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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.

Digital Workspace Disasters and How to Beat Them
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.
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.
Reducing Data Center Infrastructure Costs with Software-Defined Storage
Download this white paper to learn how software-defined storage can help reduce data center infrastructure costs, including guidelines to help you structure your TCO analysis comparison.

With a software-based approach, IT organizations see a better return on their storage investment. DataCore’s software-defined storage provides improved resource utilization, seamless integration of new technologies, and reduced administrative time - all resulting in lower CAPEX and OPEX, yielding a superior TCO.

A survey of 363 DataCore customers found that over half of them (55%) achieved positive ROI within the first year of deployment, and 21% were able to reach positive ROI in less than 6 months.

Download this white paper to learn how software-defined storage can help reduce data center infrastructure costs, including guidelines to help you structure your TCO analysis comparison.

Forward Networks ROI Case Study
See how a large financial services business uses Forward Enterprise to achieve significant ROI with process improvements in trouble ticket resolution, audit-related fixes and change windows.
Because Forward Enterprise automates the intelligent analysis of network designs, configurations and state, we provide an immediate and verifiable return on investment (ROI) in terms of accelerating key IT processes and reducing manhours of highly skilled engineers in troubleshooting and testing the network.

In this paper, we will quantify the ROI of a large financial services firm and document the process improvements that led to IT cost savings and a more agile network. In this analysis, we will look at process improvements in trouble ticket resolution, audit-related fixes and acceleration of network updates and change windows. We will explore each of these areas in more detail, along with the input assumptions for the calculations, but for this financial services customer, the following benefits were achieved, resulting in an annualized net savings of over $3.5 million.
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.

ESG Showcase - Time to Better Leverage Your File and Object Data
The need to handle unstructured data according to business relevance is becoming urgent. Modern datarelated demands have begun surpassing what traditional file and object storage architectures can achieve. Businesses today need an unstructured data storage environment that lets end-users easily and flexibly access the benefits of the file- and object-based information they need to do their jobs.
It’s time for a “Nirvana” between file and object: The marketplace has long been debating which of the two unstructured data type models is the “right one.” But data is data. If you remove the traditional constraints and challenges associated with those two particular technologies, it becomes possible to imagine a type of data service that supports both. That kind of solution would give an organization the benefits of a global multi-site namespace (i.e., object style), including the ability to address a piece of data regardless of where it is in a folder hierarchy, or what device it’s stored on. And it would offer the rich metadata that object storage is known for. This new kind of solution would also deliver the performance and ease of use that file systems are known for. DataCore says it is providing such a solution, called vFilO. To vFilO, data is just data, where metadata is decoupled but tightly aligned with the data, and data’s location is independent of data access needs or metadata location. It bridges both worlds by providing a system that has all the benefits of file and object—without any of the limitations. It is a next-generation system built on a different paradigm, promising to bridge the world of file and object. It just might be the answer IT departments need. No longer required to pick between two separate systems, IT organizations can find great value in a consolidated, global, unified storage system that can deliver on the business’s needs for unstructured data.
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