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Coronavirus: UKCloud and VMware join forces to meet public sector demand for remote desktops

Public sector-focused IaaS provider UKCloud forges closer ties with VMware to meet the public sector demand for “government-grade” remote desktop technology

UKCloud has revealed details of how its decision to forge closer ties with VMware is helping it respond to the uptick in demand from the public sector for remote working setups since the onset of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The public sector-focused infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider has achieved VMware Cloud Verified Status, which means it is certified to serve up an assortment of the virtualisation giant’s off-premise services from its datacentres.

According to UKCloud, its partnership with VMware – which dates back to 2011 – has come into its own in recent weeks, as part of the firm’s response to the rapidly changing IT requirements of public sector organisations during the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent need to enforce social distancing in response to the lockdown has triggered a real drive across the UK public sector to shift from traditional channels to digital channels in order to enable citizens, businesses and public sector staff to access public services and securely share data from remote locations,” said UKCloud in a statement.

And while public sector organisations have rushed to ensure the IT setups they have in place to enable remote working are sufficient to meet their needs in the immediate to short term, many are also keen to ensure they will be “safe, compliant and sustainable” for long term use as well, the company said.

As previously documented by Computer Weekly, UKCloud is one of a number of IT providers that have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by making some of the cloud services in its portfolio free for public sector organisations to use.

As acknowledged by the firm’s CEO Simon Hansford, the company has seen a surge in demand for cloud infrastructure services as public sector users switch to remote working, in line with government advice for people to work from home as much as possible.

As part of its ongoing response to this trend, the company has developed what it calls a government-grade desktop-as-a-service offering, based on VMware’s Horizon desktop virtualisation platform.

“This offering enjoys the high assurance and secure connectivity benefits of UKCloud’s multicloud platform, as well as all-inclusive, award-winning support from security-cleared UK experts at a price point that is competitive with the generic hyperscale options,” said UKCloud.

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Jeramie Sutton, senior sales manager of healthcare in the UK and Ireland at VMware, said the company had seen a huge uptick in requests from healthcare organisations, specifically, that require remote access to clinical application since the pandemic began.

“We are really proud to be working in partnership with UKCloud,” said Sutton. “For clear and good reason, remote working requests have increased dramatically in recent weeks.

“Combining VMware Horizon virtual desktop with UKCloud’s desktop-as-a-service capabilities, including direct connectivity to HSCN, we are well positioned to jointly deliver a secure solution to NHS trusts quickly, while still being tailored to their exact application requirements.”

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