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VDI and Application Virtualization

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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)

Virtualization Helps Education Effort

The latest BriefingsDirect end-user case study hones in on how higher education technology innovator Le Moyne College in upstate New York successfully embraced several levels of virtualization as a springboard to broad client-tier virtualization benefits. Le Moyne worked with technology solutions provider Systems Management Planning Inc. to make the journey in a structured, predictive fashion to deep server virtualization -- and then on to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The combined path to smooth VDI implementations at the server and desktop levels for Le Moyne came from teaming with a seasoned technology partner so the college community could quickly gain IT productivity payoffs via VDI, even amid the demanding environment and high expectations of an active higher education campus. To learn more, BriefingsDirect assembled Shaun Black, IT Director at Le Moyne ... (more)

Are Legacy Systems Holding You Back?

In our ever changing technology environment, new opportunities are everywhere.  Predictive analytics, big data, mobile, cloud and virtualization are but a few. These new technologies improve business competitiveness, increase agility, save money and more. But migrating from existing systems is risk prone.  And efforts often drag out. Is There a Way to Migrate Successfully, Faster and with Less Risk? Most people think of data virtualization as a high productivity, low cost way to integrate data for business intelligence and analytics.  However, it is also very effective at legacy migration. The key to data virtualization's migration success is how it decouples source and consuming applications.  This allows legacy migration to be done in a phased approach within the constraints of existing infrastructure.  Said another way, data virtualization inserts flexible middl... (more)

Can VDI Save IT from BYOD Headaches?

There's no doubt, personal mobile devices have permanently, and in many cases positively, altered the workplace. They've given employees flexibility in terms of where, when and how they work, offered new ways to collaborate and even delivered cost savings for employers. However, with the good comes the bad. There's no arguing, BYOD has made corporate data more vulnerable than ever before. From unsecured laptops to rogue employees who maliciously attack the network through their own devices, the challenges facing IT are immense. In fact, a recent study shows that the majority of businesses (79%), had a mobile security incident in the past year, including 16 percent who put the cost at more than $500,000. [1] At risk is money, as well as brand reputation. Institutional control is essential, but approaches like mobile device management (MDM) and other solutions have pr... (more)

Why Windows Server 2012 R2: Reduce Storage Cost for Your VDI Deployments

With storage needs in your organizations growing exponentially over the last few years and into the future there are plenty of things you may done in the past to help keep the cost down.  Chances are you bought some kind of fancy SAN, that had all the bells and whistles to help storage work efficiently.  I am willing to bet one of the features your SAN has is data de-duplication. Windows Server 2012 With Windows Server 2012 we introduced built-in data de-duplication on a per-volume basis.  You can save a tremendous amount in storage costs with this powerful addition.   Thisde-duplication feature uses data broken into chunks and eliminates duplicates while adding pointers and using advanced mechanisms to provide for and prevent potential data loss. The de-duplication feature also uses a data aging system to ensure that only data that is resident on the volume for grea... (more)

The TCO of Unified vs. Parallel Backup Solutions for Virtual Environments

Click Here to Download This Whitepaper Now! In this whitepaper, ESG covers what to look for in a virtualization protection solution as well as whether to consider the merits of a separate solution for protecting one's virtual environment, compared with using a unified solution that offers comparable virtualization protection capabilities. Click Here to Download This Whitepaper Now! ... (more)

Doing VDI, Only Better

There are three core vendors and protocols supporting VDI today. Microsoft with RDP, Citrix with ICA, and VMware with PCoIP. For most organizations a single vendor approach has been necessary, primarily because the costs associated with the supporting network and application delivery network infrastructure required to deliver VDI with the appropriate levels of security while meeting performance expectations of users and the need to maintain high availability. It’s a tall order that’s getting taller with every mobile client introduced, especially when you toss in a liberal dose of enforcing policies regarding access to virtual desktops. Most folks are well aware of F5’s long history of deep integration with its partners Microsoft and VMware. Whether it’s integrating with management systems or designing, testing, and documenting the often times complex joint archite... (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)

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 3)

This is the last article of my 3-part blog post series for facilitating experienced Windows system administrators to get productive on Windows Server 2012 with a keyboard and a mouse as the input device. Part 1 and Part 2 are focusing on basic user operations with the new Metro UI. To conclude the series, here are two important facts that one should know when running Windows Server 2012. Again, I want to underscore that Windows Server 2012 is designed with cloud computing in mind, and together with System Center 2012 as the foundation of Microsoft private cloud solutions. For those who are working for becoming a Microsoft private cloud expert, it is imperative to master Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 to develop technical depth in implementing and operating of a private cloud. 11. Wireless Support The same with Windows Server 2008, a default installation ... (more)

VDI: Balancing the Efficiencies and Challenges of the New Network

Enterprise IT has experienced a rapid evolution over the past few years. Cloud has revolutionized storage and brought with it a host of new and emerging information security challenges. Consumer adoption of mobile technology has forced enterprise networks to operate in a multi-platform environment in which the technology is largely selected, procured, and controlled without the advice or consent of IT. Of the many lessons learned in recent years, perhaps the most crucial is that IT must take a proactive approach to adopting emerging technologies, rather than being forced to react to and mitigate the inevitable fire drills. Of the transformative technologies now gaining traction in the enterprise, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has stayed relatively under the radar, but is nonetheless poised to play an integral role in the ongoing IT evolution. This article w... (more)

Case Study: Transaction Management Stabilizes Virtual Environments

For a company like Lafarge, the dispatching of trucks and materials is mission critical. So when the performance of IT applications supporting this function suffers, it's bad for business. Based in Paris, France, Lafarge is a provider of building materials, with more than $15 billion in annual revenue and 68,000 employees in 64 nations. It specializes in cement, aggregates and concrete. If fleet drivers run into delays in getting these materials to construction sites, deadlines are missed and the fallout can get costly. Yet, after launching a server virtualization project, such concerns surfaced due to a decline in the performance of key applications for dispatch operations. Ultimately, however, this setback - or at least its resolution - helped pave the way for a better way of doing things: a company-wide, virtualized approach to enterprise resource planning (ERP)... (more)