Virtualization | News

New York District Adopts Profile Management Tool To Streamline VDI

The Phoenix Central School District (PCSD) in New York has implemented portable user profiles in an effort to streamline management and improve log in time.

The district, serving nearly 2,300 students, has chosen ProfileUnity from Liquidware Labs as it moves to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

The new technology will affect a large percentage of the district as it will be used by 1,400 students and 220 educators and staff members, according to information released by the company.

PCSD has both physical and virtual desktops, including 400 HP t5730 thin client workstations and 550 computer workstations and as many as 130 users logging in to the former at the beginning of classes.

"The education environment is different from most corporate environments," said Ted Love, director of technology for the Phoenix Central School District. "We were running into what we would call 'I/O storms' when 90 students tried to log in at the same time. We had to do something about it. Classroom time is essential for teachers. It was not acceptable to lose significant class time to wait for students to be able to log in and begin working."
To help with the burden on the district's infrastructure, the new technology will decouple the user profiles and data of students and staff from the operating system for migration to platforms such as VMware View, which the district uses, or other Windows OS-compatible platforms. As such, user profiles have been virtualized, which makes them accessible everywhere with users receiving the same experience no matter where they log in.

The move is designed to address difficulties experienced by the district since it set up thin clients back in 2009 to connect to Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Difficulties included:

  • Managing profiles for more than 1,600 users;
  • Keeping log in times reasonable under the load;
  • Providing printer access to students; and
  • Policy management issues.

As a result, the district opted to go to virtual desktops.  IT solutions provider Teracai deployed the system for the district in partnership with Liquidware Labs.

Additional features of ProfileUnity include:

  • Compatibility across multiple Windows OS versions;
  • No software to install on desktops;
  • User personalization;
  • Uncorrupted desktops; and
  • The ability to log in in seconds.

More information is available at