Virtualization taking root on campus


“The bottom line is, it’s simple for IT professionals; they get the control they need to comply and update [machines], they save time and money by creating one or a few different golden masters of virtual machines—Windows 8 or XP—and push these out to some or all of the Macs without having to personally install each one,” Uppendahl said.

“You basically become OS agnostic. Students moving into the world have a much broader base and are much more adaptable. [Their] experience is so wide that it’s easier to adopt something new,” said Kurt Schmucker, senior product manager at Parallels.

Individual Desktop 8 for Mac users can invest in Parallels Mobile, a $5 application purchased through Apple iTunes that allows them to access the same Desktop 8 for Mac environment from an iPhone or iPad.

Less heat and energy, more savings

A few years ago, Pepperdine University recognized that its computers needed an update. The IT department was under tight budget restrictions, and ultimately decided to invest in NComputing’s L-series to address their problem.

“We set up 28 NComputing L-series with flat screens in the language lab connected to three dedicated PCs,” said Prakash Sharma, Pepperdine’s IT manager for graduate campus support. “NComputing’s performance is excellent, and we haven’t had any problems. We also mounted the L-series to the back of the new flat-screen monitors in the lab. That made a huge difference in available space for students’ books and papers.”

Pepperdine reported huge savings on hardware and energy.

“If we had outfitted the lab with PCs, the hardware costs [alone] would have been $24,800,” said Thomas Hoover, director of instructional technology support. “With NComputing, we did the entire deployment for just $7,100. That’s an incredible savings.”

Since most PC users use approximately 5% of a computer’s total power, NComputing’s L-series virtual desktop allow users to capitalize on a single computer’s unused space by dividing access to up to 30 other users. The outsourced virtual environments resemble the host computer, and users can access the same programs and applications.