Reduce VDI Costs
Most universities and colleges come to us looking for an alternative or replacement to VDI. Many of our customers have tried an expensive VDI solution or some sort of layering technique to deliver all of their apps to students and staff...
Virtual desktop infrastructure vendors often sell VDI as a solution to application deployment problems; positioning it as the silver bullet to the "any application, any device" dream. The reality is that VDI is meant for the desktop; it's not really designed to deliver apps, especially graphics-intensive software that's highly demanding.
Universities who've tried VDI or some form of desktop virtualization have found they had massive images and were constantly maintaining and feeding the VDI image monster, opening up an entirely new problem for many IT departments: 'VDI sprawl'. On top of that the costs involved with the required infrastructure are beyond the realms of possibility for many universities or college, and that's even with education pricing!
Pixel streaming is not the best way to deploy an app to your students. Fact.
How is VDI used in Higher Education?
VDI can sometimes be used at a university or college to:
- Provide a consistent desktop experience to all users
- Allow desktops to be spun out quickly to users, on-demand
- Offer greater flexibility of dedicated lab spaces
The benefits of application virtualization, either used alongside VDI or as an alternative to VDI, are similar to that of a physical desktop. If operating multiple images it allows you to scale this back, ideally to just one image. It then allows you to significantly reduce this image size, remove conflicts between apps and deliver apps on-demand, where and when they're needed.
The ironic part of the bullets above is that the same benefits could be listed for application virtualization. However, if you can deliver these benefits in VDI, over a traditional desktop, you can then considerably reduce your storage costs and other outgoings associated with VDI.
Using AppsAnywhere to scale back or replace VDI
A number of our customers use AppsAnywhere alongside VDI to get the benefits listed above, but what we always see is that once implemented, questions are asked as to why VDI is still required. AppsAnywhere is a great solution for use within a VDI, but there are even greater benefits outside of the VDI environment, where running apps locally will offer a far superior user experience with less reliance on expensive server farms or infrastructure.
Most VDI vendors recommend some form of application virtualization as the delivery mechanism within a VDI. That's because providing 100% of applications using the virtual desktop infrastructure isn't a realistic possibility, especially within a university environment where IT needs to deliver and support 100s of different types of applications, some hugely complex and some that are still written in DOS!
AppsAnywhere's 'application virtualization' solution enables the delivery of 100% of Windows apps, even those with dependencies or those requiring access to drivers, plugins, or old versions of Java for example. It does this with a minimal backend infrastructure, and harnesses the power of the end-user's device to run the software. That means that...
- For students: the software runs and performs as if installed
- For IT: no heavyweight server farm is needed and VDI images are reduced
AppsAnywhere can also be used in conjuction with any VDI or RDS solution, including VMware, Citrix and Parallels RAS. That means your university can deploy apps in a number of different ways, all through a consistent and beautiful portal, available to access on any device.
Read more: Supported application delivery methods >
Reducing VDI costs at Le Moyne College
Learn how Le Moyne College has reduced their VDI costs thanks to application virtualization, while improving their student experience and avoided the dreaded VDI image sprawl.Read more
Related reading on VDI...
VDI: One of the stand-out technologies of the decade. The promise? To deliver end user IT services wrapped inside a remote desktop window. It was everyone's dream, but was a promise that never delivered.
Phil Spitze, Senior System Administrator at Le Moyne College New York, talks about how they used Software2 to solve two major VDI challenges; Gold Image Bloat and VDI Pool Sprawl.
Like many other universities, Pitt State originally chose VDI as the best solution to deploy apps to students. After realizing that performance is patchy and costs are astronomical, the university sought another technology.