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them access compute-intensive applications anywhere, on any device.
“Using our graphics virtualization capability extends virtualization across the entire campus—or even world- wide,” says Nesicolaci. The experience is powerful enough that a plastics engineering student couldn’t be- lieve IT staff at first when told he could run high-compute lab simulations anywhere on just his iPad. A UMass PhD candidate told the school the performance equals her $10,000 employer-supplied office workstation.
UMass uses the term “transforming teaching,” says Nescicolaci, to describe its system of virtual labs that help students collaborate with classmates anywhere, without first booking a lab seat to access a high-end workstation. “As long as there is wi-fi and they have a device, they can reach their teachers and their fellow students, and they can access the apps they need.”
UMass Lowell has more than 17,800 bachelors, mas- ters and doctoral degree students and is on track to reach 20,000 students by 2020. Although the school has add- ed infrastructure to address that extensive growth, it has also looked for less costly ways to grow. An initial 2013 foray into virtualization helped, but the IT team quickly
realized VDI alone couldn’t meet the high-performance computing needs of many of its engineering applications. Nesicolaci points to UMass Lowell as a great example of how graphics virtualization benefits the IT staff. “For IT, it’s about reducing cost and complexity,” he says. “With NVIDIA GPUs and the Quadro vDWS software, they can manage high-end services and applications much more easily.” Students can use their own devices in classrooms, labs, libraries, and residence halls instead of costly work-
stations that IT has to provision and support.
With NVIDIA Virtual GPU, students from anywhere can collaborate seamlessly via streamed applications. “Rather than loading applications to your desktop and managing them all, making sure you’re licensed to use them and so forth -- you don’t have to worry about all that,” says Nesicolaci. “With virtualization, the applica-
tions are simply streamed to you.”
Virtualization technology also helps universities cut
the costs of offering online courses worldwide by setting up virtual labs in other countries that can stream high- end courseware. A school with an engineering program in China or India, for example, can avoid physically set- ting up a lab in that country. “This extends an institution’s
reach for online distance education programs,” he says. As the staff at UMass Lowell can attest, graphics vir- tualization technology can also dramatically reduce the cost of education, especially at engineering schools, where students often must purchase expensive laptops to run required applications. “Now, schools can say, what- ever device you have, we’ll stream the applications to you using GPU video processing,” says Nesicolaci. “They’ll perform just as fast as if you had an expensive computer.” With the advent of Windows 10 and increasing graphic requirements of modern productivity applications like Office 365, Chrome, and YouTube, educational institutions are also realizing the benefit of a GPU- enabled VDI environment in use cases beyond design and engineering. NVIDIA virtual GPU lowers CPU utilization, improves VDI performance, and provides a cost effective and scalable solution to support the growing number of
students, faculty, and staff.
Learn how universities use NVIDIA Virtual GPU to deliver a modern education, please visit

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