virtual desktops

Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It

The award-winning Corona-Norco Unified School District serves more than 54,000 K-12 students from the California cities of Corona, Norco and Eastvale, as well as unincorporated parts of Riverside County. One of the 10 largest districts in the state, it employs approximately 5,000 people.

Like many public school districts, Corona-Norco has a goal to reduce capital expenses and technology costs overall for its schools to ensure equal access to technology. With costs rising and a small IT team challenged to drive all over a large, traffic-choked area to deliver services, the district faced a big choice when they decided to upgrade in-school computing: Buy more sophisticated and expensive hardware for each school, or take a different approach. They chose a suite of digital workspace solutions that make it simple and cost-effective to manage mobile devices, upgrade to Windows 10 and distribute and maintain apps using virtual desktops.

 

Digital Workspaces Put the Emphasis on Education, Not Patching

In 2012, the district started to roll out virtual desktops on zero clients at schools. Corona-Norco now supports 8,000 zero clients and around 5,000 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) concurrent desktops—with a full-time staff of two. &#rsquo;We don&#rsquo;t see the support number changing dramatically as we significantly ramp up the number of devices,&#rdquo; said Brian Troudy, the district&#rsquo;s director of networking and infrastructure. Adding to the device count is the district&#rsquo;s embrace of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model for maximum flexibility and choice. VMware AirWatch and VMware Workspace ONE extend the district&#rsquo;s digital workspaces beyond classroom computers to tablets and laptops, allowing faculty, students and staff to access any app on any device at any time.

VMware end-user computing solutions have simplified application management and updates, including the district&#rsquo;s upgrade to Windows 10. With the ability to test and patch images &#rsquo;behind the scenes&#rdquo; from a central location, instead of sending IT staff to schools and taking computers out of service, operating system (OS) and app updates are easy to deploy. Said Troudy, &#rsquo;Using the Horizon suite, App Volumes, Thin App and UEM, we&#rsquo;re able to layer into a user’s connection the applications that they need based on certain criteria—the location, class that they&#rsquo;re enrolled in—and all of that can be done dynamically and automatically based on the integrations that we have with other business systems.&#rdquo; IT staff can now spend their efforts working one-on-one with their end users on effective use of technology instead of managing and maintaining the underlying technology.

Teacher Peter D&#rsquo;Agostino noted that he used to have to stay at school after hours and come in early to maintain and patch classroom computers. It could take weeks to get new software installed. Now with VMware Horizon VDI, apps for engineering, history, music production and many more topics run faster and more reliably. &#rsquo;I no longer have to spend time updating computers on my own, taking time away from students. Now I spend my time looking for ways for kids to learn better. It just changes the game.&#rdquo;

 

Money Saved on Technology Goes Back to Student Programs

The district estimates it&#rsquo;s saved $5 million on hardware so far, and more than $75,000 on energy costs alone, by switching to a VDI model. &#rsquo;We&#rsquo;re able to, with VMware technologies, deploy labs of computers to our students at a quarter of the cost,” said Troudy. &#rsquo;It&#rsquo;s also allowed us to keep the experience of the desktop that they&#rsquo;re using up to date and relevant. It&#rsquo;s a night-and-day experience for our students.&#rdquo;

&#rsquo;With VMware … we were able to provide end-user computing at a much lower cost than we did six or seven years ago. There&#rsquo;s nothing that makes me happier as a CIO than to be able to say, I get out of the way, and let the school do what they need to do to make sure the students receive the education they deserve.&#rdquo;
—Ben Odipo, CIO and Assistant Superintendent of Information Technology, Corona-Norco Unified School District

Related:

  • [Video] Western Carolina University Extends Digital Workspace Solutions Campus-Wide
  • VMware + Ellucian: Smart BYOD & Apps with VMware&#rsquo;s Secure Digital Backpack for Education
  • Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective

The post Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Delivering Graphics Power with NVIDIA GRID & VMware Horizon Cloud Hosted

Today countless enterprise customers, including Seventy Seven Energy, leverage VMware Horizon Cloud with hosted infrastructure to deliver cloud-hosted desktops and applications to any device, without the hassle and cost of managing their own infrastructure. These organizations rely on Horizon Cloud to deliver virtual apps and desktops to knowledge workers, seasonal employees and contract workers, as well as those involved in mergers and acquisitions.

At VMworld 2017, we will introduce high-performance, GPU-backed desktops to extend the reach of Horizon Cloud hosted to engineers and designers who have traditionally relied on dedicated graphics workstations to utilize 3D applications and graphics intensive applications and to visually analyze large data sets.

In partnership with NVIDIA, this joint solution taps into the power of NVIDIA GRID. Come fall, organizations utilizing Horizon Cloud hosted will be able to take advantage of this new capability, and these power users will be able to access virtual workstations on any device.

Key Benefits of Virtual Workstations

  • Deliver secure, immersive 3D graphics from the cloud. Power users and designers get the same graphics experience they would expect from dedicated hardware, delivered securely and cost effectively.
  • Improve collaboration workflow and reduce costs. Dispersed teams can collaborate on large graphics and data sets in real time in the cloud.
  • Provide greater security for mission-critical data. Protect intellectual property and improve security by centralizing data files.
  • Centralize management. Use a single pane of glass to assign graphics resources to end users in a balanced way. IT can now control user profiles to flexibly deliver the graphics performance needed by each user. This includes hardware resources, operating systems and applications.
  • Virtualize any desktop application. Bring the power of virtualization to the user who needs it most to be productive.
  • Provide flexibility and remote access to power users. Virtual workstations work independently of location, endpoint and network. Users can access their desktops and 3D applications while at work, home or traveling.

Come visit us at VMworld to get a demo of Horizon Cloud with hosted infrastructure with NVIDIA GRID. Don’t miss this breakout session:

Delivering 3D Graphics Desktops and Applications in the Real World with VMware Horizon, Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport and NVIDIA GRID

Add #ADV1607BU via VMworld U.S. schedule builder. Add #ADV1607BE via VMworld Europe schedule builder.

The post Delivering Graphics Power with NVIDIA GRID & VMware Horizon Cloud Hosted appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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STEM for All at UMass Lowell

The scientists of the future are embracing consumer-simple, enterprise-secure digital workspace solutions at UMass Lowell. With more than 17,750 students—and a strategic plan to increase enrollment to 20,000 over the next few years—this university is known for its educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Part of that mission is providing easier access to computationally complex and expensive STEM software packages.

What started as a simple need for more space on campus grew into an initiative that brought virtual desktops and simplified application access to students, faculty and staff. In 2013, the university needed to find a way to reclaim classroom space to teach its growing student body. The school was &#rsquo;bursting at the seams,&#rdquo; according to Steve Athanas, the school&#rsquo;s director of platforms and systems engineering.

&#rsquo;VDI, for us, started as a way to turn computer labs back into usable teaching space. But it turned out to be significantly more than that. Our VDI story is about fundamentally transforming the way we teach and the way we conduct business.&#rdquo;

To learn more about how UMass Lowell uses digital workspace solutions to simplify access to education, read the case study.

UMass Lowell Extends STEM Education with Digital Workspaces

Want to Calculate Fluid Dynamics on Your Phone at a Hockey Game?

UMass Lowell uses VMware Horizon for virtual desktops,VMware App Volumes to distribute applications and VMware User Environment Manager to maintain application settings across sessions. Through a portal called vLabs, UMass Lowell users can access university virtual desktops and apps from anywhere at any time, on any device.

According to Athanas, &#rsquo;Once students realized they were able to access their applications anytime and anywhere, it changed how they functioned as students.&#rdquo; Instead of having to log time in an on-campus computer lab, students could bring a mobile device with them and study whenever it&#rsquo;s convenient. &#rsquo;That&#rsquo;s really important because a huge percentage of our students have either full-time or part-time jobs as they&#rsquo;re achieving their education,&#rdquo; said Athanas.

&#rsquo;The way that VMware is simplifying app distribution is really huge. It means my team spends less time setting up and more time working with our ultimate customers, delivering value to the organization.&#rdquo;

Partnerships for Education

VMware technology partners are playing important roles in the UMass Lowell IT department and in campus academics. The school recently launched a high-performance Horizon cluster with virtual graphics processing units (GPUs) from NVIDIA. Computationally and graphics-intensive design and engineering programs now run on any student or faculty device that can run a Horizon desktop. The university has added additional NVIDIA GPU support to its base image to support the graphical look and feel of a Windows 10 deployment.

Athanas cited VMware partner StacksWare as a critical addition to his IT arsenal. StacksWare metrics for App Volumes deployments provide real-time, deep inspection of application usage.

&#rsquo;This software can tell me right now which users on campus are using which applications, where they’re using them from and how long they’re using them. I can roll all that up and make better decisions about software licenses for the campus. It&#rsquo;s been really transformative for us.&#rdquo;

From &#rsquo;It Works&#rdquo; to &#rsquo;Thank You&#rdquo;

Athanas cited a UMass Lowell study showing that 66 percent of students said that vLabs improved their academic success.

&#rsquo;You know you’re hitting the right mark when instead of users saying &#lsquo;It works,&#rsquo; or &#lsquo;It hasn’t had any problems,&#rsquo; they come up to you and say, &#lsquo;Thank you.&#rsquo; We’re now in a position where faculty and especially students say, &#lsquo;Thank you, this has saved me time, this has saved me effort, my job is easier, my academics are easier.&#rsquo; That’s transformative.&#rdquo;

The post STEM for All at UMass Lowell appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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One Device for On-the-Go Mobility & Desktop Productivity—Eliminate Compromise with VMware & Samsung

VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon Client 4.5 are now available on the Google Play store. Both can be installed on Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones and used with Samsung DeX Station, which enables USB connectivity to peripherals.

The joint Samsung and VMware solution delivers a unified, digital workspace to keep end users productive. Users can seamlessly transition between their on-the-go mobile device and their full-size desk workspace that includes a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

With Samsung and VMware, end users can quickly move from mobile device to desktopfor continuous productivity at work.

Workspace ONE is a simple and secure enterprise platform for delivering and managing any application on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphone. Integrating identity management, real-time application delivery and enterprise mobility management, Workspace ONE helps IT engage digital employees, reduce the threat of data leakage and modernize traditional operations for the mobile-cloud era.

With the Samsung DeX Station, end users can turn their Galaxy S8 or S8+ into a true PC experience. When docked at the DeX Station, Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones launch a special DeX mode on the connected, external monitor, and applications can be opened in multiple, separate windows. We recommend connecting a mouse, keyboard and Ethernet cable for added productivity.

With Workspace ONE and Horizon Client 4.5 installed on the device, DeX users can take advantage of on-the-go access to their Windows, mobile and cloud applications. Without compromising corporate security, this combination is an ideal choice for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users.

Here&#rsquo;s an example of a Galaxy S8 running DeX mode on a monitor with a Horizon virtual desktop and Workspace ONE.

With Horizon, DeX users will also experience Blast Extreme adaptive transport for high-performing cloud applications and virtual desktops—right from Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices.

Meanwhile, users can easily multitask between their personal and corporate worlds and even take phone calls. While docked in the DeX Station, call functionality works seamlessly with a Bluetooth headset, without interrupting the desktop experience.

Organizations that want to test the Galaxy S8 or S8+ with Horizon and/or Workspace ONE can quickly sign up at VMware TestDrivefor End-User Computing. IT can conveniently access a free, cloud-based demo environment within minutes—without spinning up internal resources and/or infrastructure.

Go to VMware TestDrive

Learn More

  • See the announcement:Introducing New Samsung Galaxy S8 + VMware Workspace ONE
  • Read more from VentureBeat: Samsung&#rsquo;s DeX dock turns the Galaxy S8 into a PC
  • Watch a demo at KRON 4: Samsung&#rsquo;s Dex Turns Your Phone into a Work or Home Computer

The post One Device for On-the-Go Mobility & Desktop Productivity—Eliminate Compromise with VMware & Samsung appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Help’s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool

Today, I&#rsquo;m very excited to share with you one of the new features in the VMware Horizon 7.2 release: the Horizon Help Desk Tool.

I meet with many customers about their day-to-day management of Horizon, and I often get the same feedback. Organizations need a simple tool specifically for level one and two help desk/frontline support staff to provide basic, but frequent, help desk support for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and virtual app (published app) users.

This could be a user saying their session feels slow because, unbeknownst to them, they have too many browser tabs consuming most of the memory—or a virtual desktop is hanging, and they just need help restarting the desktop.

These simple cases often get escalated to the Horizon administrators, becoming a distraction and impacting their productivity. Some customers create their own utilities or need third-party products to fill these use cases.

This Help Desk Tool is designed to fill that gap for Horizon customers. Out of the box, Horizon admins can delegate basic help desk-related functions to folks in the frontline.

Help Desk Tool Features & Functionality

Through the simple-to-use interface, help desk staff can quickly look up a user, find their sessions and drill down into specific session details, including:

  • On the client side: client name, client IP, username, protocol and bandwidth information.
  • On the server/virtual machine (VM) side: machine name, IP address, logon time, duration, session state, state duration, Horizon pod name, connection broker and vCenter name.

Help desk staff can quickly find client and VM information for users and take action.

And using the Horizon Help Desk Tool, help desk staff can take basic actions to help get the user up and running again, including:

  • Sending a message to the user,
  • Launching Microsoft Remote Assistance to actively help the user in session,
  • Disconnecting and
  • Resetting the VM.

You also will see resource consumption for CPU and memory, along with latency information. This information is continually collected, looking back to the last 15 minutes of the session. In most cases, this will yield a long enough set of information for users calling the help desk team.

CPU, memory, latency and logon data is continually collected to view in the Horizon Help Desk Tool.

Lastly, you also see a breakdown of the logon process. This will help identify what could potentially be causing a long logon experience for users.

Upgrade to Horizon 7.2

Help Desk Tool is a feature of Horizon Enterprise edition and Horizon Apps Advanced edition.
To experience the new Horizon Helpdesk Tool, download the evaluation copy of Horizon, or upgrade to Horizon 7.2.

  • Skype for Businesssolution page
  • Horizon 7.2 GAblog
  • Horizon 7download page
  • Horizon Clientdownload page

The post Help&#rsquo;s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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VMware Horizon 7.2 GA: What’s New with Skype for Business, a New Help Desk Tool & More

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of VMware Horizon 7.2, the next release of the premier platform for virtual desktops and applications. With the release of Horizon 7.2, customers get:

  • An improved Microsoft Skype for Business user experience,
  • A new tool to enable generalist IT staff to resolve the majority of end-user issues,
  • Greater scalability and
  • Updates to Linux virtual desktops.

Skype for Business

With Horizon 7.2, our optimized solution for Skype for Business is now officially supported with Windows clients. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, this allows you to deliver Skype for Business in a virtual desktop while also delivering a great user experience—securing collaboration, simplifying management and reducing costs.

Note: For those interested in the Skype for Business solution for Linux clients, email to request access to the private beta.

Help Desk Tool

Because Horizon 7 is often deployed at very large scales, customers asked us for a tool so frontline or help desk IT staff can quickly troubleshoot and remediate issues—without needing to pull in specialist Horizon administrators. We listened.

Horizon 7.2 introduces a new Help Desk Tool, which provides IT admins with level one and two help desk functionality. Administrators can look up users and find their sessions; initiate Microsoft Remote Assistance; send user messages and, if needed, disconnect, log off and even reset desktops to quickly remediate and get the user up and running.

Scalability

Speaking of scale, it gets even better. Horizon 7.2 increases scalability for Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA) deployments to now support up to 120,000 sessions across 12 View pods and five sites. Additionally, Horizon can now support 4,000 desktops with a single VMware vCenter Server for linked-clone, full-clone and instant-clone deployments.

Instant Clone Technology, a key component of JMP (Just-in-Time Management Platform)and a major initiative for the Horizon team, has been updated to enable reuse of preexisting Active Directory (AD) accounts for instant-clone pools. Additionally, super video graphics array (SVGA) video memory settings can now be configured in the master virtual machine (VM), and the pools will inherit these settings. Instant Clone Technology has also been extended to support local datastores.

Linux Desktops

Last but not least, VMware Horizon 7.2 for Linux provides a plethora of new capabilities that broaden the use case for Linux desktops. This includes key features such as USB redirection, client drive redirection (CDR), HTML access with audio capabilities and support for Red HatEnterpriseLinux (RHEL) 6.9 x64 and CentOS 6.9 x64.

We are very excited about this release as we continue to deliver innovation in our market-leading products. We invite you to see for yourself and take a look at some of our resources below for more information:

  • Skype for Businesssolution page
  • Help Desk Toolblog
  • Horizon 7download page
  • Horizon Clientdownload page

The post VMware Horizon 7.2 GA: What&#rsquo;s New with Skype for Business, a New Help Desk Tool & More appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Driving Toward a Digital Workspace? 6 Reasons to Attend vForum Online Summer 2017 (With 2 Bonuses)

Thanks to the modern workforce, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps and mobile workflows, traditional ways of managing and securing users, apps and devices (and all that associated data) are starting to show some cracks in effectiveness. While this presents a challenge for IT, it also presents an opportunity—out with the old, in with the new.

For many IT departments, now is the time to progress toward a digital workspace. With an ideal digital workspace solution in place, IT gains the simple, secure infrastructure needed to deliver the apps and data teams need across any work device—as well as an application delivery platform that handles both native and cloud applications.

To learn how, register to join vForum Online on June 28. In this free, half-day event—our largest online conference—you&#rsquo;ll get what you need to take the first steps on the path to a modern, digital workspace, right from the convenience of your desk.

If you&#rsquo;ve attended previous vForum Online conferences, you&#rsquo;ll see this one is a little different. We&#rsquo;ve broken it down into specific, goal-oriented tracks so you can more easily pursue a specific aim. But whether you&#rsquo;re returning or just starting out at vForum, you simply cannot miss this opportunity to enhance your IT expertise.

Need a reason to register? Here are six—with two special bonus reasons:

  1. Discover ThreeWays to Start Your Transformation:What does it take to migrate to a new workspace that actually works? In our breakout session, &#rsquo;Empowering the Digital Workspace: ThreeKey Initiatives for Moving to a Digital Workspace,&#rdquo; you&#rsquo;ll see how the four pieces of the workspace puzzle fit together. One of them is to virtualize desktops and apps. Know what the other three are?
  1. Then, Have Your Big Questions Answered:Questions, comments or high-level concerns you have about moving to a digital workspace? Ask a VMware pro. In one of our Chats with Experts on the digital workspace, you&#rsquo;ll talk live and get your issues resolved right on the spot.
  1. See How to Simplify App and Access Management:If you&#rsquo;re looking to give your teams a smarter, more reliable way to do mobile work—without compromising on security—the &#rsquo;Putting the User First: Simplify App and Access Management&#rdquo; breakout session is one vForum Online talk you need to hear.
  1. Take the Mystery out of Managing Mobile Devices:Just beginning to manage mobile devices? Without a helpful, interactive guide, enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM) can seem a little confusing. In our &#rsquo;Introduction to VMware AirWatch&#rdquo; Hands-on Lab, you&#rsquo;ll log in to the AirWatchconsole as an admin to write a policy, then enroll a device into your newly configured environment.
  1. Gain a Guide to Windows Endpoint Management:Know how the VMware digital workspace platform allows IT teams to manage Windows 10 PCs—wherever they are, and however they&#rsquo;re owned? You will. Start in the breakout session, &#rsquo;Modernizing Windows Endpoint Management: Leveraging Windows 10