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How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Here we are again… a lot of companies and Solution Architects are scratching their heads thinking about how we’re going to do it “this time”.

Most of you out there have something today, probably running XenApp on your VMware or XenServer hypervisor with a FC SAN or something, perhaps provisioned using PVS or just managed individually. There is also most likely a “problem” with talking to the Storage team that manage the storage service for the IaaS service that isn’t built for the type of workloads that XenApp and XenDesktop (VDI) requires.

So how are you going to do it this time? Are you going to challenge the Storage and Server/IaaS service and be innovative and review the new cooler products and capabilities that now exists out there? They are totally changing the way that we build Virtual Cloud Computing solutions where; business agility, simplicity, cost savings, performance and simple scale out is important!

There is no one solution for everything… but I’m getting more and more impressed by some of the “new” players on the market when it comes to providing simple and yet so powerful and performing Virtual Cloud Computing products. One in particular is Nutanix that EnvokeIT has partnered with and they have a truly stunning product.

But as many have written in many great blog posts about choosing your storage solution for your VDI solution you truly need to understand what your service will require from the underlying dependency services. And is it really worth to do it the old way? You have your team that manages the IaaS service, and most of the times it just provides a way for ordering/provisioning VM’s, then the “VDI” team leverages that one using PVS or MCS. Some companies are not even where  they can order that VM as a service or provision it from the Image Provisioning (PVS/MCS) service, everything is manual and they call it a IaaS service… is it then a real IaaS service? My answer would be now… but let’s get back to the point I was trying to make!

This HW, Hypervisor, Network, Storage (and sometimes orchestrator) components are often managed by different teams. Each team are also most of the times not really up to date in terms of understanding what a Virtualization/VDI service will require from them and their components. They are very competent in understanding the traditional workload of running a web server VM or similar, but not really dealing with boot storms from hundreds to thousands of VDI’s booting up, people logging in at the same time and the whole pattern of IOPS that is generated in these VM’s “life-cycle”.

This is where I’d suggest everyone to challenge their traditional view on building Virtualization and Storage services for running Hosted Shared Desktop (XenApp/RDS) and Hosted Virtual Desktop (VDI/XenDesktop) on!

You can reduce the complexity, reduce your operational costs and integrate Nutanix as a real power compute part of your internal/private cloud service!

One thing that also is kind of cool is the integration possibilities of the Nutanix product with OpenStack and other cloud management products through its REST API’s.  And it supports running both Hyper-V, VMware ESXi and KVM as hypervisors in this lovely bundled product.

If you want the nitty gritty details about this product I highly recommend that you read the Nutanix Bible post by Steven Poitras here.

Nutanix_Bible640CVM_Dist-1024x384

Read more…

How To: #XenMobile #MDM 8.5 Deployment Part 3: Policies – #Citrix

September 10, 2013 Leave a comment

And here U have part 3 of Adams great blog post series!

How To: XenMobile MDM 8.5 Deployment Part 3: Policies

In this 3rd part of my 7 part series on XenMobile MDM 8.5 we will focus on policies. Policies within MDM allow you to control a multitude of features on your end users mobile devices, including: WiFi, Email, VPN, Location Services, most all functionality of the device (camera, FaceTime, etc), AppStore access, etc. Most configuration variations you do to control and limit/restrict/configure your end users devices will be done from this tab. This tab is also the location where we can create some automated actions that include notifying your users when they have fallen out of compliance.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

In this article I was to cover a “base” set of policy configurations that will give you a feel of how the policies work in general. By no means does this cover the breadth of what you can do with MDM, but it at least gives you a glimpse.

I want to accomplish the following in this article:

  1. Set a passcode policy on the device
  2. Block iCloud from syncing documents
  3. Preconfigure a WiFi network on my device (so that your users could come into the office with WiFi already configured and never have been given the password)
  4. Blacklist Dropbox, Box, and SkyDrive applications
  5. Notify the user their device as Out of Compliance (OoC) if those apps are installed
  6. Mark the device as OoC in the dashboard
Later in this series we will build upon the policies by adding applications to push to our users and ultimately roll it all together in a Deployment. For the purposes of this article (and the fact I’m a die hard Apple fan) the only devices I own are Apple..so this will all be iOS based. If your Android, first off I’m sorry, and second off it should still be similar ;) .
 

Configure a Passcode Policy

Step 1. Navigate to the web console (usually http/s://mobile.yourdomain.com/zdm and login.
 
 
MDM3-0000
 
 
Step 2. Navigate to the “Policies” tab, then iOS->Configuration. You should have two policies that were installed by default with the console, one of them being a Passcode policy. Highlight it and click “Edit”
 
MDM3-0001
 
 
Step 3. Leave these settings as default, click on the “Policy” tab.
 
MDM3-0003
 
 
Step 4. Modify to suit your requirements. Here I am requiring a passcode, allowing simple passwords, minimum length of at least 4, and auto-locking the device after 2 minutes of inactivity. When….
Continue reading here!
//Richard

How To: #XenMobile #MDM 8.5 Deployment Part 1 and 2: Installation – via @AdamInTheCloud

September 8, 2013 1 comment

Wow, it’s like Adam read my mind, I’m doing the same kind of blog post series but for a XenMobile MAM deployment! Will post part 2 of the MAM series later tonight (once it’s done, waiting on some StoreFront issues to solve and I’m getting there!)

But in the meantime have a look at this great series by Adam! Great job Adam!!!

How To: XenMobile MDM 8.5 Deployment Part 1: Installation

n late 2012 Citrix announced they had purchased a 7-year-old startup company called Zenprise that was a hot player in the mobile device security market. Up until that time, Citrix was positioning for that sector with its CloudGateway Enterprise product and focusing mostly on apps and data management..not really the device. Zenprise helped them flesh out their offering, which is now known as “XenMobile”. Although it’s gone through a few iterations it has finally reached a final “form” if you will of three editions: MDM, App, and Enterprise.

The purpose of this article series will be to walk through the installation and basic setup of the MDM (Mobile Device Management) Edition which focuses almost exclusively on managing the device, and not necessarily so much the data or apps. Although it is capable of application pushes and the like… a feature comparison can be found on Citrix’ website HERE. I encourage you to view that. One major difference to note is MDM does not sandbox apps/data, but App Edition does, and Enterprise Edition can.

In researching this product for some internal training we are currently going through it became pretty apparent there is very little information out there on it, and if there is its unfortunately outdated because the product has been rapidly evolving over the first half of the year. In this series of blog articles I will go over how to deploy a single instance of XenMobile 8.5 MDM on an internal network, configure basic policies and rules, and apply them to your devices.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

This, unfortunately is the most boring part of MDM which is the install…but I would be remiss by not going over it for some of you that “have to see” it. So lets get to it so we can get on to the more exciting stuff!

First: Pre-req’s. All of this is straight from eDocs, I’m not reinventing the wheel here.

  • MDM 8.5 needs to go on a 2008 R2 or 2012 server.
  • Setup an active directory service account and make it a local admin on the MDM server
  • Disable IPv6 (not via registry, just uncheck the box)
  • UAC disabled
  • Firewall disabled (this is my preference..I disable server firewalls but you’re welcome to do as you wish)
  • Your service account needs permissions creator/owner/read/write on your SQL server. I will not be using PostgreSQL.
  • SQL 2005/2008/R2/2012 in your environment (Reference Architecture recommends SQL for production deployments, not PostgreSQL. See HERE)
  • Java SE 7 Update 11 (dk-7u4-windows-x64.exe) installed on the server
  • Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) USJP 7 on the serverExternal DNS record such as mobile.mydomain.com
    • To install the Java Cryptography Extension
      • Install Java SE 7u11
      • Open the JCE zip file and copy local_policy.jar and US_export_policy.jar to your computer desktop.
      • Navigate to the folder /java/jdk1.7.0_x/jre/lib/security and copy the files from Step 2 to this folder.
  • Obtain an Apple….

Continue reading part 1 here and part 2 here!

//Richard

#Ericsson to build three Global #ICT Centers

September 3, 2013 Leave a comment

This is really cool!

Ericsson press release:

  • High-tech, sustainable global ICT Centers to support R&D and Services organizations to bring innovation faster to the market
  • Two centers located in Europe; one in North America
  • Another step in providing industry leading cloud-enabled technology
  • Also establishing a new R&D hardware design building in Stockholm

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is planning to invest approximately SEK 7 billion in the coming five years to build three global ICT Centers. Two will be located in Sweden, in Stockholm and Linköping, while the third one, in North America, will be located in Canada, in Montreal, Quebec.

The centers will be located close to Ericsson’s main R&D hubs and will be the new platform for more than 24,000 Ericsson R&D engineers around the world, supporting their lean and agile ways of working. Team of experts will be able to collaborate beyond borders more easily and efficiently.

Ericsson’s customers will also be able to connect remotely for interoperability testing, trials and will have early access to innovation on new business services in real-time from the comfort of their locations.

The three ICT Centers combined will be up to 120,000 square meters, approximately the size of 14 football fields. The new centers will house the company’s complete portfolio, enabling the R&D organization to develop and verify solutions, creating the foundation for the next generation technology and cloud-based services.

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “The new ICT Centers are examples of Ericsson’s passion for driving the development of the industry. Great ideas come from collaboration, and at these centers we will push the boundaries of possibility on next generation technology and services. Flexibility enabled by new ways of working will realize innovation faster to the market and to our customers.”

The centers will have a leading-edge design, built in a modular and scalable way, securing an efficient use of resources and space adaptable to the business needs. Ericsson estimates that the combination of architecture, design and locations will reduce energy consumption up to 40 percent. This significant reduction in carbon footprint is instrumental in Ericsson’s vision of a more sustainable future.

The two ICT Centers in Sweden will begin initial operations from end of 2013 and from end of 2014 respectively and the North American ICT Center from early 2015.

The new hardware design building in Stockholm, Sweden, will provide similar benefits as the global ICT Centers in use of equipment and energy savings. It will enable R&D hardware design activities in Stockholm to consolidate into one modern creative environment…..

Continue reading here!

#Microsoft to acquire #Nokia’s devices & services business

September 3, 2013 Leave a comment

This is interesting, but I must admin that I’m not that surprised…

Microsoft to buy Nokia's devices, services unit for $7.2B

Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s devices & services business, license Nokia’s patents and mapping services

REDMOND, Washington and ESPOO, Finland – Sept. 3, 2013 – Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Building on the partnership with Nokia announced in February 2011 and the increasing success of Nokia’s Lumia smartphones, Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing. For Nokia, this transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to earnings, strengthen its financial position, and provide a solid basis for future investment in its continuing businesses. Read more…

Are #Microsoft Losing Friends and Alienating IT Pros? – via @andyjmorgan, @stevegoodman

September 1, 2013 Leave a comment

This is a great blog post by Steve Goodman!

Regular readers of my blog will know I’m a big fan of Microsoft products. As well as being an Exchange MVP, I’m very much a cloud fan – you’ll find me at Exchange Connections in a few weeks time talking about migrating to Exchange Online amongst other subjects. What I’m about to write doesn’t change any of that, and I hope the right people will read this and have a serious re-think.

Microsoft’s “Devices and Services” strategy is leaving many in the industry very confused at the moment.

If you’ve been living under a rock – I’ll give you an overview. They’ve dropped MCSM, the leading certification for their Server products. They’ve dropped TechNet subscriptions, the benchmark for how a vendor lets its IT pros evaluate and learn about their range of products. And they’ve been very lax with the quality of updates for their on-premises range of products, Exchange included, whilst at the same time releasing features only in their cloud products.

A range of MCMs and MCSMs – Microsoft employees included – have been expressing their opinions herehereherehereand in numerous other places. We’ve discussed the TechNet Subscriptions on The UC Architects’ podcast.

One thing is key – this kind of behaviour absolutely destroys trust in Microsoft. After the last round of anti-trust issues, it took a long time for Microsoft to gain a position of trust along with many years of incrementally releasing better and better products. A few years ago Microsoft was just about “good enough” to let into your datacentre; now it’s beginning to lead the way, especially with Hyper-V, Exchange and Lync.

Before I get started on Microsoft’s cloud strategy, let’s take a jovial look at what (from my experience) is Google’s strategy:

  • Tell the customer their internal IT sucks (tactfully), ideally without IT present so they can talk about the brilliance of being “all in” the cloud without a dose of reality getting in the way.
  • Class all line of business apps as irrelevant – the sales person was probably still in nursery when they were deployed. Because those apps are old, they must be shit.
  • Show a picture of something old and irrelevant – like a mill generating it’s own energy. Tell them that’s what their IT is! You, the customer, don’t run a power station, so why would you run your own IT? If you do run your own IT you are irrelevant and getting left behind.
  • Make out the customer’s own IT is actually less reliable than it is. Don’t mention that recent on-premises products cost less, are easy for the right people to implement and from a user perspective are often more reliable than an overseas cloud service.
  • Only provide your products in the cloud so once you’re in… you’re in.
  • Don’t let anyone from the outside be a real expert on the technology. You don’t need a Google “MVP”, because 99% of Google server products can only be provided by one company.
  • Once you’ve signed up a customer remember, you don’t need to give them good support. They can’t go anyway without spending money on a third party solution to get their data out.

From a Microsoft MVP point of view, Google’s strategy is brilliant. It means that although we like a lot of their products, it drives away customers in their droves. Microsoft’s traditional approach to the cloud – and partner ecosystem would be a breath of fresh air to someone who’s been though the Google machine.

Unfortunately, based on recent experiences by myself and others – the above is actually looking pretty similar to Microsoft’s new strategy….

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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