We have deployed SU for Schools on Ubuntu Linux 14.04 using the Linux Terminal Server (LTSP) Edubuntu package. SU is accessed using Google Chrome.
We experience performance issues in the form of intermittent “freezing” where the interface becomes unresponsive for short periods (then processes all the accumulated mouse clicks) and jerky rendering, particularly when orbiting models.
Initially Google was configured to run the on the server (HP high-end server 16-core CPU, lots of RAM, Disk etc). Monitoring of both the server and Internet showed little impact with up to 15 students working concurrently (server cpu topped out at max 30%, no swapping, Internet usage minimal).
Next we tried re-configuring to have Google Chrome run on the client computers so WebGL could take advantage of the local GPU. Standard desktop is a Dell Optiplex with dual-core CPU, 2Gb RAM and Radeon HD2400 Pro GPU. Monitoring again showed little CPU impact (intermittently topped out at 70% for very brief moments, no swapping and again no impact on Internet).
Freezing and jerkiness continued with a general observation that performance on the desktops was slightly less then the server (possibly because of combined server CPU grunt).
The models being worked by the students are fairly simple design for a small wooden serving tray with handles, so not a lot of elements.
System monitoring seems to show that the hardware is not bounding anything, but we are not sure what other resources SU and/or WebGL needs to run well.
We are looking on advice/experiences/guidance from the community on what we can do to improve the performance.
Andrew Foote for Newcastle Waldorf School