FC Utrecht: Zero Client Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
"In a modern, open-plan office, this space-saving solution is ideal"
Ronald Jurriens Marketing, Communication & PR Director, FC Utrecht
In 1970, the three football clubs in Utrecht, The Netherlands - DOS, Elinkwijk and Velox - merged to form FC Utrecht, which is based in the Galgenwaard Stadium. As a ‘club of the people’, it is an environment that exudes a passion for football in everything it does.
The workstation environment at FC Utrecht had grown over the years, so that uniformity was not always possible. Each user had a ‘fixed’ workstation where data was stored locally, which could not be backed up automatically. The workstation environment at FC Utrecht had also become outdated and because of this and the diversity of equipment, maintenance and support was becoming very time-consuming.
FC Utrecht decided that the time had come to replace the workstations with a uniform environment, which would also give users more opportunity to work from home. The club also wanted to achieve a more professional image. The workstations looked untidy with machines and cables on, underneath and next to the desks.
In short, FC Utrecht wanted to implement a renewal process, both in terms of IT and the appearance of its workplace. The world of sport is dynamic and, in this dynamic world, it is important for FC Utrecht to provide flexible workplaces and to focus more consciously on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The requirements that FC Utrecht had for the new IT environment could be summed up in two words: flexibility and scalability. The administrative burden had to be reduced, with a clear CSR component. Sustainability and energy efficiency were therefore important elements on the list of requirements. As Rene Vermeend says: “We wanted a flexible and scalable IT environment, with which we could also make a certain amount of savings. We wanted to achieve the latter goal by opting for sustainable, energy-saving equipment.”
After identifying FC Utrecht’s needs, requirements and wishes, Fujitsu and its partner CARDS ICT, came up with the solution: the Fujitsu Zero Client. The benefits of the Zero Client include central management of the workstation, scalability and ease of deployment. In addition, the IT environment is easier to control because each user workstation is uniform. With the Zero Client, all data is centralized, so that a backup is always available and there is no local data any more, which means that unexpected data losses can be prevented.
Kevin Verkruijsen, System Administrator at FC Utrecht, says: “Previously, the administrative burden was much greater; now I can manage all the workstations from one place. This means that I have time to devote to other important projects and activities.”
The Zero Client appeared suitable for most of the employees at FC Utrecht. There were some exceptions who were not provided with the Zero Client, such as those members of staff who use multimedia applications. The Zero Client is based on a central Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Viewing multimedia is quite possible, but for editing video images, for example, it is better to use a graphics workstation. In the near future, Fujitsu will be testing whether the employees with specific applications, such as the BOCA printer, might also be able to work with the Zero Client.
CARDS took care of the implementation of the Zero Client at FC Utrecht. It started by making an inventory of the requirements for the workstation environment. This involved creating a definition of the uniform workstation that would be ideal for all users. Subsequently, CARDS, together with the administrator at FC Utrecht, created a Golden Image (a master containing the operating system plus all the standard applications needed by each user) of the uniform workstation. Each user was to be provided with a copy of the Golden Image. Once this was definitive and had been tested, the actual rollout could begin.
The rollout itself proceeded without any problems at all, screens were installed and users activated, after which the system could be switched on. Sabien Bleijenberg, Events Manager, describes her first impression: “I really loved the wide screen! Of course, I had to get used to different programs and things like that, but that didn’t take too long.”
The benefits of using the Zero Client were:
- A clean desk
- Flexibility within the work location (active sessions can be ‘taken with you’ to other workstations, by logging in with individual login details)
- Internal communication (faster and better coordination between members of staff)
Sabien Bleijenberg continues: “In Marketing, we are now much more mobile and can develop things ourselves. We can do much more with Photoshop, etc. Whereas in the past we had to put everything into words, we can now often quickly communicate ideas in a sketch. That’s a huge benefit for myself and my colleagues!”
Cost-effective and Socially Responsible
In the past, the employees’ PCs at FC Utrecht were left on day and night, with at best only the screens being switched off. In this new environment, the session remains active on the server, but energy consumption falls because the Zero Client goes into standby mode. This allows FC Utrecht to make savings on energy costs. Rene Vermeend, Account Manager, says: “The sustainability of our equipment in the workplace has increased and our energy consumption has also fallen.”
The administrative burden has been reduced to managing one workstation, so that FC Utrecht’s efficiency requirements have been achieved with the Zero Client. In addition, the solution is space-saving, the desks are tidier and FC Utrecht now has a professional office environment. Thanks to these changes, the working environment is now a lot more pleasant for the club’s employees. A good working environment is necessary to be able to work efficiently and effectively, with good results.
“The ideal computer for the dynamic world of football. Flexible and fast working is now an everyday reality!” says Sabien Bleijenberg.
“It looks slick and it’s fast and user-friendly. A very attractive workstation,” says Ronald Jurriens, Marketing, Communication & PR Director.
“I find the flexible and rapid way of working with the Zero Client to be ideal. An additional workstation can now be added in no time at all!”
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$54 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com
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