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DeVry Switches to HP for Intensive Student Computing
- By Dian Schaffhauser
To accommodate the intensive computing needs of its technology and engineering students and faculty, DeVry University has completed most of a three-year computer refresh to move off of Gateway machines and onto HP Z Workstations and HP EliteBook Mobile Workstations. DeVry has about 80,000 students and 94 locations in North America.
According to Timothy Harrington, national assistant dean of DeVry's College of Engineering and Information Science, the upgrade process began in 2007. "Our first priority was student lab environments; but now we are close to having HP universally on both academic and administrative networks," he said.
The workstations are needed, he explained, to run industry-standard applications for DeVry's academic programs. "We support applications from National Instruments' NI Multisim and NI LabVIEW with connections to multiple devices to game program applications, such as [Epic Games'] Unreal [Development Kit] and Autodesk 3ds Max to the full spectrum of Adobe products for our Web design curriculum."
Also, as a faculty member, Harrington noted, he might have 40 files open at a time, including several applications. "If I want to look at a student's assignment for a few minutes, I don't want to shut everything down just to bring up that one application. The HP workstation functions extremely well under this type of heavy demand."
As part of its Game and Simulation Programming curriculum, the institution was exploring the use of Alienware computers in its game studios. However, Harrington said, DeVry found the performance of HP game-class computers to be "better and more reliable."
The HP machines currently run Microsoft's Windows XP Professional, but Harrington said the university is planning a migration to Windows 7 in July 2011.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.