The next generation of lab and classroom computing--the silver lining
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The models for providing computing services have changed over the recent years, thereby allowing many lab-computing options. However, currently at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), thick client computers provide computing services to students in the learning and resource centers (LRC). Due to various budget restrictions, decreased manpower, and the directives set forth by the Navy, the existing LRC solution at NPS has become increasing difficult to maintain efficiently. These reasons allow the following research questions to be asked: what viable options are available to provide the same level of capabilities in the LRCs at NPS and for the viable options, does a cost comparison show which solution would be preferable for the labs and classrooms at NPS? To answer the questions, the NPS Cloudlab virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution, as well as the computing solutions at three universities, was selected as the basis for comparison. The research method used includes a qualitative methods approach that utilizes case studies to perform the analysis. Analysis performed in the research looks to find the most effective solution in terms of cost, manpower, and availability of the systems in question. The results showed, in terms of hardware and software costs and manpower that Stanford University has the most cost effective solution provided by their private cloud solution. In regards to availability, the greatest system availability was at the Naval War College, California State University, Monterey Bay, and Stanford University. All three solutions were available 99.9% of the time. The recommendations made were to implement a private cloud computing solution similar to the technology used at Stanford University, implement a bring your own device (BYOD) policy at NPS, and to expand the NPS Cloudlab solution both in terms of licensing and into the LRCs using BYOD and thin clients.
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