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Scottsdale CC Turns to Virtualization To Cut IT Costs

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) in Arizona has moved to desktop virtualization with the launch of mySCC, a Web-based portal that provides users virtual desktops, applications, personal files, and network resources from any computer with Internet access. The portal uses Citrix Systems' XenDesktop to deliver virtual desktops and applications on Mac OS X and Windows systems, as well as iPhones and iPod Touches.

The 11,000-student community college estimates that it will save about $250,000 annually by reducing hardware refresh rates. It also said it expects to reduce IT administration expense by centralizing desktop management. Application upgrades, patches, and new software installations are implemented in the datacenter. The virtualization platform allows IT staff to assign different types of virtual desktops and application access to users based on their roles and requirements.

According to Dustin Fennell, SCC's CIO, the college didn't use new funding to finance the portal project. "We simply redirected money that would have been spent on PC upgrades to pay for Citrix's desktop virtualization implementation," he said. "In addition to greatly simplifying desktop management, SCC is saving approximately $250,000 per year on hardware refreshes by using XenDesktop to deliver virtual desktops and applications. Our deployment benefits students greatly and makes good business sense for the college in the long run."

SCC piloted XenDesktop in August 2008. mySCC was launched to the entire student body during the spring 2009 semester.

"Whether it's an architectural technology student who needs access to AutoCAD software, a graphic design student who needs Adobe InDesign to complete an assignment, or an employee who needs access to Microsoft Word from their personal computer to make a quick change to a meeting agenda, mySCC provides immediate and seamless entry into a world of information and resources," said Jan Gehler, the college's president.

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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