Students are digital natives that want to keep learning. But they are no longer limited to traditional text books, pencil and paper or in-classroom studies. Virtual schools are here and they are demanding real-time, active learning, and opportunity to connect students to the rest of the world, not just their local classrooms. As a matter of fact, it’s projected that by 2019, half of all high school classes will be conducted online.
So what does this mean to Public School systems who are looking to keep up with changing educational models but are relying on traditional IT infrastructure to enable change? Atlanta Public Schools answered this question straight on.
The environment of Atlanta Public Schools consists of 50,000 students utilizing 8,000 concurrent desktops on over 24,000 PCs, laptops and thin clients. In order to accommodate their growing bandwidth constraints, APS wanted to reduce the endpoints to a common zero client. In addition, different Microsoft Office versions were combined into an Office 365 rollout. Personal devices (BYOD) needed to be utilized in a secure and seamless manner. In the end, the district wanted to provide centralized virtual desktops for the students to take tests and view exam results by means of web applications.
Based on these requirements, Citrix XenDesktop 7 running on Microsoft HyperV 2012, utilizing Cisco’s UCS and Invicta technologies, was the best choice for their environments. Student documents are now stored on OneDrive, and applications are provided with AppV, as much as possible, or delivered through applications servers leveraging AD security groups. User profiles are managed by Citrix Profile Management and stored on the Cisco Invicta performance appliance; while remote access is provided by pairs of Citrix NetScalers at two data centers leveraging a Cisco network.
As a result, the Atlanta Public School system has a full-service solution that is not only running very smoothly but is secure and very scalable in order to accommodate future growth.
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