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- Introducing Open Source to schools
Sirius Corporation, the Open Source services provider has revealed it has been working with Powys County Council; introducing a combination of Open Source and proprietary software within the newly refurbished Ysgol Maesydderwen based in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea.
The project, which has been funded by Powys County Council, involved the installation of a complete infrastructure and included the installation of brand new desktops and laptops for both the staff and pupils as well as a hundred new iPads for the pupils to use in class activities and projects.
Nick Talbot, Strategic IT advisor to the Schools Service at Powys County Council commented "We approached Sirius for an innovative solution to our school ICT requirements for the major redevelopment of Ysgol Maesydderwen. We were delighted with Sirius' proposed solution drawing from the best elements of Open Source and proprietary software. We commissioned them to make this vision real, which they did against challenging deadlines and this work has significantly increased the school's ICT confidence and capabilities".
Extensive and thoughtful planning allowed rapid delivery; from emails to document sharing, and a suite of specialist desktop applications which includes Serif, ProTools and Creo. A reliable back-end infrastructure has been put in place with built in redundancy, allowing the school to continue working should either of the server rooms be taken offline. Active Directory was deployed for authentication and management of desktops and laptops, with files being served from Samba running on Debian. Other services such as inventory management have been deployed as virtual machines running on GNU/Linux KVM. Google Apps was selected in consultation with the school to provide email, productivity and remote file services. This is significantly more powerful than their previous solution as well as representing a cost saving, being free for Education use.
Richard Lashley, Deputy Head at Ysgol Maesydderwen said that "The Sirius team were quick to identify our priorities by immersing themselves into school life and listening to learners, staff and governors". He went on to say "any glitches encountered were dealt with professionally to enable the school to have a state of the art system that we continue to refine for the improvement of teaching and learning and we are extremely excited about the future possibilities".
About Ysgol Maesydderwen
Ysgol Maesydderwen is a small and inclusive school where pupils of all abilities are encouraged to succeed in a caring, orderly and supportive environment. As an 11 – 18 school we can offer continuity for our students and welcome those who choose to join us from other schools. Located in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea, Ysgol Maesydderwen encourages pupils to participate in extra curricular activities and is involved with charity and voluntary organisations within the local community www.ysgolmaesydderwen.co.uk
About Sirius Corporation
Sirius is the UK's flagship open source solutions provider with 15 years’ experience supporting mission critical enterprise applications and infrastructure. Our consultants, business analysts, IT architects and support engineers work with central and local government agencies, blue-chip multi-nationals, SMEs and start-ups to identify, deploy and manage feature-rich and stable open source solutions. For more information go to www.siriusopensource.com
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