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Education Microsoft Open Source Linux

NZ School Goes Open Source Amid Microsoft Mandate 305

Posted by kdawson
from the kiwis-and-penguins-sittin'-in-a-tree dept.
Dan Jones writes "Kiwis have built an entire school IT system out of open source software, in less than two months, despite a deal between the New Zealand government and Microsoft that effectively mandates the use of Microsoft products in the country's schools. Albany Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Auckland has been running an entirely open source infrastructure since it opened in 2009. It's using a range of applications like OpenOffice, Moodle for education content, Mahara for student portfolios, and Koha for the library catalogue. Ubuntu Linux is on the desktop and Mandriva provides the server. Interestingly, the school will move into new purpose-built premises this year, which include a dedicated server room design based on standard New Zealand school requirements, including four racks each capable of holding 48 servers for its main systems. The main infrastructure at Albany Senior High only requires four servers, suggesting an almost 50-fold saving on hardware requirements."
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NZ School Goes Open Source Amid Microsoft Mandate

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  • IT Administrator who saved millions in licensing fees involved in scandal! Students used open source operating system to compile and publish their own unauthorized applications, which were of course sophomoric in character. Students were permitted to render mathematical constructs wihout let. Mandelbulb porn sighted!

    The new administrator has promised to nip this in the bud: "Students will invent things within in the scope of propriety with the help of the new Microsoft systems that limit the scope of the

    • by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Monday January 25, 2010 @07:24AM (#30888164)

      You write that as if it was normal, to assume that schools exist to teach children knowledge and make them intelligent.

      School is a direct advancement from what Otto von Bismarck wanted:
      Something like military service, but for children. To form them into what were the ideas back then:
      To obey, to sit still and listen, to train things over and over again, to learn them by heart, etc.
      Not to come up with free thoughts, ideas, and creativity. Because those would have created people who would want to lead themselves, not to blindly follow.

      This was always the goal. And the idea that it could be something else, is a relatively new concept, that some dreamed about, but that still is very far from becoming real.

      School is simply not what you should look at, if you want to educate your children to become creatives and leaders.
      Even 4chan is better at free thought and creativity, than any school.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839)

        This was always the goal. And the idea that it could be something else, is a relatively new concept, that some dreamed about, but that still is very far from becoming real.

        The Athenians of old would like a word with you.

        • by hey! (33014) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:50AM (#30889078) Homepage Journal

          Really?

          The "peripatetics" we so named because Aristotle taught his students by strolling around and chatting.

          The "stoics" were named for the *stoa* or marketplace, bucause that's where they used to shoot the shit.

          The "cynics" used to lurk under bridges, from whence they could hop out and intellectually ambush the unwary traveler (making them the first *trolls*).

          The one thing you'd never see in ancient Greece is a group of students sitting in a rectangular grid of seats all doing identical work in parallel. That would have been seen as very strange indeed. Now we can't lay this entirely at Bismarck's feet, because it goes back further, to the need to impart Latin grammar to large number of aspiring but not too wealthy students (thus the "grammar school"). You wouldn't teach a gentleman that way, he'd have a tutor.

          This class distinction remains in education today. Look at a top tier "prep" school that cater to the economic elite of this country, and you'll see a model which (unlike the standard classroom) would have made sense to the Greeks: a small number of students, maybe half a dozen, sitting around a table and having a discussion with a professor. That's because the results really matter; the aim is to produce an elite class. The method used to train our elite could be done walking around, or hanging around the marketplace, although lurking under bridges. They're supposed to be able think for themselves, but only within certain confines (i.e. not questioning the existence of an elite).

          I'll go back under my bridge now.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by advocate_one (662832)

            This class distinction remains in education today. Look at a top tier "prep" school that cater to the economic elite of this country, and you'll see a model which (unlike the standard classroom) would have made sense to the Greeks: a small number of students, maybe half a dozen, sitting around a table and having a discussion with a professor. That's because the results really matter; the aim is to produce an elite class. The method used to train our elite could be done walking around, or hanging around the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        School is simply not what you should look at, if you want to educate your children to become creatives and leaders.

        ITYM public school. You know, where the leaders of our country don't go. One big problem with the existence of private schools is that our leaders have no concept of what life is like for the average child. I was one of about four kids in my class who were always done early, and got top marks. But I couldn't just lay my head down on my desk and wait quietly when I was done, as I was expected to do, and ended up writing lines and shit like that for "disrupting the class", literally by doing things like "look

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jc42 (318812)

          Public school is a system intended to create soldiers and factory workers, and guess what? Most of the factories are gone. What's left?

          Actually, if you look where the factories have gone, and look into the factories, you'll find something even more devastating for our school system: The factories don't contain many people any more. They're mostly full of robots. The few humans are there to tend to the robots, which means that they have a pretty good technical education.

          The days of training kids to take r

  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @02:55AM (#30886820)

    There is no mandate for NZ schools to use Microsoft software. There is a collective agreement (one of many agreements, including one with Apple), and the schools have always been able to choose the software they want.

    Standard slashdot bias and hype. FUD FUD FUD

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:04AM (#30886870) Journal

      The contract stipulates that Microsoft gets paid regardless of whether schools actually use their software. So while the schools may not be forced through contract to use MS software, it doesn't matter to Microsoft as they still get paid for non-existent software.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

        by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs @ g m ail.com> on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:49AM (#30887104) Homepage Journal
        The same thing happened (happening? I no longer live there) in Hungary. Collective agreement (officially: Microsoft Campus Agreement) with the government, Microsoft gets payed regardless of whether schools use their software. Teachers and students are allowed to use MS Office + Windows as long as they are part of the educational institution. On the bright side, the license is obviously still valid when you finish university - I still have my 7 year old copy of MS Windows that passes all authenticity test ;) Not that I use windows, but it comes handy when I install for friends. I know it's illegal, but who cares in SE-Asia? Besides, I only consider it fair, for throughout my studies, I used linux exclusively anyway - and yet, Microsoft still got payed for my non-use of their software.
        • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:24AM (#30887306)
          Perpetuating the use of MS products is better for MS than switching to alternatives. Pirating a few copies of Windows/Office is a papercut to the beast. Your use of Linux (and related software) is the only hope of slaying the beast.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)

          Besides, I only consider it fair

          There is nothing "fair" about Microsoft licensing agreements.

          Nothing.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by initialE (758110) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:10AM (#30887232)

        For as many student that go through the school are students not bred into the Microsoft culture and not dependent on their software to be productive. This is not good news to them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ztransform (929641)

          For as many student that go through the school are students not bred into the Microsoft culture and not dependent on their software to be productive.

          Gladiators were taught to fight with heavy wooden swords so that the real sword would be easier to handle.

          Surely it is better to give students crippled operating systems such as Vista so that their introduction to real world technology is a pleasant one? Rather than go the other way around?

          • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

            by raju1kabir (251972) on Monday January 25, 2010 @06:03AM (#30887748) Homepage

            Gladiators were taught to fight with heavy wooden swords so that the real sword would be easier to handle. Surely it is better to give students crippled operating systems such as Vista so that their introduction to real world technology is a pleasant one? Rather than go the other way around?

            Starting the students on Vista is more like training gladiators with swords made out of aluminum foil.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by troll8901 (1397145) *

              Starting the students on Vista is more like training gladiators with swords made out of aluminum foil.

              In swordfighting, the parry [google.com.sg] movement means when the enemy is about to stab you, you use your own sword to push his sword away quickly.

              With Windows Vista, you get this pop-up in the middle of combat:

              "Windows needs your permission to continue
              If you started this action, continue.

              Parry Movement
              Arm Motor Control

              To continue, type an administrator password, and then click OK.

              [Details] [OK] [Cancel]"

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)

        Its the same where I work. A rate is negotiated based on the number of systems (and in my case) vmware images running windows. But if we save on windows licenses it helps in the long term because future contracts will get buy with fewer licenses.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by advocate_one (662832) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:38AM (#30887386)

        The contract stipulates that Microsoft gets paid regardless of whether schools actually use their software. So while the schools may not be forced through contract to use MS software, it doesn't matter to Microsoft as they still get paid for non-existent software.

        which leaves those administrators who decided to use open source software vulnerable to claims of wasting valuable resources implementing other solutions when "Industry Standard" microsoft software has already been paid for

        • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Monday January 25, 2010 @06:28AM (#30887898) Journal
          which leaves those administrators who decided to use open source software vulnerable to claims of wasting valuable resources implementing other solutions

          According to TFA, they saved money despite paying for the unused MS licenses.

          "The brilliance of Microsoft's business model is they get the same amount of money regardless of who uses it," Osborne said. However, the school has saved significantly in other areas,

          I also like the fact that the whole system was planned and implemented in less than two months. Sort of gives the lie to the whole "Linux is difficult" thing.

      • They get paid, that's right.

        They are not being used!!! That's the first step for people to end using Microsoft products!

        Have we not discussed that one of the main reason for the Microsft monopoly is that people don't know anything else?

      • Rubbish! (Score:5, Informative)

        by sensationull (889870) on Monday January 25, 2010 @07:59AM (#30888314)
        Rubbish I work in a NZ school as an IT admin and schools have to sign up each three years (was each year). Only these schools are included in the deal and they have to activly sign up to it. This is the usual Slashdot FUD, if they don't sign up then the school is not included in the agreement and the government pays nothing. There are simmilar deals as stated above with Apple and even at one point a major linux distribution/support provider. As far as I can tell this deal is no longer open to new schools but is still maintained for those that did sign up.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hey! (33014) on Monday January 25, 2010 @09:51AM (#30889094) Homepage Journal

        Weird huh?

        A private company taxing *the government*.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by styrotech (136124) on Monday January 25, 2010 @05:36AM (#30887632)

      Standard slashdot bias and hype. FUD FUD FUD

      You're blaming slashdot for that statement? It was taken directly from the article on CIO magazines website.

      Sounds like you've got your own set of biases going on.

  • 50-fold savings? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Monday January 25, 2010 @02:56AM (#30886824) Homepage

    The school only has 230 students. I have a hard time believing they'd need 192 servers whether they used Linux or not.

    And BTW, as long as you're standing on my lawn, may I remind you that my own high school's expenditure on servers was exactly zero? How's that for savings?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wizardforce (1005805)

      I have a hard time believing they'd need 192 servers whether they used Linux or not.

      This is the same government that made a deal with Microsoft to pay them regardless of whether Microsoft's software was actually installed. That doesn't sound like the kind of logical decision making that leads to entertaining the notion that 230 students might not need 192 servers after all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Random_Goblin (781985)

        This is the same government that made a deal with Microsoft to pay them regardless of whether Microsoft's software was actually installed. That doesn't sound like the kind of logical decision making that leads to entertaining the notion that 230 students might not need 192 servers after all.

        I can see a possible case where that might make sense.

        If for example the cost of auditing what each machine was running was more than the discounted price offered by microsoft, ie just pay us a flat fee for every ma

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WillRobinson (159226)

      I agree, we had no servers. And I will tell you the access time to any students records was guaranteed to be less than the time it takes to log in. The gall if it! We actually used folders, and paper! Humm can we sue Microsoft for prior art? I mean folder, and object inside like Pictures and documents! When my kids ask what our generation did, I tell them where do you think the computers and internet came from? You think Al Gore invented it? Pufft

    • by club (1698284) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:22AM (#30886968)

      The school only has 230 students. I have a hard time believing they'd need 192 servers whether they used Linux or not.

      Here in NZ, we're so technologically advanced that we're skipping laptops and going straight to "one server per child".

      • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday January 25, 2010 @05:52AM (#30887704)
        You shouldn't have listened to that Microsoft marketing droid so much. That's not the way Terminal Services works.

        By the way, if you're having difficulty traveling between two points due to an obstruction, I might have a construction which will allow you to pass over it unhindered. For a modest price, of course...
    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:32AM (#30887016)

      Even if they were bigger... there is little cost saving in building a server room for one rack vs a server room for four racks, even though you expect to use only one rack. However having to expand the server room later to accommodate a second rack now that's not just expensive but potentially disruptive to the school (construction is noisy and messy).

      So it sounds like a sensible requirement to have a slightly over sized server room. And this being the government requirement possibly regardless of the school size. So there may be hardware savings, to call it 50-fold is baseless.

      Having four servers for 230 students and maybe 30 staff or so sounds overkill to me even. But then again that's possibly designed with some redundancy in place, or with room for immediate expansion. Or are these application highly server based? Can also require more server power.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They don't need that many servers, they are saying there are 4 racks, each capable of holding 42sru. How many sru's does a ups take? 8? Switch? At least 1 each. How many 1sru patch pannels do they have? 10? San/nas? Voip phone system? Room for expansion? In a good network setup it's easy to use up 4 racks.

      Does anyone on /. Work in networking any more?

      • by tsm_sf (545316) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:10AM (#30887230) Journal
        Does anyone on /. Work in networking any more?

        The majority of /.ers are now young republicans (sorry, libertarians)in their first year of college, studying debate/rhetoric 101 and javascript. They've also just discovered ayn raynynnd. Still fat and greasy though, so at least we're keeping to some of our roots.
      • Re:50-fold savings? (Score:5, Informative)

        by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .etreufamla.> on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:16AM (#30887262)

        Agreed. I don't know how big their network is, but I expect at least:

        8 Us for Switch
        8 Us of Patch pannels for Ethernet.
        8 Us for PBX patch pannels
        8 Us for the actual PBX + Accesories (Eg. ATAs, GSM -> SIP GWs, etc).
        10 Us for UPS
        6 Us for Audio system.
        8 Us for Servers
        4 Us for routers
        20 Us for DIsplay/keyboard (2 Displays/kb on 2 different Racks)
        10 Us for Power strips (across all racks)

        And I'm missing a lot of things, probably.

        That is 90 Us.

        Off course, the first 10 or so Units in a Rack are rarely used, since they are not comfortable. If you add some space between equipments (It's good practice, also, many systems are not rackable, and they take up more space). That can take you to, let's say, 120 Us. Plus, some room for expansion.

        4 Racks seems like a good setup to me.

        • Off course, the first 10 or so Units in a Rack are rarely used, since they are not comfortable.

          They're always used! You put a faceplate over them and stuff all the extra cables behind there in case you need them one day.

      • by millette (56354)
        When a server breaks, like google, they can just throw another one in without having to discard the junk. If it's good enough for google, it must be good enough for a 250 student school.
    • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:45AM (#30887094) Homepage

      The school only has 230 students. I have a hard time believing they'd need 192 servers

      Ah, you've never used NT. :)

    • Re:50-fold savings? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Hadlock (143607) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:57AM (#30887158) Homepage Journal

      I was thinking; 4 full racks is just good foresight. My office of 20 people had one full rack, and it had a display unit, a PBX unit, a 48 port switch, and the UPS near the bottom. You can stick one or two racks in a former broom closet, but if you're building at a new site, you might as well future proof it while you're at it.
       
      The city of seattle has 400 fiber optic strands going to each municipal building, but only uses one. Does the author of this article suggest that since FiOS only sends one strand to the home, data compression has increased 400 fold since 1996? No -- it's because it's cheap, and you can future proof for only about 10% more.
       
      I hate marketing.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      That was clearly the weakest part of the article, yes. First of all, there's four racks of space, not proof that any school actually is using all that capacity. Perhaps even there aren't four racks, just four drawn in on the blueprint as possible to cram into the room, ignoring HVAC and such. I think it's more likely someone wanted a server room, and that is as "small" as they'd reasonably get. Yes, perhaps today a broom closet is enough but having an actual room is practical in many ways for the people tha

    • The school only has 230 students.

      Thats a pretty average school by southern hemisphere standards. My sons primary school in Australia has 100 students. A big secondary school might have 500 or so.

    • The school only has 230 students. I have a hard time believing they'd need 192 servers whether they used Linux or not.

      Not heard of central provisioning then.. Standardised I.T. infrastructure mandates 192 servers per school reguardless of size+192 Windws server edition software+various resources reguardless of actual need. Somewhere there is a school that needs 237 servers, but only has 192 and can't get the extra alloocation because that would screw up the budgeting.

      And BTW, as long as you're standing on my lawn, may I remind you that my own high school's expenditure on servers was exactly zero? How's that for savings?

      Mine too. But then I'm old enough to have gone to school when computers were big complicated things that huge companies used. I also walked to school.. in th

  • FTA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:00AM (#30886852) Journal

    a long-standing contract with the national government means the software giant is paid for technology for the school even though none has been used.

    Well isn't that lovely. Demonstrably corrupt.

    • Re:FTA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:17AM (#30886948)

      Demonstrably corrupt.

      Not really. It's a volume license agreement for schools, etc. I don't see how "not-necessarily smart decision" == corruption, unless you know something we don't? And it could be a good business decision if the majority of the schools use Windows, etc - the volume discounts can be significant.

      • Volume licenses are normally something like 60% off if you buy over 50,000 licenses. Not... give us 50million and you can use w/e you like. Not a huge deal still but easily avoided and kinda crappy for the open source advocates.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572)

        It is inherently corrupt as it financially excludes the use of all other competing software, be it open source or proprietary. I assume the contract would also be for an extended number of years. The purpose of the contract is quite simply to burden every industry that wants to hire those students with the cost of retraining them to open source software and then the marketdroid schills claiming those cost as a disadvantage of using open source and all of it willing supported by the New Zealand government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nightspirit (846159)

      It makes more sense to me to blanket license a country than negotiate licenses for individual schools. While some schools may not use MS software, the country probably still saves money in the long run compared to negotiating for each school.

      • Re:FTA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by thoughtfulbloke (1091595) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:37AM (#30887380)
        And you would be exactly correct. To provide some added context, when the government was negotiating the 2007-2009 volume licence period, it was not economical to get a full New Zealand wide licence for schools for Microsoft Office for the Macintosh so that part of the licence was dropped. The recommendation [minedu.govt.nz] was to substitute iWork (via an NZ wide licence negotiated via Apple) or Open Office (or buy individual MS for Mac licences). The Ministry of Education works out how many copies are in use, and if it is worth a nation-wide site licence.
        Keep in mind that, in New Zealand, the software that is used in schools will ultimately be paid for by the Ministry of Education either through a general licences or as part of the budgets devolved to schools, so it is in the Ministries interest to minimise the overall cost.
        And, as a semi-aside New Zealand has been the least corrupt country on Transparency International's index pretty much every year since 2003 (some years were ties with Denmark), and the volume licence was an example of the Government serving the needs of individual schools well (who were going to use MS stuff anyway), rather than a corrupt deal.
  • by rdunnell (313839) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:12AM (#30886920)

    So the article basically says that they have a machine room with four somewhat standard racks. That's pretty small. Figure that at some point you'll need some network gear which will likely take up at least one of the racks (switches, patch panels to other areas of the building, routers/firewalls), hopefully some UPS gear, a few servers.. four 48U racks doesn't go very far. And it only makes sense nowadays to have a couple larger servers hosting a bunch of virtual machines for mundane things. They would be wise to do that no matter what OS they run, and that more than anything is why you can cut down on the number of physical machines that are installed.

    • And it only makes sense nowadays to have a couple larger servers hosting a bunch of virtual machines for mundane things. They would be wise to do that no matter what OS they run, and that more than anything is why you can cut down on the number of physical machines that are installed.

      So much this. The latest virtual-desktop stuff from VMware is pretty spiffy. It really is now possible to run both useful virtual servers and useful virtual desktops, and at the same time simplify all the support infrastructure (backups, AV, server/desktop config control, etc.) considerably. A couple of 5U PowerEdge servers running vSphere can probably do everything a 230-student school needs quite handily.

      It also would be nice in this instance especially as it would allow students to flip effortlessly

  • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <[mdinsmore] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:24AM (#30886978) Homepage Journal

    including four racks each capable of holding 48 servers for its main systems. The main infrastructure at Albany Senior High only requires four servers, suggesting an almost 50-fold saving on hardware requirements.

    That is a frankly hilarious leap of inference. If you have a 4 door car, that means that you always travel with 5 adults, right? I mean, c'mon. It's statements like that that make OSS guys seem like wild-eyed loony tunes. Instead of making ridiculous, bold statements, why don't you, y'know, do some homework? How many servers do they really use, regardless of how many racks they have? It might be 4-8 big ones. That would be an interesting statement of fact, and would demonstrate the value of OSS. Instead, you just seem lazy and not able to objectively gather data.
  • Hnnngh.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by lewko (195646) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:39AM (#30887050) Homepage

    Once Were Warriors.

    Now are geeks.

  • by creimer (824291) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:57AM (#30887156) Homepage
    They could run a Beowulf cluster with those extra 44 servers. :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by creimer (824291)
      CORRECTION: They could run a Beowulf cluster with those 188 extra servers. :p

      Now get off my lawn, you grammar/math Nazis!
  • by ittanmomen (596981) on Monday January 25, 2010 @03:58AM (#30887168)

    I suppose what the article means is that there are 4 x 48U racks installed in the server room. It is fiction that each rack could actually loaded with 48 x 1U servers! Potential problems are: cooling, weight, air (fire hazard), power supply.

    Most likely actual rack usage looks as follows:

    - Rack with 5 Servers
    - Rack for Patching and switches
    - Rack for phone system / phone patches
    - Rack for backup.

    If they have remaining capacity, they could rent it out/sell to other community organisations.

  • Not a matter of cost (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Casandro (751346) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:05AM (#30887204)

    Today it's just sensible to use open source.Not only does it cause far fewer headaches, it also enables children to learn more about the technology.
    It's much easier for interested children to expand their knowledge. For example if they want to learn about TCP/IP, they can just use netcat, and then later maybe wireshark.
    Others might learn about programming by using shell scripts.

    Over time you will have many people in lots of different jobs knowing a bit about computers. This will lead to departments having one or two persons with such experience. The knowledge of those people will then slowly diffuse in the department and cause higher efficiency.

  • by mcbridematt (544099) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:13AM (#30887252) Homepage Journal

    Watch out for the video release of the presentation, including the deputy principal of the school who was there and did a bit of acting :)

    Presentation details [lca2010.org.nz]

    I hear the videos will be out in just over a week

    The way they do filtering with NuFW is interesting - it can authorize outgoing connections based on the _application_ that is trying to create the connection, by calling back to a PAM module on the client machine. And there are rulesets depending on the logged in user group. Beats forcing everyone to use proxies.

    And to clear up, by 'standard server space' they mean 4 x 12RU, they only needed to use one 12RU rack.

  • Naming (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dintech (998802) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:16AM (#30887264)

    Moodle, Mahara, Koha, Ubuntu, Mandriva

    Is the weirdology in software naming caused by the lack of available domain names or something? Just asking...

    • Re:Naming (Score:5, Insightful)

      by micheas (231635) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:40AM (#30887404) Homepage Journal

      Moodle, Mahara, Koha, Ubuntu, Mandriva

      Is the weirdology in software naming caused by the lack of available domain names or something? Just asking...

      Trademark law.

      Try finding a name that is available in 150 countries. The first one that you don't hate is the one to go with.

    • Re:Naming (Score:5, Informative)

      by kinko (82040) on Monday January 25, 2010 @06:11AM (#30887804)

      "Koha" is a Maori word meaning gift/donation. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, so it's a pretty appropriate name for a FOSS library catalogue system written in NZ for anyone to use freely :)

      PS Slashdot ate my "a macron" character - "Maori" should have a "-" over the "a".

  • To run a school? What the hell are they, or rather, what the hell is every other NZ school doing that they need 48 servers! 4 to do the work, 20 to handle licensing and the other 24 to handle patch management and anti-virus updates?
  • No lock-in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@noSPam.slashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:48AM (#30887442) Homepage

    This is a new school, one that was not previously locked in to any proprietary setup... They were able to start with a clean slate and do things properly.

    Incidentally, how big or inefficient is the average school in new zealand if they require 48 servers? Just what exactly would all those servers do?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have worked with hundreds of NZ schools IT in my career.

      I can tell you this:

      The average server count is one.

      The most physical servers ive seen at some of the larger schools in the country ive worked with (~2500-3000 students) has been about 25

      The biggest schools in the country can function with capacity to spare on a couple of HP DL380s and an iSCSI san when managed well.

      There are a lot of morons in school IT.

      The networks with the happiest users use a Microsoft platform

      The networks with the unhappiest use

      • anonymous bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

        by viralMeme (1461143)
        "I have worked with hundreds of NZ schools IT in my career"

        In what capacity, what are the names of these schools.

        The schools with Linux networks BURN CASH on consultants .."

        Absolute rubbish, once a Linux server is installed and configured, (and baring hardware failure)it just runs. Perhaps you should have consulted the people at Albany Senior High School.

        The tight time frame -- two weeks for evaluation, one week for design and two weeks for implementation -- didn't create too much disruption, Br
  • by md65536 (670240) on Monday January 25, 2010 @04:55AM (#30887470)

    Windows 8 to Feature Fully Virtual Monopoly

    "We already have some schools switching to other operating systems. This new version of Windows will allow them to do that while still claiming to be 'Windows only.' "

    fully sarcastic blog entry here [blogspot.com].

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