When the FBI needed to make its desktop environment more flexible, it turned to virtualization as a solution. With a nationwide footprint of some 55,000 users, the project is one of the largest virtual desktop infrastructure deployments in the government in order to restructure delivery of IT capabilities. The move makes it easier for FBI employees, private contractors and other government employees to access multiple enclaves of varying classification levels.

The $28 million investment "will also lower the FBI's total cost of ownership while expanding information availability to more employees," Director James B. Comey told the House Judiciary Committee.

Desktop virtualization separates a user's physical machine from the software layer, presenting an isolated operating system for users. Virtualization limits the need for physical hardware, making it possible for the IT administrator to have more versatility and control over the infrastructure while still opening access in a more consolidated framework. The solution also is scalable, allowing the bureau the possibility of expanding the availability of services as more users come online, without having to overhaul the architecture. Ultimately, the ability of users to access applications anytime, across any device, gives the FBI a more streamlined and effective architecture.

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