Virtualized Desktops and Education

As the reliance on technology in our schools increases, operating budgets are rapidly being cut by legislators. Virtualization has been long in practice for reducing the footprint of servers in datacenters. School districts are now turning to desktop virtualization to further reduce IT spending and maintenance costs. Computers have become a requirement for education institutions and are the framework upon which most educational and administrative processes function. The presence of these machines have also presented several problems for IT staff and management. For example, the management of individual PC’s (updates,patches,etc) can be more than a full time job. As the number of machines grown in the organization so does the hours IT staff must spend managing those machines. Second, many educational organizations aim to provide a consistent technology experience to their students and staff no matter where they are located. This is often a challenge for educational institutions due to their need to support non school devices for remote access. Lastly, keeping these machines up to date can be very costly for school districts. Where Does Desktop Virtualization Come in? Virtualized desktops effectively separate a PC’s desktop environment from the physical machine that’s displaying and interacting with the environment. Most of the presentation and application logic reside on the server and is accessed by a end client machine often called a ‘thin’ client. The operating system, programs,applications,and data are being handled by a server on the back end. What Does this mean for Your Educational Institution? Virtualization will allow your institution to do more with their IT budget. First, management of devices and desktops are centralized significantly reducing IT personnel and consulting hours. Second, students and staff are able to efficiently and securely access their desktop from multiple devices giving them a consistent experience no matter where they are. Lastly, desktop virtualzation can result and huge cost savings for your organization. Desktop virtualization reduces the need to upgrade equipment frequently. Virtual desktop clients require less processing power which prolongs the useful life of machines in your environment. Virtual desktop hardware is also cheaper. Thin clients cost around 250 dollars while today’s desktops can run into the thousands. Lastly, virtualized desktops provide a highly scalable computing environment that is more efficient for IT staff and their users. Virtualized desktops are a more efficient way to utilize computing resources over longer periods of time. Consult with an IT consulting company in order to come up with the best virtualization solution. Links: Clientfit Virtualization Consulting Microsoft Case Study: School District Virtualizes App Environment, Simplifies Management