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Posted on by Phil Spitze in Application Virtualization

Send Ghost to the grave: problems and alternatives to imaging using Ghost

If you’re in the IT department at a college or university you’ve been here before: Summers from Hell. The annual process to refresh lab spaces with a new, updated computer image that takes months to build and deploy.

As budgets continue to contract and strategic project lists grow, how many more summers will your team be able to commit to this arduous and sometimes wasteful task?

What's the problem and can automation help?

Deployment management systems such as SCCM or KACE can help with the lab refresh task, but they’re not without their own challenges. Often a system like this requires the attention of a dedicated system admin, thereby pulling an FTE from other projects. However, for plain vanilla images where just the OS is being deployed (and maybe a few other small apps) a deployment management system might be the way to go.

Through centralized management and reporting, an admin may be able to re-image 80-90% of their fleet. Automated and sometimes intelligent driver injection, failed task retries, and error reporting can help bring the imaging process to a close in short order. Unfortunately, deploying just the OS is only the first step in the traditional campus image.

Frequently hundreds more apps need to follow, or be included in the original image, which then grows in size and can put a strain on network services. If your team is not using automation, then you’ll likely require a large contingent of staff to deploy via sneaker net.

A Better Way

With cutting-edge software virtualization technologies becoming more mainstream (it’s not just App-V and ThinApp anymore!), colleges and universities can move from the old ‘Just-in-Case’ model of software delivery to a more modern ‘Just-in-Time’ approach to application deployment.

The Just-in-Case model of building images with every conceivable software title is simply no longer needed. This strategy is also wasting valuable resources and having a negative impact on the student experience. Moving to a Just-in-Time approach frees up your expensive admins, makes the student experience awesome, and puts an end to summers from hell.

And for IT directors and CIOs, it helps the department realize and achieve some of the greater strategic projects, like BYOD for example.

Any app, any device, anywhere, anytime

AppsAnywhere delivers Just-in-Time software deployment by leveraging leading technologies such as Cloudpaging, and the extremely popular app store. By combining AppsAnywhere with automation platforms like SCCM, your team can refresh the entire campus fleet in just days. This leaves the rest of the summer for strategic projects such as cloud computing, or the fulfillment of well-deserved time off with family and friends.

Try it now

The list of features and benefits goes on, but it’s best to see it in action! Head over to the AppsAnywhere trial at try.software2.com today.

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