MnSCU Improves Desktop Performance, Launches DR with Liquidware ProfileUnity

As the fifth largest system supporting 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) serves approximately 410,000 students.  Early on, MnSCU IT staff saw the value of virtualizing their desktops.  After an initial launch of persistent desktops, which became bloated and less resilient over time, MnSCU switched to a combination of non-persistent, stateless desktops with user profiles and data managed by Liquidware ProfileUnity.

MnSCU IT staff chose ProfileUnity because of its all-encompassing feature set.  First of all ProfileUnity could automate the migrations process, harvesting existing user profiles from physical or virtual machines and creating a universally compatible profile that would work across Windows OS versions. Therefore migrations could happen during normal staff hours when they could be present to troubleshoot any issues. The solution also collects user preference settings, application setting and user-authored data which made mapping process easy.  ProfleUnity also provided a means to cleanup existing files befoåre the final conversion, an important consideration for the IT staff.  Once the automation process was completed, the MnSCU team leveraged ProfileUnity for its full-featured UEM, as well as FlexApp Application Layering --which provided the following key advantages:

  • Users could install their own applications with FlexApp but under administrator control -- allowing them to customize their desktops further
  • FlexApp further reduced the number of master images that the staff had to manage
  • Login times were reduced significantly
  • Administrators could apply granular group policy to ensure lockdown of access from the desktops
  • MnSCU can now backup user profiles and user-authored data and has implemented a disaster recovery program for desktops, which is was not able to do with persistent virtual desktops.