Platform Consolidation: Windows 10, Server 2016, and Beyond

Mission: Eliminate Platforms to Reduce Complexity

Company Overview for One of the Largest Financial Institutions in the World

Users throughout the enterprise fill a wide variety of roles, all with varying desktop capability needs. The organization must also meet complex security, compliance, and workflow requirements.

Background

The financial institution has three standard end-user experiences available for its many user roles: a non-persistent VDI experience, a persistent VDI experience, and a physical system. Users begin with the non-persistent system and are only granted access to other experiences if they run into difficulties fulfilling their duties in the non-persistent environment.

Using a combination of environments, the organization was able to deliver many, though not all, of these experiences to its end users. Prior to engaging with Numecent, the bank had a large environment consisting of Citrix App Layering and App-V products. Unfortunately, the bank had not been able to make available all the applications needed within the business. A second and third stack were utilized using VMWare’s AppVolumes and AppStacks as workarounds for delivering those other applications which could not be satisfied by the large environment.

The Challenge

The complexity of introducing several other technologies and maintaining them independently created an overhead for the bank’s IT team which was both difficult to scale and manage with frequent patch updates to the same applications over several of these systems. Additional licensing costs for the tools and server operating systems further compounded the situation.

When the time came for the financial institution to begin evaluating options for migrating its environment from Windows 7 to Windows 10, a clean sheet approach was used. The project was initiated to evaluate the viability of simplifying the environment during the migration, in efforts to reduce complexity and cost by managing everything within a Citrix desktop environment.

As an example, many of the applications had a prerequisite requiring a specific Java® version. The applications would need the ability to communicate or integrate with each other, but at the same time, use only the specific version of Java needed by each individual application. IntelliJ required the 64-bit Oracle® 18_1_04 JDK while NodeJS 4.2.2 required JDK 7u111.

A direct move to Citrix did not provide any advantages since the existing application management tools left the same challenges of the existing system. Native installs of the problematic applications would bloat the base image or cause multiple base images to be maintained, which defeats the end goal of singular gold images. Initial evaluation of the applications by Citrix AppDNA also raised concerns as many of the applications were flagged as not being compatible with Windows 10.

The Solution

The institution defined a pilot deployment consisting of forty applications currently being delivered via AppVolumes to the Development Team. The goal presented to Numecent was to package all the enterprise’s applications and deliver them to Windows 7 and Windows 10 persistent and nonpersistent VDI sessions, as well as Windows Server 2016 RDS. AppDNA had flagged many of them as being incompatible with Windows 10 and 2016. Numecent was given 30 days to complete the task.

The Result

Numecent provided 100% success after only 20 days. The delivery of the applications which had been Cloudpaged by Numecent was integrated with App-V, allowing the organization to leverage its existing App-V delivery mechanisms to mount and unmount Cloudpaged applications from the environment. This reduced adoption friction for the organization’s helpdesk and other IT teams that would be interacting with the solution.

Key outcomes also include:

  • Consolidation to Citrix® for all application needs
  • Successfully virtualized all applications
  • No prerequisite conflicts
  • Enabled successful delivery to any type of end-point
  • Any version of a Windows application can run across their enterprise

Conclusion

Numecent provided the leading global financial institution with the means to consolidate to its Citrix platform without having to compromise the goals of simple base image management, security, and the ability to deliver any application needed by a user to the various user experiences available at the organization.

Complex applications and their complex dependencies are no longer challenging to manage. Having the remaining applications which could not be packaged meant that the IT team has achieved in implementing a fully automated provisioning environment for all users. The enterprise also benefited from significantly reduced effort and costs associated with packaging by using Numecent Cloudpaging, which further reduced the expense of the solution.

The pilot was successful, and the international financial institution is now deploying Cloudpaging to complete the company’s migration to Windows 10, as well as the consolidation of both its Citrix platform and physical desktop for applications.

About Numecent

Numecent is the pioneer of Cloudpaging, an award-winning cloud technology designed to maximize application compatibility and portability across modern desktop environments. Headquartered in Irvine, California – with two satellite locations in London and Tokyo – the company delivers applications to millions of users worldwide. With innovation at the core of its business, the company’s technology portfolio includes 58 issued patents (and counting).

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