LTSP stands for the Linux Terminal Server Project. This is a selection of free, open-source software that runs on the free Linux operating system. LTSP runs on a central server and allows the use of inexpensive, and often older PCs, to be used as workstations. The workstations boot from and run software from the LTSP server. You don’t even need hard drives on the terminal machines, and they can be older systems, leveraging and extending the life of your previous hardware investment.
Small businesses often do not have the money to maintain the licensing costs of commercial software. For example, a modest network of 10 machines with a server using Microsoft operating systems can easily reach $10,000. Even the online cloud systems can cost $10k/yr. LTSP and open-source software can cost $0. This is significant savings for small businesses and non-profits.
I’ve got a couple development systems running LTSP that are used as a base for setting up actual installations. LTSP can run on older, inexpensive systems and doesn’t require too much processing power. It can serve out Linux or other OS (even Windows) and be centrally managed and controlled. It’s a great alternative! And now with Microsoft setting minimum license counts for some of their software, it is the only reasonably-priced alternative for small business.
I’d be happy to discuss your needs and see if LTSP will work for you. Contact me for more info.