ICT NML selects IGEL for a mayor end-user computing upgrade project at four municipalities in The Netherlands
- ICT NML: Technology and communications service provider
- Owned by four Dutch municipalities in North and Central Limburg
- > 2400 Endpoints
- Refresh entire end-user computing infrastructure
- Replacement of out-of-date endpoints
- Solution with multi-protocol capabilities
- Speedy migration without downtime
- IGEL OS & UD3 endpoints replacing 2,400 end-of-life zero clients
- Centralized control of desktops and laptops
- Safe access to SaaS apps
- Simplified day to day maintenance
Established in December 2018 and now employing 50 staff, ICT NML’s remit is to jointly run and manage the entire ICT infrastructure for the four local authorities who provide all public services to over 220,000 local residents. This includes issuing passports and driving licenses, building permits, the provision of social services, unemployment benefit and so on.
ICT NML has implemented IGEL OS and installed powerful multimedia UD3 endpoints at various local government office locations replacing 2,400 end-of-life zero clients, with IGEL Cloud Gateway used to interconnect and manage devices located offsite. This is part of a wider €9 million investment – encompassing 27 different IT programs – to consolidate yet enhance 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.
DESKTOP IT NEEDED REPLACING
From a VDI perspective, VMware was installed in 2013 with zero clients on the desktops running Teradici’s PC over IP (PCoIP) display protocol. Dennis Buskes, ICT NML’s senior engineer, explains, “The endpoints were out of date and required replacing but we wanted a new solution which had multi-protocol capabilities. This served two functions – to allow us to transition away from PCoIP to use VMware’s Blast Extreme, but also to run a dual protocol environment so that we could stage the migration in our own time. IGEL OS and UD3 endpoints offer this capability.”
ICT NML worked with local Dutch IGEL reseller, ARP, who provided assistance with the implementation. The IGEL UD3 endpoints were then rolled out per municipality: Nederweert first, followed by Weert, Roermond and then Venlo. They connect to VMware Horizon running on Dell EMC servers utilizing a Dell EMC XtremIO X2 storage array. ICT NML has about 2,000 concurrent users who use the VDI system.
Poulissen says, “Although we’ve done a lot of work to refresh back end systems, it was important to get our EUC upgrade program right because it was the first and most visible project where end-users experienced direct change themselves. We were under pressure to deliver and prove ourselves, especially as we’re a relatively new organization working with them. 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:
1. IGEL’s UMS offered enhanced and better management capabilities compared to the competition allowing out-of the-box auto configuration to simplify setup and firmware updates to be pushed automatically to all endpoints. The UMS offers thorough reporting features and 7,000 configuration points so that the end-user experience can be finely tuned. In addition, ICT NML has been able to move away from having four Teradici consoles – one per municipality – to have one centralized management platform for all devices;
2. IGEL OS also enables the conversion of x86-64 devices. ICT NML has therefore used the edge software to convert 150 Dell and Toshiba laptops into Linux-based IGEL machines – the first time that staff have had total control of both desktops whilst being able to deliver remotely managed and secure laptops utilizing the UMS;
3. IGEL’s Cloud Gateway platform allows ICT NML to interconnect and manage endpoints not on the corporate network such as equipment located externally at meeting rooms, swimming pools or for staff working at home or visiting residents remotely. Settings, updates and profiles are sent to the devices with staff shadowed – where necessary – for helpdesk purposes. In addition, IGEL OS also supports two-factor authentication for enhanced security.
4. 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 access applications given the builtin 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.”