Archive

Archive for the ‘BYOD’ Category

A look at Work Folders – #Microsoft, #WorkFolders, #MIM, #BYOD – via @STEALTHPUPPY

This is an interesting new feature by Microsoft. I’ve touched upon the topic in my earlier post: #Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix

And here you have another good blog post from Aaron Parker around the topic!

Microsoft announced some interesting new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 at TechEd 2013 and one of those that piqued my interest is Work Folders. I’m not the biggest fan of Redirected Folders and Offline files, but it’s essentially the only enterprise solution Microsoft provides today for taking your data offline. Microsoft needs to provide a completely new method of syncing file data – one that is designed for todays use cases and computing environment.

Work Folders is a brand new direction for enabling access to data in offline scenarios, along the lines of Citrix ShareFile and Dropbox, but without the web and sharing features. Like most Microsoft OS features, Work Folders is tied to a specific release of Windows; however according to this Channel 9 video, Microsoft will release Work Folders for Windows 7, iOS and “other devices” (presumably Android). This is excellent news.

Here’s a short look at setting up and connecting to Work Folders using the preview releases of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 – what’s version 1.0 going to deliver?

Server Configuration

For a more detailed walkthrough on deploying Work Folders, download this document: Windows Server 2012 R2: Enabling Windows Server Work Folders.

Work Folders is a component of the File and Storage Services role in Windows Server. I’ve installed Windows Server 2012 R2 into a virtual machine and am using local storage.

WorkFolders-InstallRole

Once installed, Work Folders is managed through Server Manager:

WorkFolders-ServerManager

Creating a new sync share is performed via a wizard which will first ask where the Sync Share will be located. This can be a new folder or an existing share – mixing user home drives and Work Folders should be possible. Note that at this time, Work Folders only supports providing users with exclusive access to Sync Share location – there is no provision for providing access to shared data. Read more…

#Citrix #XenDesktop 7 on #vSphere Validated Design Guide is available now!

Really good design guide by Citrix and blog post by Carisa Powell:

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Citrix Solutions Lab 5000-user XenDesktop 7 on vSphere Validated Design Guide.

Yes, you read that right, XenDesktop on vSphere.  XenDesktop is also known to many vSphere customers as the best VDI solution for vSphere, and this design guide showcases the latest release of XenDesktop features and functionality all being hosted on a vSphere hypervisor.  XenDesktop is the best of both virtual apps and desktops from a single platform, so XenDesktop is VDI, XenDesktop is app virtualization, XenDesktop is server-hosted apps and desktops, XenDesktop is secure remote access, XenDesktop is mobility…and with XenDesktop 7 you get all of this functionality from a single platform.

This design guide combines everything that is XenDesktop 7 and delivers it from vSphere to showcase how you can provide an app, desktop, remote access, and more solution for any type of user:

  • VDI – XenDesktop offers a variety of VDI use cases, whether the user needs a standardized, corporate desktop that remains consistent and routine, or the user needs a personalized virtual desktop that he or she can customize to meet their business needs.  This design guide validates XenDesktop Provisioning Services central image management technology for Pooled VDI on vSphere and XenDesktop Personal vDisk technology for delivering Personal VDI on vSphere.
  • Server-hosted Apps and Desktops – XenDesktop also offers server-hosted apps and desktops by leveraging Microsoft Remote Desktop Shared Hosted (RDSH) technology to enable multiple users to connect and share resources from a single server.  This design guide showcases XenDesktop server-hosted resources from Windows Servers on vSphere.
  • Remote Access – XenDesktop leverages Citrix NetScaler appliances to provide secure, remote access from any location.  NetScaler can be a virtual or physical appliance, and this design guide highlights the implementation and configurations of NetScaler Gateway virtual appliances on vSphere.

So why showcase all the features and functionality of XenDesktop 7 on vSphere?  Staying true to the Citrix vision, XenDesktop continues to remain the only hypervisor agnostic app and desktop virtualization solution – including VDI, virtual apps and more.  This means XenDesktop 7 seamlessly integrates with any hypervisor including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix

August 19, 2013 2 comments

I don’t know if you all agree but I find that Microsoft is making some really good strategic decisions to align themselves and be ready for the “next generation” workplace and client services. Everyone has been talking about BYOx and that everyone will bring their own device and consume business services and functions on that device in parallel to doing personal stuff.

But has BYOD taken off yet?

I personally think that it hasn’t to the extent that many thought it would, there are some companies in some countries that have adopted it for some use cases and user categories, but the majority is still struggling with it though their business apps and functions aren’t really there to support this way of working yet.

Even if they have a NetScaler or similar remote access capabilities with some sort of Desktop and App virtualization (like Citrix XenDesktop) to run the apps it’s still not enough. How do you solve the offline working scenario? And isn’t hosted apps and desktops just a legacy workaround until those business processes have been SaaS’ified? And what about “dropbox” alternatives, H: drives and G: drives, Sharepoint data etc. There is still a user data mess (read my earlier post on this) that needs to be solved and especially a “mega aggregator” tool for getting data/content and synch across devices in a secure manner (data also encrypted at rest on ALL devices and not just mobiles)…

Microsoft is kind of stepping up here I must say from a strategy point of view that makes me believe in them, even though I’ve said that no one ever will take my MacBook Air from me! Have a look at the features that are coming with Windows 8.1 to support a more “semi-controlled” or “semi-trusted” device, and the new cloud services like Azure AD, Windows Intunes offerings in combination with the online messaging and collaboration Office 365 services. And they are apparently also working on a “legacy” cloud service to offer desktops as a service (DaaS) as I wrote in a previous blog post as well.

I think that Microsoft is moving in the right direction towards offering the next generation enterprise IT services and to support the new way of working, and fast!

Have a look at these posts/articles on the news in Windows 8.1:

Everything you need, right from (the) Start

Microsoft is focused on delivering one experience across all the devices in your life. The centerpiece of that strategy and experience are the Microsoft services and apps that come right from (the) Start on your new Windows device.

This is the first blog post in a series that will highlight the apps and services driving toward this “one experience” vision. This experience comes to life through more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that come as part of Windows 8.1, including a new one that we are announcing today – Skype, right from (the) Start!

Apps_Graphic_White_REV

It’s where you want to go today….

Read more…

10 Mobile Device Management Leaders That Help IT Control #BYOD, #Gartner, #Citrix, #MDM

Consumers love their smartphones and tablets, so it should come as no surprise that they want to use their devices at work. The pressure to develop and deploy a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is on and coming from every direction, including the ‘C’ suite of executives who tend to be especially keen on using smartphones and tablets for their work.

Managing devices in a BYOD environment is no small feat, and the right mobile device management (MDM) product is a key component in making it work. Here are 10 leading MDM vendors in the market today, drawn from the leaders and visionaries in Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software

 
 

Source: Gartner (May 2013)

Continue reading here!

//Richard

 

Hosting #Citrix Desktops from the #Amazon Cloud – #AWS, #BYOD, #DaaS, #NetScaler

A good blog post by Ken Oestreich.

That’s right. Run your XenApp on AWS and NetScaler on AWS .

Those capabilities has been around for a while, and over time Citrix has been working to make set-up and configuration even easier.

Whether you are a large enterprise, smaller business, or even a service provider, deploying on the AWS cloud could yield you many more benefits and operational advantages than you could get than deploying XenApp on your own equipment.

Is it for me?

It could be. If you answer “yes” to any of the following, you may want to look more closely:

  • You’re Moving infrastructure to the cloud – if you wish to leverage the cloud to host infrastructure – either for convenience, cost, capital expense avoidance, availability, or other attributes.
  • You’re Cost-conscious – Amazon’s EC2 cloud often provides customers with a significant reduction in hardware, networking and/or storage costs, particularly due to the pay-as-you-go nature of EC2 capacity. This helps avoid over-provisioning, and allows for real-time matching of capacity to demand.
  • You don’t have a data center – Many customers chose to avoid building on-premesis data centers altogether while remaining staunch believers in Citrix software. These are small/medium businesses require agile – and often outsourced – infrastructure
  • You have modest administration/deployment knowledge –  Many customers prefer not to invest in the skills needed to maintain data center hardware, but insist on retaining application administration skills. Leveraging IaaS infrastructure in the cloud is the ideal approach whereby hardware configuration and maintenance is avoided.
  • You have a dynamic business that needs to quickly react to change – Businesses with significant growth curves or seasonality often over-provision infrastructure for peak use, locking-up precious fixed capital that is frequently idle.

Tools, resources, economics

The Citrix community has made available Amazon CloudFormation scripts that greatly simplify configuration, set-up and operation of large-scale XenApp instances. We also have spent hours looking at the economics of running your Citrix infrastructure on AWS. These include

We also make it easy to use products/licenses on AWS…

Continue reading here

//Richard

#Citrix #XenDesktop 7 released – #RTW, #BYOD, #HSD, #VDI

Ok, it’s here! The official release is now available for everyone!

XenDesktop 7 Editions

There are tons of blog posts and materials already out there and some great features as well that comes with this new release from Citrix. If you haven’t already played with the Excalibur release and know about them I suggest that you start evaluating and testing now!

Here are some good links to have a look at:

Enjoy! 🙂

//Richard

#BYOD + #Messaging + #Collaboration + #Data securely = How??

Yes, how do you solve this?

I’m running into this topic lately with a lot of people and customers….

It’s around the whole BYOD and unmanaged devices and how useful they are in an enterprise world and all the capabilities and way of working that you’re used to in a secure and still cost effective way (and let’s not forget in a USER FRIENDLY way)!

One question that I’ve not yet found an answer to is:

How do we have all offline capabilities needed for an “Office” worker on a BYOD in our enterprise landscape? How do we ensure that you can use our Messaging, Collaboration and Data/Info services on this totally unmanaged device in a SECURE way?

This is a tough challenge! I guess that most of your users are used to using the Office suite locally on their managed device where they can use Outlook offline, work with data/files in Excel and Word etc offline. But what happens if you tell them to use an unmanaged device or their own personal device of their choice?

All of a sudden there is no real good way of providing them with offline messaging and collaboration (Outlook Anywhere and Lync for instance) capabilities in a secure manner. This BYOD/unmanaged device is not a part of your AD, you have no control and cannot enforce anything! So Outlook that is installed on it may use your Outlook Anywhere service but then its data sits on that unmanaged device unencrypted and unsecured!

Overview_BYOD_Messaging_Outlook_Anywhere

Think of the picture above (yes I know it’s a mess but I just want to illustrate the issue), you have BYOD devices that are running Windows 7, XP, 8 etc and also Mac OS X. What if you open up your Outlook anywhere service to those devices, then all your emails etc. will be unsecured on them!

Citrix and others are focusing on providing this email capability in a secure manner on all mobile OS’s like iOS and Android etc through it’s Citrix Worx apps for mail and also the newly announced Hosted MobileMail. But these are more or less just targeted against mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), but what about the standard laptop users!?!?! They need something as well!

And Windows RMS and other solutions just wont fit very well here… Citrix XenVault was something that could have worked to enable offline support for corporate Messaging services but it’s not there… I’d like to run corporate apps locally on the device offline in a secure and controllable container!!

The same issue you have with Data!!!

ShareFile doesn’t support encryption on Windows or OS X!!!

But it does on mobile devices.. I guess you have to trust your users and BYOD devices that they are encrypted using BitLocker or FileVault etc…. but can you?

So please enlighten me here what the missing puzzle piece is!! Because I have a hard time taking away a managed device form a user and tell them that they on their BYOD device HAVE TO BE ONLINE TO WORK! It’s a step back from a usability and productiveness point of view… but it may be a cost saver though… but is a BYOD/unmanaged device and a VDI or Hosted Shared Desktop always a good option to provide business apps to that laptop? NO! I guess everyone have understood that making business apps and functions web-based or mobile app based is good and a lot of focus is there, but we cannot forget the traditional productive device that the laptop is!

If you know the magic solution to these challenges please let me know! 🙂

Cheers!

//Richard

#Windows 8.1’s #BYOD enhancements ready for business adoption – via @kenhess

This is actually great news and a great article by Ken Hess! Microsoft is finally understanding the new BYOD use cases and scenarios! Interesting reading…

Summary: Microsoft understands, better than any other software company, that BYOD is actually a thing. It’s a thing to be dealt with at the source, which is exactly what they’re doing.

Everyone has weighed in on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update due at the end of the month, but few have highlighted the finer points of this significant update. Personally, I see Windows 8.1 as the new business operating system for desktop computing. Microsoft has listened to its critics and has made some super improvements on its much-beleagured new operating system.

Some of the more exciting improvements come in the form of BYOD enhancements. I believe that it is these features that will propel Windows 8.x onto corporate desktop systems and out of critical oblivion.

Excerpt from Stephen L. Rose’s Springboard Blog on Windows.com.

B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) Enhancements

  • Workplace Join – A Windows 8 PC was either domain joined or not. If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms. This feature allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources. With Workplace Join, IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources. If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device to ensure the security of corporate assets.
  • Work Folders – Work Folders allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation’s data center. Files created locally will sync back to the file server in the corporate environment. This syncing is natively integrated into the file system. Note, this all happens outside the firewall client sync support. Previously, Windows 8 devices needed to be domain joined (or required domain credentials) for access to file shares. Syncing could be done with 3rd party folder replication apps. With Work Folders, Users can keep local copies of their work files on their devices, with automatic synchronization to your data center, and for access from other devices. IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share (including automated Rights Management) and require Workplace Join to be in place.
  • Open MDM- While many organizations have investments with System Center and will continue to leverage these investments we also know that many organizations want to manage certain classes of devices, like tablets and BYOD devices, as mobile devices. With Windows 8.1, you can use an OMA-DM API agent to allow management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch .
  • NFC tap-to-pair printing – Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print without hunting on your network for the correct printer. You also don’t need to buy new printers to take advantage of this; you can simply put an NFC tag on your existing printers to enable this functionality.
  • Wi-Fi Direct printing – Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and any Wi-Fi enabled printer.
  • Native Miracast wireless display – Present your work wirelessly with no connection cords or dongles needed; just pair with project to a Miracast-enabled projector through Bluetooth or NFC and Miracast will use Wi-Fi to let you project wire-free.
  •  Mobile Device Management – When a user enrolls their device, they are joining the device to the Windows Intune management service. They get access to the Company Portal which provides a consistent experience for access to their applications, data and to manage their own devices. This allows a deeper management experience with existing tools like Windows Intune. IT administrators now have more comprehensive policy management for Windows RT devices, and can manage Windows 8.1 PCs as mobile devices without having to deploy a full management client.
  • Web Application Proxy – The Web Application Proxy is a new role service in the Windows Server Remote Access role. It provides the ability to publish access to corporate resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as apply conditional access policies to verify both the user’s identity and the device they are using…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Citrix Worx Apps announced! #CitrixSynergy, #BYOD

“Worx Enroll” and “Worx Home” apps announced to support the MDM, MAM, Web, Saas and Win apps/desktop (XA/XD) from ONE STORE!!

This is something that we all have been waiting for!! Finally a one-stop-shop/app in where an end user can use their personal devices and consume MAM, MIM and WaaS (Windows as a Service) deliverables without enrolling to a full MDM service. And those devices that are corporate assets enables you to do the same delivery and add the MDM capabilities needed (e.g: geofencing, pass code and other policies and asset mgmt) with the same end user UI!!!

I want to see this in action and get my hands on it NOW! 😉

//Richard

#BYOD: From optional to mandatory by 2017, says #Gartner

I agree with this great article and the analysis made by Gartner.

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has for some time been gaining traction in the workplace, as not only a way of freeing up IT costs but also liberalizing workers from being virtually chained, clunky, aging machines at their desks.

But latest research from Gartner suggests that by 2017, half of employers may impose a mandatory BYOD policy — requiring staffs to bring their own laptop, tablet and smartphone to work.

As an optional policy, workplaces still have an IT fallback option, but many are choosing to bring their own tablets and smartphones to work in order to work more effectively using the technology they feel more comfortable with.

Some interesting tidbits from the research:

  • 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing workplace devices to staff by 2016. (PCs, such as desktops and laptops, are included in the definition of BYOD.)
  • BYOD is most prevalent in midsize and larger enterprises, often generating between $500m-$5bn in revenue per year, with 2,500-5,000 employees on the roster.
  • BRIC nations, such as India, China, and Brazil, will most likely already be using a personal device — typically a “standard mobile phone” — at work.
  • Meanwhile, companies in the U.S. are more likely to allow BYOD than those in Europe (likely due to stronger data protection rules, see below).
  • Around half of all BYOD programs provide a partial reimbursement, while full reimbursement costs “will become rare.”
  • Gartner vice president David Willis says companies should “subsidize only the service plan on a smartphone.”

But there’s a problem within. Those who have yet to adopt a BYOD policy often generally cite one of two good reasons (or both): interoperability and…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

%d bloggers like this: