Reducing costs and improving services
26 July 2015
The current economic climate is placing UK councils under severe pressure to reduce operating costs year on year while delivering better services in the community and making it easier for employees to work more efficiently.
One way to achieve this objective is to make better use of IT resources to improve and enhance the delivery of services internally and to the public. As part of this trend, councils are starting to consider new approaches that can minimise ongoing operating costs, reduce carbon emissions and support mobile working.
In a bid to get more from its IT infrastructure, Bath & North East Somerset Council started to examine the possibility of deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) as part of a wide -ranging cost reduction programme.
The objective was to deliver a consistent, high performance centralised desktop environment across all its sites and enable employees to work productively from any office or from home. VDI would also allow employees to work more effectively in the community by connecting them remotely to its systems using tablet devices.
But in order to make their VDI implementation work with its existing storage area network (SAN) and meet the storage capacity for two data centres and more than 30 terabytes of data in a virtualised environment, the council faced the prospect of spending a prohibitive amount of money to buy 250 new disks.
The council looked at Atlantis Computing’s software defined storage (SDS) solution to overcome the council’s difficulties.
Not only was the Atlantis solution scalable and flexible, it also promised to deliver year-on-year savings. The council decided to deploy the Atlantis software to underpin the virtual desktops being installed at its new administrative headquarters and across five other main offices and 70 remote sites.
Using the scalable solution allows the council to run 1,500 concurrent virtual desktops with its existing attached storage, saving on the cost of the 250 disks required by the SAN. In addition to faster-than-PC performance, near-instant application launch and super-fast login times, the solution has saved the council more than 100 hours a year in storage management time.
It has also lowered the organisation’s carbon footprint because of the reduced power and cooling requirements. It has enabled the council to start replacing its PCs, which consume 200-300 watts, with 7-11 watt thin clients that are cheaper to purchase and run.
Overall, Atlantis Computing has delivered savings of 50 per cent compared with traditional storage and reduced the council’s entire projected storage capital expenditure.
Leighton Ballard, IT Projects Manager at Bath & North East Somerset Council, says: “We are really proud of what we have achieved here. VDI will help the council operate more cost effectively and deliver more efficient services for citizens.”
David Cumberworth, Vice President of EMEA, Atlantis Computing says: “Bath and North East Somerset Council has transformed its IT goals. The organisation has a consistent high performance desktop environment across all of its sites, which enables employees to work productively from any office, from home and out in the field. Atlantis technology is the perfect solution to underpin the council’s services while reducing long-term costs and simplifying the management of the storage infrastructure.”
“Industry trends such as server-based computing that leverages direct-attached storage (DAS), including hyperconverged architectures, the high growth rate of the Software-Defined Storage (SDS) market, and an ability to accommodate the heterogeneity of 3rd Platform computing environments will push enterprises of all sizes to evaluate the value that Atlantis brings to the table.” — IDC, 2015
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