How a university can leverage the power of opensource. By : Khawar Nehal Applied Technology Research Center Dubai Computer Services 7 June 2012
Benefits of opensourceUsually the organizations which deployopensource solutions have observed that itresults in a secure, robust, and highperformance platform and also help themgetting faster return of investment and cuttingthe cost.
Benefits of using an opensource consultantThe use of a consultant are mainly to :1. Use the experience to implement the best returnon investment solutions first.2. Making sure that the software and implementationcan deliver the existing and planned requirements.3. Avoid any issues of compatibility4. Design a secure, reliable and high performancesystem.
Office Software● The office software commonly used is MS Office.● The better choice now is LibreOffice.● Libre office was derived from openoffice which itself came from star office.● There are now many productive and useful features offered in Libre Office which are not available in MS Office.
Office Software extras● Examples include :● More platforms. Mac, Windows, Linux, Unix● Faster security reporting and patching● Able to run on legacy hardware● Faster performance and agility.● Available for tablets (planned)● Browser based online version (planned)
For commercial users● Integration with MS SharePoint● Cost of MS Office is AED 700 per user.
Virtualization● VirtualBox allows the execution of multiple virtual machines on one hardware.● This allows a user to use multiple operating systems simultaneously.● For example you can have Linux, Windows 2008 server, XP, 7, Vista, Android, OS/X or any other i386 compatible operating system running simultaneously on the same machine.
Virtualization● Xen is a kernel based virtualization system which allows communication between different instances of executing Linux kernels and the hardware resources can be dynamically reassigned while the operating system instance is running.● The virtualization speed is more optimized because some system calls can be remapped.
Virtualization● What this means is that with opensource virtualization technology, you can run all programs for any type of operating system on a single machine simultaneously if you want or need to.● You do not need separate machines for two programs. One which runs only on Windows 7 and one which runs only on Windows XP.
Remote Terminals● Clients for The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) are available to allow the display of desktops from a windows server on a Linux or windows machine.● This allows the deployment of terminal servers where all the software is running on a central server and the terminal does not even need a harddisk.
Remote Terminals● Terminal servers allow the real control of applications and file access control● This because everything is running and resides on machines managed by system admins.● Nothing like data or files or programs are on the user machine because the user machine only displays the windows and does not have any storage device.
Internet Software● Browsers like firefox, konqueror, opera, and many others are available for Linux platforms.● Chatting softwares like skype, video chat and other chatting softwares are also available.
Video editing software● Non linear video editors are available which allow students to make professional high definition videos without having to pay for services of commercial video editing and processing sites or buy professional editing software costing thousands.
Image editing software● GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is available and has some capabilities like scripting which are more advanced than photoshop.● Photoshop licensing costs AED 3650 per user.