Massimo Vignone, System and Network Administrator at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
"Compared to other more expensive and complex solutions, UDS Enterprise is really easy to install, configure and use. We had our VDI infrastructure up and running with great agility"
• Name: University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
• Sector: Education
• Number of students: 27,482
• Number of teachers, professors, and PhDs: 1,363
• Administration and services staff: 639
• Number of school, faculties and location: 12 in Modena and 3 in Reggio Emilia
The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) is an Italian public institution that operates in the Emilia Romagna region. UNIMORE comprises two faculties, Reggio Emilia, created in 1998, and Modena, born in 1175. The latter is the oldest University in Italy, after Bologna, and one of the oldest globally.
Even entities with so much history need to bet on technological transformation today not to be left behind. That is why, after a few years of using a VDI infrastructure with various limitations and drawbacks, the University decided to trust UDS Enterprise. As Massimo Vignone, System and Network Administrator at UNIMORE, explains, "in 2020, with the adoption of a new hyper-converged virtualization infrastructure, we analyzed the market to compare all solutions that simply worked out of the box with our Nutanix AOS virtual environment. We evaluated UDS Enterprise and verified that it perfectly fits our needs". In this way, they decided that UDS Enterprise was the perfect desktop virtualization solution. "Our goals with VDI technology are to simplify client manageability and improve mobility and remote working experience. UDS Enterprise meets these characteristics and fully adapts to the rest of the solutions that we had implemented and that we wanted to continue using".
Thanks to UDS Enterprise, more than 27,000 students, along with more than 2,000 teachers and administration and services staff, can enjoy access to all their study and work tools 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere and device. "Students use Windows and Linux virtual desktops with UDS Enterprise to access virtual labs, scientific software, CAD, modeling, mathematics or finance applications, among others." The solution's performance, even with graphics-intensive applications, is optimal. Users do not perceive any difference when using the specific software they need from low-power devices. They use terminals of any range to carry out their practices when and where they decide.
Thanks to UDS Enterprise's configuration options based on templates, the IT team personalizes the virtual desktops to the maximum for each user. Depending on the studies and subjects they are taking, they find only the programs and applications they need with settings that ensure the best performance when entering their virtual desktop.
IT specialists have configured the workstations for university staff in the same way, with the difference that, in this case, thanks to the versatility of UDS Enterprise, they have decided to combine the advantages of desktop and application virtualization. "For this type of profile, which needs to access administrative data and use productivity software, it is more efficient to offer a mixed VDI and vApp solution. It allows us tosave resources and offer users easier and more unified access**," explains Massimo.
In these post-pandemic times, UDS Enterprise's VDI technology has been crucial for the proper development of remote and hybrid learning. Anyone who wants to advance with their studies but cannot travel to the university center's facilities only needs one device to work with all the files and applications they need. "The main advantage is the possibility of using one's virtual desktop or even licensed software anywhere, simply by entering a URL in a web browser, regardless of the device used." In addition, it has resulted in a reduction in costs in the acquisition of new equipment and greater adaptability in the event of failures in the University's computers.
UDS Enterprise has also helped simplify the work of IT staff. "For the entire UNIMORE IT team, it has been a relief to have a solution like UDS Enterprise. We have greatly reduced the complexity of implementing new services," explains Vignone.
This group of specialists has praised the benefits of UDS Enterprise: "Compared to other more expensive and complex solutions, it is effortless to install, configure and use. We were able to get it up and running very quickly. Its ability to work with a wide variety of virtual environments simultaneously, in addition to its profitability, should be highlighted", explains Vignone. The IT team is also delighted with Virtual Cable's support service: "We have made several requests for assistance, and the response has always been speedy and efficient."
The Virtual Cable project at UNIMORE continues to evolve to drive the organization's modernization further. The Italian University plans to migrate a large number of staff unit PCs to its VDI infrastructure based on UDS Enterprise in the coming months.
Translation of UDS Enterprise into Italian thanks to its Open Source base
This particular case has had a very interesting peculiarity. After learning about the software and starting to carry out the required tests to see if it was the most suitable VDI solution to solve their problems, the IT team of this educational center raised the possibility of improving the translation into the mother tongue of their students..
The UDS Enterprise team immediately accepted the proposal and gave UNIMORE access to an Open Source tool. The open nature of UDS Enterprise facilitates the incorporation of new languages and the improvement of existing ones in a collaborative way.
"The possibility of implementing UDS Enterprise in our organization required a better translation of the user interface, so we considered collaborating to revise the Italian translation. Thanks to the efforts of our IT team and the comments of the users of the University who tested the functionalities of the software, we were able to finish improving it," says Massimo Vignone.
The team behind this VDI broker believes in the advantages of collaborative work and the exchange of knowledge to improve, customize the software and turn it into a solution tailored to each organization. So naturally, this philosophy applies to the software's translation. The software is already available in eleven languages: English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque.
• Broker: UDS Enterprise
• Hypervisor and hyper-convergence platform: Nutanix AHV
• Connection protocols: HTML5 and RDP
• Authenticator: SAML, OpenLDAP, Active Directory
• VDI OS: Windows and Linux
• Access Devices: Any