Industry Government
Date May 2023
Group of scientists

Remodernising & cost-optimising Government infrastructure with AVD

Executive Summary

This case study focuses on cubesys’ successful implementation of an Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) solution for a large government department in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The department had been utilizing a mixture of legacy Citrix environments on-premises as well as several AWS Workspaces, which was becoming outdated and costly. Seeking to modernise their infrastructure, reduce expenses, and enhance performance, the department collaborated with cubesys to migrate more than 200 applications to AVD. The project also involved setting up high-performance compute workloads for engineers, scientists and other personnel requiring resource-intensive tasks.  

The Customer

The government department had been relying on a disparate AWS Workspaces solution and an aging Citrix environment, which posed significant challenges in terms of cost, stability, and limited scalability. Additionally, the department lacked feasible options for modernising their applications, leading to the decision to shift to AVD. cubesys, in partnership with the department’s Workspace Technology Manager of Corporate Services, took on the responsibility of executing the AVD migration and addressing the unique requirements of the project.

Project Overview

The AVD implementation project aimed to replace the existing AWS & Citrix environments with a modern and cost-effective solution. The primary objectives were as follows: 

  1. Migrate over 200 applications: cubesys successfully migrated the department’s diverse application portfolio to Azure Virtual Desktop, ensuring compatibility, performance, and seamless access for end-users. 
  2. Enable high-performance compute workloads: To cater to the needs of engineers, scientists and personnel requiring resource-intensive tasks, cubesys provisioned a series of powerful virtual workstations. These servers offered high memory, CPU, and GPU capabilities, allowing both in-office and remote access to high-performance compute. 
  3. Proof of Concept (PoC) environment: Initially, a PoC environment was established to validate the feasibility and benefits of AVD. Based on positive feedback, the department opted for a full-scale implementation. 

Implementation Details

The AVD implementation involved meticulous planning, collaboration, and technical expertise. Key components of the project included: 

  1. Lift and shift approach: Due to the aging nature and large volume of applications, cubesys had to adopt a lift and shift strategy for remote app workloads. This involved migrating the existing applications to AVD without significant modifications, as there were limited options for modernisation. 
  2. Scalability with Nerdio: Leveraging the power of Nerdio, cubesys not only optimised the cost of the AVD platform, but also empowered end-users with the ability to scale up or down their virtual machines (VMs) on-demand. This provided flexibility and optimized resource utilization based on individual requirements. 
  3. CloudClarity for proper show-back and cost analysis: To facilitate accurate cost allocation and internal costing, cubesys implemented CloudClarity for AVD. This allowed the department to effectively track and allocate usage, enabling transparent chargeback to departments or individual users based on their AVD consumption. 

Benefits and Outcomes

The AVD implementation project delivered numerous benefits to the government department, including: 

  1. Cost savings: By eliminating the expensive Citrix environment and adopting AVD, the department significantly reduced infrastructure costs while benefiting from Azure’s pay-as-you-go model. The implementation also enabled proper chargeback, ensuring departments and users were accountable for their consumption. 
  2. Enhanced stability and performance: AVD offered a stable and robust environment for accessing applications, improving user experience and productivity. The high-performance compute workloads catered to scientists and other users with demanding requirements, enabling efficient data processing and analysis. 
  3. Scalability and flexibility: The implementation empowered end-users to scale their VMs as needed, avoiding resource constraints during peak periods. The cloud-based nature of AVD allowed seamless remote access, facilitating flexibility and enabling productivity from any location. 

Conclusion

cubesys successfully replaced an aging and costly Citrix environment with an Azure Virtual Desktop solution for a government department in NSW. By migrating approximately 200 applications and implementing high-performance compute workloads, cubesys addressed the department’s requirements for stability, performance, and scalability. Leveraging Nerdio and CloudClarity, the implementation further enabled flexible resource allocation and accurate cost allocation. Ultimately, the AVD project resulted in substantial cost savings, enhanced stability, and improved productivity for the department, making it a remarkable success in modernising their infrastructure.  It didn’t finish there. With AVD in place, the government department now has a toolbox of capabilities to quickly and effectively respond to business requirements, such as contracter workers, security desktops, and much more.  Today 12 distinct solutions are being provided to the business from the one AVD platform.  

By leveraging the power of AVD, we were able to deliver cost savings, enhanced stability, and improved productivity. This project showcases our commitment to modernising infrastructure and providing innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients. We are thrilled to have supported the department in their journey towards a more efficient and scalable technology environment.

Paul Heaton, CEO of cubesys