Colleges and universities are accelerating their digital transformations with new learning, teaching, and business models that improve school offerings.
To address these challenges, a collaboration between NComputing and Citrix focused on an innovative endpoint solution, the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub (RX-HDX). Launched at Citrix Synergy in May of 2018, the RX-HDX has shown itself to be a disruptive endpoint device in the virtualisation market. Slashing price points for VDI client hardware and support by up to 80% while delivering all of the performance, security, and manageability required in business and educational settings.
Powered by the versatile Raspberry Pi platform, the RX-HDX packs a serious punch with a footprint smaller than most smart phones. Fully optimised for Citrix, this HDX Ready device supports HDX 3D Pro and RTME while using less than 5 watts of power. Typing is faster at a desktop station, but sharing content is better when connected to the room TV or projector. Citrix Casting, technology specific to the Workspace Hub program, enables a user to move their virtual session from smartphone, tablet, or laptop to a nearby RX-HDX device deployed for any number of innovative use cases.
Many schools and universities have addressed computing challenges with help from the Citrix Ready Workspace Hub revolution, including the University of Law in the United Kingdom. The University of Law, also known as ULaw, is one of the UK’s longest established specialist providers of legal education, with a rich heritage and reputation for innovation. With a rich history that dates as far back as 1876, ULaw has campuses in 8 cities across the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Guildford, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham. ULaw also offers the opportunity to study abroad at their Berlin location as well as at their new campus in Hong Kong. They also teach post graduate courses at the University of Exeter The University of Reading, The University of Liverpool and The University of East Anglia. With a passion for supporting student ambition and setting them up for success, ULaw boasts high employability rates and high profile alumni. With around 700 staff and 8,000 students spread across a multitude of locations, the university has adopted a number of key initiatives to ensure that all users receive a rich, high-performance workspace irrespective of geography or user type.
Significant investment was required to renew the university’s diverse range of endpoints which consisted of a large number of ageing PCs. Simplifying support processes and streamlining the management of IT Security were key considerations. Responding to feedback from students, ULaw sought the help of Cetus Solutions to design a cost efficient, intelligent and modern solution that would allow them to meet these objectives.
Using NComputing and Stratodesk solutions, Cetus Solutions worked with ULaw to refresh the PC hardware estate with NComputing’s Citrix Workspace Hub, powered by the Raspberry Pi. The Workspace Hub is small, stateless and inexpensive with an array of unique features that made it a versatile and appealing proposition for ULaw.
Stephen Fielding, Cetus Regional Sales Manager – South said “Cetus and Citrix jointly engaged to help The University of Law design and implement a workspace solution to improve the user experience of the student estate. Part way through the project, The University of Law asked for the project to be extended to include the teaching staff, which was achieved within the flexible framework of the Citrix technologies”. The university was able to reduce its carbon footprint significantly whilst keeping capital expenditure very low. When factoring in the security advantages of using a stateless endpoint device and the administrative advantages of centralising management, the costs and benefits realised by the Workspace Hub were immediately apparent.
Cetus worked with ULaw to optimise the delivery of desktops and applications to students securely and remotely. These applications included Microsoft’s suite of technologies (Office 365 and Dynamics 365) as well as a variety of third-party applications for staff including Blackboard and student management systems. By identifying the right use cases, the university was able to harness the power and versatility of the management console to deliver the right requirements to different user types. Tom Brady, Chief Information Officer at the University of Law said “Thanks to NComputing’s solution we are now afforded far better data visibility including better MI statistics which has in turn helped us achieve a leaner footprint”.
Whilst still in its infancy, the project has garnered a lot of positive attention with students now able to access and experience their workspaces quickly and securely and from any location. The simplification of the remote support model has helped IT staff to focus on being proactive and freed up resources for other initiatives. As the university strives to continually improve academically, the Workspace Hub has helped by removing obstacles for the swift implementation of projects. With its expandability as an IoT platform, the Citrix Workspace Hub is a readymade solution paving the way for future investments by ULaw in the Future of Work. “By deploying Citrix Workspace Hub we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint whilst ensuring that our internal resources are efficiently allocated. It gives us room to grow our investment and continue to improve workspace delivery in a measured fashion.” added Tom.