Virtualization can play an important part in tomorrow’s education industry. Impact of virtualization on education technology is potentially substantial, for example, using virtualization the overall costs can be reduced and operational efficiencies of educational institutes can be improved. Some of these key benefits of virtualization in education are discussed below:
Reducing overall costs:
- Server virtualization ensures that server utilization rates in educational institutes are higher than usual, thus reducing server related costs.
- Server virtualization also reduces power consumption associated with data centers. For example, The University of Miami, with 15,000 students was able to save 80% energy costs by switching to server virtualization.
- Using desktop virtualization, the life of computer hardware used in educational institutes can be extended. Thus thin clients bought once can be used for a longer period as desktop virtualization ensures they are still usable (as thin client’s configuration has little impact on application running).
- IT support and maintenance accounts for almost 30% of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Virtualization reduces this component substantially as individual maintenance, upgrades, and other such tasks are eliminated. All management can be done at the data center. For example, Fairfax County Public Schools (USA), reduced its application deployment time from four weeks to one day.
Benefits in usage:
- Provides a uniform experience to all students irrespective of PC (thin client’s) age, configuration.
- Desktop virtualization ensures that students can work from any workstation and in case of any issues with a single workstation, their data is not lost
- Virtualization ensures remote access to education institute’s resources for students. For example, Florida International University, was enable IT staff to give students access to applications from their homes and computer labs, while providing a multimedia experience.
- Using virtualization, students can access resources from various devices – mobiles, game consoles, desktops, notebooks, etc.
- Network security provided by virtualization helps education institutes to allow connections to various devices from different locations without compromising on the security of educational institute’s network
- Efficient usage and tracking of licensed software. Limiting usage and managing licenses becomes manageable using virtualization. University of Miami saved 40% on its licensing costs with server virtualization.
- Application virtualization can ease in installation and running of applications and avoiding potential conflicts between different applications running on same OS.