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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.

IGEL Powers Rich Multimedia Computing Experience for Fulton Financial Corporation
In an effort to optimize the productivity of its employees and enable them to have more time to focus on their customers, Fulton sought to upgrade the thin clients for its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure. With the help of its Citrix partner and IGEL Platinum Partner, Plan B Technologies, Fulton selected the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD6) thin clients featuring Intel Celeron J1900 Quad-Core processors and the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS).

Fulton Financial Corporation has a long and storied history that began in 1882 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where local merchants
and farmers organized Fulton National Bank. The bank’s name was chosen to honor Lancaster County native Robert Fulton, the inventor and artist best known for designing and building the Clermont, the first successful steamboat.

In an effort to optimize the productivity of its employees and enable them to have more time to focus on their customers, Fulton sought to upgrade the thin clients for its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure, with the help of its Citrix partner and IGEL Platinum Partner, Plan B Technologies.

In selecting a desktop computing solution to support its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure, Fulton had one unique business requirement, they were looking for a solution that would mirror the experience provided by a Windows PC, without actually being a Windows PC.

During the evaluation process, Fulton looked at thin clients from IGEL and another leading manufacturer, conducting a “bake-off” of several models including the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD6). Fulton like the fact that IGEL is forward- thinking in designing its desktop computing solutions, and began its IGEL roll-out by purchasing 2,300 IGEL UD6 thin clients in 2016 for its headquarters and branch offices, and plans to complete the roll out of IGEL thin clients to the remainder of its 3,700 employees in the coming months. The bank is also leveraging the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) to manage its fleet of IGEL thin clients.

Charity Golf Tournament Sponsorship Results in a Hole-in-One for IGEL and Lockton Companies
Lockton was in the midst of a Citrix VDI roll-out when one of its thin client manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using to power its endpoints. This presented a number of challenges that the Lockton team needed to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out. Lockton was introduced to IGEL by Choice Solutions, an IGEL Platinum Partner, and selected the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD2-LX); IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS); IGEL Universal D

Although Lockton is the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm, clients most frequently describe the insurance broker as team members who make their businesses better. Energy, innovation and deep expertise fuel Lockton’s focus on solving its clients’ problems and achieving real results.

It is this spirit of innovation that led Lockton to recently embark on the deployment of Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at its headquarters in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, MO., and local office locations across the United States and around the globe.

Lockton was about a quarter of the way through its Cirrus VDI deployment when one of its thin client manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using, without warning. This presented a number of challenges that Lockton’s IT team was unable to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out.

Around the same time Lockton was experiencing issues with the thin client manufacturer, they participated in a charity golf tournament in Kansas City that was hosted by IGEL Platinum Partner Choice Solutions and sponsored by IGEL. Following the golf tournament, Lockton tested the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD2-LX) and the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) management console. The insurer realized immediately that the superior design and secure infrastructure management capabilities would make it possible for them to easily manage their entire network of thin clients in the U.S. from the company’s headquarters in Kansas City, and this was a key selling point.

To date, with the help of Choice Solutions, Lockton has deployed 1,200 IGEL UD2-LX thin clients and expected that number to increase to 1,800 by the end of 2017. Lockton also has a small number of licenses for the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter software which they are leveraging to turn hardware from other thin client manufacturers into IGEL-powered endpoints. Additionally, the insurer is using the IGEL UD Pocket to deliver the IGEL desktop to employees using legacy thin client hardware.

Solution Guide for Sennheiser Headsets, IGEL Endpoints and Skype for Business on Citrix VDI
Topics: IGEL, Citrix, skype, VDI
Enabling voice and video with a bundled solution in an existing Citrix environment delivers clearer and crisper voice and video than legacy phone systems. This solution guide describes how Sennheiser headsets combine with Citrix infrastructure and IGEL endpoints to provide a better, more secure user experience. It also describes how to deploy the bundled Citrix-Sennheiser-IGEL solution.

Virtualizing Windows applications and desktops in the data center or cloud has compelling security, mobility and management benefits, but delivering real-time voice and video in a virtual environment is a challenge. A poorly optimized implementation can increase costs and compromise user experience. Server scalability and bandwidth efficiency may be less than optimal, and audio-video quality may be degraded.

Enabling voice and video with a bundled solution in an existing Citrix environment delivers clearer and crisper voice and video than legacy phone systems. This solution guide describes how Sennheiser headsets combine with Citrix infrastructure and IGEL endpoints to provide a better, more secure user experience. It also describes how to deploy the bundled Citrix-Sennheiser-IGEL solution.

IGEL Software Platform Step by Step Getting Started Guide
Welcome to the IGEL Software Platform: Step-by-Step Getting Started Guide. The goal for this project is to provide you with the tools, knowledge, and understanding to download the IGEL Platform trial software and perform basic installation and configuration without being forced to read many manuals and numerous web support articles.

Welcome to the IGEL Software Platform: Step-by-Step Getting Started Guide. My goal for this project is to provide you with the tools, knowledge, and understanding to download the IGEL Platform trial software and perform basic installation and configuration without being forced to read many manuals and numerous web support articles.

This document will walk you, step-by-step, through what is required for you to get up and running in a proof-of-concept or lab scenario. When finished, you will have a fully working IGEL End-Point Management Platform consisting of the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS), IGEL Cloud Gateway (ICG) and at least one IGEL OS installed, connected and centrally managed! 

High Availability Clusters in VMware vSphere without Sacrificing Features or Flexibility
This paper explains the challenges of moving important applications from traditional physical servers to virtualized environments, such as VMware vSphere in order to take advantage of key benefits such as configuration flexibility, data and application mobility, and efficient use of IT resources and highlights six key facts you should know about HA protection in VMware vSphere environments that can save you money.

Many large enterprises are moving important applications from traditional physical servers to virtualized environments, such as VMware vSphere in order to take advantage of key benefits such as configuration flexibility, data and application mobility, and efficient use of IT resources.

Realizing these benefits with business critical applications, such as SQL Server or SAP can pose several challenges. Because these applications need high availability and disaster recovery protection, the move to a virtual environment can mean adding cost and complexity and limiting the use of important VMware features. This paper explains these challenges and highlights six key facts you should know about HA protection in VMware vSphere environments that can save you money.

Salem State University Teams with IGEL, Citrix and Nutanix to Deliver Digital Workspaces
Limited IT resources drive need for the IGEL’s robust management features; maturity of Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure, and the simplicity and time-to-value for Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure offering make the combined solution a no-brainer for the university.
When Jake Snyder joined Salem State University’s IT department, the public university located just outside of Boston, Mass. was only using traditional PCs. “95% of the PCs were still on Windows 7 and there was no clear migration path in sight to Windows 10,” recalls Snyder. “Additionally, all updates to these aging desktop computers were being done locally in the university’s computer labs. Management was difficult and time consuming.”

The university realized something had to change, and that was one of the reasons why they brought Snyder on board – to upgrade its end-user computing environment to VDI. Salem State was looking for the security and manageability that a VDI solution could provide. “One of the biggest challenges that the university had been experiencing was managing desktop imaging and applications,” said Snyder. “They wanted to be able to keep their student, faculty and staff end-points up to date and secure, while at the same time easing the troubleshooting process. They weren’t able to do any of this with their current set-up.”

Snyder first saw a demo of the IGEL solution at the final BriForum event in Boston in 2016. “It was great to see IGEL at that event as I had heard a lot of good buzz around their products and solutions, especially from other colleagues in the industry,” said Snyder. “After BriForum, I went back and ordered some evaluation units to test out within our EUC environment.”

What Snyder quickly discovered during the evaluation period was that the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) was not just plug-and-play, like he had expected. “The IGEL UMS was a very customizable solution, and I liked the robust interface,” continued Snyder. “Despite competitive solutions, it was clear from the start that the IGEL devices were going to be easier to use and cheaper in the long run. IGEL really was a ‘no-brainer’ when you consider the management capabilities and five-year warranty they offer on their hardware.”

Salem State University currently has 400 IGEL Universal Desktop software-defined thin clients deployed on its campus including 360 UD3 thin clients, which are the workhorse of the IGEL portfolio, and 40 UD6 thin clients, which support high-end graphics capabilities for multimedia users. Salem State has also purchased IGEL UD Pocket micro thin clients which they are now testing.
Strayer University Improves End User Computing Experience with IGEL
Strayer University is leveraging the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL UD3 to provide faculty, administrators and student support staff with seamless and reliable access to their digital workspaces.
As IT operations manager for Strayer University, Scott Behrens spent a lot of time looking at and evaluating endpoint computing solutions when it came to identifying a new way to provide the University’s faculty, administrators and student support staff with a seamless and reliable end user computing experience.

“I looked at various options including traditional desktops, but due to the dispersed nature of our business, I really wanted to find a solution that was both easy to manage and reasonably priced,

especially for our remote locations where we have limited or no IT staff on premise,” said Behrens. “IGEL fit perfectly into this scenario. Because of IGEL’s simplicity, we are able to reduce the time it takes to get one of our locations up and running from a week, to a day, with little support and very little effort.”

Strayer University first began its IGEL deployment in 2016, with a small pilot program of 30 users in the IGEL UDC. The university soon expanded its deployment, adding the IGEL UD3 and then Samsung All-in-One thin clients outfitted with the IGEL OS and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS). Strayer University’s IGEL deployment now includes more than 2,000 endpoints at 75 locations across the United States. The university plans to extend its deployment of the IGEL UD3s further as it grows and the need arises to replace aging desktop hardware.
How to Build a SANless SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance in Google Cloud Platform
This white paper walks through the steps to build a two-node failover cluster between two instances in the same region, but in different Zones, within the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
If you are going to host SQL Server on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) you will want to make sure it is highly available with a SQL Failover Cluster. One of the best and most economical ways to do that is to build a SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (FCI). In this guide, we will walk through the steps to build a two-node failover cluster between two instances in the same region, but in different Zones, within the GCP.
Understanding Windows Server Cluster Quorum Options
This white paper discusses the key concepts you need to configure a failover clustering environment to protect SQL Server in the cloud.
This white paper discusses the key concepts you need to configure a failover clustering environment to protect SQL Server in the cloud. Understand the options for configuring the cluster Quorum to meet your specific needs. Learn the benefits and key takeaways for providing high availability for SQL Server in a public cloud (AWS, Azure, Google) environment.
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.

Catalogic Software-Defined Secondary Storage Appliance
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products. Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products.

Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
vSphere Troubleshooting Guide
Troubleshooting complex virtualization technology is something all VMware users will have to face at some point. It requires an understanding of how various components fit together and finding a place to start is not easy. Thankfully, VMware vExpert Ryan Birk is here to help with this eBook preparing you for any problems you may encounter along the way.

This eBook explains how to identify problems with vSphere and how to solve them. Before we begin, we need to start off with an introduction to a few things that will make life easier. We’ll start with a troubleshooting methodology and how to gather logs. After that, we’ll break this eBook into the following sections: Installation, Virtual Machines, Networking, Storage, vCenter/ESXi and Clustering.

ESXi and vSphere problems arise from many different places, but they generally fall into one of these categories: Hardware issues, Resource contention, Network attacks, Software bugs, and Configuration problems.

A typical troubleshooting process contains several tasks: 1. Define the problem and gather information. 2. Identify what is causing the problem. 3. Fix the problem, implement a fix.

One of the first things you should try to do when experiencing a problem with a host, is try to reproduce the issue. If you can find a way to reproduce it, you have a great way to validate that the issue is resolved when you do fix it. It can be helpful as well to take a benchmark of your systems before they are implemented into a production environment. If you know HOW they should be running, it’s easier to pinpoint a problem.

You should decide if it’s best to work from a “Top Down” or “Bottom Up” approach to determine the root cause. Guest OS Level issues typically cause a large amount of problems. Let’s face it, some of the applications we use are not perfect. They get the job done but they utilize a lot of memory doing it.

In terms of virtual machine level issues, is it possible that you could have a limit or share value that’s misconfigured? At the ESXi Host Level, you could need additional resources. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but you might need another host to help with load!

Once you have identified the root cause, you should assess the impact of the problem on your day to day operations. When and what type of fix should you implement? A short-term one or a long-term solution? Assess the impact of your solution on daily operations. Short-term solution: Implement a quick workaround. Long-term solution: Reconfiguration of a virtual machine or host.

Now that the basics have been covered, download the eBook to discover how to put this theory into practice!

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.

Defending Against the Siege of Ransomware
The threat of ransomware is only just beginning. In fact, nearly 50% of organizations have suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months and estimates predict this will continue to increase at an exponential rate. While healthcare and financial services are the most targeted industries, no organization is immune. And the cost? Nothing short of exorbitant.
The threat of ransomware is only just beginning. In fact, nearly 50% of organizations have suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months and estimates predict this will continue to increase at an exponential rate. While healthcare and financial services are the most targeted industries, no organization is immune. And the cost? Nothing short of exorbitant.
Lift and Shift Backup and Disaster Recovery Scenario for Google Cloud: Step by Step Guide
There are many new challenges, and reasons, to migrate workloads to the cloud. Especially for public cloud, like Google Cloud Platform. Whether it is for backup, disaster recovery, or production in the cloud, you should be able to leverage the cloud platform to solve your technology challenges. In this step-by-step guide, we outline how GCP is positioned to be one of the easiest cloud platforms for app development. And, the critical role data protection as-as-service (DPaaS) can play.

There are many new challenges, and reasons, to migrate workloads to the cloud.

For example, here are four of the most popular:

  • Analytics and Machine learning (ML) are everywhere. Once you have your data in a cloud platform like Google Cloud Platform, you can leverage their APIs to run analytics and ML on everything.
  • Kubernetes is powerful and scalable, but transitioning legacy apps to Kubernetes can be daunting.
  • SAP HANA is a secret weapon. With high mem instances in the double digit TeraBytes migrating SAP to a cloud platform is easier than ever.
  • Serverless is the future for application development. With CloudSQL, Big Query, and all the other serverless solutions, cloud platforms like GCP are well positioned to be the easiest platform for app development.

Whether it is for backup, disaster recovery, or production in the cloud, you should be able to leverage the cloud platform to solve your technology challenges. In this step-by-step guide, we outline how GCP is positioned to be one of the easiest cloud platforms for app development. And, the critical role data protection as-as-service (DPaaS) can play.