Desktop Virtualisation

In most organisations provisioning and supporting desktops costs between 50 and 75% of the total infrastructure IT budget. Desktop virtualisation can make implementation and management of this desktop estate considerably easier, as well as offering significant cost saving opportunities. Importantly, you don’t have to do it all at once. Defining and implementing a new desktop strategy is a journey. Provided you have defined and set the standards, tools and processes, implementation can happen at a pace and cost to suit your organisation.

At Fordway we help organisations assess their existing desktop estate and user needs and determine the most appropriate desktop strategy for their business. We then support all types of desktop virtualisation:

  • Thin client, where a standard desktop is created on or streamed to a server or pool of servers. Each user gets a unique session delivered from the common server resources, which are shared across all users.
  • Hosted virtual desktops or VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) where a dedicated, full desktop, including the OS, is streamed from a data centre.
  • Desktop as a service, where the virtual desktops and relating infrastructure are run as a service in the cloud. The organisation is responsible for managing the desktop image and applications, but the virtualised infrastructure is provided by a third party such as Fordway.

We have supported many organisations through desktop change projects, such as migrating from Windows XP at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. Fordway helped them implement Microsoft server and desktop management systems (SCCM and SCOM) and use the software to roll out and manage a migration from Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7, Office 2010 and Sharepoint for 800 desktops across 50 locations.

“Fordway brought ideas and experience from other situations which ensured everything went smoothly, and worked with our team to transfer their knowledge to us throughout the deployment.”

Darren Stone, IT Manager at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. Read more.

Fordway has implemented a virtualised desktop infrastructure at Brent Council have which has reduced power consumption by more than 80%, saving money on electricity costs and significantly reducing the council’s carbon footprint. The solution supports flexible working for council staff, including home working and hotdesking, and enables the IT team to provide a better service for users while improving data security. Read more

A review of desktop strategy migration may be an opportunity to update your desktop strategy, implementing virtualisation and/or cloud services. We’ve helped many organisations implement new desktop strategies and can help you review the options available and evaluate which is most suitable for your organisation. There’s a comparison of the costs of different ways of providing desktops here.

Application testing and remediation

One of the most significant workstreams is likely to be testing application compatibility with the new operating system and implementing any fixes required. Our application testing service confirms whether applications running on Windows XP are compatible with Windows 7 or 8 and can either provide an automatic fix or identify where the issues are located, reducing remediation time. We can also provide resources to fix applications that fail the testing and require individual remediation. Read more

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