Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, ManageEngine IT Matters, Steven Lamb, Sematext Blog

Blog Feed Post

Wakefield and District Housing at home with IGEL for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Reading, UK May 19, 2014 - When WDH (Wakefield and District Housing) wanted to deploy a new virtual desktop infrastructure to speed up log-on times, improve manageability and cut costs, the company turned to IGEL Technology. WDH is responsible for more than 31,000 homes in the Wakefield district.

WDH's desktop solution published applications from Citrix XenApp to 900 standardised Dell Desktops. The IT and Business Systems Change team began considering changing to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) because the organisation was facing a number of business challenges.

A major difficulty was the log-on times for people working at remote sites. Although geographically bound within Wakefield, the organisation has 75 different locations, 48 of which are Independent Living Schemes (formerly known as sheltered accommodation), which had 1MB ADSL connections into the IT infrastructure.

"When someone logged on to the system, they would have to download their profile over the connection and this could take anything up to 30 minutes at a time," said Andrew Howard, Project Manager at WDH. "Our teleworkers, who work from home and offer call centre support to our tenants, were also suffering the same difficulties."

In addition, WDH was in the process of mobilising more of its workforce. With changes in legislation and housing associations operating in a new way, it was important that employees calling on tenants should have information at their fingertips. As a result, these employees were being issued with tablets for their work. "Mobile workers in the past had also experienced problems logging onto the network and with the increase in mobile workers, we needed a different desktop solution," explained Andrew.

The organisation first virtualised all its servers using VMware, making large savings on electricity and hardware. The team then turned its mind to the desktops and built a detailed business case. "With our VDI we wanted speed, performance, flexibility, mobility, and manageability," said Andrew. "Manageability and access were key, and we needed to make sure that we weren't paying any more than for our current desktop solution."

WDH looked at five potential thin clients and quickly narrowed this down to three manufacturers, which included IGEL. "We invited each manufacturer in with an engineer to set up the devices, and looked at their technical knowledge and competency. While on site we observed how they escalated issues through their organisation and evaluated what tools and systems would be required," said Andrew. "For the end users, the devices work in much the same way but the IGEL Management software was far superior. The ease of use and flexibility blew all the competition out of the water."

The IGEL Universal Management Suite software (UMS) can be used to set up, maintain and upgrade all IGEL thin clients from a central location using a policy-based graphical interface. It is a simple-to-use management tool, which can have thin clients up and running in minutes. Intuitive to use, secure and scalable up to 100,000 thin clients, the IGEL UMS drastically reduces management time for IT administrators.

"To get the competitor thin client solution working took five days and it was just two hours for the IGEL devices," said Andrew. "We couldn't get them out of the boxes quickly enough for the engineers."

WDH has further complemented the IGEL devices with the Data Security solution DriveLock. Using the DriveLock Virtual Channel already included in the Linux-based IGEL Universal Desktop, access rights and security settings for external storage devices can be configured to whitelist approved devices, even down to the serial number of an individual USB stick.

Electricity savings enable faster roll-out
The organisation calculated that there would be significant electricity savings as a result of the deployment because the IGEL thin clients use so little power compared to traditional PCs. The electricity savings over the longer five-to-seven year lifecycle meant WDH would be able to afford to deploy the new desktops in one fast roll-out, rather than being forced to stagger it due to cost.

WDH rolled out 200 IGEL UD5 LX devices to 70 different locations in just two weeks. Today, all 775 PCs have been replaced with IGEL thin clients. The devices use Citrix XenApp application delivery to publish applications from the XenApp server and some over Microsoft App-V to avoid saturating the servers with applications.

The servers are virtualised on Dell hardware using VMware ESX Enterprise plus licensing and work with a standard Windows 2008 64-bit operating system. Applications are installed on start-up by group policy and MSI, which allows the IT team to remove or add applications quickly and efficiently and deploy a new XenApp server in less than 45 minutes.

"The feedback we have been getting from our users is that the IGEL devices are now ridiculously quick and easy to use," said Andrew. "We still use our 1MB ADSL lines and users that previously reported log on times of up to 30 minutes can now start their IGEL, turn on the thin client, log on and launch an application in less than two minutes. The desktop infrastructure is also so easy to maintain.

Andrew finished by saying: "To reap the benefits of desktop virtualisation you need a strong thin client solution, and that solution is IGEL thin clients and its management suite."

Eric Backhouse, WDH Infrastructure and Customer Services Manager, added: "The move to an end-to-end virtual desktop solution, utilising IGEL thin clients supported by Citrix Xen Desktop, has allowed us to provide a high quality, highly effective way of working for employees at remote sites."

"The IGEL solution is the backbone of our flexibility and mobility project. It will cost less to own and operate, we will be able to work out how much will be used in terms of resources and the system can be expanded to meet the future needs of WDH."

About IGEL Technology
A world leader in thin and zero client solutions, IGEL Technology helps organisations improve the agility, efficiency and security of their virtual desktop and application delivery systems. IGEL produces one of the industry's widest ranges of thin and zero clients, based on Linux and Microsoft Windows, allowing customers to access a broad spectrum of server-based infrastructures and applications. IGEL also offers powerful and intuitive management software for easy deployment and administration of thin clients throughout any size organisation. Partnerships with industry leaders like Red Hat, Citrix, VMware and Microsoft ensure that IGEL provides the most up-to-date technology and trustworthy security to clients in industries that include Healthcare, Education & Research, Public Sector, Financial, Insurance, Retail, Logistics and Manufacturing. IGEL has offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, Germany, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore and is represented by partners in over 50 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.igel.co.uk or follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/IGEL_Technology

Editorial contacts:

IGEL Technology GmbH
Dr. Frank Lampe
Hanna-Kunath-Str. 31
28199 Bremen
Tel.: 0421 / 52094 1300
Fax: 0421 / 52094 1399
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web: www.igel.com

Amber Group
Paul Smith
Tel: +44 (0)7770 828525
Email: [email protected]

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...