Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published by Tony Harmelink on tonyh.dev on May 20, 2020.

The chance rarely comes around to completely rethink and overhaul the end user experience of an organization. Even through bigger upgrades, switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for instance, we often try to replicate what the past experience was.

We didn’t do that that. We changed almost everything.

  • Lenovo & HP -> Dell
  • Windows 7 -> Windows 10
  • Novell Groupwise -> Microsoft Outlook 365
  • Novell eDirectory -> Windows Active Directory
  • Novell File Server -> Windows DFS
  • Novell ZenWorks -> VMware Workspace ONE UEM
  • VMware Horizon View w/ NVIDIA GRID
  • VMware Workspace ONE Access
  • Cisco CUCM -> Microsoft Teams w/ SIP SBC

Prior State

When I started at my current employer, the other two team members had spent the past couple years refreshing the backend infrastructure. Implementing a new network stack, Cisco ISE for more security, and a new compute cluster on VMware Cloud Foundation. Groupwise was converted to Office 365 and AD had been initially setup. The rest of the EUC space had been stagnant, waiting for me to come in and refresh it. Windows 7 desktops and laptops with software deployed manually or with Zenworks. Eek.

When I was brought on I came in knowing I had a lot of work to do, an exciting prospect for one who loves projects. I was sold on the desired state pitch, 3D CAD in VDI for the designers, Mobile Device Management rollout and Windows 10 Modern Management with Workspace ONE UEM, Identity Federation and Zero Trust implementation with Workspace ONE Access. Pretty much the whole EUC stack that VMware offers.

My Prior Knowledge

My role previous to this one was also focused on VDI, but with completely different goals, connections, and workloads. It was 20+ distributed branches in the midwest, many with sub 5Mbps connections, accessing a central VDI setup with no hardware on site other than networking and PCOIP zero clients. Workload was standard office worker, outlook, spreadsheet looking ERP system, office apps, perfect use for PCOIP. It was super efficient, to the point where we had one site on 3Mbps from bonded T1s, running 20 users, and the one day some chucklehead decided to stream music in his VDI it used half the bandwidth for the entire branch. But now I was entering into something completely different, 3D CAD, vGPUs, high motion, minimal latency required, motion to photon as low as possible.

To find out how Tony and his team tackled the first big step, keep reading by clicking the button below.

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