Integrated solution modernises IT delivery

The Customer

This organisation is the largest non-metropolitan law enforcement agency in the UK serving a region of over 2.3 million people across 3 counties.

The Situation

The customer was moving towards joint IT systems with a neighbouring law enforcement agency. An integrated solution was required to accommodate the needs of both organisations.

Between the 2 organisations, they were running 15 legacy Citrix server farms, many of which were running outdated and out-of-support applications.
The new integrated solution had to be located in a joint environment and include:

  • Updated Citrix Desktop solution
  • Secure access
  • Profile management
  • System monitoring

The solution also had to be highly available, enable users to login from multiple domains, and meet stringent security requirements governing law enforcement agencies.

Consideration also had to be made for a full test environment and a duplicate set-up for recovery purposes.

Our Approach

The remit for Xtravirt was to assess the current solution and applications and then design and configure a new integrated environment capable of supporting over 4,500 users.

Design workshops were held with the customer to collate and assess requirements providing key inputs into the solution design process.

Working closely with the customer we designed and deployed a fully functional and supportable platform that was fully integrated into their working practices.

Implementation was done across three environments, proof of concept, production and test.
All three included:

  • Updates to supported versions of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
  • Secure access using Citrix ADC (NetScaler) and encryption of domain traffic
  • System monitoring using Microsoft Systems Centre Operations Manager (SCOM)

Prior to user and application migration the full solution was tested across the infrastructure build.

The solution has been delivered on the shared VMware vSphere environment with a duplicate at the disaster recovery site for recovery purposes.

Additional designs and documentation were also provided detailing the future roadmap for applications.

Outcomes Achieved

Delivered a robust, fully functional and supportable platform, fit for current needs and capable of expanding for future needs.

Less complex and easier to manage infrastructure gained by reducing the number of Citrix farms from 15 to 1 and reducing the number of applications by 75%.

Additional servers are now able to be deployed in seconds rather than hours, giving the organisation the flexibility to scale up as required.

Improved visibility of the environment with Microsoft SCOM ensuring better monitoring and reporting capabilities and enhancing management efficiency.

Secure access for users built-in to provide encrypted access and meet compliance requirements.

Improved user experience and profile management. Users can logon from the individual agency domains and the new shared domain getting a consistent experience.

Overhead costs and wastage reduced by eliminating multiple versions of the same app, along with bringing all licensing into one easily managed arrangement.

Improved business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) capability through the design of a duplicate set-up.

At a glance

Challenge

  • Integrating and moving several organisations to joint IT systems
  • The current Citrix estate was vast and running outdated applications
  • The new solution had to be highly available, meet stringent security regulations and allow for disaster recovery

Solution

  • Design and deploy a fully functional, supportable platform using Citrix technology
  • Update applications to supported versions
  • Use Citrix ADC for secure access and encryption
  • Design of a duplicate site for recovery purposes
  • Full testing of the solution prior to migration

Result

  • Delivered a robust platform fit for current and future needs
  • Improved infrastructure management through the reduction in Citrix farms from 15 to 1 and reduction in applications by 75%
  • Cost savings achieved through simplifying application and license management
  • Secure, encrypted access built-in to meet compliance requirements