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Liquidware Labs Solutions Deliver More Quality Learning Time for Barking & Dagenham College Students

by david.nunes

Liquidware Labs Solutions Deliver More Quality Learning Time for Barking & Dagenham College Students

London-based Higher Education College Leverages Stratusphere UX and ProfileUnity to optimize virtual desktop performance and enhance user experience for students.

CHICAGO and LONDON, April 24, 2013 – Liquidware Labs solutions propelled virtual desktops to peak performance at Barking & Dagenham College (BDC), a large Further Education and Higher Education College in East London. After a year of running virtual desktops, it was clear that refinements and improvements were still needed.  Managing Roaming Profiles for student desktops, which was already challenging in the legacy environment, turned out to be a problem that was only transferred to, not solved by, virtual desktops.   By leveraging Liquidware Labs Stratusphere UX to conduct a Health Check of their environment, The College’s ILCT team uncovered that the host-level systems that supported their desktops were having difficulties retrieving and delivering user profiles when students logged on to different desktops around campus.   Once the ILCT department pinpointed and understood the problem, they implemented Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity FlexApp to solve it, thus creating more productive class time for students.

“The Barking & Dagenham College experience reads like a classic scenario for organizations implementing desktop virtualization,” said Jason Mattox, CTO of Liquidware Labs.  “Virtualizing the environment often highlights issues left over from the physical environment. Over time, organizations discover old issues remain, and new ones pop up.  The combination of using our Stratusphere UX to diagnose underlying issues and then implementing ProfileUnity FlexApp to address the complexities of managing users and applications on desktops delivers quantum-leap efficiencies that make the investment in virtualization pay off in a big way.”

Previous to implementing the Liquidware Labs solutions, students at BDC sometimes had to wait as much as 20 minutes to log in to classroom PCs. “That was unacceptable. When you’re talking about a one hour lesson, 20 minutes without a computer is a long time for students not to get the resources they need,” said David Farrant, Deputy Head of BDC’s ILCT department, which supports around 12,000 students and 600 staff members at the College.

BDC worked with VMware and Dell to design and install the VDI. After a year of running virtual desktops it was clear that refinements and improvements were still needed.  After performing a health check with Stratusphere UX that uncovered the host-levels systems issues, the implementation partners recommended improved profile management to solve BDC’s login problems, citing ProfileUnity FlexApp for the task.  Because the solution worked on both physical and virtual desktops, ILCT department was able to reduce login times for all its students and staff, not just on virtual desktop users.

“We assessed a number of other products on the market, but when your major vendors tell you ‘This is what we recommend and this is what we deploy ourselves’ that’s what you tend to go with, so we went with ProfileUnity FlexApp,” said Farrant.

The standard virtual desktop that BDC gives students is a Windows 7 machine with Firefox, Chrome, Office 2010, Visual Studio 2010, Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection and Sage Line 50 2011. Students can easily access other applications they need using the FlexApp feature of ProfileUnity. FlexApp allows users to install their own applications.

“FlexApp meant we didn’t have to roll out many different master images and run our conflict management software everywhere,” said Farrant. “It lives up to its name, because it gives us the flexibility to give students the applications they need to use.”

In Farrant’s opinion ProfileUnity FlexApp is an essential component to make virtual desktops practical and effective in a campus environment. “The nature of students is that they might use any desktop, anytime, anywhere on campus. That makes it very important to manage profiles effectively,” he said. “ProfileUnity FlexApp has made profile management much easier for us. Student’s profiles follow them wherever they go, and they get a consistent experience wherever they are on campus.”

To read the entire customer success story, visit Barking & Dagenham College Customer Profile.

About Liquidware Labs
Liquidware Labs™ is the leader in desktop transformation solutions for next-generation physical and virtual desktops, including VMware View®, Citrix® XenDesktop, Red Hat® and Microsoft® Windows 7. The company’s innovative Stratusphere™ and ProfileUnity™ FlexApp solutions deliver powerful features to accelerate critical desktop transformation phases. Liquidware Labs solutions support key phases including assessing existing physical environments, decoupling users and applications from the operating system and migrating to virtual platforms. In POC and production environments, Liquidware Labs solutions support managing the user experience and monitoring troubleshooting and optimizing end-to-end desktop environments. Liquidware Labs products are VMware certified, and are available through a global network of partners. Visit www.liquidwarelabs.com for further information.

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