Overcoming the False Full

January 6, 2023 |  Data
1 min

It’s easy to get a false impression that the lab is always full from only observing the number of people in the room.

Do you get the sense that computer labs on your campus are always full? It may come from walking through campus during busy times of the day or requests from faculty and staff for more resources.

This may be the case, but there are also a few scenarios where you could run into a false sense of labs being full. 

Whether you receive a request to expand labs, or are hesitant to reduce labs because they always seem busy, it’s important to differentiate between people in a lab and actual machine usage.

People in a Lab vs. Actual Machine Usage

When a computer lab is set up in rows of desks with one machine next to another, all the seats could easily be in use. But that doesn’t mean that all the machines are really being utilized. 

Students who are working in groups may take up 4-5 spaces but only use one computer. Or other students may be working in the computer lab but logging onto their laptops for some of the time. 

This is especially prevalent on campuses where students received laptops or loaner laptops during campus closures during the height of the pandemic. Also consider how different groups of students may use computer labs differently. International students may want to work with their friends and computer labs provide the space on campus for them to meet up, whether or not all are at a lab computer or not.

Related: Optimizing IT Resources to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Right-Size Hardware by Usage, Not Foot Traffic

You can save or reallocate a significant portion of your IT budget by right-sizing hardware. This could mean reducing computers or reallocating computers to higher-traffic areas across campus.

To ensure students and staff don’t lose access to necessary computers, review the Peak Usage History report. This report reveals the highest number of computers in-use at the same time, and allows you to see which computers they rely on, and which computers they rarely or never use. This will help you determine if you can reduce hardware, how many computers can go, and which ones should be the first to be cut.

Once you’ve determined the computers you can safely eliminate, you can either relocate them to a different place on campus, or open them up for students to remote into via the Remote Access Dashboard.

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