Post-GTCC-WVD

secure remote work learning azure

Guilford Technical Community College pivoted quickly to set up students with a secure remote learning infrastructure due to COVID-19 impacts.

 

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) needed to quickly transition to remote work and learning and address business continuity requirements for its students, faculty, and staff. GTCC chose to leverage Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to provide a secure virtual infrastructure  for critical learning applications.                           

WVD is the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.  Forsyte provided GTCC with a rapid start WVD deployment designed to accelerate GTCC’s ability to leverage the benefits of WVD and keep school in session – all in a short period of time. 

Challenges 

GTCC is a public higher education institution, providing lifelong learning opportunities for personal growth, workforce productivity, and community service. Founded in 1958 and located in Jamestown, NC, GTCC has a total of 31,396 students across 7 campus locations.

Like other colleges across the US, GTCC needed to quickly pivot in the wake of mandatory campus temporary closures to keep students safe. GTCC was proactive and looked for an immediate solution to get its students quickly online to eliminate further stress and overwhelm they might have otherwise felt as a result of the situation.

 GTCC wanted to create a secure virtualized environment for its students to log in and access school resources wherever and whenever they needed to do so.

Solution

As part of the deployment process, Forsyte worked with GTCC to deploy the required prerequisites, including site-to-site VPN and Azure AD Domain Services.  With the prerequisites in place, Forsyte worked with GTCC to configure two Golden Images and the associated host pools to support the requested use cases. The first use case included a standard desktop environment to support faulty and staff and the second use case is designed to replicate a computer lab environment.

FSLogix was deployed to support user profile data storage and application management in non-persistent computing environment. Autoscaling was deployed to address the need to manage system performance and control costs.

Benefits

With the implementation of WVD, Guilford was able to provide secure remote access to school resources at a rapid pace for students. WVD allowed students to access the school environment from any managed device, saving time for students and money for GTCC. By standing up virtual classroom environments with WVD, capital expenses for remote hardware for faculty/students were eliminated. It allowed GTCC to quickly enable access to secure environment without touching personal devices or engaging in a complex end-user VPN setup. “WVD allows for quickly rotating system images and software to support new curriculums or programs.” – David Campman, Cloud Engineer at Forsyte.

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