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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
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
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
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/