The University of Nottingham (UoN) is renowned for its prowess as a public research university, delivering vocational and research courses and studies to over 45,000 students across the World, from the UK to the far east. The university receives over £100million per year in research grants and contracts, representing a large proportion of their income.


With lockdown in place, UoN were searching for a solution to ensure that their undergraduate and post-graduate students could continue to access specialist applications whilst studying from home.

Windows Virtual Desktop  (WVD) delivered by UoN and CoreAzure is enabling different areas of the curriculum including engineering, mathematics and science.

WVD is helping to deal with the inequalities and disadvantages between students by providing a standard managed remote desktop solution. 


Higher Education


United Kingdom

Number of users:


We provided the following products and services:

  • Windows Virtual Desktop

  • Azure Labs

  • Remote Working

The challenge

With the UK and many countries around the world in lockdown, UoN were looking for a solution to enable staff and students to continue to work and feel supported whilst working remotely and securely from home and to limit the disruption to teaching and learning services. The solution had to;

  • Replicate the staff and student’s on-campus desktop experience
  • Provide effective access to complex and resource hungry applications
  • Deal with the inequalities of different device and access types and IT literacy

Our solution

CoreAzure worked with a group of universities and Microsoft to develop a common proposition that would streamline and simplify the WVD deployment and rollout. 

Our solution to UoN focused on;

  • Design assurance to provide confidence that WVD is secure, reliable and able to scale as adoption ramps and reliance increases
  • The review and validation of the UoN roadmap to assure the approach, to validate investment choices and facilitate delivery prioritization
  • Assisting UoN in the definition and creation of a service wrapper (outline Managed Service specification)

We are using Microsoft’s WVD to allow students and staff to remotely access the applications they need during the lockdown period. The solution mitigates potential inequality and disadvantage between students as a consequence of the technology they have available to them, providing a standard managed offering. This ensures the University provides access to all the required tools, when used in conjunction with online teaching and learning techniques, to enable the university to continue to effectively provide teaching and learning services during this challenging period.  

Simon Swinburne, Enterprise Architect (Platforms & Technologies, Research, IS)


  • Like all Azure-based services, UoN now only pay for what they use

  • UoN's management overheads have been minimised because the management plane is PaaS-based

  • The built-in security features provide a platform that UoN's staff and student users can trust