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    Case Study

    Server & Desktop Virtualization with Consolidated SAN Solution

    Oct 2010

    Byron Union School District Makes Bold and Cost-Effective Transition to the Next Generation of Classroom Computing

    This solution required the implementation of many new technologies. But what really set it apart is that is was done for a small budget with a huge Return on Investment (ROI).


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    Byron Union School District is a small public school district serving just over 1700 students in Contra Costa County in Northern California. The school district is comprised of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a pre-school/pre-kindergarten program. The schools and community are committed to advancing curriculum goals but, like most school districts in California, they struggle with limited budgets. The district expects growth to 2800 students over the next five years.

    Solution Overview

    BUSINESS SITUATION: The district needed a cost-effective and scalable solution to replace outdated and non-functioning PCs, servers, and direct-attached storage which impeded and even prevented technology integration into the classrooms.
    SOLUTION: Enterprise Networking Solutions, Inc. (ENS-Inc) deployed cost-effective, longer life-cycle virtual desktops, virtual servers, and a SAN solution.
    BENEFITS: The scalable virtual environment provided high-availability with a huge ROI, and a system that can be managed and maintained by the single-person IT support staff.
    • Best Practices for Desktop Virtualization
    • VMare View and vSphere ESX Virtualization Technology
    • EMC Enterprise Storage Implementation & Consolidation
    • EMC Enterprise Storage Implementation & Consolidation
    • PCs Refreshed with WYSE Thin Clients
    • Network Infrastructure Modernization & Optimization


    The computer labs and classroom PCs throughout the Byron Union School District (BUSD) were in desperate need of a refresh. Non-standard, outdated, and even non-functioning PCs, servers, and direct-attached storage could not keep up with current application requirements. Student access to PCs was limited and teachers were reluctant to incorporate the unreliable technology into their lesson plans.


    ENS-Inc deployed a virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) utilizing VMware VIEW throughout the entire district. All PCs were replaced with WYSE thin clients: four computer labs with 36 units apiece, and four thin clients in each classroom, totalling 600 Wyse devices across the district. This immediately simplified desktop support and significantly expanded student access.

    This also allowed the district to deploy templates for different types of users based on specific security group membership. For example, teachers were provided desktops with the MS Office Suite while student desktops had software applications appropriate for their grade.

    ENS-Inc consolidated the direct-attached storage environment onto EMC² CLARiiON CX4 networked storage. VMware vShpere was implemented for server virtualization and management. At each of its three school sites, BUSD now has four VMware servers and one CLARiiON CX4 SAN with four terabytes of storage.

    The technology was implemented efficiently over the summer break and was done in phases to lessen any potential impact. The computer labs were done first, followed by the classroom PCs, and finally the teachers’ PCs were replaced by the WYSE thin client devices.

    Knowledge Transfer & Training

    The BUSD IT staff consists of one person. Mentoring and knowledge transfer took place throughout the implementation. Training continued one-on-one to ensure that the IT administrator felt empowered to utilize the full system potential with evolving user requirements.

    ENS-Inc created documentation for the design solution which was delivered to BUSD staff for future troubleshooting and problem resolution.

    The entire project was paid for by money slated for the refresh of the old PCs. With this solution, future refreshes have been deferred from the common 3-year refresh cycle to a 5-7 year refresh cycle.

    This virtualization and consolidation of the IT infrastructure created substantial energy savings in addition to ease of management, both contributing towards lower overall maintenance costs.


    The virtualization and consolidation project provided BUSD with the following benefits:

    High Availability/Quality of Service (QOS)

    • High availability of network and communications without impacting other critical services such as VOIP
    • Expanded, simplified student access to online learning programs

    Reduced Costs

    • Potential energy savings of $40,000 per year
    • Longer desktop life cycles could save over $1 million over a 10-year period
    • Initial investment savings of $240,000 for 600 thin clients vs traditional PCs

    Simplified IT Management

    • One person can support 1,000 virtual desktops
    • Servers, users, and storage can be monitored and managed from a central location

    Scalability & Flexibility

    • Ability to easily and cost efficiently add desktops and storage as student population and classrooms increase

    Improved Learning Environment

    • Enhanced student academic experience
    • Empowered collaboration between students and teachers
    • Efficient sharing and monitoring of schoolwork in progress

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