Exosphere and Education
A match made in the exosphere.
With each new semester it seems there’s a new challenge facing IT departments in education. Both K-12 and higher education each have their own specific computing agendas, yet they both share the goals of improving operational efficiency and the academic experience. Gone are the days of simply keeping the lights on; education IT is now taking a more student-centric approach to deliver value and drive success for students, faculty and staff. Sphere 3D’s application virtualization solution, powered by the Glassware 2.0™ containerization technology, enables schools to cost-effectively virtualize critical applications such as Pearson TestNav 7.5 so they can be delivered on a broad array of mobile devices to better support personalized learning, digital education and online testing.
The Changing Technology Landscape for Education
Schools today realize that computer labs filled with rows of computers is no longer a viable approach. Since the average student owns three or more mobile devices, they need anywhere, anytime access to their education resources. New learning devices are more mobile, less expensive, run on a variety of different operating systems, and far outnumber the workstations used before. For example, a school may migrate from 30 workstations running Windows XP to over 1,000 Chromebooks running the lightweight Chrome OS.
New virtualization and mobility solutions enable students to have access to critical applications so they have immediate access to everything they need to have a productive, fulfilling learning experience at home or on the go. But these new solutions require the appropriate back-end infrastructure to support and securely deliver application services to mobile devices. As a result, education IT is now tasked with delivering new virtualization and mobility solutions that are reshaping the way students work, learn and study.
The Challenges of Specialized Application Delivery
Now let’s consider that digital classroom and testing applications such as Pearson TestNav were built to run on antiquated platforms such as Windows XP. Educational software companies have been overwhelmed by the need to deliver multi-platform support — attempting to write a version of the application for iOS, a version for Chromebook or a version for Surface RT. Many education applications are too robust for the compute power of these thin-client devices. In addition, the education applications require the use of various plugins, Java and/or Flash software which is not supported by the mobile devices, or will only work if security is disabled on the device. Traditional desktop virtualization solutions have not been a viable solution because of their inability to virtualize many of the education applications or deliver them economically or at scale.
Features and Benefits
Digital Classroom and Assessment Testing
Sphere 3D application virtualization solutions for education overcome these challenges through a unique Glassware 2.0™ containerization technology that removes legacy applications’ dependency on underlying operating systems and reduced licensing requirements. Available today as an all-in-one hyperconverged infrastructure appliance, the G-Series GW2000, as a service from within the Microsoft Azure cloud, or as an end-to-end distributed enterprise solution, Exosphere™. Sphere 3D provides a complete end-to-end solution to support, BYOD or one to one programs by optimizing and simplifying application delivery to any mobile or desktop device — Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet, Windows PC or iOS.
Sphere 3D offers a turnkey bundle that enables schools to cost-effectively virtualize and deliver the Pearson TestNav 7.5 application to students using Google Chromebooks and other devices. The solution is powered by the G-Series GW2000 hyperconverged appliance, Sphere 3D’s all-in-one solution for secure and simple delivery of client applications to any mobile or desktop device.
“We tried traditional virtualization techniques but the specific applications we needed couldn’t virtualize or wouldn’t scale. With our Glassware 2.0, we were able to virtualize the applications we needed and future proof our investment in Chromebooks for our students, having the ability to securely deliver virtualized Windows-based applications to our students allows us to plan around our own technology roadmap instead of having to rely on multiple software vendors to release compatible versions or maintain support for existing versions already in use by our schools.”Dustin HardinDirector of Technology of New Caney ISD