ABS prepares for desktop virtualization

Moving 3650 users to thin clients

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is preparing for a move away from thick clients, going to market to seek a hypervisor solution that can deliver virtual desktops to 3650 users through Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop.

The tender issued by the ABS requires integration with XenDesktop 7.1, XenApp 7.5, Provisioning Services 7 and StoreFront 2.1, as well as support for enhanced graphics capabilities through GPU pass through, emulation or sharing.

The ABS currently has a fleet of PCs and notebooks running Windows 7, Lotus Notes 8.5, Microsoft Office 2010 and Symantec Endpoint Protection.

The agency also has a fleet of iPads but is intending to implement a bring-your-own-device scheme in the future. In January, the organisation issued a tender for mobility management software.

The move to VDI fits with the organisation's "virtualisation first" policy. The organisation currently uses VMware vSphere to host more than 2000 virtual servers. Another 150 virtual servers are used in a private vCloud environment.

"With approximately 95 per cent virtualisation, all of the mission-critical database and analytical processing environments including Domino, Oracle, SAS, JBoss, .Net and Java executables, and Web site/Internet Gateway, operate in the virtual environment," states the ABS document, last updated in January, outlining its ICT environment.

The organisation has "opportunistically" embraced cloud, including SaaS applications for recruitment and travel booking.

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