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Posts Tagged ‘control’

#VDI Calculator v5 is Now Available with Major New Features – #IaaS, #Storage, #BYOD via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is awesome! Great work by @andreleibovici!

I am happy to announce the General Availability of the new VDI Calculator v5. This new version is the single biggest release since I started delivering the calculator. I have completely re-architected the way the calculator works, allowing multiple types of desktops to be configured in a single calculation for a single solution.
 
All existing features have been retained and will work in the exact same way you are used to, but you now have the ability to select different  options for different types of desktops or desktop pools.
 
As an example, you may choose Desktop Type 1 to be a ‘student’ desktop using Linked Clones with 10 different pools; conversely you may choose Desktop Type 2 to be a ‘professor’ desktop using Full Clones with 5 individual pools. This new calculator gives you much more granular control over your calculations eliminating repetitive tasks when sizing larger environments.
 
To enable multi-desktop pool calculations just select ‘-’ and ‘+’ in the top bar menu.
 

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 9.50.39 AM

 
Another additional feature is what I call ‘Ask for Help‘. During the application session when you select the Update option a new screen will show up asking if you would like to be contacted by VDI solutions vendors that can help reduce costs, improve performance or improve manageability of your VDI solution. If you are interested…

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…

Designing a virtual desktop environment? – #XenDesktop, #Citrix

This is a good blog post by Niraj Patel.

Questions: How do you successfully design a virtual desktop solution for 1,000 users?  How about 10,000 users?  What about 50,000 users?  What are the questions you should be asking?  Most importantly, where do you start?

Answer: Hire Citrix Consulting for your next virtual desktop project!  OK, that is one right answer, but not the only way to do it.  The successful way to design a virtual desktop environment is to follow a modular approach using the 5 layers defined within the Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook.  Breaking apart a virtual desktop project into different layers provides a modular approach that reduces risks and increase chances for your project’s success no matter how larger you’re planned deployment is.  What are the 5 layers and some examples of the decisions are defined within them?

  1. User Layer:  Recommended end-points and the required user functionality.
  2. Access Layer:  How the user will connect to their desktop hosted in the desktop layer.  Decisions for local vs. remote access, firewalls and SSL-VPN communications are addressed within this layer.
  3. Desktop Layer:  The desktop layer contains the user’s virtual desktop and is subdivided into three components; image, applications, and personalization.  Decisions related to FlexCast model, application requirements, policy, and profile design are addressed in this layer.
  4. Control Layer:  Within the control layer decisions surrounding the management and maintenance of the overall solution are addressed.  The control layer is comprised of access controllers, desktop controllers and infrastructure controllers.  Access controllers support the access layer, desktop controllers support the desktop layer, and infrastructure controllers provide the underlying support for each component within the architecture.
  5. Hardware Layer:  The hardware layer contains the physical devices required to support the entire solution, and includes servers, processors, memory and storage devices.

Want to know how to get started?  Try the Citrix Project Accelerator.  Input criteria around your business requirements, technical expertise, end user requirements, applications, etc. to get started on your architecture based on the 5 layer model.

Lastly, don’t forget to come see SYN318…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Windows #Intune – Toyota rolls out to more than 3000 clients

Automotive Retailer Avoids $1.3 Million in IT Costs with Cloud-Based PC Management Tool

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) had no tools to manage 3,500 car-diagnostic PCs running outside the corporate domain at 3,000 dealerships. TME chose Windows Intune to manage the PCs remotely from a web-based console. It can standardize software deployments to ensure consistent customer service and enhance the security of managed computers to reduce downtime at dealerships. Remote assistance capabilities will also help reduce on-site support costs.

Business Needs
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) manages a network of 30 national marketing and sales companies (NMSC) across Europe. These organizations oversee more than 3,000 dealerships.

In early 2012, TME replaced its stand-alone car-diagnostic tool called IT2 with 3,500 new PCs running more up-to-date software, including Tech Stream and Picoscope. The PCs also store technical documentation. Mechanics attach the PCs to a Vehicle Information Module that connects to a vehicle’s engine to provide critical maintenance information, such as how to reprogram and update a vehicle’s computer chip. The PCs were installed by an external company. The computers are not joined to the domain and operate outside the corporate firewall.

TME did not have a management solution for these 3,500 computers. “We wanted everyone to use the new tools, but we had no visibility into how the dealerships were working with the PCs,” says Niels Svaerke, Manager, Business Process Office, After Sales at Toyota Motor Europe. 

NMSC staff downloaded diagnostic software to the PCs from a Toyota intranet site. However, there was no way for headquarters to verify that all dealerships received and installed the software updates concurrently. “It was difficult to ensure that everyone was providing the same level of service by using the same corporate systems and auto diagnostics,” says Dirk Christiaens, Manager of Enterprise Architecture at Toyota Motor Europe. “Also, the head office had no way of knowing if the dealerships deployed an antivirus solution for their PCs, a worrying scenario as they were connected directly to the Internet.”

NMSC employees performed on-site support for mechanics, which often entails travel time. Sometimes, NMSC staff called an external company to reinstall all the software on the PC. Either scenario incurred wasteful downtime at the dealerships.

Solution
To solve these issues, Toyota Motor Europe decided to evaluate Windows Intune, the cloud-based PC management service from Microsoft. Staff at the NMSC can use the web-based Administration console in Windows Intune to run PC management tasks remotely, including software distribution. All that is required is a standard Internet connection, a browser running Microsoft Silverlight, and the Windows Intune client software installed on the PCs at the dealerships. The client returns information on the PC, including software and hardware inventory, and endpoint protection and update status to the Administration console.“We wanted to move into cloud computing, so Windows Intune met our needs perfectly,” says Christiaens. “Windows Intune had a more flexible, pay-as-you-go model, with no additional bandwidth or server costs.”

Read the whole case study here!

//Richard

Windows Azure Active Directory (AD) has reached General Availability!

April 9, 2013 1 comment

This is cool! And I think that it’s a great step in the right direction for many companies! 🙂

Windows Azure Active Directory

Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD) is a modern, REST-based service that provides identity management and access control capabilities for your cloud applications. Now you have one identity service across Windows Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Intune and other 3rd party cloud services. Windows Azure Active Directory provides a cloud-based identity provider that easily integrates with your on-premises AD deployments and full support of third party identity providers.

Use Windows Azure AD to:

Integrate with your on-premises active directory

Quickly extend your existing on-premises Active Directory to apply policy and control and authenticate users with their existing corporate credentials to Windows Azure and other cloud services.

Offer access control for you applications

Easily manage access to your applications based on centralized policy and rules. Ensure consistent and appropriate access to your organizations applications is maintained to meet critical internal security and compliance needs. Windows Azure AD Access Control provides developers centralized authentication and authorization for applications in Windows Azure using either consumer identity providers or your on-premises Windows Server Active Directory

Build social connections across the enterprise

Windows Azure AD Graph is an innovative social enterprise graph providing an easy RESTful interface for accessing objects such as Users, Groups, and Roles with an explorer view for easily discovering information and relationships.

Provide single sign-on across your cloud applications

Provide your users with a seamless, single sign-on experience across Microsoft Online Services, third party cloud services and applications built on Windows Azure with popular web identity providers like Microsoft Account, Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook.

Read more about the service here!

Pricing

Access Control

Access Control is available at no charge. Historically, we have charged for Access Control based on the number of transactions. We are now making it a free benefit of using Windows Azure.

Directory

The base directory, Tenant, User & Group Management, Single Sign On, Graph API, Cloud application provisioning, Directory Synchronization and Directory Federation, is available at no charge. Certain additional capabilities such as Azure AD Rights Management will be available as a separately priced option.

Read more about pricing here!

//Richard

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