We at The Virtualization Practice, LLC have migrated our business critical applications to the cloud. How simple was that task? It was not as easy as we have heard from others, and not as difficult as some have had, but it was not as simple as move my VM and run. Why is this? What are the methods available to move to the cloud? How do they stack up to what actually happens. Theory is all well and good, and I have read plenty of those architectures, but when the shoe leather hits the cloud where are we? Here is a short history, a comparison of methods, and some conclusions that can be drawn from our migration to the cloud. Continue reading Migrating Business Critical Applications to the Cloud
How good an idea is it to virtualize XenApp? Way back in 2010, when more of the poles were ice, we asked is virtualizing Citrix XenApp a waste of time and effort? There were a number of benefits identified: hardware abstraction allowing easier image management and OS upgrades; options for higher availability and faster recovery, even failover; virtualization-enabled silo consolidation; and importantly, better management of user capacity on servers.
Yet, with XenApp running on Windows 2008 R2 memory limitations are of far less issue. Introducing a hypervisor has an overhead which can impact user density and can change Microsoft server license costs per physical server. Do these considerations outweigh other benefits? Hypervisor technology and performance has moved on considerably – what is the impact of that? What other services can virtualized XenApp drive?
As computing, storage and networking continues migrating from physical equipment to virtual environments, provisioning and managing them increasingly relies on software. One of the most important benefits of virtualization and cloud computing is the idea infrastructure as code, using code, automate the provisioning and managing of entire application environments and ecosystems (infrastructure) reliably on demand. This idea, in conjunction with the agile development practices, is what makes continuous delivery possible for leading companies like Facebook, Flickr, Etsy and others.
In agile teams today, developers writing applications partner with DevOps team members writing, testing, building and packaging infrastructure as code with tools including Puppet Labs, Chef and Cucumber. This is helping traditionally bottlenecked and silo-od infrastructure teams begin working more closely with the application teams and improve overall business agility. DevOps team members write infrastructure code alongside the application under development – all leveraging popular development practices including code management, continuous integration, release automation and test-driven development. Continue reading Infrastructure as Code: From Bottleneck to Test-Driven
Nivio have announced a DaaS solution aimed at SME space. Offering access to Microsoft Windows on any device, rentable applications, and data storage in the cloud, it sounds as if Nivio’s service could be just the ticket for the tablet wielding, dead-PC shunning organisations with a workforce who have their own devices, and need to team collaboration with access to Windows based applications.
The thing is, this road has been trodden before: it is a rocky one. OnLive attempted to offer a solution and failed. Even Desktone had a strategy that attempted to directly appeal to this segment but found the return on effort too miserly.
Yet, Nivio have created a service offering delivering Windows applications to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. A web service providing common file storage to store user and group files for that can be syncronised to devices to work offline for editing directly, or automatically made available within the public cloud hosted Windows desktop service. A desktop service that has an on-demand, rentable application interface. User management is in your own hands. While Nivio are targeting their market at the 20-50 user sized organisation space which suggests small business, Nivio are getting a number of calls from project teams in larger organisations.
What are Nivio doing that is different? Will this model be successful? What, if anything, can be learned by other DaaS providers, and what in turn could be learned by Nivio?
Recently I have been trying to lighten my conference going load. To do that, I have been thinking about ways to do without my laptop and all the accessories for it, which got me thinking about what it takes to completely use such a device; to fully embrace the next generation of end-user computing using gesture computing and smaller devices. Other than the technical hurdles, there are also training hurdles as full tablet computing, today, has some serious limitations with respect to security, functionality, and in some ways capability. So how does one embrace tablet computing as their next-gen end user computing?
Bromium have released vSentry 1.1 which will brings Bromium’s benefits of micro-virtualization and hardware based security to a far wider range of enterprise desktops. This is the release you’ve been waiting for: and if you’ve not been waiting, this is definitely the release to consider.
We’ve spoken before about Bromium when they unveiled their micro-virtualization trustworthy security vision. Bromium’s message and focus was simple “standard workspace security is reactive, not proactive“. Whatever you have in terms of anti-virus or malware detection is only good once a new threat is found, understood, a patch created and deployed. This poses the very important question “what is the impact of the time delay between threat found and threat contained?”. Bromium’s goal was to dramatically reduce that “and”.
You may contest, “ah, but I can solve this workspace threat issue by making physical desktops, virtual desktops”. This is not the case. We evidenced this in Virtual desktops (VDI) are different, but not hugely better in terms of security, than physical desktops. You do not deliver better security by simply virtualizing the desktop.
So what does vSentry v1.1 bring? How is it better than v1? What can this mean for your organisation?