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Digital Campus ICT and eLearning Infrastructure
Key issues faced <ul><li>Increasing student numbers but limited computing facilities
Desktop PCs are expensive and complex
Lack of ownership by ICT teams
Teachers need skills in how to use ICT effectively </li></ul>
Current solutions <ul><li>Purchasing new standalone PCs
Employing more ICT staff & technicians
Elearning teams and training for teachers </li></ul>
Yet some issues remain... <ul><li>Standalone PC labs poorly maintained
Fragile infrastructure
Teachers lack skills in using technology effectively
PC's become obsolete
Students have little computer access </li></ul>
Our experience with Thin Clients <ul><li>Much better uptime than standalone labs
Poor network causes problems
Lack of ownership by ICT
Most issues have been human factors not technical </li></ul>
Our Approach
Services oriented <ul><li>Fully installed thin client infrastructure with service level support agreement
Reuse existing hardware
Every student has their own account and desktop environment
Full time, onsite support staff </li></ul>
Upskilling local staff <ul><li>Encouraging local ICT enterprise and opportunities
Training and support for local ICT staff
Elearning certification for elearning team and teachers </li></ul>
Sustainable Business Model <ul><li>Incubation of Digital-Campus Ethiopia </li><ul><li>Development of skilled, well paid lo...
Economically sustainable and scalable for-profit organization </li></ul><li>Digital-Campus in Europe </li><ul><li>Platform...
Sequestering used servers and network equipment
Training and support for Ethiopian staff </li></ul></ul>
Thin Clients
Traditional Standalone Architecture Thin Client Architecture Loose network coupling Tight network coupling User has differ...
Standalone v Thin Client:  Hardware Standalone Thin Client Maintenance and Support Each device needs to be maintained sepa...
Standalone v Thin Client: Software Standalone Thin Client Application management and support Software needs to be installe...
Standalone v Thin Client: Costs Standalone Thin Client Hardware cost per seat High Low Longevity/ replacement costs PC gen...
Generic user v Identified user Generic User Identified User Data Management User needs to manage and backup their own data...
Many architectures Standalone PC Thin Client Ultra Thin Client Standard Desktop PC N-computing, Surfboard + more SunRay Sp...
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Digital Campus ICT and eLearning Infrastructure

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Overview of the Digital Campus thin client and elearning infrastructure and our services oriented approach

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Digital Campus ICT and eLearning Infrastructure

  1. 1. Digital Campus ICT and eLearning Infrastructure
  2. 2. Key issues faced <ul><li>Increasing student numbers but limited computing facilities
  3. 3. Desktop PCs are expensive and complex
  4. 4. Lack of ownership by ICT teams
  5. 5. Teachers need skills in how to use ICT effectively </li></ul>
  6. 6. Current solutions <ul><li>Purchasing new standalone PCs
  7. 7. Employing more ICT staff & technicians
  8. 8. Elearning teams and training for teachers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Yet some issues remain... <ul><li>Standalone PC labs poorly maintained
  10. 10. Fragile infrastructure
  11. 11. Teachers lack skills in using technology effectively
  12. 12. PC's become obsolete
  13. 13. Students have little computer access </li></ul>
  14. 14. Our experience with Thin Clients <ul><li>Much better uptime than standalone labs
  15. 15. Poor network causes problems
  16. 16. Lack of ownership by ICT
  17. 17. Most issues have been human factors not technical </li></ul>
  18. 18. Our Approach
  19. 19. Services oriented <ul><li>Fully installed thin client infrastructure with service level support agreement
  20. 20. Reuse existing hardware
  21. 21. Every student has their own account and desktop environment
  22. 22. Full time, onsite support staff </li></ul>
  23. 23. Upskilling local staff <ul><li>Encouraging local ICT enterprise and opportunities
  24. 24. Training and support for local ICT staff
  25. 25. Elearning certification for elearning team and teachers </li></ul>
  26. 26. Sustainable Business Model <ul><li>Incubation of Digital-Campus Ethiopia </li><ul><li>Development of skilled, well paid local staff, performance related salaries
  27. 27. Economically sustainable and scalable for-profit organization </li></ul><li>Digital-Campus in Europe </li><ul><li>Platform Development / Investigation
  28. 28. Sequestering used servers and network equipment
  29. 29. Training and support for Ethiopian staff </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Thin Clients
  31. 31. Traditional Standalone Architecture Thin Client Architecture Loose network coupling Tight network coupling User has different account on each device Data spread across different PCs and server User desktop different on each device Same account on every device Stored centrally on server Same desktop environment from all devices Applications installed on every device Applications installed on server only Processing happens on local device Server handles all processing
  32. 32. Standalone v Thin Client: Hardware Standalone Thin Client Maintenance and Support Each device needs to be maintained separately Client devices require no maintenance, only the network and server Scalability Low: doubling the number of PCs will double the support requirements Very high, adding many more clients adds little to the overall support requirements Performance Varies from device to device depending on processor/memory. To increase performance each device needs to be upgraded Performance based on the server and network. Can increase performance/capacity by adding servers Security Devices contain valuable components, so every area hosting a device must be well secured Few valuable components within the devices (only the monitor). Data centre needs to be well secured Robustness Devices susceptible to component failure (fans, disk drives etc regularly fail) Devices very robust (no moving parts). Ergonomics Fan noise and heat generation. No noise, low heat.
  33. 33. Standalone v Thin Client: Software Standalone Thin Client Application management and support Software needs to be installed/ upgraded/patched on every device Software only needs to be managed on the server Data management Data may be distributed over all devices and moved from device to device with USB disk or CD Data stored centrally so easy to manage and back up Virus resistance Poor (with Windows OS): every PC needs to have it's anti-virus program updated Very high virus resistance with open source operating system. System resource efficiency Low: most of processing capacity idle and disk storage empty Very high: centralised processing and data storage means best use can be made of all system resources Usage Monitoring Hard to report on usage as distributed across many PCs Easy to generate usage reports
  34. 34. Standalone v Thin Client: Costs Standalone Thin Client Hardware cost per seat High Low Longevity/ replacement costs PC generally have approx 4 year lifespan Thin client terminals can still be useful after 8+ years. Energy efficiency Low, desktop PC (excluding monitor) is typically 100W High – can save 60-80% on electricity costs. Thin client devices (excluding monitor) are typically 5-10W. Total Cost of Ownership High – each desktop PC requires maintenance and administration Low – only the servers need to be maintained
  35. 35. Generic user v Identified user Generic User Identified User Data Management User needs to manage and backup their own data. Risks losing their data as can easily be deleted by other users. Users data is kept secure under their account, can't be deleted by other users. Applications Set up according to generic preferences (or the last user) Users can configure/setup application setting to suit them, their changes won't be lost Device affinity/ownership Users tend to use one particular physical device User owns the desktop environment, so can use any physical machine Application integration User must log in separately to each application (and remember to log out properly) Users can be automatically logged into the email and other systems Monitoring & reporting Cannot monitor individuals usage Can monitor and report on individuals usage
  36. 36. Many architectures Standalone PC Thin Client Ultra Thin Client Standard Desktop PC N-computing, Surfboard + more SunRay Spectrum of solutions for student computer labs
  37. 37. Open Source <ul><li>Digital Campus focused on using Open Source technology </li><ul><li>Allows for greater flexibility
  38. 38. License fee-free
  39. 39. Virus resistant
  40. 40. Easier to change between different open source systems </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Modular Applications Modules Digital Campus Infrastructure
  42. 42. Benefits
  43. 43. Flexibility Client devices may be: <ul><li>Refurbished Pcs
  44. 44. Surfboards
  45. 45. SunRays
  46. 46. Other thin client devices </li></ul>Servers may be: <ul><li>Existing servers
  47. 47. Refurbished servers
  48. 48. New servers </li></ul>
  49. 49. Scalability & Integration <ul><li>Hyper-scalable
  50. 50. Add many more terminals with little extra effort or support
  51. 51. Server architecture is expandable – add rather than replace
  52. 52. Extend the useful life of existing hardware </li></ul>
  53. 53. User Provisioning & Reporting <ul><li>All user accounts created and maintained
  54. 54. Integrate with existing systems (e.g. Student information system)
  55. 55. Generate regular usage reports </li></ul>
  56. 56. Performance <ul><li>Network and server dependent
  57. 57. Not dependent on specification of client hardware
  58. 58. Significantly improved up-time and availability of computer labs
  59. 59. UPS can power whole lab during short electricity cuts </li></ul>
  60. 60. For the University <ul><li>Significant cost savings
  61. 61. Turnkey solution
  62. 62. Managed and supported ICT infrastructure
  63. 63. Well trained staff
  64. 64. Support local ICT enterprise </li></ul>
  65. 65. For the Teacher <ul><li>Move away from lecture oriented teaching
  66. 66. Training and certification
  67. 67. Reliable ICT infrastructure for elearning activities </li></ul>
  68. 68. For the Student <ul><li>Personalized desktop environment available from any client device
  69. 69. Reliable computer access
  70. 70. Reliable data storage </li></ul>
  71. 71. Example Scenario
  72. 72. Scenario <ul><li>500 thin clients
  73. 73. 5000 students
  74. 74. 3 year support
  75. 75. 50 instructors trained per year </li></ul>
  76. 76. Scenario includes <ul><li>All server, network and client hardware installed and configured
  77. 77. User account provisioning
  78. 78. Full time support staff
  79. 79. Basic software services: internet, email and office
  80. 80. Elearning support and certification </li></ul>
  81. 81. Scenario excludes <ul><li>furniture (tables/desks, chairs)
  82. 82. lab attendants
  83. 83. specialised software (eg AutoCAD, SPSS etc)
  84. 84. internet connection </li></ul>
  85. 85. Scenarios assume <ul><li>Access to network equipment
  86. 86. Remote access to server
  87. 87. 24x7 lab opening
  88. 88. Students all have email addresses </li></ul>
  89. 89. Service Level Agreement (SLA) <ul><li>Focus on the service, not hardware!
  90. 90. 3 year service on-site: </li><ul><li>User provisioning and face-to-face support
  91. 91. Lab maintenance (power, network, hardware)
  92. 92. Local system administration / remote 2 nd tier support </li></ul><li>Low-cost Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  93. 93. Quantifiable success metrics / penalties </li></ul>
  94. 94. SLAs <ul><li>Number terminals working (95%)
  95. 95. Moodle service uptime (95%)
  96. 96. Call/ticket response time (<8 hours)
  97. 97. User provisioning (<8 hours)
  98. 98. Power (<5 min outage in labs) </li></ul>
  99. 99. Statement of Work <ul><li>Contract </li><ul><li>Work steps
  100. 100. Scope
  101. 101. Terms and conditions </li><ul><li>e.g. payment: 50% - 25% - 25% </li></ul><li>Responsibilities
  102. 102. Legal entity </li></ul></ul>
  103. 103. Summary
  104. 104. Overview <ul><li>Reliable, well maintained ICT infrastructure with service level agreement
  105. 105. Hyper-scalable: build in new/existing hardware
  106. 106. Integrated elearning systems
  107. 107. Usage reporting
  108. 108. Staff training, development and certification </li></ul>

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