Virtualization taking root on campus

The Wyse cloud PCs freed up Kempsey’s time, and allowed him to focus on bigger issues.

“Managing 20 Wyse cloud PCs takes the same amount of IT time as managing one traditional PC,” said Kempsey. “As we learn more about the functionality of Wyse devices, we’re taking just minutes to complete some administrative tasks that used to take hours. Once we set up the server, it took us six hours to take down the PCs, and about three hours to put all the Wyse cloud PCs in place—technicians plugged them in and walked away.”

SUNY Orange students and faculty report stronger performance and reliability with WSM, in addition to lower energy costs—and an immediate $400 savings for each PC replaced by a Wyse cloud PC.

“More and more universities are moving toward virtualization,” said O’Farrell. “We don’t think that every university will go completely virtual overnight, but we think cloud client computing can benefit every university in one way or another.”

Thinking creatively

The Ohio State University has been an avid user of VMware software since 2003 after Tim Smith, the university’s director of infrastructure and operations for the college of arts and sciences, decided to give it a whirl.

VMware vSphere server virtualization product virtualizes the server hardware, allowing for greater flexibility in server workload deployments.

Smith emphasized the large amount of time his staff saves with VMware virtualization. Typically, he said, it takes about two to three weeks to procure and provision a physical server. In contrast, it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to set up one through VMware.

“It eases the management,” Smith said. “By using a virtual machine, we’re not in pressing buttons. You can add RAM to it, you can add more hardware to it if you need more, but it makes the infrastructure better.”