How Client Virtualization Speeds Decision-Making In The Field

Virtual desktops ease management and reduce energy consumption.

In Virginia, the Newport News Police ­Department’s 439 police officers are charged with protecting more than 180,000 residents across 69 square miles. Having anytime, anywhere access to essential data and applications aids law enforcement officials in carrying out their duties in the field.

The force transformed patrol cars into mobile offices by outfitting the vehicles with Panasonic Toughbook CF-30 and CF-31 notebook computers running Citrix XenApp client virtualization software. XenApp delivers applications from the Newport News Police Department’s data center over a cellular network to the notebooks.

Client virtualization enables officers to immediately access critical data in the field, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions quickly. “Our officers need fast and reliable access to information to help them respond effectively to any incident at hand,” says Juan Luna, a business analyst with the Newport News Police Department.

Apps Aplenty

Officers use Citrix XenApp to access an array of applications hosted in the data center, including Intergraph’s I/Leads law enforcement records management system, which officers use to query existing records and file reports. Users can also access dispatch and the local court scheduling and jail management systems, as well as Intergraph’s I/Mobile application, which provides messaging and querying of systems such as the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

“They can work independently of any physical location — spending more time in the field — and make decisions based on up-to-the-minute information,” Luna says. “The technology is a force multiplier for our officer corps and our citizens.”

The XenApp implementation not only boosts the productivity of officers, but streamlines IT administration because workers can manage the virtualized servers from the data center rather than having to touch each individual computing device. What’s more, the Newport News Police Department enjoys increased redundancy. In the event that one server fails, applications failover to another server, providing users with a seamless computing experience.

Voices

Peabody-Park

“By virtualizing the clients in our training center, the city of Walnut Creek saves on power and other operating costs while reducing IT staff workload for classroom setup by more than 100 hours per year.”

— Laura Peabody-Park, CIO, city of Walnut Creek, Calif.

Svesnik

“We’re looking at roughly $100,000 a year in energy savings.”

— Philip Svesnik, CIO, Westmoreland County, Pa.

Miller

“We were able to reduce the time required for desktop support by at least 95 percent.”

— Chuck Miller, Director of IT, Lincoln, Mass.

Hartsook

“Desktop virtualization allows for faster deployment, updating and recovery of core applications and operating systems.”

— Jim Hartsook, Director of IT, Bartholomew County, Ind.

<p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/smays/4416808611/" target="_blank">Flickr/smays</a></p>
Jan 09 2012