Analyst Report : How to Ride the Post-PC End User Computing Wave


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A flood of employee-owned mobile devices is driving federal, state and local government organizations to figure out how to securely ride the growing post-PC wave of end-user computing. This report highlights four examples of key government initiatives leveraging mobility solutions and desktop virtualization.

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Analyst Report : How to Ride the Post-PC End User Computing Wave

  1. 1. | SPECIAL REPORT | June 2012How to Ride the Post-PCEnd User Computing WaveFive Top Government Early Adopters Blaze New Trails A flood of employee-owned mobile devices, combined flexibility, and secure mobile access to governmentwith a White House-mandated mobility initiative is driving resources,” said Anil Karmel, M&O CTO for NNSA.federal, state and local government organizations to figureout how they can securely ride the growing post-PC wave Highlighted below are four more examples of keyof end-user computing. government initiatives leveraging mobility solutions and As market researchers such as IDC estimate, by desktop virtualization.2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internetthrough mobile devices than through PCs or other wirelinedevices. Learning how to adapt to a post-PC world Training Vets Using Client Virtualizationorder will require government organizations to find new Tasked with training the VA acquisition workforce inways to securely embrace mobility. The Administration’s support of U.S. veterans, the VA Acquisition Academyrecently announced Digital Government strategy http:// (VAAA) has expanded its training facility to instructors and students with a virtual client environmentgovernment/digital-government-strategy.pdf lays out the that serves more than 22,500 students taking courses inelements required to make government, “ready to deliver contracting and program management.and receive digital information and services anytime, The VAAA’s expansion from five to 16 classroomsanywhere and on any device.” spurred technological changes as well. The academy And some organizations have already taken a opened in 2008 with five classrooms, using laptopleadership role, such as the Department of Energy, computers configured to support students, allowingwhich is working with the National Nuclear Security them to maneuver between classes with the systems/Administration (NNSA) o deploy virtual desktops as part information needed for each course. This environmentof a ‘secure hybrid community cloud’ that will be offered required three IT administrators to support systemthis fall. In a nutshell, the upcoming community cloud updates for the laptop computers. Drawbacks includedwill allow government organizations to purchase and students turning off computers at night, which negateddeliver compute services for users on nearly any mobile system updates. Also, students were required to copy filesdevice. As officials from the NNSA explained, government to disk or ship printed student materials home, followingorganizations must learn to give up on managing PCs and training. And cable management was also devices, and must focus instead on managing data, As the academy grew, new funding was approved toto fully embrace the future of post-PC computing. Allowing add 11 more classrooms, along with 17 breakout rooms,users to use any available device to access government at the end of 2010. Growing from five to 16 classroomsresources from nearly any location will require mobile represented an enormous increase in support costs,device management and a level of security the NNSA has which drove the VAAA to investigate thin client computingpreviously used to implement client virtualization for its instead.internal users. “Delivering virtual desktops as part of oursecure hybrid community cloud will allow agencies to VAAA worked with professional service providersleverage existing PCs and other IT investments, providing to build a comprehensive virtual client environment thata platform to help transform IT operations, bringing greater currently delivers video conferencing, collaborative
  2. 2. continued from “How To Ride...” on page 1 Garrison recommends other agencies expand VAAA Thin Client Benefits their integrated product teams to include network, The VA Acquisition Academy (VAAA) has realized many security, business owners and project managers, when client virtualization benefits, including: implementing client virtualization. “It’s also important • eamless student log-ins from classrooms and S to understand the design limitations of virtual client breakout rooms; environments [such as ‘boot-storm’ challenges] and be • eamless transitions for classroom changes; S prepared to address them,” he said. • atch emails of students’ files at training B Currently, the VAAA is looking to develop two distance completion, eliminating shipment of printed learning courses, and tie its virtual client infrastructure into materials. the Department of Veterans Affairs network architecture, • educed energy use per classroom by 80%; R although that effort will require additional resources in the • ower energy costs for 370 thin clients, reducing L coming months. Co2 emissions by 108 metric tons per year; • ow heat output translates to less power required L for air conditioning. Air Force Mobility Initiatives Facing strong requirements to drive down costs,classrooms, web-based training and custom designed while supplying warfighters with the mobile capabilitiesinstructor lecterns, enabling students and instructors to they need, and finding a way to integrate stove-pipedhave immediate access to their materials throughout each communications channels such as radio and plain oldcourse. The facility now supports more than 370 students telephone systems, the Air Force now plans to implementstudents. tens of thousands of new mobile devices, including tablets, notebooks and smart phones in the coming months. “The A return on investment was derived from labor Air Force is moving toward unified communications usingand maintenance costs. The VAAA grew from three cellular connectivity to drive greater mobility, especiallyIT administrators, supporting five classrooms to six for first responders and flight line personnel,” said Williamstaffers, now supporting 16 classrooms, along with 17 Marion, Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC) Chiefbreakout rooms. Rather than managing multiple notebook Technology Officer.computers, “we now have one single image pushed out to Driving greater efficiency also translates to movingall computers, eliminating individual laptop updates,” said away from maintaining desktop PCs, with softwareRichard Garrison, vice-chancellor of the VA Acquisition updates, and desk-side help desk services. StreamingAcademy Program Management School. applications from the data center using desktop The virtual client environment generated an immediate virtualization, and enabling personnel to use mobile20% savings over the previous notebook PC environment, devices or go to centralized kiosks for access to certainGarrison explained. In total, the acquisition of the virtual applications are both appealing options. First, though, theclient solution included the cost of servers, along with Air Force is focused on delivering solutions for medicalthin clients, which was compared against the cost of the and emergency responders. By July, for example, Airnotebook computer infrastructure. The virtualized client Force functionals are planning to begin utilizing cellenvironment has vastly simplified VAAA’s infrastructure. connectivity to deliver mobile capabilities in first responderStudents can move freely between rooms and log in vehicles that provides command and control displaysfrom any location. Instructors gained lecturns from which needed to cordon off areas during emergencies. “Thethey can control everything from room lighting to volume goal is to extend the range for Air Force personnel, so theycontrols for microphones and speakers in each classroom. can quickly respond, or order parts as needed withoutThe thin client infrastructure centrally stores desktop leaving the air field. Unified communications enables thisimages and data on servers behind the firewall creating for us,” he added.a rapidly deployable private ‘desktop cloud.’ No longer Marion said ACC’s client virtualization effort is in earlymust students make copies of training files, or arrange pilot phase, with goals to move up to 30% of desktopto have documents shipped home. At the completion of users to tablets in the next year. The reason is largelytraining, all of the students’ files are consolidated and each economic. If the ACC can focus on $200-$600 tablets andstudent receives an email with a link to the individual files smartphones with virtual applications, the cost will be farto download. lower than a comparable $1500 notebook computer that2 | SPECIAL REPORT | June 2012
  3. 3. continued from “How To Ride...” on page 2requires three to five times its price to maintain over the between conventional and web-based applications in thelifespan of each device. next two to five years.” At the same time, despite the advances, Marion admits In the near future, however, the goal is to roll outclient virtualization isn’t quite ready for command-wide or thousands of devices featuring virtualized mobile devicelarge scale implementation [within the Air Force] just yet, management. This effort is really all about mobility. “It’sciting a lack of maturity in the end-user experience and the about reshaping the way we communicate, integrating andAir Force’s own strong security requirements. But in the collaborating, drawing down all of the legacy capabilitiescoming years, the Air Force recognizes that virtualization in the IT world, and getting into soft clients, UC clients thatwill be a key enabler of web centric application are on a ubiquitous mobile device, whether it be a tablet ordevelopment. “As the market evolves, we’re hoping to a laptop, so we can start reducing what we call the single-migrate from the conventional applications that make up use device,” Marion explained.90% of our portfolio today, to a more balanced 50-50 splitLocal Government Embraces Mobility The City of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, gain access to the applications needed to do their jobs.has enabled 60 city workers, primarily public works Public works employees originally needed access to theemployees and building inspectors, to gain mobile access city’s geographic information system (GIS) and workto specialized applications and large databases to help orders. Meanwhile, building inspectors started each daystreamline daily operational functions and enter job- in the office, then out in the field performing inspections.related updates throughout each day. In the last hours of the workday, those inspectors had And the sandy beach town that swells in population by to return to the office to input all data from inspections100,000 or more each summer, from 14,000 who live there completed. Giving those mobile employees real-time access to data and custom applications became a driveryear-round, is also now using an in-house app to assist that led Wall to work with VMware’s View to deliver a virtualcity supervisors to offset the cost of lifeguards on the client infrastructure. The client virtualization infrastructurebeach, by allowing supervisors to track and monitor sales now stores desktop images on centrally managed HPof beach services, including ice cream and snacks, along Proliant servers, and allows mobile users with ruggedizedwith the rental of umbrellas and beach chairs. Armed with notebook computers to access the applications andiPads, supervisors can now check inventories, and track databases needed to get their jobs done. Public workssales, right on the beach. “The beach sales help to make employees now don’t have to come back to look thingsthe costs of providing lifeguards revenue neutral. Since up during the day. And building inspectors enter datathen, we upgraded some features, and are looking forward into the system throughout the day, rather than returningto more accurately track beach sales and rentals this to the office to enter everything. “It has probably givensummer,” said Rick Wall, Information Services Director for them another 45 minutes of useful time every day,” WallNorth Myrtle Beach. explained. The city is also issuing smart phones and iPads to The early successes for public works and buildinglocal officials and department heads, to aid their daily inspectors led to expanded use of VMware’s solutions forfunctions. For instance, this has allowed the North Myrtle other city government applications, which now includesBeach city government to go “paperless” for regular leveraging tablet computers and thin client devices as wellbi-weekly Council and Commission meetings. “We no as notebook computers, for a range of centrally managedlonger must pay for printing and copying of reams of paper end user computing services. In fact, Wall maintains it’sfor officials to carry to each meeting,” Wall explained. the new services delivered without additional cost or The city has been able to invest in both server, and manpower that has been so critical to the city’s ongoinglater, client virtualization in the last several years, despite a virtual client expansion. “We see the value of centralizingmostly flat $74.4 million budget, spawned by the success end user computing, keeping the data secured in ourof those initial efforts to help public works employees data center, and we will continue to add new services for June 2012 | SPECIAL REPORT | 3
  4. 4. continued from “Local Government Embraces Mobility” on page 3 barely working anymore under Windows XP. Today, thanksemployees as we now see signs of revenue improvement to VMware ThinApp, they can run those same applicationsin the local economy,” Wall said. under Windows 7,” said Josh Burnett, Systems Administrator, IOT. Indiana Turns to Application Virtualization Currently, the IOT is halfway through a state-wide The Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) which is upgrade to Windows 7. Using software virtualization,working to centralize the state’s IT infrastructure, needed legacy applications can run under new operating systems,to support desktop and laptop applications for 24,000 of and installations can be performed remotely, far morethe state’s employees more efficiently and cost-effectively, quickly than previously possible. By virtualizing itsand find a way to allow departments to retain legacy software infrastructure IOT has reduced by $3,000 perapplications, without redeveloping them for Windows 7. day the costs associated with onsite technician visits, which were eliminated. Departments now stay current with The IOT, based in Indianapolis, has transformed what technology without incurring expense of upgrading critical were previously 114 separate agencies spread across legacy applications. 92 counties, each responsible for their own IT decisions. IOT has already virtualized approximately 40% the state’s This client virtualization effort has done more server infrastructure and is targeting 90% of servers for than extend the life of legacy applications. It has also virtualization. To drive efficiencies and cost savings in streamlined the administration of the state’s desktops. desktop environments, the IOT is now also virtualizing For example, it’s much easier to install new applications, software applications using VMware ThinApp technology. according to Burnett. “We used to send technicians onsite. VMware ThinApp is an enterprise application virtualization Now we virtualize new applications and upgrades and solution designed to eliminate conflict and streamline push them out to users electronically.” management of applications on physical desktops. ThinApp also plays a critical role in the IOT’s continuity“VMware ThinApp allows us to purchase our software of operations planning (COOP) strategy. “We can pipe virtualization solutions à la carte, because we don’t have out around 80 percent of our virtualized applications over the budget to replace those older applications.” said the Internet,” Burnett says. “This gives us another way to Paul Baltzell, Deputy Chief Information Officer of Delivery offer applications to our agencies should a disaster occur. Services, IOT. We don’t have to worry if users’ laptops have the software ThinApp simplifies application delivery by isolating installed on them. We can just point them to a Web page.”applications from the underlying operating system andplugging directly into existing virtual and physical desktop The post-PC era provides public sector organizations withmanagement tools and infrastructure. Applications can incredible opportunities. Digital Government initiatives,be packaged once, then delivered to many. IOT gains advances in end-user computing capabilities and anthe ability to run a virtualized application on a variety of increasingly mobile workforce compel organizations toMicrosoft Windows desktop operating systems without consider truly transformational initiatives. Innovators in the public sector, like those profiled in this report, are tacklingrepackaging the application for each operating system. these with great success. EMC Consulting and VMware are A primary advantage of ThinApp is that it can be proud of our successful partnership with leaders like these hosted on a much smaller server footprint, reducing costs who are enabling mission success and providing quantum for IOT. ThinApp delivers functionality the IOT needs to leaps in service for their constituents. streamline the administration of software applications. -- Brad Johnson, EMC Consulting Public Sector Director“Some departments have critical legacy software that was VMware® is the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure. More than 350,000 customers rely on VMware solutions to reduce the cost and complexity of IT, enable more agile service delivery, and provide an evolutionary path to cloud computing that preserves existing IT investments. Visit As part of EMC Corporation – the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions – EMC Consulting provides strategic guidance and technology expertise to help organizations unlock the value of their information and accelerate IT Transformation. Visit expertise/public-sector.htm. i360SLGov.com4 | SPECIAL REPORT | June 2012