The 2016 Capital Budget includes a project that would reduce the burden of desktop management, create standard user desktops, implement roaming user profiles, decrease Help Desk incidents by utilizing Virtualization Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The 2016 project was deferred to 2017 due to staff vacancies.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a service that hosts user desktop environments on remote servers. Users access the desktops over a network using remote display protocol. For users, this means they can access their desktop from any location within the Township. Since the resources are centralized, users moving between work locations can still access the same desktop environment with their applications and data. For IT staff, this means a more centralized, efficient, secure client environment that is easier to maintain and able to respond more quickly to the changing needs of the user, department or Township. The VDI implementation will be rolled out to the Fire Department, Covenant Administration and Parks and Recreation staff. These Departments represent the perfect use case for VDI. Each has multiple Users logging in with multiple devices from multiple locations. Applications used by these departments are also considered excellent candidates for VDI; Traditional Microsoft Office, Adobe and web based programs such as Microsoft Office 365, Accela, Active and Fire House.
The Township IT Staff considered two main players in the (VDI) field: Citrix with products XenApp & XenDesktop and VMware’s Horizon. Citrix Xenapp was selected as the better fit for The Township. Users sharing XenApp session hosts provide much better utilization of provisioned resources, as well as a smaller overall resource footprint. Scaling for increases is much easier because new desktops don't need to be spun up for each new user, thus over provisioning in the virtual environment due to managed desktops is far less likely. The users that will be utilizing Xenapp do not have resource intensive workloads or any programs that require a dedicated desktop, so a hosted shared environment will provide a full desktop experience will comparable performance and reliability for Citrix: XenApp & XenDesktop and VMware's Horizon products, from the perspective of the user experience.
Staff received bids from Accudata Systems, CDW-G and SHI. The quotes are attached. Accudata Systems submitted the lowest bid of $91,254.74