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Public Service Center Builds Desktop Cloud

Background

On October 18, 2006, the Shanghai Pudong Authority established the first district-level public service center in Shanghai. The Public Service Center of Shanghai Pudong is an important platform for improving and innovating government services. More than 500 employees from 23 commissions, offices, and bureaus, and from more than 50 functional departments, work in the Public Service Center. LED touch-screen service guides and a portal website are available to the public. Since its foundation, the Public Service Center greatly improves public affair processing efficiency.

Challenges

Various divisions and service systems exist in the Public Service Center. Terminals are dispersed, and service systems are centrally managed in the data center. This scenario called for a desktop cloud solution to centrally manage desktops, improve resource usage, and provide on-demand cloud computing services.
The desktop cloud needed to provision office desktops for 25 government agencies and more than 40 departments. Three types of desktops were required: Counter, background, and office. Office applications of different government agencies can vary widely:

  • The Industrial and Commercial Bureau and Tax Bureau use parallel port printers to print bills

  • The Food and Drug Administration uses composite printers to issue certificates

  • The Real Estate Bureau and Registry of Marriages use large scanners to scan documents

  • The Science and Technology Commission uses DVD-ROM drives to copy enterprise product information

  • Different divisions have different bill, certificate, and document specifications and use different device models. Nearly 10 brands and more than 60 types of printers and scanners are involved

  • The Purchasing Department and Financial Department use multiple types of Ukeys, eBank devices, and identity authentication devices

Verifying compatibility on site was time consuming, and peripheral incompatibility created a high security risk.

Solution

The Public Service Center of Shanghai Pudong chose Huawei to build the desktop cloud project. This project adopted Huawei-developed FusionAccess 5, Huawei E6000 blade servers, S5500T IP SAN devices, and S5352 switches were deployed. CT5000 TCs configured with dual-core AMD CPUs support various peripheral ports and smooth video playback.
The desktop cloud provisioned 300 virtual desktops to be concurrently used by employees from 25 government agencies and more than 40 departments. The solution efficiently resolved common peripheral compatibility issues and quickly rolled out desktop services, enabling efficient customer service processing. Office experience was also improved, reflecting efficient management, green office, and flexible cloud services.
Proprietary Huawei Desktop Protocol (HDP) supports device-level and port-level resource mapping. Device-level resource mapping refers to the client detecting devices connected to it and controlling the devices (device drivers must be installed on the client). In this mode, common devices, such as keyboards, mouse devices, printers, TWAIN devices (such as scanners), and PC/SC devices (such as smart cards), are supported.
The device-level resource-mapping mode provides low peripheral compatibility. If the client runs a Linux operating system, some peripheral drivers cannot be supported. In this case, the port-level resource-mapping mode can be used. So the client only needs to map peripheral port data to a Virtual Machine (VM), and the driver installed on the VM detects the device. This is also called peripheral redirection. This mode provides high peripheral compatibility.
The Huawei FusionCloud Desktop Solution supports the following redirection types:

  • Redirection of USB peripherals, such as flash drive, removable hard disk, key, external DVD-ROM drive, camera, printer, and scanner.

  • COM port redirection

  • Printer redirection, including parallel port and USB port printer redirection

  • TWAIN device redirection. TWAIN devices refer to devices that use the TWAIN protocol, such as scanners, digital cameras, and digital audio and image databases.

With Huawei HDP’s strong capabilities, the project team quickly completed compatibility tests for more than 70 peripherals and provisioned services to 200 users. The system ran stably for nearly two months. Peripherals were used normally. Three self-service office desktops printed 10,000 pieces of paper per day.
Peripheral compatibility issues occurred during testing and were quickly resolved, reflecting the R&D strength of the Huawei Desktop Cloud. For example, during testing, the HP N8420 scanner would not work on a CT5000 Linux TC but would work on a CT6000 Windows TC. After troubleshooting on site, it was found that this issue was caused by the Linux TC’s USB 2.0 protocol. After the USB 2.0 was changed to USB 1.1, the issue was resolved.
When a KVM screen splitter was used to switch between the cloud desktop and a host on another government network, the keyboard and mouse would not work after switching back from the host to the cloud desktop. After analysis, Huawei found that the hot-swap function was disabled in code, and, therefore, the keyboard and mouse were not supported in the hot-swap scenario.

Benefits

The Public Service Center of Shanghai Pudong provides a place for government agencies to centrally handle citizen affairs. Various service systems with heavy workloads challenge desktop cloud deployment. The Huawei FusionCloud Desktop Solution provides proprietary desktop protocol technologies to support diversified peripherals, enable quick project delivery, and meet various office requirements.