The Chamber of Crafts for Lower Franconia has not only continuously expanded in recent years its range of services, but also the IT infrastructure has greatly evolved: the user can access their entire user desktop with all applications from anywhere - even with an Apple iPad. Desktop virtualization with Citrix technology makes it possible.
The Chamber of Crafts for Lower Franconia, headquartered in Würzburg is in charge of around 18,500 member companies with about 88,500 employees. The organization represents the concerns of the Lower Franconian craftsmen in politics and the public, including statutory tasks that have been entrusted to it by the state. These include the regulation of auditing and guiding the craft roll. In addition, the Chamber of Trade supports its members with tailored advice and various services. The range of services covers all aspects of everyday operations - from A to Z as a labor environment. Also in the field of education and training is the chamber of crafts entrepreneurs, workers and apprentices and young people and their parents with advice and practical help. In three training centers, three academies and a smaller training facility in Bad Neustadt / Saale, it offers numerous courses and seminars.
Due to the various tasks of the Chamber of Crafts, the demands on the IT infrastructure have continually risen over the past years. "Today, we must provide our employees with a wide range of different applications available - and not only in the office but increasingly also outside the network," says Matthias Öhrlein, System Administrator of the Chamber of Crafts for Lower Franconia. "Our employees are often in the field on the go, and expect to be able to access their IT work with mobile devices or from home."
The first user group for which the IT department needed a flexible access solution, however, was different: In the context of inter-company training, the Chamber of Crafts for external teacher had to establish a secure access to documents and specific applications. "Our external trainers should have the opportunity, among other things, e-mail and Office programs to use on their teacher PCs," explains the system administrator. "However, their users' desktops should be completely disconnected from the network management of the Chamber of Crafts." Therefore, the organization built a small Citrix XenApp environment in their datacenter, via which the applications were asked for teachers centrally available. The applications had not locally installed on PCs for will users - the instructors could instead flexible access from any computer on their work environment.
"We quickly realized that this approach opens up enormous possibilities," says Matthias Öhrlein. "Together with our IT partner net2net, we therefore extended the area for additional user groups and access scenarios." With Citrix Access Gateway and a token-based authentication solution for secure an infrastructure web access was realized. Users log in simply via an Internet browser with username, password and a one-time code at its user workstation - and can then work as usual with their applications and data. The Access Gateway encrypts the background all communication between terminal and server. "With this solution we now were able users such as the management, the business managers or other executives to provide the complete IT workstation wherever they are available," says Matthias Öhrlein. "Concerned about the security of confidential data, we must not make. The applications and data does not leave in the Citrix architecture, the datacenter - the same access to our internal systems is secure multi-level."
Next, the Chamber of Crafts built with support from net2net the Citrix environment to a complete desktop virtualization platform.The existing XenApp licenses were exchanged to as part of the Citrix Trade-Up program in XenDesktop licenses. The aim of the IT department was to operate even more centralized applications and IT jobs. XenDesktop provides to the FlexCast technology a whole range of different methods for the virtualized application and desktop deployment.
For specific technical applications and applications that can not run in a Terminal Server-based environment, you taught for example VDI desktops a datacenter. Each desktop is running in its own virtual machine on a server - so individual system and user requirements could be mapped flexibly. At the same time, the approach also supports the centralized management of desktop images and applications. All desktops rely on a central master image, the individual applications are brought on the application streaming technology from XenDesktop safely and efficiently on the desktop. Since each application the Application streaming is performed in an isolated environment, application conflicts are nearly impossible on the virtual desktop.
"With the VDI technology we were able to virtualize desktops for other user groups," explains the system administrator. Now, for example, also have our consultants or the quality manager of the road or from home to access their complete IT workstation and can use applications such as our document and knowledge management system flexibly at any time."
The IT department of the Handwerkskammer Unterfranken supported with their virtualization strategy not only a variety of applications and desktop types - but also a growing variety of devices. So come around next to PCs and notebooks now some Apple iPads in the organization to use. Tablet computers and smartphones are now playing an increasingly important role in the services offered by the Chamber of Crafts. In support of craft businesses in the region, the organization recently two innovative apps for Android and iOS based devices are available - the craftsman-radar and radar apprenticeships.
About the apprenticeship app to find in their environment and create a free profile candidates teenagers on their smartphone after free apprenticeships or internships. The craftsman radar helps mobile search for qualified craftsmen and allows prospective customers to make direct contact with the companies. Both apps rely on the current data of the Chamber of Crafts and can be downloaded for free in the App Store of Apple and Google.
Employees of the Chamber of Trade must be familiar with the operation of Apps and operation demonstrate again and again - for example at trade fairs or in the framework of consultations. Therefore, the IT department procured ten Apple iPads for its own users. On the tablet computers in the Citrix Receiver is installed in addition, enables the secure access to virtual desktops and applications in the XenDesktop environment.
From a technical perspective the integration of iPads was perfectly straightforward in corporate IT. After installing the Citrix Receiver, administrators had yet only access to the Access Gateway to configure. The iPads themselves were set up by the IT department, that users can not load their own apps from the App Store. "With Citrix Receiver, we have iPads transformed into secure terminals for access to our IT infrastructure," says Matthias Öhrlein. "Even with the ease of use, we are satisfied: The virtual desktop is after the start of the receiver within seconds available, the use of the Windows applications via the mouse pointer and the virtual keyboard works well."
Very interesting is the system administrator also on new developments from Citrix that enhance the usability of Windows applications on tablet computers continues. Thus, with the Mobility Pack for XenApp and XenDesktop, the user interface and control of applications automatically adapt to devices with touch operation.The IT manager has already looked at the technology and is convinced of the possibilities of this approach. "The needs of the user moving ever closer to the center," says Matthias Öhrlein. "With Citrix technology, we are able to align our IT strategy entirely on these requirements. No matter, want to work where or with which terminals our employees: We bring data applications and desktops in any event safe to them."
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