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UNC Health Care Leverages IGEL in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Deployment
UNC Health Care selected IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security. This document outlines key findings on how IGEL helps organizations manage entire fleets of thin clients from a single console. In addition, you will see how IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, wi

UNC Health Care selects IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security.

“The need to provide users with access to their desktops from any device anywhere, anytime is driving a growing number of IT organizations to migrate toward VDI environments,” said Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, IGEL. “One of the key advantages that IGEL brings to the table is the simplicity that comes from being able to manage an entire fleet of thin clients from a single console. Additionally, the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, without having to make an upfront investment in new hardware to support their virtualized infrastructures.” 

UNC Health Care selected the IGEL UDC and UMS software for its Citrix VDI deployment following a “bake-off” between thin client solutions. “IGEL won hands down due the simplicity and superiority of its management capabilities,” said James Cole, Technical Architect, UNC Health Care. “And, because the IGEL UDC software is designed to quickly and efficiently convert existing endpoint hardware into IGEL Linux OS-powered thin clients, we knew that by selecting the IGEL solution we would also realize a significant reduction in our capital expenditures.”

Since initiating the deployment of the IGEL UDC and UMS software, UNC Health Care has also experienced significant time savings. “Prior to deploying the IGEL UDC and UMS software, it took our team 25-30 minutes to create a virtual image on each system, not counting the personalization of the system for each use case, now that process takes less than 10 minutes, and even less time when converting the system to VDI roaming,” added Cole.

Additionally, the ease of integration between the IGEL UDC and IGEL UMS with Citrix XenDesktop and other solutions offered by Citrix Ecosystem partners, including Imprivata, has enabled secure access to the health care network’s Epic Systems’ Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.

UD Pocket Saves the Day After Malware Cripple’s Hospital’s Mission-Critical PCs
IGEL Platinum Partner A2U had endpoints within the healthcare organization’s finance department up and running within a few hours following the potentially crippling cyberattack, thanks to the innovative micro thin client.

A2U, an IGEL Platinum Partner, recently experienced a situation where one of its large, regional healthcare clients was hit by a cyberattack. “Essentially, malware entered the client’s network via a computer and began replicating like wildfire,” recalls A2U Vice President of Sales, Robert Hammond.

During the cyberattack, a few hundred of the hospital’s PCs were affected. Among those were 30 endpoints within the finance department that the healthcare organization deemed mission critical due to the volume of daily transactions between patients, insurance companies, and state and county agencies for services rendered. “It was very painful from a business standpoint not to be able to conduct billing and receiving, not to mention payroll,” said Hammond.

Prior to this particular incident, A2U had received demo units of the IGEL UD Pocket, a revolutionary micro thin client that can transform x86-compatible PCs and laptops into IGEL OS-powered desktops.

“We had been having a discussion with this client about re-imaging their PCs, but their primary concern was maintaining the integrity of the data that was already on the hardware,” continued Hammond. “HIPAA and other regulations meant that they needed to preserve the data and keep it secure, and we thought that the IGEL UD Pocket could be the answer to this problem. We didn’t see why it wouldn’t work, but we needed to test our theory.”

When the malware attack hit, that opportunity came sooner, rather than later for A2U. “We plugged the UD Pocket into one of the affected machines and were able to bypass the local hard drive, installing the Linux-based IGEL OS on the system without impacting existing data,” said Hammond. “It was like we had created a ‘Linux bubble’ that protected the machine, yet created an environment that allowed end users to quickly return to productivity.”

Working with the hospital’s IT team, it only took a few hours for A2U to get the entire finance department back online. “They were able to start billing the very next day,” added Hammond.

How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

Office 365 / Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 contain truly powerful applications that can significantly boost productivity in the workplace. However, there’s a lot on offer so we’ve put together a comprehensive companion guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment! This free 85-page eBook, written by Microsoft Certified Trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers everything from basic descriptions, to installation, migration, use-cases, and best practices for all features within the Office/Microsoft 365 sui

Welcome to this free eBook on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 brought to you by Altaro Software. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of these powerful cloud packages and improve your business. This book follows an informal reference format providing an overview of the most powerful applications of each platform’s feature set in addition to links directing to supporting information and further reading if you want to dig further into a specific topic. The intended audience for this book is administrators and IT staff who are either preparing to migrate to Office/Microsoft 365 or who have already migrated and who need to get the lay of the land. If you’re a developer looking to create applications and services on top of the Microsoft 365 platform, this book is not for you. If you’re a business decision-maker, rather than a technical implementer, this book will give you a good introduction to what you can expect when your organization has been migrated to the cloud and ways you can adopt various services in Microsoft 365 to improve the efficiency of your business.

THE BASICS

We’ll cover the differences (and why one might be more appropriate for you than the other) in more detail later but to start off let’s just clarify what each software package encompasses in a nutshell. Office 365 (from now on referred to as O365) 7 is an email collaboration and a host of other services provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas Microsoft 365 (M365) is Office 365 plus Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune – cloud-based management of devices and security and Windows 10 Enterprise. Both are per user-based subscription services that require no (or very little) infrastructure deployments on-premises.

Return on Investment (ROI) with Liquidware Adaptive Workspace Management
This paper’s purpose is to inform all desktop management stakeholders at your organization of the quick return on investment (ROI) that your organization can realize when spearheading desktop change and ongoing management with Liquidware solutions. This paper should be considered a companion to Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management ROI calculator.

Today’s rapidly evolving desktop environments demand constant updates and changes to keep them secure, users productive, and businesses competitive. Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management suite covers all phases of desktop changes and management to keep desktop transformations seamless.

Ever-changing business climates have seen budgets continually scrutinized to keep businesses competitive. This paper’s purpose is to inform all desktop management stakeholders at your organization of the quick return on investment (ROI) that your organization can realize when spearheading desktop change and ongoing management with Liquidware solutions. This paper should be considered a companion to Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management ROI calculator.

Digital Workspace Disasters and How to Beat Them
This paper looks at risk management as it relates to the Windows desktops that are permanently connected to a campus, head office or branch network. In particular, we will look at how ‘digital workspace’ solutions designed to streamline desktop delivery and provide greater user flexibility can also be leveraged to enable a more effective and efficient approach to desktop disaster recovery (DR).
Desktop DR - the recovery of individual desktop systems from a disaster or system failure - has long been a challenge. Part of the problem is that there are so many desktops, storing so much valuable data and - unlike servers - with so many different end user configurations and too little central control. Imaging everyone would be a huge task, generating huge amounts of backup data. And even if those problems could be overcome with the use of software agents, plus de-deduplication to take common files such as the operating system out of the backup window, restoring damaged systems could still mean days of software reinstallation and reconfiguration. Yet at the same time, most organizations have a strategic need to deploy and provision new desktop systems, and to be able to migrate existing ones to new platforms. Again, these are tasks that benefit from reducing both duplication and the need to reconfigure the resulting installation. The parallels with desktop DR should be clear. We often write about the importance of an integrated approach to investing in backup and recovery. By bringing together business needs that have a shared technical foundation, we can, for example, gain incremental benefits from backup, such as improved data visibility and governance, or we can gain DR capabilities from an investment in systems and data management. So it is with desktop DR and user workspace management. Both of these are growing in importance as organizations’ desktop estates grow more complex. Not only are we adding more ways to work online, such as virtual PCs, more applications, and more layers of middleware, but the resulting systems face more risks and threats and are subject to higher regulatory and legal requirements. Increasingly then, both desktop DR and UWM will be not just valuable, but essential. Getting one as an incremental bonus from the other therefore not only strengthens the business case for that investment proposal, it is a win-win scenario in its own right.
Why User Experience is Key to Your Desktop Transformation
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware and draws upon its experience with customers as well as the expertise of its Acceler8 channel partners in order to provide guidance to adopters of desktop virtualization technologies. In this paper, we explain the importance of thorough planning— factoring in user experience and resource allocation—in delivering a scalable next-generation workspace that will produce both near- and long-term value.

There’s little doubt we’re in the midst of a change in the way we operationalize and manage our end users’ workspaces. On the one hand, IT leaders are looking to gain the same efficiencies and benefits realized with cloud and next-generation virtual-server workloads. And on the other hand, users are driving the requirements for anytime, anywhere and any device access to the applications needed to do their jobs. To provide the next-generation workspaces that users require, enterprises are adopting a variety of technologies such as virtual-desktop infrastructure (VDI), published applications and layered applications. At the same time, those technologies are creating new and challenging problems for those looking to gain the full benefits of next-generation end-user workspaces. 

Before racing into any particular desktop transformation delivery approach it’s important to define appropriate goals and adopt a methodology for both near- and long-term success. One of the most common planning pitfalls we’ve seen in our history supporting the transformation of more than 6 million desktops is that organizations tend to put too much emphasis on the technical delivery and resource allocation aspects of the platform, and too little time considering the needs of users. How to meet user expectations and deliver a user experience that fosters success is often overlooked. 

To prevent that problem and achieve near-term success as well as sustainable long-term value from a next-generation desktop transformation approach, planning must also include defining a methodology that should include the following three things:

•    Develop a baseline of “normal” performance for current end user computing delivery
•    Set goals for functionality and defined measurements supporting user experience
•    Continually monitor the environment to ensure users are satisfied and the environment is operating efficiently

This white paper will show why the user experience is difficult to predict, why it’s essential to planning, and why factoring in the user experience—along with resource allocation—is key to creating and delivering the promise of a next-generation workspace that is scalable and will produce both near-and long-term value.

The Total Economic Impact of ControlUp
ControlUp commissioned Forrester to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying the ControlUp digital employee experience (DEX) management platform.
The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential economic impact of ControlUp on their organizations. To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed an organization with experience using ControlUp. Forrester used this experience to project a three-year financial analysis.

The customer did a brief proof of concept with ControlUp. Not only did the customer identify issues while using ControlUp that it hadn’t identified with its previous solution, it learned the benefit of utilizing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that could be quickly installed and used. Learn how a ControlUp customer achieved benefits of more than $3.4 million to:
  • Optimize resources across their EUC environment
  • Save on labor costs for Help Desk and EUC Administrators
  • Eliminate software licensing and services
Key Criteria for Evaluating Data Protection for Kubernetes
Using the findings from the “Key Criteria for Evaluating Kubernetes Data Protection,” this new GigaOm report evaluates CloudCasa, a Kubernetes backup SaaS offering. CloudCasa is a Kubernetes native service with a friendly licensing model that significantly eases the initial testing and adoption of Kubernetes backup and cloud database backup. The straightforward user interface and integration helps simplify backup, migration and recovery operations while improving the return on investment.

Kubernetes is the de-facto standard for container orchestration, and it’s being used by born-in-the-cloud startups and cloud-native enterprises alike. In 2021, Kubernetes was in production on-premises, in the cloud, and even at the edge for many different types of applications, including those that Kubernetes wasn’t initially built for.

Kubernetes was never really built for stateful applications and, by default, lacks features for data protection. However, we see many organizations building and running their stateful applications on top of Kubernetes, indicating there’s a gap in functionality between what Kubernetes offers and what the (enterprise) market wants.

Unfortunately, existing data protection tools, mostly built for legacy technologies such as virtual machines, do not fit well into the container paradigm. Vendors are adapting existing solutions or creating new products from scratch that are often better aligned with the cloud-native and container paradigms.

The market for cloud-native data protection is growing rapidly, with both incumbent vendors and challengers competing for completeness of features, and differences can be observed between those targeting more traditional infrastructure alignment and those aimed at fully cloud-native environments.

In any case, we see a growing need for flexible, adaptive solutions that can meet the changing requirements of their customers. Multi-platform, multi-cloud, multi-environment (including edge), multi-team, and self-service capabilities are quickly becoming differentiating features that ensure successful adoption, not for just one use case but for continuously changing use cases across the entire enterprise.

CloudCasa is the perfect example of this type of modern solution that can adapt quickly to changing business and technical needs. Designed to be Kubernetes native, it is a SaaS offering with a friendly licensing model that significantly eases the initial testing and adoption of the solution.