By Alex Russell
The global COVID-19 pandemic forced people to change the way they work overnight. Remote working quickly became the norm across myriad industries as offices closed and organisations scrambled to adapt to maintain productivity.
The pandemic has shaped some new workplace realities—a growing number of companies are rethinking where, when and how they work and for many, the remote working trend is here to stay; however, the implementation of effective remote working poses some challenges, including the rapid roll-out of remote work capabilities at scale for employees; ensuring employee performance remains high; and providing a seamless work-from-home environment without compromising security and control.
Businesses need to keep employees connected and productive while working remotely. This includes providing reliable access to the information and applications they need to do their jobs and ensuring these files and sensitive data are stored centrally and securely—all while keeping things simple for IT.
In some instances, employees are returning to the physical workplace, and businesses must support and protect these workers, along with their communities and customers, to ensure their safety.
Aptronics and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) can help businesses navigate new ways of working by delivering cost-effective and adaptable digital workspace solutions designed to provide a safe and productive remote workforce and assist in safely transitioning employees back to the office.
Enabling remote work with VDI
As the workspace transforms, businesses are evaluating their remote work strategies and many are considering virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.
According to HPE, VDI is a technology that can enhance productivity by granting employees secure remote access to files and applications—even highly confidential or classified information—so they can use their preferred device (PCs, tablets, smartphones or thin-client terminals—whether trusted or not) to log into the server at the head office and work from anywhere.
HPE has partnered with Citrix to offer a range of digital workspace solutions that enable organisations to quickly and easily deploy secure VDI to address any workload requirements and ensure the continuity of day-to-day operations.
Citrix defines VDI as the ‘hosting of desktop environments on a central server in which specific desktop images run within virtual machines (VMs) and are then delivered to end clients over a network’. The endpoints may be PCs or devices like tablets or thin-client terminals and the virtual desktops live within VMs on a centralised server.
HPE and Citrix-based remote work solutions can help organisations of any size to benefit from simplified management, enhanced security, and increased productivity while managing costs and decreasing hardware requirements. With VDI, organisations can respond quickly to customer needs, even during business disruptions and employees do not need to store confidential company data on a personal device that could easily be lost, stolen, or tampered with. IT infrastructure can be rapidly scaled up or down to respond to shifts in demand, while IT managers can maintain visibility and efficiently manage, optimise, and deliver a consistent employee experience across any device.
VDI solutions for every purpose
The right VDI solution considers the size of the business, the number and types of users, and the workloads they run. VDI users can be broadly grouped into task workers, knowledge workers and power users. Each group requires a solution that addresses specific needs such as high responsiveness, superior security, performance or manageability, for example.
Edge to cloud solutions
HPE offers a range of virtual app and desktop solutions for organisations of all sizes and across all industries. Users have the choice and flexibility to deploy hybrid cloud solutions across market-leading HPE-based platforms, including:
- HPE Synergy, HPE Edgeline and the widely deployed HPE ProLiant compute platforms
- HPE SimpliVity Automation for Citrix Cloud, where customers can deploy scalable, secure, fully integrated hybrid cloud virtualised desktop environments in minutes
- HPE Moonshot with Citrix solutions for the most demanding and intense financial services or healthcare compute requirements.
HPE’s GreenLake for VDI is an end-to-end solution that offers businesses an As-a-Service option that provides secure on-premises VDIs. It is designed to match users’ specific workload requirements, avoid large upfront capital expenses, accelerate time-to-value, and scale seamlessly to align resources with demand.
HPE GreenLake can deliver the security, performance, and compliance benefits of an on-premises VDI solution with the simplicity and flexibility of the cloud. Aptronics and HPE can support, operate and manage the platform to deliver strong performance and reliability, while the company’s own IT division retains full control of the crucial desktop and application environment. This enables organisations to respond rapidly to changing business needs with seamless scalability.
Shifting to an As-a-Service model means that there are no upfront capital expenditures— metering technology enables companies to only pay for what they use. Billing is per user, per month and includes all VDI hardware, software, installation, and operational and support services. This makes it easier for CIOs to improve budgeting and forecasting. Solutions can be defined and scaled up or down according to demand, which eliminates the risk of over-, or under-provisioning resources. HPE GreenLake can help businesses avoid lengthy rollouts, with quick-to-deploy, pre-configured, turnkey solutions.
HPE GreenLake for VDI offers virtual desktop configurations tailored for different user workloads, including knowledge workers, task workers, and power users needing dedicated nodes of CPU and Nvidia GPU compute and memory. Organisations can select from a range of performance tiers in a combination that best suits their business needs. Aptronics will deploy the required hardware and software in their data centre using HPE ProLiant servers, HPE Nimble Storage dHCI or HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged systems, helping to ensure security while giving IT managers centralised control over the environment.
Aptronics and HPE can deliver and maintain a fully managed and supported VDI environment, and as demand grows additional desktop resources can easily be added in a company’s own data centre, with images configured to suit user categories, while only paying for what they use.
Helping businesses to return to work
HPE Pointnext Technology Service’s return-to-work offerings offer a series of IoT-based solutions targeting social-distance tracing and tracking, fever detection, location-based alerts, and more to help businesses create a safe work environment for their employees. For example, employees can be notified when offices are open or closed, or if areas are off-limits or over-crowded. They can also take swift actions like booking a hot desk, quickly and easily completing online health agreements before arriving at the office, locating PPE and sanitation stations, and requesting meeting room sanitisation.
Aptronics’s expertise and experience
Aptronics has dedicated expertise, and extensive skills and experience in end-user computing and digital workspaces. It is a trusted HPE Platinum Partner and Citrix specialist with the highest level of skills and expertise to provide consulting, design, implementation, support and maintenance to companies wishing to introduce or expand VDI as part of their IT solutions.
Discover how Aptronics’s team of virtualisation experts can help you meet your VDI needs. Contact us for more information or to discuss your business requirements.