Remote application delivery overhaul reins in university’s sprawl

IT leaders at Northern Arizona University took one look at their inventory of employee applications and realized they needed to streamline their desktop computing resources.

Tobias Kreidl, desktop computing team lead at the university, discovered that staff were accessing more than 100 desktop images and 800 individual applications. It turned out that only six applications were common to all desktops; the rest were specific to certain users or departments.

“How were we going to manage all of these applications?” Kreidl said. “The first step is to evaluate what it is that you have to deal with.”

Improved image management and remote application delivery technologies, including Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and App-V, helped save the day. Based on that success, the university is now looking to upgrade and possibly expand its use of VDI.

Virtualization improves remote application delivery

As the first step in the project, Kreidl created one base desktop image with core apps that all users needed, such as Microsoft Office, a web browser and Adobe Reader.

“Why bloat images with things that people only use on an occasional basis or only a few people … use?” Kreidl said.

The first step is to evaluate what it is that you have to deal with.
Tobias Kreidldesktop computing team lead, Northern Arizona University

But users still needed other applications depending on their roles, and that’s where remote application delivery shone.

To make access to some of those apps easier, the IT department turned to RDS. Consolidating RDS servers into…

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