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Remote access for 10,000 students in record time with UDS

Posted by UDS Enterprise Team |

Manuel de la Villa Cordero, IT and Communications Manager:

“UDS Enterprise ensures a secure connection, encrypting all the information that travels from the student's device to the physical computer located at the University"

University of Huelva

  • Name: University of Huelva

  • Sector: Education

  • Number of students: 10,000

  • Teachers: 910

  • Professors: 100

  • Services and Administrative Staff: 460

  • Campus and location: Spain - Rectorship and 2 campus at Huelva (El Carmen, La Merced) and 1 campus at La Rábida (Palos de la Frontera)


As soon as the state of alarm began due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the IT team of the University of Huelva detected that a large number of its students had technical difficulties to follow from home the practices that they usually carried out in the computer classrooms. “We encountered the problem that in many cases it was impossible for students to install the software used for practical learning on their personal computers, either because it was licensed software for laboratory use or because it had very demanding hardware requirements,” explains Manuel de la Villa Cordero, IT and Communications Manager at the University of Huelva.

After analyzing the different options, they realized that the most agile and efficient way to solve this situation was by providing remote access to the equipment located in the computer labs with UDS Enterprise and OpenGnsys

“We used OpenGnsys to manage the deployment of operating systems in our laboratories, since the University of Huelva is part of the development team of this project. And we knew that other universities facing the same handicaps had successfully trusted UDS Enterprise,” says de la Villa.

With the support of Quer System, UDS Enterprise Gold Partner, in less than three weeks they launched the RemotePC, service, which allows students and teachers to access campus computers from anywhere and with any device, no matter how basic it is. "We have received very positive feedback from our teachers, they are satisfied because students with limited resources or even international students attending very specific master's degrees have been able to follow practical lessons from their countries," tells the CTO.

The combination of UDS Enterprise and OpenGnsys optimizes the use of their fleet of lab computers, providing service even when the classrooms are closed. It also helps them ensure an efficient use of energy, as computers turn on when users request access and shut down when they log out. In addition, this functionality reduces the impact on the hardware since they remain on only while in use.

Security is another of the great advantages brought by the integration of these two solutions. "It allows a secure connection to be established, under the full control of the IT team, through a tunnel that encrypts all the information that travels from the student's or professor's device to the physical computer at the university," clarifies de la Villa.


VDI FOR REMOTE WORKING AND STUDENTS

During the lockdown period, the University of Huelva enabled for remote access with UDS Enterprise and OpenGnsys about 100 computers located in the classrooms of the Higher Technical School of Engineering. This service will be maintained during this 2020/2021 academic year. According to the demand, it is being expanded to other buildings and more machines are being made available to students and teachers to be remotely accesible.

For the implementation of the project, they had the professional assistance of Quer System and UDS Enterprise technical experts. "The support of both teams was very relevant," indicates the Head of IT.

After a few months using the software, de la Villa highlights that it is “a truly flexible solution, easily scalable and cost-effective. It is behaving in a very stable way.”

Once they have verified the advantages of having a remote access environment for physical devices with UDS Enterprise, the IT team wants to explore and take advantage of other functionalities of the software. “We would like to start providing virtual desktops to our students and our administration and services staff. In this way, we would facilitate remote working for our colleagues and the management and administration of the workstations would be simplified,” concludes de la Villa.

The versatility of UDS Enterprise makes it possible to centrally deploy and manage from a single console VDI and application virtualization platforms, together with infrastructures for remote access to physical computers.


REMOTE ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Broker: UDS Enterprise

  • Physical machines' manager: OpenGnsys

  • Connection protocols: RDP and HTML5

  • Authenticator: SAML

  • Physical PCs OS: Windows

  • Number of classrooms: 6

  • Number of computers per classroom: 25



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