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University of York Adopts Virtual Desktops

The University of York has begun implementing virtual desktops for its staff and students. The British university, which has about 12,000 students, will be using Quest vWorkspace from Quest Software. The technology delivers a Windows environment and applications to each user through a single user access point and management center, enabling the user to access his or her computer resources from multiple devices and providing the administrator with more efficient management of the user image.

Deployment will begin in the university's medical school and its Department of Health Sciences. After that, the Department of Language and Linguistic Science is next, followed by the rest of the university.

The university sought software that could work on multiple hypervisors, not just its current one, VMware vSphere. Other selection criteria included support for single sign-on, USB redirection, multimedia facilities, and bi-directional audio.

"The University of York has been researching all the vendors that provide virtual desktop infrastructure solutions for some time.... Our main priority was to provide our staff and students with the flexibility to deliver bespoke IT services via a virtual desktop, which could include working from any location, from a variety of different devices," said Adrian Young, head of the digital workspace group in IT Services. "The IT manageability of vWorkspace was also very attractive as we can fix issues quickly and centrally, which saves time and money."

U York has contracted with Vcentral Ltd., a solutions provider specializing in virtualization, to design and implement the vWorkspace solution.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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