Virtualization | News

2 Texas Districts Turn to Virtualization To Save Money, Time

Two Texas school districts have recently gone public with their adoption of virtualized desktop infrastructures (VDI) in an effort to save money and IT work hours.

San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District underwent a $3.3 million budget cut in 2012. Rather than buying new PCs, the district deployed "1,900 Dell Wyse CL10LE Thin Clients running on Dell PowerEdge M610 and M620 blade servers and backed by Dell EqualLogic PS6510E storage arrays," according to a Dell news release.

"Every time there was an update we had to go physically touch each PC," said Abe Casillas, chief technology officer at San Felipe Del Rio, in a prepared statement. "It was very time-consuming and took time away from the students, who were always distracted by whatever our tech was doing. We were losing a lot of instructional time, not to mention the time we spent of our own. Now, our district is avoiding about $1.25 million in annual expense by deploying our desktop virtualization model using Dell Wyse thin clients."

With the extra cash, the district plans to launch a 1:1 deployment at its freshman campus using Dell Latitude 3330s. "The district hopes to use additional savings to deploy a comprehensive 1:1 program for all high school students in the coming year," according to a news release.

Socorro Independent School District (SISD) had 24,000 desktops, some of which were a decade old and performing so poorly that many district computer labs weren't being used.

"The district selected Dell Wyse Datacenter for Citrix environments, featuring Dell PowerEdge blade servers supported by Dell EqualLogic storage and Dell Networking switches to revitalize its aging hardware and transform legacy systems into reliable infrastructure," according to information released by the company.

"If hardware is slow to boot or performance is poor, kids and teachers tend to become frustrated," said David Akers, team leader for Technical Support Services at the district, in a prepared statement. "A middle school teacher told me she hadn't used a particular computer lab in two years because the hardware 'didn't work.' Since the VDI rollout, our older computers are being used. In fact, sometimes teachers can't tell which labs have new hardware and which are running VDI on older systems."

Moving forward, SISD is considering a bring-your-own-device program using the VDI to deliver educational content in classrooms and labs.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].