SMB Virtualization

SMB Virtualization focuses on delivering the benefits of virtualization to SMB’s, and SME’s in a cost effective and easy to manage manner. SMB Virtualization covers all aspects for virtualization for the SMB or SME starting with hardware and working up the virtualization stack. (Read More)

SMB Virtualization includes use of the technologies that allowed bursting into the cloud for small organizations as well as other cloud services that an SMB or SME could use to perform business operations within virtual or cloud environments. SMB Virtualization concentrates on the smaller scale organizations but while planning for those organizations to grow.

Citrix XenApp 4.x, 5.x and 6.0 EOL is 2013. The End is Coming: Look Busy.

I had an interesting discussion with a customer around prioritisation of their services prior to Windows 2003 and Windows XP going end of life in 2014. As we saunter nonchalantly to the start of 2012, what must the focus be next year? You may well be having the same conversations. Let’s be honest, corporate change isn’t as dynamic as we’d like. This has it’s own positives, it’s own negatives.

Back to my customer. There is a business-influential Citrix XenApp estate hosted on Windows 2003. It has a reliable history: and if it ain’t broke…The client has a sizable user-base in central London, this estate is scheduled to be expanded to accommodate more remote working due to the Olympics: which will cause the greatest mass of people in one place that you can get in peace-time.

Granted, there was an understanding that the XenApp environment had a limited shelf-life. Granted, there was an understanding that because this was an external facing  service, End of Life (EOL) and the subsequent lack of ability to at least security patch the service could not be tolerated.

So, we have an interesting question. Windows 2003, Windows XP EOL is 2014. For all Citrix XenApp versions other than the most recent 6.5 release, EOL .. End. Of. Life. Continue reading Citrix XenApp 4.x, 5.x and 6.0 EOL is 2013. The End is Coming: Look Busy.

News: Quest Software acquires vKernel

Quest Software has announced that they are buying VKernel. Now this is very interesting as Quest is the vendor of the market leading monitoring solution for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V (vFoglight), and VKernel is a leader in resource constraint based performance and capacity management for these two virtualization platforms. Now you ask, exactly what is the difference between monitoring vSphere (vFoglight), and doing constraint based performance and capacity management for vSphere (VKernel)? Continue reading News: Quest Software acquires vKernel

The Campaign to Bring Back the VMTN Subscription

I am not sure how other people have learned their craft and mastered the technology they support, but for me, the learning started after the books ended.  I have learned so much more from breaking something and having to find the fix than I ever did from reading a book.  Back in the day around 2005, VMware released The VMTN Subscription.  This was an amazing program that was something like the Microsoft MSDN subscription.  These programs gave you the ability to run any of the core software packages for a year at a time for a subscription fee. This gives us, the administrators, the ability to “learn by breaking” for a time frame longer than the sixty day trial period. The good times came to an end in 2007 when VMware announced that they were canceling the VMTN subscription moving forward. If you have any current thoughts or dreams of pursuing your VCP, VCAP and or VCDX, then sixty days is not near enough time to achieve your goals.  Following the lead of Mike Laverick’s call to action, to “Bring back the VMTN Subscription Please” I wanted to stress my point of view that this program was one of the best ways for VMware to expand their technology and work with the people, in the trenches, that are supporting and expanding the virtualization footprint at their respective companies. Continue reading The Campaign to Bring Back the VMTN Subscription

VMware’s Rapid Desktop Program: Pivot3 vSTAC VDI appliance delivers early

The agility and scalability of virtual desktops enable use cases that are not possible with a  physical desktop environment. However, introducing a virtual desktop infrastructure is complex. Time-scales can be long, resource requirements high.

In an effort to relieve the discomfort for customers and partners VMware have introduced a Rapid Desktop Program. This program looks to validate View Proof of Concept appliances to ensure that they meet criteria for performance and reliability. By removing the complexity of the “I”, an organisation can focus better on the assessment of virtual desktops and in turn deliver faster .

Pivotv3  are the first to  release an appliance that has been validated by the Rapid Desktop Program. How does Pivot3’svSTAC VDI allow you to overcome common issues with VDI projects? Is this likely to improve take-up of VDI? And, this is an  appliance, such devices are normally associated with big enterprise solutions – is this only a big enterprise solution?

XenClient 2.0: An Enterprise Ready off-line XenDesktop…or not?

In the realm of popular beat combos, it is one thing for a band to explode from nowhere with a classic début album. Following it up is a far greater challenge. In musical terms – this is known as the “difficult second album syndrome”.

Citrix have released XenClient v2.0, their second generation bare-metal client hypervisor. XenClient allows centrally managed virtual desktops to run directly on corporate laptops, even when they are disconnected from the network. This version is intended to add ease-of-use and scalability features, and introduce a wider hardware compatibility list. In addition Citrix also launched the new XenClient XT, a standalone product designed to give advanced levels of security, isolation and performance for organisations with very specific and unique client computing requirements.

If Citrix were a popular beat combo (in the client side hypervisor charts) an issue would be that their first album struggled to set that chart alight. If it’s hard to release a second album when your first was monumentally brilliant, it is an exciting challenge when only your mother and aunt bought the first one. The first XenClient release was acknowledged, by Citrix, as being “unfit for enterprise deployment”.  A severely limited Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), poor management and lack of user layering combined with no integration with XenDesktop and formalised vendor tie-ins failed to drive it up the charts.

So what is new in XenClient v2? How does it fit into a desktop delivery service? Is XenClient simply off-line XenDesktop? But more importantly – is XenClient now at least, enterprise ready? Continue reading XenClient 2.0: An Enterprise Ready off-line XenDesktop…or not?

Why Is Application Performance Management So Screwed Up?

Ask yourself this very simple set of questions. How many applications does your company have that warrant management on an availability, response time, and integrity of service basis? For how many of those applications do you have a functional Application Performance Management (APM)  solution in place that actually allows you to measure and guarantee availability, response time and integrity of service? Continue reading Why Is Application Performance Management So Screwed Up?