Remote desktop services in a new dimension

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)

‘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)

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)

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)

Taking the Leap to Virtualization

Click Here to Download White Paper! Many mid-market companies have invested significant time and resources to secure and back up their servers, client computers, data, and overall network infrastructure in what was the traditional client-server setup. Now, what were considered emerging technologies just a few years ago, cloud computing and virtualization have arrived on the scene, bringing both significant benefits and new challenges. Find out more about this transition to get the most out of your virtual environment. Click Here to Download White Paper! ... (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)

Service Virtualization: Freedom to Test When You Want, How You Want

The number and complexity of test environments that need to be accessed for an organization's various projects has become overwhelming. The challenge of providing rapid access to the necessary test environments with the appropriate configurations has recently escalated for a number of reasons: When testing transactions across today's composite applications, it's nearly impossible to avoid interacting with dependent applications that are evolving, unavailable, or difficult to access for testing. Organizations leveraging more iterative or agile development methods have multiple projects evolving dependent systems on different timelines. Some dependent applications, such as third-party applications and mainframes, are not feasible to virtualize or stage; they can be accessed only at tightly-controlled timeframes, with little time or freedom to configure them for the n... (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)

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)

Piston & Gridcentric to Deliver OpenStack-Based VDI

Piston Cloud Computing has arranged an exclusive license with Gridcentric, the virtualization optimization company. Their partnership marks the first commercially available VDI solution built on OpenStack, the open source cloud framework Piston's widgetry is built on. Every Piston Enterprise OS license now includes Gridcentric's Virtual Memory Streaming (VMS) technology. The arrangement is supposed to double virtual machine density for Piston customers and require less physical RAM without impacting user customization or application performance. Piston CEO Joshua McKenty calls it the "first truly affordable, easily managed OpenStack VDI solution." Piston Enterprise OS software automates 99% of IT systems management tasks and eliminates the need for a separate storage solution, making it an easy way to deploy and manage an OpenStack private cloud environment behind th... (more)