About Kanton Zug
One of the 26 administrative districts of Switzerland, Kanton Zug (the Canton of Zug) is responsible for providing a range of public services, such as healthcare, welfare, education and transportation, to more than 100,000 inhabitants.
Kanton Zug’s IT department is tasked with managing a large computing network, which includes some 2,000 PCs and 200 servers. The team of 35 IT staff is constantly looking for ways to improve productivity and deliver efficient user support within a limited budget.
Kanton Zug was planning an upgrade from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 7, in order to stay on the vendor’s support path and to remain up-to-date with the latest functionality.
“We wanted to manage the Windows 7 migration as efficiently as possible, with minimal disruption to our users,” said Thomas Leuthard, Deputy Head of Support at Kanton Zug. “As our IT team is quite small, it was key for us to automate as much of the process as we could.”
Kanton Zug has been using Novell software for many years, and was already relying on Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management 10 to centrally manage its desktop clients. The upcoming migration to Windows 7 offered the ideal opportunity to upgrade its ZENworks solution to the latest version.
“We did consider a few alternative options, but they did not meet all of our requirements,” said Leuthard. “Our experience with ZENworks has always been a good one, and we did not want to run the risk of implementing a new and unknown solution. Upgrading to ZENworks Configuration Management 11 was a logical step and the best choice for both the IT team and our users.”
The IT team wanted to extend the functionality of ZENworks Configuration Management to optimise the creation of the Windows 7 base image. “As we manage a combination of desktops, towers and laptops, we wanted to build just one Windows 7 base image and smaller driver add-on images for our different hardware types,” said Leuthard. “Having customised add-on images instead of a single master image would make it much easier to configure and deploy drivers for each platform.”
Kanton Zug soon identified a possible solution: ENGL Imaging Toolkit, an automated deployment tool optimised for ZENworks Configuration Management. It approached Novell Platinum and ENGL Integration Partner, Nexpert, for help in evaluating the software and quickly realised that it had found the ideal solution to support its ZENworks environment.
IT staff then worked with Nexpert to build and test a Windows 7 base image and driver add-on images for each of its hardware platforms. “From the start, Nexpert provided expert guidance and support,” said Leuthard. “The team led a five-day workshop and helped us to customise the Windows 7 setup including standard applications. We have now started the pilot phase of our deployment, and expect the rollout to go smoothly.”
Kanton Zug anticipates that the solution will deliver a number of benefits. In tests, it takes just 30 minutes to automatically deploy Windows 7 with all standard applications on one PC with Novell ZENworks Configuration Management and ENGL Imaging Toolkit. This is approximately 80 percent faster than the two to three hours it would take to manually configure a single machine.
Once the Windows 7 migration is complete, Kanton Zug will benefit from the ability to manage a large and diverse computing environment from a central point of control.
ENGL Imaging Toolkit has enhanced the ease and flexibility of creating new client driver images for a number of hardware types. “ENGL Imaging Toolkit has helped to significantly reduce the complexity of creating and updating operating system and driver images for different platforms,” said Leuthard.
“Rather than having to modify a single base image with all drivers in it, we have the flexibility to create add-on images with the necessary drivers and applications for each of our machine types. This considerably simplifies the setup and deployment process, and also minimises the risk of having conflicting drivers and therefore of maintaining several base images.”
Novell and ENGL technology provide the optimal turnkey solution for cost- effectively deploying and managing Windows 7 environments.
“Together, ZENworks and ENGL Imaging Toolkit offer the perfect combination for us as a Novell Business Partner,” said Werner Henz, CTO, Nexpert AG. “ENGL Imaging Toolkit builds on the functionality of ZENworks Configuration Management, allowing us to help clients of all sizes to build and deploy Windows 7 environments quickly and easily.”