University of Tennessee at Knoxville Launches ‘Apps@UT’ Desktop Virtualization Program
UT Knoxville Adopts Citrix XenDesktop running on Cisco and NetApp Infrastructure to Provide Free, Anytime Access to Desktops, Apps, Resources and Personal Files
Bethesda, MD - Citrix Systems, Inc. announced today that the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UT Knoxville) has launched “Apps@UT,” a program implementing Citrix® XenDesktop® that runs on a Cisco and NetApp® infrastructure to deliver full Windows® desktops and applications as an on-demand service. Apps@UT will give UT Knoxville’s more than 27,000 students and staff anytime access to virtual desktops, applications, personal files and network resources.
UT Knoxville recently launched its Citrix virtual computing solutions at the university’s flagship lab, The Commons in Hodges Library, where Apps@UT will serve the 16,500 unique users that use The Commons’ computers each semester. Following this pilot effort, Apps@UT will be implemented at all the computer labs managed by UT Knoxville’s Office of Information Technology. Ultimately, the virtual desktops and applications will be available to 27,000 students and staff on all university-owned and personal devices.
Students on the university’s Technology Advisory Board were the visionaries behind the Apps@UT program and funded it because it provides a higher degree of flexibility and availability of technology, UT Knoxville officials said. Students will benefit from enhanced productivity as XenDesktop transforms any Windows, web or software-as-a-service (SaaS) application into a service that can be accessed by any user—anytime and anywhere—with unparalleled simplicity and scalability. By improving students’ educational experience and helping them make more efficient use of their time, the Apps@UT virtualized solutions will give the university a competitive advantage in attracting students to its campus, UT Knoxville officials said.
Apps@UT is built on integrated solutions from Citrix, NetApp and Cisco, providing a flexible infrastructure that is validated and optimized to work together. The NetApp Unified Storage Architecture enables UT Knoxville students and staff to store and access their virtual desktop and user data from all university-owned and personal devices. Additionally, the high-availability features inherent in the NetApp platform deliver 24x7 access to desktops and automatically backup student data. This anytime remote access and data protection is a fundamental component to any virtual desktop infrastructure and will help students be more productive and increase overall utilization of the Apps@UT network. Furthermore, the NetApp architecture provides UT Knoxville with unique storage efficiency technologies that will enable the university to more effectively manage data growth, lower power and cooling requirements, and reduce overall storage costs.
For the Apps@UT service, the university is building its Citrix XenDesktop infrastructure on the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) blade server platform. Cisco UCS offers a compelling mix of performance, scalability and decreased datacenter footprint, which reinforces the energy-saving aspect of Apps@UT. Technology partners Cisco and Citrix have jointly published validated design guidance that leverages the tight integration between their respective technologies and helps accelerate UT Knoxville’s time to deployment. Additionally with the Cisco UCS service profiles, UT Knoxville can quickly scale out additional virtual desktops for new students and faculty each year that are optimized to the type of usage and security they require.
UT Knoxville is also implementing Citrix NetScaler® and Branch Repeater™ with XenDesktop to optimize the performance of networks, applications and services. The Citrix suite of virtual computing solutions is expected to save the university time and resources by enabling easy, centralized management of desktops and applications. This implementation will also reduce the cost of software refreshes, security patches, and other maintenance. In addition, as older PCs in the university labs are phased out and replaced by thin clients under the Apps@UT program, the university will generate energy savings and reduce both the frequency and cost of hardware refreshes.
Citrix Platinum Partner, LPS Integration, is also assisting UT Knoxville with the rollout of Citrix virtualization solutions.
Tom Simmons, area vice president – US Public Sector at Citrix
“By leveraging Citrix virtual solutions for on-demand access to data and applications, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville will enhance students’ learning environment and reduce their financial burden. The new Apps@UT program demonstrates the university’s firm commitment to delivering the highest quality education while controlling costs.”
Thomas Eacobacci, vice president, Southeast Region, Citrix Systems, Inc.
“UT Knoxville has transformed its computing environment into a flexible service that meets students’ personal work styles, providing access to their data and applications whenever and wherever they work. At the same time, the university can expect to save time and money as this virtual environment easily supports the new applications and desktop images required every semester.”
Scott Studham, CIO, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
“The students on UT Knoxville’s Technology Advisory Board were the visionaries driving the Apps@UT program, believing it will give all university students the high degree of flexibility and availability they have come to expect from technology today.”
Regina Kunkle, vice president of State/Local Government and Education for NetApp
“The explosion of new technologies that are being leveraged in the classroom is resulting in a significant increase in the amount of data and information that schools like the University of Tennessee at Knoxville need to store and manage. NetApp is committed to working with strategic partners like Citrix and Cisco to provide the higher education sector with the IT infrastructure required to address these challenges and enable students and staff to maximize the learning experience.”
David Lawler, vice president, Server, Access and Virtualization, Cisco
“UT Knoxville provides a blueprint for colleges and universities looking for ways to better serve students, improve IT performance and reduce costly energy usage. By taking advantage of the 60 percent greater virtual desktop density provided by memory-extension technology in the Cisco Unified Computing platform, education organizations can scale to deliver high performance virtual desktops more easily to more students and faculty each year.”
Facts and Highlights
- Students on UT Knoxville’s Technology Advisory Board ranked Apps@UT as one of the highest funding priorities for the Student Technology Fee.
- UT Knoxville’s Apps@UT is one of the largest deployments of Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktop technologies at a Tennessee university.
- Ultimately, the Apps@UT program will enable the university to phase out some of its computer labs as more students and staff rely on remote access for their computing and storage needs.
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