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Using AppsAnywhere with existing delivery technologies for scalable student BYOD

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Using AppsAnywhere with Current Computing Platforms: Downloadable guide

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Introduction

With a focus and dedication to the Higher Ed market, the AppsAnywhere solution from Software2 will enable your college or university to efficiently deliver any Windows software application to any computer platform, on-demand. This creates huge efficiencies and flexibilities for the delivery of software and will help future-proof your campus, even as user needs and computing technologies continue to evolve.

AppsAnywhere

Built for Higher Ed from the ground-up, AppsAnywhere helps universities, community colleges and other academic institutions deliver a better IT service to every student. Make all your academic software available in a consistent way and transform student outcomes.

AppsAnywhere is an app store-style platform that gives students access to all the software they need. It provides Higher Ed IT a way to virtualize and deliver all your software from one place to any device, including Windows, Mac and Chromebooks, while meeting key strategic IT initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Cloudpaging

Embedded within the AppsAnywhere solution is Numecent's Cloudpaging technology, which is the only practical way for universities to deliver 100% of Windows apps to any device, anywhere. This is important for university IT who often need to deploy heavyweight software such as ArcGIS, AutoCAD, SPSS and NVivo, to demanding students. And for users, the virtualized Cloudpaging apps look, act and feel as though they're locally installed, all delivered through AppsAnywhere without the hassle of installation and updates.

Separate the Apps from the Desktop

AppsAnywhere with Cloudpaging creates a new and unique way of delivering the same packaged software application to any Windows-based computing platform by separating the apps from the desktop. We create a virtual layer where the apps are delivered on-demand, but still run locally. This gives students a consistent experience and the IT team a central management plane for deployment and updates.

How AppsAnywhere delivers apps

Because the apps are separated from the desktop/image/OS, they can be independently managed and delivered to any computing platform.  The most common and popular are outlined below.


On-premise solutions

Campus Labs and Open Access Computers

Nearly 100% of all colleges and universities still offer campus lab computing spaces to their students.  This aids in teaching, lab work, etc. and is often considered a necessity.

Pros

Cons

Relatively inexpensive

Computers are not portable

Easy to manage with tools like SCCM, Kace, or InTune

Possible scheduling issues with teaching

Not dependent on constant Internet access

Cannot install every software title into a single image

AppsAnywhere can further enhance the campus lab experience by making every lab an open access computer “universal” where students can run any software title on-demand at their choosing.  For IT, the imaging process is greatly simplified by just deploying the OS, MS Office, and anti-virus.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

A good percentage of Higher Ed institutions have considered or tried VDI to try and solve some of the drawbacks of physical computer labs.  However, they likely discovered that those problems persisted and the complex VDI stack added overhead to the IT team and expense to the budget.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Expensive

Easy to manage and push desktop updates

Complex stack to manage

Easy to scale number of virtual desktops

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

 

Requires constant network connection

AppsAnywhere can help “fix” VDI by reducing the number of Gold images and desktop pools that need to be managed. Again, all virtual desktops can become “universal” creating a streamlined user experience.

App Remoting

Products offered by Citrix and Parallels RAS offer a somewhat more streamlined experience for users by presenting apps remotely instead of full desktops.  This eases the confusion that can arise from a desktop user accessing another desktop remotely, just to run software apps. Some of the challenges found with VDI solutions are still present, though.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Expensive

Publish apps not full desktops

Complex stack to manage

Easy to scale number of user sessions

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

 

Requires constant network connection

With our built-in Parallels RAS integration, AppsAnywhere can deliver a seamless app remoting experience to any device with the simple click of the Launch button from the AppsAnywhere app store.

Cloud Solutions

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) on Azure

WVD is Microsoft’s answer to default on-premise VDI solutions from VMware and Citrix. All infrastructure is cloud-hosted and Microsoft managed. The desktop images are true Windows 7/10 desktop OS, and for the first time in history, include a multi-session capability. This means fewer Azure VMs running to support your users.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Pay-as-you-go

Publish apps or full desktops

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

Easy to scale number of user sessions

Requires integration with on-premise services

 

Requires constant network connection

As with on-premise solutions, AppsAnywhere can help streamline the management and delivery of apps being served by WVD.  With the full WVD integration, AppsAnywhere users can simply launch their desired apps with a single click and be connected to a WVD session automatically*.

Azure Lab Services

An alternative to on-campus computing spaces, Azure Lab Services enables IT to easily set up and provide on-demand access to preconfigured virtual machines (VMs) to support your scenarios. Teach a class, train professionals, run a hackathon or a hands-on lab, and more. Simply define your needs and the service will roll the lab out to your audience.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Potentially expensive for large numbers of students

Dedicated compute instances for each user

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

Policy-based cost controls on scheduling and access

Requires constant network connection

AppsAnywhere runs great within Azure Lab Services and means that IT can focus on other strategic tasks. Users and students can simply login to their assigned VM and launch any of the apps available to them from the AppsAnywhere app store.

Amazon Workspaces

Like Azure Lab Services, Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision Windows desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to users across the globe. Amazon WorkSpaces helps you eliminate the complexity in managing hardware inventory, OS versions and patches, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which helps simplify your desktop delivery strategy. With Amazon WorkSpaces, your users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Dedicated 1:1 desktop assignments

Dedicated compute instances for each user

Potentially expensive for large numbers of students

Policy-based cost controls on scheduling and access

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

 

Requires constant network connection

Here again, AppsAnywhere runs great within Worksapces allowing IT teams to focus on other strategic tasks. Users and students can simply login to their assigned VM and launch any of the apps available to them from the AppsAnywhere app store.

Amazon AppStream

A cloud-hosted version of app remoting, Amazon’s product solves some of the challenges presented by on-premise solutions. By leveraging the computing and storage capacity of its cloud and introducing deployment automation, AppStream makes the overall day-to-day living with an app remoting solution just a bit easier. Nearly the entire stack is managed by AWS technicians leaving the customer IT team to manage just the master images and installation of software.

Pros

Cons

Access from any device

Potentially expensive for large numbers of students

Dedicated compute instances for each user

Cannot install every software title into a single Gold image

Policy and utilization-based autoscaling

Requires constant network connection

With a published AppStream desktop, AppsAnywhere users and students can simply launch any of the apps available to them.  In addition, IT administrators can connect published apps from AppStream directly to AppsAnywhere via SAML integration creating a single-click experience*.

BYOD Solutions

Windows Devices

One of the most prevalent trends on campuses around the world is bring-your-own-device or BYOD. While usually shunned by IT teams, we suggest embracing the free hardware that students are offering for use. Even if only 20% of students have a Windows compatible device with which to run software, that’s 20% capacity you don’t have to provide with one of the technologies listed above.

Pros

Cons

Free hardware

Unknown hardware specs

User optimized for productivity

Software licensing restrictions

Access anywhere

 

Using AppsAnywhere to deliver software apps on-demand to students’ own Windows devices is a win-win solution for everyone.

Non-Windows Devices

MacBooks, Chromebooks, iPads, etc.  The list goes on.  What is the best way to serve Windows Software to non-Windows devices?  There is no silver bullet solution and more than likely it will be one or several of the technologies listed above, based on use case.

Pros

Cons

Free hardware

Unknown hardware specs

User optimized for productivity

Software licensing restrictions

Access anywhere

Incompatible with Windows software

By leveraging the intelligence in AppsAnywhere, IT teams can choose which technology is best utilized for each users’ own use case and computing scenario.

Conclusion

As shown above, combining the AppsAnywhere solution with any or all available computing platforms means that IT teams will be able to take advantage of easy software delivery for any use case. Taking this distributed approach often means stretching budgets further, as it avoids being locked into a more expensive “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Software2 is constantly evolving the AppsAnywhere solution to include more features, more delivery options, and new ways to efficiently and effectively deliver software to any device, anywhere, any time.


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