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Google Cloud and Nutanix Frame Partner to Offer Education Flat-Rate Bundles for Easy and Affordable Hybrid Learning Capabilities

By Yangzhi Zhao (Nutanix), Kyle Azua (Google Cloud), and Carahsoft Team

| min

Challenges Facing Educational Institutions

The pandemic accelerated many existing trends in hybrid learning, including students’ expectations to be able to learn anywhere, from any device. In this new hybrid culture, educational institutions need to be prepared for educational disruptions while adapting to students’ learning preferences. From a student’s perspective, accessing educational systems at home can often be more complicated and often doesn’t provide the same degree of access.

African teen girl college student, school pupil wears headphones distance learning from home on video conference call, web cam chat with online teacher tutor remote lesson on computer screen, closeup.

Today, schools are struggling with:

  • Delivering a consistent learning experience, regardless of whether students are in-classroom or at home
  • Meeting security standards in the world of hybrid learning
  • Providing students access to CAD, design, and other graphics-intensive software outside of computer labs
  • Keeping costs low without impacting the security or productivity of staff and students

Remote learning has highlighted technological inequities among students. When students cannot access in-person resources such as computer labs, or have limited access to software because of their low-powered device, their learning can easily be disrupted.

School IT staff also experience challenges with providing equitable access to application software due to complicated licensing structures. They might have limited licenses available for Adobe Creative Suite or Autodesk, with a majority already installed on computer lab devices that students don’t always have access to. When students in CTE classes aren’t able to access high-powered software like Adobe Creative Cloud and Solidworks on their devices, they lose out on the opportunity to learn when, how, and where they want to.

How GCP and Nutanix Can Help

Nutanix has partnered with Google Cloud to bring GCP flat-rate education bundles to U.S.-based educational institutions, helping to access and make use of hybrid cloud offerings in a budget-friendly way. This offering will help to address the app gap with virtual machines (VM) that can deliver apps to students wherever they are.

VMs are also more readily available, so five students don’t need to share one instance of an application; everybody can have their own. Since VMs are owned and maintained by the school, app licensing can be managed at the VM level instead of deploying to each individual device, which can be burdensome and expensive to manage. Students can do workload-intensive schoolwork in virtual labs, so schools don’t need to maintain high-powered, expensive workstations.

Nutanix Frame provides a seamless experience for students at home or at school—without requiring specialized equipment or staff to maintain it. The service can be accessed by any person or group authorized by the organization, allowing greater equity across an entire district. Nutanix Frame’s advantages:

  • Browser-first DaaS solution, meaning customer admins can deliver a consistent user experience regardless of user device (no need for a user to install a client or agent)
  • Integrates seamlessly with customer’s Google Cloud Project ID, cloud storage provider (including Google Drive), and identity provider of choice (including Google Sign-in); customers can deploy a virtual app and desktop solution quickly
  • Occupies the middle ground between traditional VDI solutions and pure-play DaaS solutions in terms of functionality, deployment flexibility, and operational simplicity
  • Supports native, in-session, video-conferencing with your solution of choice (Google Meet, Zoom, Teams, Webex, etc.) in development
  • Built-in reverse proxy solution for secure external access to desktops, apps, and data

Native Integrations

Nutanix Frame is optimized for Google Chrome and provides native integrations with Google Drive and Google Sign-in, while giving authentication directly into Frame. Frame also offers out-of-the-box support for Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which allows users to launch Frame virtual apps and desktops directly from a ChromeOS shelf, macOS Dock, iPad app, etc.  School districts can solve problems without reinventing the wheel or replacing anything.

In addition, Nutanix Frame has no dependency on Microsoft Active Directory, so it can be deployed for customers who do not have an Active Directory implementation. This avoids a level of complexity in authentication handling management and makes it easier to deploy.

Flexible and Nimble

Nutanix Frame isn’t just a short term solution for remote learning. This solution empowers all districts so they can be as flexible and nimble as possible. Regardless of your location or what device you're using, Nutanix Frame provides the same experience in terms of authentication and workflow. Districts don’t have to worry about investing in physical technology that is aging and will quickly be outdated.

The Advantages of Bundles

While many K-12 and higher education customers have successfully enabled hybrid-learning with Nutanix Frame on GCP, one of the common challenges was predicting TCO due to fluctuations in usage, which made budget approvals very difficult.

With these new flat-rate bundles, educational institutions can streamline their budget approval process and achieve predictable costs. If the bundles don’t fit the specific needs of students, they can be customized.

Nutanix and GCP envisioned the bundles based on common scenarios in education. Introductory bundles are built for 150 concurrent users, with the highest subscription bundles supporting up to 300. The solution has built-in buffers so that students don’t lose access if there are temporary overages in order to help prevent learning disruption. These bundles include licensing and products from Nutanix, Microsoft and Google included on a single pricing quote, helping to facilitate a more streamlined remote app experience. 

To further understand the bundles and our offerings, refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below and speak with a member of the Google Cloud and Nutanix teams today to get started.

  1. Who qualifies for the bundles
    • Any U.S. K-12 or Higher Education customer may purchase these bundles.
  2. Are the bundles available in all markets?
    • Currently, the bundles are only available in the U.S. market.
  3. What is included in the bundles?
    • The bundles include the following:
      • Flat-rate GCP consumption
      • Nutanix Frame Named User subscription entitlements
      • Microsoft RDS-SAL subscription entitlements
    • The bundles do NOT include third-party software licensing (e.g. Adobe, Autodesk, Solidworks, Microsoft Office, etc.)

View our free resource to learn more about how Google Cloud and Nutanix can support your mission success with flat-rate education bundles.

**This post originally appeared on Carahsoft.com, and is republished with permission** 

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