Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Deploys Wyse Technology To Green Its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Economics and Environment Combine as Wyse Virtual Clients Replace PCs and Extend Virtualization to the Desktop

August 19, 2009

4 Min Read
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SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Wyse Technology, the global leader in thin computing and client virtualization, today announced an innovative implementation at the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD). RTD serves 2.6 million people across seven counties and uses IT to manage every aspect of its fleet of 1,040 buses and 120 light rail vehicles. The combination of Wyse hardware and Wyse TCX virtualization software with VMware View has allowed RTD to expand its virtualization strategy from the data center to the desktop, save on the high replacement and maintenance costs associated with PCs, and cut annual energy costs substantially.

RTD sought an alternative to PCs in order to eliminate the vicious cycle of replacing PCs every 2 to 3 years. Besides the PC procurement costs, the maintenance costs of the PCs were exorbitant. RTD also wanted to leverage its investment in VMware. Wyse thin client hardware and client virtualization software fit those requirements. Nearly 300 thin clients are currently being used in every aspect of the organization, including marketing, sales and the call center. RTD has plans on replacing an additional 300 PCs with Wyse thin clients.

Extending RTD's virtualization strategy to the desktop has produced major cost savings in two different areas. First, the energy savings are substantial. RTD estimates $54,500 in energy savings per year from its 600 thin clients. Those savings will continue to increase as RTD continues to roll out more thin clients. "RTD has an organizational commitment to sustainability," said Trent Ratcliff, IT Infrastructure Manager. "Our sustainability committee was impressed by the energy efficiencies and subsequent reduction in carbon emissions that we gain by deploying thin clients. That, plus the fact that in energy savings alone our thin clients pay for themselves in as little as four (4) years."

Secondly, RTD is lowering its total cost of ownership (TCO) by replacing PCs with thin clients. Buying and deploying a PC costs on average $750 more than buying and deploying a thin client. For the first 600 thin clients, RTD will save more than $500,000. After initial replacement, RTD expects additional savings of $2,700 per thin client over a nine-year period owing to the elimination of two additional PC purchasing cycles during that period of time.

Wyse thin clients take less than one hour to set up compared to six hours to deploy a new PC. RTD also saves time and money on technology support associated with PCs. "Economically, the total cost savings of owning thin clients compared to PCs is impossible to ignore," adds Ratcliff. "In addition to the cost savings, the success of the Wyse thin clients is best measured by our ability to serve customers and support our own staff through greater availability and more efficient use of IT staffing. My staff used to spend about 20% of their time on user support. Most of those issues were caused by misbehaving Windows applications because staff were adding applications to their PCs or customizing them in some way. With Wyse thin clients, users can't add applications or make changes to the thin clients themselves. The IT staff is freed up from having to maintain PCs."On the user side, Ratcliff had to be sure that thin clients could deliver at least the same experience and performance as PCs - even for multimedia applications. He turned to Wyse TCX, Wyse's virtualization software designed to deliver the best end user experience possible. "Slow performance is unacceptable, whether it impacts our call center response times, our light rail project deadlines, or our commitments to advertisers," says Ratcliff. "In addition, any thin client solution had to support peripherals, including scanners, local printers, DVD/CD drives, and thumb drives, so that RTD staff could incorporate images, print out materials promptly, and bring in data from other sources."

RTD determined that Wyse thin clients with the Wyse TCX virtualization software suite was the only solution that could meet all of the district's requirements for VMware compatibility, multimedia display capabilities, and USB support.

"We're very pleased to be working with RTD, and to be the only thin client solution that met RTD's performance and multimedia requirements," said Maryam Alexandrian, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Channels at Wyse Technology. "As with nearly every organization, user experience is very important. We're very proud of the fact that the Wyse TCX virtualization software played such a critical role in the IT success story at RTD."

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