HP customer case study: Capital outlay 25 per cent less than traditional PCs with HP Multiseat computers Industry: Higher education
Hobart High School gives full marks to HP Multiseat Computing Solution “This HP Multiseat solution gives us a cost-effective, easily managed ICT suite that is fully supported by HP and Microsoft and provides students with the latest Windows 7 experience.” Terry McDonald, network manager, Hobart High School
Objective: The UK’s Hobart High School wanted to leave behind traditional PCs and find a more streamlined and efficient way to equip its new 30 seat ICT suite.
Approach: It chose a HP Multiseat Computing solution with HP ms6000 PCs and HP t100 Thin Client terminals running Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server 2010 Academic software.
IT improvements: • IT staff only have to maintain six machines instead of 30, reducing time and costs. • Implementation took less than half the time required for traditional PCs. • The HP Multiseat system runs a series of demanding programs with no degradation in performance.
Business benefits: • Initial capital outlay was just three quarters the amount of traditional PCs. • Reduced power consumption saves £300 a year in the technology lab and is a greener option. • The 5:1 pupil/computer ratio delivers a high value-for-money solution.
Hobart High School is a mixed-sex secondary comprehensive school situated in the village of Loddon near Norwich, UK. With approximately 850 students aged from 11 to 16, it has a staff of 120 and offers a broad curriculum of subjects. It also has specialist science college status. The school is always looking at better ways of delivering IT so when it set about developing a new 30-seat ICT suite, it sought an alternative to traditional PCs. “The technology lab where we wanted to put the ICT suite is a mixed use room with Design Technology on one side and IT computers on the other,” says Terry McDonald, network manager at Hobart High. “The
“We looked at the savings on power when we considered this solution and we estimate that we are saving £300 a year for this room. We also saved on the capital cost because implementing the shared resources solution was only three quarters of the price of a traditional PC environment.” Terry McDonald, network manager, Hobart High School way it was laid out was untidy and would have been worse if we had put in 30 traditional computers because there was not really enough room to do that. Mainly, I was looking for general technology improvements. I wanted to reduce the number of physical computers to achieve a tidier topology, to reduce and better manage the technicians’ workload, maybe save some costs and reduce power usage to become more environmentally friendly.” Shared computing To meet these requirements, Hobart High decided that HP Multiseat Computing was the way to go, with one computer being shared by multiple users. The decision was underpinned by Microsoft’s launch of its Windows Multipoint Server 2010 Academic software. This product allows multiple users to share one computer simultaneously and has been designed for easy set-up and use. Since it features the familiar Windows interface, students can focus on their studies rather than having to learn a new computer system and it comes with readily available Windows support. When seeking hardware on which to run the Microsoft programme, Hobart High benefited from the collaborative relationship that HP and Microsoft have forged to bring innovative new solutions to market.
“When Microsoft released Multipoint Server, HP was the first supplier to come on the market with the whole kit and the association between HP and Microsoft gave us a lot of confidence,” adds Terry. The school had trialled two rival systems from NComputing and SoftXpand but chose the HP Multiseat solution because it offered a complete plug-and-play solution, fully supported by both HP and Microsoft. Through HP partner, Novus Networks, Hobart High purchased seven HP Multiseat ms6000 PCs along with 30 HP t100 thin client terminals, 30 HP LE1851w monitors, 30 HP PS/2 keyboards and 30 HP PS/2 mice. The HP ms6000 is designed to deliver computing services for up to ten users and can come preinstalled with MultiPoint Server 2010. The thin clients are connected through simple USB lines making this a true plug-and-play solution. Easy implementation In the new ICT suite at Hobart High, five pupils share each of the six ms6000s and the seventh computer is kept as a spare so if a machine fails, it can quickly be replaced and lessons are not interrupted. The equipment is protected by a standard one year guarantee.
The first benefit for Hobart was the easy implementation of this Multiseat solution, as Terry explains: “With traditional PCs, we would have had to build up one machine, make it the way we wanted it and then copy its hard drive to the other 29 machines which is very time consuming. Reducing the number of boxes down to just six made installation extremely easy. It would normally have taken us a couple of days to do this work but with the HP ms6000 solution we did the entire install in less than a day.” Impressive performance Staff have also been impressed with the performance. Students use a number of different applications including the Microsoft Office suite of programs, Serif Page Plus desktop publishing and a number of Adobe Flash based applications for various subjects. The system has also proved itself capable of delivering demanding 2D and 3D Computer Aided Design packages such as 2D Design and SolidWorks 3D. “As far as the users are concerned there are 30 computers and they really don’t know the difference between standalone PCs and this HP Multiseat solution, which is just what we were looking to achieve,” adds Terry. “With some thin client solutions there can be noticeable problems like lag and slowdown and people start to notice that they are not working on a traditional PC. With this sort of system, no-one notices the difference.” All pupils have their own network account. They log on to the system as a network user and all their work is saved on the network. Teachers have their own separate, standalone workstation and their desktop connects to a projector and screen from which lessons are directed. They also use the AB Tutor remote access software that allows them to see each student’s desktop and interact with students on an individual, group or full classroom basis. This popular package is fully compatible with the Microsoft and HP systems. Because Multipoint Server 2010 is based on Windows 7, users have also benefited from new features it offers that were not available with the previous Windows XP.
Customer solution at a glance Primary hardware • 7 x HP Multiseat ms6000 computers • 30 x HP t100 Thin Client terminals • 30 x HP LE1851w monitors • 30 x HP PS/2 keyboards • 30 x HP PS/2 mice Primary software • Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server 2010 Academic HP Services • One year support
“At the moment we have not been able to assess how much cheaper and easier maintenance and support are because we have only had the new system for a short period of time. So far we have no complaints,” says Terry. “We looked at the savings on power when we considered this solution and we estimate that we are saving £300 a year for this room. We also saved on the capital cost because implementing the shared resources solution was only three quarters of the price of a traditional PC environment. “We were looking for a number of benefits with this solution. We were trying to tidy up the suite, which we did. With six machines rather than 30 we have less computers to manage so they are a lot easier to set up and run and they were also cheaper. The saving is going to pay for Microsoft Office licences which we were struggling with before. It’s a combination of all those things that made this a good deal for us,” concludes Terry.
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