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.
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.”
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.”
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
“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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