California Polytechnic State University Engineering School Re-energizes Computer Labs with Citrix Technology
Funding for technology in higher education institutions rose in 2016 as many colleges and universities attempted to differentiate their schools and offer students a bridge into the workforce with the latest technology. California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), a nationally ranked, four-year university in California, has saved more than $300,000 in IT spending by deploying Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix NetScaler ADC in the aerospace and biomedical engineering programs’ computer labs, which had equipment that had been used for years and were reaching the age typically requiring replacement. The IT department was able to repurpose existing desktops as thin clients to dramatically reduce the cost of constant PC refresh cycles, while also giving students hands-on experience with software tools they will use in the workforce.
By securely virtualizing desktops and applications using Citrix technology, Cal Poly’s College of Engineering IT staff realized a number of benefits. First, they were able to repurpose 288 existing PCs as thin clients, while achieving performance improvements that surpassed a more expensive hardware refresh and saving nearly $30,000. The move also simplified administration and significantly reduced the amount of time spent deploying new engineering applications. Lastly, by creating a central datacenter infrastructure capable of supporting 500 users at once, the university was able to nearly double capacity in the computer labs, while adding enhanced management and monitoring capabilities.
For students, the most significant benefit of the project is the improved user experience. By using HDX 3D Pro in XenDesktop, a technology that enables the secure delivery and performance of graphics-intensive CAD applications, multiple students can collaborate on projects at the same time without experiencing delays that often come with this rich graphic apps.
 Forrester’s Global Business Technographics Mobility Survey, 2016 - 34% of respondents from universities say that increasing spending/resources to enable traditional backend applications to better support mobile apps is a high priority