As universities and colleges look to increase support for flexible studying, working and teaching, a significant challenge is how to provide secure access to software and applications across multiple devices that users might be working on.
One solution that has gained traction is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). VDIs allow traditional desktop workloads to be run on servers, eliminating the need for software to be installed on individual devices. This approach offers many benefits, including the ability to access applications that are difficult to install, require specific parameters or restrictions per user group, or need to be accessed on machines where the software is not available.
However, implementing and maintaining VDI solutions can be a daunting task. But that's where Academic Software can help. Academic Software offers a comprehensive solution to integrating your deployment and licensing to work with VDI, making it easier to manage your virtualisation solutions. Academic Software offers three integrated VDI options: Academic Software Cloud Player, Azure Virtual Desktop, and dedicated (scalable) virtual machines (VM).
Academic Software Cloud Player allows users to access virtualised applications hosted in the cloud through any browser, with persistent storage across the applications they use. The software launches in the browser with the click of a button, and auto-scaling options are available to handle larger peaks of simultaneous users. Once set up, virtualisation is automated, and institutional ICT teams do not need to support users.
Azure Virtual Desktop offers a virtualisation solution that includes centralised management and monitoring, with setup, maintenance, testing, updates, and integration with licensing systems configured by Academic Software in the institution's Azure environment. The institution can of course access a comprehensive view of configurations and applications and can change them if they wish. And auto-scaling options are adjusted and configured to provide a high-performance VDI solution at the lowest possible cost.
Dedicated (scalable) virtual machines (VM) allow end users to have a virtual machine with administrator rights. A separate virtual machine is created for each type of application, with predetermined network profiles and scaling. Once set up, each user can use this application without intervention from the institution's ICT team. The user can turn this machine on and off autonomously, and it can be set up to shut down automatically after a set period of inactivity. The cost management system keeps track of utilisation and cost on an individual basis, with a credit system available to switch off the machine when a pre-set limit has been reached. The VM option is ideal for offering a Linux or Windows virtual machine to an end user who needs it for a particular application, or for researchers who need a scalable virtual machine that can be turned on and off independently, while still allowing the institution to be in control of cost allocations by research group.
With Academic Software's expert support, higher education institutions can integrate VDI to help ensure secure and convenient access to software and applications across multiple devices, whilst finding the right balance between convenience for end users, and cost effectiveness for the institution.