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Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Case Study: Oportun

Case Study

Financial Services Enterprise Organization Saves Over $10,000 a Month with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise

About Oportun

Since 2005, Oportun has offered financial services assistance aimed at the approximately 100 million people in the United States who are typically shut out of the financial mainstream because they don’t have a credit score or have a limited credit history.

Their mission-based, technology-powered approach is designed to be inclusive, affordable, and empowering. By lending money to hardworking, low-to-moderate-income individuals, they help their customers move forward in their lives, demonstrate their creditworthiness, and establish the credit history they need to access new opportunities.

Oportun has provided more than 3.8 million affordable small-dollar loans that have saved customers an estimated $1.7 billion in interest and fees compared to alternative lenders, according to a study commissioned by Oportun and conducted by the Financial Health Network, a leading nonprofit authority on consumer financial health.

The Situation

Distributed Workforce in Need of Cost Optimization  

Oportun developed proprietary technology around the loan process and essential analytics programs that are keys to their success. “The analytics are really required to understand our customer base and perform the financial calculations required. Our IT team is a crucial part of our business,” said Erin Hasani, Microsoft Associate Architect at Oportun.

The company needed to support a widely distributed team. With workers overseas in India, the IT leaders at Oportun chose Microsoft Azure and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Following a proof of concept implementation of AVD, Oportun identified gaps and areas where performance needed improvement. “Managing costs was the biggest thing we wanted to address,” said Hasani. “We didn’t want to run machines 24/7 due to cost considerations and we were also focused on giving end-users more visibility into their machines.”

The Solution

Easily & Quickly Implement Advanced AutoScaling to Lower Costs   

Microsoft recommended Nerdio Manager for Enterprise as a perfect solution to the challenges Oportun had encountered. Nerdio is a Microsoft partner and the definitive Azure deployment, management, and optimization solution for AVD environments. 

“We wanted something that was more robust, supported, and ready to go than native AVD alone, and that’s where Nerdio came in,”

– Erin Hasani, Microsoft Associate Architect at Oportun

Nerdio’s advanced AutoScaling technology allows a customer to easily adjust their Azure usage based on their needs. This can save a company up to 70% on Azure compute and storage costs. After a single week in the proof-of-concept stage, Oportun moved Nerdio Manager for Enterprise into production. “We had targets to start around efficiency, especially regarding personal desktops, and Nerdio was able to fill that gap incredibly quickly. “The automation features with Nerdio are ‘set and forget’ for the most part, and as users, we just reap the benefits,” said Hasani. 

The Nerdio team worked with their counterparts at Oportun to make the process fast and efficient.  As Hasani noted, “Nerdio’s features and the ease of use stood out to us. It was especially notable compared to the other solutions we researched.”

Designed to extend the native  AVD experience, Nerdio helps users manage and optimize Microsoft’s powerful tools.  “Nerdio integrates with AVD very smoothly. Deployment was a breeze,” Hasani said.

The Results

Major Time & Cost Savings Achieved  

Once Nerdio’s solution was up and running. The results were clear and compelling. According to Hasani, “There were no crazy requirements. Integration was very straightforward with what we had on-premises. If it sounds easy, it’s because it was!”

The benefits came in several forms, most noticeably in time savings for the Oportun IT team and the direct costs associated with Azure. With Nerdio’s capabilities, there was no need to run the machines around the clock. The AutoScaling capabilities and shared desktop features allow Oportun to scale up and down more efficiently. “Without a tool like Nerdio, we couldn’t achieve that,” said Hasani.

“We deal with lots of images. Managing all of them can be a painful process. Nerdio makes it a breeze – much easier than what Microsoft’s native tools can provide.” – Erin Hasani, Microsoft Associate Architect at Oportun

Major cost savings have also been realized: “Auto-Scaling with Nerdio is saving us $10,000 a month. The added cost of the solution is nothing compared to what we save,” according to Hasani.

“Nerdio is really scalable. We’re not deploying thousands of desktops, but we’re seeing savings even with one or two hundred desktops.”

Simply put, Nerdio’s capabilities make life easier for the Oportun team. “The Nerdio solution is great at automating and being as ‘hands-off’ as possible, which frees up time for our engineers,” Hasani said. “The portal is very user-friendly for them, enabling them to spin up host pools and deploy machines easily. Choosing Nerdio was a no-brainer. Once you see something this good you don’t have to look somewhere else.”

DOWNLOAD THE CASE STUDY HERE

AVD MANAGEMENT

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)

WINDOWS 365 ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT

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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