Morehead Memorial Hospital Selects Unidesk to Expand Desktop Virtualization Program and Realize VDI’s Full Potential
Morehead Memorial Hospital of Eden, N.C., has selected Unidesk® as the desktop provisioning and application delivery platform for its VMware®-based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with the aim of making VDI better suited for the wide range of workers across the main hospital, nursing home, physician practices, and cancer and diagnostic centers. Unidesk will be integrated with VMware View™, forming an increasingly popular combination that helps healthcare IT staff spend more time focusing on optimizing processes and use of health system applications to benefit staff, customers and patients, and less time worrying about patching and updating desktops, delivering applications, and securing patient information.
According to Geoff Lawson, CIO at Morehead Memorial Hospital, the hospital needed new computers and planned to implement them following a recent capital expansion. "We decided to go with virtual desktops because we didn’t want to perpetuate the PC management nightmare at the endpoints," Lawson said, referring to the high operational expense typically associated with the total cost of PC ownership. “But as we got deeper into VDI, we realized that application delivery, gold image management, and user customization would still be challenges. We selected Unidesk to address these challenges and make our new VDI environment easier to manage and support than our old PCs.”
Unidesk will extend Morehead’s virtual desktops to doctors, nurses and other employees who require a "persistent" desktop capable of sustaining user customizations, while giving the hospital’s IT team the storage savings and single image management benefits of non-persistent desktops. Morehead will also benefit from Unidesk’s ability to centrally package and deliver the wide range of applications used in the organization, including specialized applications such as MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR) solution, as well as scanner, printer, and camera device drivers and other applications traditional application virtualization tools cannot deliver.
Industry analyst firm Gartner contends that the growth of hosted virtual desktops in the healthcare provider industry hinges on the market’s ability to support this use case and application diversity, among other things. “With the continued automation of the healthcare delivery organization’s clinical and business IT environment, particularly the EHR, hosted virtual desktop deployments will help simplify, secure and streamline access. Hosted virtual desktops will appeal to healthcare providers on the basis of ease of deployment, manageability and data security. Within the next few years, most healthcare providers will exploit some form of desktop virtualization technology in an ongoing effort to make their client-computing environments more manageable, reliable and secure,” said Gartner Healthcare Provider Research VP Barry Runyon.
Morehead Memorial Hospital Looks to Unidesk Layering
With 1,000 employees and long range plans for approximately 700 virtual desktops, Morehead Memorial Hospital is implementing VDI to be more agile, and adapt faster to the ever-changing needs of its patients and employees. VDI users will include roaming doctors and nurses, office workers, administrators and IT professionals, all accessing clinical and non-clinical applications from a range of devices, such as nursing stations, kiosks, "workstations on wheels," laptops and more.
Like many healthcare organizations, Morehead’s desktop computing environment is also highly varied, with different groups of users requiring unique combinations of applications. Lawson said, "Because of the different applications and permutations needed by our user base, the idea of a standard virtual desktop was quickly blown out of the water."
Unidesk layering technology offers the VDI flexibility and simplicity Morehead was seeking. With Unidesk, the hospital IT staff can create custom desktops for individuals or groups from common sets of operating system and application layers. Because these IT-controlled base layers are shared, operating system and application patches and fixes can be made once and delivered simultaneously to all desktops. Applications needed on an ad-hoc basis by small groups of users can be delivered centrally as an IT-controlled application layer with the same effort previously required to install the application once on a regular desktop. Even drivers for shared printers, scanners and other devices can be packaged and delivered as Unidesk layers. Since Unidesk desktops can be non-persistent or persistent, IT also has the option of installing ad hoc applications directly on a user’s desktop.
Because most PCs at the hospital today are "locked down,” the IT department anticipates that Unidesk virtual desktops will enable greater flexibility in the type of applications users will be able to run, as well as faster response to user needs. Unidesk will also deliver the “follow-me” desktop experience workers have been requesting, since they’ll now be able to resume working on their customized desktop session from any device in any location.
"Unidesk layering will give us greater control over the operating system and centrally managed applications, plus, the desktop persistence offered by the Unidesk personalization layer will give our users an even better desktop experience than they’re used to having. Our IT staff will no longer be a bottleneck to the departmental or one-off apps needed by just a few users, since users will be able to install what they need themselves," Lawson said.
Unidesk will also aid in the support of the hospital’s help desk by arming support staff with "rollback and repair" capabilities should users introduce desktop problems with their configurations.
Morehead Memorial Hospital will begin rolling out Unidesk this month. The tight integration between Unidesk and VMware View and VMware vCenter, through which Unidesk dynamically creates and configures virtual desktops and automatically adds them to VMware View pools, is expected to ease implementation.
Unidesk Corporation (www.unidesk.com) enables customers to centralize more desktops on data center servers and realize the full potential of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Unidesk® desktop management software for VDI is the easiest way to create, patch, personalize, and support VMware vSphere-hosted desktops and deliver applications for organizations with use case diversity. By using Unidesk’s patent-pending desktop layering technology with Citrix® XenDesktop®, VMware View™, and other VDI access solutions, customers can expand VDI to more users, reduce desktop operations costs up to 30%, cut VDI storage costs up to 70%, and foster a more productive, agile workforce. Unidesk Corp. is a privately-held company with headquarters in Marlborough, Mass, USA