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Posts Tagged ‘IT’

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – #Nutanix, #WebScale, #Dell, #EnvokeIT, #Gartner

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

As usual it’s very interesting when Gartner takes a look at the trends for the coming year. I must say that I agree with many of them, one of the trends is very close to my heart and what I think should have been on the agenda of most CIO’s prior to 2015, and this is: Web-Scale IT.

Why haven’t more enterprise and solution architects been looking earlier at how to simplify the delivery of the “commodity” service that IaaS should be in todays IT world. Yes I know that most enterprises have a “legacy” environment that is hard to just transform, they have a service delivery organisation with certain competences and are being bombarded by salesmen from the older legacy providers that this new way is scary (up until they themselves come up with a story on web-scale of course). But it’s time to wake up and look at how you can change your Compute, Network and Storage components to reduce complexity, increase flexibility/agility, focus on core business (apps and services on top) and also reduce your TCO.

One way is of course to move to the cloud and let someone else bother about this, but I yet don’t see that the larger enterprises are looking at this and there is a hesitation though most haven’t gotten to the point of understanding the TCO model and how to compare their As-Is costs to the cost that they get from the costing tools of Azure, Amazon etc. Why is this? My view is that most don’t have a clear understanding of their own As-Is TCO, they understand how much a server costs, and storage costs, but not the TCO when it comes to facility/datacenter costs, power & cooling, HW costs, support and operational costs, license costs and the overview of that in a TCO model they can understand or compare with “the cloud”.

Ok, as usual I’m getting a bit sidetracked but I love this topic and I must encourage you to contact EnvokeIT if you need help to understand the Web-Scale IT concept and how it can add value to you and your business. We work with Nutanix and Dell and can assist in assessing your existing As-Is solution and forming the To-Be target architecture and the strategy to get there based on your requirements and needs. Of course we’re not locked into Dell or Nutanix and have experience within Azure and other public cloud providers as well as other hardware vendor solutions like HP, NetApp etc.

If you like to see a really cool solution that is coming then have a look at my previous post including a short and cool video: Dell + Nutanix = awesome!

Here we have the top 10 trends for 2015 that Gartner have identified:

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, October 5-9 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
Read more…

#XenDesktop 7.1 Service Template Tech Preview for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager – #SCVMM

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

This is interesting! Really good and can’t wait to try it out!

Introduction

Let’s face it, installing distributed, enterprise-class virtual desktop and server based computing infrastructure is time consuming and complex.  The infrastructure consists of many components that are installed on individual servers and then configured to work together.  Traditionally this has largely been a manual, error prone process.

The Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Service Template for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) leverages the rich automation capabilities available in Microsoft’s private cloud offering to significantly streamline and simplify the installation experience.  The XenDesktop 7.1 Service Template enables rapid deployment of virtual app and desktop infrastructure on Microsoft System Center 2012 private clouds.  This Tech Preview is available now and includes the latest 7.1 version of XenDesktop that supports Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

Key Benefits:

  • Rapid Deployment – A fully configured XenDesktop 7.1 deployment that adheres to Citrix best practices is automatically installed in about an hour; a manual installation can take a day or more.
  • Reduction of human errors and the unwanted consequences – IT administrators answer 9 questions about the XenDesktop deployment, including the VM Network to use, the domain to join, the SQL server used to host the database, the SCVMM server to host the desktops, and the administrative service accounts to connect to each of these resources.  Once this information is entered, the Service Template automation installs the XenDesktop infrastructure the same way, every time, ensuring consistency and correctness.
  • Reduction in cost of IT Operations – XenDesktop infrastructure consistently configured with automation is less costly to support because the configuration adheres to best practice standards.
  • Free highly skilled and knowledgeable staff from repeatable and mundane tasks – A Citrix administrator’s time is better spent focused on ensuring that users get access to the applications they need, rather than lengthy production installation tasks.
  • Simplified Eval to Retail Conversion – Windows Server 2012 and later, as well as XenDesktop 7.1, support conversion of evaluation product keys to retail keys.  This means that a successful POC deployment of the XenDesktop 7.1 Service Template is easily converted to a fully supported and properly configured production deployment.
  • Easy Scale-Out for greater capacity – SCVMM Service Templates support a scale-out model to increase user capacity.  For example, as user demand increases additional XenDesktop Controllers and StoreFront servers are easily added with a few clicks and are automatically joined to the XenDesktop site.

The XenDesktop Service Templates were developed and tested with the support of our friends and partners at Dell, who, in support of the release of XenDesktop 7.1 and the Service Template technical preview, are expected to launch new and innovative solutions that include these and other automation capabilities this quarter.  These solutions are based on the Dell DVS Enterprise for Citrix XenDesktop solutions.

Simplification of Distributed Deployments

The XenDesktop 7.1 in-box installation wizard is a fantastic user experience that automatically installs all the required prerequisites and XenDesktop components in under 30 minutes.  The result is a fully installed XenDesktop deployment, all on a single server, that is excellent for POCs and product evaluations.  The installation and configuration challenges occur when you want to install XenDesktop in production, with enterprise-class scalability, distributed across multiple servers.

Manual Installation Steps

XenDesktop 7 manual installation steps

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#Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service – #IaaS

August 29, 2013 1 comment

Market Definition/Description

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies. Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service; it parallels the infrastructure and data center initiatives of IT. Cloud compute IaaS constitutes the largest segment of this market (the broader IaaS market also includes cloud storage and cloud printing). Only cloud compute IaaS is evaluated in this Magic Quadrant; it does not cover cloud storage providers, platform as a service (PaaS) providers, software as a service (SaaS) providers, cloud services brokerages or any other type of cloud service provider, nor does it cover the hardware and software vendors that may be used to build cloud infrastructure. Furthermore, this Magic Quadrant is not an evaluation of the broad, generalized cloud computing strategies of the companies profiled.

In the context of this Magic Quadrant, cloud compute IaaS (hereafter referred to simply as “cloud IaaS” or “IaaS”) is defined as a standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities, are owned by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand. The resources are scalable and elastic in near-real-time, and metered by use. Self-service interfaces are exposed directly to the customer, including a Web-based UI and, optionally, an API. The resources may be single-tenant or multitenant, and hosted by the service provider or on-premises in the customer’s data center.

We draw a distinction between cloud infrastructure as a service, and cloud infrastructure as atechnology platform; we call the latter cloud-enabled system infrastructure (CESI). In cloud IaaS, the capabilities of a CESI are directly exposed to the customer through self-service. However, other services, including noncloud services, may be delivered on top of a CESI; these cloud-enabled services may include forms of managed hosting, data center outsourcing and other IT outsourcing services. In this Magic Quadrant, we evaluate only cloud IaaS offerings; we do not evaluate cloud-enabled services. (See “Technology Overview for Cloud-Enabled System Infrastructure” and “Don’t Be Fooled by Offerings Falsely Masquerading as Cloud Infrastructure as a Service” for more on this distinction.)

This Magic Quadrant covers all the common use cases for cloud IaaS, including development and testing, production environments (including those supporting mission-critical workloads) for both internal and customer-facing applications, batch computing (including high-performance computing [HPC]) and disaster recovery. It encompasses both single-application workloads and “virtual data centers” (VDCs) hosting many diverse workloads. It includes suitability for a wide range of application design patterns, including both “cloud-native”….

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

Source: Gartner (August 2013)

Continue reading here!

//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

Free whitepaper: Enterprise #Architecture and ITIL: Implementing Service Strategy

Have a look at this free whitepaper!

In the previous paper “Enterprise Architecture and ITIL: Where is the Value in ITIL?” Trevor Lea-Cox looked at why and under what circumstances Service Management, the focus of ITIL® is important.

Essentially Service Management is important because the concept and use of services is a powerful mechanism for structuring and managing the growth of an organization, including the IT function.  As the IT function grows, IT Services reach a level of complexity where they can no longer be managed on an informal basis.  ITIL provides the best practice guidelines for managing IT Services on a (progressively) more formal basis.

In this paper Trevor will:

  • Review (briefly) the recommendations of ITIL for developing and managing a Service Strategy for IT Services.
  • Try to clarify what is meant by an “IT Service”.
  • Then apply these principles to managing a small EA department within an IT function.

Register and download here!

//Richard

It all ADDS up with #BYOD (Assess + Design + Deploy + Support = Success)

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Below you can read about a couple of webinars coming up on Citrix’s view on how to get your BYOD strategy up and running!

Cowboy consumerization is here…and it’s here to stay.  You may not want to admit it, but you already have a few “outlaws” in your organization who are using their own devices, regardless of whether you allow them to or not. In fact, you probably have entire departments accessing email, apps and data on devices and through services that are not secure. The consumerization of IT is here to stay, so you may as well embrace it.

When business information is accessed by user-owned, consumer-grade devices, the right technology foundation is essential to ensure IT control. The question is where to begin. What are the business, user and IT benefits of enabling bring-your-own device (BYOD)?

The business wants to make employees more productive yet remain compliant. Users want access to all their enterprise apps and data from their many devices and IT wants to ensure security and control in a way that’s simple to manage.

Before you begin a BYOD initiative, it’s important to understand the underlying products that will become a part of your BYOD solution and their functionality and feature sets. One size does not fit all and, even though a BYOD solution may seem complex, it’s important to realize that it all boils down to addressing four key things:

  • Multiple Devices – Employees are bringing their own devices (on average 3) into the workplace – whether you like it or not.
  • Lots of Apps – IT have lots of them and different types (Windows, Web, SaaS and Mobile) that everyone want access to from their device.
  • Unmanaged Data – Employees are..

Continue reading here!

//Richard

More Than 50% of Mobile Apps Deployed Will be Hybrid – #Gartner, #BYOD

February 11, 2013 1 comment

Gartner Says by 2016, More Than 50 Percent of Mobile Apps Deployed Will be Hybrid

Gartner’s 2013 Mobile and Wireless Predictions Reflect Mobility’s Impact on the Broader

With enterprises under extreme pressure from management and employees to develop and deploy mobile applications to accommodate mobile work styles and increase customer engagement, Gartner, Inc. predicts that more than 50 percent of mobile apps deployed by 2016 will be hybrid.

“Mobility has always been a separate topic for IT professionals, but it is now influencing mainstream strategies and tactics in the wider areas of technology enablement and enterprise architectures,” said Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Increasingly, enterprises are finding that they need to support multiple platforms, especially as the [bring your own device] BYOD trend gains momentum.”

To address the need for mobile applications, enterprises are looking to leverage applications across multiple platforms. The advantages of the hybrid architecture, which combines the portability of HTML5 Web apps with a native container that facilitates access to native device features, will appeal to many enterprises.

The need for context awareness in mobile applications has increased with the capabilities of mobile devices, causing developers to consider both hybrid and native architectures. For applications to leverage location information, notification systems, mapping capabilities and even on-device hardware such as the camera, the applications need to be developed using either hybrid or native architectures. This has caused enterprise developers to consider alternatives to Web application……

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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