Case study: Thin clients for worker bees

Case study: Thin clients for worker bees

When Red Bee Media moved from Haymarket in central Sydney to its new headquarters in Rosebery at the start of 2009, it was time to completely refresh its architecture. It decided to go with virtualisation, and appointed Woodbridge IT to implement the solution. Senior consultant at Woodbridge IT, Jason Dinsdale, said the media company wanted to bring across as little legacy desktop infrastructure as possible.

“Red Bee inherited the offices through the acquisition of the Australian Captioning Centre,” he said. “They built a large datacentre facility out at Rosebery and took the opportunity to clean slate the architecture. The situation prior to the move was that users would have at least two desktops on their desks, and from a management perspective that was quite painful.”

The details

The scope of the implementation is significant, and resulted in 80 desktop environments being delivered from four ESX host servers running a virtualised datacentre infrastructure. The desktops were made accessible to users through Wyse V10L thin client terminals. For a solution of this size, Woodbridge IT decided VMware View would better address the client’s needs.

“While VDM is a good platform, much like all other connection brokers in the market at the time, it suffered from the achilles heel of storage – the storage requirement was significant, so the disc requirements can become expensive,” Dinsdale said.

“VMware View 3 allowed the administrators to create a single desktop image, and then simply rollout a refresh of that image. To achieve the same thing with traditional desktop imaging, you’d you need to treat them as traditional desktops when it came to patching, so there is a time saving involved as well, and it’s reduced the number of desktops on a user’s desk to a single client.”

For Woodbridge IT, the other benefit View 3 offered was the ability to quickly provision a new full clone desktop. Red Bee is now able to provision a new clone desktop in three minutes, and link-clone desktops in 15 seconds.

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