Virtualization Technology News and Information
IGEL Chosen for Major End User Computing Upgrade Project at Four Municipalities in the Netherlands

IGEL, provider of the next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, today announced that ICT Noord en Midden Limburg  (ICT NML), a technology and communications service provider owned by four Dutch municipalities in North and Central Limburg, has completed an extensive project to refresh their entire end-user computing infrastructure.

ICT NML has implemented IGEL OS and IGEL UD3 endpoints at various local government office locations replacing 2,400 end-of-life zero clients.  This is part of a wider €9 million investment - encompassing 27 different IT programs - to consolidate the technology used by the municipalities of Roermond, Venlo, Weert and Nederweert. This means that one modern, robust, secure and standardized IT environment has been deployed at the four councils.

Established in 2018, ICT NML's remit is to manage the entire ICT infrastructure for the four local authorities who provide all public services to over 220,000 residents. This includes issuing passports, driving licenses, building permits, providing social services, unemployment benefit and so on.

Joost Poulissen, ICT NML's team leader, explains, "Historically each municipality had its own IT department, budget and infrastructure. Creating a shared ICT service has meant they can punch above their individual weight in terms of the quality of enterprise technology purchased, IT management has been simplified with money saved in the long run.  Given the investment made, our ambition is to work with other municipalities, public sector and not for profit organizations in the Netherlands."

Desktop IT Needed Replacing

From a VDI perspective, VMware Horizon was installed in 2013 with zero clients on the desktops running the PC over IP (PCoIP) display protocol. Dennis Buskes, ICT NML's senior engineer, explains, "The endpoints were out of date and needed replacing but we wanted a new solution which had multi-protocol capabilities. This allows us to transition away from PCoIP to use VMware's Blast Extreme, but also to run a dual environment so that the migration can be staged in our own time.  IGEL OS and UD3 endpoints offer this capability."

ICT NML worked with local IGEL reseller, ARP, who provided assistance with the implementation. Poulissen says, "It was important to get our EUC upgrade program right because it was the first project where end-users experienced change themselves. Although it was a big job, we did it in just four months with our customers not experiencing any downtime."

ICT NML selected IGEL for various other reasons:

  • The IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) offered better management capabilities compared to the competition allowing firmware updates to be pushed automatically to all endpoints. The UMS offers 7,000 configuration points so that the end-user experience can be finely tuned;
  • IGEL OS also enables the conversion of x86-64 devices. ICT NML has used the edge software to convert 150 Dell and Toshiba laptops into Linux-based IGEL machines - the first time that staff have been able to deliver remotely managed and secure laptops;
  • IGEL's Cloud Gateway allows endpoints not on the corporate network to be connected such as devices located externally at meeting rooms, swimming pools or for staff working at home or visiting residents. Settings, updates and profiles are sent to the devices with staff shadowed for helpdesk purposes. IGEL OS also supports two-factor authentication for enhanced security.
  • IGEL OS enables easy connection to VDI and cloud workspaces using the UD3 endpoints and converted laptops. IGEL OS-powered endpoints are agnostic and can support both routes to application delivery given the built-in Firefox browser.

Dirk Gielen, ICT NML project manager, explains, "We're running about 800 applications within the municipalities - around 200 are already web-based SaaS solutions, others are legacy systems over a decade old. Our goal is to give safe access to these SaaS apps directly from IGEL so as to reduce the amount of costly hardware required to underpin VDI whilst also making it faster for staff to access systems as they avoid the time delay logging into Horizon."

Harm Bolwerk, IGEL's regional sales manager in Netherlands, said, "ICT NML has realized a step change in terms of EUC manageability working with us.  Centralized control of desktops and laptops, automated firmware updates and simplified day to day maintenance means that many man-hours are saved - time that can be spent on far more strategic and productive initiatives. That's the benefit of the IGEL OS combined with UMS."

Published Tuesday, October 06, 2020 9:28 AM by David Marshall
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