Moving your computer lab s to the cloud
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Moving Your Computer Lab(s) to the Cloud. Rick O’Toole & Dave Hicking University of Connecticut Libraries. Introductions / Background. Rick O'Toole , Public Computing Coordinator Dave Hicking , IT Support Coordinator

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Moving your computer lab s to the cloud

Moving Your Computer Lab(s) to the Cloud

Rick O’Toole & Dave Hicking

University of Connecticut Libraries


Introductions background

Introductions / Background

  • Rick O'Toole, Public Computing Coordinator

  • Dave Hicking, IT Support Coordinator

  • Members of the Libraries' ITS dept, staff of 8; support Library staff and technology in 9 buildings across 6 state-wide campuses

  • Dependent upon central IT for networking, authentication, other infrastructure services


Uconn libraries at a glance

UConn Libraries at-a-glance

  • Over 370 public machines

  • Windows desktops, Macs, laptops

    • Open computing cafes

    • “Labs”

    • Classrooms

    • Video theaters

    • Seminar rooms

    • Collaborative spaces

    • Lending laptops

  • Network printing – cost recovery

    • Black & White

    • Color


Why go virtual benefits

WHY go virtual? Benefits?

For the Library:

  • Deploy software faster across machines

  • Reduce time/labor to perform desktop updates

  • Cost savings (equipment, staff, power) *

    For the Users:

  • Consistent user experience across labs

  • Access to software from anywhere, anytime

  • More up-to-date software available

  • *Results may vary


Uconn libraries case study

UConn Libraries case study

  • Success in virtualizing servers

  • Desire to find similar efficiencies with desktops

  • Partnership with the School of Business and School of Engineering

    • Common interests

    • Shared resources

    • Buying power

    • Complementary skills and experience


How to transition to virtual

HOW to transition to virtual

  • Sell the concept, explain the benefits. Use other successful institutions as examples

  • Get buy-in/support from supervisor(s) or sponsor(s)

  • Secure funding, up-front and long-term

  • Stakeholder involvement

  • Build & train your team

  • Develop a support network, workflows, etc.


Necessary ingredients

Necessary ingredients

  • A sensible plan, reasonable scope

  • Project Management

  • The right people, the right skills

  • A phased approach

  • Patience and flexibility

  • User involvement and feedback

  • The right equipment – re-purposing old equip vs. buying new devices

  • Tech Support

  • Marketing & Communication

  • $


Transitioning steps

Transitioning Steps

  • Pilot a small # of computers

  • Ericom browser-based access

  • Repurpose existing PCs as “thin desktop” model

    • VMware Whitepaper


Uconn s vpc

UConn’s vPC


Old equipment lifecycle

OLD Equipment Lifecycle:

  • budget planning – equipment requests based on needs, outside requests

  • specification - working with Lib staff to meet user's needs

  • procurement - working with vendor(s) for best price and model

  • inventory control - working with material handling; imputing equip into own database

  • configuration & testing - creating image, applying settings

  • security - physical and software policies

  • implementation - space planning; coordinate resources; remove old equip, install equip; document for ongoing support

  • support - higher level troubleshooting that desk can't address

  • upgrade - periodic software updates, applying patches, adding new software

  • replacement - putting better or newer equip in when it becomes obsolete or unable to perform tasks


New equipment lifecycle

NEWEquipment Lifecycle:

  • budget planning – equipment requests based on needs, outside requests

  • specification - working with Lib staff to meet user's needsMoved to standard zero client device

  • procurement - working with vendor(s) for best price and model

  • inventory control - working with material handling; imputing equip into own databaseDevices not under $1000, do not require tagging

  • configuration & testing - creating image, applying settingsDevices don't have OS of software

  • security - physical and software policies

  • implementation - space planning; coordinate resources; remove old equip, install equip; document for ongoing support *Quicker

  • support - higher level troubleshooting that desk can't address *Quicker

  • upgrade - periodic software updates, applying patches, adding new softwareDone remotely, quicker via Teradici console

  • replacement - putting better or newer equip in when it becomes obsolete or unable to perform tasks


Why use zero clients

Why use zero clients?

The benefits include:

  • Cost of device approxhalf that of desktop *once your back-end hardware is in place

  • No moving parts reduces support calls, can extend life of equipment, quieter

  • Energy savings

  • Smaller footprint saves desk space

  • Quicker startup


Providing users the latest greatest university software

Providing users the latest & greatest university software


Printing

Printing

  • Initially we had approximately 20 separate printers installed in each virtual machine

    • Doesn’t scale

  • Pharos’ Uniprint “one queue” for all locations

  • Partnering with other labs

    • Library runs central server

    • Other labs don’t need to create their own printing solution

  • Simplified user experience

    • Students only have to decide if they’re printing in black & white or color

    • Print jobs can be picked up in any participating lab


Cloud printing

Cloud printing


Products

Products

  • VMware – virtualization

  • Ericom AccessNow

  • Dell – hardware and services

    • Server components

    • Wyse zero clients

  • Samsung all-in-one zero clients

  • PharosUniprint printing

  • Unidesk – virtualization, layering

  • Labstats – usage reporting

  • Sassafras K2 – reporting


More info

More info

  • vpc.uconn.edu

    • Blog of what we’ve done, learned

    • About the Technologies and Equipment used

  • print.uconn.edu

  • zero clients:

    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/view/vmware-top-five-considerations-for-choosing-a-zero-client-environment-techwp.pdf

    http://zero-blog.com/2013/04/the-value-of-zero-top-5-reason-to-consider-a-zero-client/


Moving your computer lab s to the cloud

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