Defence spends big to get thin

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Defence spends big to get thin

Thin-client trial comes with high price tag.

The Department of Defence plans to spend $6.2 million to pilot the use of 500 thin client desktops by June 2012.

The eight-month pilot comes ahead of a 100,000-user overhaul of Defence's desktop environment, which will call on technology from four partners including tech titans Microsoft and Citrix. It began in early November and will wrap up on June 30 2012.

The full implementation is expected to begin in Q3 next year and be finalised by 2015. It will ultimately provide Defence personnel with a 'Cross Domain Solution' which will enable access to the Defence Restricted Network and Defence Secret Network on a single desktop.

A Department of Defence spokesman told CRN Magazine the $6.2 million would be divided up by costs for ICT infrastructure, the build of new Windows 7 desktops, packaging of 50 applications, deployment of the solution to 500 users across 14 sites Australia wide, face-to-face training for Defence personnel on the new desktop environment and support arrangements for the duration of the pilot.

“Further work for the implementation phase of the NGD project is subject to commercial negotiations and Government approval,” the spokesperson said.

Systems integrator Thales Australia beat out eight competitors in a two-stage tender process to become prime contractor, and along with Raytheon Trusted Computer Solutions (RTCS) will collaborate with Microsoft and Citrix on the next generation desktop project.

It will integrate Microsoft desktop virtualisation platforms including Windows 7, Hyper V, MED-V and AppV; Citrix’s XenDesktop and XenApp; and RTCS’ thin client technology into Defence’s current infrastructure.

Copyright © CRN Australia. All rights reserved.

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