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Universities of 5,000 - 10,000 students

How can we leverage BYOD? This question is at the forefront for organizations of all sizes. Even more so for universities and higher education institutions with anywhere up to 10,000 students, where the addition of dedicated computer labs just doesn't make fiscal sense.

AppsAnywhere easily enables BYOD use which helps medium-sized organizations expand their computing landscape without a huge expense.

How AppsAnywhere helps universities with between 5,000 and 10,000 students

The challenges of application delivery for universities with 5,000 - 10,000 students

Medium-sized universities providing for anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 full-time students are frequently subject to the fact that application delivery has something of a lack of mid-market solutions. The options that have been traditionally open to universities and colleges of this size are as follows:

  • To deliver exclusively through desktop virtualization which, despite its efficacy, is the single most expensive solution. VDI is often cost-prohibitive for higher education institutions of this size with many solutions being designed with enterprise in mind.
  • A mixture of VDI and other, more traditional methods such as imaging. Whilst this can help to drive the costs of VDI down by limiting the number of licenses used and imaging physical machines (usually departmentally), both VDI and imaging require a significant amount of work and specialized staff to deploy, run, maintain and upgrade smoothly and consistently. The costs of the staff resources required by this are likely to negate any savings made by limiting a university's use of VDI. Licensing can also be tricky if this route to application delivery is selected
  • The third option is to rely entirely upon more affordable solutions, such as imaging. The problem with this is the work required to manage all aspects of the imaging process. From deployment to upgrade, entire images must be rebuilt and every machine reimaged for even the most minute of changes. This creates a bottleneck of work for IT pre-semester, limits the projects they can undertake and makes mid-semester changes to software availability next to impossible during term time. Furthermore, implementing new patches is hugely difficult and multiple versions of the same title can not effectively be supported.

At this size and number of students, labs can start to become a problem. Providing reliable software access and support for increasing numbers of physical managed machines begins to exponentially affect the time and resources required. The more apps there are coupled with higher numbers of students results in more labs and physical machines needed to properly serve a student base the software they need. To solve this, universities may be looking to leverage BYOD and the non-managed hardware of their end-users. This has the added benefit of empowering HE institutions to convert labs to open access areas or virtual workspaces, affording their students more versatility and options for completing work. Whilst VDI provides a solution to this, it is a costly one. 

How AppsAnywhere helps universities with between 5,000 and 10,000 students

The benefits and solutions of AppsAnywhere for medium-sized universities

AppsAnywhere allows higher education institutions with between 5,000 and 10,000 students to make conservative use of VDI by providing the ability to split delivery between desktop virtualization, application virtualization and other technologies based upon whichever is the most contextually relevant. This allows for the lowest number of VDI licenses possible to be occupied at any one time. AppsAnywhere achieves this in two ways:

  • By providing access to an alternative virtualization technology (application virtualization) that requires less time, expertise and human-power to run, as well as being generally less expensive
  • By providing a smart management system that allows for automated revalidation and reallocation of VDI and general software licenses

Using desktop virtualization alongside other technologies not only reduces VDI expenditure by lowering the required number of licenses. With the correct setup and weighting of technologies, it is possible to vastly shrink the staff and time overhead necessary to deliver all software as well as circumventing the difficulties posed by imaging with regards to mid-semester upgrade/patching/maintenance. For example, AppsAnywhere used alongside Numecent's Cloudpaging to virtualize and deliver most Windows apps to Windows devices results in the virtualization of only the specific software title requested by a user, rather than a full desktop. In combination with using a small number of basic images to deliver the most commonly used apps (such as Microsoft Office 365, PDF readers, internet browsers) and the only utilizing VDI for cross-platform or BYOD delivery, the costs of 100% consistent delivery drops greatly whilst the possible delivery scenarios and app performance is improved greatly.

Case studies: universities with 5,000 - 10,000 students

Making software apps more accessible for students at Georgian College

Making software apps more accessible for students at Georgian College

Georgian College was seeking a method of dealing with continually increasing software package requests from faculty and of making technology more seamlessly accessible to students, especially given Ontario's winter weather and resulting campus closures. They found this in AppsAnywhere, keep watching to learn more!