The implementation marks an expansion of AppSense’s sales and reseller efforts into the U.S. federal government, as well as increased recognition by government agencies of the cost savings, security and flexibility benefits of virtualized desktops.
“While the early adopters of VDI technology have tended to be in financial services, insurance and healthcare, we’ve seen a significant uptick in interest among government agencies,” noted Charles Sharland, CEO of AppSense. “VDI is an extremely powerful technology that saves organizations a significant amount of money and IT resources. However, users still expect personalized desktops, which only AppSense can enable in an enterprise environment. Force 3 provides exceptional services to the federal government, and we look forward to working with them, bringing our combined solution to other DoD agencies as well as additional federal branches.”
“Despite the complex requirements of this DoD project, Force 3 was pleased to be able to provide the agency with a full complement of best-in-class VDI technologies, a critical one being AppSense user environment management, which enables standard desktops to be easily personalized,” said Brad Osborne, VP of Data Center Consulting, Force 3. “Our solution can be easily replicated throughout the DoD organization, bringing tremendous security and cost benefits to the agency. This is a natural outgrowth of the many solutions we have put in place for government agencies and we expect to see additional implementations in the future.”
DoD Agency Adopts VDI Solution
The DoD agency is one of many affected by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) initiative. As a result, the customer, whose mission requires heavy use of workstation-based applications, was doubling in size. In a matter of weeks, it needed to find office space, procure workstations, and determine how to support twice the number of users with no corresponding increase in IT staff.
Force 3, which had worked with this agency on several previous projects, began the engagement with a joint meeting at its Customer Innovation Center (CIC). The Center gives prospects a hands-on, multi-technology overview of advanced technologies as well as letting prospects develop and test proposed solutions prior to actual implementation. The IT consulting firm subsequently proposed a solution that would virtualize Windows XP and Vista desktops, and serve user’s individual desktop environments to them upon login. The project, the first phase of which was completed in February, 2009, enables the agency’s IT department to maintain a single image of the Army Gold Standard for Windows XP and Vista desktop – each time a user is provisioned or logged in, a snapshot is taken of the Gold Standard, applying the proper profile, so each desktop always runs on the latest version of the gold standard with all patches and all upgrades. The Force 3 VDI solution delivers each user's unique desktop environment, enabling IT to manage change and comply with the DoD agency’s requirements for hundreds of users without compromising user productivity or morale. Force 3 estimates that it can scale to support thousands of employees with only a handful of IT staff.
The VDI solution includes:
- AppSense Environment Manager, which enables each user to call up his or her specific, personalized desktop environment, whether the user is a military staff member, contractor, or civilian employee. Without this automated user environment management capability, the IT team would not have been able to efficiently provision each new desktop and retain users’ personalization.
- Sun Ray 2 devices, ultra-low power, small footprint clients with a built-in card reader
- VMware View and VMware ESX, which enables the agency to deliver rich desktops to any client device with all of the benefits of centralized management while maximizing efficiencies of the server pool through virtualization.
About Force 3
Since 1991, Force 3 has been dedicated to offering innovative technology and information solutions that improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance the way customers conduct business in the government, commercial and healthcare sectors. With only the top engineers and support staff on hand, we ensure a dynamic and effective solution to a customer’s needs, including system design, deployment and management, hardware procurement, professional services and project management.
AppSense is the leading provider of user environment management solutions for the enterprise, with over ten year’s track record in the virtualization space. User environment management, a highly-scalable, proven method for reducing costs by treating user data independently of the desktop, enables IT to standardize the corporate desktop and automate delivery of each user’s working environment. Customers significantly reduce operational costs of existing infrastructures, establish the foundation for dynamically-composed virtual desktops, respond faster to changing needs, and dramatically improve user productivity. AppSense has more than 4,000 global customers, partners with leading vendors including Citrix, CSC, Dell, Microsoft and VMware, and operates through a channel of certified partners with offices in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Netherlands and Australia.