ennet Consolidated School District deployed 135 SD-Z225 zero client displays in its middle school and high school libraries, computer labs and a few classrooms. Maguire’s staff reports that the deployment was about the easiest they’ve experienced, requiring notably less downtime than setup of an iMac-based lab. Not only were the workstations up and running quickly for student use, Maguire was equally enthusiastic about the cost savings represented by the substantial reduction in man-hours required.
“The iMacs took far more time for set up and imaging,” said Maguire. “With the ViewSonics setting up a 30-unit lab took a fraction of the time it used to.”
Ongoing management has likewise proved to be a breeze, thanks to the centralized PCoIP control that eliminated the need for individual updates to each machine. According to Bob Wilson, who manages the KCSD virtualized environment, the ViewSonic workstations are “simple to manage, durable and easily compatible with our current VMware configuration.”
As expected, with its eco-friendly design and LED display that consumes 80% less power than a typical PC, the ViewSonic SD-Z225 integrated zero client displays delivered on the goal of reduced power consumption, alleviating the power burden at the middle school.
“We are seeing no power issues with the ViewSonic workstations,” reports Maguire. “In the past we have had power issues with Samsung zero client monitors, and thankfully these ViewSonic workstations present a significantly lower draw on power.”
Thinking about their prior zero client monitor purchase, Maguire adds, “I wish this ViewSonic product had been available when we needed to purchase those Samsung models.”
Foremost on Maguire’s mind, however, is how well the new ViewSonic integrated zero client workstations have benefitted their students by improving access to the programs they need to further their education.
“Before this changeover, students used to run into lots of problems maintaining their files throughout the district,” says Maguire. “With the ViewSonic SD-Z225 and VMware, they have a direct link to their home folder on server. This is very easy to set up and students don’t lose files.”
Maguire says this amplified access aligns perfectly with their goal of maximizing instructional time.
“With the performance of the ViewSonic workstations, student access to files is almost immediate. And that’s what it’s all about, improving the learning experience for the students.”
Another stumbling block students faced with the older systems was unpredictable performance of flash-based programs. As students and teachers began to rely more heavily on media and interactive programs, this was beginning to pose a significant problem. With its powerful Teradici Tera 2321 CPU and 512MB of system memory, the ViewSonic SD-Z225 has surpassed expectations for performance. States Maguire, “The ViewSonics are handling whatever the students and teachers throw out.”