B.C. university deploying Dell zero clients

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Vancouver, B.C. hopes to realize more than half a million dollars in savings a year by replacing its outdated PC’s and thin clients with a fleet on 1,600 zero clients.

The program, which is now underway, calls for the deployment of Dell Wyse zero clients across the university’s campuses in Metro Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley, B.C., as well as the activation of a new infrastructure designed by Dell (NASDQ: DELL) which connects to KPU’s Citrix XenApp virtual desktop environment. The university has a student  population of 17,500 and a staff of 1,600.

Zero client, also known as ultrathin client, are server based computing model in which computing devices do not have local storage. The model is often used in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments in many educational and corporate organizations.
Dell Wyse Xenith 2


A zero client is different from a thin client in which operating system and device configuration settings are retained in flash memory. Typically a zero client is a small box that serves to connect monitor, keyboard and mouse and Ethernet connection to a remote server. The server hosts the operating system and software applications. The server can be accessed remotely or through cable connections.

KPU estimates that it will save $647,000 a year in cost saving by reducing hardware expenditures, avoiding longer refresh cycles, reducing the cost of management and maintenance, and by cutting power consumption.


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The university also gets the benefit of a much faster network.

“Students and staff can log on to Dell Wyse zero clients in a matter of seconds, which helps maximize available study time and achieve better academic results,” said Sukey Samra, associate director for information and education technology at KPU.

The Dell Wyse zero clients are robust and can “withstand the rigours of constant student use,” according to Dell. The devices have a life span of approximately 10 years  (two years more than the usual PC refresh cycle), providing KPU with an estimated $300,000 in hardware savings per year.


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