I realize that there was a recent discussion about VDI, but I wanted to bring it up again. I have moved as CIO from one institution to another in the last month. The situation I find here at Morehead State University is that we have very little ability to manage the desktop computers we have. Our Windows desktops are not joined to a domain and each modification of the desktop is currently requiring a staff member to physically touch the machine. We are also very new to Active Directory. We must bring about a change to this situation very quickly. We also recently have had our desktop computer vendor go into bankruptcy (Gateway/MPC) and are in the middle of a bid process for a new desktop/notebook/tablet vendor. We have been very successful here in using virtualization of servers using VMWare. As most of you know, that technology has proven itself very well. As I'm looking at state budget cuts, we're deciding to extend the replacement cycle for our desktop/notebook computers from 3 to 4 years. So, I'm wondering if I might be in a situation similar to eastern Europe and Asia a few years ago where cell phone technology and market penetration passed that in the United States because those areas were so far behind the US in wired technology. So, they simply leapfrogged us in wireless technology rather than build out the wired infrastructure. I'm wondering if since we at this institution are so far behind in desktop management if we should leapfrog past the normal desktop management processes and move to virtual desktops. I'm waiting for my vendor to find me a higher ed institution that has implemented virtual desktops in wide-spread deployment for faculty/staff desktops. Have any of you done that or do you know an institution that has? I realize many of the battles I may face in user acceptance, but if I can see someone that has done that, this might be an opportune time in the light of budget cuts. By the way, I understand that the thin client devices are not necessarily less expensive than fat client devices. But I believe the replacement cycles for either a desktop computer used as a VDI thin client or a device designed as a thin client will probably be much longer than our current replacement cycles. Perhaps as much as an 8 year refresh cycle.
Thoughts? Opinions? Directions?
Gary R. Holeman
Assistant Vice President for Technology/
Chief Information Officer
Morehead State University
150 University Blvd
110 Ginger Hall
Morehead, KY 40351
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