The technology portfolio included VMware View, Atlantis Computing ILIO storage optimization software, and LiquidwareLabs ProfileUnity user virtualization and profile management product. GreenPages also contributed insight into the ins and outs of software licensing, proper hardware configuration and specialized third-party products. "They were able to recommend an entire suite of both hardware and software products to meet our needs," Poulin says.
Francis Czekalski, senior enterprise consultant at GreenPages, says the Mid Coast project was challenging due to the number of unknowns. For example, GreenPages didn't know what the I/O profile was going to be for the virtual desktops. Atlantis' storage optimization product, however, helped mitigate that risk, according to Czekalski, who proposed ILIO as part of the initial VDI design.
Seth Knox, director of marketing at Atlantis, says VDI has had a long history of storage challenges, noting that the cost and/or performance of storage have prevented installations from scaling toward the 1,000-user mark.
Tip: Understanding Storage Costs for Desktop Virtualization
The ILIO software, Poulin adds, lets Mid Coast avoid the boot storms that can occur when large numbers of users simultaneously log in to their virtual desktops-at the start of the workday, for instance. I/O issues can also occur during antivirus scans and patching, but it hasn't been an issue for Mid Coast, he says. "Even over low-bandwidth WAN links, we have no issue with booting at all or performance."
Another uncertainty, Czekalski says, stemmed from the fact that, while most of the hospital's applications would work in a VDI setting, there was some uncertainty regarding a couple specialized medical apps. In those cases, GreenPages's virtualization experience, coupled with Mid Coasts insight into its own applications, provided a workaround.
In one example, the partners worked together to tweak the hospital's CPSI electronic medical record system. Czekalski says GreenPages and Mid Coast collaborated to modify configuration files through scripts to get the application to work properly in a virtualized environment. "Their knowledge of the app was critical," he says. "It was a true team effort."