Remote desktop services in a new dimension

VDI and Application Virtualization

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been a hot topic for years - and every year one expert or another makes a claim that this will be the year of VDI. Finally, 2013 may be the year that VDI goes mainstream. We're seeing the cost of VDI implementation come down to being roughly comparable to the cost of managing PC endpoints. Many organizations are starting to move from pilot to production. While the pilots worked fine, many organizations are finding that VDI projects fail in the rollout phase due to performance and poor user experience issues. One of the key reasons for this is that the pilot phase is often over-provisioned and less complex. Don't miss the infrastructure demands by focusing too much on the desktop Very often, when an enterprise begins the virtual desktop journey, the focus is on the user desktop. This is only natural; after all, it is the desktop... (more)

Cloud VDI: Leveraging the Full Potential of the Cloud at Cloud Expo NY

Cloud Expo New York $500 Savings here! Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been a hot topic in the IT community for years but delivery models have limited its use. Today there are real options for using the technology to truly replace the existing desktop infrastructure to realize tangible benefits. Today's cloud-sourced VDI offers the enterprise new opportunities for security, centralization, mobility, and business continuity while avoiding much of the upfront investment of traditional in-house deployments. Utilizing cloud-based VDI to centralize application deployment, secure corporate property, or scale the IT enterprise brings flexibility and a layer of abstraction that was not previously available. There are many different delivery strategies on the market with different benefits, nuances, and use-cases. While most agree that IT's consumption of infrastru... (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)

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)

Big Data: So What! That’s Why You Virtualize

Big Data!  Yes it's BIG! The volume is BIG!  The variety is BIG!  The velocity is BIG! And hopefully the business value is BIG! New Opportunities Bring New Ways to Leverage Proven Technology There is no shortage of media articles, analyst reports, tradeshows, blogs and other source of Big Data technology insight and advice. But it strikes me that in our search to be on the leading edge, we may be overlooking some great existing technology. In fact, some technology, for example data virtualization, is even more useful in a Big Data world. What Is Data Virtualization? Data virtualization is an agile data integration approach organizations use to gain more insight from their data.  This includes traditional sources such as transaction systems, data warehouses and more as well as new sources such the cloud and Big Data. Unlike data consolidation or data replication, data ... (more)

Virtualized Infrastructures in the Enterprise

Faced with competitive pressures demanding increased IT agility, Line-of-Business (LOB) managers have been increasingly relying on virtualized infrastructures to accelerate deployment of critical application workloads. Server virtualization has rapidly become the default platform for modern datacenters with some 50% of all new workloads deployed in a virtual machine (VM). Three key attributes of server virtualization have accelerated this trend. First, excellent server-to-server and resource-to-resource isolation facilitate dynamic sharing of core data center hardware, ensuring that peak demand from one LOB does not affect the service quality for other workloads. Even though they draw from a common pool of shared hardware infrastructure, there is no need for autonomous LOB IT projects to be coordinated if they all run in their own well-isolated virtual environments... (more)

Embracing the New Enterprise IT: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

During the recent bout of intense winter weather throughout the Midwest, many folks were able to receive the news on office closings by receiving work email messages through their personal laptops and smartphones. Access available anywhere is becoming a given for many people who can receive updates on their personal devices no matter where they are. For the typical enterprise IT department, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy has become a standard, and it’s not uncommon to see different brands and models of laptops throughout the office. This is all the latest evidence of the new consumerization of IT in which people’s laptops, tablets and smartphones are part of their work-day tech arsenal. Although this may save a company some money in hardware expenses and allow greater flexibility for employees, it brings with it a host of concerns, with security at the top... (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 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)

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)

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)