction site
like Facebook but for the purpose of schoolwork collaboration. This is a
very useful tool with todays teens because it puts learning tools that
are relevant to todays social activities in their hands which can remove
the doldrum of traditional interactions.

4) openBiblio, In todays school the librarian does much more than manage
books and therefor needs a "library automation system" that is flexible
enough to handle DVD's , online or e-book subscriptions and credentials,
and a list of other tangible and intangible learning assets. These
systems generally have a per student cost associated with them that
average 3.00$ per student.

5) Joomla, This project is a an easy to manage replacement for the
traditionally hired out, usually static, one directional, web page most
schools project. It presents a very easy to understand word processor
interface known as a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) that
make it very easy for a teacher to learn to modify their web presence
with a few minutes a week, or day, to keep the public informed as to
assignments and events.

6) Moodle - This project replaces products like "Blackboard" and makes
it possible for small private and public schools to offer an online
classroom. It works like many of the modern social networking sites yet
is very organized and manageable like a real classroom. The cost of
commercial products like Blackboard are often more then 10.00$ per
student in licensing alone. Moodle is free to use. There are many
"Moodle holsters" but our project helps remove that cost as well.

7) openSIS, an open source Student Information System. Consider this:

Private schools essentially have no real operating budgets and as a
result, most cannot afford a commercial SIS. But they can afford low
cost hosting and support if the SIS is free. Here is an example for a
1,000 student private school buying Pearson's PowerSchool product:

Powerschool License - $28 per student x 1,000 students = $28,000
PowerSchool annual maintenance and support - $8 x 1,000 = $8,000
Powerschool Server - Dual processor vanilla Dell server = $5000
Dell Extended 3 year support - $250
Windows Server License - $1,000 ( I am guessing very low)
Windows SQL Server License - $1,650
Client access licenses required to connect to Windows Server and SQL
Server - $50 per workstation x 25 workstations = $1,250
Implementation assistance and training - 10 hours at $250 per hour = $2,500

Total for Year 1 = $47,600
Ongoing Costs = $8,000
Years 4 and beyond - MSFT costs to renew licenses or upgrade to new
Hardware costs associated with the new software version requisites.

Now consider our scenario:

openSIS License - $0
openSIS Support and Maintenance - $6 per student x 1,000 = $6,000
openSIS Hosting - $150 per month x 12 = $1,800
Sever Cost = $0
Sever Maintenance - $0
Client Access Licenses - $0
Server Licenses - $0
Implementation assistance and training - 10 hours at $75 per hour = $750

Total for Year 1 = $8,550 (Year 1 difference of -$39,100)
Ongoing Costs - $7,800 (Ongoing Costs difference of -$200 per year)
They never have to renew/upgrade MSFT licenses
Hardware upgrades planned as needed to support serviceable lifespans

The private school market has over 7 million students in it and it is
growing at about a 5% pace every year. The OS4Ed goal is to build an
open source stack that we continue to bolt pieces onto for $1 or $2 per

openSIS - $6
openIntel - $2
openBiblio - $2
Moodle - $2
And more as we grow......Until we can provide the as a complete package.

8) The incredible software that comes with Novell's openSUSE and the
community of supporters dedicated to it.

9) The worldwide dedication to education software as is maintained in
the over 100 other titles in our desktop repository.

10) The knowledge and experience of the hundreds of educators around the
world the communicate daily with the individual project\product communities.

James Tremblay
openSIS Product Specialist
e-mail james "at"
e-mail sleducator "at"
CNE 3,4,5
MCSE w2k
CLE in training
Registered Linux user #440182

fn:James A Tremblay
n:Tremblay;James A

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