The University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville, presents us with one such example. To enable learning, anytime, anywhere, the university launched its Apps@UT initiative. The initiative involved rolling out application virtualisation for 1,200 lab machines across the campus, enabling students to access key research and university applications via their preferred mobile devices from virtually anywhere-dorm rooms to libraries.
Apps@UT runs off a platform-comprising technologies from NetApp and Cisco-that delivers a flexible and shared infrastructure. With the high-availability features of the NetApp platform, students now gain 24x7 access to virtual desktops and applications, while their data get backed up automatically. The university is now piloting hosted, virtualised desktops, with plans to expand deployment to other departments beyond IT.
Point-of-care computing for enhanced healthcare
Healthcare providers too, can benefit from having access to information as and when required. "Point-of-care computing" represents one such example. Point-of-care computing facilitates instant access, capture and processing of data-in this case, patients' health records-at various locations throughout a medical facility, greatly extending the reach of healthcare professionals and the immediacy of patient care.
Wright Medical Center, (WMC), Iowa, a healthcare facility is a case in point. The hospital has successfully deployed a virtual desktop infrastructure for enhanced mobile capabilities and now plans to equip its physicians with smartcard-based virtual machine (VM) session access, enabling them to logon and access relevant patient records via their existing mobile devices.
With patient information accessible from anywhere, physicians and care-givers are better positioned to leverage on clinical computing capabilities at the point-of-care.
Creating an environment for information everywhere
In a data-driven landscape, having ubiquitous access to information on-demand will provide organisations with the productive boost they need to remain competitive. By tapping on relevant data, timely insights and collaborative tools, organisations have the opportunity to maximise productivity and boost competitiveness.
But to realise this environment of "Information Everywhere", organisations will need to ensure that they not only implement client virtualisation strategies, importantly, they need to ensure that their virtualisation initiatives are supported by an integrated storage and data management infrastructure.
Scott Morris is Vice President and General Manager of NetApp ASEAN.
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