I remember back in my days at Purdue University as a Computer Technology student. I took multiple classes that had a lab day and you were required to complete the lab on that given day. And beyond those lab days, your weekly projects or final project may have been based on completing some sort of application that required specific software…that is available only in a specific lab. Time after time I can remember getting in my car from my apartment, driving to campus and parking as close as I could to the building with that lab. Getting into that lab and then realizing that all of the machines were taken because there were 100 students in the course but only 20 machines in the lab.
This wasn’t just tied to my major either. You look at just the general computer labs across the entire campus. When there are students who are just looking to get on to check their email or to watch YouTube videos of the latest viral video, it creates a waiting game for everyone else. Schools will never create enough computer labs to get rid of that waiting game, it would be far too expensive from a real estate standpoint and capital purchase of all of the equipment.
However, what can and should be done, is expand those existing computer labs by adding on a desktops as a service. Let’s go back to my lab scenario. You have a lab of 20 machines that has specific software on it for Computer Technology students to utilize. Only Computer Technology students can even login to these machines. But there are 100+ students in the class that might use this lab and even more students in the overall program who could be using the lab for other classes.
Multiply the size of that lab by 5. Create a VDI of 80 more machines. These machines become a first come, first serve for students to login from their dorm, apartment, or hometown over the holidays. They can login from their PC, their Mac, any laptop, tablet, or even cell phone. Not only is this making the student experience so much better, but it can save so many headaches for the school as well. They no longer have to worry about supporting the physical hardware, easily update a mass amounts of machines with software updates and upgrades with a base template image, and they could even decide to get rid of the physical lab altogether and repurpose the room for something else and allow that poor little lab assistant to work from their dorm room as well.
While VDI solves many issues for the higher education space, it doesn’t stop there. Many primary and secondary schools could benefit from the same technology, especially those with initiatives for implementing 1-to-1 computing for their students. Are you involved in the education space and looking at ways to enhance your students’ education? Contact us at [email protected] for details on our education-based VDI and how it fits into your school’s E-Rate discount.