NATS to roll out cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure

NATS, the UK's air traffic control organisation, is to implement a multi-million pound project to transfer all its desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure to make savings of £9m.

NATS, the UK's air traffic control organisation, is to implement a multi-million pound project to transfer all its desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure to make savings of £9m.

Over the next four years NATS plans to create a virtual desktop environment, which it hopes will shrink its environmental footprint, improve flexibility and enhance the service it provides to around 6,000 staff.

It is believed the implementation will be the largest cloud-based infrastructure in the transport sector. Once complete, staff will have access to the services, information and applications they need for their particular role, across the country.

Initially, it is being trialled with 300 users in 2011. NATS expects to roll out the cloud-based infrastructure to all staff in the first half of 2012.

Gavin Walker, head of IS at NATS, said: "This project is part of our Future Workspace vision and is crucial to the NATS growth strategy, providing us with a flexible and responsive IT framework that doesn't add to our footprint. Staff will be able to access the applications they need wherever they are, and will have a consistent experience regardless of the device they are using."

NATS is working with Amor Group to deliver, host and manage the new service.

The virtual desktop and application environment will be provided using the Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp suite of software. AppSense user virtualisation technology will provide NATS staff with personalised and compliant desktops.

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