Arantxa Manterola, Information Systems Coordinator at Mondragon Unibertsitatea:
“Thanks to UDS Enterprise, students can use licensed software with high graphic requirements using their own devices”
Name: Mondragon Unibertsitatea
Number of students: 5,444
Staff and scholarship students: 1,007
Campus and location: 8 campus at Guipúzcoa and Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain)
Mondragon Unibertsitatea (Mondragón University) had been looking for a desktop virtualization solution for more than ten years to provide greater flexibility to the students of the Faculty of Engineering. “We set ourselves the objective of avoiding that they had to go to computer rooms to use licensed software with high graphic requirements, difficult to install on any computer. We wanted to offer them the possibility of being able to use it with their own devices, at any time and from any location”, explains Arantxa Manterola, Information Systems Coordinator at Mondragon Unibertsitatea.
After trying different solutions without finding one that perfectly suited their requirements, in early 2020 they started a pilot with UDS Enterprise and Nutanix. “We knew UDS Enterprise from the good experiences of other educational centers. We decided to give it a try, and finally we found a VDI software that solved our technical needs while allowing us to economically justify the replacement of traditional PC classrooms with virtual desktops and applications,” says Manterola.
The implementation of desktop and application virtualization with UDS Enterprise has been a turning point for students and teachers. “Before, they had to reserve a computer room that had the software they wanted to use installed and go to that place in the faculty. Now they can access virtual desktops with optimized processing capacities for each specialty at any time and from anywhere, even from home”, comments the Systems Manager. Using their devices they get the same performance as with university computers, but enjoy complete freedom to study when and where it suits them best.
Teachers and students are not the only groups that are taking advantage of this technology. "At the management level, the work has been simplified a lot," indicates Manterola. The IT team executes all administration and maintenance tasks from a single console. Commissioning, software installation, updates... and, ultimately, all computer tasks are carried out centrally from the UDS Enterprise web interface. Among other benefits, they have also improved the cybersecurity of their data and systems.
They started the academic year by deploying 300 virtual desktops, 100 of them with graphics card. The optimal performance of the infrastructure is favoring their growth. “Every week, we are adding new desktops and applications to give more coverage to students. Both the feedback from users and the assessment of the IT team are very positive, hence we are extending the service,” points out the Systems Coordinator.
The great scalability capacity of the UDS Enterprise + Nutanix joint solution facilitates the expansion or reduction of the platform in a very dynamic and simple way according to the needs that are detected at all times. This flexibility will help them extend the service to other faculties in the future, an action they are already contemplating.
VDI RUNNING IN RECORD TIME
The agility when putting the hyperconverged VDI platform into operation with UDS Enterprise and Nutanix is one of the aspects that has surprised the IT team. “We mounted the pilot in a very few weeks, and lockdown just arrived. On a weekend, we set up the real environment to make the shift to online training and allow students to use all the applications from home. Upon meeting our expectations, we decided to implement the definitive infrastructure.”
The collaboration of the experts from Lanmedia Comunicaciones, UDS Enterprise Gold Partner, was key in the design and implementation of the solution. "They have proven to be very efficient professionals and have extensive knowledge of the software," assesses Arantxa Manterola.
With the arrival of the new normal UDS Enterprise has become "an indispensable tool for the University," says the IT Manager. With the adoption of VDI they have been able to establish eLearning and free up physical spaces to guarantee the safety distance between students. The versatility of this connection broker has allowed them to diversify their use and also use it to provide remote access to the computers in the IT classrooms, which are currently closed to prevent the mobility of students from one class to another. Thus, these devices have become available 24x7, even when the university is closed.
As an added value, the VDI project with UDS Enterprise is prepared to offer the option of working remotely to all staff. "We are planning to virtualize the administration and services positions so that they can use corporate applications from anywhere," says the IT Coordinator.
Manterola encourages other educational organizations to implement desktop and application virtualization with UDS Enterprise for three main reasons: "its deployment is very simple, its performance is very good, and the cost-benefit of the solution is truly balanced."
VDI and vApp INFRASTRUCTURE
Broker: UDS Enterprise
Hypervisor: Nutanix Acropolis (AHV)
Connection protocol: RDP
6 virtual desktops pools: 2vCPU – 7 Gb RAM – 70 Gb HDD
3 virtual apps servers: 16vCPU – 32 Gb RAM – 100 Gb HDD
VDI OS: Windows and Linux
VDI access OS: Windows, Linux and macOS X
Hyperconvergence platform: 3 Nutanix nodes
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