Loughborough University has deployed 400 virtual desktops as part of plans to support a bring your own device scheme and cut IT maintenance costs.

The university looked to Logicalis to lead on the roll out of VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) software, with the services firm negotiating licences on behalf of Loughborough.

Initially the university had made virtual desktops available to its corporate users only, such as finance and HR staff, but decided to make the VDI deployment available more widely. This meant that academic and research staff are now also able to access applications on mobile devices of their own.

"As a world class University, our lecturing and research teams often contribute to conferences and working groups around the world," said Dr Phil Richards, director of IT at Loughborough University.

"Providing VDI access to the University's administrative apps from their personal mobile devices is enabling them to log expenses, access shared teaching resources with students, and so on."

The project also meant that the university was able to reduce demands around IT maintenance, freeing up IT staff for other tasks, according to Dr Richards.

"We very quickly realised the benefits we had expected to see, namely; total cost of ownership and efficiency within the IT team, modest carbon savings, and the provision of an alternative IT service for corporate users."

Richards added: "Despite it being a small deployment, we're saving the equivalent, in man-hours, of one to two IT staff. This frees my team to focus on more productive duties."

VMware recently reasserted its commitment to end user computing at its user conference in Barcelona, announcing the acquisition of desktop as a service provider, Desktone.