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UNM Pilots Multiplied SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops in Computer Labs


Rather than deploying single-user SLED 10 desktops, UNM's Office of Contract Archeology is championing the use of "Multiplied" SLED 10 desktops. The Linux Desktop Multiplier for SLED 10 enables UNM to deploy six fully independent user desktops on each repurposed Intel-based PC.

Overview


Founded in 1889, the University of New Mexico (UNM) serves 33,000 students and employs over 20,000 people in New Mexico. In July 2006, UNM deployed Novell GroupWise campus-wide as its email and collaboration suite. UNM's Office of Contract Archeology is also piloting SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) in one of its computer labs.

Novell SLED 10 delivers a full-featured Linux desktop operating system that is stable, secure, inexpensive and easy to deploy. Because Linux interoperates with existing Windows desktops, UNM was able to easily add SLED 10 desktops to their environment, remotely manage them, and deliver GroupWise and OpenOffice – a free open source office productivity application – to computer lab users.

Rather than single-user Linux desktops, however, the UNM's Office of Contract Archeology is championing the use of multi-user SLED 10 desktops using the Linux Desktop Multiplier.

The Challenge


  • Wider Access to Desktops:  Many universities and K-12 schools need to deliver wider access to desktops for students. The "Multiplied" SLED 10 strategy allows educational institutions to gain a "10-to-1" advantage on deploying large numbers of desktops in their computer labs and public-access areas.

  • Maximize IT Budget:  Universities and colleges need to maximize their budgets and do more with less. By eliminating 9 out of 10 physical PCs, the "Multiplied" SLED 10 strategy presents significant cost savings in terms of hardware, software, maintenance and environmental waste.

  • Avoid Single Vendor Lock-in:  Many post-secondary and K-12 schools consider SLED 10 and Open Source software as opportunities to reduce licensing costs and break free from single vendor lock-in.

  • Reduce Exposure to Viruses:  Tens of thousands of viruses, trojan horses and worms present potential threats to universities and colleges' IT infrastructure. SLED 10 delivers a full-featured desktop operating system with improved security and stability.

  • Decrease Electricity and Recycling Costs:  While Linux desktop subscriptions are minimal or free of charge, universities and colleges still face significant hardware, management, training and infrastructure costs (electricity, C0² emissions, computer waste) to deploy Linux desktops in their computer labs.

The Solution


UNM's decision to move to GroupWise made the "Multiplied" SLED 10 pilot in the Office of Contract Archeology a natural choice.

With the Linux Desktop Multiplier for SLED 10, UNM deployed 12 fully independent user desktops on two Intel-based PCs. Each user station is connected directly to the PC via inexpensive dual-head graphics cards and a USB hub for peripheral devices. The computers are repurposed P4 2.6 Ghz machines with 2 GB of RAM. Keyboards with integrated USB hubs were used to reduce cabling.

The Linux Desktop Multiplier wizard enables the administrator to quickly assign the keyboards and mice to their respective monitor with the press of a Function key. Each user authenticates to eDirectory with the Novell Client for Linux. Each user has access to the software that comes bundled with SLED 10 – such as Novell GroupWise, OpenOffice, Firefox, photo editor and PDF creator.

The Results


"Our administrators are really impressed with the performance of our multi-user SLED 10 Desktops," said Adel Saad, LAN Administrator for UNM's Office of Contract Archaeology. "Students do not realize they are sharing the same machine."

"The Multiplied SLED 10 strategy was presented to our management team and at one of our Linux User Group meetings. The Linux Desktop Multiplier software add-on for SLED 10 really reduces our hardware costs and was very simple to install," continues Mr. Saad.


Go to Omni's Linux Desktop Multiplier page.
Go to a related Novell article on UNM published in Novell Connection Magazine.



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