“Virtual Desktop Deployment: Lessons Learned & Mistakes to Avoid” is a report based on a Web Forum presentation given by Doug Burton and Greg LaVigne from Allstate. They are two years into an enterprise-wide virtual desktop initiative, targeting over 30,000 employees. One year after going live with the technology solution, 100+ applications and 2,000+ users have been converted. This report looks at their approach to this initiative, with a focus on the people, processes, and technology lessons learned.
Here is an excerpt from the report which talks about the benefits of building a cloud for your desktop virtulaization efforts:
At the end of the day Allstate actually decided to build their cloud. Some people refer to it as a private cloud. What does that mean? They took all of the current computing that occurred on the individual endpoints as well as all of the data that resided on those devices and moved it within the data center. Allstate’s devices today, for the users that are in this environment, do not have any local data or local applications. Basically users are given a web front end, but there is no data on those endpoints.
People at Allstate talked with other businesses in their space that had performed a desktop virtualization effort. A few of them had gone down a similar road but had not actually gotten completely free of data on the endpoint devices. Those companies may have done a virtual session on their machine or have a partition there that is encrypted and secure but there is still data on that local device. However, in Allstate’s case, the fact that they have nothing on those devices made individuals in HR, Legal, Privacy and Security, and Risk Management much more comfortable with the idea. Allstate considers using XenApp in their Citrix infrastructure, as opposed to XenDesktop to download something locally, as a good decision.
This environment is also device agnostic and provides a 100% consistent user experience. There are corporate PCs and multiple iPads, along with a diverse array of devices and OS’s that are connected to the environment. A side benefit to this implementation on the technology side is making the concept of “Bring Your Own Computer” (BYOC) easier to accommodate. There was a lot of time spent between HR, legal, and privacy teams trying to digest and understand the risks and costs associated with a BYOC approach.
IMF members can download the full report on Virtual Desktop Deployment HERE.