Granite School District, located in Salt Lake County, Utah, operates 60 elementary schools, 16 junior high schools, 9 high schools, as well as other special schools and programs. With 68,075 students, Granite is the second largest district in Utah and is among the largest public school districts in the nation. Granite is also one of Utah’s largest employers, with more than 7,500 full and part-time employees. Granite has also been nationally recognized for teacher professional development programs and the economic efficiencies of its administration.
The Problem They Faced
Scott Watson, an Electronics Teacher in Hunter Senior High School, trains students in a computer lab consisting of 24 workstations that operate as independent computers 90% of the time, and server interfaced network stations for the balance 10%. These dual-core processor systems run Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and are utilized by over 150 students every day.
“We are fortunate in that we have a powerful computer lab,” says Mr. Watson. “We do, however, want to ensure that power is used for educational purposes, and not for classroom distractions such as games, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer file sharing.”
“I could not find any other product comparable to Faronics Anti-Executable,” says Mr. Watson. Faronics Anti-Executable has given Granite School District the ability to enforce total compliance in their computer labs. The district’s teachers benefit from distractionfree classroom sessions each and every time, while the district’s IT personnel are guaranteed that the lab computers remain free of unwanted software and compliant with acceptable use policies.
“Faronics Anti-Executable’s white list protection gives us the assurance that only the programs we have installed on the computers are able to run,” says Mr. Watson. “We use Deep Freeze to return our computers back to their original state, but that happens only upon workstation restart. Sometimes a lab computer is kept running for an entire day, so it could potentially accrue a whole day’s worth of ‘software junk’.”
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.
Newburgh Enlarged City School District is located at “The Crossroads of the Northeast,” an area on the west bank of the Hudson River 60 miles north of New York City and 80 miles south of Albany. The district includes nine elementary magnet schools grades K-6, three junior high schools grades 7-9, and one high school grades 10-12.
NECSD is comprised of 2,200 staff and 13,000 students spread across 22 buildings. The network infrastructure consists of 4,000 workstations, 75 servers, 200 routers or switches, and 400 wireless access points. Dedicated to supporting the IT infrastructure, Newburgh Enlarged City School District has 7 Micro Computer Repair Technicians, 1 Network Engineer, 2 Educational Technology Liaisons, 16 Educational Technology Teachers, and 2 Voice Specialists.
Schools often need to deploy computers that offer a limited feature set—for example, a computer lab designed for young children, an information kiosk in a library, or an administrative machine that needs to be simplified. Limiting a computer’s functions is an important part of protecting a computer’s purpose. Having fully-functional computers placed in environments where only limited-functionality is required carries the possibility of computers being used by students in a distractive or inappropriate way.
NECSD desperately needed a solution that was easier to manage, flexible, and scalable across the entire district. As a group, the IT staff looked at several commercial software solutions, and ultimately selected Faronics WINSelect for its ease of use, customization strength, and intuitiveness. “We’d been happily using Deep Freeze for a few years,” says Nelson Colon, Educational Technology Liaison for NECSD. “We discovered WINSelect when we visited the Faronics website for Deep Freeze updates, and started browsing through Faronics’ other solutions.”
Faronics WINSelect makes it easy to manage the functionality of computers in public access, kiosk, library, educational, and corporate environments, and empowers IT administrators with enterprise control over a workstation’s system settings. IT can quickly customize a computer’s capabilities by restricting user access to certain applications, websites, program functions, and system options. IT administrators can also dynamically configure systems without the hassle and complexity of Group Policies, and can easily limit the features of third-party programs such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. Advanced options include the ability to regulate user activity, and remove functions from within the Windows operating system and installed applications.
Founded in 1967, North Country Community College is located in northeast New York state in the counties of Franklin and Essex. North Country attracts students from New York, New England and from around the world who seek a progressive and individualized education. The College’s mission is to provide the highest quality public, post secondary education to area residents, as well as those outside the region who desire to live, learn, and grow in a unique educational setting. The college hosts approximately 2000 students with a faculty/staff of over 200. There are 350 workstations and 25 servers.
John Bray, a Computer Support worker for North Country Community College, struggled with maintaining the staff computers. Because the staff was frequently installing unauthorized software (which often conflicted with the authorized software and can present compliance issues), he was constantly spending his time cleaning up and re-imaging workstations. The required maintenance led to continual downtime for many of the terminals. Bray was also concerned about malware threats and possible software configuration issues on the machines.
Bray and his IT Department began searching for a solution that would restrict unauthorized programs and prevent any possible damage caused by malicious threats. Bray was already familiar with Faronics because the college was using Faronics Deep Freeze on the student computers to help eliminate unwanted workstation changes.
Bray was excited to learn that an application whitelisting solution existed from Faronics that ensured only authorized programs were allowed to run. “We did not even consider any other products as we very impressed with Deep Freeze and Faronics support.”
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.”
The School District of the Chathams is a regional public school district serving the students of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States.They have approximately 500 employees and 3900 students in their district with a total of 58 active servers on the network (21 are physical servers). Roughly half of the physical servers are VMware hosts that run multiple virtual servers while the other half are physical servers because they are not good candidates for virtualization.
Because energy usage by computers is not itemized individually, many school districts, like the School District of the Chathams, do not realize the extensive amount of electricity used by their PCs. John Abdelmalak, Director of Technology knew that reducing PC energy consumption would save the school district a significant amount of money.
The school district first learned of Faronics Power Save through direct mail and immediately saw an opportunity. They quickly tried the demo on the workstations and were so impressed by the power consumption reports that they instantly deployed it on all their Windows workstations.“We noticed the product was working as expected immediately. Best of all it has not wasted any time or resources of IT personnel” said Abdelmalak.
One of the key features of Power Save is the ability to personalize and schedule shutdowns. Thanks to this feature, Abdelmalak has now scheduled and customized the majority of the district’s computers to shutdown after two hours of inactivity.
Abdelmalak was also pleased with the service at Faronics. “Dealing with our Faronics sales representative and technical support has always been a positive experience. We appreciate that Faronics takes suggestions from its customers which help create newer and better versions of the product,” said Abdelmalak .“In the nine month time frame that we have used Power Save the software has already been improved considerably.”