Brooke - Global Desktop
A multi-national animal charity approached us seeking advice on how to reduce their server provisioning costs across each branch satellite office.
Brooke operate in many countries across the globe including Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, Senegal and Kenya. In these diverse regional areas, it had become increasingly difficult for them to provide localised desktop support.
Providing software patches and upgrades across their entire IT estate had become a difficult and time-consuming problem. Issues had arisen due to a lack of desktop standardisation across their different offices causing difficulties with system upgrades. Sending IT staff out to the regional offices was also a costly exercise. Indeed, the total cost of ownership of their IT took up a high percentage of their turnover, which was not perceived as being the most effective way of using their charitable donations.
Faced with these challenges, Brooke turned to us to advise on the best approach to solving this problem.
What we did
At our first meeting, Brooke described their main drivers behind the project and reiterated their desire to subscribe to a scripted infrastructure which could be easily redeployed across their different regional offices. They were also keen to understand the projected cost model to support a much wider rollout.
Following the initial meeting, a set of critical success factors were defined for the project which included providing a cost effective, resilient to failure, highly performant and secure platform. This discovery workshop also helped to define the desktop gold image build and phasing for the project.
After careful consideration of the requirements, a solution was recommended to use the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.
Alscient’s Cloud Evangelist Carl Chalfont said, “The decision to recommend Amazon Web Services was an easy one. The depth and breadth of services enabled us to meet all of our client’s requirements within the one platform. A Remote Desktop Services solution was proposed that made use of a thin client architecture with a small footprint on the local devices. A gold image build was provided which was easy to extend and patch. Each branch office benefited from an infrastructure stack that was provisioned in an AWS region in close proximity to reduce latency lag. Additionally, to enable the client to be self-sufficient this infrastructure was provisioned via a series of CloudFormation scripts which enabled the client to automatically build and tear down environments as and when needed.”
AWS has enabled our client to lower their IT support and maintenance costs across their branch offices. This allows them to make better use of their charitable donations. The ability to quickly and easily use a gold image has also led to a more uniform desktop experience with increased productivity.
The system developed provides for an infrastructure stack in a region near the branch office. This provides for the best possible user experience with a low latency connection that minimises jitter and data transfer costs. The solution is also easy to scale to meet changing usage patterns.
A series of CloudFormation scripts have been provided which allows for new environments to be provisioned quickly and easily in different geographic regions. The build scripts also allow for version control and repeatable processes to be implemented which reduces our clients cost of failure.
Our client’s Head of IT explains, “The solution proposed and implemented by Alscient has enabled us to deliver a secure, performant, resilient and cost-effective solution to our global user base. As a charity, spending on the mission of the charity is of paramount importance. The ability to pay for the amount of resource we needed, aligned with the needs of the business and in line with global best practice for IT Service Management was an attractive proposition for us. Alscient have demonstrated the power and potential of the AWS platform. The ability to quickly deploy secure, robust, scalable and performant solutions will allow us to dedicate more of our resources to animal welfare while ensuring a high quality of service provision and support”.