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AWS and EagleDream Technologies to the Speedy Rescue

Recently, a large healthcare organization in California faced a serious challenge. The organization needed 50 virtual desktops deployed and had been working with Azure and one of their partners to do just that. Unfortunately, with only 7 business days before the drop-dead date of deployment, the organization’s leaders had their backs against the wall. Azure and their partner hadn’t delivered, and the solution wasn’t cost effective. The organization had no confidence or guarantee that the 50 desktops would be delivered on time.

Enter AWS and EagleDream

The healthcare organization reached out to AWS for help with their now urgent need for virtual desktops. AWS referred the organization to EagleDream Technologies, who sprang into action for its new customer.

HIPAA Compliance

The customer processes HIPAA data in the new environment, so EagleDream had to consider security and compliance from the start. Because EagleDream has helped many customers set up HIPAA workloads in AWS and is very familiar with the requirements that AWS has outlined in its HIPAA whitepaper, this requirement didn’t slow the implementation one bit. To assist with security and compliance EagleDream ensured that the following key AWS services were enabled:

  • Amazon GuardDuty
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • AWS Config

Amazon Workspaces

Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution that allows EagleDream to provision customer desktops very quickly and at a large scale. Amazon Workspaces pricing is monthly or hourly and you pay only for the desktops you use. Importantly, when configured appropriately, Amazon Workspaces is on the approved list of services from AWS for use with HIPAA data workloads.

After a one-hour call with the healthcare organization during which EagleDream collected requirements and offered projected costs, EagleDream engaged the teams to implement a full environment solution:

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) to their on-prem network
  • Active Directory for authentication
  • Custom Microsoft Windows Workspaces Image
  • Encryption at rest of the disks attached to the images

The Architecture

The following architecture diagram illustrates what EagleDream built out for the customer.

What makes this architecture particularly successful is its ability to leverage existing components and employee familiarity. Specifically, EagleDream used the authentication store that the customer already had for its employees, tying back into the infrastructure with tools that the customer’s employees already know how to use.

For this customer, that meant tying into the on-premise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) system. To do so required two critical items:

  1. EagleDream had to establish an IPSEC VPN connection from the AWS VPC back to the edge router of the customer’s network. This part took the longest time of the implementation as it requires help from the customer’s IT Networking and Security teams.

  2. EagleDream set up and used the AWS AD Connector service. It functions as a proxy service in the VPC, securely connecting back to the on-premises AD system.

Time to Implement

EagleDream implemented the full environment and deployed the 50 virtual desktops in the customer’s required timeline of 7 business days. Spinning up 50 workspaces took only one business day!

The Results

The healthcare organization was not only thrilled by the timeline and the work of the EagleDream team, but with the AWS cost structure: the cost is significantly less than the Azure quote. This short project resulted in a very happy EagleDream customer.

Amazon Services Used

  • Amazon Workspaces
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
  • AWS Virtual Private Network
  • AWS Directory Service
  • AWS Config
  • AWS CloudTrail

AUTHOR

Wendy Ross

Senior Project Manager

Wendy has more than 20 years of experience breaking down complex technical information into clear and concise instructions, tasks, and plans. Through requirements gathering, task management, and client relationships, she leads teams to successful completion of software development, web development, and cloud migration projects. Wendy is passionate about learning and knowledge-sharing. She presents for and writes blogs for two local organization chapters: Project Management Institute Rochester and Society for Technical Communications Rochester.

Scott Weber

Vice President Cloud Solutions

With over 20 years of experience in IT, Research, and Cloud Computing, Scott brings a passion for innovation, architecture, and emerging patterns. He focuses on forward-thinking solutions to provide high availability and scalability to both the infrastructure and software systems.

As leader of the Cloud practice at EagleDream Technologies, Scott brings a drive for discovery of the latest developments in Cloud Computing and a willingness to share his knowledge and original thinking with clients and co-workers. Scott enjoys exploring the intersection of the Cloud and software development and how it is driving architectural and design changes.

Justin Guse

Cloud Architect

Justin Guse is a Cloud Architect at EagleDream Technologies. He has over 10 years of experience in IT with a strong background in infrastructure, networking, and systems administration. As an avid learner of the latest emerging technologies in cloud computing, automation, and DevOps, Justin holds several professional certifications in AWS and Microsoft.Using his industry knowledge and skills, Justin appreciates working with his clients to design and build modern, cloud-native systems while continuously working to deliver a superior customer experience through long-term, strategic relationships.

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