Comparison

Presenting to you a comprehensive comparison of the educational computing infrastructure options widely available across the world.

From a commercial aspect it focuses on upfront deployment and operational costs (all figures in INR) to deploy and maintain such an infrastructure.

Minimum 30% savings in capital expenditure

Conventional Lab Setup
My sCool Server Lab Setup

Minimum 65% savings in maintenance expenses

Conventional Lab Setup
Computed over 3 years
My sCool Server Lab Setup
Computed over 3 years

A comparison of common computer lab infrastructure options

The comparative study covers solution architecture, hardware and software from a technical perspective. From an educational perspective, it addresses overall pedagogical suitability and adaptability for an educational setup.

  • Technical Architecture
  • Solution architecture
  • Core technology
  • Hardware
  • Extends life of old hardware
  • Serviceability / Part availability
    End-of-life policy of proprietary hardware must be considered. Also service quality and dependency issues must be considered.
  • Network switch
  • Cabling
  • UPS load factor
    Prime purpose of power backup facility in the educational environment is to safeguard from abrupt shutdown and corruption of OS as well as ensure continuity in lessons. All end-user systems need be supported only for saving and power-off in case of extended outage. Extended working is not a priority.
  • Proprietary tech / vendor lock-in
  • Future expansion / Scalability
    Increasing number of users to serve future needs
  • Vendor dependency
    Vendor capability should include not only delivery of hardware but a comprehensive solution that shall facilitate measurable desired learning outcomes of the project.
  • Software
  • Operating system license
  • Office software license
  • Open source software options
    Is it possible to deploy the software infrastructure using open source options?
  • Security software license
    Anti-virus subscription is a recurring expense. Yet without internet connectivity and updates it is meaningless.
  • Proprietary tech / vendor lock-in
    Results in vendor lock-in and takes away freedom to change the way one computes.
  • Future expansion / Scalability
    Future expansion should be agnostic of factors such as vendor licensing, lock-in or spiralling costs. Open-source technologies are always more scalable at controlled costs.
  • Vendor dependency
  • Educational Experience
  • Pre-installed educational software
  • Integrated content hosting platform
  • Central management
    Ability to manage all end client systems from a central console
  • Adoption in ICT projects
    Based on Indian and global scenarios studied
  • Computing experience
  • Teaching & monitoring tool integration
  • Best suited for
  • Financials
  • Acquisition cost
    Initial capital expenditure to deploy an infrastructure of 10 computers.
  • Operational cost
    Day to day latent expenses such as electricity consumption, heat generation, cooling infrastructure requirements vis-a-vis productivity gain.
  • Internal maintenance costs
    Time, skill level and people effort cost to maintain the infrastructure.
  • Outsourced maintenance costs
    Hardware maintenance skills, replacement and repair costs which are mostly outsourced / contracted.
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Return on investment
  • Overall financial impact
  • Desktop PC
  • All users with stand-alone PC with CPU, HDD, keyboard, mouse and monitor.
  • Stand-alone
  • No
  • Easy available  
  • Required
  • Ethernet (Gigabit recommended)
  • High
    1.15 KW = (110 to 150 Watt/unit) x 10 + networking equipment, hence minimum 3 KVA UPS needed or 600 VA x 10 UPS needed.
  • N/A
  • Possible at high cost
  • Dell / HP / Acer / Lenovo etc..
  • Required for each PC if opting for MS Windows
  • Required for each PC if opting for MS Office
  • Possible
  • Required for each PC
  • N/A
  • Possible at high cost
  • Microsoft or free Linux distributions
  • No, custom installation required
  • No
  • N/A
  • Very few
  • No compromise, full desktop experience  
  • Custom installation required. Expensive and proprietary
  • High end computing workloads - majority of computing power left unused
  • Highest
  • High
  • High - Need to maintain all desktops
  • High
  • High
  • Slowest to Unrealizable
  • Highest
  • Proprietary shared computing
  • One or two desktop host PCs with additional users sharing the resources. This comes with optional features like load balancing and fail over.
  • Multi-seat
    Detailed explanation of Multi-seat computing concept is herein.
  • No
  • Mixed reviews / vendor dependent
  • Required
  • Ethernet (Gigabit recommended)
  • Low  
    650 W = (110 to 150 Watt x 2 + 30 to 35 Watt x 10) + networking equipment, hence 1 KVA UPS shall suffice.
  • Yes
  • Subject to availability + medium cost
  • Acer / Dell - Wyse / Ncomputing / Userful / IGEL
  • Required for host PCs and CALs
  • Required for each user if opting for MS Office
  • No
  • Required only for 2 host PCs
  • Yes
  • Subject to availability + medium cost
  • Microsoft or proprietary alternatives
  • No, custom installation required
  • Possible with some customisation but will consume host PC power. Adverse impact on end user experience and scalability.
  • Yes, Central management console  
  • Historically accepted in more than 10 states in India for ICT Projects as well as globally but with unsuccessful to limted outcomes.
  • Limited by host PCs and graphics not top-notch
  • Custom installation required. Expensive and proprietary
  • Limited and locked-down workloads
  • High
    2 system Windows Professional Licensing + 10 user Client Access Licensing. Top end hardware needed for smooth running of latest Windows. Anti-virus software needed. This can brought down significantly with Linux based similar environment.
  • Medium
  • Medium - Only Host PCs need to be maintained
  • Low
  • Medium
  • Slow to Unrealizable
  • Medium
  • Opensource shared computing
  • One desktop host PC with additional users sharing the resources. This can be optionally configured with features like HDD redundancy.
  • Linux Terminal Server Project
    Detailed explanation of LTSP architecture is herein.
  • Yes  
  • Easily available  
  • Required
  • Ethernet (Gigabit recommended)
  • Medium
    1.05 KW = (110 to 150 Watt + 90 Watt x 10) + networking equipment. Hence 2 KVA UPS shall suffice.
  • No  
  • Easily possible at low cost  
  • Open market  
  • Opensource  
    Client Access Licenses
  • Opensource  
  • Yes  
  • Not needed  
  • No  
  • Easily possible at low cost  
  • DIY or any opensource solution provider  
  • Preinstalled with focus on learning outcomes  
  • Preconfigured for web-based content or installed educational content. No impact on end user experience or scalability.  
  • Multiple free and open-source tools to choose from  
  • Widely accepted globally for ICT Projects specifically for education with proven success.  
  • No compromise, full desktop experience  
  • Preintegrated, free and opensource  
  • Computer education as well as computer aided learning environments with varying workloads - optimum utilisation of available computing power  
  • Low  
  • Low  
  • Low - Only Host PC needs minimal maintenance  
  • Lowest  
  • Lowest  
  • Fast and guaranteed  
  • Lowest  

Thus, from the table above, it is apparent that the opensource shared computing environment wins hands down across criteria.

Need look no further . . .

when you have reached the best option already

The My sCool Server is the only optimised, ready-to-use, mass-deployable, most economical and fully supported option designed specifically to serve multiple ICT in Education requirements.