VDI in healthcare continues to be a hot topic for Unidesk, especially because of the large number of customers acquired lately in this field. To educate our healthcare audience about VDI best practices, we host webinars time and again, as a result of which we receive several questions on topics of common interest.
Here, we will highlight some of the important FAQs asked during the webinar on Health Network Labs’ 1,000-user VDI deployment, along with the responses from the company’s CIO, Harvey Guindi and Security and Technology Officer, Eric Rounds.
Are you allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) or are you issuing devices to them?
Harvey: Since we’re in a transition state right now, we have a combination of company provisioned devices and employee brought devices. The Citrix broker on top of the VDI environment makes every single device accessible - from Chrome to iOS to Android- and we have people utilizing their VDI environment across all of those types of devices.
Are you paying the Microsoft VDA license per user per year to allow them to access virtual desktops from any device?
Eric: As far as VDA licenses are concerned, we do have home user licenses. Prior to signing on to our BYOD solution, users have to comply with a complete inventory check of antivirus, passwords, applications loaded, key loggers, etc. So, we do allow our employees to bring their home systems but they have to follow this process to sign on and their systems are constantly monitored as they change. We have a device policy for business owned devices, where some users are authenticated by their device type.
When you move to a VDI environment such as ours - with provisioned desktops - you do have to migrate licensing to a more user-based environment.
Were you able to profile all of your applications for SSO with Imprivata?
Harvey: Yes, and we did it in one day. If anyone is looking at Imprivata as an SSO, go for it! The engineers were great, we just gave them a list of applications that we wanted SSO on, and within one day they were all modified as Single Sign On. They left training behind because the system itself is a very simple process in terms of setting up an SSO. You basically present the application, drag areas from Imprivata into the application to discover what you want to populate, save it, push it out to the client and it works! We did this with web-based, cloud-based and clinical applications.
Were you able to layer all of your applications with Unidesk?
Eric: We’ve been able to layer all of our apps with Unidesk, such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Lync, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Imprivata One Sign, and Adobe. We also went after the bigger groups like lab techs, automation lines, and customer care billing folks. We have layered development and production apps, without any modifications.
How long does it take to rebuild a VM?
Eric: Unidesk allows you to update the app layer and put it out there, so the users can continue their work without interruption. As soon as the user logs off, the application will be updated, and it will be ready by the next day for the user. So I haven’t recorded an exact time it takes to rebuild a VM but it’s unbelievably fast!
What do you do for profile management?
Harvey: Every user that logs on to a Unidesk system gets a dedicated profile that will follow them to every desktop they go to, regardless. There’s a writable VMDK that captures all the changes.
Users are generally not allowed to install their own apps but if they choose to do so, it goes into the personalization layer.
What do you prefer, Persistent or Non-persistent?
Harvey: We chose persistent to be able to give everyone a fully customizable experience. We needed consistency in our environment, that’s why the best approach for us was to go with dedicated desktops for our users. Unidesk does support both but in non-persistent desktops, the personalization layer gets blown away after each use – I have seen a lot of your Higher Ed customers use that for their labs for a fresh, clean experience.
Learn how Health Network Labs layered Imprivata OneSign with Unidesk and achieved stellar desktop virtualization results with a multi-vendor technology stack. Stay tuned for more healthcare VDI FAQs answered by our customers - who have successfully layered their applications with Unidesk.