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Enabling the Remote Workplace with zDesk – GAVS’ Desktop Virtualization Platform (VDI + DaaS)
The concept of work from home is no longer unfamiliar. Since the onset of the pandemic, organizations have been adapting themselves to the new normal by leveraging technology. In this new virtual economy, IT organizations have gained new prominence. GAVS hosted a webinar with the users and experts from BronxCare Health System, GAVS, and HiveIO for an in-depth discussion on enabling remote workplaces and preparing for the future. This blog captures some of the key discussion points and takeaways from the webinar. The link to the entire webinar is available at the end of the blog.
One of the webinar panelists – Ivan Durbak, is the CIO of BronxCare Health System and a senior IT healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience in planning, developing, and managing healthcare information system applications, implementing IT security solutions, conducting IT audits, and re-engineering clinical and business workflows.
The other panelist Chandra Mouleswaran heads Products and Intellectual Property Creation at GAVS. He has more than 25 years of rich experience in IT infrastructure management, enterprise application design & development, and incubation of new products/services across various industries.
A Shift in Work Culture
As the pandemic forced workplaces to adopt virtual modes to conduct business, virtual desktops became the center of the new normal. Considering the case of hospitals, the shift in work culture posed several threats. The new setup came with its own challenges for frontline workers, including hospital staff and doctors, who took to virtual consultation. Some of these challenges were (broadly categorized as technical and cultural):
- Technical challenges included accessibility to files stored in local desktops, setup and use of VPNs, WiFi bandwidth of employees working from remote locations, security concerns, infrastructure to conduct online consultation such as webcams, secondary monitors, software, training.
- Cultural challenges affected employees’ lack of exposure to working in remote setup, need for informal meetings, increasing the number of ineffective discussions.
Challenges in the Remote Workspace
To understand the challenges faced by industries that rely on face-to-face interaction, let us consider the example of a 120+-year-old largest voluntary, not-for-profit healthcare provider with over 3500+ desktops in 30+ clinical locations. As hospitals worked with less than 1% remote staff, the pandemic created several concerns in the minds of the management in various areas, including security, regulatory compliance, and governance. The following were the primary challenges that needed immediate attention:
- 6+ year old desktops without warranty or maintenance support contract
- Lower configurations (single processor with 2GB RAM)
- 30% running on obsolete OS (Windows XP)
- Failures of devices impacting patient care
- HIPAA vulnerability – insecure and irrecoverable data loss
Virtual Desktops - Need of the Hour
Any endpoint device including a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, can be used as a virtual desktop. Virtual desktop providers function as SaaS that accesses operating systems from a computer’s hardware with virtualization software. An organization may host virtual machines on-premises or cloud-based virtual machines to help deliver corporate assets. There are many advantages to a virtual desktop environment. Some of them are:
- Improved security, end-user experience, and HIPAA compliance
- Improved information security with minimal downtime
- Established standardization
- Uncompromised mobility and better uptime for users
- Accelerated response time, improved service levels through proactive monitoring
- 40% cost savings compared to any other solution
GAVS' VDI Solution – zDesk
zDesk is an all-inclusive virtualization platform for running virtual desktops. This removes many layers of management, operations, and architecture complexity. The multiple layers of components required for desktop virtualization are included in our single zDesk software platform. There are two modes of connection to VDI: web-based and thick client, both of which can be established from the laptop, desktop, mobile, tablets, or thin clients.
zDesk VDI Stack - Features and Functionality
zDesk VDI is a hyper-scalable, Zero Layer Architecture that guarantees seamless adoption of zDesk virtual desktops and flawless user experience. Integrated with AI, zDesk includes customized implementation and support that helps reduce desktop IT costs while enhancing endpoint security and control. The features and functionalities of zDesk can be classified into four categories — management, hypervisor, storage, broker.
- Management carried out in-cluster – no additional layer
- Clustering without any management infrastructure
- REST-APIs to externally manage the platform
- Splunk and Hadoop integration out-of-the-box
- Real-time system telemetry available
- Multi-tenanted architecture
- Bare metal install for maximum performance
- Based on KVM, backed by a large developer community
- Optimized for enterprise-class scale
- Clustered management with enterprise scale
- Full Multi-tenancy
- Support for wide range of workloads
- RAM as storage and fastest response
- No need for dedicated storage – uses DAS
- Atlantis USX, NFS, Ceph for shared storage
- Storage acceleration with intelligent data tiering
- Multiple storage types usable across the same cluster
- 100% SSD and hence the fastest response
- Desktop brokering cross-cluster
- Delivery of stateless and persistent desktops
- Port addressable gateway for remote access
- Optimized Windows and Linux desktop support
- Simplified VM template and profile management
- Guest orchestration with failover protection for host outage
Benefits of zDesk
Since the onset of the pandemic, digital transformation has become inevitable, with many organizations embracing the necessity of a flexible workspace. Secure remote accessibility and flawless user experience have proven that virtual desktops such as zDesk have several benefits to an organization. Some of the benefits that zDesk customers are experiencing include:
- 70% reduction in incidents
- 80% reduction in the meantime to repair
- 90% increase in productivity through BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
- 0% data loss
- 90% faster deployment
- 100% secured endpoints
- Mobile/tablet enabled
- 80% savings in support cost
- Improved TCO savings
You can watch the entire webinar including the polls, audience questions, and the experts’ take on the questions here.
GAVS routinely organizes insightful webinars with GAVS’ tech leaders, the leadership team, and industry thought leaders to explore current and emerging trends. To watch all our webinar recordings, please visit https://www.gavstech.com/videos/.