Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How Two Schools Saved Big Money with Open Source Software

Two good articles on how schools can save money using Open Source software.

Mike Weber of Noxon School District in remote northwest Montana gives an overview of Open Source software, and then details how his district of 270 students saved over $90,000 just in the setup of their 185 computer workstations and backbone servers. Mike gives good detail on all their costs, and estimates that their ten-year savings will be over $335,000. http://spidertools.com/oss.php

University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy converted one their schoold labs to Linux and Open Office as a test in the spring of 2003, and then compled a conversion of 268 computers that summer at an estimated savings of over $100,000. The article in Newsforge (here) provides a model for "Six steps to a successful OSS migration" that is well worth reading, and discusses the importance of educating the decision-makers in advance, and of running a pilot project to prepare and train. "The school has found some unexpected benefits. Not only has the use of LTSP extended the life of existing hardware, it has actually improved the response time and stability of the systems involved."

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