Telfair County Schools: “I like the simple, straightforward way Parallels performs the functions it’s designed to perform.” David Walker, Director of Technology, Telfair
As a rural Georgia school district, Telfair County Schools was faced with the challenge of affording its students the same educational opportunities as other, wealthier school districts, which routinely provide their students with advanced technology offerings. To match the capabilities of peer districts, Telfair wished to guarantee reliable remote access to its schools’ computer labs and FTP system. This would allow students the use of quality published applications in school computer labs, while providing teachers access to critical files and applications outside the classroom.
David Walker is Telfair County Schools’ Director of Technology, who monitors the technology requirements of the district’s elementary, middle, and high schools. Due to the district’s small size, David ran his department single-handedly, making the search for a straightforward, easy-to-manage connection broker solution a critical pursuit.
Telfair County Schools – The Solution
David first considered using a Citrix solution, claiming that the product was “feature rich, but came with a cost that far outweighed any potential benefit we would receive from the solution.” Wanting to maximize benefits for the district’s students on a fixed IT budget, David began investigating more cost-effective options, eventually settling on a Parallels solution. He states that while he “was impressed with the Citrix features list, Parallels has a great product as well, and was able to meet every requirement we were looking for, at a much lower cost.” As a result, rather than paying additional hardware and licensing costs, he is now saving “well over 50% from our original costs,” significantly more than what was possible using a Citrix solution. By effectively halving his solution costs, David claims that his Parallels solution has increased his flexibility in choosing future solution options, with his core application delivery needs being met with a far lighter financial burden than he originally expected.
In deploying his Parallels solution, David purchased Parallels RAS, to provide effective remote application access while converting his existing desktops to function as thin clients. He chose to install the remote application server on 12 Windows Server. While initially choosing the Virtual Iron virtualization platform, he explained that he was in the process of switching to a VMware platform, specifically considering VSphere 4. Despite changes in virtualization platforms and the number of users serviced, David notes that Parallels’s virtualization platform-independent design ensures that he can service as many users as possible from his Parallels server with no virtualization platform integration problems. This flexibility has created a “powerful, yet simple solution” that he can “trust completely.”
Simplicity and Scalability
Apart from providing significant cost savings and improving remote application publishing reliability, David boasts that choosing Parallels provided his district with two specific advantages when compared to the Citrix product he had originally considered: simplicity and scalability.
Although he admits that other solutions also provided a broad array of features, David claims that a defining advantage of his Parallels solution is the “simple, straightforward way it performs the functions it’s designed to perform”. Speaking to IT professionals in other districts, David became aware of the lengthy process required to complete Citrix installations, noting that to install their solution properly, Telfair County Schools would “need a lot more hardware, and the solution would take far more upkeep to maintain.” He notes that though it’s a feature-rich solution, if he had continued with his original Citrix choice, he “didn’t know that it would’ve done everything we were expecting,” claiming that the simplicity of Parallels solutions “ultimately makes them the better product.” Having only needed to call support staff twice in three years, with no system failures, Parallels’s straightforward design leaves David “only needing to touch the server to install applications, since once it’s running, it just runs,” giving him little day-to-day stress in meeting the needs of Telfair’s students.
Based on the success of his Parallels experience so far, he explained that this year, he would like to “make applications available to students at home, allowing them to continue to have access to teaching materials after the end of the school day.” He explains that as long as his server can handle additional users, his solution can bear the heavier load with ease, making hardware capabilities the only limit to network expansion.
About Telfair County Schools
Telfair County Schools prepare students to be productive members of society by fostering a caring environment with meaningful experiences and high expectations for all. For more information, visit http://www.telfair.k12.ga.us.
Parallels acquired 2X Software in February 2015. The synergy between the two companies will ensure provision of the best technology and expertise to businesses and individuals, enabling access to and use of any applications and files on any device, at any time, wherever the user is located.
Parallels’ 2X is a global leader in virtual desktop, application delivery and mobile device management solutions. Thousands of organizations worldwide trust in the reliability and scalability of 2X products. 2X offers a range of solutions to make every organization’s shift to cloud computing simple and affordable. The company’s product line includes the award-winning Parallels Remote Application Server (Parallels RAS), providing platform-independent virtual desktop, application delivery and integrated thin client management from a single software package to any modern operating system, as well as to mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Parallels Mobile Device Manager (Parallels MDM) offers a complementary (or standalone) solution that enables Parallels ’s customers to monitor and manage corporate and employee-owned mobile devices. With Parallels MDM, customers can track their devices and remotely lock or delete data if a device is lost or stolen. In addition, organizations can monitor mobile devices for malware and remove inappropriate apps. For additional information, visit www.2x.com or contact Giorgio Bonuccelli by email (Giorgio.Bonuccelli@parallels.com) or phone (+356 2258 3800).