This housing association has a long history that dates back to the early 1900s. The organization takes pride in maintaining its portfolio of over 20,000 housing units through the annual modernization of more than a thousand units. Just over a year ago, they updated their Horizon View environment with new Unified Access Gateways (UAGs) and a new Golden Image. The expansion of capacity became necessary due to corporate growth and new projects, as well as to enable the remaining employees, who were still using local hardware, to work from home during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
"Back then, we replaced the Security Servers in the DMZ with UAGs," recalls Reinhard Partmann, project manager at comdivision for the client. "The firewall configuration was updated, and the master images of the existing pools were equipped with the new agent and recompiled," Partmann adds.
Switching to the new service presented no major challenges, as many of the users were already working from various locations, be it different districts, construction sites, or home offices. "The virtual desktop was already a reality for them; the only change was that it was no longer hosted locally," explained Partmann. About 250 users work with Office applications, accounting software, and other corporate solutions.
Another aspect concerns disaster recovery. "Operating a full disaster recovery site is very costly," says Partmann. "We conducted a TCO workshop to determine the actual costs of an outage and what would be needed to restore the main data center. After this exercise, the client realized that Horizon Cloud was the right choice. Even if the main site were affected by a natural disaster, the remote sites could continue to operate without any issues."
"The client now manages a mix of locally and cloud-hosted virtual desktops through the VMware Horizon Control Panel," elaborates Partmann. "This tool optimizes performance by intelligently directing users via a single URL to Horizon Pods based on available capacity, location, preferences, and more. This is regardless of whether the Horizon deployment type is local or in the cloud. Desktop images are centrally controlled, while administration and monitoring of applications are simplified."
"This additional transparency is likely the reason the client will probably migrate all virtual desktops to the cloud in one of the next hardware upgrade cycles," says Partmann. "With the new solution, the client can simplify the onboarding and configuration of the Horizon environment in any cloud."