Unidesk Expands Access to Educational Apps Outside the Classroom

Unidesk Expands Access to Educational Apps Outside the Classroom

Unidesk makes virtual desktops and applications simpler and more affordable for K-12 schools to implement than PCs, enabling stronger teacher-student collaboration and BYOD.

Case Study: Pike County School District Modernizes Desktop & App  Infrastructure with Unidesk →

Benefits for Students, Faculty, Staff, and IT

Students access educational applications through any device.

Teachers maximize their creativity with desktops that provide full personalization.

IT has only 1 Windows image to patch and delivers apps 80% faster.

School Leadership complies with U.S. Common Core and other educational standards by ensuring equal access to educational resources in and out of the classroom.

A Better Way to Deliver Educational Apps

K-12 schools must offer access to a wide variety of Windows applications. Unidesk can deliver any app to any number of virtual machines with one installation. Here are the technical reasons why Unidesk application layering offers the same “container” benefits as application virtualization, but without all of the challenges.

  • No special expertise required. IT teams in school districts are lean. You can't afford to spend hours or days to package a single app. With Unidesk, you can layer any app with a standard install in just a few minutes. No scripting, sequencing, or stacking required.
  • Looks like a local install. Unlike app virtualization technologies that use process isolation technology to hide apps from Windows, Unidesk layering uses file system and registry virtualization technology to deliver apps as if they've been natively installed. All files, directories, and registry keys are captured as a “layer” – a read-only virtual disk that can be assigned to any number of virtual machines.
  • Greater app compatibility. Any app can be layered with Unidesk. Standard office productivity apps, complex educational apps, printer drivers, you name it.
  • Full app interoperability. Many educational apps need to work together. App virtualization technologies that isolate apps in protective bubbles prevent interoperability. Layered apps are not hidden from Windows or other apps. With their registry keys, files, and data in the usual places, your apps will be able to cross-communicate as needed.
  • Instant patch rollback. Updating applications can sometimes cause unforeseen problems. Unidesk enables you to “undo” patches to quickly resolve issues. Simply assign an earlier version of an app or Windows layer, and entire classrooms or labs can be quickly rolled back to their previous working state.

Chico Unified School District

"Unidesk freed us from image sprawl. We now have one Windows instance and one application layer for each application to manage. We can deliver and update apps at a moment's notice with much less IT involvement and no disruption to workflow. Unidesk has really changed the application and image management paradigm for us."

Justin Cooper
Information Systems Analyst, Chico Unified School District

Personal Desktops for Faculty & Staff, Clean Desktops Every Time for Students

Teachers need to customize their desktops with unique plug-ins and applications to unlock their creativity. That's how they provide engaging lesson plans and a better educational experience. But managing persistent virtual desktops for faculty and staff and non-persistent desktops for students has required more storage, gold images, and IT overhead.

Not anymore. With Unidesk personalization layers, faculty and staff get persistent desktops that save all of their changes – profile settings, plug-ins, even user-installed apps. While students can use non-persistent desktops that give them a fresh, clean experience each time they login. Best of all, IT can provision and manage both using the same storage-efficient Windows and application layers.

Morgan County Charter Schools

"Unidesk solves the main challenges we initially had with VDI. It makes application deployment and overall management simpler, and provides a consistent experience for our users. The desktops we are now delivering with Nutanix and Unidesk are much more robust than any physical machine we have ever been able to provide."

Jay Cawley
Director of Technology, Morgan County Charter Schools

VDI That’s Less Costly Than New PCs

Microsoft has chosen Unidesk as its management partner for Microsoft VDI and Azure RemoteApp. Together, we cut the licensing costs of Windows desktop and app delivery in half, making virtual desktops more cost-effective than buying new PCs.

School districts can take advantage of their Microsoft educational agreements to implement VDI that’s scalable, flexible, and easy to manage, stretching tight budgets farther in the process.

Microsite 2015 Shared - Cost Comparison Chart

500 User Example Physical PCs Microsoft VDI + Unidesk on Hyper-V VMware Horizon Citrix XenDesktop
Hardware $400,000

500 PCs, $800 per unit


7 hosts, 10 TB storage


7 hosts, 10 TB storage


7 hosts, 10 TB storage

Software $15,000

500 licenses PC management software


500 Microsoft RDS CALs & 500 Unidesk licenses


500 licenses Horizon Enterprise & 1 license vCenter Server


500 licenses Citrix XenDesktop & 500 RDS CALs

Total (with reused PCs) $415,000 $320,000 $418,750 $437,500
Mobility & BYOD - $50,000

500-user VDA subscription


500-user VDA subscription


500-user VDA subscription

Thin/Zero Clients - $37,500

Replace 25% of PCs, $300 per


Replace 25% of PCs, $300 per


Replace 25% of PCs, $300 per

Total (with Mobility) $415,000

$830 per user


$815 per user


$1013 per user


$1050 per user

Cost Comparison Between Physical and Virtual Desktops, Including Software and Hardware

Microsite 2015 Shared - Every Platform every Cloud

Citrix? Microsoft? VMware? Cloud? Yes.

Many organizations deliver key apps through Citrix XenApp. Unidesk eliminates image management inefficiencies common in XenApp environments. By leveraging Unidesk integration with Citrix Provisioning Server, you will only patch Windows and apps once, instead of once for every XenApp silo and vDisk. And with Unidesk Elastic Layering and Session Container innovations, you can expand XenApp to 100% of your apps and all users by giving all users - for the first time - their own unique apps and persistent personalization.

For Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon, Unidesk is simply the fastest and easiest way to virtualize every app and provide every VDI user with a personal user experience.

Unidesk works with all other end user computing, hypervisor, and cloud solutions as well, so you can keep your options open. Use Unidesk to:

  • Eliminate image sprawl in Citrix XenApp or Microsoft RDSH server farms.
  • Expand existing XenApp infrastructure to all apps and users with VDI-like capabilities.
  • Simplify app delivery in VDI environments with Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon.
  • Implement virtual desktops at much lower cost with Microsoft VDI on Hyper-V.
  • Leverage Azure to deliver Windows apps from the cloud.

Unidesk K-12 Success Stories

10 Minute On-Demand Unidesk Demo
K-12 Customer Webinar - Windows Patching, App Delivery and Mobile Access for Students, Faculty and Staff on a tight budget–by a One-Man IT Team!