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Why National Governments Use IGEL OS for Secure, High-Performance VDI and DaaS

Every day, national governmental agencies face budgetary pressures to do more with less. Meanwhile, the challenges of balancing legacy technologies with new computing requirements are always growing—not to mention ensuring security at every level of the IT stack.

Centralized desktop execution provides governments access to IT resources they need while avoiding storage of sensitive data on endpoint devices that are much more challenging to secure. However, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) requires a substantial investment in on-premises data center equipment that must also be maintained and upgraded over time. As a result, we’re seeing more and more governmental agencies explore cloud-based desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) approaches.

IGEL combines a lightweight, software-defined endpoint operating system called IGEL OS with powerful, centralized management to enable secure, high-performance VDI or DaaS. This helps governments using VDI and/or DaaS to enjoy simpler and more secure access to cloud workspaces with software-defined endpoints that are:

  • Simple to manage and highly scalable
  • Enabled with a wide range of remote desktop protocols, including Citrix, VMware, Microsoft RDP and WVD, and Amazon WorkSpaces (PCoIP)
  • Secured to government standards
  • Capable of supporting a vast range of peripherals, including specialized peripherals and 
authentication workflows (SIPR Tokens/CAC/PIV/RSA)
  • Developed and supported entirely in trade compliance countries (100% TAA Compliant)
  • Compatible with a broad range of PC, laptop, and thin client hardware

We look at some of these benefits more closely below.


Efficient and reliable management
IGEL OS for remote management has a much smaller footprint than a traditional operating system. Any required firmware updates are delivered in a fast and ultra-reliable manner using an efficient “buddy update” approach that reduces the impact of bandwidth bottlenecks. This includes devices in controlled government environments, as well as remotely deployed devices, which are seamlessly provisioned and updated through the IGEL Cloud Gateway (ICG). Even off-network remote endpoint devices can be securely shadowed for support and help desk purposes using the ICG technology.

Meanwhile, IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) makes it simple and efficient for IT to manage up to tens of thousands of endpoints from a single console. UMS works in concert with IGEL OS to give IT teams precise, centralized control over how endpoints are configured and which features and customizations are available to government personnel, by policy.


Extensive VDI and DaaS vendor interoperability
IGEL OS features over 80 integrations with desktop computing technology partners, including support for all major remote desktop clients; and supports traffic offloading to the endpoint for unified communication tools like Skype for Business and Cisco Jabber (JVDI). IGEL also partners with leading desktop performance and user experience testing and optimization technology providers.

Secured to government standards
IGEL is unique among end user computing hardware and software providers by offering a “complete chain of trust” from the endpoint processor or UEFI process to the destination server/cloud. Each process in sequence checks the validity of the ensuing process before it allows that next process in the chain to proceed. IGEL OS also features integrated encryption to ensure protection of any information that must remain persistent across device reboots.


Compatible with specialized peripherals and workflows
IGEL OS supports many specialized peripherals and end-user workflows required by government agencies. Smart card support can be delivered through direct integration with licensed HID ActivClient middleware or using open source alternatives like OpenSC.

IGEL also supports more advanced workflows that include multiple smart cards for access to a range of environments or segmentation of administrative privileges; and specialized, security-focused peripherals such as Cherry keyboard encryption, wherein the Cherry keyboard can authenticate itself with a certificate and the key transmission is encrypted.

Minimize procurement costs
IGEL’s endpoint management approach is designed to help IT teams adopt new desktop technologies while extending the life of existing hardware. IGEL’s Workspace Edition software and UD Pocket USB boot option make it easy to convert devices to IGEL OS and run IGEL OS on legacy hardware, deferring costly hardware upgrades. IGEL’s Workspace Edition software license provides flexibility to leverage past license investments on new hardware by simply reassigning them through an easy-to-use web-based portal.

Meeting national government requirements with IGEL
Indeed, with its ability to adhere to stringent security and data protection requirements, extremely small attack surface, and ease at which it can be deployed, scaled, managed and maintained, IGEL OS is a strong endpoint OS of choice for national government installations.