The NC State VCL Team has been asked a number of times to estimate the
full cost to implement the VCL de novo. This is *very* hard to do for a
number of reasons. Two very important reasons: the exact size desired
or needed is seldom known; and the amount of existing infrastructure,
including hardware, software and people, is seldom specified or known.
We've put together the following list as guidance in the initial steps
of estimation - and this can serve as a starting point.
However, we suggest that an incremental approach is much better than
starting a large installation all at once. Starting with a chassis or
two of blades (or equivalent dozen or two of other servers) - the
experimentation and development of expertise and usage can proceed
smoothly at relatively low cost and low risk.
We'd appreciate additional comments and suggestions about aspects
which we may have left off this list or any other aspects.
Machine room space
Computers/servers (e.g. Blade Servers)
Sizing based on number of concurrent users and computational power
needed for applications - implications for space, cooling, ...
Storage - at least for VCL operation, maybe also user storage
Chassis/Racks to hold the compute and management nodes (blades or
Network Communications switches and routers to support scalable
Configuration of above - assigning IP addresses, perhaps MAC addresses, ...
Installation of VCL Open Source software package,
including all the subsidiary packages - Linux, pHp, Perl, Apache, ...
Licensing and installation of VMware
- or whatever virtualization software will be used (may be free - but
still requires effort)
Provisioning software (xCAT, other)
License manager software, if used, e.g. FLEXlm, Keyserver, ...
note: the app vendor may specify this
Configuration and maintenance, including patching, of this software
web page skin, ...,
authentication methods, ...
operation of the web server
License agreements for apps, could be existing campus agreements or
new licenses with vendors (many vendors require special licenses for
use in a cloud)
Making the images - this is not one of the big jobs
Supporting local users, training, faculty image creation, etc.
FAQs, help desk, mailing lists, etc.
Sharing resources/ supporting K-12
Working with the schools, could be other universities or K-12 areas
- training the teachers, the IT technical people, ...
Meeting school/district CIPA requirements
CIPA requirement training with teachers and technical people involved in