NZ Education Blog

Regular updates from Microsoft in the NZ education sector including events and advice for education staff.

February, 2011

  • Remote Desktop Services vs VDI

    Desktop Virtualization doesn't just mean using your existing server virtualization platform to deliver virtual desktops. As many people have found out, the ROI on doing this for a mass VDI solution doesn't stack up.

    If you take a user centric approach to defining the requirements, you should end up focusing on the user Data and Applications rather than the platform on which you will run the OS.

    I see a new lease of life for Windows Terminal Services, now called Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have not evaluated RDS and only had experience with TS then I would encourage you to look again at the Microsoft offering. There are many architectural changes to have resolved many of the issues previously experienced with TS. e.g.

    ·     64 bit only - better concurrent session support

    ·     Integration with System Center and Unified Access Gateway - manage in the same way as physical desktops

    ·     Application Virtualization - less susceptible to dependencies allowing greater number off apps per server and easier updates

    Other Resources:
    Microsoft virtualization strategy
    RDS Component Architecture

  • MultiPoint Server 2011 Released


    Windows® MultiPoint Server™ 2011 is a Windows®-based solution that is designed specifically to help educational institutions give every student individual access to PCs. By allowing multiple users to  simultaneously share one computer—each with his or her own independent Windows experience—it’s a cost-effective way to get more technology into classrooms, computer labs, and libraries.

    A major new feature in 2011 is the support for RDP connections from devices such as MacBook’s.


    HP’s MultiSeat T100 USB Thin Client is still a very cost effective option for new deployments and I have been testing this device on my laptop running MultiPoint 2011 (I also have Moodle, SharePoint Foundation and Office Web Apps running on my MultiPoint server but I’ll save that for another post).

    Another improvement is the management of the student sessions.


    Learn more at
    MultiPoint Server Team Blog
    Download an evaluation copy from

  • Australia NSW Department of Education uses Azure to deliver online science assessment

    The Essential Secondary Science Assessment (ESSA) test was delivered simultaneously to all secondary schools in a single day. Using 300 Azure instances cost ~ $40 per hour. The alternative was to purchase 60 physical servers.

    This video was shown in the keynote at the Education Leaders Briefing in London on January 12, 2011 by Orlando Ayala.

    Watch live streaming video from nzedu at
  • Better budgeting for students

    Watch this video to see how your budget can come to life

    Here is a copy of the Excel spreadsheet shared on