This fall, HP announced a “new” product to deliver 10-seats-per-PC thin client systems for classrooms. They boast a price of $331 per seat (monitor not included, of course).
Three years ago, I built a thin client system for a school:
- 3 terminal servers – 4gB 4SATA 60 gB drives – $1200 each = $3600
- 1 file/web/authentication server 2gB 4 SATA 500 gB drives $1500
- 96 thin clients $134 each = $12864
- 13 multiseat X PCs for six clients $400 = $5200
- 153 keyboards and mice $10 (HP!) =$1530
- 153 LCD monitors $140 = $21420
Total cost = $46114 /$301.39 per seat
I dare say the performance was and still is better than you will get from HP and we do not need to fight malware either. We used four SATA drives in RAID 1 so four files could be read simultaneously when busy.
So, HP, get off the Wintel treadmill so you can give better value to your customers. With Moore’s Law, the system I built would be about $250 per seat these days. We would save a lot on servers and a little on thin clients and monitors. We saved a lot on licences not paid to M$, too. We used Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Today, I would use Debian GNU/Linux.