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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the oh-no-big-deal dept.

Education 158

jrepin (667425) writes "The government of the autonomous region of Valencia (Spain) earlier this month made available the next version of Lliurex, a customisation of the Edubuntu Linux distribution. The distro is used on over 110,000 PCs in schools in the Valencia region, saving some 36 million euro over the past nine years, the government says." I'd lke to see more efforts like this in the U.S.; if mega school districts are paying for computers, I'd rather they at least support open source development as a consequence.

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LINUX ON DESKTOP HAS SAVED; ME! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47545957)

Oh, babay, jeesus, linux on my lap, this is yoor Year!

Re:LINUX ON DESKTOP HAS SAVED; ME! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546257)

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I'd be careful of these stats (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47545973)

The region of Valencia has the highest debt of all Spain and has been part of many corruption scandals usually involving stupid expenses, like an airport nobody uses and has cost the citizens millions. Now they claim they are saving money. Yeah, right, only after firing the whole public TV sector in order to save millions. TV sector which coincidentally started to reveal the corruption *after* they were fired, but not while they were being pampered by bribes...

Re:I'd be careful of these stats (2)

ruir (2709173) | about 5 months ago | (#47548107)

One does not need to be the brightest bulb to understand TV reporters have salaries akin to football players for some very odd reason.

TCO (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#47545975)

At the risk of being modded troll I'll ask if anyone knows the TCO on these Linux roll outs. If Spain has lower tech wages it might be much lower than Windows, but in the United States at least there's tonnes of cheap Windows IT gurus but if you want someone that can admin your Linux boxes you'll pay through the nose. Google Docs and other web apps might be changing that though, at least until you hit college.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546061)

..and exactly why, in your opinion, are you be at risk of being modded Troll?

It#s also not so bad, trust me - you will survive, adapt, and becomne a stronger Dice Inc. Regular Poster.

Re:TCO (5, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 months ago | (#47546073)

From my experience you need less Linux sysadmins to begin with. Its easier to do remote admin. So the TCO numbers Microsoft claims are usually bullshit.

Re:TCO (5, Informative)

thesupraman (179040) | about 5 months ago | (#47546231)

This.
Most Microsoft TCO analysis involves:

All equipment being re-purchased to use linux, and then replaced at the standard windows replacement rates, which is BS.
All administration staff to be assumed to be windows trained but zero knowledge of linux, but are retained, and consultants bought in to run linux
All microsoft user end software to still be supported (outlook, windows web frontends, databases, office 'apps', etc), requiring additional complexity and many many retained windows servers and workstations.
Basically they create a horrific hybrid solution required to support any and all historical solutions, keep all the baggage from windows they can, then point out that it costs more.

The fact is that any reasonably well planned transition is just that - a transition.
And the savings are clear and obvious, as more and more locations are finding.
Hell, even the savings of transitioning backend servers to Linux, and frontend software to OSS, while retaining windows for users, are huge.

Re:TCO (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546265)

Given this TCO analysis, nobody should ever switch from an old windows version to a more recent one, the risk of offtime and stolen data would be cheaper.

Re:TCO (5, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 5 months ago | (#47546733)

Good point, thesupraman forgot one additional MS TCO assumption:

"There's no ongoing transitional costs from Microsoft upgrades."

Microsoft only compares with a stable Win/Office environment. But often these transitions to Linux/FOSS are made in the face of a major Windows/Office upgrade. So the comparison is "Transition to FOSS vs Transition to different MS-ware".

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547951)

But there is an ongoing cost for using Linux, and that is in people/support.

Like people need to take a look at the long term consequences of switching OS/Hardware, not the immediate cost savings of the Windows licenses.

1. Installing windows takes maybe 3 hours on a top-of-the-line machine, and you can clone the image to as many machines as you have licenses, and they will usually be up and ready to work. Linux can take several days, between having to download, update, compile, figure out broken dependancy crap, configure and then put into production. Once that's done you can also clone the image to as many machines as you need, as long as the hardware is identical. And you then have to repeat this step every time the OS is updated, which can be as little as a few hours, vs Microsoft which can be configured to download binary updates from a specific location on a schedule. With Linux you can't do this. Anyhow this leads to much more support costs, so to make it practical you need a large installation. A single computer lab of 30 computers isn't cost effective to do this with, but a 10,000 computer district-wide deployment is.
2. If these are laptops(or even tablets,) and the students are expected to take the devices, there are a lot of unknown factors in getting the students to remote access their data. So this leads to further support costs that would be there if it was Windows or Linux, but the average student is not a hacker and is not going to deal with this crap.
3. Which leads back to the "the cloud is bullshit" , if they can't get online, then they can't access their documents or schoolwork.

I'm a fan of using OSS to run inconsequential services, like email or web servers. I'm not a fan of forcing end-users to not have a choice. If the end-user wants to run Linux and is going to be responsible for making it work, let them. Otherwise there are severe consequences for forcing students to learn on Linux, when the world's offices run on Windows.

Now, if the state government also ran OSS software as well, this is another case entirely. But from past experience, I come from an era when everyone used DOS and Wordperfect, or Windows 3.1 and Wordperfect for Windows (then owned by Novell) , and the rapid switch to Microsoft Office and Windows 95 resulted in a lot of whine from front end staff who could no longer do even simple things because the entire user experience was no longer familiar. This was an era when people had those F-key paper/plastic strips taped to the top of their keyboard because there was no GUI menu. How long did it take people to just deal with it? 2 years. Once everyone got "retrained" on how to use windows and retrained on how to use Microsoft Office, there was a lot less fuss made. But I should also point out that the government office I'm talking about, completely ignored the license requirements when installing the software, because nobody knew what a software license was. Fortunately the office only had one server (NT 3.51 at the time) and the costs for license compliance would be rather low once someone would have realized it.

Which brings me back to the first point again. Each computer updated, was previously running a different OS and different office suite. This made the deployment take quite a while, as Windows had to be installed from a dozen floppy disks (and even though the machines were networked, they didn't work properly initially, as they required IPX/SPX Novell configurations that there was no documentation for under Windows 95, so all the peer to peer network shares were the Microsoft protocols being used and nobody knew the difference.)

God I would hate to return to a time when stuff just didn't work with existing stuff. This is why every time I hear these stories I only ever hear about cost savings and not how much of a pain in the ass it was make it all work. How many man-hours was spent per machine? In the floppy disk era, it averaged 10 minutes per disk, and each machine had to install 30 disks. So 5 hours, billed at whatever the prevailing rate was.

Re:TCO (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#47548113)

My experience is the opposite of yours with installing Windows/Linux. I've found that ghosting Windows installs requires that the hardware be virtually identical. Having a different disk controller, or switching between ATA and AHCI modes usually causes blue screens and failure to boot. Any modern Linux distro, however can quite happily run even by putting the installed hard disk into a completely different machine.

Re:TCO (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 5 months ago | (#47548317)

The last time I installed linux... I had only my SSD plugged in... when I connected my other drives everything was fine, then I ran updates a few days later... part of the updates included an update to grub, which after said update would no longer boot. This was a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04 a couple years ago. Prior to that, my attempt for linux as my primary desktop OS was in 2006 which resulted in a lot of effort to get both 3D acceleration and multi-monitor support... prior to that, was a regression issue with intel video drivers on a laptop selected for linux back in 2004 (or so) that made it unable to watch youtube videos, or play frozen bubble... Every time I've tried linux as my primary desktop, I hit a level of frustration that is intolerable. I have a Cubox-i4-pro that was doing XBMC chores (for two months) that now won't boot, not sure why... I use linux without a GUI for servers... I am building a new version of the web apps at work targeting node (to run in linux) and find that android works pretty damned well. All of that said, I'll take my macbook or windows desktop over another attempt at using linux for my primary desktop OS... I don't have the free time or patience to deal with edge cases that seem to pile up to unusable solutions. I've tried Linux on the desktop and it failed repeatedly.

Re:TCO (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#47548367)

It's a shame you didn't persist as most boot/grub errors are generally quite easy to fix. Most of the time, you can boot from CD/usb stick and repair the grub install within about 5 minutes.

Still, if you don't want to use it, use something else. Choice and competition are good.

Re:TCO (2)

ruir (2709173) | about 5 months ago | (#47548109)

And there are no antivirus costs for *every* workstation and *every* server.

Re:TCO (1)

julian67 (1022593) | about 5 months ago | (#47546325)

That's probably the best short description of Microsoft's TCO comparisons that I've seen, thank you.

Re:TCO (2, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47546517)

I agreed with everything until here:

And the savings are clear and obvious, as more and more locations are finding.

This reeks of "Linux is the hammer for every problem" thinking. What if they require Quickbooks server? What if they have tried alternatives, but indicate that they need Microsoft Publisher, or Excel? I have heard all three of these before, and they make me hesitate to say "screw what you think you need, we're changing everything because FOSS!"

Sometimes its feasible. Sometimes you're just creating headaches and big sunk costs of conversion for no real reason.

Re: TCO (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546665)

When a customer says "I need", what you should be hearing is " I've only been trained on " or "this is what my boss who knows little to nothing about my job is requiring me to choose".

Re: TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546705)

Or, you know, they and their boss know better what they need than you do. This is why they hate you.

Re: TCO (2)

gomiam (587421) | about 5 months ago | (#47548667)

No. Unfortunately they usually don't. <semi-rant>I support a university campus and I'm tired (not really, but it gets boring) of being asked for copies of university software by students for whom there is no licenced copy available. The reason? The teacher will be accostumed to using that software and doesn't even consider changing to another.

Mind you, I'm not even talking about changing to Linux or some open source program. I'm talking about students (teachers too) persistently asking for Windows XP-compatible software to be installed in their Windows 8 computers when we aren't allowed to do it and asking for us to help them when the magically appearing copy of our licenced software doesn't work with their computers' Windows 7 or 8</semi-rant>

So no, they usually don't know better: they stumbled upon the software (or were taught to use it by someone who already used it) and never looked back. I have even had teachers tell me (because some licenced-software seller told them) that the costless option I suggest is worse when the licenced version is the same software with some useless extras bolted in (and yes, I mean useless extras because they can be substituted with standard Windows software).

Re:TCO (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546709)

Some time ago someone built their business practices around the tools that were available on the platform they chose at the time. If they choose a new platform there should be an expectation of flexibility in the business practices to match the new platform. It doesn't matter which direction you go or what you're changing. It will never be 100% the same as the old solution.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546711)

If you can't see or modify the source code, then it is absolutely immoral for the government (especially 'educational' environments) to use it. The end. Any savings are just a nice bonus.

Total Cost of being Owned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547031)

I was once given the task to connect PERL DBI to a MS SQL Server. I searched for it and found that "SQL Server" is a Sybase dialect, and FreeTDS can read it's native format. I had the perl program in no time.

There are almost always effective libraries to read data from Microsoft products from Linux. Real SQL databases are large and hard to move, but most MS files can just be moved onto a Linux disk and used.

The Total Cost of being Owned by proprietary formats is quite high.

Re:TCO (2)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47547837)

The savings remain clear and obvious, they just can't take advantage of it. It does give them a real measure of the cost of sticking with those apps.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548441)

Yup Kids REQUIRE Quickbooks server..

RETARD!

Re:TCO (1)

skovnymfe (1671822) | about 5 months ago | (#47548009)

You can use your Puppet/Chef tool to generate DSC information for Server 2012+. Was it hard 10 years ago? Sure. These days? Not so much. There's just the problem that Linux admins are so inherently afraid of Windows that they'd never dare keep up with what's going on with it, out of fear of being rejected by their *NIX peers, and Windows people have a disturbing tendency to stop learning as soon as they figure out they can open up GUI interfaces.

Re:TCO (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 months ago | (#47546653)

This is a mistaken belief. Windows is actually pretty easy to mass-admin remotely, even with built-in windows services (not relying on SSH). But... Windows admins who know how to mass-admin boxes remotely usually get paid as much as Linux admins. Usually because once they've gotten to this point, they've gotten *nix under their belt.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546693)

Absolutely agreed. Mass administration of Windows is how it's done when done correctly. In fact, there are a few instances where I actually prefer Windows remote to Linux. The fanboys here just don't let up. This shit has become a team sport, and we all suffer for it.

As an addition, this "low cost, low skill" Windows admin myth drives me insane. I know SHAREPOINT admins that are junior level demanding 120k easily in most markets, and many of them based remotely. Granted, many are coming from an established discipline already (AD, Exchange, etc).

cheap shot (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547799)

> This is a mistaken belief. Windows is actually pretty easy to
> mass-admin remotely, even with built-in windows services

Just ask anyone running their own botnet!

Re:TCO (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#47548487)

From my experience you need less Linux sysadmins to begin with. Its easier to do remote admin. So the TCO numbers Microsoft claims are usually bullshit.

You have thought about that in terms of doing machine-by-machine maintenance. A large school district has a similar topology to a large enterprise corporation - thousands of systems spread out over dozens or hundreds of sites, with dozens or hundreds of different user-types grouped by function, having various seemingly-arbitrary blocking and auditability rules, and possible liability for certain types of breach, etc.

For maintaining a farm of identical servers, I agree with you completely. For maintaining Grandma's desktop remotely, I agree with you completely. But for maintaining an enterprise desktop environment, Microsoft simply has the best tools for the job. Linux AD-via-Samba quite simply doesn't even come close for the convenience of centralized GP maintenance, and has aothing anywhere near the convenience of drag-and-drop group-based software installation (though Linux does have non-stock application deployment packages available, like Puppet, that partially fill that last point). Linux has nothing even remotely like (W)SUS. And those two alone count as complete showstoppers when it comes to minimizing the number of people required to maintain a large network.

I love Linux, I use Linux, but Linux at the enterprise scale amounts to a non-starter.

Of course, the biggest irony here, school districts don't tend to use Windows, either - They loooove them some Apple products, which have all the same problems described above, plus the pricetag (not saying Apples still cost more, but they don't come free). So in that sense, yes, I can see how Linux would save school districts a hefty chunk of money; at some scale, however, you'll find that switching to MS would likely save money vs the overhead of sys/net ops and helpdesk staff.

Its all because of graphics drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546105)

How do the Windows IT gurus become Windows IT gurus? By using windows. What do they use Windows for? Gaming. Would they use Linux? It can be far more better fine-tuned. So why do they not use it? No Games for Linux. Why that? No or crappy graphics drivers for linux. Therefore: TCO of linux for spain schools is higher than windows TCO because NVIDIA doesn't release drivers for linux that deserve that name.

DirectX is not a library -- its a vital part of Microsoft strategy.

Re:Its all because of graphics drivers (1)

thesupraman (179040) | about 5 months ago | (#47546263)

Um, what?
Firstly, you are thinking that gaming is a primary must have application for schools? I am thinking you are a teen, right?
Secondly, you dont even know that NVidia linux graphics drivers are almost exactly on par with their windows cousins?

Sure, you wont run windows games on them - those are developed for WINDOWS, dumbarse.
OpenGL runs very will on both platforms, and certainly with NVidia with equial performance and stability. Linux is a fantastic graphics platform.
DirectX is continuously playing catchup.

Perhaps if you actually used computers, rather than treating them as a gaming console - you may learn something...

Re:Its all because of graphics drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546353)

Um, what?
Firstly, you are thinking that gaming is a primary must have application for schools? I am thinking you are a teen, right?

no that's clearly not what he's saying. his statement was that people buy windows to play games, hence they learn windows and become windows system admins. so that's where you started looking pretty stupid. Then the pile of bullcrap you spewed about equal performance between windows and linux in rendering opengl and claiming the drivers are roughly on par, that's where you lost all your credibility.

Re:Its all because of graphics drivers (1)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 5 months ago | (#47547347)

hence they learn windows

And they can learn other operating systems, too. Or do most people lack the cognitive ability to use more than one OS, and need crappy 'Microsoft Essentials' classes to teach them anything beyond how to game and access their Facebook accounts?

TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546117)

question is how many do you need and how much can be done remotely. i know 4 internal IT guys are maintaining linux counters for gas stations spread across whole country here since one of those 4 is my friend. before moving on linux, IT dept was 20 people + outsourcing.

Re:TCO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546285)

Posting AC because this will elicit knee-jerk responses:

When I was in college, Macs were primarly used, then Linux. However, the second one graduated, one faced a world that is all Windows. Not Zimbra, but Exchange/OWA. Not Thunderbird, but Outlook. Not OpenOffice, but LibreOffice. To boot, being versed in MS's way of things is the difference between getting a job versus not.

Then there is the vast gulf between Linux enthusiasts versus Linux IT people.

Yes, one can use Linux to route iSCSI over a Wi-Fi connection. However, there is a big difference between doing stuff on a desktop distribution of Ubuntu versus working out how to deal with security rules, regulations, internal company policy, and hardware, then deploying an "approved" distribution, making sure it works with AD and has McAfee installed on it [1].

There is also a difference between installing Linux on an old P3 versus lighting off servers via iLO, having them PXE boot and install with different server configurations.

For maintaining commercial Linux distros, there are supported ways and unsupported. This is important on production machines and clusters. Yes, one can grab source and slap on files, but the real way is to use signed files (be it RPM, .deb, or whatnot.)

Oh, and of course, upgrading willy-nilly is a no-no. Slap RedHat or CentOS 7 on existing 6.5 installs, and shit breaks. Shit will break big time.

tl;dr: The world runs on Windows, and the school does a disservice to the students by not preparing them for reality.

[1]: Linux doesn't need AV, but there are a lot of companies that sign some sheet saying "all servers will have AV protection on them." So, McAfee goes onto the Solaris LDOMs, the AIX LPARs, and the Linux VMs. This makes sure a checkbox is ticked for the legal eagles.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546393)

"tl;dr: The world runs on Windows, and the school does a disservice to the students by not preparing them for reality.."

I dunno, I am probably (or, for these here parts anyway, what may pass as..) a Windows Fanboy. Your argument, whilst not completely invalid, remains in Catch22 terrority, with *BASIC*computer literacy being (nowadays, or at least I hope so) probably 70% of the IT training battle - i.e.. OS being so similar nowadays, may as well state, they are 70% (or more) the same.

"Oh, and of course, upgrading willy-nilly is a no-no. Slap RedHat or CentOS 7 on existing 6.5 installs, and shit breaks. Shit will break big time..."

- no shit - and, that is why I am, and remain, a Windows fanboy - leastways in a corporate IT environment.

Re:TCO (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 5 months ago | (#47546493)

Because shit won't break trying to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008?

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546687)

I can follow directions from a vendor and get the OS migrated without worrying about the application's state of support.

One false yum upgrade, and I'm in a world of hurt when it comes to Linux.

Finally, there is also FERPA compliance. Windows is compliant here. Linux? Dubious. Severe violations of this law can get accreditation pulled.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546737)

You know what else does people a disservice? Training people to mindlessly use a certain OS. Anyone with a brain should be able to use just about any OS or piece of software with a bit of reading and exploration. It's absurd to think that we actually need 'Microsoft Essentials' classes to teach people how to use crappy Microsoft software.

It's also immoral to pretend to be an educational environment while forcing proprietary software on people. I can't see or modify the source code? I have absolutely no idea what it's doing with my data, and I have no opportunity to educate myself? Quite the educational environment you have there!

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547125)

Most large companies that I've worked for have always had a internal Linux distro. In most cases it was RHEL (so they can pay someone for a support contract)

Re:TCO (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 5 months ago | (#47547233)

Posting AC because this will elicit knee-jerk responses..

tl;dr: The world runs on Windows, and the school does a disservice to the students by not preparing them for reality.

And will forever, until the end of time. Just like MS-DOS.

Congratulations, bringing biblical style circular arguments to the world of computers.

Windows is the gold standard because it is the gold standard because it is the gold standard. World without end, amen.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547973)

"the world runs windows?" have you ever entered in a real server room? do you know google, facebook, yahoo, rackspace and every other "big player" on internet? do you know the latest reports from dice (and other) about the required skills manager are looking for? do you know all SMB around the world are shrinking their IT budget and getting open source products?

the wold runs on linux and other *nix. don't look to your monitor and think everyone else is looking something similar...

have a nice day!

ftaurino

Re:TCO (4, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 5 months ago | (#47548211)

The goal of school education in computers is not to prepare pupils to use commercial software and become better consumerists. They already know how to use commercial software anyway, most of them even better than their teachers. What they lack and need to learn is the fundamentals of how computers work, how operating systems work, what safety and security means (especially online), and the basics of programming. In a nutshell: No, Windows is definitely not needed or desirable in schools. To be fair, iPads and Android tablets are even less useful, because it is almost impossible to teach programming on them in a fruitful way.

I'd even go farther and state the obvious that commercial software packages should be banned in public institutions entirely when there is an acceptable free substitute for them.

To give a typical example of how Windows computers are used in such environments, our institute at a public university in Europe has dozens of +5 years old PCs that are overloaded with tons of viruses and trojans and the crappy paid anti-virus we're using fails to detect them. The machines have become even slower after they had to be upgraded from XP to Windows 7 recently. I've test run Ubuntu on one of them for years and it worked better and faster in each and every respect except compatibility of LibreOffice with Word (which is broken intentionally by Microsoft, but strange enough it also breaks routinely between versions of their own software). The tax payer is paying huge fees to Microsoft with no benefits at all - and you have to check your USB stick for viruses each time you've used one of those machines.

Re:TCO (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47548447)

"Oh, and of course, upgrading willy-nilly is a no-no. Slap RedHat or CentOS 7 on existing 6.5 installs, and shit breaks. Shit will break big time."

Oh, and of course, upgrading willy-nilly is a no-no. Slap Windows 8.1 on existing Windows 7 installs, and shit breaks. Shit will break big time.

So please tell me how this is any different?

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546457)

OT: Isn't interesting that if someone wants to praise Linux and/or bash Windows/Microsoft then they can do so here without consequence, yet if you want to ask an honest question or make an honest, educated statement that MIGHT make Linux look less than perfect, one feels the need to preface their post with "at the risk of being modded troll" or "I know I'll lose karma for this" or some other such comment.

It's ridiculous that people who DON'T want a flame-war feel the need to add a disclaimer because too many people here don't want their world-views of Linux and Microsoft/Windows to be challenged. It hurts the ability to ask questions knowing that people are too emotionally invested in Linux to be able to think straight and honestly and logically.

Re: TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546781)

What's even more interesting is how most of the best tools for supporting windows (web browsers, boot sector fixers, media players) are open source or at least use open source code. I've saved half a dozen windows installations from tensioning all access to files through untimely death using Linux live CDs in the past two years alone.

Re:TCO (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 5 months ago | (#47546861)

t hurts the ability to ask questions knowing that people are too emotionally invested about being modded or having a particular karma.

Re:TCO (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 5 months ago | (#47546525)

Any sysadmin worth their salt is going to cost a pretty penny. If you cheap out on the workers, you'll get what you pay for including multi-million dollar license fees. The license fees for MS products in EDU is currently at ~$1000/year/FTE or full-time student. You only need to have ~50-150 people total (depending on your area) to pay for a good sysadmin.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547105)

This is something I've seen discussed in many environments. The two choices of:

1: Pay the fees for an enterprise level license (which prices got a steep hike last year), and hire commodity MCSEs.

2: Pay less for a F/OSS solution and get clued people at the helm.

Realistically, a business can hire ten (yes, 10) H-1Bs with MCSE certifications for the cost of a RHCE with IT experience [1]. So, even though MS products have steep licensing fees, the fact that a H-1B with a MCSE is cheap, 100% loyal, and will never sue your company... makes the jump to MS worth it.

[1]: Things like knowing when to deploy fiber channel and the switching fabric it needs versus FCoE or iSCSI. Or getting PowerPath drivers to work and not show 16 devices to the OS. Or knowing why having a cronjob on a production server that does "yum upgrade" can be a bad thing.

Again, devil's advocate here. I prefer the best tool for the job, but the people with the purse strings usually tend to differ due to politics.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547295)

And who exactly directs these 10 H-1Bs? That's right, the architect or lead admin with equivalent expertise as your pro-bro RHCE. First thing he/she will do is eliminate 10 of them with well-crafted powershell scripts for automation and management and a decent SCOM implementation. Oh, and as shocking as this sounds, Windows folks have to know fiber channel /gasp! Hell, any SQL architect worth their salary knows it as well as the primary storage folks do.

Sorry, chief, but *nix resources are not the next level of IT evolution, you're simply a branching path with most of the same DNA. Knock this high horse shit off, it makes you look stupid.

Re:TCO (2)

Retron (577778) | about 5 months ago | (#47547849)

It's actually nowhere near that, at least in the UK. (Disclaimer: I work in a school in the IT department).

The actual cost is based on the number of full-time *staff*, not pupils, and the rates are far lower than the $1000/year you quote. This gets you Office, Windows, all the CALs you need, SCCM and lots more besides. You still have to pay for server licences (Windows and SQL), but they're deeply discounted.

I don't know what it's like in the States, but in the UK school sysadmins (or network managers, to give them their more usual titles) will be on salaries of around £16K to £30K - or $27K to $50K, more biased towards the low end rather than the high end of the wage bracket. Or, at least, that's the going rate down here in the far SE of England. In our case, that involves using VMWare products, such as vSphere and ESXi, in addition to the various Windows servers.

NB, I got into this by playing games, as an earlier poster mentioned - it's a common thing to use Windows at home for games, as I did over 20 years ago, then start networking PCs, move on to running a home server or using server products on a home PC and so on. I made the jump with Windows 2000 (when I was at Uni), as Microsoft kindly sent out CDs of their server products to anyone who asked. Yes, they only lasted for 180 days unless you tinkered with registry files, but it was enough to ignite the spark. These days of course pupils and students get the full thing from Dreamspark.

I don't have an MSCE. Never saw the point of them, I prefer academic qualifications as it shows you're capable of learning anything rather than a specific method of one vendor's products. I'd never rule out a move to Linux, but for now our Microsoft-based network is serving us well.

Re:TCO (2)

jabuzz (182671) | about 5 months ago | (#47548383)

Problem is that in the U.K. school I.T. is for the most part appalling. I work in I.T. support in the University sector and I see for first hand the difference between that and school I.T. that my sister has to suffer as a teacher as I supplement the rubbish I.T. support with actually useful support that is not a bunch of lies and half truths.

The difference is that pay rate of the staff involved. The university sector pays significantly more than the school sector for the same skills, easily £10k more. I know I have read job adverts for school I.T. support and would not bother applying for the money they offer.

To put it succinctly "pay peanuts get monkies" and £16k for a I.T. admin is going to get you a monkey that is only capable of doing the bare basic desktop support tasks. If you do get lucky and get someone capable of more they will quickly move on because you get better pay elsewhere.

Re:TCO (2)

Retron (577778) | about 5 months ago | (#47548635)

It's nothing to do with pay, more what managers expect from their staff. Some schools are happy to put up with poor infrastructure and so on, while others, such as the one I work in, pride themselves on offering an up-to-date network for the students. (We skipped Windows 8 though, sticking with Windows 7 x64 - and getting old educational programs working with that was no mean feat!)

You won't have any problems around here recruiting tech support staff for £12 to £14K. I was effectively running the school network on a salary of £17K last year and I wouldn't describe myself as a monkey. Far from it, unless you count administering Exchange, AD, creating build images, SCCM etc as monkey work (which is isn't).

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547609)

One thing is for absolute *CERTAIN*, the total cost of ownership for Linux is $36,000,000 less than it is for windows. That's a lot of hardware. I don't think where you live matters either. There are great Linux admins everywhere, and rates are more competitive for Linux admins than they are for windows admins (you pay through the nose for windows admins). *SOMEHOW* they are spending $36,000,000 *less* on Linux (whatever the parent mutters about admin costs and other smoke he can make up on the spot), than wondows. The total cost of ownership is a misnomer, its a lie. What really counts is the bottom line, and the bottom line is $36 million more in the black with Linux. Full stop.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548089)

The difference of salary in the industry for a windows or linux guru is not a factor for a public school where both will be paid the same.

Re:TCO (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47548427)

"but in the United States at least there's tonnes of cheap Windows IT gurus "

No we do not have many "gurus" we have a lot of poesurs that THINK they know something about windows and PC's in general and can fake it well enough in front of people that dont know to keep their jobs. but they are NOT Guru level by any stretch of the imagination.

The Windows Gurus that are really good at their jobs command the same salary as linux guys. No matter what Guru level means you get paid a lot. Everyone not getting paid a lot are not even close to Guru.

Want an example? Look at the morons all working at best buy, They can barely use a mouse.

Rhyme Of Ancient Lunix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546001)

Niggers! Niggers!
Every! Where!
And! Not!
A! Cock!
To! Suck!

Re:Rhyme Of Ancient Lunix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547655)

You have a sickness, which I am guessing you are in vehement denial of.
It is still a sickness.
You should try to get help.

Will they invest any of the savings in Linux dev? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546035)

Will they invest any of the 36 million Euro savings in Linux development or are they just free loaders?

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546091)

Don't worry, they'll be investing in Swiss Francs.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (5, Informative)

Skarjak (3492305) | about 5 months ago | (#47546121)

The very first line of the summary says they're making available their own custom distro. So they're obviously not free loaders. FFS, I know that most people don't RTFA, but at least RTFS before bitching.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 5 months ago | (#47546747)

oh so they will change a logo, some text files, slap it in an ISO so technically they are not freeloaders, but did nothing of value

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547345)

Wow, so you're dismissing this initiative based on your own imagined version of events? Apparently fact checking is no longer necessary whenever there are initiatives to save public tax money, good job.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546197)

I, for one, don't care if they give back or not if they don't do anything that the licence requires to be given back. It's about the userbase. MS have the userbase and the paying customers are their reason for being. On the other hand, our reason for being is not the same. We'll work on this stuff either way, but if we can get less of "come fix my computer" crap then we're even happier.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546455)

Linux is FREE for anyone to use.
No such thing as a freeloader, or are you now saying large organisations must be forced to pay ?

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#47548005)

There is a perception among open source advocates that if open source software saves you money, you now owe some of that money to them. If you don't pay, you get called a freeloader. This agrees with the "from each according to his abilities" part of Marx's famous saying.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 5 months ago | (#47548127)

Huh? I've heard of commercial companies getting criticised for not giving back code changes even though they're making money from OSS, but I think you're very mistaken.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548159)

quote well it was Loui Leblanc a french utopic socialist and not Karl Marx the father of social sciences ,a and also founder of the political movement called communism but hey read the communist manifesto, most of the 10 vindications are already implemented at USA and even more at OCDE countries

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (4, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 5 months ago | (#47546561)

Will they invest any of the 36 million Euro savings in Linux development or are they just free loaders?

That's an odd perspective ... you can't have it both ways. If you want the freedom of the GPL, then you get ... the freedom of the GPL.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547059)

They are teaching schoolchildren to be potential Linux developers. So, yes.

Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (2)

paugq (443696) | about 5 months ago | (#47548261)

There are/have been several Debian developers in their payroll: Jordi Mallach, Miquel Gea and others.

Not everything that shines is gold... (5, Insightful)

Lolaine (262966) | about 5 months ago | (#47546113)

First of all: Valencia is the most indebted region of Spain in relation to it's GDP (and second in monetary value) . Having spent billions on ill-fated projects (F1 track, Americas Cup, Arts and Science City) that have failed to meet economic returns. The former President resigned over corruption charges, Majors being investigated for contract mishandling and enrichment, a former governor in jailed this same week, etc... No thing that comes from this region is out of suspect.

This said, What it is commonly spoken about these projects is that they do not exist to leverage libre/opensource software on the school. They exist to praise regionalism of the different autonomies(regions) of Spain by local politicians, so, instead of viable ecosystems, they become second-choice-dual-boot-distros that exist to fill the pockets of several local companies (distro makers, maintainers, call-centers, certifiers...) that do literaly nothing contributing to the communities they get their software from.

Also, every region spent millions on creating their own distro, duplicating efforts (which is a clear indicator that it is a national-regionalist issue rather than a techno-economical one). If Extremadura has it distro, Andalusia also wants it and Valencia too.

Moreover, I put in doubt the claim that a somewhat high amount of Euros were saved whatsoever because educational licensing is usually done on a gubernamental level and not on a seat level.

So, this is only one more sample of PR-BS for me.

Not everything that shines is gold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547495)

What it is commonly spoken about these projects is that they do not exist to leverage libre/opensource software on the school. They exist to praise regionalism of the different autonomies(regions) of Spain by local politicians

I wonder how much influence the absence of Valencian Catalan support in Windows but availability of support for at least large parts of Linux systems influenced the adoption of this system (Windows can apparently be made to display some of its UI in Catalan, but the translation is incomplete, and the local Valencian dialect of the language is entirely unsupported).

Re:Not everything that shines is gold... (2)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 5 months ago | (#47548661)

They exist to praise regionalism of the different autonomies(regions) of Spain by local politicians

What is up with that? Here in the states no one would even think of doing something like Californi-ux or Tex-ux, or Illini-ux. If some school district or state school administration wanted to switch to Linux they'd just choose edubuntu, or CentOS and be done with it. Why roll their own when they're perfectly suitable distros out there already.

Re:Not everything that shines is gold... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 5 months ago | (#47547855)

At least in this case they made significant savings - or at least, so they claim. The question is now of course, how was this calculated, and will it pass muster if an independent accountant checks the figures.

It's harder to give economic returns of a F1 race track; even harder to make an overall profit on one.

Re:Not everything that shines is gold... (1)

ccguy (1116865) | about 5 months ago | (#47548019)

First of all: Valencia is the most indebted region of Spain in relation to it's GDP (and second in monetary value) . Having spent billions on ill-fated projects (F1 track, Americas Cup, Arts and Science City) that have failed to meet economic returns. The former President resigned over corruption charges, Majors being investigated for contract mishandling and enrichment, a former governor in jailed this same week, etc... No thing that comes from this region is out of suspect.

Thank fuck someone replies knowing what they are talking about.

The last thing Valencia needs is someone putting it as an example of how to do things. Valencia is a corrupt region, and one where corruption is pretty much impossible to eradicate because voters continue to support corrupt politicians election after election, with justifications like "yeah, he stole a lot but he also built a great hospital", and shit like that.

If they moved to linux most likely is because they can't pay for Windows anymore. Or worse - they haven't paid invoices from Microsoft for years and MS is just fed up.

Re:Not everything that shines is gold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548607)

Even thought I admit that Valencia is corrupt but not as some people want to make the people think I need to remind that=

Spain corruption law =! USA corruption law

If the Spain corruption law were to apply in the USA, most is not near all of the USA politicians had to be branded corrupt.

Re:Not everything that shines is gold... (3, Informative)

paugq (443696) | about 5 months ago | (#47548259)

In Valencia, they have actually replaced every Windows, Microsoft Office and any other non-FLOSS software with LliureX. It was done last year, when Microsoft threatened to take legal action after the regional government failed to pay for Microsoft licenses. LliureX had been languishing for years before that, after a huge hype, excitement and first deployments about 10 years ago.

Had Microsoft not threatened to take legal action, Linux would not be in use today. Thank you, Microsoft!

Open source is the next thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546147)

Open source has been the next thing for a couple of decades now. Hardware with proprietary or modified open source has been the primary meme since then even when commercial sucks hard like PowerPC open, Android, and the recent Amazon Fire and many, many others including OLPC.

At what point will SOME open source effort include at least properly debugged hardware even if they have to repurpose maximal cost Macs using the command line?

JUST JERRY

the difference is in the definition. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#47546171)

European governments can easily claim theyve saved money by switching to open source software, whereas its almost impossible for the american governments education system to do so. Why? because europeans consider employees a resource whereas american government considers its employees an expenditure or overhead.

extra IT and teacher training are considered an expense in america, whereas outsourcing to Azure cloud services means only having to pay the license. We factor pensions and holiday pay into the cost of an educational employee, and morosely enough consider excess vacation time a financial liability. that license fee represents avoiding the cost of all this, so while it might add up in the long term to larger costs, it wont cost nearly as much as 14 new IT staff and 11 new teachers..

Re:the difference is in the definition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547841)

Sorry to disappoint you but it's the same here in Europe. Investing anything in the human resource is a big big no no for any company. Linux is used only as a weapon to fool these linux and open source zealots. Most of the eu companies who have switched actually spent more money and made an exclusive contracts with "chosen" 3rd party vendors to provide them trainers,support etc.

Linux/OSS is to control the masses that they are doing something good. But the truth is...they are not.

Euros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546625)

American school districts don't need to save no stinkin' euros!

Re:Euros? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546791)

American school districts don't need to save no stinkin' euros!

But kids love euros [tpg.com.au] .

it is inevitable (0)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 months ago | (#47546627)

Microsoft is pricing themselves right out of the market more & more

Re:it is inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546971)

So too will Linux.

Either more projects will falter/fail or Linux will start demanding payment.

Equally the value (wages) of programmers will drop or simply be off-shored to low wage economies.

I suspect MORE companies will go the BSD way, as they can open sours some stuff, keep proprietary other stuff, and still make money to keep the company going.

Re:it is inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547333)

If you want to maintain your own private fork of something public (BSD) and pay people to integrate upstream updates into your private fork, that's your choice. But I don't understand why people would want to do that. The GPL doesn't force you to make your own in-house built-from-scratch stuff public, but "encourages" you, using a little force if necessary, to share your changes to the public stuff you're distributing (if your change is local and you're not giving it to other people you don't have to give it back). My company is perfectly happy to give back changes to GPL projects. We have our own, separate IP, that sit on top of it and makes us money, but we don't have to wire any of it to Microsoft.

Re:it is inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547787)

I am Linux! I demand payment! If you torrent a Linux ISO you owe me money!

I'm sorry, what the fuck was your incoherent argument?

Re:it is inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547857)

What's good in giving money redhat / suse(microsoft) instead Microsoft ?

Linux in schools etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47546787)

Big shot companies bribe the stupid officials who lack the knowledge and have no backgorund in scinece etc., in their schooling (they may claim that they had passed high schcool with these subjects) and the board members and the district admins, do not answer to tax payers who pay the taxes to support them. Most tax payers are also stupid and wearing various political and religious misguided thinking without rationalization, do not queation these officials. Take for example, the community colleges. They could use retired and well known people to do the admin. for the fraction of the huge salaries paid to the paper pushers. The present highly paid amins do not answer to any one . With about 600,000 technical high paying jobs need trained and certified workers, these community colleges do not have all the campus teaching those skills because they skim the money for their own salaries and bonuses. . They deny vetrans an opportunity to audit courses before taking them for credit so that they can ease into college level learning. but the CCs deny them that opportunity which is a crime. But the boards selected unqualifeid chancelleors and many VPs which in fact are not required to run the CCs. In turn the board members and their firends and relatives get all the contracts supplying over priced services. Instead of one president, 2 vps and one chancellor, look at the number of paper pushers in all these CCs.. So, utilmately, the industries control the schools and CCs and people do not fight against them. The great grand children in the future will pay for these selfish acts. Most of these guys' ancestors came to US for a better life, yet they are systematically destroying it. Roman emphire is reappeariing.

Linux at school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547721)

Hello, I'm a sysadmin who actually is doing a transition to Linux at school (in Russia). Speaking only about technical side of the story, Linux requires an great amount of effords to run it smoothly. First, you have to be a more or less pro to setup Puppet and SSO in Linux and it would be pain because of Gnome (etc) bugs. In contrast of painless AD setup. Second, the hardware which kept Windows XP successfully for a decade would have issues with Linux ACPI, modeset etc. p.s. No Unity experiments are welcomed, so bye-bye Ubuntu.

Linux at school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47547729)

And I would also say, that this is just for 250$/month for parttime job.

Re:Linux at school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548269)

Stay away from Computers please, you obviously have no idea what you are doing.

36 million euro (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#47548149)

or 48 million dolla.

Good use of GCompris (1)

xarma (916256) | about 5 months ago | (#47548305)

As the developper of the educational software GCompris ( http://gcompris.net/ [gcompris.net] ), I am glad to see how far they went in their project. Just looked at their documentation and it is really impressive. It is really motivating for free software developpers to see our work is useful.

Wont happen here in the USA for two reasons.... (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47548409)

1 - Schools in the USA do not hire competent IT or Teachers that can handle a powerful Operating system like Linux. Actually paying for competent staff is outside of their budget.
2 - Microsoft will quickly give the schools all the free licenses they want for the OS, Office, etc.. if they even threaten to switch to anything else.

Microsoft knows that if you dont get the children hooked when they are young, they might use their curiosity and explore other operating systems. And we cant have that.

Distro's popularity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47548489)

I love no one states this Lliurex distro's popularity among students in this region. As a Spanish student living in Valencia I could tell no one likes it very much. Sure it's cheaper than Windows licenses to the state, but it's not a good distro after all. Even unmodded Edubuntu works better.

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