Case Study on Enterprise South Liverpool Academy Using Parallels RAS

Parallels RAS empowers students and teachers at Enterprise South Liverpool Academy

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) chose the award-winning virtualization solution Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) for two reasons. The first reason was to find an inexpensive method for delivering education applications to students on tablets or small laptops. The other reason they implemented Parallels RAS was to deliver virtual desktops to teachers in order to allow them to work from home with ease. Chris Little, Trust Head of IT at the English academy, describes Parallels RAS one of his “favorite products.”

“I am pleased that we chose the [Parallels RAS] solution,” said Little. “It saved a lot of disruptions at our school.”


ESLA is a Catholic academy that teaches children from ages 11 to 18. The academy is located in Garston, Liverpool. There are over 1,000 students currently enrolled at the institution. The educators at ESLA are working hard to provide the top learning experience possible for their students.

The challenge: Delivering applications and desktops to students and staff at home

The academy in England needed a solution to deliver learning applications to students on their personal devices, in addition to virtual desktops to teachers at home. Their students needed access to different Windows applications like MS Office or Adobe Suite (eg Photoshop). Moreover, one factor they had to consider was that not all their students could count on access to a desktop computer because they came from low-resource backgrounds. As a result, ESLA needed a mobile-optimized virtual application delivery solution that students could access Windows applications no matter what device was available, such as smartphones and tablets.

While ESLA looked into competing virtualization software packages, such as VMware, they were disappointed in their pricing structure, which would have taken an unreasonable hit on their modest IT budget. Furthermore, they had heard negative reviews about VMware’s product.

“The students needed access to application like Adobe Suite and Microsoft Office, things that they wouldn’t have access to at home because obviously it’s expensive software and most of our students come from quite poor backgrounds, where they may not have access to a full computer.” 


Chris Little

Trust Head of ICT

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA)

Solution: Students and staff have access to applications on any device, anywhere


The IT supplier for ELSA, Capita, suggested that Little look into Parallels RAS. After seeing an online demo, Little said that they IT team was impressed by how smooth it ran, how straightforward the interface was, and its affordable pricing plan.

With plenty of good documentation, the installation process for Parallels RAS was “very simple.” Both the server-side and client-side installations were straightforward, and quick to perform. Within three hours the institution had tested everything, and one week later they were able to roll it out devices.

Parallels RAS allowed students to access Windows desktop applications at home that they othrwise wouldn’t have been able to afford, such as Adobe Photoshop. For teachers, they could now carry on working from home as if they were at school — with access to student data, records, files, folders for their planning, etc. With Parallels RAS, students and staff at ESLA can access their applications from home regardless of which device they’re using.

“I found it really easy to get into. I did the online qualification sessions and made me get the most out of the program. It saved a lot of disruptions at our school.”

Chris Little

Trust Head of ICT

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA)

Adoption result: Affordable virtual solution with powerful features is a ‘lifeline’

For ESLA, the key benefits of Parallels RAS are:

Little says that Parallels RAS has been a “lifeline” for the educational institution, and the IT department. Remote access to fix issues has allowed him to perform his job with more flexibility and efficiency.

“For example, two years ago we had system failure. I was on holidays in the Caribbean and I had a really poor internet connection. I was able to remotely access through RAS and fix the problem in 30 minutes. It shows you that it really works in a crisis situation as well.”

Chris Little

Trust Head of ICT

Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA)

Summarizing conditions

ESLA has 150 staff and 1,100 students enrolled at their institution in Garston, Liverpool. The students range in age from 11-18. Many come from under-privileged backgrounds with scare resources in their homes. ESLA has been using RAS since February 2013, when it was 2X before being bought by Parallels. The institution currently uses Parallels RAS v15 with 1,000 users total, and a capacity for 250 concurrent users.

Summarizing solutions

The academy needed a comprehensive VDI solution to deliver applications, desktops and data to students and educators over a mobile-enabled network. After finding the other solutions didn’t fit their budget, ESLA opted for Parallels RAS for its powerful, streamlined features and low cost.

Summarizing advantages


Parallels RAS provides ESLA with a powerful, comprehensive VDI solution at an affordable price point. Students and staff enjoy more flexible virtual learning environments. Even in low connectivity environments, Parallels RAS provides a stable platform that the school can rely on to empower their mission to provide the best learning experience possible for their students and staff.