VIEWS: 26 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 6/15/2010
Offering a variety of academic programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields, the University of Pittsburgh has 12,000 faculty and staff members serving more than 34,000 students. The university’s Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) department has just five IT staffers who support 1,000 computers and more than 100 applications for student computing labs. It needed to streamline and accelerate application deployment, and be more responsive to faculty needs. Using Microsoft® Application Virtualization, CSSD cut the time needed to deploy each application from 40 or 50 hours to just 5 hours, reduced the time required to deliver software updates and upgrades, and enabled multiple versions of an application to run on a single computer. The IT staff now can respond to faculty requests for new applications without having to wait until the summer to implement them.
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack Customer Solution Case Study University Speeds Application Delivery, Enhances Responsiveness with Virtualization Overview “Microsoft Application Virtualization … solves so many Country or Region: United States Industry: Higher education of the deployment problems that we grappled with in the past and streamlines the entire application Customer Profile The University of Pittsburgh is an management process.” internationally recognized center of Jinx Walton, Director, CSSD, University of Pittsburgh learning and research, with more than 34,000 students and 12,000 faculty and Offering a variety of academic programs in the arts and sciences staff members. and professional fields, the University of Pittsburgh has 12,000 Business Situation faculty and staff members serving more than 34,000 students. The university wanted to reduce the time required to deploy new The university’s Computing Services and Systems Development applications, upgrades, and updates to (CSSD) department has just five IT staffers who support 1,000 its student computing labs, and enable IT to be much more responsive to computers and more than 100 applications for student com- faculty needs. puting labs. It needed to streamline and accelerate application Solution deployment, and be more responsive to faculty needs. Using With help from Virtera, the University Microsoft® Application Virtualization, CSSD cut the time needed of Pittsburgh switched from physical application installation to virtual to deploy each application from 40 or 50 hours to just 5 hours, applications that are never installed reduced the time required to deliver software updates and but readily accessible, using Microsoft® Application Virtualization 4.5. upgrades, and enabled multiple versions of an application to run on a single computer. The IT staff now can respond to faculty Benefits Accelerated application and update requests for new applications without having to wait until the deployments summer to implement them. Enhanced IT responsiveness Ability to run multiple application versions on one machine Situation Systems Development for the University The University of Pittsburgh was founded of Pittsburgh. “When faculty members in 1787 as a small, private school. Today, requested new applications during the it has evolved into an internationally year, we would tell them they would recognized center of learning and have to wait another term so that we research, with more than 34,000 students could test against all of the existing and 12,000 faculty and staff members. Its packages to ensure there wouldn’t be Computing Services and Systems conflicts and unforeseen problems that Development (CSSD) department is could cause the software to stop responsible for providing innovative, responding.” reliable, and low-cost IT services— including supporting the university’s Often, the IT staff would encounter prob- computing labs on its main campus and lems late in the summer as the last of the four regional campuses. However, with applications were being tested. “It was a just five CSSD staffers dedicated to major ordeal because, as new conflicts “We couldn’t respond to supporting the labs’ more than 1,000 arose, we would have to go back to computers, it was often challenging to square one in terms of testing all the last-minute requests or efficiently deploy and maintain the more applications all over again,” Walton adds. changes because it was than 100 applications needed by “This put a lot of stress on our employ- students. ees, because they knew the deadline was just too risky…. That was fast approaching.” CSSD staff tested images thoroughly understandably before delivering them to the labs to Deploying software updates was also a frustrating for faculty ensure that students would not have major ordeal, because of the extensive problems related to application com- time required. As the labs used more who couldn’t get what patibility conflicts. The process involved applications and images grew larger, installing the operating system on a doing more frequent updates became they wanted for their development computer and then increasingly important but also increas- students when they installing applications one at a time. As ingly cumbersome. According to Walton, each new application was installed, it and CSSD typically postponed these updates needed it.” all previously installed applications had until the department had ample time— Jinx Walton, Director, Computing Services to be tested to ensure that there were no something that was in short supply until and Systems Development, conflicts introduced. This iterative proc- the summer. University of Pittsburgh ess of installing and testing applications continued until all necessary applications “We had limited flexibility,” Walton says. were successfully installed, all problems “We couldn’t respond to last-minute resolved, and the final image released for requests or changes because it was just distribution. too risky to add or modify applications during an academic term. As a result, we “Because applications took so long to never added new applications or updates test and deploy—typically 40 to 50 hours during the school year. And if faculty per application—we couldn’t add new didn’t send in requests for new applica- software packages to the labs during the tions by our deadline, which was the end main school year. Instead, we would of the spring semester, they would have spend the summer getting applications to wait for an entire additional term to ready for the labs,” says Jinx Walton, get their software. That was understand- Director of Computing Services and ably frustrating for faculty who couldn’t get what they wanted for their students has been deployed to 70 computers and when they needed it, and we felt we will be rolled out to all 1,000 computers in were doing them a disservice.” seven campus labs during the next six to eight months. To date, the Computing CSSD tried a number of ways to stream- Services and Systems Development staff line the deployment process, focusing has virtualized approximately half of its primarily on the delivery of the image 100 applications, including Autodesk once it was prepared. However, none of AutoCAD, Microsoft Office Word, those methods sped up the overall Microsoft Office Excel® spreadsheet process significantly. In 2007, several software, and the Microsoft Office CSSD system architects who had been PowerPoint® presentation graphics working with Microsoft learned about program. Microsoft® Application Virtualization and realized that it could eliminate the need “Automatic application caching and for much of the lengthy imaging process. enhanced sequencing are two partic- “Because each ularly useful new features in Microsoft “In theory, it looked like Microsoft Application Virtualization version 4.5,” application is isolated, Application Virtualization could solve Walton notes. In version 4.1, a user we no longer worry our problems, cutting down on the time would start an application and then have required to deploy applications and giv- to wait for it to be downloaded from the about conflicts or spend ing us the flexibility that we needed to Application Virtualization server. With be more responsive,” Walton says. autocaching, applications can be stream- time regression testing. ing in the background while the user is We’re much more Solution connected to the network without dis- In 2008, the University of Pittsburgh rupting his or her productivity. efficient and can deploy began evaluating Microsoft Application Virtualization in a test environment with By using enhanced sequencing— software in a fraction of a limited number of applications. The optimization done to simplify and speed the time that it used to university uses the product to transform up the virtualization of applications— applications into virtualized, network- CSSD staffers can deliver applications to take.” available services, resulting in dynamic the student computing labs more quickly Jinx Walton, Director, Computing Services delivery of software that is not installed, and effectively than before. “This is par- and Systems Development, minimizes application conflicts, and ticularly important considering the num- University of Pittsburgh reduces costly application compatibility ber of applications supported in the testing. “We had great results and were computing labs,” notes Walton. confident that Microsoft could provide the support that we needed to make the The university is also evaluating full-scale implementation a success,” Microsoft Application Virtualization Walton says. for Terminal Services to streamline the process of delivering applications to off- With the help of Virtera, a Microsoft Gold campus faculty. Certified Partner, the university began deploying Microsoft Application Benefits Virtualization 4.1, part of the Microsoft Using application virtualization, the Desktop Optimization Pack for Software University of Pittsburgh has significantly Assurance. It upgraded to version 4.5 in reduced the time and effort needed to April 2009. As of June 2009, the software deploy applications to student comput- ing lab machines, and enabled the upgrades as they’re needed, rather than Computing Services and Systems having to wait until the summer. “We Development staff to be much more can finally be flexible enough to deploy flexible and responsive to faculty needs. applications when professors request “Microsoft Application Virtualization them, and updates when they become accomplishes everything that it promises. available, without having to postpone It solves so many of the deployment them until we have a big window of problems that we grappled with in the time,” Walton notes. past and streamlines the entire applica- tion management process,” Walton says. Not only is this critical to providing responsive service, but it also “makes Accelerated Application and Update life much easier and less stressful for Deployments the IT staff, who won’t have to struggle Using the application virtualization against end-of-summer application solution, it now takes CSSD an average delivery deadlines,” says Walton. Addi- “We can finally be of five hours to sequence an application tionally, it allows staffers to spend more for delivery, including the time to test the time consulting with students in the flexible enough to sequenced application in the computing computing labs instead of preparing deploy applications labs. This is a 90 percent time savings applications for delivery, so that they can over previous methods, which required continue to provide the highest level of when professors request 40 to 50 hours, or more if conflicts with direct student support. other applications arose. them, and updates when Ability to Run Multiple Application they become available, “This time savings becomes even more Versions on One Machine significant when you take into account With Microsoft Application Virtualization, without having to the effort that was previously required to the university can simultaneously run install and distribute updates, address multiple versions of the same application postpone them until we last-minute changes to an image, and on the same computer. “This is critical have a big window of other post-delivery tasks,” Walton says. because we support the needs of a Now, the CSSD staff can apply updates diverse user population—from time.” and upgrades to individual applications undergrad to grad students and even Jinx Walton, Director, Computing Services instead of to whole images. faculty—and a variety of courses that and Systems Development, require different versions of the same University of Pittsburgh “Because each application is isolated, we software,” explains Walton. “In the past, no longer worry about conflicts or spend we had to standardize on the most pop- time regression testing. We’re much more ular and frequently used versions. The efficient and can deploy software in a other versions that faculty requested just fraction of the time that it used to take,” couldn’t be made available.” says Walton. “We also have a much greater sense of security, knowing that we’re not Walton sums up, “The computing labs going to break applications when we add a are an extremely important aspect of new package and won’t run into unfore- the university’s education system seen conflicts down the road.” because they’re convenient and enable students to easily access a wide variety of Enhanced IT Responsiveness applications. The more efficiently and The university now can respond to effectively we can offer this critical requests for new applications and service to students, the better it is for For More Information everyone. Microsoft Application Virtual- Microsoft Desktop Optimization For more information about Microsoft ization enables us to accomplish this.” Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack products and services, call the (MDOP) for Software Assurance makes Microsoft Sales Information Center at it easy for an organization to administer (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the its applications, offering tools for Microsoft Canada Information Centre virtualizing and inventorying software at (877) 568-2495. Customers who are installations, for managing Group Policy deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach settings, and for system repair and data Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) recovery. services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in For more information about MDOP, go Canada. Outside the 50 United States to: and Canada, please contact your local www.microsoft.com/mdop Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com For more information about Virtera products and services, call (800) 848- 7185 or visit the Web site at: www.virteratech.com For more information about University of Pittsburgh services, call (412) 624- 4141 or visit the Web site at: www.pitt.edu Software and Services Hardware Technologies Dell desktop computers − Microsoft Application Virtualization Gateway desktop computers 4.5 Partner Virtera This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published July 2009
Pages to are hidden for
"University of Pittsburgh - Download as DOC"Please download to view full document