Monday, 22nd July 2019
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Virtualised workspace savings applied to educational software and cloud services

Kennet School reduced the amount of money it spends on desktop PCs by 30 percent and saved ?40,000 with the Atlantis USX solution provided by Atlantis Computing. The 200 new virtual desktops are the first phase of a virtualised computing solution designed for 1,800 pupils and 200 staff members at the academy secondary school in West Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Kennet School had allocated more than two thirds of its IT budget for desktop PCs to meet the performance and capacity demands of its learning applications. With a virtualised VMware server environment already in place, the school wanted to virtualise its desktops and storage, but the cost of VMware’s virtualised storage area network (vSAN) was prohibitively high. The project was in severe jeopardy until the school’s IT partner, 4Way Solutions, recommended a hybrid SDS solution combining VMware Horizon View with Atlantis USX.
“Without Atlantis Computing I don’t think we would have been able to move to a virtualised desktop environment at all,” said James Henderson, network administrator at Kennet School. “The cost of the alternative storage option was ?40,000 more than Atlantis for the first 200 desktops alone and was simply too expensive for the school.”
The Atlantis solution significantly accelerates performance. During proof of concept tests, the system developed by 4way Solutions recorded 124x faster IOPS performance than existing desktops. Log-on times dramatically reduced from 80 seconds on traditional desktops to 25 seconds on the new virtual PC environment.
Chris Plant, Atlantis Computing EMEA vice president, said, “PC performance and scalability are critical to the delivery of effective teaching and learning programs. It’s great to see that the Atlantis USX virtual workspace solution serves such an instrumental role in making this happen for Kennet School.”
The new solution also provides increased flexibility. If the school requires additional capacity for more virtual desktops, it requests an additional node for its existing platform rather than buying dedicated storage. Atlantis USX’s advanced de-duplication facilities have responded to the growing storage quota for users, which has doubled from 4GB to 8GB to accommodate the increasing needs of graphics-based packages, video and music applications.
Looking ahead, each additional virtualised desktop will cost Kennet School ?284 vs. up to ?800 for a replacement desktop PC.
“Rather than 70 percent, we now only need to allocate 40 percent of our IT budget to rolling out virtualised desktops, which enables us to divert nearly a third of our IT funding to new educational software and cloud services, helping us to deliver the best IT experiences that we possibly can for pupils and staff,” Henderson said.
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