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Facilities Transitions to Desktop Everywhere

Cornell Information Technologies and Infrastructure, Properties, & Planning

This article applies to: Case Studies, IT Reports and Presentations


The Need

In 2015, the IT group for Infrastructure, Properties, & Planning (IPP-IT) decided to transition all of their existing VDI clients to Desktop Everywhere, in order to reduce staff time maintaining an existing 6-host server infrastructure and to reduce replacement costs for servers and for VMWare license upgrades. With Desktop Everywhere a thin client can be used instead of a laptop or a desktop and they tend to last longer than laptops and desktops, with the average VDI client lasting at least 6-7 years.

CIT and IPP-IT also transitioned approximately 80 kiosk workstations for Grounds and Zone employees. These workstations are essential for staff to process time, print paychecks and W2 forms, and use services such as email, Microsoft Office, and printing. In 2015, IPP-IT successfully moved about 15% of their 800 desktop users to Desktop Everywhere as part of Phase I, and they plan to move more in Phase II (2016).

The Challenge

Several employees in IPP who were great candidates for Desktop Everywhere also use FileMaker Pro, a database application that was not yet available through Desktop Everywhere. There were a few other bumps along the way, but according to Tom Horton, former systems administrator in IPP, “Honestly, there really weren’t many challenges once we got the bugs worked out that are to be expected with regards to being an early adopter.” 

The Solution

CIT made FileMaker Pro available remotely to those who need it by using AppV, a service to virtualize applications. CIT is currently exploring ways to make this solution scalable, so it can be replicated with other groups on campus.

The Client

  • Tom Davies, Systems Administrator, IPP-IT
  • Tom Horton, former Systems Administrator, IPP-IT (now in CIT)

The Collaborative Relationship

“Using Desktop Everywhere is much less of a hassle when it comes time to upgrade the client, as we can upgrade firmware remotely in the background. There are also great security benefits.” – Tom Davies

“We’ve had very very few reports of problems. Perhaps the biggest challenge in further saturation of Desktop Everywhere is the cultural reluctance to change.” – Tom Horton

More information on Desktop Everywhere

About this Article

Last updated: 

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 9:37pm

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