Virtual Desktop Computing Comes of Age in New Zealand
Educational and corporate institutes worldwide are facing an epidemic of ICT costs that are spiraling out of control.
We’ve invested considerable time looking into this issue and have gained a thorough understanding of what can be done to start fighting those costs back.
For starters let’s break it down a little, basically any computer system can be broken into two halves;
1. Servers – Computers used to provide network services (The engine room of a computer system)
2. Workstations – End user devices (the computers used by the users)
With any hardware solution to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) we need to look at the cost over a period of time – this includes both the cost to procure (CAPEX) and cost to maintain (OPEX). Only once you add both of these expenses together can we see the true TCO. Most IT companies advise customers that the life of a computer workstation is around three years. In reality (particularly in education) this tends to be extended, in some cases we have seen hardware up to ten years old being used.
In the business sector there are many equations that suggest over a three year period OPEX (the cost to maintain) is double that of CAPEX (the cost to procure). As you can imagine these equations don’t work particularly well in an education site – largely due to the high number of workstations required for end users.
Therefore trying to apply a standard service level agreement to an education site just simply does not work.
Most standard business maintenance agreements, or Service Level Agreements, are based on a charge per month, per device (workstation and/or server) model. Because of the high number of workstations in education IT management agreement costs start to become unmanageable very quickly.
This has led many customers in this situation to “build” their own support infrastructure. The current support requirements seem to average out at one on-site engineer per 200 devices that are being supported.
Logical Solutions has spent the last number of years developing a solution specifically for this use case scenario and has taken lessons learned from overseas providers in a similar market. The end goal is to deliver computer infrastructure the most efficient way possible, taking into account both OPEX and CAPEX with the upmost flexibility over a 3 or 4 year period.
“The education market brings unique and specific problems that need to be solved which include security and on-going manageability without breaking the bank”
We’ve developed a tried and tested virtual workstation environment which can solve these particular issues.
Once configured,our solution requires a single on site representative per 1000 to 2000 computers to make decisions when required with a fully outsourced maintenance agreement in place. Because of the tools included in the solution, from a maintenance perspective the required support for 100 users is similar to 1000 users.
Our solution was built on the concept that we did not want to have any dependence on the end user devices and therefore users could be working on outdated hardware with little or no effect to the user experience.
What we ended up building was the ultimate BYOD (bring your own device) solution that now serves both the BYOD community and the school with many old and outdated end devices.
BYOD solutions have been put forward to many customers as the “Silver Bullet” of technology solutions, but the reality is being found to be somewhat different. Our BYOD solution allows users to supply their own equipment and actively take part in the site computing environment to carry out their day to day functions.
One of the challenges we’re seeing with this new BYOD solution model is have a clear understanding of what BYOD actually provides and who is responsible for what.
Our BYOD Solution Beliefs:
- Any brand or make of computer or mobile device can just connect and use 100% of Environment
- The user of BYOD solution can connect anywhere that an internet connection is available with the same access as the onsite campus
- The client computers can be in ANY state and not affect the environment or other computers in any way.
- Users need to be able to connect to the BYOD environment and working in less than five minutes with NO help from any technical support.
- The provider of the BYOD solution provides NO technical support or responsibility for end user devices.
“It is impossible to achieve a true BYOD solution by installing fancy wireless equipment or tricky routers, every site we have seen that have tried this have fallen short of the mark”
On surveying competitor solutions, it was found the more BYOD devices used, the more load was put on the providers technical resources (Support). With our BYOD solution the more BYOD used, the LESS the providers support is required.