In November 2018, they started offering to their 750 University researchers access to the tools they use for their projects through Windows virtual applications. This solved several problems at one time: “Many applications are used only sporadically and are complicated to install natively on the computers of the university, not to mention the difficulty of having to install them on the researchers’ devices”, explained Laurent Buset, Head of User’s Support Department at Université Catholique de Louvain.
Thanks to application virtualization with UDS Enterprise, now the IT team only has to configure and manage a template with the virtual applications used by each group of researchers. All the updates, the installation of security patches or the inclusion of new applications are done in a centralized and transparent way for users.
With this technology they meet one of the most important demands of researchers: to be able to use their own devices to access applications. “Some researchers have Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android devices… and many of the applications exist only for Windows, so they could not access them from their devices to enjoy the advantages offered by the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend and work from anywhere, anytime and with any device,” said Buset.
UDS Enterprise allows to access Windows virtualized applications from any device and operating system, the only requirement is to have a web browser that supports HTML5. “The feedback from the researchers is very positive, since the access through web browser is really simple; now they enjoy more flexibility to do their work and they are much more independent,” commented Buset.
For its part, the IT Department is also very satisfied with the implementation of application virtualization with UDS Enterprise. “The management and maintenance of the applications is now much simpler, we use non-persistent machines, so that every time a user logs out the machine is destroyed and upon re-entry a new application is deployed, which favors the control of the platform by IT and improves security, since the possible threats are eliminated when a user logs out, ” mentioned the Head of User’s Support Department.
In total, they have 12 Windows virtualized applications. During the first academic year that this service has been offered to researchers, they have had usage peaks of around one thousand virtual applications per month.
To manage this deployment efficiently and offer a 24/7 service without interruptions to the users, they have a high availability (HA) infrastructure for both VDI and vApp, since UDS Enterprise allows integrating both services in the same platform, that is managed centrally from a single console accessible through web browser.
For application virtualization they have 6 RDS servers. The UDS Enterprise connection broker communicates with these servers to publish the remote applications and the free and Open Source software HAProxy is responsible for balancing accesses automatically. “User balancing prevents RDS servers from becoming saturated and allows us to offer better calculation performance,” stated Buset.
In short, the adoption of application virtualization with UDS Enterprise has brought great benefits for researchers and the IT team at UCLouvain. The daily work of both has been greatly simplified, improving their efficiency and productivity.
VIRTUALIZED APPLICATIONS WITH UDS ENTERPRISE
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