Juan Carlos Hernández, Head of the ICT Service of the University of La Laguna:
"We wanted UDS Enterprise to be our VDI broker. It is a secure, tested solution which is supported by a company with a lot of experience".
Name: University of La Laguna
Number of students: 22,000
Teaching and research staff: 1,800
Administration and services staff: 500
Location: Main head office and 3 campuses in the city of La Laguna. Buildings in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and 2 remote locations; one on the island of La Palma and another in the south of Tenerife, Adeje. (Tenerife, Canary Islands. Spain)
The IT team at the University of La Laguna (ULL) had been evaluating the adoption of desktop virtualization as a solution to the immense workload of managing and maintaining around 2,000 computers spread over 60 classrooms in 23 buildings. With the pandemic outbreak, they had to become an online university overnight, and the implementation of a virtual desktop platform became a priority. With its startup, they succeeded in simplifying the management of their IT infrastructure and offer students the possibility of studying from anywhere.
“We had the advantage that we had already been testing, and we were clear that we wanted UDS Enterprise to govern the infrastructure. We trust this connection broker because it is a secure, tested solution which is implemented in other educational centers. It is developed by a very experienced company that provides personalized support. And it has been endorsed by the CRUE and RedIRIS VES project, which chose it as the best technical and economic VDI solution," comments Juan Carlos Hernández, Head of the ULL ICT Service.
On a technical level, UDS Enterprise also meets all its requirements. "The chosen software had to be capable of managing efficiently and deploying around 800 concurrent virtual desktops without causing startup problems. Since we didn't know if that number of machines would be enough, it had to support cloud deployment to scale the platform easily and quickly. Besides, it had to allow us to enable remote access to physical devices. There are computers in the classrooms with GPUs and licensed software and students of degrees such as Fine Arts or Nautical have to use them from their homes," Explains the Head of the ICT Service.
UDS Enterprise's compatibility with practically any third-party technology offered them complete freedom when choosing the rest of the components for their VDI infrastructure. The experts from Lanmedia Comunicaciones, UDS Enterprise Gold Partner, helped them to design, assemble, optimize and customize the solution. Following their recommendations, they selected hardware from Lenovo and hyper-converged software from Nutanix.
The intuitive usability of UDS Enterprise allowed them to involve the professors to ensure the success of the project. "The teachers installed the software in a persistent virtual machine, tested it, validated it, and parameterized it. Then the IT team made the template for a faculty. It was challenging that, having been optimized by a teacher, it would not work correctly," indicates Hernández.
In the first months of the course, the platform has been working at total capacity. "The monitoring of the service has helped us have the system under control and prevent issues. We have the peace of mind of knowing that the connection is secure, and we can keep the machines always effortlessly updated."
BENEFITS FOR ALL USERS
The implementation of VDI with UDS Enterprise has brought great benefits for all ULL users. And even for the organization itself, which has been able to execute a key line of its strategic digital transformation plan. It will also imply significant cost savings because they will no longer have to renew their computers. The IT manager also highlights the "improvement in cybersecurity, the increase in staff productivity, the reduction in the number of classrooms, and creating an online campus with 24x7 availability."
The students have gained comfort and flexibility. Now they can access the same academic resources and licenses as physically in college at any time, from anywhere and on any device. For teachers, these advantages are compounded by the personalization of the virtual desktops to adapt them to the needs of the degrees they teach and the option of carrying out the practices in person or remotely.
Regarding the ICT Service, "it makes management much easier for us. Through a web browser, we can centrally manage a complete infrastructure with the appropriate scalability and flexibility to be able to increase resources at any time and immediately," assures Hernández.
Finally, "administration and services personnel can now work remotely from any location. They use a virtual desktop that has the management tools they need and with all the security restrictions that ensure that data and computer systems are safe," concludes the Head of the ICT Service.
VDI & REMOTE ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE
Broker: UDS Enterprise
Connection protocols: RDP and HTML5
Authenticator: Active Directory
Nutanix hyper-converged platform:
5 Lenovo ThinkAgile nodes
7,7 Tb RAM
35 Tb SSD disks
VDI OS: Windows and Linux
Access OS: Any
Number of classrooms and computers remotely accessible: 60 classrooms with 2,000 computers
Number of users: Over 24,000