Moving Your Computer Lab(s) to the Cloud

crookpatedspongySoftware and s/w Development

Dec 2, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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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



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



Over 370 public machines



Windows
desktops, Macs,
laptops

o
O
pen
computing
cafes

o
“Labs”

o
C
lassrooms

o
V
ideo theaters

o
S
eminar rooms

o
C
ollaborative spaces

o
Lending laptops



Network printing


cost recovery

o
Black & White

o
Color

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



Success in virtualizing servers


Desire to find similar efficiencies
with desktops


Partnership with the School of Business and School
of Engineering

o
Common interests

o
Shared resources

o
Buying power

o
Complementary skills and experience




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



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



Pilot a small # of computers



Ericom browser
-
based access



Repurpose existing PCs as “thin desktop” model

o
VMware Whitepaper

UConn’s vPC

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:



budget
planning



equipment requests based on needs, outside requests


specification

-

working with Lib staff to meet user's needs

Moved 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 database

Devices
not
under $1000, do not require tagging


configuration & testing

-

creating image, applying settings

Devices 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
software

Done 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?

The benefits
include
:


Cost of device
approx

half

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

Printing



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

o
Doesn’t scale


Pharos’
Uniprint

“one queue” for all locations


Partnering with other labs

o
Library runs central server

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


Simplified user experience

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

o
Print jobs can be picked up in any participating lab

Cloud printing

Products



VMware



virtualization


Ericom
AccessNow


Dell



hardware and services

o
Server components

o
Wyse zero clients


Samsung

all
-
in
-
one zero clients


Pharos

Uniprint

printing


Unidesk



virtualization, layering


Labstats



usage reporting


Sassafras

K2


reporting

More info



v
pc.uconn.edu

o
Blog of what we’ve done, learned

o
About the Technologies and Equipment used



print.uconn.edu



z
ero 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/



Q
& A