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4 Step Action Plan
To Equip Your Hybrid Workforce

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Have you assessed the tools your technical and creative professionals need to thrive when doing hybrid work?

The trend of remote collaboration dramatically accelerated in 2020. Now we have to go beyond the quick fixes that period necessitated and need to make long-term adjustments for a “new normal” shaped by flexible hybrid work between home and office. IT decision makers (ITDMs) must be ready for the changes that enable this shift.

For many knowledge workers, remote access to files through VPNs and meeting bridges is sufficient. But many technical and creative professionals depend on the powerful systems, software and infrastructure that are typically found only in the office for the work they do. In this case professional hybrid capable desktop software is needed. 

 

ITDMs can adapt the steps outlined here to their own needs as they choose tools to enable their remote users who depend on workstation-class resources for their job functions.

HP ZCentral Solution Stack for Remote Workstation Users

Z by HP delivers a purpose-built solution stack for remote workstation access that rivals the experience of working locally, with significant performance, cost and security advantages over other approaches. 

 

Z by HP Desktop Workstations can be centralised and rack-mounted to keep the performance close to the data and provide dedicated remote performance for compute intensive workflows 

 

HP and Teradici Remote Access Software provides high-performance, high-fidelity remote workstation access 

 

HP and Teradici Connection Management Software manages access between groups of users and pools of workstations available

HP ZCentral: Technical and Business Advantage

16%‑
33%

Higher performance

59%‑
72%

Of the cost

ZCentral solutions compared to server-hosted virtualised workstations.1

Assess Your Current Environment

The first step is to take stock of how well your existing environment serves the needs of your compute-intensive remote users. This assessment will help you understand where the strengths and weaknesses lie in your current approach. 

 

Start with end-user devices:

Can laptops provide all the compute performance your power users need? 

 

Identify data-access requirements: 

Do those users need regular, fast access to design files stored on site? 

 

Factor in complexity: 

Does setting up a virtual environment seem too costly, and will you able to deliver the performance needed? 

 

The shift to having hybrid teams for the long haul brings challenges and opportunities to rethink the current environment compared to one that is built and optimised specifically with flexible workstation access in mind. HP ZCentral delivers an excellent user experience, cost efficiencies over other approaches, and secure remote access to workstation resources.

Plan for Performance Needs

After assessing your current environment, start considering what an optimal hybrid work environment for your power users would look like. Delivering workstation performance over relatively slow broadband networks is fundamentally more difficult than over a LAN. New approaches to providing user access to applications and data may be needed to support remote workforces.

 

Survey power-user workloads:

Which are your most performance-intensive power-user workloads?

 

Determine infrastructure suitability:

Do virtual or cloud instances offer the performance those workloads need?

 

Investigate infrastructure options:

How do the cost and performance of various potential solutions compare?

 

A centralised computing infrastructure with ZCentral and racked Z by HP Workstations can deliver up to 16-33% higher performance at up to 59-72% of the cost of server-based virtualisation.1

 

Even organisations that are dedicated to server-based or cloud-based workstation virtualisation find that layering HP and Teradici remote access software on top of their existing solutions can dramatically improve performance and end-user experience.

Survey System Requirements for Specific End Users

Having identified the current state of your environment and begun understanding the overall organisation’s immediate and future needs, consider the requirements of individual end users and user groups. You may find significant variation, from their frequency of workstation access to the types of devices they will use to access those resources. 

 

Decide what end-user devices are needed: 

Will some work be done from the end user device or will it only be a portal to a remote workstation? 

 

Identify workstation-usage patterns: 

Do specific workstation users need constant or more sporadic access? 

 

Identify the jobs that require dedicated performance: 

What users and workflows need the full workstation performance to ensure they get the job done in a timely fashion without errors?

ZCentral offers the unique ability to move desktop workstations from employees’ desks to the compute room, install ZCentral software free of charge on Z by HP devices2 and enable workers to access those resources both in the office and remotely. HP ZBook laptops can be used at home when only certain tasks require the additional performance of a racked workstation. Individual workstations can have one dedicated user or be available to a broader group of users to be checked out when needed. Entire facilities have made the switch within 24-48 hours.

Evaluate Security Ramifications

Having remote users work on data-intensive projects from outside the controlled confines of the business raises the need to protect that data. Especially when devices become involved that aren’t company-issued, data owners are rightly concerned about unauthorised access and compromise. 

 

Assess all the locations of your data: 

Are you comfortable having critical data outside IT’s control? 

 

Gauge priorities of performance versus security: 

Could your performance needs compromise data protection? 

 

Integrate connectivity and security: 

How good is interoperation with measures like VPNs and single-

sign-on? 

 

Data never leaves the data centers of organisations that adopt ZCentral for a centralised computing model and infrastructure. For additional security, HP Thin Client devices can be used for secure low maintenance end user devices.

 

All processing and visual rendering is done on the racked workstations within a secured environment. The only information that HP and Teradici remote access software transmits over the broadband network is the pixel information to draw the display on the target user device, and the underlying data is never exposed, eliminating that attack surface. 

With HP and Teradici remote access software, you keep your sensitive data and IP in a controlled compute room, sending only pixels over the wire to remote users.

Conclusion

Strategies for hybrid work must satisfy cost, performance and security requirements. For technical and creative pros this often means that traditional virtualisation and remote desktop tools are not the best approach.
 
ZCentral offers innovative solutions with world-class performance, security and reliability at considerable savings for hybrid power users.

Z by HP for
IT Professionals

Equip your workforce with highly secure, upgradable tech so they can keep evolving — whether working from home, the office, or everywhere.

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Exceptional performance
with Intel® Xeon®
and Intel® Core™ i9 processors.

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Disclaimers

    1. Based on hp.com store and dell.com store pricing dated September 2019, and performance based on core count of a racked-mounted HP Z4 G4, 6 core workstation configuration with 3 year warranty support, compared with two configurations of Dell PowerEdge R740 Rack Server configured with VMware Horizon Advanced 10 pack CCu license and 3 year support, Quadro Virtual Data Center Workstation hardware and licenses, and 3 year support. One configuration of the server uses 36 cores to be shared among 9 concurrent users, the other uses 56 cores to be shared among the same 9 users to ensure that each of the 9 users avail of 6 cores simultaneously, to more closely approximate the maximum CPU core availability of 9 racked Z4 workstations. Note that the processors on the Dell servers have a lower base frequency in both cases.
    2. HP ZCentral Remote Boost Sender does not come preinstalled on Z by HP Workstations but can be downloaded and run on all Z by HP desktop and laptops without license purchase through 2022. With non-Z sender devices, purchase of perpetual individual license or perpetual floating license per simultaneously executing versions and purchase of ZCentral Remote Boost Software Support is required. ZCentral Remote Boost Sender for non-Z Hardware requires a license and Windows 10, RHEL/CentOS (7 or 8, or UBUNTU 18.04 or 20.04 LTS operating systems. macOS (10.14 or newer) operating system and ThinPro 7.2 are only supported on the receiver side. Requires network access. The software is available for download at hp.com/ZCentralRemoteBoost.

     

    Product images are for illustration purposes only, product availability and colours may vary by country.

     

    © HP Development Company, L.P. The Information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Warranties for HP products and services are set out in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. In addition, our products and services come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. Subject to the foregoing, nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

     

    Intel, the Intel logo, Core and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. NVIDIA and Quadro are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. AMD is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

     

    4AA7-7934ENW, Rev 1, June 2021