City of Barcelona Consolidates VDI with Windows Server 2012

The City of Barcelona is using Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to consolidate its existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), based on VMware and Citrix Server, and give employees a better user experience.

By Sophie Curtis
Mon, October 08, 2012

Techworld — The City of Barcelona is using Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to consolidate its existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), based on VMware and Citrix Server, and give employees a better user experience.

Slideshow: Windows Server 2012 Highlights

According to Edwin Yuen, director for virtualisation and cloud strategy at Microsoft, the City of Barcelona first decided to adopt Windows Server in order to accelerate its upgrade to Windows 7. In the end, however, the organisation decided to skip Windows 7 and go straight to Windows 8.

Using Windows Server 2012, the City of Barcelona claims it will be able to save six months of deployment time as it upgrades 2,500 users to Windows 8, equating to roughly 100,000 (APS80,325) in savings.

The organisation is beginning with a pilot involving 200 users, and expects to expand this to 1,000 users in the next few months. The migration of the final 1,500 users is expected to be completed over four years.

All the Windows Server 2012 productivity services (including Microsoft Lync, Sharepoint and Exchange) will be implemented using Hyper-V, and Windows Server 2012 will also enable employees to use graphic-intensive applications that were previously difficult to access.

"Even on local desktops, without the horsepower and the large graphics card, operations (involving) manipulation (of) graphics could take a long time," said Yuen. "With the new RemoteFX and RDP technologies that are available within Windows Server 2012, they can actually get better application performance when using a VDI system."

Yuen said that Windows Server 2012 also provides the City of Barcelona with a more secure environment within VDI than it had previously.

"They have the ability to segment out the data access and server shares, and they can also give contract programmers access to servers behind the firewall. So there are some flexibility options in terms of maintaining their environment and providing access to it," he said.

The organisation is also looking into using some BitLocker enhancements on Windows Server 2012, to improve data protection, he said.

"Traditionally we've had Bitlocker on a client, but now we're looking at Bitlocker on the servers, because there's still issues with data theft and data loss, so protecting a lot of sensitive data that is being stored in the data centre is also something they can do within Windows Server 2012."

Eduard Martin, chief of technology innovation in the City of Barcelona's IT department said that the migration will enable more employees to work from home and give them more flexibility.

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