An Apple a day keeps IT support away

The Isle of Man’s schools run on Apple, not Wintel, kit. Ian Yorston points to an intriguing article in today’s Times Educational Supplement about the Education Authority’s experience with their ICT infrastructure.

Graham Kinrade, school improvement adviser at the Isle of Man Department of Education, is responsible for technical issues across the island.

“To be honest our technical issues are limited. The hardware is very reliable and general failure rates are very low. The hardware failures I see are down to wear and tear. My personal view is that it’s down to good build quality and the tight integration of hardware and software. Each computer is robust and well designed for its purpose. We have a very high percentage of machines that have been in the field for 2 or 3 years and never had to be repaired by an engineer! This says it all. We never have compatibility issues with hardware and software.”

In total Graham is responsible for 3,900 client computers (desktop and laptop). As well as 115 servers, 40 networks, 300 wireless access points (Apple Base Stations) and numerous other pieces of equipment. This is all done with just two technicians.

Hmmm… I wonder how many IT Support people you’d need to keep an equivalent Windows infrastructure going?