Remote desktop services in a new dimension

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This 3-part article details the 12 routines that I consider a Windows Server 2008 user ought to know first to accelerate the learning and adoption of Windows Server 2012 without the need of a touch device. For those IT professionals who are working towards becoming private cloud experts, it is imperative to master Windows Server 2012 which is an essential component in establishing a private cloud. And the earlier those master Windows Server 2012 platform, the sooner those will be become leaders in the IT transformation into private cloud computing. There is everything to gain to start learning Windows Server 2012 now as opposed to later. The content of this series is based on Windows Server 2012 Beta as of May, 2012. It is intended for those who are familiar with the administration of Windows Server 2008 (or later) to become comfortable and productive with Windows ... (more)

How to Get Full Value in a Flash Upgrade

Author:  Eric Slack, Senior Analyst, Storage Switzerland Companies that need to improve application performance, for example, in server virtualization or VDI environments, frequently come to the conclusion that flash is the best strategy. SSD technology is becoming the "go to" solution for enhancing the performance of these kinds of critical production applications. After realizing that a flash-based solution is warranted, the next question involves implementation. What is the most cost-effective way to add solid state flash technology into an existing production environment? For IT organizations that have multiple primary servers needing this performance boost, most find themselves looking at network based storage appliances as they can be easily shared across all servers and applications. Two alternatives, all-flash arrays and hybrid storage systems, are often co... (more)

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 2)

Windows Server 2012 is designed with private cloud and System Center 2012 in mind. While the IT industry is transitioning into cloud computing and embracing consumerization of IT, as an IT professional, building privte cloud with System Center 2012 is an immediate priority of mine and getting productive on Windows Server 2012 is a key step. This is part 2, a continuation of the 3-part series of getting productive on Windows Server 2012, should you not have a touch device readily available. The user operations walked through here are fundamental and for most Windows users this post will be an easy read. If not already, one should read part 1 first. 3. Settings of Current Screen On any screen, use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + i, to bring up Settings options for the current screen. Or a user can also move cursor to UR/LR, i.e. the upper right or lower left co... (more)

Understanding Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

In Windows Server 2008 R2 (WS2008R2), Terminal Services (TS) has been expanded and renamed to Remote Desktop Services (RDS). RDS is the backbone of Microsoft's VDI solutions. And in Windows Server 2012, RDS is further enhanced and with a scenario-based configuration wizard. Still the concept and architecture remain very much the same since WS2008R2. The new and enhanced architecture takes advantage of virtualization and makes remote access a much flexible solution with new deployment scenarios. To realize the capabilities of RDS, it is essential to understand the functions of key architectural components and how they complement one another to process a RDS request. There are many new terms and acronyms to get familiar with in the context of RDS. For the remainder of this post, notice RDS implies the server platform of WS2008R2 and later, while TS implies WS2008. Th... (more)

‘Hypervisity’ Rages On

We've tracked a trend for the past several years: customers aren't moving to standardize on a single brand or type of server, operating system, or even x86 hypervisor. But, in our in fifth annual x86 Data Center Survey (2011-‘12 edition), we were somewhat surprised to find that customers were using a wide range of different hypervisors to a greater extent than we anticipated. The total number of respondents in our survey was 345, with 40% of respondents in mid-size and large organizations of 4,000 employees and above. This was a global survey; 46% of respondents hailed from Europe, 40% from North America, and 11% from Asia/Pacific. Respondents came from our Gabriel Consulting Group survey data base of previous participants and from targeted advertising. Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some systems in their infrastructures.... (more)

Speed-up and Simplify Backup and Restores

Click Here for FREE vmPRO Standard Edition Download! Speed-up and simplify backup and restores with the industry's only native backup application for virtual environments, Quantum vmPRO. Native file format allows for drag and drop restore of files or entire VMs from any location, in seconds. Click Here for FREE vmPRO Standard Edition Download! ... (more)

Virtualization Security in Cloud Computing

2011 ended with the popularization of an idea: bringing VMs (virtual machines) onto the cloud. Recent years have seen great advancements in both cloud computing and virtualization. On the one hand there is the ability to pool various resources to provide Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service. At its most basic, this is what describes cloud computing. On the other hand, we have virtual machines that provide agility, flexibility, and scalability to the cloud resources by allowing the vendors to copy, move, and manipulate their VMs at will. The term virtual machine essentially describes sharing the resources of one single physical computer into various computers within itself. VMware and virtual box are commonly used virtual systems on desktops. Cloud computing effectively stands for many computers pretending to be one computing e... (more)

Doggin’ It with VDI

Hey there; the IT Dog back with some color commentary on our VDI experience. When I first heard the name, I thought VDI was the latest model Volkswagen diesel, but as the guy with the suit explained in the last blog, VDI is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  Now that you know what VDI means, I am sure you know all there is to know about it, right?  Well, I wish it was that easy for me. Where Do I Begin? I guess I’ll start from the beginning.  At my company, my IT guys were at their wits end trying to manage the 1000 or so desktops, spread out over four different locations, with various flavors of Windows and who knows how many different versions of applications and other personal stuff.  I kept getting the ‘we need more staff to manage this mess’ line from them.  A lot of these problems had to do with acquisition and expanding business – which is all good. Queue th... (more)

SSD vs. HDD – The Battle for the Future of Storage

I have been working for technology companies for 33 years now, so I don't know why I'm always surprised at the technology myths that proliferate. For example, there is a popular notion running around that Solid State Drives (SSDs) will replace Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) as the dominant storage media. So, which will win? Let me give you my answer upfront before I take you through my arguments: both win, and the market size for both continues to grow. As I offer up this data and this perspective, I'll repeat some advice I received early in my career. A mentor once told me, when searching for the truth in business and technology "look to the economics" (maybe my version of "go to the mattresses" for you "Godfather" fans). Here is what I read and hear on a regular basis regarding the battle of HDDs and SSDs: SSDs run circles around HDDs for performance SSDs will soon rep... (more)

Riverbed Tightens Up Its Alliance with VMware

Riverbed Technology, the application performance outfit, has some new solutions developed in collaboration with its buddy VMware that are supposed to provide a reliable and consistent desktop virtualization end-user experience in organizations that deploy VMware's Horizon View 5.2. The experience is supposed to be seamless regardless of where the data is. The partnership between Riverbed and VMware has resulted in the support of several Riverbed performance solutions in Horizon View deployments, including certifying Riverbed's Granite widgetry for acceleration, control and management in virtualized desktop initiatives. Organizations that deploy Horizon View with Riverbed performance jumpers are supposed to be able to achieve a more automated, flexible, scalable and high-performing VDI environment. And those that want a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can reduce... (more)

New Boost from Dell for Virtualization

Dell Software this week delivered Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise Edition to extend the depth and breadth of managing and optimizing server virtualization as well as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and their joint impact on such IT resources as storage. Building on the formerly named Quest vFoglight Pro virtualization management solution, Dell re-branded vFoglight to Foglight for Virtualization to make it the core platform to the Foglight family. Foglight is not sitting still either. Improvements this year move beyond monitoring support for VMware View VDI, to later support for VMware vCloud Director, OpenStack, and Citrix Xen VDI. [Disclosure: Dell Software and WMware are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.] The higher value from such ecosystem and heterogeneous management support is the ability for virtualization server and system administrators to ... (more)