April 18, 2013
MARLBOROUGH, Mass, April 18 — Unidesk Corporation, the virtual desktop layering leader, today announced that California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is implementing Unidesk as the desktop management and application delivery platform for its 3,000 plus-user internal Desktops-As-A-Service initiative. Unidesk desktops are being deployed on DWR’s private cloud powered by VMware vSphere, with secure access provided by VMware Horizon View through a wide range of fixed and mobile endpoint devices. The move to cloud-hosted desktops is giving DWR’s geographically dispersed workers and field operations specialists increased access to critical applications, while reducing desktop Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and enabling IT to focus more of its time and resources on service delivery.
DWR operates and maintains the California State Water Project, which provides water for 25 million residents, farms, and businesses. The department also provides dam safety, flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an ideal fit for DWR’s increasingly mobile workforce, which requires ubiquitous access to desktops and applications to fulfill the department’s mission.
“We looked at VDI in two business dimensions -- providing remote and field workers with full desktop capabilities anytime, anywhere, and reducing the high cost of managing physical desktops within our office space,” said Tim Garza, chief information officer for the Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Water Resources. “We needed a solution that was capable of not only delivering desktops on any device, but would simplify management of our diverse desktop and application configurations. Unidesk is enabling our IT staff to create an operationally efficient environment where we can maintain one base desktop image, and then rapidly layer on specific software as needed by our various business domains.”
Unidesk Certified Solution Partner and VMware Authorized Consulting Partner ENS-Inc. assisted DWR with its initial desktop virtualization solution design and delivery of Desktops-As-A-Service. With their help, Phase 1 of the DWR desktop virtualization solution using Unidesk desktops has been completed. Over 200 virtual desktops are now in production. DWR’s scientific, engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), business automation, office productivity, and computer-aided design (CAD) applications are packaged as separate Unidesk layers. Custom desktops are provisioned simply by assigning application layers in different combinations with the same clean Microsoft Windows 7 operating system layer. Layers are patched or updated once to update all desktops.
“We worked closely with DWR during the pilot to validate desktop virtualization concepts and directions,” said Chad Hodges, vice president of business development, ENS-Inc. “VMware Horizon View proved to be great at brokering high performance access to desktops, but it became clear that an advanced VDI management platform was required if DWR wanted to reduce desktop OpEx. Unidesk offers the simple, powerful application delivery and image management capabilities that make VDI less expensive to operate than physical PCs, and it is architecturally compatible and well-integrated with View and VMware vSphere.”
Created by the state legislature in 1952, DWR is one of the largest departments within the California Natural Resources Agency, with about 3,500 employees. DWR is deploying Unidesk virtual desktops and VMware Horizon View on a program areas by program area basis. Over 200 desktops are now in production, and the department plans to have 60% of its desktops virtualized within an 18 month period.
“DWR, like many government organizations, must deal with the twin challenges of improving service while reducing costs,” said Brian McDonough, vice president of worldwide sales, Unidesk. “Virtualizing desktops with Unidesk and VMware Horizon View is proving to be an ideal solution for achieving both. We look forward to supporting the DWR team as they continue their Desktops-As-A-Service movement.”
The Unidesk desktops are accessed through a combination of energy-efficient zero clients, employee-supplied devices, and repurposed PCs. The desktops are hosted on HP blade servers connected to EMC and NetApp storage. By storing Windows and application layers only once per data store, Unidesk reduces VDI storage capacity requirements upwards of 70%. Flash memory caches provide the IO necessary to ensure a high-performance desktop experience, aided by Unidesk’s layering technology. Because a single stored instance of Windows and all applications are used by many Unidesk desktops, this frequently accessed desktop data remains “hot” and never leaves the high performance flash memory.
Unidesk Corporation provides the management platform that accelerates the movement of Microsoft Windows desktops to the cloud. Unidesk layering technology enables Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to deliver more applications, satisfy more use cases, and offer a more personal user experience with less IT effort and less storage. By connecting to Unidesk desktops from Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View and other brokering solutions, customers expedite VDI projects, reduce desktop operations costs up to 30%, cut VDI storage capacity requirements up to 90%, and enhance worker productivity. Unidesk Corp. is a privately-held company with headquarters in Marlborough, Mass.
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