Ubuntu (Linux) For Small Business
Computer systems cost money to maintain, sometimes much more than the cost of the computer itself.
Hardware failures, virus attacks, corrupt files are just some of the expensive maintenance events that can occur. Using Ubuntu, Mint or other flavours of Linux for business is well know to lower setup and licence costs and most importantly maintenance overhead such as virus and spyware attacks!
LTSP For Small Business
I have personally used the Linux Terminal Server Project for almost 10 years now. It is very cost effective (Free!) and has minimized maintenance costs for my entire network and added a powerful aspect to my computer network.
You start with a fairly powerful computer acting as a server, from a fast dual core pc to a 64 core true server by IBM or HP etc....
Depending on your workstation needs you can add terminals for each desktop you plan to use. I personally use six HP gt7725 terminals. They are fast and now only 5% of the original cost on Ebay. They are reliable and have no problem running compiz desktop effects over a network.
Terminals boot from the network or server and have no storage as a traditional desktop pc has, the users “Home” folder on the server is mounted at boot time as the terminal login “Home” so config files for apps like chrome, email desktop settings are all used as if you were using the server itself. When an application is executed from your desktop on a terminal it runs on the server and is displayed on the terminals display monitor, this way for example if your using 15 terminals and you update chrome all 15 terminals will be using the updated chrome the next time they use it. Very easy to maintain just one update rather than 15 individual computer desktop updates. The downside is if a major server failure occurs your entire network is down until it's repaired, safe guards can be taken to minimize major failures but this is more complex than this short simple introduction.
Using Tux Plot With LTSP
Connecting your cutters, plotters, cnc mills, engravers to your LTSP server allows all terminals to plot jobs as if the cutter devices are plugged into your local terminal and with usb webcams also plugged into the LTSP server you can monitor plot jobs from anywhere on your network on any terminal. Tux Plot is totally installed in an individual login's “Home” folder so each login that wishes to use Tux Plot must have it installed. This allows different Tux Plot versions and possible custom features and profiles for each user's Tux Plot.
LTSP and a shop with multiple cutting devices in use is a very efficient and cost effective way to produce a product with a lower overhead cost!
Setup and deployment help is available through Securetech if needed for a small fee.