José Manuel Agudo, Assistant IT Manager at the University of Salamanca:
"UDS Enterprise has allowed us to make all the teaching tools available remotely to the university community, including licensed software and complex platforms"
Name: University of Salamanca
Number of students: 27,902
Number of teachers: 2,300
Professors, PhDs and research staff: 2,300
Administration and services staff: 1,210
Campus and location: 9 campus in Ávila, Béjar, Salamanca and Zamora (80 buldings)
The University of Salamanca (USAL) has maintained its great prestige intact throughout its more than 800 years of history. It is the oldest of the existing Hispanic universities and one of the first to be founded in Europe. The past experience, the connection with the present, and a look towards the future go hand in hand at this institution to provide teaching of the highest quality. Innovation and digital transformation are the main pillars on which it relies. Therefore, before the pandemic disrupted the teaching paradigm, they were already conducting a pilot of virtual desktops with UDS Enterprise.
“In 2019, we started testing VDI technology, which helped us to be quick to deploy and to make distance learning possible in a short time. Thanks to UDS Enterprise, we were able to ensure the availability of the practice classrooms remotely and thus guarantee non-face-to-face teaching from the beginning of the lockdown period. Likewise, services linked to administration and services personnel were incorporated, such as access to economic and academic management tools,” explains José Manuel Agudo Cuesta, Assistant IT Manager.
Since they began to use the software on a large scale and saw first-hand its benefits and utilities, the infrastructure with UDS Enterprise has not stopped growing. "The use has highly increased, it has been extended to all the computer rooms in the university. Now, around 2,000 computers in the classrooms are available for remote access when they are not occupied in person," says Agudo.
Regardless of the degree, students have at their disposal all the software they need by accessing the campus computers or personalized virtual desktops by the university's IT team.
Research staff have access through the same VDI and remote access solutions as students. In addition, together with administrative and services staff, they also use application virtualization to access internal applications or specific software.
With UDS Enterprise, they have found the formula that best meets the IT needs of each group of users the most efficiently and securely possible. "We have been able to make available to the university community all the tools for teaching activities remotely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including licensed software and complex platforms. Now, all learning materials can be used from any place and device," assures the Assistant IT Manager.
They continue to explore other possibilities offered by this connection broker to extend the availability of corporate resources and working platforms. Among them, they are considering "the use of persistent desktops and laboratories for administrative and services personnel and research groups."
TECHNICAL FLEXIBILITY AND EXPENSES CONTROL
The implementation of the platform with the support of Lanmedia Comunicaciones, UDS Enterprise Gold Partner, has not only helped them to adapt to the changes triggered by the current health situation. "Now we can provide IT services with great flexibility. UDS Enterprise gives us the freedom to choose the most suitable technology or combine several. This allows us, on the one hand, to control costs and, on the other, to evolve simply according to our needs," tells Agudo.
Integration with multiple technologies is one of the aspects most appreciated by USAL. "The valuation is excellent, we are delighted with the product, as well as with its evolution and adaptation to new technological needs," states the Assistant IT Manager. Agudo extends its satisfaction to the human team behind UDS Enterprise. "The support service is excellent, they are a highly qualified team that provides personalized and professional assistance."
The evaluation by the users is also unbeatable. “The feedback they have given us is very positive. The main comment was: How could we live without this!!. ”
The great experience of other universities encouraged them to try UDS Enterprise. “We decided on the good references with the adoption of their VDI technology. The operating model, the multi-platform and multi-vendor support to provide the services were also decisive. We wanted to avoid solutions that were too tied to a specific product or technology and with little versatility," Agudo points out.
After more than a year of using this software, it has become a fundamental and indispensable tool for the daily life of the entire educational community at the University of Salamanca.
VDI, vApp AND REMOTE ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE
Broker: UDS Enterprise
Windows and Linux VDI: 2 Proxmox clusters with 12 servers and around 3,2 TB RAM and 500 CPU cores
Virtualization of corporate applications with Microsoft RDS technologies
Remote access to physical machines: With OpenGnsys / remotePC – Access to 2,000 computers in 60 classrooms located in 80 buildings
Connection protocols: RDP and HTML5
Authenticator: SAML with the university's Single Sign-On (SSO) portal
Access OS: Any