Virtualization taking root on campus


Dell Wyse WSM software lets students create individual profiles that contain only the content and programs they need. An engineering student can log onto a Dell Wyse PC, for instance, and programs that pertain only to his major appear. Later, a literature student can log onto the same Dell Wyse PC, and programs that relate to her major become available. What’s more, students get great performance, because there is no hard disk on the PC—and code is being executed locally on the Dell Wyse cloud PC.

“The main difference between WSM and other forms of virtualization that Dell Wyse also supports is [that] with WSM, … you get provided with the OS image and application mix on the end-point device itself,” said Dan O’Farrell, senior director of product marketing at Dell Wyse. “Windows 7 for example, plus whatever applications are good for the student.”

But as soon as a student logs off, everything is wiped clean.

“Different students from different departments can share the same desktop, and it acts like it belongs to them when they’re on it, but it can change,” he said.

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O’Farrell said he believes that WSM also helps schools embrace the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon.

Whether students are accessing their applications and content on their smart phones or tablets, content is protected because it’s centrally stored, he said. The actual desktop, applications, and folders safely reside in the local campus data center.