Education Sector in general is always on the lookout for solutions that increase its outreach and reduce costs, to serve a broader audience. Cloud Powered Solutions in general and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Solutions in particular are really helping this cause.
DaaS is a cloud computing solution that is rapidly being adopted by higher education institutions, both across USA and globally. A DaaS solution is inherently very suitable for the needs of entities imparting higher education.
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In this post, we will highlight some of the defining DaaS trends that are unique to the higher education sector and how DaaS is reshaping the entire landscape.
Phasing out of VDI
Desktop as a Service or DaaS is quickly turning out to be a great and viable alternative to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployments. Although VDI had its own set of unique advantages before the advent of DaaS but now, VDI is just no more viable.
The biggest limitation with VDI is that while it allows an educational institution to provide virtual desktops on campus, there is a wide array of expensive IT hardware that needs to be both procured and maintained.
Setting up a VDI infrastructure is just the job partly done, as it needs constant injection of funds to keep the hardware up to performance specs. In addition to the fixed costs of VDI, you also need to incur hefty operating expenses to keep the solution running.
DaaS on the other hand, relieves a higher education institution from procuring costly IT hardware. All the virtualized desktops in case of a DaaS solution are served from the data centers of a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) virtually over the internet.
This way, the need for procuring and maintaining costly IT hardware on campus is no longer required. DaaS immensely reduces the outlay of expenses that would otherwise be incurred on IT infrastructure in case of a VDI solution.
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Higher education is becoming prohibitively expensive with every passing day. Both higher education institutions and governments across the globe strive to bring this engine of economic growth and innovation within affordable limits.
One great way of achieving this goal is to spread the otherwise high costs of college and university education over more customers, which at the end of the day are students. A DaaS solution can be instrumental in achieving this goal through distant learning.
By leveraging the remote access capability of a DaaS solution, anywhere across the globe where there is internet, a college or university can impart education to geographically dispersed areas of the world through distant learning programs.
Such initiatives will serve the purpose of improving the state of higher education in the underprivileged countries of the world that don’t have the capacity to establish quality infrastructures for otherwise expensive higher education.
Another advantage of distance learning programs will be that financial viability of higher education institutions will improve as the number of enrolled students increases. Distant learning programs also greatly reduce the burden of on-campus students.
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It is indeed an uphill task to accurately anticipate the enrollment numbers for various academic programs, especially at the start of an academic year. In case of conventional and even VDI deployments, colleges and universities have to plan for the worst case.
This often results in either over capacity or under capacity of the provisioned IT resources. For a conventional VDI deployment, you simply cannot do away with the additionally procured hardware and are forced to incur the accompanying costs as well.
Even under capacity becomes a great problem as in case of a VDI solution, you have to then procure, integrate and maintain additional IT hardware. This is both costly and time consuming, which can adversely affect the schedule of academic programs.
DaaS on the other hand is an instantly scalable solution and an educational institution, whether college or university can increase or decrease the footprint of its DaaS solution on the basis of enrollment trends in each academic program.
This means that you only pay for what you use, which takes the entire exercise of forecasting student enrollment trends out of the equation. A DaaS solution also gives institutions more administrative room to expand their academic programs.
More Physical Space
With a DaaS solution in place, the hardware related footprint of a higher education institute reduces phenomenally. This ultimately translates into more physical space for other pursuits such as new academic programs, co-curricular activities or more students.
As students can connect to their DaaS architecture using multiple, low spec devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops, the need for elaborate IT or computer labs on campus does not arise to access any academic resources.
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Students can access their learning material remotely over their own devices with which, they feel more at home. DaaS also has the added benefit of round the clock access of academic resources to students, which increases student engagement.
Evolved Education Landscape
The DaaS has truly made technology powered higher education a reality across the globe. Now, quality higher education will no longer be restricted to a handful of developed countries. By leveraging the power of DaaS, higher education for all seems attainable.
DaaS is and has immense potential to transform the entire higher education landscape across the globe. With the flexibility and ease of access associated with DaaS, students have round the clock access to faculty and other learning resources.
Teachers and professors will have unprecedented access to both their students and learning or research material over DaaS powered architecture. This in turn will elevate the quality of both education and coordination.
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Lowered Costs of Higher Education
A DaaS solution will result in savings of nearly millions of dollars for large sized higher educational institutions. With educators spending less, we can certainly expect college tuition and other costs to come more within reach of the less privileged class.
Research and Development (R&D)
In most modern societies, colleges and universities are considered an engine for economic growth and innovation. With the power of DaaS, there are endless possibilities for more and coordinated collaboration among both teachers and students alike.
A DaaS solution also removes the hurdles and limitations imposed by geographical boundaries. This in turn can serve as a great opportunity for developing countries to improve their education and ultimately, their economy.
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Desktop as a Service or DaaS is a highly productive and conducive cloud based technology that has the prospects to unlock immense potential in the higher education sector. What we need is more awareness regarding DaaS solutions in this vital sector.