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AST and IECISA have deployed 1000 customised virtual desktops for the Regional Government of Aragon




AST and IECISA have deployed 1000 customised virtual desktops for the Regional Government of Aragon
Aragonesa de Servicios Telemáticos, AST, has placed its trust in IECISA to guarantee operational continuity during the Covid-19 lockdown

Security, scalability and agile deployment, the keys to successful virtual desktops

  • AST and the technology consultancy IECISA have deployed 1000 customised virtual desktops for three departments at the Regional Government of Aragon: Agriculture, Employment and General Administration.
  • The project was successfully developed in record time using WorkSpaces from Amazon Web Services

Zaragoza, 8 May 2020. With practically its entire staff working remotely because of the measures adopted to halt the pandemic, the company Aragonesa de Servicios Telemáticos (AST) called on IECISA to expand the homeworking option available to public employees by adopting a virtual desktop solution to ensure its operational continuity.

Under these circumstances AST, the instrumental resource and technical service for the public authorities of the Autonomous Region of Aragon and its dependent public bodies, needed a rapid development tailored to its directory. "We needed to deliver the homeworking solutions we already had on a larger scale," explains Óscar Torrero, Director of Technology and Systems at AST, “and this project was both feasible and fast: in the first week we already had a highly acceptable prototype, and by the following week we had managed to integrate our directory based on open-source software".

AST needed guaranteed security for its workstations and access both to its own applications and corporate directories, and also shared storage facilities. The scalability of the workstations without any restriction on performance, the simplicity of deployment in terms of both creating stations and distributing them among users, and appropriate availability and support with an immediate response to incidents, were among the other fundamental needs for the project. All delivered through a pay-per-use model.

In this case,” specifies Marisa Moreno, Head of Cloud at IECISA, “we opted for the solution provided by Amazon Web Services through their WorkSpaces service, a solution which is quick to implement, but sufficiently flexible to fulfil the needs of our client, AST. WorkSpaces provides one VDI per user, with access via a secured client. It uses a lightweight streaming module which allows the screen to be transferred to the user's device, receiving the user's input so that all of the processing is performed outside the machine that the user is working with".

In response to these requirements the IECISA architects created a VPC to host WorkSpaces, connected via a VPN to the corporate environment used by AST to serve the Government of Aragon. “This allows WorkSpaces to access the shared applications data, enabling the use of all corporate applications as if the user were at their regular workstation," explains Marisa Moreno.

Because one of the client's requirements was to be able to use its own corporate applications, have access to its directory, and be able to use the shared storage facilities that users were familiar with. The deployment took place in just a few days, and the solution has offered practically complete usability. Over 1000 virtual desktops for the Agriculture, Institute of Employment and General Administration staff of the Government of Aragon, who, Óscar Torrero confirms, have access to all their day-to-day tools as if they were at the office: “The public officials, who contributed a great deal to the success of the project through their attitude and ability to adapt, are giving it a highly satisfactory rating".

This is a solution that they will probably keep in place, AST adds, "because we have realised that homeworking is just as effective and just as efficient, and maybe much more productive".

The new generation of virtual desktops requires no prior capacity analysis, advance acquisition of components, or the installation of an operating system if the user does not want this. Nor is there any need to set up networks, VPNs or additional security arrangements at the host workstation, as has been the case until very recently. "A virtual desktop deployment can now be as simple as sending a link to log on from a mobile or tablet, or from a traditional desktop device," IECISA confirms. 

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