VDI deep dive and desktop transformation

A cutting edge solution for a cutting edge asset management company. Xtravirt moves this titan to a slick new user experience

The customer
Asset Management investment house that manages client asset funds with a total value in the region of £80bn. Operations based across many European countries with significant operational presence in the UK.

The challenge
Due to imminent end of support for Windows XP, the customer wanted to investigate alternatives to the traditional cumbersome and costly process of refreshing a desktop estate with new hardware and desktop operating system.

Their CEO stated that the organisation’s IT infrastructure should be “cutting edge” and not prevent any obstacle to the business achieving success. This mission statement was married with a requirement to upgrade to the End User Computing (EUC) environment to latest gold standard and deliver standardisation of the company’s user platform.

The solution
The project started from a blank canvas, with only the networking infrastructure and basic datacentre facilities providing the foundations.

Xtravirt was engaged initially to investigate and deliver several initial VDI elements consisting of an impact assessment, ROI and TCO statement, Use Case Assessment and Proof of Concept (PoC) within the organisation’s infrastructure.

The positive evidence and success of the VDI PoC led the customer to move forward with a live pilot of VMware View using full clones of Windows XP to measure the success of VDI in a small production environment.

The live pilot was a visible success and led to the increase in scope of the production phase to include an upgrade of the desktop operating system to Windows 7, introduce user persona and application virtualisation and scale out the client, server and storage element into a robust enterprise ready solution.

The scope of this third phase required to considered every element of EUC virtualisation at the same time as simultaneously upgrading the desktop operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7 to the entire user base.

Xtravirt delivered a full service desktop transformation, comprising specification, design, deployment and integration of all components – all the way through from the end point client device infrastructure to the server and storage back-end.

This also included all the user elements such as the operating system, application and user persona virtualisation; showcasing Xtravirt’s uniquely diverse strengths and expertise to design and integrate across all technology stacks.

The results

  • A key outcome was a truly cutting edge EUC solution that could be easily scaled by simply extending existing components
  • Xtravirt’s experienced team demonstrated depth of experience with detailed planning and pre-emptive approach
  • The benefits of achieving centralised VDI meant that that the customer was able to deliver the same rich desktop experience to both local and remote users
  • It empowered the customer’s business leaders with a “no compromise” solution, no matter whether on thin or mobile devices
  • The delivery of a private cloud infrastructure hosting the desktop virtualisation was key milestone in the organisation’s long term strategic plan
  • The centralised server and desktop virtualisation infrastructures provided significantly greater agility, together with reduced the potential interruption to users if migrating those platforms to single or alternative date centre facilities in future
  • Delivering a single common desktop model to multiple offices allowed for greater standardisation and a tangible increase in productivity and efficiency of end user support
  • Delivering Xtravirt’s well conceived and proven VDI-based platform reinvigorated the desktop experience, and created opportunities for the IT support teams who were able to offer new business solutions which had not previously been viable
  • Users perceived a significant uplift in performance together with reduced complexity. Subsequently, support was able to be streamlined further reinforcing the positive user experience


Consultant commentary

“A great example of a solution perfectly matching the requirement. Having the ability to fluidly work across multiple technology disciplines and seamlessly pull together the big picture is where Xtravirt excels as an organisation.”

Matt Tupper, Senior Consultant, Xtravirt