Unidesk Makes Virtual Desktops Easier and More Cost-Effective for German Manufacturer Hoesch Schwerter Profile GmbHThe combination of Unidesk, Pano Logic and VMware allows German manufacturer to create a more affordable, energy-efficient virtual desktop environment.
September 13, 2011
World-class manufacturer and supplier of steel profiles Hoesch Schwerter Profile GmbH is deploying a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) based on Unidesk® virtual desktop management software as part of a program to reduce costs and simplify maintenance of desktop computers across the company.
The new Unidesk virtual desktops are being deployed on the company’s existing VMware vSphere™ virtual infrastructure, and will be accessed by Pano Logic zero clients. Key to the selection of Unidesk is its ability to enable Hoesch Schwerter Profile’s IT team to quickly create desktops, package and deliver the many different applications required by the company’s workers, and streamline and error-proof operating system patches and updates—all without adding complexity or additional infrastructure. Unidesk will be used to package the firm’s approximately 40 specialized applications, many of which are custom-built specifically for manufacturing and quality management, and which are difficult to package with traditional application virtualization tools. Unidesk will also preserve all of the employees’ user-installed applications, another requirement for Hoesch Schwerter Profile’s high-end workforce.
“We use standard office automation software, but we also have many different specialized software products, some that are used by hundreds of users and some by just two or three,” said Hoesch Schwerter Profile IT team leader Lars Vaupel. “It was becoming very costly and time-consuming customizing physical PCs to meet all of the different needs of our users. Moving to VDI and Unidesk gives us a much quicker and simpler way to ensure our workers have all the applications they need, whether they are packaged by us in IT or installed by the end users themselves. And with Unidesk layers, we know that no matter how customized or personalized the desktops get, we can still efficiently keep them patched, updated, and secured.”
With the combination of Unidesk, Pano Logic and VMware, the Hoesch Schwerter Profile IT team has created a more affordable, energy-efficient virtual desktop environment that can satisfy a wide variety of use cases, from technicians in production and specialists in distribution to management, administration and IT. Hoesch Schwerter Profile has over 530 employees, and is on track to roll out 300 virtual desktops this year.
Layering Technology Ideal for the Multi-Application Challenge
Unidesk VDI management software enables the Hoesch Schwerter Profile IT team to separate user desktops into independently manageable operating system, application, and personalization “layers,” making it easy to manage desktop diversity. Desktops having applications that are licensed for use by only one or two users can be managed from the same set of common layers as desktops that share a more standard set of applications.
Unidesk’s ability to share a single layer of Microsoft Windows and single layers of applications across many desktops has two important benefits. First, layer sharing greatly reduces VDI storage requirements—up to 70% based on Hoesch Schwerter Profile’s initial testing. Second, it greatly simplifies and error-proofs provisioning, patching, and application delivery, since a layer only has to be packaged or updated once, no matter how many desktops it has been assigned.
Because Unidesk uniquely supports a completely tailored user experience that goes beyond just profile settings, Hoesch Schwerter Profile employees will enjoy a “follow me” desktop experience complete with all of their own applications, plug-ins, and customizations.
“We think users will really enjoy the ability to have their own customized desktop at their fingertips, wherever they are working at the company, working from home, or traveling,” said Vaupel.
With a small IT staff that includes Vaupel as well as Axel Wieczorek, Üsref Özdemir and Uwe Niedbala, the Hoesch Schwerter Profile team is also counting on Unidesk to create virtual desktops that are easier to service.
In the past, installing a PC took 1-2 hours per machine, and with so many individual software applications that could require manual intervention, automated installation was often not practical. Repairing broken desktops could take two hours or longer for reinstallation, requiring downtime for users or a replacement PC.
“One of the Unidesk capabilities we see a great need for is the ability to rollback layers to repair desktops,” said Vaupel. “We have to give some of our engineers and other technical staff administrative rights to install their own applications, so it’s not uncommon for them to do damage to their desktops that is very time-consuming for our small IT team to fix. Unidesk’s ability to undo an end user’s destructive action without losing their data is going to be a big time-saver for us.”
In addition to enabling IT administrators to create separate read-only layers for operating systems and applications, Unidesk isolates all user changes in writable personalization layers, each of which is “snapshotted” and versioned at intervals set by the administrator. If an end user corrupts their desktop or finds that it is running slowly, administrators can rollback that desktop’s personalization layer to a previous snapshot to make a quick repair, without losing any of the user’s data.
Hoesch Schwerter Profile develops special steel profiles in close collaboration with individual users or branches of industry, including automobile, rail, material handling and construction. In contrast to the mass production of other suppliers, however, the Hoesch Schwerter Profile plants make custom steel profiles whose properties are determined according to each customer’s unique requirements.
“We develop a custom product, created by knowledge workers who require a custom desktop computing experience,” said Vaupel. “Our new virtual desktops based on Unidesk, Pano Logic and VMware are giving us the ability to affordably provide a custom desktop experience to our users, who will in turn provide a custom manufacturing experience to our customers.”
Unidesk® Corporation (www.unidesk.com) enables customers to centralize more desktops on data center servers and realize the full potential of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Unidesk’s patent-pending desktop layering technology works with VDI access solutions such as VMware View™ and Citrix® XenDesktop® to sustain all desktop customizations for end users, while enabling IT to provision and patch all desktops from a single set of shared operating system and application images. By creating uniquely personal, storage-efficient, and easy-to-manage virtual desktops on VMware infrastructure that can satisfy almost any use case, Unidesk VDI management software reduces desktop operations costs up to 30%, cuts VDI storage costs up to 70%, and fosters a more productive, agile workforce. Unidesk Corp. is a privately-held company with headquarters in Marlborough, Mass, USA.
VMware, VMware View, and VMware vSphere are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. Unidesk® is a registered trademark of Unidesk Corporation. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.