La Mesa-Spring Valley School District is a K-8 district located in the East County of San Diego. The District serves 14,310 students housed in 18 elementary (K-5) and four middle schools (6-8). Certificated and classified employees number 1,550.
District-wide there are approximately 1,600 workstations running on a Novell core network. Though Windows workstations are used by administrative staff, Macs are used for educational purposes – students and teachers. The Macs mainly run OS 10.2.8 to 10.3.9 with any new hardware purchases having OS 10.4 (there are also some older machines still running OS 8 & 9, but these are slowly being phased out.)La Mesa-Spring Valley School District has an annual budget of $100,000,000 and an approximate student-to-computer ratio of 10:1 (on computers less than three years old.)
At the time that La Mesa-Spring Valley was transitioning to Mac OS X, the Information Systems (IS) staff realized that, though the operating system offered an environment that was more “kid-proof ”, there were still general worries with regard students “explorations” and general OS integrity.“Middle-schoolers are notoriously mischievous when it comes to computers,” said Richard Ribley, a Support Technician at La Mesa-Spring Valley. “They like to change things just because they can, whether that means taking items off the Dock, moving files to different locations or changing the toolbar in an application like Word. This would, of course, screw up the machine for the next person or even for the same person coming back to that machine later.”
Mr. Ribley and the La Mesa-Spring Valley IS staff found that the teachers often wouldn’t know how to rectify user-created difficulties or, if they did, would spend more time fixing the problems than teaching – a situation that didn’t work for either teacher or students. Generally, the teacher would end up calling the IS staff. With a staff of six and a schedule that meant that a staff member could only visit a school once every five days, a computer could easily be out of commission for a week.
In their preventative efforts, the IT staff implemented pop-up blocker software for Windows Explorer When OS 8 and 9 were being utilized, La Mesa-Spring Valley utilized programs like On Guard (which they still use on their older systems) and Foolproof Security. With their transition to OS X, a security solution that worked with OS 10.2 (Jaguar) had to be implemented quickly or computer downtime and over-stretched staff would become an ongoing problem. Attempting to use Jaguar’s Simple Finder to curtail precocious users proved unworkable because this solution did not allow for a shortcut to the District’s Novell server and, therefore, students could not log in to their network accounts. There were no known OS X alternatives out there.
“The difference that using Deep Freeze Mac made was huge,” said Mr. Ribley. “Immediately, we saw the amount of support time devoted to our Macs easily cut to 5% of what we had been spending prior to installing Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze eliminated 95% of all the software issues we were encountering so that almost the only difficulties we had were hardware-related.”
Lowering IT costs and providing a solid ROI for IT projects are among the top challenges for IT executives. Gartner reports that a locked-down and well-managed desktop PC can be 42% less expensive to keep than an unmanaged one, and that the salary cost of a help desk employee can be estimated to be between $21.63 and $40.86 per hour.
The average help desk cost per contact is estimated to be $23.09. Faronics lowers these costs. Faronics Deep Freeze reduces IT support costs and help desk requests while increasing computer availability. The hundreds of unsolicited testimonials that Faronics has received over the last 10 years provide a wealth of anecdotal evidence. This survey presents quantifiable proof of the effectiveness of Deep Freeze.
The findings of the survey are clear. Organizations using Deep Freeze experience up to a 63% reduction in the number of support tickets per desktop and support 12% more computers with the same staff compared to organizations not using Deep Freeze.
Organizations must always be conscious of the bottom line, but they must also balance restrictions with productivity. Excessive restrictions reduce personnel efficiency, relaxed policies result in additional costs associated with support. Deep Freeze helps here as well.
Deep Freeze’s patented technology makes computers immune to any software related issues, and assures IT that any changes are only temporary and will have no lasting effects on the protected computers. Users, on the other side, can enjoy a fully functional and unrestricted computing experience for
These facts point to the conclusion that Deep Freeze provides organizations with a significant and tangible savings value. Organizations are able to lower their IT support costs while concurrently
gaining efficiency for allocating their IT resources to other priorities.
Founded in 1995, City Inn is a hotel chain focused on conceiving, designing, building and operating contemporary hotels to the highest engineering standards in prime city center locations through the United Kingdom. At the heart of the City Inn brand are the principles of an uncompromising approach to quality, a commitment to innovation, and a customer first mentality.
The hotel chain believes in providing guests with a contemporary environment to relax, work, or entertain, and continually strives for the latest in IT innovations. They recently set a new industry benchmark with the introduction of iMacs in every room across their six locations in the UK. The iMac is a range of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers designed and built by Apple. Each iMac provides guests with the choice to watch 38 streamed TV channels plus radio stations, DVD and CDs. It also allows hotel guests to play music via iPod (or MP3 player) and provides free access to the High-Speed internet connection, iTunes, iChat, iPhoto, iMovie , Skype, Neo Office (compatible with MS Office) and iSight, providing one of the most comprehensive in-room entertainment systems currently existing in the market place. Having iMacs in each room eliminates the need for customer laptops since it acts as a standalone computer.
Problem facing City Inn
Hospitality providers like City Inn know their ability to deliver elite service is heavily dependent on the integrity and reliability of their computing technology. Whether it’s deployed in customerfacing, administrative, in-room, or business center environments, guests expect hospitality providers to deliver a stress-free experience from start to finish.
Protecting guest confidentiality is a chief concern for City Inn. Often their clientele includes highprofile guests such as politicians, so security and confidentiality is a necessity. For these guests, the assurance of having a solution that removes any trace of work or files they’ve used is very important.
The Faronics Solution
After researching possible options, Richard Pemberton, Head of Information Technology for City Inn turned to the bulletproof protection of Faronics Deep Freeze, a reboot-to-restore solution that ensures any changes made during a user session—regardless of whether they are accidental or malicious—are erased with each restart.
“Faronics Deep Freeze was recommended strongly by Apple, and since it is hard to find a solution like this for a Mac, we quickly jumped on the opportunity to purchase it,” said Pemberton.
Deep Freeze is now deployed on over 1700 iMacs within the UK hotel chain, with more scheduled in the future. With the imminent openings of the City Inn London and Amsterdam locations, over 3000 City Inn iMacs will soon be protected by Deep Freeze. Read more on Deep Freeze For Macs.
City Inn is just one of over 1,000 hotels benefitting from Faronics Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze helps hospitality providers meet and exceed guest expectations by ensuring a secure and trouble-free computing experience. Guests can count on total system integrity, staff can rely on professional computing availability, and IT personnel are freed from tedious maintenance issues. Deep Freeze is also cross platform and supports most operating systems, including Windows 7 and Snow Leopard.
Philadelphia FIGHT (FIGHT) is a non-profit organization designed to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. FIGHT provides primary care, consumer education, advocacy, and research. An important component of FIGHT is the Critical Path Project, which enables low income people of all ages to gain digital literacy and learn how to access essential health information on the Internet. Ensuring all communities have access to the Internet is a key step in FIGHT’s mission to end the AIDS epidemic.
As of 2010, FIGHT’s Critical Path Project has embarked on a mission to create 27 Public Computer Centers with the purpose of providing digital literacy to more than 2900 people in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of North, South, and West Philadelphia. The Critical Path Team is setting up 27 centers to fulfill its overarching objective of providing free and convenient Internet access for everyone. Within each center there are six to twenty machines available for public use. In conjunction with the Freedom Rings Partnership Project, there will be 77 Public Computer Centers built in total resulting in more than 850 workstations available across the city
Managing groups of workstations located across 27 Public Computer Centers distributed throughout the community would be challenging even for a large team of technicians. In this case, Critical Path has only a very small Information Technology staff to manage all of the machines across all these centers, and that includes handling updates, maintenance, software, and fixing machines infected with malware. The volume of support tickets would simply be unmanageable for a team of this size, especially when accounting for travel time to and from each center.
For the Critical Path Team, the answer was Faronics Deep Freeze Enterprise. To date, FIGHT has installed Deep Freeze on 241 workstations and is currently in the midst of installing on the remaining 51 workstations. In addition, they have also selected Faronics WINSelect Server Edition to offer them advanced control and security features over their public computing environment. Deep Freeze helps to maintain machines in their intended state and virus free, without worrying about users downloading undesired software that would slow processing down and could ultimately reduce the lifespan of their machines. Keeping hard and soft expenses low is a major advantage given that FIGHT is funded primarily through grants and donations.
Augusta County is located 100 miles west of Richmond in the central part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Augusta County Public Schools (ACPS) has 21 schools including five high schools, four middle schools, and twelve elementary schools. There are approximately 1,750 staff and 11,000 students operating on over 4,000 workstations and over 80 servers.
Reduced IT Support Requests by Over 60%
The technicians first implemented Deep Freeze across their entire district six years ago, leading to a 60% reduction in daily IT requests. Deep Freeze helps eliminate workstation damage and downtime by making computer configurations indestructible. Once Deep Freeze is installed on a workstation or server, any changes made to the computer are automatically erased upon a simple restart.
Fulfill HIPAA and FERPA Compliance
“Faronics Anti-Virus, Anti-Executable and Deep Freeze help keep all our data safe and mitigate liabilities and risks of lawsuits from parents and students in the event that their data is lost or stolen,” said Amos. “When we submit our required documentation to the State and Federal government, we outline the three solutions as proactive ways we
keep our staff and student data secure.”
Faronics Anti-Virus and Anti-Executable are particularly helpful in protecting data from exposure and loss to malicious third parties therefore helping ACPS comply with regulations and avoid embarrassing and costly security breaches. With a complete layered security strategy in place, the district can now rest assured data is protected, computers are up and running without interruption, and staff and students can continue to do their jobs productively. Moreover, IT has reduced costs, decreased the number of IT requests, and become more proactive in handling critical projects instead of reactively fighting fires.
Glenpool Public Schools is a combined elementary and secondary school district located in Glenpool, OK, in the Tulsa County region. The district hosts approximately 2,100 students and 200 teachers and operates in an all-Windows environment.
Malware infections were incessant at Glenpool Public Schools, primarily as a result of online research and downloads conducted by teachers. The problems were so overwhelming for the district that the IT team spent the majority of their time troubleshooting computers. “90% of our IT support tickets revolved around viruses or anomalies with software and system performance,” says Greg Atkins, Director of Technology. The IT department often battled advanced malware that modified the operating system files so they performed not only their usual function, but also served hackers who were looking to locate and steal information. This type of stealthy malware was extremely challenging to find, diagnose, and troubleshoot, and took a disproportionate amount of IT’s time.
Rogue anti-virus programs were also a persistent threat. In one instance, a teacher was browsing the web when a rogue anti-virus program convinced the teacher to purchase the program to ensure malware protection for a threat that was supposedly infecting her computer. In another example, a teacher’s computer became infected when a downloaded PDF was hyperlinked to an infected website. Atkins and his team required a solid solution to help protect teacher and student computers from malware threats that came via email, web, and USB flash drives.
Glenpool Public Schools turned to a layered security approach, using Faronics Anti-Virus and Faronics Deep Freeze. Faronics Anti-Virus thwarts all the incoming malware threats throughout the day to ensure run-time protection, while Deep Freeze ensures complete system consistency by returning computers back to their original state with a simple reboot.
The IT team has designed a schedule to protect their network throughout the day. Between 4pm and 6pm each day (depending on the time of year), Atkins and his team uses the centralized scheduling capabilities of Faronics Core to power off all the computers to save energy. Thanks to Faronics Deep Freeze, when the computers are automatically booted up in the morning, they are returned to their original configuration and wiped clean of any unauthorized system changes. Also in the morning, a quick Faronics Anti-Virus scan is performed to ensure any malware is eliminated. A deep scan is performed as an extra precaution for any computers that are frequently infected.
Faronics Deep Freeze and Anti-Executable and the Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department.With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2) containing a population of more than 3.8 million people, it is one of the most innovative and recognizable law enforcement agencies in the world.
The LAPD patrol cars are set up with Mobile Data Computers (MDCs). There are currently 2053 patrol cars equipped with MDCs that run Windows XP. The MDCs provide access to a critical application called CAD (computer aided dispatch), which is used to connect the patrol officer with the 911 operators. CAD is a missioncritical system that needs to be up and running at all times to ensure uninterrupted connection for the patrol officers in the field. The LAPD relies on the 24×7 reliability of the MDCs to do their jobs.
Because cars are shared amongst officers, it is critical for the department to have MDCs perform consistently for every shift. The department was looking for ways to lock down the MDCs to prevent officers from downloading applications or making configuration changes to the operating system, which could cause degraded system performance and impact the integrity of the application. Another issue was ensuring officers are not distracted by unnecessary applications running on the MDCs.
The LAPD decided to deploy Faronics Deep Freeze, an instant system restore solution that restores the MDC to its original configuration with a simple restart. To lock down computers and ensure officers focus on their patrol duties only, the LAPD implemented Faronics Anti-Executable. As a security solution, Anti-Executable allows the LAPD to restrict any unauthorized applications and malicious executable files from installing and running on the MDCs. Using a whitelisting approach, the LAPD can allow only approved applications to run on the MDCs, thereby ignoring any application that was not approved on their whitelist.
“Deep Freeze and Anti-Executable are crucial to preserving an image determined for mission critical law enforcement systems used 24×7 to ensure reliability and security with minimal downtime and with the least reliance on IT personnel,” says Mr. Datta. “Without these two solutions, we would be getting a lot more problems with the patrol cars and troubleshooting MDCs would be significantly increased.”
Faronics Anti-Virus & Deep Freeze and Ballston Spa Central School District
The Ballston Spa Central School District (BSCSD) is a New York based school district serving close to 4,200 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The Ballston Spa High School opened in 1998 with innovative computer and science labs, a modern library media center, auditorium, and a swimming pool. More than 700 educators, administrators, and support staff make up the district’s dedicated team of employees. There are 1,700 workstations and 30 servers, in an all-Windows environment.
When Brian Merchant, Coordinator of Technical Support Services for BSCSD, joined the district 10 years ago, the tech staff spent a good amount of their time rebuilding computers. They re-imaged approximately one computer a week which prevented them from focusing on other projects.
The time constraints from rebuilding computers and responding to IT support tickets weren’t the only problems the district faced. With global malware attacks increasing and becoming more evasive, BSCSD knew they needed a more network-efficient anti-virus solution, one that didn’t slow down network and system performance, and was able to deliver anti-virus updates without delays.
A Solution That Worked
Mr. Merchant was already familiar with Faronics Deep Freeze during his tenure with a smaller school where Deep Freeze was deployed on all lab computers for five years prior to coming to Ballston Spa. Deep Freeze is an instant system-restore solution, which protects original workstation configurations by restoring the computer settings to their original condition with a
simple reboot. Deep Freeze eliminates the need for IT professionals to perform rebuilds, re-image, or troubleshoot computers. The bulletproof protection of Deep Freeze reduced the district’s support calls, allowing the IT team to focus on strategic objectives instead of mundane and time consuming technical support issues.
The district didn’t hesitate on deploying Deep Freeze across their entire network of workstations, but they still needed a compatible anti-virus solution. The software needed to be able to deliver
anti-virus updates without delays even on computers in Frozen mode (protected by Deep Freeze). Standard anti-virus solutions required workstations to be in Deep Freeze maintenance mode
to deliver updates and, even then, the network traffic generated to update the machines was substantial and degraded network performance. Often times, updates weren’t even successful during
the maintenance cycle, which resulted in more work for the busy IT team. Furthermore, computers weren’t updated in a timely manner, making them vulnerable to new malware threats.
The Garden City School district has approximately 600 staﬀ and 5,500 students using 1,300 workstations. Half of the workstations are running a Windows environment, while the other half are Macintosh computers. The district has 13 servers, half of which use NetWare 6.5 and half of which use OS X.
The school district was experiencing problems with students getting into and changing the proxy settings in Internet Explorer. Students were also changing other settings and using Windows Networking to get into other machines in the building that were not secure. Sometimes students were getting into places through right-clicking in certain task bars or menu bars, which was diﬃcult for administrators to control or restrict.
Garden City used Fortres 101 for approximately four to ﬁve years as a solution against these problems, but the software was not doing what they needed it to. Students frequently found ways around it or ﬁgured out what machines were not secured.
Garden City’s IT staﬀ consists of two full-time and one part-time employees. The three staﬀ were responsible for managing 1,300 computers, and spent a lot of time re-imaging machines to deal with the problems that occurred when students found ways around Fortres 101.
The IT staﬀ at Garden City were already using Deep Freeze from Faronics on several of their labs, and heard about WINSelect through the company. The staﬀ were so impressed with Deep Freeze that they thought another solution from Faronics was a good bet.
Tim Klan, Technology Supervisor at Garden City Schools, downloaded an evaluation copy of WINSelect. After the evaluation period, the IT staﬀ found that they liked WINSelect better than Fortres 101; it was an easier product to use and competitively priced. Because they were already using Deep Freeze, they felt conﬁdent in the product’s ability to solve their problems.