Virtualization Lowers the Cost of Computer Access in Schools

Technology isn’t just providing a distraction for students; it’s also lowering the cost of educating them. We reported earlier in the month about the $60 million dollar joint effort, edX, by MIT and Harvard to offer free, online, college courses. In this case, universities are using technology to expand global access to education. However, technology isn’t just changing how instruction is delivered. It can also make traditional approaches less costly.

The Woodland Joint Unified School District in Northern California just outside of Sacramento serves over 10,000 students. The district replaced 300 aging PCs in five K-12 computer labs with Pano Logic’s Zero Client systems. The decision is creating notable cost savings.

Pano Logic’s virtual desktops have no CPU, memory, operating system, drivers, software or moving parts. If you are wondering, Pano’s technology is not the digital equivalent of a pet rock. Pano Zero Client only exists to connect USB peripherals such as a keyboard or monitor to a virtual machine, which can be hosted anywhere from the data center to the public cloud. Currently, Pano works with three hypervisors (vSphere, XenServer, Hyper-V) and their management systems (VMWare View, XenDesktop, Microsoft SCVMM).

Technology leaders at the school district said they were able to deploy 300 Pano Logic Zero Client’s and setup virtual desktops in less than three weeks. Each virtualized systems costs just $5.00 per year to power – $45.00 less than a traditional computer. The move cut the Woodland’s energy costs by $13,500.00 a year. The devices have also substantially reduced the number of hours the team spends on maintenance support each month and expanded access to computers.

Pano has been heavily targeting the education sector because many have heavily strained budgets and computing resources deployed across several locations. Many cannot afford to update their aging technology, so they spend hours and hours each month trying to keep the machines running. Pano Logic provide an alternative to PCs that’s very attractive to many.