The University of Glasgow has implemented Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), with the help of Scottish Azure expert partner, Servent. Staff and students can now work from any location.
When Covid-19 forced the university’s campus locations to be shut down, it needed to adjust its IT infrastructure accordingly.
The AVD solution gives the university the scale to deliver a modern desktop experience that supports tens of thousands of students and staff, up to a maximum of 78,000, at any location. It could also offer better experiences, as AVD is optimised for Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365, including Teams, and improved security, with proactive threat detection and remedial actions available as standard.
Cost and speed of delivery were also important factors for the university; scaling its on-premises, virtual desktop solution would have been very expensive, and the deployment and management of the AVD infrastructure can be quickly scaled up and down.
“Our expert engineering enables us to deploy AVD at enterprise-scale and without having to rely on third-party solutions,” said Des McGuire, founder and Azure solutions director at Servent. “With our proven delivery model and skills, we can deploy the largest of AVD environments to support you, no matter the size of your organisation.”
Servent also enabled the university to scale its use of AVD on demand, so that additional capacity could be made available within minutes and assisted with the management and policies of AVD. “This greatly simplifies the management of images and users as well as ensuring that user density, sizing, and policies were in place to support the service,” said McGuire.
The University of Glasgow’s partnership with Servent also reduced the cost of using AVD by leveraging the university’s entitlement to Microsoft 365 licensing. In addition, Servent ensured that virtual machines were appropriately right-sized, would be shut down when not in use and restarted to cater for the demand.
“AVD was always going to be a core part of our ongoing strategy, even before Covid-19,” said Peter Mitchell, head of end user computing at the University of Glasgow. “It’s a game-changer for us. We are now looking to expand the AVD service to support our ongoing expansion and growth globally.
“Thanks to the expertise of Servent we went from zero to having thousands of virtual desktops available in Azure over a few weeks.”
Servent are working on many enterprise-scale AVD customer projects and have been recognised as a leading AVD partner in the UK, by achieving the Microsoft AVD Advanced Specialisation, following a thorough audit by Microsoft.