Every business has its challenges. For the urban consultancy and architectural engineering firm Inbo Architecten, geography was one of them.
Its specialists work in offices across the Netherlands, as well as in Shanghai. And the company envisioned them collaborating as if they were next door.
Plus, Inbo employees use some of the most sophisticated design software on the market. Sharing work on these graphics-intensive applications had been nearly impossible.
Recently, Inbo began rolling out NVIDIA GRID technology across its offices, starting with its Netherlands locations. Now these employees can collaborate—and showcase their work to clients—from anywhere. And the company can centrally manage its IT deployments with ease.
NVIDIA GRID Fuels Collaboration
Several years ago, Inbo developed a vision for a new workplace concept. One that would make it possible for its entire staff to collaborate from anywhere, including client sites and home offices. This required a complete redesign of its IT environment.
Over 80% of Inbo’s employees across its six offices are designers and building engineers who work with high-performance hardware and demanding production design software like Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit and Trimble Sketchup, as well as and Adobe Creative Cloud apps, such as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Larger, more complex 3D models placed growing demands on CPUs, storage and GPUs. And this drove Inbo to upgrade to ever more expensive workstations.
To address this, Inbo first launched a virtual desktop infrastructure pilot project for a small group of users. Applications performed well, however, to scale sophisticated software like Revit and Sketchup across offices, Inbo needed more graphics power. A lot more.
Working with its IT partners, CAD & Company and IMSCAD, Inbo selected NVIDIA GRID K2 boards, running on Citrix XenDesktop for the Windows desktop user interface and on Citrix XenApp for virtualizing the CAD and design applications.
Starting with one office, Inbo deployed and then gradually expanded the set-up to scale from 12 to 20 to ultimately 40 users per physical host server.
In the end, Inbo deployed virtual desktops across all its Dutch sites—and received better performance than from the dedicated workstations it previously used.
Designers and building engineers can work at any time and from any location using almost any desktop or mobile device. This has improved productivity across the business, and clients can see immediate results.
Inbo’s IT managers are happy, too. Centralized data storage eliminated data duplication and version control problems. And they can add and remove users as needed during a project lifecycle, while ensuring third-party collaboration is secure.
Patches and upgrades are now centrally deployed, and delivered to all users at the touch of a button.
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