How to Better Manage Desktop Infrastructure and Optimize User Experience

Distributed Desktop Virtualization

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Leostream Corporation, a developer of virtual hosted desktop software, announced today that Portugal Telecom (PT), the largest telecommunications provider in Portugal, with additional operations in Europe, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, has deployed the Leostream Connection Broker to connect 5,000 end-users at its call centers to virtual desktops. Based on the success of this deployment, PT now plans to extend the solution and replace all of its desktops, eventually covering all 9,000 end-users at the organization in its hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

PT turned to a hosted VDI model to solve a problem it was facing in its call centers. These operations have a large number of workers, and head count rises and falls dramatically depending upon marketing campaign activities and support staff requirements. Additionally, when a new marketing campaign is set to launch, IT may only have a week or two to set up hundreds of desktops and perhaps thousands of accounts for the subcontractors who handle the phones.

With the management of physical desktops cumbersome, time consuming and expensive, PT needed a solution that allowed IT to perform desktop maintenance and provision more quickly, simply and efficiently. For help, PT turned to V2S and Compta, two trusted IT consultancies based in Portugal. They recommended deploying the Leostream Connection Broker, a centralized management layer for hosted VDI that delivers desktop images hosted in the data center to users' thin client, laptop, workstation, or Web interface.

The most widely deployed, vendor-independent technology of its kind, the Leostream Connection Broker enables IT managers to maximize the value of existing IT investments by easily integrating an array of clients, back-end systems and viewers to create a hosted VDI. Additionally, the Connection Broker integrates easily with existing network infrastructure with no changes to essential data center systems, such as authentication services and SSL VPNs. Once integrated, the Connection Broker provides a flexible set of policies for exact implementation of business rules for users and machines.

Specifically, the Leostream Connection Broker offers PT:

  • Administrative ease-of-management: Leostream provides efficient, centralized control so that IT administrators can provision, update and manage hundreds of virtual desktops and thousands of end-user accounts simply, securely and efficiently.
  • End-user ease-of-use: PT call centers are staffed primarily by sub-contractors, and the marketing campaigns they support allow very little lead time for training. Leostream provides simple, secure access with the same look-and-feel and performance as a physical desktop.
  • Support for Linux: PT plans to deploy both Windows and Linux virtual desktops in the near future, so the hosted VDI needs to be easily extensible to both platforms.
  • Enterprise-class scalability: Leostream's robust scalability will enable PT to extend the hosted VDI to cover all of its call centers and, eventually, the entire corporate organization.
  • Strong support: Leostream proved to be a responsive technology partner, providing support that kept the project on schedule.

The complete solution included the Leostream Connection Broker, VMware VirtualCenter and ESX 3.5, and Wyse S10 thin clients. PT was especially impressed by the density of virtual machines that it was able to consolidate; the company achieved 80 virtual machines per host on HP 5800 servers.

The Connection Broker was easy to deploy, provided excellent end-user performance, and simplified virtual desktop management with its flexible array of finely customizable policies. As a virtual appliance, the Connection Broker took just 20 minutes to set up, and the entire solution was deployed in less than two days. PT's IT organization can now set up new end-user accounts and deploy virtual desktops in minutes, rather than days.

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