Did you know that hosted desktops for colleges can decrease IT costs and increase the manageability, accessibility, flexibility, and security of their IT?
Hosted desktops are Windows desktop operating systems (usually Windows 7 or 8.1) that are installed and maintained on the servers of an IT hosting company. Users can easily access a hosted desktop via the Internet from a computer, tablet, smartphone, or thin client.
As with locally-installed Windows desktop OSes, you can use hosted desktops to install and run any Windows-compatible application. In most cases, each user is assigned to a specific hosted desktop, and this desktop retains all of the user’s files, applications, and settings, even after he or she logs out.
Is it worth the investment?
Usually, you pay the hosting company a monthly, per-user fee for your hosted desktop.
Some hosting companies also include IT management and support services with their hosted desktops. The support services include 24/7 technical support, security and performance monitoring, malware scanning, patch management and managed data backups.
Take note that the hosting company will continually update all of the software on your hosted desktops for you, including the OS and all of the PC applications.
For growing businesses with a primary focus on growth, using hosted desktops is definitely an advantage.
Most colleges use hosted desktops in the following ways:
- Faculty and staff use them as their primary work desktop.
- They use them instead of locally-installed operating systems in computer labs.
- Hosted desktops provide students with access to certain applications that they need to be able to complete their coursework. Especially applications that they might not be able to afford on their own, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, the Microsoft Office suite, and STEM applications like MATLAB and SPSS.
What are the main benefits of hosted desktops for colleges?
They can decrease your IT costs
With hosted desktops, colleges don’t have to purchase any expensive onsite IT hosting hardware such as servers or storage arrays, and they don’t have to hire any additional IT personnel to manage them.
Hosted desktops are easily accessible from low-cost devices such as refurbished PCs or thin clients. They require less maintenance (since they don’t have hard drives or locally-installed operating systems) and are much more energy efficient than standard PCs.
In addition, users can securely access them from their personal devices. This means that the college doesn’t need to spend money on student devices. As an effect, colleges reduce their spending on computer labs.
They are easy to manage
Hosted desktops are relatively easy to monitor, protect, update, troubleshoot, and back up. This is because they’re software-defined assets and are centralized onto a relatively small number of interconnected servers.
In addition, some hosting providers will handle many IT management and support tasks of the hosted desktops themselves.
Easily accessible from anywhere, with any device
Where there is an internet connection, you can access hosted desktops with any device. Whether you’re using a laptop, desktop, tablet, or a mobile phone.
This allows faculty and staff to access their work-related files and applications no matter where they are. It also allows students to access important resources no matter where they are. Whether they’re in class, at a computer lab, in their dorm room, or somewhere off campus.
Easy to deploy, expand, and downsize
You can quickly and easily add any amount of desktops, processing power, and storage capacity to your hosted desktop deployment at any time.
Downsizing or decommissioning your deployment is easy. But, the best thing about it is that you no longer have to deal with a pile of useless, expensive hardware.
The flexibility of this service makes it easier for colleges to adjust their IT as courses, faculty, and students change from one semester to the next.
They are highly secure
Hosted desktops are highly secure. The data remains on the hosting provider’s servers at all times. The centralization of this data makes it easier to protect and prevents data loss from occurring.
Plus, malware infections are easier to isolate and remove from hosted desktops than they are physical PCs.
To sign up for hosted desktops, colleges should contact their preferred IT hosting provider.