/>
X

Sun brings open source and virtualization to K12

I finally have a chance tonight to follow up on my interview with Joe Hartley of Sun Microsystems since the only news floating around relates in some way to that silly little election we have coming up in a few weeks.I wanted to focus tonight on a particularly interesting project in the K12 sector with which Sun has been involved, bringing their backend and virtualization technologies to a newly-reopened school in the UK.
christopher-dawson.jpg

I finally have a chance tonight to follow up on my interview with Joe Hartley of Sun Microsystems since the only news floating around relates in some way to that silly little election we have coming up in a few weeks.

I wanted to focus tonight on a particularly interesting project in the K12 sector with which Sun has been involved, bringing their backend and virtualization technologies to a newly-reopened school in the UK. The "Building Schools for the Future" program takes the opposite approach to the punitive model we use in the States where students are encouraged to simply look elsewhere for their education if they attend a poorly performing school. In contrast, the BSF targets problem schools for renovation and revitalization using the latest technologies to enhance learning and provide exciting environments for kids. Good idea, huh?

The school in particular that I discussed with Mr. Hartley was located in Bradford, England. According to his blog,

In December of last year, I had the pleasure of visiting the city of Bradford, England. I wasn't quite sure before I got there that it would be a pleasure based on the "You're going where?" comments I'd get from the locals when I told them where I'd be going. Bradford's heyday was two centuries ago, when it was known as the wool capital of the world and England was the international center of the textile industry.

Like many post-industrial areas, Bradford is in the midst of revitalization, with a focus on its new schools. Of interest here is Sun's role in the new schools. The BSF partners with businesses to provide solutions to schools; in this case, they partnered with Sun to build a small datacenter running OpenSolaris servers. The servers provided virtual desktops via Sun Ray thin clients.

Sun Rays at Bradford Academy

The school's experience with thin clients largely mirrored ours: the rooms with computers were suddenly quiet and cool, instead of noisy and hot with standalone PCs. Management, of course, also happens centrally. We already know about these benefits of thin clients.

Where the solution Sun provided really started to shine, however, was in the software stack that Mr. Hartley described to me. Because of their virtualization approach and software, the virtual desktops used by the kids were able to include both proprietary and open source software seamlessly. The kids simply used the software applications they needed without regard for the operating system. Moodle Rooms, Illuminate, email, calendaring, forums, instant messaging, etc., were all integrated and accessible anywhere the students logged in.

Sun has also found that network speeds are such that, with appropriate virtualization approaches, students have a full desktop experience in a stable, centrally-managed, secure environment. Better yet, students and parents can access the virtual machines from home, meaning that they can extend their learning day and access to applications without significant investment in new hardware or software.

Next up from my interview with Mr. Hartley: BlueJ and Greenfoot to address declining interest in computer science.

Related

He flew American Airlines, she flew United. For both, the unthinkable happened
screen-shot-2022-06-30-at-10-14-36-am.png

He flew American Airlines, she flew United. For both, the unthinkable happened

Business
Giant data breach? Leaked personal data of one billion people has been spotted for sale on the dark web
close-up-of-a-womans-hands-typing-on-a-keyboard-in-the-dark.jpg

Giant data breach? Leaked personal data of one billion people has been spotted for sale on the dark web

Security
Southwest Airlines has cancelled 20,000 flights. Now for the really bad news
screen-shot-2021-07-07-at-4-01-12-pm.png

Southwest Airlines has cancelled 20,000 flights. Now for the really bad news

Business