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Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology

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The article describes the economic, organisational and technological reasons for implementing VDI solutions (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) in the learning centers of academic institutions. It presents also major disadvantages, limitations and challenges of this technology. The comparison of total costs of previous solution (PC) and VDI technology has been also discussed. In addition to the benefits, limitations and costs analysis, a case study of the implementation of a model solution at the Wroclaw University of Economics was presented, which includes almost 400 zero client terminals and over 500 virtualised systems available to students in 12 laboratories. The authors were the originators of the concept of VDI implementation at this University and leaders of the project team. The article also presents selected experiences from project implementation and comments, the discussion of which may be crucial for the successful implementation of presented solutions.
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Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in
the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology
Artur Rot and Pawel Chrobak
Department of Information Systems, Wroclaw University of Economics, Komandorska 118/120, 53-345 Wroclaw, Poland
{artur.rot, pawel.chrobak}@ue.wroc.pl
Keywords: Virtualisation, VDI Infrastructure, Desktop as a Service, VMware Horizon View, Student Laboratories.
Abstract: The article describes the economic, organisational and technological reasons for implementing VDI
solutions (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) in the learning centers of academic institutions. It presents also
major disadvantages, limitations and challenges of this technology. The comparison of total costs of
previous solution (PC) and VDI technology has been also discussed. In addition to the benefits, limitations
and costs analysis, a case study of the implementation of a model solution at the Wroclaw University of
Economics was presented, which includes almost 400 zero client terminals and over 500 virtualised systems
available to students in 12 laboratories. The authors were the originators of the concept of VDI
implementation at this University and leaders of the project team. The article also presents selected
experiences from project implementation and comments, the discussion of which may be crucial for the
successful implementation of presented solutions.
1 INTRODUCTION
Increasing popularisation of centralised computing
centres, commonly known as cloud computing,
means that universities in Poland, among others, also
began to build their own private clouds not only to
support their internal processes, but also to provide
students with virtualised workstations in the DaaS
(Desktop as a Service) model (Madden, Knuth,
2014). One of the first universities that implemented
this solution in Poland was the Wroclaw University
of Economics. The concept of DaaS is to use a VDI
(Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) environment to
offer customers a persistent, highly available
desktop that can be accessed from all of their mobile
devices. This is significant because right now there
are no services available that offer those services.
The idea is to take the burden off of the customer by
removing the tedious upkeep that the facilities must
regularly go through. Desktop as a Service is used in
enterprises for a similar reason. The employees no
longer have to worry about maintaining a PC, since
the operating system would be centrally managed.
The idea is to reduce complexity by centralizing
management, which leads to a more productive and
efficient IT organization (Chrobak, 2014). The aim
of the article is to present the potential of
virtualisation technologies, in particular to identify
and analyse the benefits of VDI technology for
student laboratories on the example of the Wroclaw
University of Economics. The article presents main
benefits but also barriers and limitations of such
solution. This is an extended and revised version of
a preliminary conference article of the authors
prepared in Polish language (Rot, Chrobak, 2017).
The considerations presented in the article result
from both literature research and the experience of
authors, which is the result of managing the project
of implementing a virtual environment at the
Wroclaw University of Economics. The authors are
employees of one of the first universities in Poland
which implemented this solution on a massive scale
in their teaching process.
The subject of this study are student academic
laboratories, although the content contained herein
also refers to any type of training centers and
educational solutions in schools or centers of
learning. In the development strategy for 2010-2020
prepared by the University’s authorities, one of the
postulates indicating the directions of development
is to improve the functional efficiency of the
university and all its organisational units through full
integration based on advanced IT systems and
development of the IT network, as well as to
increase its security in order to more efficiently meet
704
Rot, A. and Chrobak, P.
Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology.
In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Software Technologies (ICSOFT 2018), pages 704-711
ISBN: 978-989-758-320-9
Copyright ©2018 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
the didactic, research and management needs. The
answer to these challenges was to create a virtual
environment that not only supports currently
existing services and systems at the University, but
also allows to apply the latest IT solutions in the
didactic process. The described implementation is
based on the VMware Horizon View environment.
2 THE FUNDAMENTAL
CONCEPT AND GENERAL
BENEFITS OF IT RESOURCES
VIRTUALISATION
Virtualization is basically making a virtual image or
“version” of something such as server, operating
system, storage devices or network resources so that
they can be used on multiple machines at the same
time. The main aim of virtualization is to manage
the workload by transforming traditional computing
to make it more scalable, efficient and economical.
Virtualization can be applied to a wide range such as
operating system virtualization, hardware-level
virtualization and server virtualization (Malhotra,
Agarwal, Jaiswal, 2014). The basis for the
virtualisation of the IT environment is the
identification of specific features and tasks of the
information technology (IT) infrastructure elements
and launching them in an abstract way, using foreign
software, network and hardware solutions, while
maintaining full functionality (Rule, Dittner, 2007).
It is a very broad concept and it may concern:
computer networks, data storage, servers, operating
systems, applications, workstations.
Virtualisation has been quickly adapted by
organisations and the academic community, as it
offers numerous benefits, where among the most
important ones is the reduction of investment outlays
and operating costs. These effects are achieved
thanks to consolidation of servers, and thus the
optimisation of the degree of consumption of the
existing IT infrastructure. Thanks to it, it is possible
to simplify the existing IT environment, while
creating a more dynamic and flexible data
processing centre. There is also the ability to run
several virtual machines on one server, flexibility of
resource configuration, centralised management, less
energy consumption by computers and cooling
systems. The virtualisation of the IT environment
has many advantages (Roszkowski, 2011)
(Czajkowski, 2011):
Consolidation of servers, and thus
optimisation of the degree of computer
hardware consumption as well as better use of
computing assets by increasing the utilisation
of virtual servers on physical servers.
Reduction of the total cost of assets under the
TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) model – the
reduction takes place by increasing the use of
equipment.
Reducing the costs of the future development
of the IT infrastructure – the need to expand
the IT environment with new services that
must be provided by the servers is associated
only with the need to create a new virtual
machine with a server.
Lower capital expenditures CAPEX – savings
are gained primarily due to the smaller
number of physical servers, interfaces,
network cabling and various network devices.
Lower operating expenditures OPEX – these
savings are due to, among others, reducing the
demand for electricity, reducing service costs.
Centralised infrastructure management –
operating systems installed on virtual servers
do not require creating backup copies,
installing updates or numerous other activities.
Operations that must be performed on virtual
servers are ordered and supervised by one
central management console.
Increased security and reliability of the
infrastructure due to the high availability
properties of the virtualisation platform.
Failure-free and continuous operation of IT
systems – these systems can work in a
continuous manner, without interference.
The ability to build disaster recovery
solutions.
Virtualisation allows for lowering investment
and operational expenses as well as easier and
cheaper management of IT infrastructure. Server
virtualisation also brings increased security and
reliability of the IT infrastructure.
3 VDI TECHNOLOGY – THE
ARCHITECTURE AND MAIN
BENEFITS
With the rapid development in computer technology
in recent times, the personal computers have become
so powerful that most of the users are not using the
entire capabilities of such computer for their regular
work. Because of this one can utilise the excess
capabilities in one computer and share it with many
other users. The concept of desktop virtualisation
Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology
705
implements this sharing of capabilities with the help
of thin client and zero client machines which not
only reduces the cost of infrastructure but also
introduces green computing by limiting significantly
energy consumption (Agrawal, Biswas, Nath, 2014).
VDI technology is the infrastructure of virtual
stations and it is the next step in the virtualisation
philosophy of workstations as well as placing them
in centralised servers and making them available on
zero client terminals. Zero client is a type of client
device that does not contain a classic processor, disk
storage or RAM. It is a compact terminal used in
centralised computing infrastructure or VDI.
Each virtual workstation has allocated RAM
memory, disk space, and the full installation of the
operating system resides on a virtual disk. The user
interacts with the virtual machine using the protocol
of a remote graphic terminal. The key is the fact that
the terminal is only a diskless thin client system,
whose operation boils down to connecting with the
VDI infrastructure.
Centralising the functions of desktops, at the
same time it simplifies their administration and
security and eliminates the need to perform basic
work related to maintaining desktops. The power
consumption is also reduced. The main benefits of
virtual desktop infrastructure are (Chrobak, 2014):
Management – using VDI technology allows
to have central management of all desktops
and to really control what is being installed
and used on the desktops. Deployment of
virtual desktops is lightning fast as opposed to
using imaging technology such as Norton or
other antiquated technologies.
Security – with VDI technology, the users
have greater control of how they secure their
desktops. There is a possibility to lock down
the image from external devices or prevent
copying data from the image to your local
machine.
Operation systems migrations.
VDI image – there is a possibility to create a
library of VDI images to meet all of company
needs.
In addition, the VDI environment offers a
number of additional features that allow the
following: load balancing (immediate transfer
of virtual systems to other servers in the
cluster), disabling servers at lower loads,
creating snapshots, and much more. Snapshot
technology with VDI gives ability to roll back
desktops to different states. This is a great
feature, and it allows to give a lot of flexibility
to end users.
Lower power consumption – a thin client or
zero client VDI session will use less electricity
than a desktop computer.
4 BENEFITS RESULTING FROM
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
VDI TECHNOLOGY IN
STUDENTS LABORATORIES
Universities have a few reasons for deploying VDI
in student laboratories. They can be divided in three
main groups: economic, organizational and
technological. In fact, almost all aspects have also
the implied economic savings, so in the
characteristics below we will focus on the economic
and organizational aspects.
The economic and organisational benefits,
resulting from the use of the discussed solutions can
be, among others, the following:
Administrative maintenance costs – the
implementation of VDI architecture allows to
significantly simplify the process of
administering, maintaining laboratories and
computer stations.
Operating costs – a typical terminal integrated
with a LED monitor created in zero client
technology consumes an average of 40-50W
of electricity, which is a fourfold lower
consumption than a typical workstation
(which consumes, with the monitor, about
200W). Of course, the VDI infrastructure also
includes a set of servers and a disk array,
therefore while averaging the results for a
typical example of ten 30-position
laboratories, one can estimate energy savings
of about 50%.
Hardware replacement costs – it is estimated
that the average time of depreciation of the
workstation is three years, while in the
academic practice this time is estimated to be
five years. Manufacturers of VDI equipment
indicate a double-long period of depreciation
of the VDI client from a typical workstation as
one of the advantages of VDI. The key fact is
that the VDI terminal does not contain any
components that determine the contractual
aging of the equipment. VDI terminals do not
have any mechanical parts, not even fans,
therefore MTBF (Mean Time Between
Failures) is about 70,000 hours for them,
which is more than twice than in the case of a
ICSOFT 2018 - 13th International Conference on Software Technologies
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typical workstation (MTBF = 30,000 hours). It
should also be noted that the cost of the VDI
terminal itself is about 25% lower than the
average computer set for the laboratory.
The VDI infrastructure provides the IT
administrators in higher education institutions with
an efficient and stable environment for managing
didactic laboratories, automating a number of
processes, and improving the reliability of the entire
solution. The main aspects improving the work of
administrators are following:
Central implementation and maintenance of
virtual systems – the administrator prepares
one system image (golden image), which will
be read-only, while each cloning of the image
and creating a virtual system will not copy the
whole image. The system reads data from the
golden image and all changes made in the
virtual system are saved in so-called linked
clone images. The space saving is relatively
high and it increases with the increase in the
number of workstations (Lowe, Marshall,
2013).
Instant refreshing of virtual systems – one of
the implications of golden images is the fact
that if the virtual operating system only reads
the data from the golden image and saves all
the differential changes to a linked clone, then
deleting the data in that place immediately
causes the clean operating system image to be
restored. The system automatically
disconnects the user session after 15 minutes
of inactivity and it immediately refreshes the
image of the virtual system, which restores it
to the initial state (this process takes several
seconds for each system) (Asselin, O’Doherty,
2014).
Continuity of the laboratory’s operation – the
user cannot configure any settings to disrupt
the continuity of the terminals’ operation.
Security policy – it is possible to install one
central antivirus program with agents for
individual virtual systems or even opt out of
antivirus software on workstations, based on
the assumption that computers will be restored
to the initial state anyway.
Benefits of implementation of desktop
virtualization technology in higher education
environments include the ability to deploy numerous
applications, which may conflict on a traditional
desktop, into a single image. Additionally, the
utilization of zero-clients could introduce energy
savings and reduce physical desktop replacement
costs. Virtualized desktops can be also delivered to
numerous devices, particularly student’s personal
laptops. However, there are many benefits of
desktop virtualization, there are also many barriers
to implementation (Erskine, Füstös, 2013).
5 MAJOR DISADVANTAGES,
LIMITATIONS AND
CHALLENGES OF VDI
TECHNOLOGY
Enterprises should consider the benefits and
drawbacks of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
before deciding to switch. The main disadvantages
and limitations of this technology are (Schmidt,
2015):
The initial cost of VDI hardware exceeds the
cost of purchasing new PCs for the company.
There is a lot of new equipment company
needs to purchase before and after
implementation.
Another issue, which prevents organisations
from using VDI, is long-term pricing. The
initial price often only covers a very
rudimentary resource profile for nothing more
than OS or workspace hosting. VDI is
particularly suitable for agile computer
demand, but it currently does not yet pay off
when replacing the average desktop. However,
for certain organisations, VDI brings real
benefits. Higher education can for example
offer their students a work environment via
DaaS (Oneclick, 2017).
VDI runs the risk of more costly changes and
unforeseen costs are a danger to new VDI
projects.
Software licensing is different with VDI
technology and often costs a lot of money, so
companies should consider the right licensing
approach.
Specialized software and applications that
require modifications or special parameters
are sometimes very difficult to virtualize and
some of them are generally unable to be
virtualized.
It appears to be practical to administer and
maintain hardware and software thanks VDI
technology, however VDI systems require
committed IT staff (Oneclick, 2017).
The implementation of VDI technology
requires initial training for users, they need to
Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology
707
learn new technology with its terminology,
functionality and operations, work with
different interface and with different
troubleshooting solutions.
Outages occur more frequently during the
rollout of VDI and they can be more impactful
under VDI technology because everything is
centralized on a single system. That is why
new contingency plans have to be created to
deal with these problems.
VDI is dynamic and this can cause problems
for the system. There is less dependency on
hardware, that is why software attacks are
more likely. In the rollout, isolation of
problems are more difficult and the chances of
attack increase.
Increased Network Requirements – for office
applications like word processing or
spreadsheet applications, VDI network
requirements are minimal. However, if a large
percentage of workforce needs graphics
rendering capabilities or video streaming,
administrators need to know that server can
handle the whole traffic. The solution of this
problem may be very expensive (Mavenspire,
2018).
There are also lots of different challenges
connected with VDI technology (Bowker, Matuson,
2016). The main challenges include following
issues:
Complex infrastructure is difficult to plan,
configure, manage, and maintain.
Unfavorable economics with heavily weighted
upfront invest costs, and cumbersome IT
operations.
Unpredictable global access based on the
proximity of users due to low network
bandwidth and unacceptable latency.
Time-consuming implementations and months
of planning, testing, and staging of the
infrastructure.
Difficult root cause analysis and
troubleshooting among multiple IT teams
(server, storage, networking, endpoint, and
security) leading to prolonged
troubleshooting.
VDI can complicate software licensing and
support, because some licensing and support
agreements do not allow for software to be
shared among multiple devices or users.
VDI's reliance on network connectivity
presents another challenge. Users can't access
their virtual desktops without a network
connection, and weak connectivity can hinder
desktop performance. This problem is
especially common with graphics-intensive
applications and other software with high
processing demands. Although the systems
used for student laboratories are not especially
graphically demanding (not taking into
consideration specific graphics applications),
the administrators should be aware that the
real-time transmission of multiple video
streams can cause performance problems for
the entire ecosystem of VDI solution. These
problems grow not only with an increase in
the amount of terminals, but also with an
increase in resolution of displayed images
(which begins to be particularly important in
Full HD resolutions and larger sizes (Chrobak,
2014).
VDI has multiple advantages. While some
companies have recognized the value of VDI, the
complexity and cost of VDI has limited the usage
and full potential of this solution. The described
technology has a lot of difficulties at the beginning,
but VDI leads to more efficiency in the long run.
Generally, companies need to decide if they have the
resources to bear the implementation expenses and
solve the problems and limitations of VDI to achieve
the described benefits (Schmidt, 2015).
6 PRACTICAL
IMPLEMENTATION
The concept of rebuilding IT Infrastructure on
University of Economics and building its own
private cloud began to emerge in mid-2010 and after
passaging of all the procedures, fixing concept and
finding financing of the project, in September 2011
begin the process of public procurement and project
was run in early 2012. The University of Economics
was the first university in Poland, which has
implemented such new solutions on such a large
scale. The authors of the article were the authors of
the concept of reconstruction of the IT infrastructure
at the Wroclaw University of Economics, as well as
the creation of a private cloud there.
Before the project started, a detailed comparative
analysis of the costs of VDI technology and
previous, previous (PC) solutions was made. The
figures 1-3 present a comparison of costs for VDI
infrastructure and previous solutions (PC) (in Polish
Zloty – PLN).
ICSOFT 2018 - 13th International Conference on Software Technologies
708
Figure 1: The estimated TCO for VDI implementation
at Wroclaw University of Economics.
Initial costs of implementing VDI are higher than
traditional solutions (PC), but as you can see from
the chart, from the fourth year, VDI implementation
brings significant savings. The total costs include
infrastructure purchase costs, Help-Desk
remuneration costs, electricity costs (standard office
work conditions in an air-conditioned facility have
been assumed).
Figure 2: The estimated TCO for previous solution (PC)
at Wroclaw University of Economics.
A 10-year cycle was adopted, the total
infrastructure cost was compared, excluding
operation systems licensing of virtual systems, anti-
viruses software, Office systems etc. (for both
cases). The comparison concerns 400 computers and
accompanying infrastructure servers.
The first phase of the project covered the
installation and configuration of seven laboratories
with 175 zero client terminals (Samsung NC240)
and a new server room based on DELL Blade
servers, where a total of 6 two-processor servers
were installed, with the possibility of fast scaling up
to 16 servers. Six two-processor servers, with a total
of 1.27 TB RAM, are allocated for VDI solution.
Figure 3: Comparison of estimated TCO of VDI and
previous solution (PC) for the Wroclaw University of
Economics.
The disk array and some servers are equipped
with an SSD-based cache. One of the servers is
equipped with an nVidia card GRID K1 and
streaming card supporting hardware PCoIP (Apex
2800). As storage is used EMC disk array with a
total of 20 Tb working gross capacity.
After three months from the start-up of the
infrastructure, 60 servers were already working in
the server pool – the majority of existing servers
servicing the university were virtualised (including
e-mail and www servers). The cost of the project
was around 1.3 million PLN.
A year after the implementation, due to the fact
that the project met all the requirements, the
database of VDI labs was expanded. There are
currently almost 400 terminals (Samsung NC240
terminals), over 500 virtual systems, and students
can connect to one of right available images,
depending on the course and the necessary
configuration.
Hardware and software solutions implemented
at the Wroclaw University of Economics facilitated
the use of the latest tools in the didactic process. The
purchase of modern equipment allowed to
implement a much richer range of scenarios in the
laboratory program. At the same time, the flexibility
of the hardware facilities allowed the academic staff
to choose student laboratory configurations in such a
way as to cover as wide a range of issues as
Benefits, Limitations and Costs of IT Infrastructure Virtualization in the Academic Environment. Case Study using VDI Technology
709
possible. This form of classes is conducted in a
number of project tasks, in particular group projects
characterised by greatest freedom in independent
decision-making and proposing solutions. Figure 4
presents a major fragment of the implemented
network infrastructure for the Wroclaw University
of Economics with the student laboratories
(currently there are 12 `students laboratories in this
technology) and its connection to Wroclaw Centre
for Networking and Supercomputing at Wroclaw
University of Science and Technology. The whole
infrastructure at the University includes almost 400
zero client terminals and over 500 virtualised
systems, which are available to students in
laboratories.
As it was already mentioned in the article, the
implementation of zero client solution has reduced
the cost of maintaining the infrastructure compared
to a traditional workstation equipped with a PC and
monitor. The zero client consumes much less power
than a traditional workstation and reduces the
number of installed devices, thanks to which it can
reduce energy consumption several times. It is also
completely quiet and extremely reliable. Thanks to
the implementation of VDI, mechanical faults are no
longer an issue, thus reducing the downtime and
eliminating maintenance costs. Users no longer have
to worry about system failures on their devices.
Currently, terminals have a smaller administrative
workload compared to classic PCs, because the
proposed architecture is, to a large extent, very
centralised, and workstation support can be
performed by one person. In a simple and quick
way, it is possible to personalise specific groups of
terminals, for example for specific classes; it is easy
to maintain the application order, and it is possible
to quickly restore the master workstation.
Additionally, basic administrative tasks, such as
system upgrade, software upgrade or installation of
additional software, can be performed remotely and
automatically by one person on numerous computers
at the same time. Replacing computers with
terminals allows to delay the aging process of
equipment and reduce the costs of its modernisation.
While a classic computer requires modernisation (in
the academic environment it practically means an
exchange for a newer model) about every four,
maximum five years, the use of terminals means that
they are technologically aging much slower.
Figure 4: VDI network infrastructure for the Wroclaw University of Economics.
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710
Thanks to the centralisation of computing power
and virtualisation, it is possible to estimate that the
life cycle of terminals at the Wroclaw University of
Economics will reach about seven-right years, and
the cost of replacing them will be about 50% lower
than that of classic computers. The proposed
solution is worth implementing primarily for the
reasons of cost-effectiveness, but also due to the
possibility of expansion and the simplicity of
maintenance.
7 CONCLUSIONS
Virtualisation seems to be one of the most promising
technological innovations in the field of computer
science. The implementation of the VDI architecture
can significantly simplify the process of
administration and maintaining laboratories and
computer workstations. It offers multiple benefits, as
these solutions provide new opportunities, lead to
the optimal use of existing resources, and contribute
to significant savings, as evidenced by its
implementation at the Wroclaw University of
Economics.
After four years since implementing VDI at
Wroclaw University of Economics, we know that
VDI promises more efficient use of the university’s
resources and we can offer students the convenience
of accessing specialty software from any device, at
any time, from anywhere. We do not at present
provide access from anywhere for students (only for
teachers and some students involved in the student
organizations), but it is considered as a next step in
the near future.
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Article
Full-text available
Wdrożenie na uczelniach wyższych technologii wirtualnych pozwala uzyskać szereg korzyści, wśród których najważniejsze to: lepsze wykorzystanie zasobów informatycznych oraz wyższa ich wydajność, możliwość dynamicznej optymalizacji środowisk oprogramowania, ograniczenie kosztów przyszłej rozbudowy infrastruktury IT, niższe nakłady operacyjne, wyższy stopień bezawaryjności i zapewnienie ciągłości działania systemów informatycznych. W artykule opisano przesłanki ekonomiczne i organizacyjne przemawiające za wdrażaniem rozwiązań VDI (ang. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) w ośrodkach dydaktycznych uczelni wyższych. Przeprowadzona analiza infrastruktury laboratoryjnej pozwala lepiej zrozumieć szerokie możliwość adaptacji VDI oraz wachlarz korzyści, jakie otrzymują administratorzy i pracownicy naukowo-dydaktyczni. Oprócz analizy korzyści przedstawiono studium przypadku wdrożenia modelowego rozwiązania na Uniwersytecie Ekonomicznym we Wrocławiu, które obejmuje ponad 300 terminali typu zero client i ponad 500 zwirtualizowanych systemów udostępnianych studentom w 11 laboratoriach. W artykule przedstawiono także wybrane doświadczenia z realizacji projektu oraz uwagi, których omówienie i zrozumienie może być kluczowe dla udanego wdrażania infrastruktury VDI. Opisane wdrożenie oparte jest na środowisku VMware Horizon View.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the incredible development in computer technology in recent times, the personal computers have become so powerful that most of the users are not using the entire capabilities of a computer for their regular work. Because of this one can utilise the excess capabilities in one computer and share it with many other users. The concept of desktop virtualisation implements this sharing of capabilities with the help of thin client machines which not only reduces the cost of infrastructure but also introduces green computing by limiting energy consumption and e-waste. A similar concept is implemented in St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata and is used extensively by the students. The present paper is an effort to establish the green benefits of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
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