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Monthly Archives: October 2012

It’s Time to Deal with BYOD

By John Tsai, End-User Computing Industry Specialist, VMware

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is the proverbial “elephant in the room” these days for IT organizations.  A recent report from Forrester analyst Frank Gillett (“Windows: The Next Five Years”) shows that Microsoft’s dominance of personal devices (defined as laptops, tablets and smartphones) has gone from 95% in2008 to just 30% in 2012.  The primary reason is the growth of Android and iOS powered tablets and smartphones, which now outpace traditional laptop sales.  Just look around in your next meeting.  Those devices have already made their way into the workplace.

Even organizations that have been traditionally opposed to BYOD are now faced with executives, doctors, lawyers, etc. showing up to meetings with iPads asking how they can get access to corporate IT resources. For IT organizations that haven’t established a BYOD strategy, it’s time to move this up on your list of projects.

WHERE DO I START?

Years of Windows migrations have left traditional IT organizations with a complex, disparate desktop architecture that is not conducive to BYOD.   Applications are heavily tied to legacy operating systems.  Users store documents in many different places. Complex systems management solutions  have been put in place to simplify these tasks but don’t help in moving IT organizations out of the Windows Upgrade spiral.

(Read about VMware’s BYOD approach and interview with CIO Mark Egan, http://www.cio.com/article/706274/VMware_Going_All_In_with_BYOD)

What is your organization doing to move away from the ongoing management tasks of the existing Windows image & desktop?  The task of managing thousands of stand alone desktops may already be a daunting challenge and multiplying that number by 3x or more to support more devices just isn’t possible under current conditions.

There is a need to simplify(or even eliminate) the existing process so the concept of a ‘standard’ desktop can be used.   This new process needs to include the separating of users’ data and applications so they can be ported to other devices as needed.  Read more about how VMware Mirage can help.

By simlifying the existing desktop through the separation of user components from base OS components,  IT organizations are able to:

  • reduce management complexity associated with supporting dozens of images & Operating Systems
  • provide an integrated disaster recovery solution
  • enable a simpler upgrade path to new Operating Systems and devices

WHY DO I NEED A DESKSTOP ANYWAYS?

When I bring my iPad to work and to meetings these days I don’t miss my desktop/laptop.  I’ve got an application to take notes with, Sliderocket to deliver presentations with and my browser takes care of email and everything else.  Even without my browser, I’ve got productivity apps that allow me to do my job and then sync up when I have a network connection.  The bottom line is that applications are the reason people use computing devices.  Whether it’s a browser, a mail client or another app, there is little I can’t do these days on my iPad to be productive.

With the recent Windows 8 release, IT organizations have to be asking themselves, “Do we spend cycles planning a Windows 8 migration (even though most didn’t finish the Windows 7 migration) or do we spend that time figuring out how we can allow users secure application access on devices that will allow them greater flexibility, creativity, and mobility.   Will Windows 8 by itself allow professionals a more personal interaction with their customers?  Or will access to key information, the latest multimedia, and innovative applications be what users are asking for?

The ability to segregate applications from the OS and deliver them in a common interface (ie -a web browser) will enable IT organizations to support tablets and smartphones that have become all too common these days.   The need for Windows OS is not going to disappear anytime soon but the need for everyone to have a Windows based desktop is a thing of the past.

In future blogs, we’ll cover other topics related to BYOD and bring you stories about how other organizations are dealing with this issue today.

If you missed Steve Herrod’s keynote on this topic @ VMworld, you can see it again here.

http://www.vmware.com/go/keynote2

How can VMware help your organization in defining your own BYOD policy?  Let us know.

@johnstsai

Finally! View 5.1 now supports a newly patched vSphere 5.1

It’s been killing me!  As you’re no doubt aware, VMware vSphere 5.1 came out several weeks back and everyone’s been asking “where the heck is View support for this thing?”  It’s quite frustrating to have two great products and have to hold back.

Well, the wait is finally over!  Last night, the vSphere team released an important patch for ESXi:

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2035268

VMware now officially supports running View 5.1 or 5.1.1 on vSphere 5.1 with this patch.  Yay!  Looking ahead, there are exciting new capabilities of vSphere 5.1 like enhanced storage efficiency, enhanced 3D graphics and Windows 8 guest OS support that you can look forward to View leveraging in future releases.  We’ll keep the good stuff coming!

Thanks again for your patience with 5.1 compatibility while we did what we needed to do to ensure the high quality experience you expect from VMware.  Happy upgrading!

Robert Baesman – Director of Product Management, End User Computing

Making the Business Case for VDI for Mid-Sized Organizations

By Courtney Burry, Director of Product Marketing, End User Computing, VMware

In the last survey we posted with Spiceworks on the Trends around Desktop Virtualization for Small and Mid-sized Organizations for SMBs (published May 2012)- we found that over 60% of small to mid-sized businesses with up to a 1000 employees were planning to roll out or evaluate VDI this year.

And while we also found that over 53% of desktop virtualization installations across SMB folks were based on VMware View-we also heard from these same customers that cost and complexity were two of the biggest challenges that they were facing when it came to rolling out VDI more widely to their end users.

Making the business case for VDI for SMB customers has definitely been challenging. Because while the OpEX savings can be 3-5X that of physical environments, historically the sheer cost and complexity associated with getting virtual desktop infrastructure up and running has been difficult for many IT shops to justify.

Well here are some tips to keep costs down and performance up while taking advantage of the benefits of VDI and central image management.

Continue reading

Breaking the Shackles of Legacy Infrastructure in the Branch Office

By Steven Poitras, Solution Architect at Nutanix, Inc.

Today’s distributed businesses rely extensively on branch offices for selling to, servicing and satisfying new and existing customers. Yet far too many of these remote locations remain hamstrung by legacy infrastructure, ultimately impacting the ability of the business to grow revenue and profits.

Virtual desktop deployments in branch offices have been particularly problematic, plagued by challenges including complexity, poor performance, inconsistent performance, high costs and manageability issues. Nutanix and VMware have partnered to deliver a simple, easy-to-manage Branch Office Desktop (BOD) solution that addresses these challenges, allowing branch offices to reach their full potential.

Continue reading

Better Management of End-User Technology for Remote and Branch Offices

By Courtney Burry, Director of Solutions Marketing, End User Computing and Brian Gammage, Chief Market Technologist, End User Computing, VMware

When it comes to managing IT in branch offices, it’s not uncommon for organizations to look at centralization. Why? Because it simply isn’t efficient to maintain local IT staff and resources in each location, especially when the work tasks being supported in each location are near-identical.  Not only is the inefficiency of replicated and distributed IT management an unnecessary resource drain, it can expose the organization to greater risks of lost productivity and revenues by creating many more points of vulnerability.

Against this backdrop, desktop virtualization is a compelling technology option, because… Continue reading

IBM and VMware Validate New Desktop Architecture Optimized to Deliver Desktops as a Managed Service to Branch Offices

By Rory Clements, Solution Architect, End User Computing, VMware

Following the launch of the VMware Rapid Desktop Program at VMworld in San Francisco, the global VMware and IBM teams committed to not only delivering a validated solution based on the Branch Office Desktop, but also creating and certifying an IBM Rapid Desktop appliance based on the IBM System x and IBM Flex Systems hardware families.

Now-just 6 weeks later, the IBM and VMware EUC teams have completed work on a fully validated Branch Office Desktop solution hosted at the IBM labs in Greenock, UK. This same team in Greenock developed the recently announced IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure reference architecture as foundation for validated vertical use cases.

Optimized to deliver consistent and scalable desktops as a managed service for remote and branch office workers across the WAN—this architecture… Continue reading

Using VMware Mirage in Remote and Branch Offices

By Tom Nikl, Product Marketing Manager, VMware Mirage, End-User Computing

Desktop management at remote and branch offices presents a significant challenge to IT departments. The challenge is magnified not just because of how IT must accomplish this feat, but also how they must accomplish it within a reasonable cost structure, while operating centrally or remotely, but with as little disruption to their end user base as possible. This is where the VMware Branch Office Desktop and specifically one significant component of this solution-VMware Mirage- come in.

First things first, VMware Mirage isn’t the same as VDI or VMware View (another component of the Branch Office Desktop solution). It isn’t running desktops in the data center- it’s running desktops locally on persistent end points (laptops, desktops, etc.) that your end users are running. This keeps end users happy because… Continue reading

New VMware View Clients Simplify End User Setup

VMware recently updated the full set of VMware View Clients: Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android, all available here. New in the latest release of all VMware View clients (5.2 for Windows and 1.6 for all other clients) is support for launching the VMware View client from a URI link.

At the time of install, the View client associated itself with the URI scheme name “vmware-view://.” When a user clicks a vmware-view link, the user’s system will launch the VMware View Client. Administrators can specify many VMware View Client settings in the URI link.

What does this mean for you? When you have a new user, you can give him a system with the VMware View Client installed and then send him an email or web portal link that will launch his client with some settings prefilled. The next time the user launches View, the client will remember those settings.

For example, you could send new employees an email pointing to their VMware View server:

Or add a link to your intranet:

Items you can control with the VMware View URI schema include:

  • View Connection Server address
  • Port number for View Connection Server
  • Active Directory user name
  • Radius or RSA SecurID user name
  • Domain name
  • Desktop display name
  • Window size
  • Desktop actions including reset, log off and roll back
  • Display protocol
  • Options for redirecting USB devices

Examples

The following URI launches the VMware View Client and fills in the server name “view.mycompany.com.”

  • vmware-view://view.mycompany.com/

The next URI also launches the VMware View client and fills in the server name “view.mycompany.com.” The username field will be prefilled with “Fred.” After the user types in his password, the View client connects to the desktop with the name “Finance Desktop” over PCoIP.

  • vmware-view://fred@view.mycompany.com/Finance%20Desktop?desktopProtocol=PcoIP

Finally, the following URI launches the client and points to the server “view.mycompany.com.” The user must fill in his name and password. The client then connects to the desktop with the name “Primary Desktop” and automatically connects all USB devices. A note, if the client does not support USB device redirection, as is the case for the Mac or mobile clients, the VMware View Client will simply ignore that part of the URI link.

  • vmware-view://view.mycompany.com/Primary%20Desktop?action=start-session&connectUSBOnStartup=true

For more details on how to use the URI schema feature, refer to “Using VMware View Client” documentation available here.

We hope that the new URI schema makes it easier for you to setup and deploy VMware View in your environment.

Contact Centers Get a Boost with Cisco VXI 2.6 and VMware View

It may be no surprise to you that over 30% of customers dealing with contact centers experience poor customer service (Forrester). Many of us have had to deal with the challenges of legacy call centers with long wait times, dropped calls and an endless tirade of prompts before we actually get to a live agent.

Cisco as the industry leader in innovative call center solutions, is transforming the agent desktop to deliver greater efficiency, agility and customer service. Cisco and VMware are partnering to take the agent desktop into the age of the unified workspace.

Just released this weekCisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution 2.6 with VMware View enables contact centers to deploy a simplified, secure desktop that ensures agents can securely access their applications faster—and you can get the customer service experience you need. With the VXI Smart Solution, Cisco has integrated critical voice infrastructure features like intelligent call routing and a CTI interface with virtual desktops to support better customer service, enhanced automation and faster agent response times. VXI 2.6 with VMware View provides an enterprise-grade platform for addressing the rapidly growing adoption of business process outsourcing (BPO) for key enterprise functions such as IT, Finance, and HR.

Worth noting – VXI 2.6 Smart Solution with VMware View 5.1 leverages VMware’s Storage Accelerator to reduce storage loads generated by peak VDI storage reads and provides an intelligent way of caching common blocks of desktop images into local host memory. Why is this important? Because this improves the desktop performance of agents especially when they are all trying to log into their desktops at the same time (think 8am on a Monday morning!) or when IT decides to run an anti-virus scan across all of those machines.

Bottomline, the combination of VMware View with the VXI 2.6 Smart Solution enables BPO environments to reduce storage, save costs and provides agents with a better desktop so that they can support customers with the services that they need-when they need them, with an uncompromised user experience.

Looking to improve customer service in the contact center more cost-effectively? Find out more:

Download the Validated Design for VXI 2.6 Smart Solution Reference with VMware View: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Data_Center/VXI/CVD/VXI_CVD_VMware.html

Also, check out the FREE VMware View Business Process Desktop Bootcamp on Oct 3rd, presented by Cisco: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/view/bpdbootcamp/