Sakura, in the Chiba Prefecture, is located in the center of the Shimousa Plateau, 40 km from the center of Tokyo and 15 km from the Narita International Airport. This is a city of beautiful landscapes, with a convenient commute to central Tokyo, as well as agricultural areas. The city has been promoting various IT measures to enhance services for residents, including digital forms and online reservations for public facilities.
“Better service for the residents, sharing of information among the staff, and improved business efficiency are important issues for an administrative body. IT is a powerful means for solving these issues. Sakura city will continue to build better service platforms by incorporating the latest technologies,” says, Kenichiro Matsumoto, Information Systems Section, General Affairs Department.
Sakura city took an interest in virtual technologies early on. The city used VMware products to build a reliable, agency-wide virtual shared infrastructure and centralized more than 100 different systems. When it planned to update this infrastructure, the city researched desktop virtualization (VDI) as a way to access the resident information system.
“Previously, the city only had three or four designated PCs per section that could access the resident database, which was affecting our service speed for the residents. That’s when we considered VDI to access the resident information from staff PCs.” says Matsumoto.
To build the new agency-wide virtual shared infrastructure, the city chose NEC Fielding as its partner, which had experience deploying the intra-office network and its operational maintenance. NEC also provided support for procuring the necessary products.
As the project progressed, securing the resident information in this new VDI environment became an important issue. Local governments are always required to have solid security measures in place.
Sakura city decided to deploy Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ after careful consideration. Deep Security was chosen because of its impressive track record with VDI environments, agentless security for fast start-up and high performance, and operational efficiency. Integrated in VMware® Horizon View™ and VMware® vShield Endpoint™, Deep Security provides security functions without installing any agents in virtual PCs. As the processes that cause system overload such as virus scanning and pattern files updates are offloaded to a virtual environment, Deep Security can minimize the impact of the VDI performance.
At present, 300 virtual machines are deployed on the new agency-wide shared infrastructure . “After the deployment of VDI, the staff was able to access the resident information database directly from their desks, greatly reducing the time to respond to inquiries from residents. We feel that this improvement in the speed and quality of service for residents is the greatest result of the deployment of VDI,” says Ebi Makoto, Information Systems Section, General Affairs Department.
As for the impact of deploying Deep Security, Matsumoto says,“We manage the VDI by linking clones using master image. Deep Security with agentless technology is highly compatible with this method, and yields high operational efficiency. If we adopt agent-based security software, we need to create the master image with the agent included. In operations, we would have to update the pattern files regularly on the master image and need more management time. As expected, with Deep Security, there have been no claims from our staff about PC performance and startup time.
Sakura city secured its VDI environment and the new virtualized shared infrastructure with Deep Security. The city will continue to utilize technology to better services for its residents while ensuring safety and reliability. Trend micro will continue to support the city’s goals and help solve its challenges.