After evaluating the market, undertaking proof of concepts and performance baselines it was decided that a solution based on XenDesktop 7.9, the m710x HPE Moonshot server cartridge and Windows Server 2012 R2 would form the core technology stack.
Anywhere Access - Secure By Default - Performance Ready
During a period of scoping RJ Technology designed and sized the solution to cater for two main use cases. It was determined that on the whole users were either standard task workers or power users (requiring a significant amount of graphical resource). With this information the engineering team were tasked with building out a highly resilient Citrix XenDesktop farm across two geographically dispersed data centers. Deployment and configuration followed of two HPE 1500 chassis and cartridges (first UK deployment of m710x cartridges) in the primary datacenter and one in the secondary datacenter.
Integration of Components
The integration of existing infrastructure components was a strength of the initial proposal, the ability to use the same tooling for mobile device builds, application deployment and security hardening was important to the client.
Utilising the existing implementation of Microsoft SCCM an optimised task sequence was created for the chosen operating system Windows Server 2012 R2 and then deployed out to the cartridges.
The client had already gone through an application packaging activity so had all 300 applications ready for deployment via SCCM, these apps were deployed to the Server 2012 R2 cartridges.
As with all clients security hardening is paramount, especially so in government. A layer of recommended lockdowns were applied, this consisted of Sophos EndPoint Protection, AppLocker and Security Compliance Manager group policies.
In order to optimise the solution so that users receive the most optimal performance, RJ Technology engineers applied their best practice configuration of optimisations for XenDesktop enviornments, this includes a mixture of group policy, registry keys and profile management.
A series of performance tests were performed, example of results below.
The government department now have what they set out to achieve a 1000 seat solution, that allows users access a performance ready desktop from anywhere, be that in the office, from named seats, from hot-desks or remotely. Security is at the forefront of the solution, permitting the correct amount of access at the right time.
Over 300 applications deployed, including: Office 2016, Photoshop, Illustrator, ArcMap, CARIS Suite, AutoCad, Internet Explorer 11, Google Earth, SAP