Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Mehdi Daoudi, AppNeta Blog, Carmen Gonzalez

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
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 ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...