Brazil's schools go virtual

If you’re going to attempt the world’s largest deployment of virtual desktop PCs, Brazil is a good place for it. The country encompasses more than 3 million square miles with an extreme mix of urban and rural areas and the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the deforestation of which is seen as accelerating global warming.

Brazil’s Ministry of Education is tackling the country’s environmental and access challenges by deploying Userful and ThinNetworks’ virtualization solution to supply 356,800 virtualized desktops to schools in all of Brazil's 5,560 municipalities. In the first phase, 18,750 workstations were installed at rural schools and are working well, according to Userful.

The project also represents the world’s largest desktop Linux deployment. Because it makes use of PC-sharing hardware and software, it costs less than $50 per seat and saves on power use. It also cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions.

The Brazil deployment illustrates what makes virtualization attractive. The project will have the same impact on annual emissions as taking 28,000 cars off the road or planting 41,000 acres of trees, and it will significantly reduce waste from hardware, said Sean Rousseau, Userful's marketing manager.

A free two-user version of Userful Multiplier software for home use is available at

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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