March 30, 2010, 9:24 PM — Boston Financial Investment Management is a national leader in the low-income housing tax credit industry, with a proven track record in syndication services as well as asset and portfolio management. To keep pace with its customers' demands, the company needed a secure way to make its homegrown applications accessible to its 150 employees in the field and in the office.
Boston Financial called our team at Staples Network Services to install a virtualization solution and secure VPN to improve access to the company's internal software from virtually anywhere and on any system with an Internet connection.
The Old Way
Prior to calling Staples Network Services, Boston Financial's users would leave their workplace systems powered on and connect to them remotely over the company's VPN. This solution was unstable and would occasionally fail. The previous VPN solution was cumbersome for employees and provided no access for external vendors. Desktops would need to be set up and restricted one-by-one for any third party accessing the network. In addition, each workstation's power settings would need to be configured to keep the system powered on 24/7. Doing so used significantly more power than a typical 9-to-5 workload.
The New Way
To provide a stable configuration of a workstation to both remote internal employees as well as external vendors requiring access to Boston Financial's applications and networks, we selected VMware View 4.0. The View implementation provides a centrally managed, on-demand solution allowing users the flexibility they need while allowing IT to control costs and increase availability. VMware View's linked clone technology allows IT staff to manage a single instance of the image and push down changes and updates to the clones efficiently.
The latest release of View 4.0 is currently deployed on a three-host ESX 4.0 Update 1 cluster consisting of HP ProLiant DL380 G6 servers with 72GB of RAM, and data is served by a Dell EqualLogic SAN over iSCSI. Remote users access the system through a SonicWALL SSL VPN.