Case Study:
Cook Security Group

With hundreds of banks, credit unions, commercial operations, and public entities relying on security system integration from Cook Security Group, the company needed a reliable hosting partner to guarantee the integrity of ATMs, alarm systems, access controls, DVRs, and other critical security measures.

To ensure field personnel would be able to service their customers, Cook Security Group chose Green House Data.

"VDI allows us to assign desktops to workers based on their role within the organization, while keeping them up-to-date and secure. Green House Data’s cloud platform enables the performance we need, with centralized management that is much easier to work with than updating hundreds of workstations and mobile devices individually.”

Simplified Desktop Management

With over 251 critical staff spread across 9 states (Oregon, Idaho, California, Washington, and Nevada), Cook needed a way to ensure all field personnel—many of whom regularly work remotely on job sites installing ATM and security equipment—had a consistent and secure way to access critical applications like Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM.

In addition, customers in disparate geographies needed access to RemoteView, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that bundles management of ATMs, alarms, key management, and surveillance.

Finally, Cook’s CTO Levi Daily also had to address business needs around disaster recovery, object storage, and the hosting of productivity applications.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and the Green House Data gBlock Cloud™ offered Daily the flexibility he required, and the security his internal and external customers demanded.

“VDI allows us to assign desktops to workers based on their role within the organization, while keeping them up-to-date and secure,” said Daily. “Green House Data’s cloud platform enables the performance we need, with centralized management that is much easier to work with than updating hundreds of workstations and mobile devices individually.”

Virtual desktops from Green House Data come complete with Windows licensing and run on the VMware Horizon platform, which is accessible from smartphones and tablets as well as traditional PCs and laptops.

“Our field workers are able to login and access Microsoft Office, Dynamics AX and CRM, and they can do it from inside or outside the office,” said Daily. “All of this is tied to their user role and permissions, so they can log out from their office workstation, log in on their laptop the next day, and pick up where they left off.”

 

Maintaining Reliability and Security

Data security and auditability is paramount for an organization that deals so closely with financial businesses. Cook needed a hosting provider that could guarantee sensitive financial data, personal identifying information (PII), and critical banking systems would remain both accessible and secure.

Green House Data’s annual certification for SSAE 16 Type II and other standards demonstrated the kind of commitment required — and as a company that works intimately with access controls, the physical security at Green House Data facilities also important to the decision.

“Security and availability are crucial for us, so it’s nice to have confidence in our IT infrastructure just working,” said Daily. “We’re able to serve our customers better and guarantee data safety and accessibility.”

Cook’s IT systems have to be always-on, as customers monitor their access controls, ATMs, and offices from the RemoteView portal and Cook employees might have to service a local bank or ATM during off-hours. A 100% SLA from Green House Data paired with a custom Disaster Recovery solution guarantees that critical access is never lost.

 

Adopting New Storage Technology

With security footage and other unstructured file types consuming vast quantities of storage, Cook Security Group decided to experiment with object storage, becoming one of the first users of the Green House Data gScale platform.

“As we explore the capabilities of object storage, we’ve been pleased with the cost and performance so far,” said Daily. “It integrates nicely with our existing VDI and cloud systems and should be able to seamlessly scale as we ramp up our usage.”

The adoption of object storage is the latest step in Cook Security Group’s growth. Cloud infrastructure and virtual desktops have proven critical to support their expansion. As more banks and credit unions adopt Cook solutions, the company has been able to add seats and expand IT infrastructure with scalable cloud resources, provisioning additional VDI multiple times over the past two years.

“Being able to pick up the phone, request additional virtual desktops, and have them deployed and managed from my existing portal in no time — it’s been a time-saver, to say the least,” Daily said. “Pairing this with zero downtime makes Green House Data the best data center I have ever worked with.”

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