VDI Saved Warren County School District $1 Million

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Client Feature: Warren County School District

Warren County School District in Warren, Pennsylvania faced a serious IT challenge just a few years ago.  Warren’s 2,700 computers were aging, and causing serious functionality issues. “Computers were crashing, we were having network issues, and many didn’t provide the correct environment for learning anymore,” recalls Brian Collopy, Warren County School District Coordinator of Technology and Information Management.  “Many of the computers were ranging in age of 7 to 10 years old.

Collopy and his IT staff were facing a difficult challenge.  The Warren County School District budget devoted between $300,000 and $500,000 to upgrading computers each year.  The budget was not the only restricting factor.  The sheer time it would take to install new machines would take up a tremendous amount of time.  “When we look at rolling out 700 new PCs, it would have taken all summer for that kind of deployment,” Collopy said. “We would have to do everything from unboxing to recording media access control addresses to imaging and software installation. That could mean two full working days per computer lab.”

That’s when Collopy turned to Applications2U for the solution—Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, better known as VDI.  VDI is a solution that hosts a user desktop environment on a remote server, allowing access to these desktops over a network.  In a VDI environment, the same up-to-date operating system experience and the same programs and software are available on any machine in the whole school or school district.  “Rather than having to work on solving problems and installing programs on individual machines, the computing experience and program installation can be managed from a few seats in one centralized location,” Collopy said.  Because the programs and processing all take place on the server rather than on the individual PC, the age of the device is no longer a factor in speed and performance.

“Using VDI meant we could continue to make use of our existing [computers] for much longer,” Collopy said.  “We saved $1 million over 3 years by not having to replace all that hardware…We went from spending an entire summer with our whole IT staff imaging computers to actually being able to cut an IT technician from our budget.” In the span of approximately 1 year, the entire Warren County School District had been moved onto the VDI solution, and now students, teachers and administrators all have access to the latest Zen Virtual Desktop Environment, running Windows 7 on all computers.

“We streamlined our work load. Now, (IT) techs can do other things with their time besides being tied up with issues on individual computers all day every day.  Using Dan and the Applications2U team to help us upgrade to the latest Zen desktop environment was a big win for us.  And now that money saved from the budget can be spent on teachers rather than on technology.”

VDI solutions also have the capability of equipping a school or school district for seamless use with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  With the constantly growing prevalence of tablets and smart phones, many students, teachers, and administrators may wish to utilize their own personal devices in the classroom. VDI streamlines this process by easily granting any device in the network access to the same programs and operating system without installing anything on the devices themselves. VDI can also ensure the safety of students and employees by controlling what type of programs are accessed from these devices when the devices are connected to district’s network.

Learn how Applications2U can save your school, school district, or university money while equipping you with the most up-to-date computing technology today. Contact us to get started!