News: Browsium Catalyst Multi-browser Management Tool Released to Beta

Browsium CatalystBrowsium has released Catalyst to public beta. Browsium hopes that Catalyst will transform how organisations manage multi-browser environments.

A browser is a gateway to the Internet, to applications, to data. Many home users have multiple browsers; increasingly many corporations do, too. This might be because different browser versions are needed to maintain access to legacy applications while offering modern access to the Internet. Maybe it is to give users more choice. Maybe it is in an effort to reduce the possibility of a security breach. Maybe it is because users have just installed a second browser because they can. Regardless, managing user use of multiple  browsers—so they are working productively and not bogging down the help-desk—is a complex undertaking.

Browsium, which has developed Browsium Ion to allow management of Internet Explorer, is looking to solve this multi-browser problem with Catalyst.

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Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity v5.2: does it out sense AppSense or haze Mirage?

DesktopVirtualizationLiquidware Labs has released an update to their user environment management product, setting ProfileUnity v5.2 out into the wild. ProfileUnity FlexApp is capable of presenting organisations with a comprehensive user environment management solution encompassing both user virtualization and a virtualized software distribution system. An impressive customer and partner engagement programme has resulted in a growing number of customers who can relate to its straightforward deployment, low acquisition cost, and its ability to manage both user profiles and data and application delivery on demand, in virtualized and physical desktop environments.

We have mentioned before that a commonality between users is their desire to be different. While embracing diversity is a Good Thing, it can be a complex and expensive process in a VDI environment using persistent virtual machines alone. A number of  vendors provide tools to decouple components of user workspaces, to provide for personalisation within a standard environment. This provides cost savings by allowing core standardisation, while reducing the need for the user to change their working practices and allowing them to be as productive as possible. Moreover, few organisations find that a VDI-only solution deals with all of their user use cases – laptops and PCs are still not dead as devices. How do you manage environments across both virtual and physical desktops?

There are more established players in this market. AppSense. RES Software. Indeed VDI vendors are introducing their own solutions. Citrix has incorporated its own Profile Management, Personal vDisks, and has recreated XenClient with their NxTop acquisition. VMware is planning to utilise its Wanova Mirage acquisition to enable IT to centralize PC images of virtual and physical machines and do single image management while users execute locally.

What new features are included Liquidware Labs’ ProfileUnity 5.2, how does it compare against other offerings and differences can it make to your organisation?

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Defense in Depth: Hardware Security

VirtualizationSecurityOn the last Virtualization Security podcast, our guest was Robert Rounsavall, CEO of Trapezoid. Trapezoid is looking into how to alleviate supply chain security issues; in essence, the security of the hardware. At many a presentation, I have asked attendees, “Do you trust the hardware?” Many times the answer is that they do; at other times, it is that they do not. Whether you trust the hardware depends entirely on your thoughts with respect to hardware security. But what can you do about hardware security? What is the worst that can happen if the hardware is infiltrated? Continue reading Defense in Depth: Hardware Security

Dell Delivers UCS Beater (Dude, It’s a Converged Infrastructure!)

Dell100x30aDell was in San Francisco last week to host its Enterprise Strategy Update, staking its claim to the x86 top spot with the announcement of  its big converged infrastructure platform, the Active System 800.

Three years ago, Dell was just another PC/server maker fighting for market share in a commodity market. The ultra-lean manufacturing processes that had previously allowed it a significant price advantage over its competitors had been eroded as other manufacturers emulated Dell’s approach, leaving it with little to differentiate it from its competitors other than memories of past advertising campaigns. While its reputation for poor support and burning batteries was behind it, my personal perception of Dell, strongly colored by the large number of Dell laptops that expired at my hands, was not good.

However, in the last two years my view of Dell has been slowly changing. A new focus on data center technologies, a string of successful acquisitions and some fresh blood in key leadership positions has revitalized the company, forcing me to reassess Dell’s position in the enterprise technology ecosystem. Suffice to say, this is not the Dell I used to know. Continue reading Dell Delivers UCS Beater (Dude, It’s a Converged Infrastructure!)

Is Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Session Host better than Citrix XenApp?

PresentationVirtualizationIs Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) better than Citrix XenApp? Citrix XenApp 6.5 is a market-leading product. Citrix XenApp may well be the first product businesses consider when deploying applications or desktops from a centralised service. Windows 2012 is very new. Windows 2012 RDSH, as a new service, doesn’t have the same number of partners or administrators with detailed experience.

Still, it’s a very good question.

It’s a very good question because Microsoft has worked hard to ensure that RDSH is a solution viable not only for large enterprises, but small and medium scale businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well. Windows 2012 RDSH builds on a mature technology, a technology that is the most-deployed centralized desktop virtualization solution.

Yet, are you going to end up reading this article and get to an “it depends” answer?  Let’s see.

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Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere

DataCenterVirtualizationOne topic that gets discussed quite often is Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere, and a quick Google search for comparisons will return at least several hundred thousand hits. There seems to be a large number of posts and articles trying to make a case that one is better than the other by listing and comparing features of the hypervisors themselves one by one. The purpose of this post is not to claim that one platform is better than the other. Is that the best way to really compare the different virtualization technologies as a whole, or should we take a step back and really look at differences in approach for the virtual infrastructure and/or virtual ecosystems? Continue reading Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere