Case Study: Ubuntu at Solusi University

An educational institution that is embracing the world of open source and benefiting from the cost efficiencies and ease of use of Ubuntu, both on the Desktop and Server.

Background

Solusi University is located 50 kilometres south of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

The Challenge

To achieve its vision the university had to address and make efficient use of Information and communications technologies. In 2006 Solusi had less than 90 personal computers on campus, with no wide area network. Internet connection was by unreliable, independent dial up.

There was no mail and web server infrastructure in place. In late 2006 the university acquired 240 computers from Computer Aid International. These machines came without any operating system software. The university had to find a way around the huge cost of Microsoft Windows operating system software.

Ubuntu Solution

We began looking for free or open source alternatives and decided to use Ubuntu 6.04 on the Desktops. In no time, we were able to have all 240 personal computers installed and running.

The university is running seven (7) virtual Ubuntu 8.04 servers. These servers include: a web server hosting their www.solusi.ac.zw website, intranet sites for campus clubs, software-based firewall Ipcop, and an online registration system called IUTUS made by AIIAS in the Philippines, among others.

Result

Thembinkosi Moyo (ICT Manager) sums up what happened at Solusi university by saying “With the main advantage of being free and legal software, Ubuntu proves unaffected by viruses and more stable than the Microsoft operating systems. In our academic environment where movement of files from person to person and computer to computer is high, Ubuntu manages to rise to the challenge. It reduces support costs. Our network is 99% free and open source software. The cost of software did not hold us back from delivering a world class ICT experience to our users, thanks to open source and free software. “