Alcorn State University Selects Sphere 3D’s HVE for Initial Journey into Desktop Virtualization

February 06, 2017

Deployment of appliances at multiple locations provides for predictable and simple, yet powerful VDI solution

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sphere 3D Corp. (ANY), a containerization, virtualization, and data management solutions provider, today announced that Alcorn State University (Alcorn) has selected HVE ConneXions Desktop Virtualization (VDI) technology for its initial VDI deployment of 100 desktops, with future plans to expand to additional appliances and desktops as a part of the university’s classroom technology modernization efforts.

Alcorn is a four-year university located in Lorman, Mississippi.  The university has an annual enrollment of over 4000 students with support from nearly 800 employees. Alcorn has received nationwide recognition for excellence in liberal arts, agricultural research, technology, music and nursing.  Like other higher education facilities, it recognized the advantages of VDI and embarked on a thorough evaluation of its options.

The academic environment of higher education often requires more complex IT solutions than those found in commercial environments; primarily due to the sheer number of applications they need to support. Businesses often have a manageable number of desktop builds, and the hardware that supports those workloads. However, in school environments, there are often wide ranges of applications that can span from those that run microscopes to those that design aircraft.  In addition, there are just as many unique hardware end clients or workstations on which those applications must run.   With this diverse set of needs constantly evolving and the requirement for facilities to keep them supported and current, many higher education facilities are turning to virtualization to meet their IT demands.

HVE evaluated Alcorn’s requirements and determined that the solution should address the immediate needs of the computer lab, but provide for future growth. The initial installation was one lab of 35 virtual desktops. The HVE-101-N VDI appliance was chosen, as it would give Alcorn the potential to add more virtual desktops, providing room for expansion. The second portion of the project was updating the remote technology classroom located in a shopping mall in Meridian, Mississippi; the HVE-51-N was purchased for this portion of the solution due to its ability to provide 30-50 VDI sessions to their lab which included the purchase of PCoIP Zero Clients. This was a great improvement over the outdated physical desktops that were previously being used and provided a single pane of glass management for the Alcorn IT Support team. Alcorn is now in a position to grow its environment based on its needs and at the pace that meets its IT and budget objectives. For further information on the Alcorn deployment, read the white paper at this link here.


Felton Square, Senior Multimedia Architect for Alcorn, said, “With VDI, we can access the classroom environment and virtual desktops remotely and support them from our main campus. This means we do not have to be onsite, thus allowing that time to be used on other matters.” He added, “We also looked at other brands and competitors and asked them to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the equipment to match the HVE solution. Through that comparison, we found that HVE was around 20-30 percent lower in cost. Moreover, HVE was not only able to accomplish our goals at a better price point; they did so without needing to sacrifice performance.”

Joseph O’Daniel, President of Virtualization and Professional Services for Sphere 3D stated, “We have been successfully delivering robust solutions to educational institutions for years, and pride ourselves in making the transition to virtual environments seamless and painless for these organizations.” He added, “We accomplished this by working closely with the talented and dedicated staff at Alcorn State University, to ensure that we not only deliver, but exceed customer expectations.”