Increase in virtual learning requirements led the institution to provide students and faculty with simple, secure browser-based access to applications
LoughTec, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading IT infrastructure specialists, was selected by Letterkenny Institute of Technology to deliver their secure remote access solution to physical computers and applications on campus. This also enabled the institution to deliver the rapid roll-out of their bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, delivering secure virtual learning environments for faculty and students.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology attracts a diverse student body of more than 4000 students from Ireland and over 31 countries across the globe.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was forcing a public lockdown across Ireland, LYIT needed to establish a robust virtual desktop infrastructure to help support the increased need for distanced learning. It was also important that any solution would be cost-effective, scalable, have the capability of prolonging the life of ageing PCs and provide remote access for staff and students from any device, anywhere, at any time. As they began to search for a secure solution to meet their strict criteria and deadline, they quickly discovered it was going to be a challenge to cover all bases.
Liam McIntyre, LYIT’s IT Manager led the institution’s effort in finding a suitable solution. The college had been using a Microsoft Access Gateway to provide students with a limited range of local network and web-based services. The objective now was to expand these so that students could enjoy access to shared network drives and learning applications from any device even when they were not on campus.
“We evaluated LoughTec’s Connect system on several criteria, including ease of use, performance, and the cost of IT resources required to support our remote users in the field,” said McIntyre. “Connect was selected because it far exceeded our criteria concerning setup and deployment, management, and user experience.”
One of the biggest challenges faced by LYIT revolved around the issue of software license sharing. Students wanted access to services from their laptops and home PC devices but strict license rules were governing how many concurrent users could access applications at any one time. The other systems being considered by LYIT did not give their support staff sufficient information or flexibility to be able to manage this effectively. LoughTec’s Connect system gave LYIT exactly that – the ability to manage its license sharing issues and provide students with more reliable access to services at all hours.
“The experience is a great example of how LoughTec’s browser-based access has proven to be a very natural experience for end-users, ensuring a rapid take-up of services,” said McIntyre. “From an LYIT perspective, the install has resolved our remote access challenges, enhanced IT support and delivered a robust 24/7 BYOD learning environment that is capable of accommodating the college’s future expansion plans.”
LoughTec Connect provides secure, centrally managed access to both Windows and Linux applications and desktops, from any device. From a single platform, Connect offers enterprise-level functionality, along with a superior user experience. Combining the benefits of advanced grid technology and robust connection brokering, Connect is cloud-ready and offers high availability, scalability and enhanced performance. Additionally, IT admins can enable users to securely access on-campus desktops and lab resources, without having to install software directly on either desktops or students’ remote devices.