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University of Cadiz: thousands of Linux VDI users

Posted by UDS Enterprise Team |

Abelardo Belaustegui, Computing Systems and Central Infrastructures Coordinator, University of Cádiz: “VDI is a revolutionary concept and UDS Enterprise provides drastic simplicity and resources savings”.

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  • Client Name: University of Cadiz

  • Sector: Education

  • Location: Spain

  • Students: 20.095

  • Teachers: 1.828

  • Administrative Staff: 680

The University of Cádiz (UCA) has typically been one of the pioneering institutions regarding virtualization technologies adoption in Spain. After virtualizing their servers, in 2007 they started testing desktop virtualization and experiencing the advantages of this technology.

The first approach with a small-scale VDI environment soon derived into the need to “steadily deploy more than one thousand workspaces and, after analyzing different solutions, we decided on UDS Enterprise since it is the one that best fits the University’s needs”, explains Abelardo Belaustegui, Computing Systems and Central Infrastructures Coordinator of UCA.

The administration interface, the integration with any hypervisor, the virtual desktops lifecycle management… were strong advantages for the University IT Department”, says Belaustegui, who highlights “the compatibility with OpenLDAP authentication system”, a standard for universities, as another software’s key aspect.

UDS Enterprise broker flexibility allows them to deploy a robust and scalable VDI platform with the components chosen by IT team, in this case one of the leader hypervisors in the market, VMware vSphere, and one of the most popular connection protocols, RDP.

Since they started using desktop virtualization, teaching staff and students experienced huge benefits. “Teachers setup quickly and effectively the resources they need for their lessons and students can use a wide variety of programs which are always updated”, the Coordinator points out.

Currently, virtual desktops are only used in classrooms. Around 21.000 students in the four campuses that make up the University of Cadiz access customized Linux desktops usually using the thin clients in the classrooms. Since this service can be accessed through URL, the user can also choose his favourite device to access.

VDI beyond classrooms

Nowadays, UCA can’t do without this technology, as it has become an “essential tool for teaching”, tells Belaustegui, and due to its “great ROI, we’d like to take a step further and use it to deploy remote applications and for the daily work of administrative staff”, says.

The IT Department also benefits from the deployment of this technology, since, as the Coordinator explains, “the software setup process in classrooms has substantially been speeded up and we don’t need to perform updates, so less effort by a more specialized staff is now required”.

After years of experience with this technology, UCA is sure: “VDI is a revolutionary concept and UDS Enterprise provides drastic simplicity and resources savings”, and for Belaustegui, it is “the greatest added value”.

Regarding the relationship between the University and VirtualCable, the company that develops and supports UDS Enterprise, he describes it as “a company that listens and gets involved with customers, letting us to take part in the product roadmap and fixing the few issues which show up really quickly”.

VDI INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Broker: UDS Enterprise

  • Hypervisor: VMware vSphere

  • Connection protocol: RDP

  • Authenticator: OpenLDAP

  • VDI OS: Linux

  • Servers: 15 HP Blade G8 2,6 Ghz, 8 cores biprocessor & 256GB RAM

  • Storage: 1 3PAR array with 900GB SAS disks and 10.000 r.p.m. The incorporation of SSD disks to perform tiering tasks is shortly expected



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