NYU Shanghai puts an end to Windows incompatibility woes

Jointly established by New York University (NYU) and East China Normal University in 2013, New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) is the third degree-granting campus in NYU’s global network, joining NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU’s main campus in New York City. The first Sino-US joint venture university in China, NYU Shanghai combines the best of Chinese and American education, creating a new kind of higher education model that has been attracting students from all over the world.

NYU Shanghai’s computer labs are predominantly equipped with Mac devices. Currently, the university has over 200 iMac systems, excluding units granted to students through its Mac-only student loan poll.

“Mac is our preferred hardware, but we also need to use Windows-based academic software such as ArcGIS and Minitab, as well as popular business applications like Excel, Windows, and the like,” said Chai Kan, OS X and Linux Administrator at Academic Technology Service, NYU Library. The team at Academic Technology Service provides the IT support for the university.

Added Kan: “We needed a cost-effective solution that could solve Windows compatibility issues while providing a stable, user-friendly environment for our Mac users without wasting time and resources dealing with technical issues and multiple reboots.”

NYU Shanghai has limited classroom space, so an extra room for an additional Windows-only lab setup was not an option. The university was not willing to allocate the additional cost associated with running and maintaining dual machines, just to accommodate ArcGIS and Minitab.

The solution

NYU Shanghai decided to deploy Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition not only to make it easier for staff and students using ArcGIS, Minitab and other Windows applications, but also to improve productivity. Unlike before, they no longer need to switch frequently between OS X and Windows.

“We looked at other competing solutions, but they did not fit our requirements,” said Kan. “They either offer unacceptable reboot times or their costs do not commensurate with their performance.”

NYU Shanghai found Parallels Desktop Business Edition a stable platform that is easy to use, even for entry-level users, enabling faculty and students to focus on teaching and studying, respectively, instead of worrying about technical support. “Since Parallels® provides a Windows-only mode, users can run the Windows-only software directly like the original programs in Mac,” added Kan.

NYU Shanghai also likes that they can easily configure Parallels Desktop Business Edition, to suit their requirements. Parallels Desktop Business Edition also integrates better with OS X, provides better quality, and allows systems to run faster. In addition, the Parallels solution allows the IT team to keep things seamless; users have no idea they are running two systems.

No additional investments

Running Windows directly on a Mac has saved NYU Shanghai a lot of money, as the university did not have to make an additional investment in Windows computers or set up an additional lab for Windows, just to run required educational software applications.

Using Parallels Desktop Business Edition has increased productivity by enabling users to run Mac and Windows applications side by side, without rebooting. It has also made a difference in speed and performance, such as when running 3-D, software applications in Windows, which students and faculty do frequently. NYU Shanghai also likes the platform’s stability, as well as the constant software upgrades, ensuring not just a great user experience, but peace of mind for the IT team.

“It’s also very important to highlight that Parallels has built a solid reputation for its customer service, and so far, we’re happy with their service and support. They can help resolve any problem with the software quickly,” said Kan. “Overall, our students and faculty have had a stunningly perfect experience with the Parallels solution. They can run Windows software on their favorite hardware, and the IT team does not need to worry about setting up a separate Windows-only lab to meet the school’s Windows-based application requirements. Overall, Parallels has provided NYU Shanghai convenience, cost savings, and productivity.”