Executive Summary

A branch of the U.S. Armed Forces was coming up against an impending expensive hardware refresh, requiring them to replace all of their physical desktop computers. Struggling with the lack of computing efficiency, thin clients were becoming a significantly more cost-effective and productive option.


  • An impending hardware refresh was creating difficult cost decisions
  • Aged physical desktops were running slowly and making day-to-day tasks difficult for employees
  • A lack of centralization within the data center generated security concerns


  • VMware Horizon App Volumes
  • VMware User Environment Manager

Business Impacts

  • Excessive capital expenditures eliminated
  • Desktops and applications successfully delivered through a single platform
  • Simplified, self-service user experience achieved
  • Data secured and compliance simplified
  • Desktop and application management centralized and made easy

Branch of Armed Forces Faces Inefficiencies of Legacy Desktops

A branch of the U.S. Armed Forces was dealing with the inefficiencies of old, physical desktops. Computing efficiency was waning, and the cost of new, physical desktop computers would not have been economical for their budget.

“The process of trying to implement a new solution on their own would’ve been a challenge for them. They just didn’t have the internal resources,” Thomas Wilson, Senior Virtualization Consultant at August Schell explained.

“Plus, the expenses of full-featured PCs compared to thin clients are astronomical. Full-featured PCs cost about $1k each, but thin clients are a few hundred bucks. These are considerable savings for physical equipment, and their costs needed to be cut.”

Implementing a Horizon 7 Infrastructure to Enable Access to Virtual Desktops, Applications, and Online Services via a Single Workspace

To set the customer up for success, Wilson selected VMware Horizon 7, VMware Horizon App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager.

“When I got there, we started creating virtual servers and the Horizon 7 infrastructure,” Wilson recalled.

August Schell worked meticulously with the customer to set up the connection broker, database server, and related infrastructure components.

“Once we got the infrastructure set up and configured, we started creating the virtual desktop base image and went through the process of using VMware’s tool for optimization. We also set up a VDI pool for testing,” Wilson said. “We set up the app volumes infrastructure, too.”

During the implementation, Wilson collaborated with the administrator and architect of the customer’s IT department. Their end users were primarily help desk and second-level users.

Empowering Security Operations to Quickly and Efficiently Resolve Problems

“The customer realized greater flexibility in accessing their desktops as soon as the implementation was complete. It was a relatively quick engagement, but an impactful one,” Wilson said. Thin clients are significantly easier to manage than many individual PCs since they’re all centrally located.

Capital expenditures were also a major burden to the customer, which were virtually eliminated by the thin clients.

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