Amazon AppStream 2.0: Mt. San Jacinto College Enables Remote Work During COVID-19


About the Organization

Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) is a California-based community college that serves students in a 1,700-square mile radius that ranges from the San Gorgonio Pass to Temecula. In addition to offering traditional courses and programs that satisfy transfer requirements for many four-year colleges and universities, they also offer vocational, basic skills and technical programs, English as a Second Language (ESL) training programs, and over 140 online courses to help achieve any educational goal.

The Vision and Challenge

With the emergence of COVID-19 social distancing mandates, Mt. San Jacinto Community College District (MSJC) needed to quickly transform to support a remote workforce, as this would allow faculty and staff to continue providing vital services to students. As time was of the essence, MSJC engaged their most trusted partners to discuss, design, and assist in implementing the tools needed. InterVision was one of the first calls made.
“Because of their ongoing strategic partnership, experience in the education space, and expertise in cloud solutions, InterVision is one the first calls I made.”

—Brian Orlauski, Dean of Information Technology at Mt. San Jacinto College

Faculty and staff used five critical applications heavily in their day-to-day work (Colleague UI, OnBase, Galaxy, SARS Anywhere, and SQL Services Reporting Services) – they consisted of both browser-based (thin-client) applications and desktop-based (thick-client) applications that were currently only accessible while physically on campus. MSJC wanted to enable users to connect via VPN to the remote servers on campus. This approach would maintain governance for compliance and cybersecurity, as well as avoid end-user configuration challenges. However, one of the older applications had RDP limitations, which meant a remote desktop solution or VPN was also not feasible for executing remote access.

After discussing various options with the InterVision team and consulting with AWS, MSJC determined that AppStream 2.0 was the best solution to deploy their five critical applications because of the intuitive design, intuitiveness for end users, compliance with data governance requirements, and the ability for rapid deployment.

In order to rapidly adopt and deploy the applications on AppStream 2.0, MSJC engaged InterVision to implement the solution.

The Outcome

Through previous engagements with InterVision, MSJC had developed trust in us as a provider. We worked closely with MSJC and AWS to determine the most appropriate autoscaling policies to both limit cost and ensure necessary resources were continually available. Within two days, we had completed a production environment deployment of their five initial applications on AppStream 2.0. MSJC subsequently trained more than 300 employees in the following two days, thereby allowing their staff and faculty access to the critical enterprise applications.

“MSJC engaged InterVision on a Friday morning and we had the applications installed and the AppStream 2.0 environment accessible by Saturday evening.”

—Brian Orlauski, Dean of Information Technology at Mt. San Jacinto College

The project is still ongoing, and MSJC is evaluating what other applications should be moved to AppStream 2.0. Looking ahead, the college hopes to leverage InterVision’s expertise to further their core educational mission by migrating their datacenter to AWS.

Technologies Utilized:

  • AppStream 2.0
  • Amazon VPC
  • AWS Transit Gateway
  • Amazon EC2
  • AWS security groups
  • AWS elastic network interfaces (ENI)
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS CloudTrail

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