Flex Computing for efficiency and agility

We recently spoke to Henk Brands – Coordinator of Software and Hardware at South Holland Province – about his success in the green arena. Henk saw the rigorous targets set by the Netherlands Efficiency Action plan as an opportunity to combine environmental and business benefits. As the man responsible for the IT needs of some 2,400 employees, he had a lot to consider. He also has to think about manageability, efficiency and environmental impact. The Netherlands is a frontrunner in sustainable procurement, and the country's Efficiency Action Plan set some rigorous targets for local government.

Henk Brands transformed the client environment at South Holland Province with a virtualized solution Henk needed a desktop infrastructure that would deliver solid environmental and business benefits. He visited the Dell Solutions Innovation Centre so he could explore various concepts and develop his ideas. He liked the Intel-based Dell OptiPlex FX160 desktop for its flexibility – it works as a Virtual Remote Desktop environment or On-Demand Desktop Streaming. All data stays in the datacentre, so security and business continuity are much simpler. 

Henk and his team pooled their skills with our consultants to design a flexible image based on Windows XP. We then preinstalled it on all 2,100 machines for fast rollout. The first 1,500 OptiPlex FX160s were deployed in just five working days – well beyond the province's expectations.

The province has achieved its goals. Staff have flexible tools based on a greener, leaner environment. They can run multiple applications without worrying about dips in performance. And, because this machine works both as a virtual client and as a standard desktop, it fits the needs of various departments and staff members. So – less carbon, higher utilisation, lower costs and a better end-user experience. And that makes Henk and his colleagues a fantastic example of how a challenge can lead to multiple wins, if it's tackled with enough tenacity and skill.

Read more about South Holland Province.

About the Author: Kathy Mahady