New College Durham
New College Durham makes exemplary use of VMware View – reducing the costs of their desktop environment.
New College Durham (NCD) is a Beacon College in the North East of England. Each year NCD enrols approximately 10,000 students and has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
At New College, excellence extends beyond the classroom to the IT department, which strives to use technology as effectively as possible to support the goals of the College.
“When it comes to IT assets such as our desktops, we need a fast reliable platform so that teachers and students don’t have to do without access to Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and other essential applications that they’ve come to depend upon. NCD is also continuing to strive to reduce its Carbon Footprint,” said George Wraith, Head of Systems at New College Durham.
This goal led the College to explore desktop virtualisation as a cost-saving strategy.
“Normally we replace our desktops every four years, but desktop virtualisation would enable us to significantly extend the life expectancy of our desktops, using the new P20 clients, to 10 years. This, combined with the huge savings in reduced power costs, would dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership of our desktop estate,” continued Wraith.
NCD decided to evaluate VMware View so together with Phoenix, they ran a Proof of Concept. This was carried out using existing hardware and a high performance SSD solution to ensure suitable backend storage performance based on a Capacity Planning exercise Phoenix had previously run on the existing 1,200 desktops at the College.
Developing the Solution
For New College Durham, the support and knowledge-sharing that the team at Phoenix Software provided was extremely important.
“The Phoenix Team came in and did a ‘health check’ on our existing desktop infrastructure to make sure it was ready to handle the latest version of VMware View,” says Wraith.
“To have Phoenix come in, analyse the environment and then design a high performance VDI solution based on market-leading technology has ensured that we have a cutting edge system. Our solution massively exceeds the performance possible via large, traditional SAN-based technology – ours is a modular, building blocks-based solution that builds linearly and is also significantly cheaper than the SAN-based option.”