The Town of Lincoln, Massachusetts provides services to approximately 6 000 residents in the Greater Boston metropolitan area. The town’s desktop infrastructure supports elected officials, government administration, public works and public safety employees.
The Town of Lincoln needed a better way to manage and support its PC desktops. Near-constant demand for user support consumed 40 percent of its IT resources, especially as most support requests required travel to one of the town’s 12 administrative buildings to address the issue. Facing the need for a PC refresh and a migration to Windows 7, the town considered adopting server-hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to enable more efficient centralized management, but was concerned about the need for costly datacenter and networking investments. Any upgrades to its desktop infrastructure and operations would have to be accomplished without additional budget or staff.
Chuck Miller, the Town of Lincoln’s IT director, worked with partner Integrated IT Solutions to identify the right strategy for its initiative. Citrix® XenClient® offered the management benefits of centrally managed virtual desktops while preserving the economics and simplicity of the town’s current PC-based computing model. For less than the cost of a single PC technician for one year, Integrated IT Solutions provided Miller with all of the necessary software and infrastructure to realize significant operational cost savings for years to come. With Citrix XenApp®, Miller could deploy departmental and user-specific applications efficiently, securely and cost-effectively while allowing users to personalize their desktops.
The implementation of XenClient enabled the Town of Lincoln to reduce PC support issues through one-to-many management, which also made it possible to simplify and accelerate projects such as Windows® 7 migration. XenClient also complemented the town’s XenApp infrastructure for application virtualization. Applications can be deployed to any user or group without the need for duplicative master Windows images, providing many of the benefits of server-based computing without the datacenter overhead of running full desktop sessions on the server back-end.
With XenClient in place, Miller built several workgroup-specific Windows 7 images that he can deploy and update easily from a central management console. This centralized, one-to-many management capability eliminated the need for additional IT staff or funding to complete the migration; Miller can deploy virtual desktops to any local or remote PC with a few mouse clicks in the management console. Even as varying PC models are put into use at various town locations, XenClient is able to maintain a consistent PC image, eliminating driver issues.
When Miller needs to apply patches to any application, he simply starts the master virtual desktop on the central server and performs patching operations in a controlled staging environment. These master updates are applied to remote machines on a one-to-many basis without disruption to user computing activities. This reliable update delivery model avoids repetitive remote patch installation, improving efficiency for IT while eliminating lost productivity for town employees. When PC problems arise, users no longer need to wait for a desk-side visit before they can resume work, as most issues can be managed remotely.
The Town of Lincoln’s investment in XenClient has paid off just as Miller had hoped. “We chose Citrix XenClient because it is simple to implement, cost-effective and scalable. It has dramatically changed the way we deploy and manage desktops, freeing up valuable IT resources and transforming our operation from being reactive to proactive,” he says. The town expects to save on PC costs for many years to come, allowing it to focus more resources on innovation to improve the quality of service it provides to its constituents.
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