Security: Improved desktop user experience

Deakin University improves desktop user experience

Established in 1974, Deakin University has five campuses—one in Melbourne, two in Geelong and one in Warrnambool. The fifth and fastest growing campus is in the cloud (online). Each campus has a distinctive character, rich culture, and strong presence in its local community.

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With staff numbering around 4,200, Deakin University serves a student population of approximately 53,000, which includes those on and off campus. Staff and students constantly access the University's network from labs, administrative workstations, and off-campus locations.

As with many organisations that support large desktop environments—physical and virtual—profile corruption and excessive logon times plagued users, especially long-time Deakin staff.

User and IT pain was not restricted to corrupt profiles. Logon times varied from 30 to 40 seconds for users with new machines to 90 seconds and beyond for older machines or users with large roaming profiles. In extreme cases, a logon might take 10 minutes or more. Many users in the extreme case category reacted by never logging off, which meant that necessary restarts to apply patches didn’t happen, creating security and usability concerns and heartburn for the IT Team.

Solution: AppSense Insight and AppSense Environment Manager
Thomas Duryea Logicalis worked with Deakin University to locate the appropriate solution, and AppSense emerged as the most suitable choice. “AppSense is a critical technology in improving user productivity, security and manageability for any enterprise workspace transformation project. We are finding AppSense simplifies larger deployments and addresses many of the workspace issues,” Damian Zammit, General Manager, Transformation Services, Thomas Duryea Logicalis.

Deakin University chose AppSense Environment Manager to deliver a consistent, fast logon experience, significantly reduce profile corruption and reliance on group policy, and ultimately enable desktop personalisation. Additionally, Deakin chose AppSense Insight to collect actionable endpoint data.  

Thomas Duryea Logicalis facilitated a Proof of Concept (POC) with AppSense, implementing their Insight product at Deakin to establish a baseline to identify the processes that were causing problems and needed attention.

Initially, Deakin deployed Environment Manager to 300 machines within its IT division to gather information for a larger rollout. The results were gratifying. Logon times plummeted and users stopped experiencing profile corruption.

The desktop infrastructure team started developing AppSense application templates for faculty machines and has deployed AppSense agents to 10,000 machines. AppSense provided Deakin with configurations for the numerous virtual applications that students access via Citrix in the university's labs. Deakin has also enabled personalization for students, eliminating the need for them to start every new session from scratch.