The University of York in the UK has extended its use of Dell Wyse vWorkspace desktop virtualisation software in order to meet its diverse application deployment requirements.
With around 25,000 students, the university employs more than 3,700 people and has more than 220 buildings.
The university is now using application and desktop virtualisation in order to address requirements for specialist applications while migrating its desktop estate from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Previously, the university’s Estate Services team were reliant on a facilities management software suite based on Windows XP. Though a plan was in place to make the transition to mobile devices for this type of work, the Windows XP end-of-life came before the change could be made.
This meant the IT team had to chose between leaving some staff on Windows XP and potentially exposing them to management and security issues, or using Dell Wyse vWorkspace to virtualise the environment.
The decision was taken to use the vWorkspace technology, and the IT team benefited from extra ‘breathing space’ when planning and executing the migration to mobile without compromising their Windows 7 client migration plan.
“A virtual desktop infrastructure was a way of extending the lifecycle of legacy applications, but in a secure way,” said Pritpal Rehal, Desktop and Printing Services, University of York. “We are moving away from Windows XP, but there are applications that control the business practices of the university that do require it. Ultimately, we were looking to improve the experience for students and staff at the university. We know that technology is moving to the cloud and on to mobile, and we’re very aware of how the desktop might evolve over the next few years. We knew that Wyse vWorkspace was feature rich with lots of built in tools.”
Specialist academic application issues also had to be addressed. For example, the university’s Department of Archaeology uses industry standard software for archaeological geophysics, which is essential to their work. However, this software was upgraded infrequently and the current software was not Windows 7 compliant.
Wyse vWorkspace was used to deliver this application virtually, and enable student access across different platforms and at times that suited their needs.
Thanks to Dell’s Wyse vWorkspace technology, the University of York’s IT team now has a flexible tool that enables them to address application challenges as and when they arise. The integrity of its physical desktop estate is also maintained, and application management is now an easier process.
“Dell has worked extremely closely with the University of York on this project,” said David Angwin, marketing director, Dell Cloud Client Computing. “As a customer who was part of our beta testing for Wyse vWorkspace, we were able to make significant enhancements following the team’s feedback. Education is a key sector for Dell and we are looking forward to helping the university tackle future challenges with Dell technology.”
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