Eduard Ricou, head of IT infrastructure at La Salle Campus Barcelona - Ramon Llull University
"UDS Enterprise allowed us to increase security, offer easy and unified access for students and manage multiple access and authentication protocols from a single platform"
• Name: La Salle Campus Barcelona – Universitat Ramon LLull
• Sector: Education
• Number of students: 4,313
• Number of professors: 1,178
• Doctors: 58
• Administrative and Service Personnel (PAS): 173
• Location: Barcelona
La Salle is an institution with more than 300 years of history and with a wide international presence. It is represented in 82 countries, 73 Universities, and Business Schools and has more than one million students. Specifically, the Higher Center for University Studies, also known as Universitat Ramón Llull, is specialized in training programs in engineering, animation and multimedia, architecture and business management.
Like so many universities and other educational centers, the La Salle campus in Barcelona has recently had to face the challenge of e-learning due to the security measures imposed by the pandemic. From March to June 2020, they began to test different solutions that would allow, on the one hand, access to their students to the laboratory computers from their homes, and on the other, to the university staff use their work devices remotely. After that trial period they decided on UDS Enterprise due to its flexibility and adaptability, which allows to simultaneously enable different connection protocols, virtualization platforms and authentication systems.
As the center had animation, VFX, and digital art studios, they needed a connection broker compatible with Teradici PCoIP, which led them to be interested in everything that UDS Enterprise could offer them. “The Virtual Cable solution fitted us perfectly when using different connection protocols and services”, explains Eduard Ricou, head of ICT infrastructure at La Salle Campus Barcelona. The software's support for multiple technologies allowed them to choose the one that best suited their needs, eventually opting for Nvidia acceleration for Microsoft Remote Desktop.
The solution has made it possible to teach many practical classes at the university while there have been restrictions on access to the classrooms. Students have continued their educational activity without interruption by connecting to the physical PCs on campus. This academic year 2021-2022, they attend 100% of their classes in person. However, students and teachers continue to use UDS Enterprise in case of need. "Thanks to the integration of UDS Enterprise, we can continue to provide services to students and university staff in the event of blended attendance due to new lockdowns or positive contacts, thus maintaining security measures against the pandemic."
In addition, the university is considering other alternatives, such as providing remote access to physical devices during the weekends. Thus, students can progress with their lessons or internships, take advantage of the integration of UDS Enterprise with Moodle and even change the laboratory model for one based on virtual desktops as a service (DaaS).
ACCESS TO HIGH GRAPHIC DEMAND APPLICATIONS AND MUCH MORE
Thanks to UDS Enterprise, students have been able to connect remotely to campus computers throughout the pandemic, which has allowed them to use all the software they require with optimal performance, including graphics-intensive applications. For their part, teachers, researchers, and administrative and service staff have been able to access their computers, where they already had their applications configured.
From the university, they are satisfied with the choice of the solution. "One of the main advantages of using this technology is, without a doubt, the agile management of access to campus equipment," comments Eduard Ricou. He also affirms that "the simplification of firewall rules, the increased security by having a single access point and the ability to configure various access protocols and authentication services for different needs are other virtues that the university's IT team appreciates about the solution."
EASY INSTALLATION AND QUALITY CUSTOMER SUPPORT
When talking about the deployment and the marketing model, Eduard Ricou explains that it is a simple process: "the ease of implementation of UDS Enterprise has not required us to ask for support during the deployment of the solution. The acquisition of the subscription has been agile and simple, as with previous projects managed with Axians, which has been the Virtual Cable partner in charge of this project."
After the implementation and the short learning period, the university had to contact the Virtual Cable support team to solve a minor issue and to request a redirection functionality to another web portal when accessing a pool. According to Eduard: "on both occasions the response from the support team and the UDS Enterprise developers themselves has been excellent and we cannot have any complaints, rather the opposite, only words of thanks."
Taking into account the outstanding user experience that all groups of workers and students have enjoyed during these months, the La Salle campus in Barcelona is considering moving from the exclusive use of remote desktops on physical computers to the deployment of virtual desktops both on-premise and in the cloud with UDS Enterprise. "The great advantage of UDS Enterprise in this field is the compatibility with various hypervisors and cloud platforms, but above all, one of the key points is that our users already know the platform and how it works so that a migration would be transparent to all of them."
Finally, Ricou highlights the suitability of UDS Enterprise for the educational Sector. "In a university, there are many scenarios, from access to a basic desktop with office automation tools through a web browser to workstation VDI solutions to carry out work with complex computational demands, with graphic acceleration and specific protocols. With UDS Enterprise, you can cover all these needs with a single platform."
REMOTE ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE
• Broker: UDS Enterprise
• Connection protocols: RDP and HTML5
• Authenticator: Integration with the Single-Sign-On SAML of the University
• Number of computers accessible remotely: 500
• OS of computers available remotely: Windows and macOS
• Access Devices: Any