Liquidware Labs Solutions Enable NCFE’s Smooth Migration to Non-Persistent Virtual Desktops

A registered educational charity, NCFE is a national Awarding Organisation, passionate about developing and implementing vocational and academic qualifications in a range of subjects. Hundreds of thousands of learners from more than 2,000 colleges, schools and training organisations choose NCFE as the Awarding Organisation to help them move their careers forward.

NCFE’s senior infrastructure engineer recognized an impending office relocation and available budget for a hardware refresh as an opportunity to re-assess the organisation’s Windows 7 fat-client PC-desktop environment. Already using VMware vSphere to support his virtualised servers, the senior infrastructure engineer wanted to move his 300 users to VMware Horizon. Knowing that best practices calls for an assessment to identify users who are appropriate candidates to move to a virtual desktop, the engineer turned to its trusted advisor, the SITS group, which recommended utilising Liquidware Labs Stratusphere FIT to first evaluate its desktop environment. Stratusphere FIT was deployed for a month, running in the background to gather data on all aspects of each individual desktop, from CPU usage to applications installed to web browsers and more.

The Stratusphere FIT assessment provided granular reports and visibility into the environment. In this case, the NCFE’s senior infrastructure engineer was surprised to learn about the number of different versions of Java and Adobe Reader that were being used. Stratusphere FIT also determined that all but 20 developers utilizing high-end visual studio applications were ideal candidates for moving to VMware Horizon.

Having reached this stage of the project, the SITS Group advised the organisation to implement ProfileUnity to seamlessly migrate all user profiles to the new virtual desktops. About a month before the move to the new facility, ProfileUnity harvested all user-profile information, providing the IT team with a window into user behaviour, such as where they stored things and what they needed to move across to their virtual desktop. The Liquidware Labs solution also provided immense business value, as support calls relative to desktops decreased from 10 or so a week to fewer than two per month. With a robust and secure virtual desktop environment in place, the NCFE senior infrastructure engineer is looking into how other elements of the Liquidware Labs solutions, such as FlexApp, can further streamline the organisation’s virtual desktop environment.