Defence seeks virtualisation, thin client provider

Defence seeks virtualisation, thin client provider

The Department of Defence is calling for an overhaul of its desktop environments to centralised management across all end-users with system integration playing a major part


The Department of Defence (DoD) has launched an Invitation to Register Interest (IRI) for companies to transform its desktop environment to thin clients.

According to the DoD’s website, the goal of the Next Generation Desktop (NGD) project is to provide a simplified desktop experience for the user.

Delivery of the desktop services will be consolidated, virtualised and provided through thin-client architecture, the DoD posting stated.

“A multi-level security solution will be implemented, enabling users of both the DRN and DSN to access the required domain environment through a single hardware device, in a single session.”

The tender is the first of four phases the department will use to pick a suitable company or consortium to bring the new system on-board. Only companies that make submissions at this stage will be invited to proceed to the Request for Tender (RFT) phase.

“Defence is seeking a renewed desktop environment that delivers a reduction in hardware costs, an increase in the life of desktop hardware, improvement in existing desktop functionality and monitoring,” the tender document said. “Also support for datacentre consolidation and rationalisation of servers supporting desktop delivery and improvement in the utilisation of existing server resources.”

The DoD said it preferred a pure thin-client solution for all users that will be hosted in at least one centralised datacentre and less than 10 distributed consolidated datacentres.

“Defence appreciates that this approach may not be suitable for all user requirements and an alternative or hybrid thin/thick model may be required,” it said.

Mobile users must have the ability to run offline and have roaming user profiles, and graphic-intensive applications with 3D rendering must be supported along with surges in user demand.

System integration is also a major requirement of the project, as all components and modules of the solution need to be seamlessly combined with DoD systems. Systems engineers will be required to assist department staff and testing will be done throughout the process.

According to documents provided by the DoD, it has 115,000 desktops, 3000 servers, 95,000 users and 17,000 printers. Desktops are currently delivered to users through either a thick client device or a server-based computing (SBC) unit using Citrix XenApp 4.5.

A capability pilot will need to commence from early 2011 with an implementation commencing in 2011. A briefing session will be held on May 5 and the closing date is May 28.

The ITR evaluation is expected to be completed by late June. For the tender documents and information, click here.

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Tags desktop virtualisationCitrixthin clientsdepartment of defence

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