Going Back to School Means Going Virtual

I’ve been writing a lot lately about schools taking up cloud computing and virtual technology to save money, produce new efficiencies and boost services to students.  It’s remarkable to me how the pace of migration is picking up, and so I thought I’d add another note to the list of schools migrating.

Seems the University of North Texas Dallas — with some ambitious 10-year growth plans in mind (It wants to educate 30,000 students by then from the current 3,000) — has begun investing in the development of a data center to support a virtual desktop environment running Pano Logic gear.

Without getting into too much detail, the devices, which resemble small boxes, work like this: they connect peripheral devices operated by the user–such as the keyboard, mouse, display, and audio–to a virtualized Windows desktop that runs on a server in the school’s data center. A hypervisor hosts drivers and the operating system for those users, and that taps into the server’s memory, processors, and storage.

It costs the university about $1,000 each for new computers, and the school’s decision to move to virtual desktops has allowed IT there to redirect funds to bolster the data center. With the money it would have spent on desktops, the school deployed a storage area network and licensed 300 Pano Logic seats at $300 each for an equal number of virtual desktops.

One neat thing about the new setup that I read about is that the school will build digital kiosks running virtual desktops around campus and sees itself outfitting small collaboration rooms with the software and other hardware for team projects.

As I’ve said many times in this blog, virtualization and/or the cloud is a blessing for organizations, especially schools, looking to grow — yet save.  But you’ve got to have the right tool in place, such as 100% cloud-based monitoring of servers, to keep an eye on performance, track issues and then receive good information via notifications that will help you prevent disasters. Then you can pretty much guarantee better service to students and faculty and save money, too.