Santa Barbara City College Gives Students the Apps & Security They Need to Succeed, Slashes Windows 10 Rollout Times

Dec 19, 2017
Vernon Apperson


Vernon is a technology writer for VMware, specializing in customer storytelling.

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Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) is an award-winning comprehensive community college in southern California. From nursing to underwater welding, various programs draw both beginning college students and working professionals who want to advance their careers.

Like many colleges and universities, SBCC had to adapt to students bringing their own devices to campus. “For mobility and the digital workspace, we’ve been using VMware Horizon on Dell hardware, and we haven’t looked back,” said SBCC Network Specialist Brandon Lovelace.

The school also uses Horizon for RDSH access to specialized classroom apps. “These are the tools the students need,” said Lovelace. “Now they can just run them anytime, anywhere.”

Starting as a small trial in the computer science department, SBCC’s Horizon desktop count has grown to about 1,000. Virtual desktops have been especially useful for nontraditional students. With the ability to access college computing resources from any device at any time, students who are balancing work, school and family can get classwork done at their convenience.

Students (and faculty) can run processing-intensive mathematical and statistical modeling software from a variety of endpoints. “With Horizon, we’re providing more access to the resources students need to be successful,” says Lovelace. “They can consistently complete their labs, and IT can make better use of staff time.”

“We’re using technology to step up our game. VMware is a technology innovator to us, because I don’t know how we’d be doing what we’re doing today without them.”
—Brandon Lovelace, Network Specialist, Santa Barbara Community College

Janine Draper, network specialist at SBCC, notes that Horizon also made the college’s upgrade to Windows 10 faster and easier. “Before Horizon, it would have taken months, if not a year, to make that type of transition” to Windows 10, said Draper. “Horizon has been extremely stable; it’s been easy to work with.”

Draper says that before implementing Horizon, college IT staff spent a “tremendous amount” of time replacing lab hardware and troubleshooting software. “A year and a half ago, we frequently had to tell people ‘no’” when they requested new software or upgrades. “Now, it’s ‘yes, we can do that.’ It’s wonderful.” This year, after following a typical five-year hardware replacement cycle, “we hardly replaced any hardware at all,” said Draper. “We got great savings in cost and man hours.”

SBCC also uses VMware solutions in its data center. An upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.5 brought better performance, availability and efficiency to the school’s network. Lovelace called out Update Manager as a vSphere feature that saves him a lot of time on patch and version management. VMware NSX and VMware vRealize Operations Manager bring automation, intelligent management and security with micro-segmentation to the college’s data center. “Anything we can do to be technology smart helps protect the college and its data,” said Lovelace.


To gain more insight into how SBCC utilizes VMware solutions to improve IT processes and productivity, check out this case study.

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