Jul 17 2015

VMware Unlocks Chromebook's Online Testing Potential with DaaS Solution

The virtualization software giant stepped in to help Pearson’s testing environment and Chromebooks to join forces.

A new innovation by VMware has opened the doors for Google Chromebooks to use one of the more popular online testing platforms , TestNav, by Pearson.

Both Chromebooks and online tests have experienced tremendous growth in K–12 markets in the past year. The testing and assessment market has grown 57 percent since 2010, totaling nearly $2.5 billion. And in 2014, Chromebooks became the top-selling device among tablets and notebooks for K–12 schools, according to IT industry analyst IDC.

But until recently, Chromebooks and Pearson’s TestNav couldn't work together. The testing system requires Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, using Java to lock down devices and prevent cheating. That was a barrier to entry for Google's notebook, which can't natively run Microsoft's browser.

A recent collaboration between VMware and Pearson dissolved that barrier with a Desktops as a Service (DaaS) solution, the virtualization software giant announced this month. VMware Horizon Air Desktops that run on Chromebooks are now approved to use Pearson's testing platform to deliver online tests via the public cloud.

"VMware Horizon Air Desktops running on Google Chromebooks is ideal for schools that use Chromebooks extensively and want to offload desktop virtualization completely to a third-party service provider and move from a CAPEX to an OPEX model," VMware stated in a news release. "This means that schools can now use VMware for a full spectrum of options, delivering tests to students both through on-premises private clouds and off-premises public clouds using Chromebooks."

Bryan Bleil, Pearson's vice president of online and technology implementation, said that VMware's VMware Horizon Air desktops and VMware Horizon 6 solutions have passed Pearson's certification, signifying that they meet the testing company's requirements for security and system performance.

It’s not the first time VMware has helped unlock Chromebook’s potential. In 2014, a VMware Horizon View solution allowed the low-cost notebook to run nearly any Windows app through Chrome, Google’s official browser, which is natively supported by Chromebooks.