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360-degree virtualization

Sheila Lam | Oct. 25, 2011
Windows 7 migration and mobility are driving uptake towards client virtualization

In addition, requirements for network performance and bandwidth also surge significantly with the increased traffic over the network. Chan noted the availability of 10Mbps bandwidth in Macau since 2009 and the affordable upgrade of the campus network are the prerequisites for MPI's client virtualization initiative.

From baby steps to mass deployment

Despite all the complications and challenges, Wong from Citrix noted enterprises that deployed client virtualization have been enjoying the efficiency and flexibility brought to the organization. He added the critical success factor is to develop a clear road map and take baby steps to start with small scale deployment.

Raths from Swiss Re agreed no more. The company has slowed down and made changes from its original plan in client virtualization. Initially the project was to support its India outsourcing partner. But with the complications, technology is now brought internally to support its global staff to work from home.

As a trial, major apps are currently available for users to access from their own device at home through VDI technology. Raths added having the client virtualization first deployed for internal staff as an additional service has brought great advantage.

"Making this available as an additional service has its beauty," he said. "Users are more accommodating to the initial problems and challenges. It also buys more time for the team to learn and deal with different complications and errors."

VDI gives HKUST anytime anywhere access

HKUST has rolled out virtual desktop infrastructure to solve PC resource shortage and give staff and students greater flexibility in study and work By Chee-Sing Chan

According to Lawrence Law, director of the Information Technology Service Centre, HK University of Science & Technology, there were three key challenges that led the University to deploying virtual desktop technology.

One was the need to improve online collaboration and connectivity for students as they worked on projects. Secondly, to find ways to give students more access to PCs when there were only 300 PCs to share among 7,000 undergraduate students. And thirdly the change in education system to the new "3-3-4" scheme would mean more students coming to university and further adding to the shortage of computer facilities.

"Obviously we couldn't just add more PCs and in any case space was not available," said Law. "So with the launch of Windows 7 and remote computing functions we looked to create virtual desktops that could be deployed on almost any PC with a browser with access to key university applications," Law added.

Virtual Windows

As most computers in HKUST are Windows-based, the university chose Windows Server 2008 R2 to deploy virtual desktops so that students, with Windows 7 installed in their notebook or netbook computers, can use a remote desktop function to access the resources stored in computer laboratories. To test the model and understand students' usage and needs of remote-desktop, HKUST launched a pilot project in December 2009.

 

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