Secure Endpoint Platform
Simplify and secure the delivery of digital workspaces to access any cloud while reducing costs.
The Kansas Development Finance Authority (KDFA) is a statewide, multipurpose financial resource dedicated to the economic growth and prosperity of the State of Kansas. Working with qualifying public and private entities, KDFA identifies financial resources and appropriate financial structures for economic development projects. KDFA has nine employees at its headquarters located in Topeka, Kansas.
“With the IGEL Universal Desktop endpoints and UMS software, we are now able to immediately take advantage of the latest releases and enhancements from Citrix and other software providers due to IGEL’s timely product updates. They’ve put the power back in our hands in terms of how and when we want to roll-out our endpoint updates”Jeff KaterDirector of Information Technology, Kansas Development Finance Authority
Several years ago, KDFA completed a hardware refresh, updating the zero client solution it was using to power its endpoints. “After the refresh was complete, we saw that while the hardware had been improved, the management capabilities and feature-set available with the solution remained relatively the same,” said Jeff Kater, KDFA’s Director of Information Technology. “With each new upgrade and enhancement to our Citrix VDI, we were finding that the new hardware simply did not have the firmware we needed to support and activate the new Citrix VDI features our users desired.” The vendor promised KDFA that it would update the firmware on the zero endpoints, but after several delays it became clear that the only option would be to go through yet another hardware refresh with that same vendor. “This led to much frustration and enduser confusion,” said Kater. “As a result, we decided it was time to go looking for a new endpoint hardware vendor.”
In its search for a new endpoint hardware solution to support its employees, KDFA tapped into its Citrix solution provider and IGEL Platinum Partner, Choice Solutions for recommendations. “KDFA was impressed from the start with IGEL’s steadfast commitment to ensuring compatibility with the latest Citrix VDI features and capabilities from day one,” said Jim Steinlage, President and CEO, Choice Solutions. “They really liked the fact that if there wasn’t a feature fully supported by IGEL, its engineers would work tirelessly to deploy a patch as soon as possible, often delivering the feature to end-users before they even notice it is missing.”
“We also appreciated IGEL’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of its user base through a robust feature set and best-in-class management experience – one that has truly changed the way we look at managing our virtual computing environment.”
IGEL’s ability to provide complete compatibility with KDFA’s Citrix VDI also supports the organization’s “device-agnostic” approach to virtualization. “At KDFA, we believe that the device from which our end-users are accessing their Citrix virtual desktops should not
matter,” said Kater. “IGEL’s UMS management console supports this methodology by allowing us to choose any of their Universal Desktop models from which to deliver our endpoints, providing us with the ability to future-proof our IGEL investment as should we opt to change VDI vendors at some point along the way, we are confident in knowing that regardless of which provider we choose, IGEL will support compatibility with that vendor.”
One of KDFA’s top objectives in deploying a thin or zero client solution initially was to save time and resources by ensuring that all of its endpoints did not need to be maintained separately. “We were leveraging Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS) to create and update a master desktop image that we can then deploy to our endpoints, and wanted to find a similar solution that offered the same ease of management for our new devices,” said Kater. “IGEL’s UMS fit that bill – no other vendor we looked at had a management software solution that even came close to what they offer.”
Kater added, “In selecting the IGEL Universal Desktop endpoints and UMS software, we are now able to immediately take advantage of the latest releases and enhancements from Citrix and other software providers due to IGEL’s timely product updates. They’ve put the power back in our hands in terms of how and when we want to roll-out our endpoint updates.”
KDFA also needed to be able to support its endusers growing requirements for a more robust multimedia computing experience. “Our employees were increasingly relying on media streaming solutions for training, and wanted to be able to support virtual meeting spaces,” said Kater. “One of the reasons we had recommended IGEL was due to its ability to support audio and video capabilities through integrated graphics card and high-performance codecs.”
KDFA’s initial IGEL deployment included 12 IGEL UD6 endpoints featuring Intel Celeron Processors. Nine of the IGEL UD6 endpoints are permanently used as desktop computers, and one unit is used as a “kiosk” for guests visiting the offices who need access to the Internet. KDFA also has one IGEL unit stationed in his board room for instant access to Citrix VDI sessions via an overhead projector during meetings, and one unit is stored in KDFA’s server room as a back-up unit in the even that one of the desktops needs to be quickly replaced.
Kater said, “Our employees love the performance and functionality of their IGEL clients, and IGEL affords the ‘instant gratification’ that was missing with our previous solution. With IGEL our VDI environment has become productive again for both IT and end users and we are excited to be leveraging IGEL’s best-in-class solutions at KDFA.”