Qld community service calls licensing lifeline

Third-party software saves the day

A desire to curb licence costs has driven Lifeline Community Care Queensland, a community services organization, to deploy an application management suite restricting client access to hosted software.

Lifeline, an agency of Uniting Care Queensland, provides community services ranging from disability support programs to home-based counselling for families.

With about 600 client devices on its network, Lifeline needed to maintain control of its software licences which, having implemented a Citrix thin-client environment, were "set to blow-out", according to the company.

Lifeline's IT manager Peter Spence said for applications that fall outside the standard operating environment, typical licensing agreements require that in a thin-client environment there be a licence for each client with access to the application's server.

"This meant that when we came to rolling out Microsoft Project, for example, we would have needed to purchase 600 licences as opposed to only 30, which is the number of people who would actually be using the product," Spence said.

To work around this problem, Lifeline deployed the AppSense Management Suite and by using its Application Manager created an application limit for Microsoft Project, restricting it to the IP addresses of specific users' client devices.

"The result was that we were able to place Project on a Citrix server yet fully satisfy Microsoft's licensing requirements for only 30 users," Spence said. "While it can be looked at as providing a licence cost saving of several thousand dollars, in reality it was the difference between being able to introduce the software and not being able to because of costs."

Other Microsoft applications deployed on AppSense include Exchange, IIS, and Office. Lifeline has 13 Citrix servers and over 600 thin clients.

Lifeline is also using AppSense's Intelligent Process Management technology to control and balance the allocation of processor and memory resources across its Citrix server farm.

Spence said the AppSense software delivers more consistent application response times and helps guarantee a "positive Citrix experience" across the network.

"Given the often sporadic number of users that can be online at any given time this is important," he said.

"The fact that we're able to address the key issues of system security, performance and management from a single console is an enormous advantage in any effort to reduce the overheads that come with managing a complex IT environment."

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