Rochester Institute of Tech Gets Virtual in College of Computing and IS

Rochester Institute of Technology has gone public with its use of VMware's platform, including VMware Infrastructure, VMware Lab Manager, and VMware Workstation, to enhance the curriculum of more than 30 courses in the university's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

Golisano College became one of the first schools to use virtualization as a core component of course content. The VMware platform allows students to work across multiple operating systems, including Linux, Unix, and Windows; share files; and build temporary virtual machines for assignments and projects.

"VMware's platform is suited perfectly to IT learning environments," said Charles Border, coordinator of graduate programs for Golisano College's department of Networking, Security, and Systems Administration. "Our students are able to see and do so much more thanks to virtualization. Having the flexibility to create and modify VMs without any financial or space limitations allows us to expand the breadth of our curriculum far beyond what is possible in a hardware-based teaching environment. Our goal is to give our students the skills and experience they need to be billable the day they graduate. VMware helps us achieve that goal."

Border's department has also partnered with the university's administrative computing group to bring virtualization to other academic departments. In addition, virtualization is helping Golisano College expand its distance-learning programs, allowing students to participate in classes online that formerly required attendance in physical labs. Today, roughly 35 percent of the students in the department are remote.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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