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Case Studies: Thin-client computing via Microsoft Terminal Services

Relco is a fictitious name for an actual company.  The company name and office locations have been changed to protect client confidentiality for the purpose of this case study.

Situation

Relco is real estate agency serving both residential and commercial real estate markets, with 15 office locations in New York's Capital Region.  Relco had a need to improve the reliability of their IT infrastructure in order to improve agent productivity, and to contain IT management costs.

Technologies Involved

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 / Active Directory
  • Microsoft Terminal Services
  • Wyse WinTerm thin-client devices
  • AVG AntiVirus
  • i|ONE Network Management Suite
  • SonicWALL firewall appliances

The Process

We applied the following proven methodology to this project:

  • Reviewed Current Environment
  • Document Objectives / Solution Requirements
  • Create Solution Design and Obtain Client Approval
  • Create Detailed Implementation Plan
  • Perform Implementation
  • Provide As-Needed Ongoing Support

Current Environment

Office Locations and Users

15 Office Locations / 100 Users

  • Albany, NY
  • Colonie, NY
  • Duanesburg, NY
  • Glenmont, NY
  • Glens Falls, NY
  • Greenwich, NY
  • Halfmoon, NY
  • Lake George, NY
  • Latham, NY
  • Malta, NY
  • Nassau, NY
  • Niskayuna, NY
  • Ravena, NY
  • Troy, NY
  • Wynantskill, NY

Primary Applications and Services

  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • MS Office 2003
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Internet Explorer

Network Security

  • NetGear Firewalls
  • Symantec AntiVirus

Observations

  • Branch Office Support
    Existing support model for branch offices and remote users was inefficient, thus increasing total cost of ownership.
     
  • WorkGroup Configuration
    Lack of centralized directory services makes centralized administration of network resources unfeasible, thus increasing total cost of ownership.
     
  • Desktop Operating Systems
    Widespread use of Windows XP – Home Edition poses support challenge, as such workstations cannot be centrally administered via Active Directory.
     
  • Patch Management
    Lack of centralized patch management solution, makes environment unnecessarily vulnerable to system compromise from emerging malware threats (viruses, spyware, etc).

Objectives / Solution Requirements

Relco requested that Premier ONE make recommendations to address the following:

  • Network security
  • Good overall application performance and stability
  • Ease of use and support
  • Scalability to support future growth
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership

Solution Design

Premier ONE recommended that Relco migrate to a centrally administered thin-client computing environment.

  • Interconnect all office locations via site-to-site VPN
  • Centralized administration of all network resources via Active Directory Forest
  • Multiple load-balanced Windows Terminal Servers
  • Wyse WinTerm thin-client devices

Implementation

  • Created new Active Directory environment
  • Configure Terminal Server environment, locked down and customized via Group Policy / Login Scripts
  • Enabled centralized file & print sharing
  • Configured site-to-site VPN(s)
  • Replaced unmanaged PC's with Thin-client terminals

Benefits Summary

  • Improved overall performance and stability of computing environment
  • Projected $500,000 savings over 5 years

 

 


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