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Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Case Study: Naylor

Case Study

Learn how a global association organization saved 50% on Azure Virtual Desktop deployment time compared to using the Azure Portal to deploy AVD. 


About Naylor Association Solutions

For more than fifty years, Naylor Association Solutions has helped trade and professional associations build and maintain strong and profitable relationships with their members. Naylor offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that engages members and generates non-dues revenue. The suite includes offerings that focus on communications strategies, print and digital communications, full-service event management, advertising, sponsorships and exhibit sales, career centers, online learning, association management, and member management software. 

Naylor is headquartered in McLean, VA with additional offices across the United States and Canada. The company provides services and solutions to over 1,800 associations in more than one hundred industries. 

The Situation

Like many organizations, Naylor had primarily deployed on-premises solutions over the years. Its twenty-five IT personnel supported approximately four hundred employees spread across multiple locations.

More recently, Naylor had started gradually moving toward a more hybrid architecture with some Microsoft 365 cloud-based virtual solutions in addition to its existing, on-premises solutions. However, when a potential security issue arose in 2020, the company significantly sped up its transition to a cloud-based infrastructure, built around Microsoft’s VDI capabilities. 

“As we ramped up our investments in cloud-based infrastructure, we realized we wanted a more centralized way to manage everything,” said Rob Armstrong, IT Support Specialist for Naylor. “We wanted a simpler solution than Microsoft’s native offering.”

The Solution

Based on a recommendation from its Dell hardware contact, Naylor reached out to Nerdio to start an evaluation of Nerdio Manager for Enterprise. What the company found, impressed them.

“Nerdio is a fantastic product,” said Armstrong. “The level of support we’ve received from Nerdio has been incredible. We’ve literally received responses within 15-20 minutes on product and configuration questions.”

To evaluate Nerdio, Naylor did a compare-and-contrast analysis between Nerdio and existing Azure functions to decide if there was enough value to implement it. 

“Our team was really attracted by Nerdio’s ease-of-management,” said Armstrong “We had lots of things coming together that we needed to deploy quickly and Nerdio Manager for Enterprise was a way to do that with more ease than  Azure’s native solutions. There were also some things that Azure can’t do and Nerdio can, and that’s just one reason it’s been so helpful to us. Overall, Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is definitely easier than Azure’s built-in portal options.” 

The Results

As a result of its initial analysis, Naylor deployed Nerdio Manager for Enterprise in late 2020 and relies on it for day-to-day management and monitoring of its business-critical Azure Virtual Desktop deployments. 

The results for Naylor have been superb. Not only has Nerdio Manager for Enterprise made overall management of its virtual environment easier, but it’s allowed Naylor to limit its spending on Azure each month. Nerdio Manager for Enterprise enables Naylor to manage Azure costs closely and optimize the money it spends.

“The use case for Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is very strong. The dollars that you spend compared to the efficiency you receive is well worth it.” – Rob Armstrong, IT Support Specialist at Naylor.

Naylor relies heavily on Nerdio’s Desktop Auto-Scaling and Ephemeral OS Disks functions, which enable Naylor to create new virtual machine images each morning for use by employees during the day and then when people log off at night, shutting them down to 
save money. 

“Cost is always a concern,” said Armstrong. “We’ve found that the Cost Estimator tool built into Nerdio is really helpful for budgetary purposes. We always want to keep an eye on costs and keep the minimal number of hosts running. Nerdio’s auto-scaling and other features definitely help us control costs so they fit our needs.”

In addition to saving money, Nerdio has also enabled Naylor to increase its level of security in a straight-forward way. “Using Nerdio, it is super-quick and simple to change the local user accounts that are deployed for VMs,” said Armstrong. “There’s no need to slough through the Azure screens to figure out what’s what.”

For Naylor, implementing Nerdio Manager for Enterprise has been a win that enables it to serve its association members more efficiently and effectively. In practical terms, the solution not only saves Naylor money that might be spent on inefficient virtual environments, but it also saves considerable time that would otherwise be spent by technicians managing various settings or using native Azure tools.

“I’d say Nerdio Manager for Enterprise has saved us between 33-50% of the deployment time that would be needed in native Azure environment,”  – Rob Armstrong, IT Support Specialist at Naylor.

“Specifically, in our ability to scale deployments and make mass changes to our AVD environment more efficiently. In addition, a lot of the more granular options that Nerdio provides simply aren’t available in the Azure Portal. The more you use Nerdio, the more valuable it will be.”

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Multi-Cloud and On-Premises Deployment with Azure Stack HCI (Coming Soon)

Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop in Azure and extend the session host VM placement to on-premises and other cloud using Azure Stack HCI. Nerdio Manager automates deployment of session hosts, AVD agent installation, and full integration into the AVD deployment in Azure.

Create a brand new Azure Virtual Desktop environment or allow Nerdio Manager to discover an existing deployment, connecting to existing resources, and manage them.

Deploy Nerdio Manager from Azure Marketplace and configure a new AVD environment with an easy to follow, step-by-step configuration wizard. First group of users can access their AVD desktop in less than 2 hours.

Service providers, system integrators, and consultants can leverage Nerdio Manager’s scripted AVD deployment template. Create complete environments with desktop images, host pools, and auto-scaling in minutes.

Create and manage AVD environments that span Azure regions and subscriptions. Quickly link Vnets and resource groups and manage AVD deployments world-wide from unified portal.

Link multiple Azure tenants under the same Nerdio Manager instance and manage AVD deployments that span Azure AD tenants. User identities and session host VMs can run in separate tenants for maximum flexibilty and security.

Deploy and manage AVD environments that span across sovereign Azure Clouds. Cross-sovereign cloud support allows identity (e.g. users and groups) to be in one Azure Cloud, while session host VMs are in another Azure Cloud.

Management of workspaces, host pools, app groups, RemoteApps & custom RDP settings

Administer every aspect of AVD with Nerdio Manager including workspaces, host pools, application groups, RemoteApp publishing, RDP properties, session time limits, FSLogix, and much, much more. Every Azure service that AVD relies on can be managed with Nerdio Manager.

Deploy and manage AVD session host VMs. Hosts can be created manually or with auto-scaling, deleted on-demand or on a schedule, re-imaged to apply updates, run a scripted action, resized, put into or taken out of drain mode, and more.

Manage user sessions across the entire AVD environment, within a workspace, host pool or on a single host. Monitor session status, disconnect or log off the user, shadow or remote control to provide support, or send user an on-screen message.

End users have the ability to log into Nerdio Manager with their Azure AD credentials and manage their own session, restart their desktop VM, or start a session host if none are started in a host pool. (Ability to resize and re-image own desktop is coming soon.)

Create, link, and manage Azure Files shares including AD domain join. Synchronize Azure Files permissions with host pools, configure quotas, and enable SMB multi-channel. Manage file lock handles and configure Azure Files auto-scaling to increase quota as needed.

Create, link, and manage Azure NetApp Files accounts, capacity pools and volumes. Configure provisioned volume size, monitor usage, and use auto-scaling to automatically adjust volume and capacity pool size to accommodate the needed capacity and latency requirements.

FSLogix configuration can be complex and overwheling, but not with Nerdio Manager. Create one or more FSLogix profiles with all the needed options, point at one or more Azure Files, Azure NetApp Files, or server locations and select from VHDLocations, CloudCache and Azure Blob storage modes.

Multiple identity source profiles can be set up and used automatically on different host pools. Active Directory, Azure AD DS, and Native Azure AD are all supported. Choose the appropriate directory profile when adding a host pool and all VMs will automatically join this directory when being created.

Create a copy of a host pool with all of its settings: auto-scale config, app groups and RemoteApps, MSIX AppAttach, user/group assignments, VM deployment settings, etc. Save time by creating host pool “templates” that can be cloned to any Workspace, Azure region or subscription instead of starting from scratch.

Apply user session time limits at host pool level. Automatically log off disconnected sessions, limit the duration of idle sessions, control empty RemoteApp session behavior and more.

Assign Azure AD users to personal desktops to ensure the user will log into a pre-configured VM. Un-assign personal desktops from users who leave the organization and re-use these VMs for new users.

Pre-configure custom Azure tags for all Azure resources associated with each host pool. Tags can be used for charge-back and cost allocation by host pool.

When creating session hosts using NV-series VMs NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers are automatically installed.

Move existing host pools from Fall 2019 (Classic) object model to Spring 2020 (ARM) object model. Choose to whether to move or copy user assignments. Existing session hosts are automatically migrated or new ones can be created in the ARM host pool.

Automatically enable and configure AVD integration with Azure monitor. Zero configuration required. Azure Monitor Insights for AVD can be used instead of or in conjunction with Sepago Monitor.

AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Cloud PC migration (Coming Soon)

Migrate users from AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs using an existing image and user assignment. (Coming soon)


Cloud PC License Usage Optimization (Coming Soon)

Cloud PC device lifecycle management

Cloud PC user group assignment

Intune primary user management on Cloud PCs

Migrate AVD personal desktops to Cloud PCs (Coming Soon)

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