Dublin Business School (DBS), Ireland’s largest independent third-level college, has implemented Citrix® VDI-in-a-box™ to offer its 9,500 students a greater variety of classes and flexible study options, maximising learning time in the classroom, and reducing log in and application load times.

In essence, existing technology was hindering the growth and development of the college and the quality of the course programme on offer to students. With ambitious expansion plans to launch a number of new IT courses, DBS realised it needed to take a new technology approach to its lab facilities to be able to accommodate a greater volume of classes, with more demanding hardware requirements.

Of the 100 accredited courses offered by the business school, DBS runs a number of its classes in IT labs. Previously, DBS had to dedicate certain labs to classes based on the software available on PCs in a particular lab. For example, web development classes were specifically tied to a lab with PCs that had Dreamweaver installed, making for a very rigid and inflexible timetable.

Designed and implemented by Unity Technology Solutions, a Citrix Gold Solutions advisor, Citrix VDI-in-a Box and NetScaler® Access Gateway has allowed the DBS IT team to deliver a centrally managed, personalised virtual desktop to any user in any location on campus.

From a user perspective, staff and students can access desktops and applications from any PC on campus – quickly and easily – meaning they can work much more flexibly from a variety of locations. At the same time, IT can retain overall governance of data and applications from one central location. This project has also freed up restrictions on classroom scheduling whilst also providing an easier system for managing the IT infrastructure.

Citrix technology has already delivered significant benefits for staff and students alike. DBS can now operate a larger and flexible course programme, as well as paving the way for more online and blended learning. Eventually, staff and students will also be able to use their own devices on the corporate network.

In addition, students are also reaping the rewards since log in times are now 40 per cent quicker and high resource programmes are also opening 50 per cent faster. This has reduced time wasted waiting for applications to load and therefore maximising learning time in the lab.

The new infrastructure delivers a dynamic suite of software that can be updated, changed and distributed in a 12 hour turnaround. The VDI-in-a-Box management console means that just one team member is needed to monitor all active student and staff sessions. Support calls have therefore dropped as it is easier for staff and students to log on and off to bring up a new PC and application.

Citrix, in partnership with Unity Technology Solutions, is excited to have been part of such a success story that now sees DBS at least two years ahead of its competitors.