Nevada’s Desert Research Institute embraces new digital workspace environment for secure, collaborative working in all four corners of the globe
The Desert Research Institute (DRI) was founded 60 years ago to gain a deeper understanding of Nevada’s arid land resources. But today, its people and skills are in demand around the world.
DRI’s more than 500 highly skilled scientists, engineers, technicians, and students investigate the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change, and the rapid development of new technologies to better understand and protect our changing planet. They engage in more than 400 individual research projects in 52 countries on all seven continents, attracting more than $35 million in funding.
The scope, scale and complexity of its activities create significant IT challenges and opportunities. Because researchers often work on incredibly complex projects in remote locations throughout the world, they require high-performance computing resources.
Chris Ipsen, Assistant VP for IT and Research Computing says it’s also important for DRI to be looking to the future.
“The goal that we were looking at was: how do we pre-position the institute so that it can remain effective into the future and take full advantage of upcoming opportunities?” Ipsen says. “How do we make our resources available to the researchers that we have, anywhere, any time, and for any purpose — and always keep our data secure? The answer is through our partnership with Citrix.”
A solution designed to improve productivity and enhance collaboration
DRI worked closely with Citrix to build a comprehensive solution around the way researchers need to work both now and in the future. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix ADC enable staff to securely access the resources they need from anywhere. Citrix ShareFile lets researchers securely share and collaborate on the documents they need from any device.
“Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops have empowered us to provide the level of technology to our business that will be essential into the future,” Ipsen says. “By that I mean, technology that allows researchers to work anywhere, at any time, and with the level of assurance around their processes, data and security that they expect at work.”
Ipsen says the solution provides a consistent platform that has enhanced productivity and collaboration.
“It’s allowed us to make a more dynamic set of tools available to a larger group of people, and virtualization has allowed us to create a democratization of technology going forward,” Ipsen says. “Everyone gets the same high level of capability at their desktop. It also allows us to be more efficient in the data center when we provision servers, and we’re able to more effectively use the assets that we have for the greatest number of people at a reduced cost.”
Simpler IT management is also a plus, allowing the IT team to manage multiple desktops from a centralized point
Enhanced security opens new business opportunities
Providing an advanced level of security is essential to protect its researchers, its third parties sharing their data, and its own reputation. Working around the globe opens DRI to multiple security concerns, but the Citrix solution allows the IT team to segment environments and make resources available based on need.
“We can provide access to a data set, or isolate it from those who don’t need it, or make it ubiquitously available too — these are all great business opportunities that Citrix has provided us. Security is now a business enhancer for us.”
A dynamic and flexible solution built for the future
Ipsen predicts that the DRI’s partnership with Citrix is a long-term one.
“I believe that Citrix is essential for us into the future, as our researchers work from even more locations and collaborate with more researchers from other organizations. For us, it’s essential that we have a dynamic and flexible solution that allows us to integrate with increased collaboration and increased opportunities.
“As competition for research dollars and services increases, what we’re looking to do is make sure we have the technologies that allow us to be pre-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity. Having the flexibility of Citrix is essential. Without Citrix, I don’t believe we could collaborate at the highest levels.”