The need to segregate the restricted from the confidential networks—the latter being the highest level of confidentiality—is important to ensure business continuity, and the force had been given estimates running into millions of pounds from third-party vendors.
Lancashire Constabulary is confident of achieving its principal aim of ensuring segregation of its key networks, while allowing its frontline officers to access confidential and restricted messaging from a single screen. Although not yet fully deployed, the Microsoft VDI is forecast to reduce operating costs significantly and will extend the use of existing assets.
• No specialist virtualisation technology needed
All the core virtualisation tools that the police force requires are supplied by the Hyper-V environment without having to use third-party vendors such as VMware.
• Simplified licensing costs
The constabulary’s Microsoft Enterprise Agreement for Volume Licensing covers all the necessary software requirements to ensure network segregation.
• Lower carbon footprint
When fully implemented, the VDI is expected to reduce electricity costs and therefore contribute to the force’s green initiatives and carbon reduction targets.
• Lower operating costs through centralisation
By managing networks, desktops, and servers centrally, the IT team will reduce the need for decentralised units in each of the police divisions, freeing technicians for higher value work.
• Future hardware savings
Lancashire Constabulary will soon have a highly scalable, cost effective infrastructure. A small number of new physical servers running virtual machines will cost far less than the same number of physical servers.
• Flexible, secure working
Police officers working remotely with other statutory providers, such as local authority youth offender teams, will enjoy the same secure access to applications as colleagues at headquarters.
By putting in VDI centrally, we no longer have to replace 1,200 desktops that had reached the end of their life cycles—it would have been a time-consuming and expensive project. We are also identifying other business areas and solutions in which to use Windows Server 2008 R2, including the Active Directory service.
Colin Fitzsimons, Senior Systems Engineer at Lancashire Constabulary