Loyola High School of Los Angeles is rich in history – it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015 – and its goal is to prepare its students for the challenges of modern society. And its IT infrastructure is part the school’s forward-looking approach. The school relies heavily on its Q student information system from Aequitas Solutions, and is one of the first educational users to experiment with Nvidia’s GRID virtual GPU.
A key part of Loyola’s IT strategy is a move to virtual server and virtual desktop infrastructures (VSI and VDI). This is due in large part to allow Microsoft applications to run more reliably on Apple computers, which are the standard for the school. It also is a way to give students with various interests and academic pursuits access to a full range of resources, such as graphics heavy applications, robotics software, and arts content.
Progress on the move to VDI was hampered, however, by lagging performance of the company’s legacy spinning-disk storage system. “We were hitting the upper limits of performance on our aging storage system, especially with the demands of VDI,” says Kevin Behnke, senior network administrator for Loyola High, an all-male, Jesuit college preparatory school, with a student body of some 1,200. “We had a lot of latency issues and problems with slow database access,” he adds. “A Windows update would just freeze the system due to the high IOPS. Plus, the management interface was so poor I had no clue as to what was going on.”