The University of Murcia has expanded its Virtual Desktops (EVA) service with UDS Enterprise. Following its aspiration to innovate and offer the best possible benefits to users, the Area of Information Technology and Applied Communications (ATICA) has begun to provide remote access to computers located on campus. The pilot experience has started in the Faculty of Economics and Business. It will expand to the rest of the schools gradually.
Due to the health crisis and the need to maintain social distance measures between students, there are many computers in the university's IT rooms that are restricted for face-to-face use. ATICA specialists have found a way to solve this problem and optimize all available resources to be used from anywhere with the help of UDS Enterprise software.
The project consists of enabling 24x7 remote access to those computers that cannot be used in person. Students, teachers, and administrative and services staff can use them regardless of where they are and the device they have. They just have to enter the EVA portal and the system displays the computers that are available to be used remotely. In this way, they can use the equipment without schedule limitations that have optimal technical requirements in terms of power, processor, disk, or to carry out their teaching tasks. Additionally, they can use licensed software installed on those devices and cannot be used from personal computers.
The UMU has been trusting UDS Enterprise for years as the central gear of its VDI platform. It is the software in charge of managing, deploying, and through which virtual desktops are accessed. And now it is also the linchpin to enable remote access to devices located in classrooms. Its interoperability with OpenGnsys, a computer cloning system that was already incorporated in all the classrooms of the UMU has made the implementation of this new service extremely simple.
Thanks to this initiative, more than 2,500 users once again have all the equipment in the computer classrooms at their disposal, either in person or via the internet. As all the faculties share the same problem, ATICA is already working on expanding the service. Currently, they are incorporating the three Chemistry computer rooms, and little by little, they will be adding those of all the degrees. Once the system is implemented in the different faculties, it will be available to a potential group of 32,000 users.
The project will not end once all the IT classrooms are added. The roadmap includes the possibility of reserving a computer for remote or face-to-face access through the ESPACIOS application. In this way, students will have total flexibility. They will be able to make sure in advance that they will have a computer available at a specific time to use it as they choose: from the university facilities or from the place they prefer without schedule limitations, even though the campus is closed.
Incorporating the classroom infrastructure to the desktop virtualization solution managed with UDS Enterprise increases the ecosystem of service providers managed by this broker. These service providers are: on-premises infrastructure in the primary data centers and backup, infrastructure in the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS, and the new built-in infrastructure of the computer classrooms that have more than 2,000 seats installed available to users. The sum of all the resources available in these infrastructures is making it possible to provide more than 11,000 accumulated virtual desktops per day to the users of said service at the University of Murcia.
The commitment to desktop virtualization with UDS Enterprise has allowed the UMU to adapt to the new situation imposed by Covid-19 since the pandemic began. With the declaration of the state of alarm, they were able to adjust their VDI infrastructure so that around 35,000 students, some 2,700 teachers and more than 1,200 administrative and services could work and study from home. With the start of the new course, UDS Enterprise has become the perfect ally to solve the challenges derived from blended education and the obligation to comply with social distancing measures.