Providing employees in the home office with secure and reliable access to their business-critical applications – that is currently the big challenge for companies. Hardware bottlenecks, limited budgets and enormous time pressure make the implementation of emergency plans more difficult in many organizations. To help you work from home, we offer a cost-effective business continuity solution that you can implement quickly and easily: the SUSE Home Office Workplace.
In the normal course of business, little attention is usually paid to business continuity. As long as all processes are running as usual, companies rarely find the time to think about emergency scenarios for extraordinary situations like the one we are experiencing today. Therefore, companies often have only rudimentary plans for dealing with unforeseen events.
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed many things within a few weeks. Companies and organizations around the world now need to take action very quickly to keep their business running as smoothly as possible. Home office workplaces play a key role here. If as many users as possible carry out their tasks from home, the risk of infection decreases – and companies remain capable of acting despite the crisis.
Business Continuity: Challenges for IT managers
Summarized in four points, IT managers face the following problems:
- Hardware bottlenecks: The market can hardly meet the sharply increased demand for appropriate hardware. Business notebooks or desktop computers for a large number of home office users are often not available at short notice.
- Limited budgets: In many organizations there is no budget for the unplanned procurement of hardware and licenses. Organizations also bear a high investment risk, as it is not yet possible to predict how long the additional equipment will be needed.
- Time pressure: Every day counts. The longer it takes for employees in the home office to be able to work productively again, the greater the losses for the company.
- Security: Home office workers should connect to the company network securely, and without the need for specialized and thus expensive hard or software
You can overcome many of these challenges with open source software solutions. For short-term deployment of home office workstations, we have developed the SUSE Home Office Workplace. With SUSE Home Office Workplace, companies can implement a business continuity strategy that is tailored to their needs and addresses the challenges described above:
- Linux operating systems perform well even on hardware with low system resources. This makes it easy for companies to turn their discarded PCs and notebooks into secure devices for home office users. You can even run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm on a Raspberry Pi.
- You can evaluate the solution for free and start building your disaster recovery environment immediately. Later, with SUSE’s subscription model, you only pay for the PCs or laptops you actually use, and only for as long as you need them. There are no one-time license fees.
- In addition, freely available manuals and best practices allow you to quickly transition your endpoints to a Linux desktop.
What do users need to work securely and productively at home?
Powerful open source software solutions are also available for securely connecting home office workstations to the company via the Internet. SUSE recommends using the VPN solution OpenVPN. This provides users with very easy, protected access to all resources in the corporate network.
The Linux desktop from SUSE comes with powerful open source applications like the LibreOffice suite and software for e-mail, collaboration and instant messaging. Employees can also access Microsoft Office 365 applications via Web browser. Furthermore, they are able to connect to virtual desktops from Microsoft, and other vendors. This gives employees in the home office access to all applications enabling them to start working immediately.
Manage and configure remote workstations centrally
With SUSE Home Office Workplace, IT departments can efficiently manage even a large number of remote workstations. The SUSE Manager offers automatic installation and creation of disk images and also provides centralized configuration management of all clients. Administrators also have a complete overview of all necessary updates and patches at all times. Should the increase in remote workstations require the operation of additional virtual servers, load balancing in the data center is possible using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the open source virtualization solution KVM.
In summary, the SUSE Home Office Workplace provides the following building blocks and solutions for a business continuity concept that meets your needs:
- Rapid deployment of home office workstations with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm for the Raspberry Pi
- Integrated OpenVPN solution for connecting remote users securely to the company
- Central configuration and image management with SUSE Manager
- 60-day free evaluation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Manager. After that, you pay only for the systems you actually use, as part of our subscription model.
- For questions and help, contact us
For more information about the SUSE Home Office Workplace, see our QuickStart Guide. Download the document now and start implementing the solution immediately. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Learn more in our webinar on April 29. We’ll run you through the basic steps of setting up the server and desktop parts of the solution and give you a sneak preview of how you can leverage SUSE Manager to automate those steps. Register now!