Virtualization kingpin VMware (NYSE: VMW) is making desktop virtualization (VDI) inroads in the key education market with the deployment of its View 5.1 technology in 1,800 public and private school districts in Texas, amounting to some 10,000 virtual desktops.

Education is an important, identified market focus for VMware along with government, health care, retail, non-profit and financial services, so installations of this magnitude are readily called out. In particular with education, constricted state budgets and resource limitations demand schools do more with less, a hallmark of virtualization.

In this case, Texserve, a technology provider for school districts and government agencies in Texas, wanted to use existing school IT assets to enable student and faculty access to apps without overtaxing the limited number of technicians in each school district, according to Leatha Mullins, Texserve chief technology officer.

The school districts lacked the funding for a total technology upgrade, instead electing to use existing onsite equipment and leverage the students’ and faculty’s personal laptops and mobile devices in a virtualized environment. "We needed to reduce overall desktop management costs without compromising the quality of education, and we saw virtualized desktops and applications as the way forward," said Mullins.

The numbers of potential users associated with VMware’s VDI technology in the Texas schools are staggering: Some 4.9 million students, 320,000 teachers and 70,000 professional staff will gain access to virtualized desktops resulting from the installation, officials said. Moreover, school IT administrators say the View technology will ease some of their security and control concerns over students bringing their own laptops or other devices to school to access content; in other words, they think it will help them with BYOD issues.

"Transforming legacy Windows desktops and applications into a managed service using VMware View makes managing tens of thousands of desktops simple and easy," said Vittorio Viarengo, VMware vice president, End User Computing.