UIU Case Studies


Schoharie Optimizes Imaging with the UIU Bookmark

Schoharie Central School District

The Schoharie history is long and storied with roots back to 1710 and some of the first settlers to the New York area. As the largely uneducated immigrants moved to the region, the founders set about immediately to establish ways for the children to learn. The Education system was founded in 1839, and since the formalization of the district in 1930 has continued to grow and thrive over the last 180+ years. With almost 900 students and growing, the district’s technology has had to keep up with ever-changing demands.

Logistical Challenges

With over 500 PCs for staff and students, the IT infrastructure falls squarely on the shoulders of one man, Dave Holmes. He is responsible for quite literally every aspect of technology, including support, purchasing and imaging. The primary challenge for Schoharie is the diverse collection of PCs spread out across their environment. In spite of the fact that the district utilizes primarily Dell machines, Dave still has to manage 15 different models. With so many models, the time required to deploy an updated operating system to the entire district used to take him almost a month. Consequently, Dave was hesitant to push out an updated image unless absolutely necessary, and dreaded the acquisition of new hardware because it took him away from effectively managing the rest of the IT program in the district.

UIU Support has been great. The very few times we have needed a driver, we have received them right away.

Dave Holmes, Senior Computer Support Specialist

In an attempt to effectively deploy images to disparate hardware, Schoharie tried a home-grown solution, but driver management was inconsistent and there was a great deal of time required.

The Driver Management Solution

At some point another school district recommended that Dave sign up for a mailing list for technology geared to education. It was through that mailing list that he originally heard about the Universal Imaging Utility (UIU) from developer Big Bang LLC. The UIU incorporates a fully vetted and continously updated driver database of over 40,000 Plug-n-Play IDs to deliver a hardware independent PC image to any laptop or desktop regardless of manufacturer or model.

I can’t imagine my job without the UIU.

Dave Holmes, Senior Computer Support Specialist

With the UIU, Schoharie was able to accomplish several cost and time-saving tasks that were previously impossible:

  • Reduction in Images
    Prior to the UIU, Dave was maintaining 20-25 images through an entirely manual configuration process. Even though a primarily Dell organization, disparate models required unique images. And because of this, images were only being updated once per year. The number of images after the UIU was implemented was reduced down to two XP and two Windows 7 - one each for students and one each for staff machines.

  • Virtual Builds
    Previously, each PC image build was being done manually on the physical machine. This was not only time-consuming, but created a large opportunity for error in keeping all the machine builds organized. Now, all image builds are done in a virtual environment (which is a UIU best-practice). The images were then easily deployed with Ghost.

  • Open Acquisition of Hardware
    Schoharie is often approached by people wanting to donate machines for the students. Before, they were unable to accept these gifts because of how much extra time would be required to image and maintain them. Now, Schoharie will gladly accept any donated machine because the UIU allows Dave to deploy his existing Windows XP or 7 image to any of them.

“The ability to go from 25 or so images down to two images for XP and two for 7 has been huge. That and the ability to build everything in VM as opposed to each piece of hardware saves amazing amounts of time. A process that formerly required an entire month to build each specific image now only takes one day."

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