Ministry of Education wins awards for ‘Transforming IT by Defying Convention’
More than 300,000 students in rural Malaysia get access to online learning resources
VIRTUALISATION and cloud infrastructure company VMware Inc announced that the deployment of the largest virtualised desktop environment in Malaysia by the Ministry of Education (MoE) has won the 2014 VMware Innovation Awards in the category of ‘Transforming IT by Defying Convention.’
One of the five global winners, the award celebrates its achievement in leveraging technology to change the way education is provided across the country, VMware said in a statement.
The implementation of VMware’s virtual desktop infrastructure technology, possibly one of the largest across Asia Pacific to-date, transformed the way the ministry provides education, the company said.
The implementation enables access to technology, Internet and online learning resources to over 300,000 students in rural areas across Malaysia, it added.
This is the second time MoE’s virtual desktop has been recognized. In June, International Data Group’s (IDG) CIO magazine named it as part of the magazine’s 2014 CIO (chief information officer) 100 list of organisations “exemplifying the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in IT.”
The deployment was put together by VMware, local systems integrator Bitara Induk, and Vancouver, British Columbia-based Teradici.
Bridging urban-rural digital divide
“The recognition of the Ministry of Education among the numerous entries is testament to the significance of the deployment that promises to help Malaysia achieve its ambitious education goals,” said Laurence Si (pic), VMware’s country manager for Malaysia and Brunei.
“We are proud to have played a part in helping MoE transform the access and quality of education across Malaysia, extending education to teachers and students in remote areas of the country,” he added.
With over 10,000 schools located in rural areas, transporting engineers for system maintenance presented logistical challenges, resulting in inconsistent and sporadic service, VMware said.
By modernising the desktop infrastructure, not only did system maintenance became more cost-effective and efficient, MoE was also able to centralise its management, enabling the schools to receive latest software updates and applications in a timely manner.
This rollout covers some 1,250 schools and 25,000 desktops that have been equipped with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology, allowing schools to concentrate on a holistic learning environment without having to worry about IT maintenance and other costs, VMware said.
To align with the vision to bridge the urban-rural digital divide as outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, MoE implemented VDI technology.
PCs were replaced to include VMware Horizon, transforming physical PCs into centralised managed IT services, delivering elastic desktop services as a virtual workspace for easy management and a rich user experience.
This provided MoE with a simple and easy to manage way of provisioning PCs to these schools without the heavy expense of purchasing new units after each lifecycle, VMware claimed.
“The most important part (of the deployment) was that it can help reduce the digital gap for students who live in the rural and urban areas,” said Noorhisham Shahabudin (pic), senior IT officer at MoE.
“Within three months, we installed the technology across over 700 schools, allowing them to use the VDI client, with both students and teachers loving the application,” he claimed.
The 2014 VMware Innovation Awards honour deployments that have driven business innovation through the adoption of hybrid cloud, software-defined data centre, end-user computing, and workforce transformation strategies.
All award nominations were reviewed and rated by a panel of experts from US-based tech publication Computerworld and VMware, using the criteria outlined for each category. The winners were honoured on-stage at the recently-concluded VMworld 2014 conference in San Francisco.
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