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Expand Networks Leverages VMware ViewTM to Enable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Deployment for Prairie North Health Region

Expand Networks, www.expand.com, the leader in optimizing WANs for branch office consolidation and virtualization, today announces the latest in a series of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) project wins: Prairie North Health Region (PNHR), a regional health authority located in Saskatchewan, Canada, providing health services to over 74,000 citizens. Faced with an expanded geographical support remit, legacy IT systems and severe bandwidth constraints, PNHR chose Expand’s Accelerator range of WAN optimization devices to increase network capacity, accelerate virtualized desktop applications and deliver quality of service to ensure LAN-like performance for remote users.

Having been tasked with delivering IT services for Keewatin Yatthé Health Region (KYHR), PNHR decided to centralize IT Datacentre services and deploy a VDI solution due to the large geographical expanse and remote locations in KYHR. Located in Northwest Saskatchewan, KYHR administers a comprehensive and much needed health care delivery system for numerous northern villages and towns. Dwayne Lessner, manager of IT operations at PNHR explains the challenges the project presented and the reasons for choosing the Expand solution:

“Due to the KYHR remote geography and limited IT resources available we decided on a desktop virtualization project in order to simplify IT support, deployment and management processes. However, we soon realized that bandwidth availability was a major hurdle with KYHR’s regional and medical staff having only access to T1 links resulting in WAN oversubscription and bandwidth contention. Upgrading these T1 links was not an option as bandwidth simply wasn’t available due to the remoteness of these northern locations. To compound this even further we had the impact of the increased pay load due to the VDI protocols serving the virtual desktops. We needed a solution that could both increase the capacity of the network and be able to accelerate the virtualized applications to the remote desktops.”

Lessner continues, “Having looked at other solutions, we found that only Expand could effectively accelerate VDI traffic and deliver the quality of service levels we required for KYRHA. Expand’s VDI solution was easy to deploy and its support in integrating the solution into our existing WAN infrastructure was first class. Expand’s collaborative approach to this project was commendable, and its solution was a key enabler to the overall success of the project giving us huge savings in support and management costs, delivering a 250% increase in WAN capacity and safeguarding our VDI investment.”

Commenting on this latest VDI project win Adam Davison, VP Corporate Sales and Marketing, acknowledges the growing trend toward desktop virtualization and centralized IT. “As applications and services retreat further and further back into the datacentre and enterprise workforces become more and more distributed, so the ‘virtualization gap’ widens between the application and the user. Our domain knowledge and expertise of virtualization, our ability to deploy within virtualized environments and our ability to accelerate virtualized applications and protocols makes our offering unique and gives us a clear lead in this fast growing market. As in this latest win, the Expand solution has become a key enabler to realizing the full potential of the virtualization project, safeguarding investment, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating a return on investment.”

PNHR serves 26 facilities across a large geographic area. It operates 2 fully redundant datacentres running 50+ servers and has a smaller facility for file serve and print services. It has over 1,000 remote PCs and laptops. PNHR has deployed Expand’s Accelerator 6930s at the datacentre and it’s Accelerator 4930s at key remote locations.

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Expand Networks will be demonstrating its advanced range of WAN optimization solutions for virtualized infrastructures and VDI deployments at VMWorld 2009 on booth# 1840.

About Prairie North Health Region

Prairie North Health Region is one of Saskatchewan's 12 health regions and unquestionably unique. The Region covers a large and diverse area in the northwest part of central Saskatchewan. The Region's population is over 74,000. Prairie North also serves a significant population on the Alberta side of Lloydminster and the surrounding area. PNHR is one of the largest employers in Northwest Saskatchewan. This includes over 3,100 staff in full, part-time and casual positions. Home to two regional hospitals and many other health facilities, Prairie North is committed to working together to provide quality health services and to promote and support healthy living in diverse communities.

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