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Malaysia Deploys Virtual Desktops for Rural Schools

The Malaysian Department of Education has implemented virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to bring high-quality computing and digital education resources to students in rural and inland areas of the country.

As of March 2014, the country has deployed 25,000 Teradici PCoIP zero clients to 1,250 schools, and the zero clients connect to a VMware Horizon View VDI host in a private cloud. The implementation grew out of the Malaysia Education Blueprint, 2013-2015, which outlines the country's vision for education from preschool through university and is expected to affect 6 million students at 10,000 schools.

According to VMware and Teradici, the deployment has provided many of the students with access to desktops, applications and online data for the first time because the rural and remote areas have limited access to online connectivity and electricity. The deployment of computing resources to these schools was made possible through the use of virtual desktop infrastructure, which required "minimal onsite IT setup or modification to the classroom environment," according to the companies.

Bitara, the company that implemented the VDI system, tested VDI using three different protocols: Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from Microsoft,  Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) from Citrix and PC-over-IP (PCoIP) from Teradici. "Within the environmental conditions in Malaysia, we found that PCoIP was very, very good compared to the other choices," said Mohd Rizal bin Hilme, CIO of Bitara Induk, in a case study from Teradici and VMware.

According to Teradici, "when streaming to multiple endpoints, the first two protocols can congest the network. In contrast, running VDI using the PCoIP protocol compresses, encrypts and rapidly transports pixels — and Teradici's PCoIP implementation executes at the chip level."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].