CCRI Delivers Anytime, Anywhere Desktops To Students with Liquidware Labs Solutions
The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) is the state's only public comprehensive associate-degree-granting institution. Its four main campuses and two secondary campuses serve 18,000 students, including many non-traditional students – 66 percent are part-time and 40 percent are age 25 or older. The challenge for CCRI was to expand access to computer resources for these students, who often were completing assignments in the wee hours of the morning after putting in time at jobs during the day and handling other responsibilities.
CCRI's 3,800 student-shared PCs are available on campus between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., but the IT staff wanted to expand access to "off hours" and off campus for 24/7 access by students. However, with their hands full with just keeping their physical computers up and running with the constant usage, they knew they needed a major change. CCRI decided to move to virtual desktops, but with their limited timeframe, they absolutely had to get it right the first time. They enlisted Liquidware Labs partner Envision to guide them through the process.
Based on Envision's recommendations, CCRI implemented non-persistent virtual desktops (an environment that would grow to support 4,000 users) with Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity for User Environment Management of the students user profiles and user-authored data. The combination provided a user experience on par with the physical desktops the students were accustomed to. The students' identities and permissions were managed through Microsoft Active Directory. CCRI integrated ProfileUnity into Active Directory and was able to significantly upgrade its user profile management capabilities with the solution's granular context-aware which guided IT staff through creating settings and permission for the spectrum of desktop images tailored for specific student groups.
Because ProfileUnity also handled the migration to the new desktops, the transition was seamless for users with no downtime on the PCs. A bonus was that login times and desktop performance were also significantly boosted.
With Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity, CCRI met its goals of providing students with 24-hour access to desktops as well as improving the quality of the user experience.