Today was a very exciting day! I was invited to tour the CGA which is essentially the Andalusia region Department of Education’s Computer nervous center. They administer, deploy, develop, and so forth…for the entire region of Andalusia in Spain. They use Linux exclusively….50 people are able to support almost 200,000 computers! Very cool to see in action. This deployment in Spain is a perfect example. They have a ratio of 2:1 in primary schools….moving up to 5:1 in high schools with many laptop deployments as well. All easily rolled out with automatic unattended installs…tech support…call centers for tech support…etc. Very cool and very well managed. A server goes down…the center knows before the school does!
The fact of the matter is, schools in the US have historically been too decentralized to gain this kind of efficiency, and generally speaking, I favor local control over raw efficiency. But I'd love to see a serious study of the TCO here by a hard-headed US accounting firm. Bet this would be hard to match.