The University of Birmingham is deploying a desktop virtualisation system to manage its planned migration to Windows 7.

The university is deploying AppSense’s User Virtualisation Platform (UVP) across 5,400 staff and over 35,000 student users. The phased deployment of the AppSense UVP will provide continuity of service and enhanced security throughout and beyond the migration.

By using the AppSense platform to underpin the migration of user profiles and data from the university’s current legacy systems to the new locked down Windows 7 platform, the downtime and inconsistent user experiences usually associated with moving users to a new platform will be avoided, said the university.

By separating the user from the system and providing persistent personalisation with the AppSense UVP, the IT department can resolve potential problems while increasing security through proper management of services and user rights.

Once migration is complete the AppSense Management Suite will be used to manage application policy and user profiles of both staff and students, providing sufficient flexibility to deliver customised environments where required, irrespective of their location.

Rob Arnold, head of customer IT support at the University of Birmingham, said the advanced delivery features that AppSense provides will become increasingly important as students and staff become more mobile and use more of their own personal devices to connect to the university network.

Arnold said: “Ensuring a consistent user experience for our staff and students regardless of the platform they’re using and where they are using it from is essential.

"AppSense UVP will facilitate a shift to a more user-centric model that not only supports our current needs, but also provides the means for IT to enable a strategic transformation of the ICT infrastructure in the future."

Microsoft is launching Windows 8 later this year.

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