Success Story: Burbank Homes

Architecting a Better Solution

The Burbank Group is a thought leader and innovator in the building industry. Its residential division, Burbank Homes, is a market leader in its sector. Burbank Homes has seen rapid growth in Queensland, NSW and South Australia and was faced with the requirement to improve the economy, scalability, flexibility and redundancy of its IT services and infrastructure.

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The Challenge

Burbank’s IT needs were not well supported by its aging IT infrastructure. It was running a mix of Citrix XenApp 6 with traditional desktop and laptop users, with endpoint management delivered through Microsoft Systems Centre Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM).Microsoft Exchange 2003 a critical application for Burbank,was a single point of failure.

Burbank was keen to virtualise its desktops and introduce thin client end point devices. It also wanted to improve its disaster recovery (DR) as well as the performance and resilience of its core systems, which meant an upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2010 was required.

In order provide 300 end-users with a secure, always available and centrally managed Windows 7 standard operating environment (SOE), Burbank decided to implement a Citrix XenDesktop 5 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment.

To facilitate this, Burbank’s IT Manager Tyson Janson went to market for proposals from various IT vendors for a solution that promoted business agility, reduced delivery times and which also reduced IT management complexity.

The Solution

Cloud Solutions Group (CSG) recommended a pre production pilot of Citrix XenDesktop 5 environment that was delivered with thin client endpoint devices.

Following the pilot, the solution was deployed to all of Burbank’s 300 staff, after which the upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2010 was performed. Microsoft Exchange 2003 was then decommissioned without disruption for end-users.

Janson cites Citrix XenDesktop 5’s overall productivity benefits for end-users as the major business benefit of the project. In the past, when dealing with end user issues the users may have been down for ‘three to four hours’, but they can now be up and running in minutes. Other benefits include system redundancy, better capability and the ability to securely manage data.

The Future

Burbank Homes continue to engage CSG for the successful attainment of its long term IT strategy.  “What Cloud Solutions Group did was highlight a foundation-up approach, they always cater for the future and not for just the next six months. We have been regularly liaising about future projects and continually discussing IT developments and the ways that we can harness them for Burbank’s advantage,” says Tyson.

Key Benefits 

  • Enabled highly available messaging environment with Microsoft Exchange 2010
  • Provided secure and highly available environment for mobile users
  • Enabled iPAD access to Burbank’s applications and desktops  as well as BYO Device model for Burbanks users
  • Improved operational efficiency and reduced downtime costs
  • Reduced unplanned downtime since installation

Technology Used

  • Citrix Access gateways
  • Citrix XenDesktop 5.6
  • IGEL thin clients
  • Microsoft Active Directory 2008 R2·
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010

Solution Areas

  • Authentication
  • Desktop and Application Virtualisation
  • Journey to Cloud
  • Messaging and Collaboration
  • Mobility and BYO Device
  • Secure Remote Access