Jeff Crawford is the Manager of Networking and Security with East Grand Rapids Public Schools. He used an IBM ThinkPad T42 running SuSE v9.3 as the OS and the OpenOffice.org Impress application to display his presentation slides. The ThinkPad worked great with the KLUG InFocus SVGA video projector.
Jeff broke his presentation down into three parts. The general theme was Open Source operating system and application use at East Grand Rapids Public Schools. East GR PS has 1,500 workstations running Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux. Users can log into the network at home, from the school, or from a web connected browser any where in the world. The network could have 2,000 users logged in or more. Many of those users are using open source software applications.
Jeff mentioned that one of the convinced supporters of Open Source Software is his boss! Having a savvy person in the top IT spot makes the environment progressive and obviously very cost effective. After all, school funding comes from each of us and OSS total cost of implementation is lower and the software is better, generally speaking. Spend the money on IT staff salaries and not proprietary software.
Open Source Programs that EGRPS has had success with:
We heard about each of these Open Source Software applications and the alternatives. The major areas of concern were listed as perception, support personnel, and staff training. The perceptions of non-IT managers are slowly changing. More support personnel are needed and higher pay is needed to secure OSS savvy technical managers. Staff and users both need lots of training, they just never get enough.
Next Jeff presented "Leveraging Novell Open Enterprise Server in Your Organization." The differences between SuSE SLES 9 and NetWare 6.5 SP3 (OES). SLES is focused on application serving. The Novell Storage Services (NSS) File System is the default file system for NetWare 6 and later. Jeff said that this is the most significant aspect of OES for an organization.
From the Novell web site: Novell's OES 1.0 is most notable for the range of options it offers companies, particularly those now running NetWare. OES can be backed by the SuSE Linux or NetWare platforms and provides a solid route for enterprises looking to mix these platforms or migrate between them. What's more, OES provides for synchronization with or migration from Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. For more, go to www.novell.com/oes.
By the way, Jeff is quoted on the Novell Open Enterprise Server web site. He said he has received nothing for his exuberant public support of Novell. They could always just surprise him with a new red Ferrari with a "GR8NOES" custom license plate… Maybe a T-shirt and a coffee mug would be nice too!
In the final part of Jeff’s presentation, he discussed Mac OS X with OES. He showed some configuration information and told us about some quirks. FreeRADIUS and eDirectory issues and tips were also shared.
There was a brisk period of Q & A after the summation. Questions were fielded throughout the presentation. Jeff found several people present with education software experience who asked questions that yielded an even better understanding of the software features and considerations.