Remote desktop services in a new dimension

VDI and Application Virtualization

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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)

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)

How to Build a Private Cloud Using Microsoft Technologies

***This is a LIVING document*** I will be updating this article from time to time as things like Release Updates, Hotfixes, Service Packs and other updates come into being. Please check back often to get the latest information. I will keep the revision list updated at the bottom so you know what changes have been made. This is also *NOT* a complete Private Cloud solution. there are many, many pieces to creating and managing a private cloud including things like - rapid deployment via templates, elasticity and scalability, high availability and redundancy, virtual machine mobility, automation, service management, usage based charge back and more. i recommend you check out http://www.microsoft.com/privatecloud to see the full story. This document will guide you through the process of setting up the bare minimum components to demo a Private Cloud environment using curre... (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)

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 1)

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)

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)

CiRBA Saves Customers 55% on Data Center Software Licensing Costs

CiRBA on Wednesday announced the general availability of a Software License Control System that enables organizations to reduce the costs associated with processor-based software licensing by an average of 55%. CiRBA CTO and co-founder Andrew Hillier noted that "with the shift to data center class software licensing for virtual infrastructure, where licensing an entire physical host server allows an unlimited number of instances to be run, licensing optimization is now becoming a capacity management challenge." The Software License Control module is an add-on to CiRBA's Capacity Control Console and optimizes VM placements in virtual and cloud infrastructure in order to: 1. Reduce the number of processors/hosts requiring licenses. CiRBA determines optimized VM placements to both maximize the density of licensed components on physical hosts and isolate these licensed VM... (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)

Can Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Improve BYOD Security Issues?

Bring Your Own Device policies have fascinated both the corporate world and the tech world for some time now. Part of the allure is the added productivity and the added ease of use for workers. But, that doesn't explain why there are thousands of tech pieces on BYOD policies, failings and warnings. The truth is, we're all fascinated by how it flawlessly bridges the gap between home and work life. BYOD first sprung up as Millennials demanded more flexibility, more control. They wanted less of a barrier between work and home life, and working from their iPads while watching Netflix at home struck the perfect balance. Then, there were the problems that inevitably followed. Companies realized that employees' devices are almost never as secure as corporate machines. When devices got stolen, there weren't many options to deal with the situation, and sensitive company inf... (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)

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)