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Virtual desktops help to reduce operating costs and simplify administration as standard. However, the company additionally required access to Windows NT and creation of various types of users, which the Sun Ray solution in the form of thin clients could also manage.
The organization was using an outdated and unreliable infrastructure based on OPX/SPX communication protocols. Lack of centralized backup and the unreliability of applications led to a heavy workload of administrators. The organization was using conventional PCs with MS Windows XP as end stations for their employees, and a Novel Netware server for data sharing. User authentication and access control to data and applications was ensured by Windows NT.
In the first phase of the solution, the communication infrastructure was changed to the TCP/IP protocol family. The Novel Netware server was removed and the Windows NT domain controller was replaced with a Linux server and Samba. The most important applications were then transferred to Sun Fire servers running Solaris.
In the next phase, conventional PCs were gradually replaced with Sun Ray thin clients Sun Fire with Solaris OS and Sun Fire X2100 with Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server OS. Since the organization uses a large number of applications that are exclusively available for MS Windows, MS servers with Windows 2003 were set up. The applications run on these servers and they can be remotely accessed via Citrix Presentation Server. Controlled user access to these applications is ensured by the Raydesk 2.0 desktop environment. Based on the existing structure of company processes, four types of application profiles were developed - Normal, Administrator, Extern and Intern.
With centralized management the cost of operation is lower. Sun Ray terminals require no maintenance or upgrade, and compared to a conventional PC they have ten times lower power consumption. Transition to Linux/Solaris also eliminates viruses, malware, rootkits, etc., therefore they prove to be an ideal alternative to PCs. Raydesk desktop environment allows users to access only selected applications according to their position. Administrators can collectively add or remove applications for an entire group of users, without the need to visit them individually.