Microsoft Intune May updates – #Intunes, #EMM, #MDM, #Mobility, #EnvokeIT

Thsi week Microsoft is going to roll out some new updates like Android Wrapping Tool and new features for iOS, Android and Windows Phone to Microsoft Intunes.

We are excited to share with you the next set of Intune features that will be released between May 19 and May 26.  With our monthly release cadence, we continue to focus on providing you with best-in-class experiences that help keep your users productive while protecting your company’s sensitive data. You can expect to see the following new Intune standalone (cloud only) features in this release:

  • Ability to extend application protection to your existing line-of-business apps using the Intune App Wrapping Tool for Android (Intune App Wrapping Tool for iOS made available in December 2014)
  • Ability to assign help desk permissions to Intune admins, filtering their view of the Intune admin console to only provide access to perform remote tasks (e.g. passcode reset and remote lock)
  • RSS feed notification option added for Intune admin to subscribe to be alerted when new Intune service notifications are available for their service instance
  • Improved end user experience in the Intune Company Portal app for iOS with step-by-step guidance added on how to access corporate email by enrolling for management and validating device compliance
  • Updated Intune Company Portal app for Windows Phone 8.1 to provide enhanced status notifications for app installations
  • New custom policy template for managing new Windows 10 features using OMA-URI
  • New per-platform mobile device security policy templates for Android, iOS, Windows, and Windows Phone, in addition to new Exchange ActiveSync policy template
  • Ability to deploy Google Play store apps that are required/mandatory to install on Android devices

Also, as announced last week, several new hybrid features are now…

Contact us at EnvokeIT if you like assistance with Intunes or continue reading the blog post here.

//Richard

Microsoft Ignite 2015 summary – #MSIgnite, #EnvokeIT, #Azure, #Office365, #OneDrive, #EMM, #PaaS, #IaaS

Hi all,

We at EnvokeIT participated and collaborated at Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago. And it was one of the most intense events I’ve visited in years with a lot of happening in the business and Microsoft really showed that they are the leading innovator in many areas!

I hope that you enjoy my report and that it gives you a condensed overview of what happened and please contact us at EnvokeIT if you want assistance within any area below! And thank you Microsoft for such a great event and also all you bloggers out there that I’ve linked to in this material.

I must say that this event was positive and a bit scary at the same time. Microsoft is for sure pushing as visionairies and innovators in a lot of areas, and I think that competitors will have a hard time competing in the coming years.

These are the areas where A LOT have been released already and where Microsoft according to my oppinion will increase its market share significantly:

  • Cloud and Mobile services, and with this I don’t mean IaaS service for just running a VM in their public Azure cloud or building a hybrid cloud with connectivity to on-premise datacenters. They are delivering so many capabilities now as PaaS and SaaS services. Just look at the sections below, it’s everything from Enterprise Mobillity Management (EMM), Business Intelligence, Database, Storage, Web Apps/services, Service Availability services (DR, Monitoring/Reporting, Backup etc.), Development, Source Control, Visual Studio Online etc. It’s amazing!!
  • Open Source/Linux support – It’s so cool how much Microsoft have shifted to become an adopter to support more open source technologies and way of thinking than just a couple of years ago! Just have a look at all the Linux support they have in Azure, the Linux support they now have in System Center, Docker support to deliver more DevOps capabilities and all the other services in Azure. It’s amazing and so fun! So now both Microsoft have opened their eyes and realized that they can’t ignore this anymore just like Citrix has with their addition of XenDesktop for Linux with SuSE and RedHat support!

The first day kicked off and was a bombarding of product announcements aimed at helping IT pros secure and manage the new Universal Windows Platform.

CEO Satya Nadella presided over a three-hour keynote, which focused on how Microsoft’s new wave of software and cloud services will enable IT and business transformations that are in line with the ways people now work. Nadella talked up Microsoft’s focus on “productivity and platforms” and how it’s tied with the shift to cloud and mobility. He also highlighted the need for better automation of systems and processes, and better management of the vast amounts of data originating from new sources such as sensors and other Internet-of-Things-type nodes.

As mentioned there where a lot of updates and below I’ve tried to gather these and I hope it gives you a good insight on the infromation we received and also guidance on how you can get more information about the topics.

Included below are links to detailed overviews of each of the demos (from Microsoft blog post) – including information about how to use them, where to learn more, and what you’ll need to get started.

The following picture is a sketch of the keynote and is also quite good at summarizing the message of Mobile and Cloud first!

 

vNiklas also created a great powershell script that automates the downloading of all MS Ignite content with PowerShell and Bits from Channel 9 that you can find here!

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – MDM, MAM, MCSM/MIM etc…

Microsoft’s next chapter in Enterprise Mobility, great blog post on where Microsoft is going etc. http://blogs.technet.com/b/enterprisemobility/archive/2015/05/04/ignite-microsofts-next-chapter- in-enterprise-mobility.aspx …

Windows 10 Continuum – this is cool, think about docking your smartphone to your external screen, keyboard and mouse! That’s try mobility of youre device, this looks really cool and something that I’d like to try out once released!

Have a look at the feature demo at Ignite in the video below.

What’s New and Upcoming with Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager | Microsoft Ignite 2015

This session outlines the latest enhancements in enterprise mobility management using Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager. See the newest Microsoft Intune improvements for managing mobile productivity without compromising compliance, and learn about the futures of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3861/player

In the CloudEnterprise Mobility Management table of content:

Office 2016 public preview available!

Over the last 12 months, we’ve transformed Office from a suite of desktop applications to a complete, cross-platform, cross-device solution for getting work done. We’ve expanded the Office footprint to iPad and Android tablets. We’ve upgraded Office experiences on the Mac, the iPhone and on the web. We’ve even added new apps to the Office family with Sway and Office Lens. All designed to keep your work moving, everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten where we came from. While you’ve seen us focus on tuning Office for different platforms over the last year, make no mistake, Office on Windows desktop is central to our strategy.

In March we introduced an IT Pro and Developer Preview for the 2016 release of our Office desktop apps on Windows, and now—as a next step—we’re ready to take feedback from a broader audience. Today we’re expanding the Office 2016 Preview, making it available to Office users everywhere in preparation for general availability in Fall 2015.

Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, but more importantly they’ll help to shape and improve the future of Office. Visit the Office 2016 Preview site to learn more about the Preview program and if it’s right for you.

New in Office 2016

Since March, we’ve shared some glimpses of what’s to come in Office 2016. Today, we’d like to give a more holistic view of what customers at home and work can expect in the next release. In Office 2016, we’re updating the Office suite for the modern workplace, with smart tools for individuals, teams, and businesses.

Read more…

Synergy 2015 – A condensed recap of everything you need to know – via @gkuruvilla, #Citrix, #CitrixSynergy

This is a great summary recap that George Kuruvill has done of Citrix Synergy 2015! Great work and enjoy this blog post!

For those of you who were not able to attend Citrix Synergy this year & dont have the time to sit through the key note recordings, I decided to put together a condensed version of some of the key announcements. So here goes!

Citrix Workspace Cloud

  • Citrix hosted control plane that enables customers to deliver a comprehensive mobile workspace to end users.
  • Gives customers the flexibility to host workloads on premises, in public or private clouds.
  • Control plane also provides end to end monitoring of user connections.
  • Evergreen infrastructure since Citrix maintains all core infrastructure components.
  • Workspace Cloud Connector installed on premises on a Win 2k12 server that establishes SSL communication between control plane and customer environment. Used to talk to infrastructure components like Active Directory and hypervisors hosting workload

I wrote a blog on CWC and the value proposition a month back that you can find here.

SYN 217 –  Workspace Cloud – Technical Overview [Video]

 

Citrix Lifecycle Management

  • Comprehensive cloud based service that can be used to design, deploy and manage both Citrix and other enterprise applications.
  • Based on the ScaleXtreme technology.
  • Lifecycle Management enables customers/partners to deploy infrastructure not only on premises but also public/private clouds (resource locations)
  • Customers/Partners have the ability to create blueprints to automate infrastructure deployments end to end. Examples of blueprints include a XD deployment for instance where you could not only install all the XD infrastructure but also automate the installation of all supporting infrastructure like Active Directory, SQL etc.
  • Vendors have the ability to create blueprints as well that can then be consumed by customers and partners alike.
  • Customers/Partners also have the ability to incorporate scripts (new/existing) into the deployment.
  • Once a blueprint is developed, its added to a library. Any resource within the library can then be deployed to a resource location (on premises, public/private cloud)
  • Another key benefit of the Lifecycle Management technology is the ability to automate application upgrades.

XenApp/XenDesktop

  • Xenapp 6.5 maintenance extended till end of 2017, EOL extended till 06/2018. Details here
  • New Feature Pack for XA 6.5 (enhance storage performance, Lync support enhancements, UPM enhancements, Director “Help Desk” troubleshooting”, Storefront 3.0, Receiver.next)
  • XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 FP2  (End of Q2)
    • New Receiver X1
    • Lync 2013 on Mac
    • Touch ID Support
    • HDX with Framehawk
    • Native Receiver for Linux
    • Linux Apps and Desktops (Redhat and SUSE support)
    • Desktop Player for Mac 2.0 (June)
    • Desktop Player for Windows (Tech Preview)

SYN 233 – Whats new in XenApp and XenDesktop [Video]

SYN 319 – Tech Update for XenApp and XenDesktop  [Video]

Read more…

#Citrix Workspace Cloud Setup on Microsoft #Azure – #EnvokeIT, #DaaS, #XenDesktop, #NetScaler

This is just so cool and great! Finally we who have seen and played with it can talk about it in the open and Citrix is showing the new Workspace Cloud services!

You can also login and try it out at http://workspace.cloud.com

Of course it’s not 100% ready for all use cases etc. but the concept is just great! There are so many customer out there that don’t want to manage their XenDesktop infrastructure components and just want to purchase XenDesktop or XenMobile like a true cloud service.. and this is it!

Gunner Berger created this great demo video on how he just spins up a couple of Windows server with RDS in Azure and then installs the components on the servers and connector in order to be able to connect the domain and workers to the Workspace service, really cool!

Have a nice weekend and contact us at EnvokeIT if you like to know more about this or if you need help with Azure, Office365, Microsoft Infrastructure or Citrix XenDesktop, NetScaler or XenMobile! ;-)

//Richard

#Cisco acquiring #Nutanix?

Well this is an interesting rumor… I’ve just waited until someone “big” would come and eat Nutanix which has set the scene around web-scale solutions!

Interesting article by Jared Rinderer, CFA, senior research analyst, Equity Capital Research Group.

Datacenter Wars: Cisco Prepares to Fire

Chambers’ Last Salvo. Cisco is actively surveying the battle landscape in the hyperconverged datacenter market. Mr. John Chambers, Cisco’s soon-to-be-retired CEO, will fire one last major barrage in the Datacenter Wars saga before retiring to be Cisco’s executive chairman and thus a battlefield overseer. Cisco’s interest in the hyperconverged market is fall out from VMware’s recent pressure on its parent company, EMC, to cease pushing Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) solution (Application Centric Infrastructure, ACI) inside of VCE for EMC and VMware-labeled customer accounts, EMC’s February 2015 launch of a midmarket converged system (VSPEX BLUE) that utilizes competitive x86 server (Foxconn) and networking (Brocade) products at the expense of Cisco’s gear, and EMC’s July 2013 acquisition of privately-held ScaleIO, a scale-out server-side storage software provider, for $250 million.

  • The Weapon. Analyzing the hyperconverged systems market, Cisco would gain the most strategic value and long-term accretive revenue contribution with the acquisition of privately-held Nutanix, which is the clear market leader thus far. With a private company valuation exceeding $2 billion as of August 2014, Cisco’s purchase will come at a cost, but Mr. Chambers has always shown a willingness to pay to attain strategic datacenter infrastructure assets (enterprise value-to-trailing 12-month revenue multiple of 9.9x or $2.45 billion for Sourcefire in July 2013 and EV/Trevenue multiple of 12.0x or $1.2 billion for Meraki in November 2012). With only $3.2 billion of U.S.-based cash as of January 2015, Cisco will issue debt to complete the Nutanix purchase, which may be announced during Nutanix’s user/partner conference in Miami from June 8-10th.

From Allies to Enemies. VMware and Cisco were key allies enabling x86 server virtualization adoption, with VMware bringing its vSphere virtualization software platform and Cisco providing its UCS x86 servers and Nexus networking gear; however, this strong front began to erode when VMware outbid Cisco in its $1.25 billion acquisition of Nicira in July 2012. Nicira brought a viable software-defined networking platform (NSX) under VMware’s banner and which has now grown to be a formidable competitor in Cisco’s core networking market. Today, VMware and Cisco openly label each other as foes.

  • Confederates. By acquiring Nutanix, Cisco gains a conspirator with a mutual adversary, VMware. For more-than a year now, VMware and Nutanix have been in numerous, highly-heated, public skirmishes. VMware is threatened by Nutanix’s one-stop shop for datacenter infrastructure and its potential to disrupt VMware’s objective of the complete automation of the datacenter. Nutanix dislikes VMware’s strategy tax (known as the “vTax”) and vendor lock-in agenda.

The Frontline. The integrated infrastructure software management and compute/server, storage, and networking systems market is bifurcated into two segments, converged and hyperconverged. The converged systems market was first to market and was trumpeted by Red Hat and VMware with various enterprise systems partners, including Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, NetApp, and Nimble Storage, for high-performance, large-scale datacenter workloads. Finding great interest and revenue generation…

Contiune reading here!

//Richard

PLEASE Citrix fix integration with Azure Stack! – #AzureStack, #CitrixCSP, #CitrixSynergy, #MSIgnite

Hi,

Ok, Microsoft have made some really cool announcements of Azure Stack, yes STACK not Pack. Azure Stack is NOT version 2.0 of Windows Azure Pack.. this is really important to note!

Azure Stack is basically the Azure technology used by the public Azure cloud but you can take that on-premise to your datacenter to deliver your own Azure cloud. No need of VMM or the traditional Fabric Management infrastructure!

AzureStack

This is how Microsoft puts it:

Microsoft Azure Stack brings proven innovation from Microsoft’s hyper-scale public cloud into your datacenter, providing agility and productivity for application owners, flexibility and control for IT, and assurance that corporate assets are protected.

So then we come to the topic of this post, if we know get this really 1st class IaaS and PaaS capabilties on-premise using Azure Stack HOW can we then leverage that to provision Desktop-as-a-Service offerings with Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop on top of it?

My dream would of course be that Citrix provides Workpace Services and the main XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure as a SaaS service, and that you internally just build your Azure Stack Resource Groups with all components needed for the DaaS tenant (network, storage, AD, VM’s to slap the VDA on etc.) using Visual Studio to leverage intellisense and builtin objects/IDE capabilities to add resources to your json deployment template file. So when you provision this deployment into your Azure Stack IaaS solution you spin up everything for the tenant and then slap the VDA on there that just connects to the XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure in the Citrix cloud to automate this and reduce the need of managing that part!

That would be awesome!

Please Citrix deliver this instead of App Orchestration!

//R

#Outlook for Android released with some minor spelling mistakes :-) – #Office365, #Microsoft, #Mobility via @Office365 and @Outlook

Microsoft has now released the Outlook app from Android, it’s no longer a preview.

There has been a lot of debate around this app and how it handles your credentials etc. but I must say that from a usability point of view it’s good!

One little fun thing that I saw is that they have missed how they spelled Dropbox in the “getting started intro” of the app… :-)

Outlook_spelled_dropbox_wrong_android1

Today we are excited to announce we have removed the preview label from Outlook for Android.

In January, we released Outlook for iOS and a preview of Outlook for Android. At the time, the iOS version of Outlook was ahead of the Android version in terms of features and performance. We set a high bar for where we wanted Outlook for Android to be before we removed the preview label. Since our preview release we’ve updated Outlook for Android 17 times—that’s more than one update per week—to meet this bar. A big part of that work has been improving the performance and stability of the app along with work on localization, accessibility and other fit and finish pieces. The other part of this work was about delivering features to add new value, match the iOS version and respond to your feedback.

Along with apps like Sway, the new Office universal apps for Windows 10, OneNote and others—Outlook is an example of Office’s new development model for building mobile apps—deliver a great first version of our apps and then iterate quickly with the help and feedback of our users. This removal from preview is not a change in that plan or a statement that we are ‘done.’ We will continue our pace of updates to make the app better each week in response your feedback.

In case you haven’t been using Outlook as your primary email app yet, here are some of the end user features we have delivered in the past three months:

Improved look and feel

We’ve continued to polish the look and feel of the app. We updated our icon sets and simplified our fonts to provide a more consistent Outlook experience across operating systems and devices. But it was also important for Outlook to feel like a natural part of Android. We use common Android design principles like the Navigation Drawer to house the multiple tools offered in the app and have common actions like settings available in the App Overflow menu.

Outlook for Android comes out of preview 1

IMAP support

Read more…

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