Userful and ThinNetworks today announce that they have been selected to supply 356,800 virtualized desktops to schools in all of Brazil’s 5,560 municipalities.
This initiative will provide computer access to millions of children and adolescents throughout the country. It is a historical achievement, being: the world’s largest ever virtual desktop deployment; the world’s largest ever desktop Linux deployment, and a new record low-cost for PCs with the PC sharing hardware and software costing less than $50 per seat. The decision to deploy Userful and ThinNetworks’ low-cost and environmentally friendly desktop virtualization solution establishes the Brazilian Ministry of Education as a global leader in computer education and provides other governments and institutions worldwide with a proven model for improving student to computer ratios while rolling out large numbers of desktops with minimal cost and environmental impact.
Userful Multiplier is the simplest, and highest performance approach to desktop virtualization on the market. In combination with hardware from ThinNetworks it is also the lowest-cost desktop virtualization solution on the market. All other virtualization solutions lead to sacrifices in performance. Userful offers the features of a full PC including high performance video for less than $50 per additional seat in large deployments (not including monitors and keyboards) and uses standard PC hardware including additional low-cost video cards and USB/2-way-audio hubs from ThinNetworks. Userful and ThinNetworks are providing the desktop virtualizaton and PC sharing software and hardware while Positivo, Daruma, and Itaultec are providing the PCs and services. Userful and ThinNetworks have been selected in a competitive bidding process for all three phases of the project. The first phase, 18,750 workstations in rural schools, has already been installed and they are functioning well.
Userful’s cost saving ability to turn 1 computer into up to 10 independent workstations enabled the Brazilian government to supply it’s schools with an unprecedented number of computer workstations. Savings of 60% in up-front costs, 80% in annual power savings and additional savings in ongoing administration and support costs as compared to a traditional PC-per-workstation solution all contributed to making 356,800 new workstations for Brazil’s school children possible. “Userful is very happy to have been selected to participate in this historic opportunity to help millions of children get the computer education they need in a sustainable way,” said Tim Griffin, President of Userful. “At just $50 per additional seat for the PC sharing hardware and software, Userful Multiplier is the best solution for schools, businesses, and governments wanting to maximize their IT investment. This record setting deployment solidifies Userful’s position as the world leader in high-performance low-cost desktop virtualization.”
Desktop computers sit idle while we check our e-mail, surf the web, or type a document. Userful’s PC sharing and virtualization technology leverages this unused computing power to create an environmentally efficient alternative to traditional desktop computing. Up to 10 users can work on a single computer by simply attaching extra monitors, mice and keyboards. “This deployment alone saves more than 170,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, the same as taking 28,000 cars off the road, or planting 41,000 acres of trees”, said Sean Rousseau, Marketing Manager at Userful. Turning 1 computer into 10 reduces computer hardware waste “e-waste” by up to 80%, further decreasing its environmental footprint. A free 2-user version of Userful Multiplier software for home use is available from http://userful.com/free-2-user .
Project steward ThinNetworks is the exclusive distributor of Userful solutions in Brazil. Their unique knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by the Brazilian Ministry of Education allowed ThinNetworks, with the help of Userful Multiplier, to successfully install low-cost computer labs in both urban and rural schools, where in most cases there are inadequate and insufficient facilities.
The hardware developed and manufactured by ThinNetworks for the project is designed to work reliably in harsh conditions with little supporting infrastructure. The solution has even been successfully deployed in schools in indigenous villages, where infrastructure is minimal, electricity is unreliable, and there is little physical space. By the end of 2009, the project will have benefited millions of young Brazilians. “This project will bring access to information technology to almost every young student in Brazil. But this project will mean much more: it is the beginning of a cycle of children and adults socially integrated,” says Luiz Ferreira, President of ThinNetworks. With this project, ThinNetworks becomes a world leader in the distribution of multi-solutions, with more than 800,000 terminals installed in the country.