The Solusi Open Source Story

Justin Steenbok jsteenbok at
Fri Jul 11 06:33:54 BST 2008

Most impressive mate.....

Thembinkosi wrote:
> *Case Study: The Solusi University Open Source Software Project *
> Solusi University is located 50 kilometres south of Bulawayo in 
> Zimbabwe. Our Vision is, /to be a World-class Christian University by 
> 2010/. The vision is faced by huge challenges due to the poor economic 
> climate we are operating in. One area we have to address to archive 
> our vision is the efficient use of Information and Communication 
> Technologies (ICT’s).
> In 2006 Solusi had less than 90 personal computers on campus. There 
> are was no campus wide network. We had independent dialup internet 
> connections that were not reliable. There were no servers for email or 
> websites. In short there were no sound ICT’s.
> Late 2006 began a revolution at Solusi. We got donors you where 
> willing to identify with our vision and wanted to help develop the ICT 
> area of the university. This resulted in the acquisition of 240 
> computers from Computer Aid International. These machines came without 
> any operating system software. We had to find a way around the huge 
> cost of Microsoft Windows operating system software. We began looking 
> for the free or open source alternatives and decided to use Ubuntu 
> 6.04 as our solution. In no time, we were able to have all 240 
> personal computers installed and running.
> We managed to acquire a Sun Microsystems FX2000 blade server at an 
> academic price. This server has 10 Gigabytes of Random Access Memory 
> (RAM), two 250 Gigabytes Hard Disk drives, and 4 Dual Core processors. 
> We installed free Debian Linux 4.0 operating system software on it as 
> the base operating software. The free VMware 1.05, server 
> virtualisation software was then installed on it. With this setup we 
> where able to install 7 Ubuntu 8.04 servers on it. These servers 
> included; a web server to host our 
> <> website and our intranet sites for campus 
> clubs, software based firewall Ipcop, an online registration system 
> called IUTUS made by AIIAS in the Philippines, among others. We use 
> Nagios to monitor these servers. Nessus is used as a vulnerability 
> checker for our network.
> We have installed a free email server [MTA] called qmail to run our 
> email service. This email server authenticates users from a Light 
> weight directory authentication protocol (LDAP) which is also open 
> source and free. All systems on our network use this directory to 
> authenticate users, we currently have over 6000 email accounts running 
> on the server. The web mail interface is Claros InTouch 2.2 interface. 
> We also use Open Exchange as the collaboration software. We added a 
> free open source Jabber chat server called Openfire, which our users 
> use to communicate with each other though online chat. Moodle manages 
> our elearning portal.
> We also setup a campus area network to join all these computers to a 
> 1Megabyte link we have to the internet. IPCOP, a free Linux based 
> firewall software was use to share, route and control access to the 
> internet. The 240 machines have Open Office and the alternative to 
> Microsoft Office. This works well for students who take courses in 
> Introduction to Computers, in which they were taught to use word 
> processing software, spread sheets and presentation software. Mozilla 
> Firefox is used as the free alternative to Internet Explorer.
> 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.
> As open source software develops we for see a strong if not better 
> alternative to the proprietary software in the operating system 
> software area.
> -- 
> Regards,
> -------------------
> Thembinkosi Moyo
> ICT Manager
> Solusi University
> <>
> Direct Line: +263 9 887733
> Cell + 263 11 633 962
> =>You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether 
> what you're doing is work or play.*Warren Beatty 
> <>*
> -- 
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