Health Care Provider Chooses Multi-station SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops


Homewood Health Centre wanted to provide computer access for patients in its library. Rather than going with costly Windows desktops, they were intrigued by the Multiplied SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Strategy. Using this strategy, they deployed 4-user Multiplied SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops and reduced their hardware, management and electricity costs.


Homewood Health Centre has delivered mental health and addiction treatment services in Canada for more than 120 years. During this time, Homewood Health Centre has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Canada Award of Excellence – Quality Award, Healthy Workplace Award and the Order of Excellence Award.

Committed to quality care and innovation, Homewood Health Centre wanted to deploy new desktops for patients in their mental health facility. The choices were to go with Windows desktops or to try SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell.

With the Desktop Multiplier for SLED 10, powered by Userful, Homewood Health Centre was able to set up 4-user SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops and maximize the funding provided by the Homewood Volunteer Association for the project.

The Challenge

“Our objective was to get the best possible value from the funding we received for new desktops in our library,” said Chris Giles, Network Analyst at Homewood Health Centre. “We were not convinced that purchasing new Windows computers was the best way to go.”

The Solution

“After a brief pilot, we concluded that Multiplied SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops deliver the compelling value we are looking for in terms of hardware, software, management and electricity cost savings,” continued Giles.

“We are running four user stations on each standard PC (Dual Core 3.2 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 2 dual-head ATI or NVIDIA video cards). We used Gconf to do some basic lock-down of the Linux desktops. We went with keyboards with integrated USB ports, so our patients can save data to USB memory sticks.”

“Performance is excellent — our users do not know they are sharing a single PC. The total cost of the desktop hardware and software for each four-user Linux desktop system ca me in at approximately $3,500.00 CDN. We saved over $2,000 per four-station group compared to single-user Windows desktops.”

The Results

“We highly recommend SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and the Linux Desktop Multiplier to other health care facilities that are looking to maximize their budget for desktop computers,” said Giles. “Users here are very happy with the new systems and the transition has been very smooth — and quite fun, in fact.”

“Omni and Userful’s technical support is excellent. They were there for us every step of the way. We’re now looking at deploying Multiplied SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops on each floor of our health care facility.”

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