Remote desktop services in a new dimension

VDI and Application Virtualization

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When it comes to the future impact of virtualization upon data centers and networks, we may already have experienced "the shot heard ‘round the world." In fact, the stage is set for the next wave of the "virtualization revolution." Most IT organizations already recognize the importance of virtual servers. Cost savings through better utilization of the underlying server hardware is well documented as are the environmental savings on power, cooling and rack space. A 2012 survey conducted by Gartner Research found that virtualization is among the top 10 highest IT technology priorities for CIOs. ("Gartner Executive Programs' Worldwide Survey of More Than 2,300 CIOs Shows Flat IT Budgets in 2012, but IT Organizations Must Deliver on Multiple Priorities," 1/18/2012) Many IT organizations are now looking at extending those benefits to the rest of the enterprise. Virtua... (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)

Red Sox, Pumpkins and Packet Encapsulation

[This is not really about the Red Sox or pumpkins this Halloween, but how could I not use those in the title? Go Red Sox] I left an awful teaser at the end of my article last week. In Brent Salisbury's original article that triggered some of these additional virtualization thoughts, he articulated two very clear differences between native network based L2 virtualization mechanisms and the mechanisms that are being provided by overlay solutions based mostly in server vSwitch infrastructure. These two fundamental functions are MAC learning and tunnel encapsulation. In today's post I will spend a little more time looking at encapsulation differences. Outside of logical separation of multiple virtual networks or tenants, network virtualization allows the amount of attached VLANs, networks and devices to scale well beyond what a single physical switch can handle. In a ... (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)

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)

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)

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)

Simple, Scalable and Secure PCoIP for VMware Horizon View

Improving performance and scale is - or should be - a primary motivator for those deploying VDI as well as trying to manage the continued growth of BYOD. Forrester's David Johnson notes a convergence of trends that, on the surface, appear only tangentially related but as he points out are likely inter-related and driving desire and need for VDI solutions: Survey question: What is your level of interest in being allowed to bring your own PC as your work PC of any type, desktop or laptop? (Employees who answered they would be willing to pay for some or all of the cost to get the device of their choice): Source: Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, Q4 2012, Q4 2011, Q4 2012. Sample size = 3284 (2012) As Mr. Johnson goes on to note, changes in the market drivers for VDI are likely to increase demand and interest in VDI in the near future. And the most often searched ... (more)

Four Myths of In-Memory Computing

Let's start at... the beginning. What is the in-memory computing? Kirill Sheynkman from RTP Ventures gave the following crisp definition which I like very much: "In-Memory Computing is based on a memory-first principle utilizing high-performance, integrated, distributed main memory systems to compute and transact on large-scale data sets in real-time - orders of magnitude faster than traditional disk-based systems." The most important part of this definition is "memory-first principle". Let me explain... Memory-First Principle Memory-first principle (or architecture) refers to a fundamental set of algorithmic optimizations one can take advantage of when data is stored mainly in Random Access Memory (RAM) vs. in block-level devices like HDD or SSD. RAM has dramatically different characteristics than block-level devices including disks, SSDs or Flash-on-PCI-E arrays... (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)

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)