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Monthly Archives: May 2013

No neckties in the paper shredder: Horizon Mirage Branch Reflectors

By Tina de Benedictis, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

No neckties in the paper shredder—what does that have to do with VMware Horizon Mirage Branch Reflectors? By the end of this blog post, you will know.

no-necktie-horizon-mirage-branch-reflectors

You have probably noticed those words or an icon on the paper shredder that indicate you should not put neckties in the paper shredder. Who would put a necktie in the paper shredder? It might be someone who was not paying enough attention and let their necktie dangle into the shredder, or it might be someone who hated that particular necktie and thought the paper shredder was the right place to demolish it.

This is where we find the similarity to Horizon Mirage Branch Reflectors. Branch Reflectors are for efficient handling of layer updates coming down from the datacenter to endpoints, not for backups of endpoints going back up to the datacenter. Who would think that Branch Reflectors are for backups? A lot of people do, and they are surprised to find out that they need to think about their WAN instead of the LAN when planning backups of branch-office endpoints.

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Securely deliver apps, data and desktops to personal devices

As customers start embracing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), users can choose their own devices to improve productivity and collaboration. it is critical that all the different components are highly secure as users start using devices that are outside the network perimeter and not controlled by the IT department. Customers researching solutions should delve deeper into the security aspects of the different components. We recently posted couple documents discusses basic security consideration and the security features in Horizon Workspace v1.0  and how security is top of mind when we built VMware Horizon Workspace.  We will be addressing security issues including privacy, compliance and risk management standards in the next security blog.

SMBs Prefer Horizon View Over Other VDI Solutions – Two Years in a Row

By Courtney Burry, Director, Desktop Product Marketing, VMware

I’m excited to share that a recent study conducted by Spiceworks with small and midsized businesses (SMBs) revealed that VMware Horizon View is the solution of choice over the competition for a second year in a row.

By an almost 2-to-1 margin, Horizon View remains the top choice with the number of VDI agents deployed increasing from 53 percent in December 2011 to 57 percent in February 2013. The three leading VDI solutions found among SMBs were VMware Horizon View (57 percent), Citrix Virtual Desktop (31 percent) and NComputing vSpace Client (6 percent).

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School Testing: The Next Generation

by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing for End-User Computing

When I was in elementary school, each year, we were administered a standardized test called the “California Test of Basic Skills” or CTBS.  This test involved using “number 2” pencils and filling out a form with boxes from A to E.  I remember thinking that if I didn’t know the answer, I should guess “C” because it’s in the middle.  Today, I can’t remember the last time I actually used a pencil.  However, many schools still use this antiquated way of administering standardized tests to students.

This is all about to change in the next couple of years.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, California, as one of 45 of the 50 states in the U.S. participating, will move toward a broad state-led program called the “Common Core State Standards Initiative.”  This initiative requires the standardization of testing across states by the 2014-2015 school year to ensure consistent performance assessments.  Quoting the article:

“Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-bubble tests alone simply cannot do the job anymore, and it’s time for California to move forward with assessments that measure the real-world skills our students need to be ready for a career and for college,” said California School Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

These next generation assessments will be computer-based and Pearson TestNav™ is a leading test delivery platform in K-12 schools that delivers over 4 million tests annually.  VMware is pleased to announce that our VMware® Horizon View™ desktop virtualization solution has received “TestNav Qualified” certification, ensuring that TestNav tests administered using Horizon View are delivered securely, error-free, and with a good user experience.  In fact, many schools have already deployed the TestNav platform with Horizon View and achieved great results:

“We’ve had tremendous success using VMware Horizon View for Pearson TestNav. Testing season brings a lot of stress to not only students but the staff as well. VMware Horizon View allows IT departments to facilitate these tests in a high availability environment, which is extremely comforting.”

- Brooks Moore, DCS Technology Help Desk Manager, Aledo Independent School District

“Using VMware Horizon View with the Pearson TestNav test delivery system ensures that our tests are administered in a secure environment that preserves the integrity of the results. Test environments are booted directly to our computer labs and if any attempt is made to escape out of the test, the test taker is locked out of the test. We initially rolled out VMware virtual desktops on a small scale in the Summer of 2012 but with the success that we’ve had, we now plan on rolling it out to all computer labs within our district.”

- Chad Branum, Executive Director of Technology, Coppell Independent School District

The good news is that these next generation assessments will hopefully give educators a clearer, more consistent understanding of how students are performing so that they can take corrective action where needed.  The bad news is that guessing “C” may no longer be an option for students in the coming years.

For more information about VMware and education, visit our website at: http://www.vmware.com/solutions/education/index.html

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NetApp has now introduced its VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ reference architecture built for healthcare

by Monty Zarrouk, Product Marketing at NetApp

How will this improve patient care?

VMware® AlwaysOn Point of Care™ architecture helps solve customers’ problems by providing ready access to patient information from any terminal or mobile device. This allows clinicians to make informed decisions regarding treatment plans while protecting the confidentiality of patient information. Providing access to clinical applications in a virtual environment, healthcare providers maintain continued access to their desktop as they move from patient to patient, floor to floor, or building to building. Just like any sector, technology dictates a successful organization. And healthcare is no different. Medicine is changing, and a virtual desktop can mean all the difference in a patient’s outcomes.

Why did NetApp introduce VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care for healthcare?

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VDI Becomes A Reality for Hospitals

by Steve Poitras, Solutions Architect, Nutanix

There are two things I normally notice when I visit the doctor – 1) a massive stack of paper medical records and 2) long visit times…

The need…

I’ve always been huge fan of adopting and evolving the IT services utilized in the medical industry.  Here we have an industry who is pushing the forefront of technology for the analysis and treatment of patients – but plagued by archaic IT and paper based records.

In comes the consumerization effect…

The Consumerization of IT has been a big trend for businesses in the last years, essentially giving the “end-user” the ability to have flexibility over devices.  When it comes down to it there are a few key things people care about:

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Always On. Always Available

by by Pam Takahama, Director of Solutions Marketing, Riverbed Technology

Healthcare turning to VDI to improve patient care

I recently took my daughter to the doctor for an earache, and chuckled when the pediatrician reached into his lab coat for what I thought was an iPad to write up a prescription only to realize it was, ahem, a good ole’ fashioned pad of paper! Spending another 45 minutes filling the prescription had me wondering how far the healthcare industry has come in the last 10 years. Notwithstanding the isolated throwback to the pencil and paper era, the reality is that the healthcare industry is reinventing itself, and in the process reshaping our experiences, and reorienting our expectations from how care is managed, to how it is paid for, to how it is delivered.

Many healthcare organizations are working to embrace innovative solutions like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to improve patient care and provide clinicians 24/7 access to their most current patient data and resources — even during unplanned downtime.

Recently, Riverbed and VMware announced a joint solution that integrates Stingray Traffic Manager application delivery controller (ADC) with the VMware® Horizon View™ AlwaysOn™ Desktop solution. The joint solution ensures end users have continual access to a secure virtual desktop no matter what device they use and no matter where they are.

Moreover, this tested and validated solution augments VMware’s latest announcement with a leading electronic medical records (EMR) software provider for a virtual clinical desktop. Designed for the cloud from the ground up, Stingray™ Traffic Manager will improve overall performance for clinical desktops by delivering around-the-clock access to data and applications even if a primary site fails or is compromised by other unplanned events, all while meeting industry compliance regulations. Customers will be able to quickly modernize their computing environment and provide a highly available cloud-based desktop.

Rx for AlwaysOn Desktop

As healthcare organizations seek to deliver robust and proven desktop solutions to improve how care is managed and delivered, they should consider the advantages that Stingray Traffic Manager offers to help lower costs while ensuring high availability and securing computing endpoints:

Accelerate virtual desktop performance. Offloads performance-draining tasks such as SSL and compression accelerating services, increasing capacity and optimizing implementations. Also, administrators can cache commonly requested content and optimize VDI traffic delivery, enabling healthcare clinicians to gain fast and easy access to their applications and data.

Provide 24/7 access to virtual desktops. By intelligently shaping and directing traffic and avoiding failed or degraded servers, Stingray Traffic Manager ensures users are always routed to the closest available site based on the end user’s geo-location, including continent and country, IP address, and site availability.

Secure virtual desktops.
Helps to preserve and maintain a highly secure virtual desktop environment by configuring the solution to admit certain traffic types only, and operating as a deny-all gateway. These capabilities ensure full control over how traffic is internally routed. Additionally, high-performance inspection interrogates any part of a request or response before applying global filtering or scrubbing policies.

Gain better control of VDI environment. Easily manage how users interact with the applications and the infrastructure that they depend on. Administrators can also use Stingray Traffic Manager to shape, prioritize, and route traffic; drain infrastructure resources prior to maintenance; and, upgrade user sessions across application while preserving user performance.

So the next time I’m at the pediatrician’s office and he whips out a pad of paper again, I may have to bring new meaning to an old adage and tell him that “an Apple” a day may help keep the paperwork away.  Click here to learn more about the joint VMware and Riverbed AlwaysOn solution.

 

Achieving Epic Status

by F5 News

Healthcare providers face a unique challenge: continuously deliver quality patient care that is both effective and affordable. Today, this depends largely on technology – from diagnostic systems to patient record systems accessible by health care professionals dispersed amongst hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

Today these organizations increasingly rely on new software solutions from companies like Epic Software to manage every aspect of patient care. Epic infrastructures are the gold standard today, assisting health care organizations around the world to improve patient care through accessible and reliable health care systems.

It is critical that such applications are supported by an equally accessible and reliable IT infrastructure. To assure a high level of quality from top to bottom, Epic carefully certifies IT infrastructure providers that support a disaster-resilient, highly available, secure and increasingly mobile deployment.

Because of its focus on quality, resilience and affordability it has become a great honor to achieve full target platform status with EPIC. And that’s what happened recently with VMware® Horizon View™ – the first desktop virtualization solution to have achieved this status. Using VMware’s AlwaysOn™ Desktop for Healthcare reference architecture, F5 partnered with VMware for this historic launch.

VMware and F5 have long been offering joint solutions targeting desktop virtualization with a focus on resiliency, scalability, availability, security and performance. Together, along with partners such as NetApp and EMC, these joint reference architectures are the basis for secure, fast and available virtualization infrastructures capable of meeting the most demanding standards, such as that of Epic Software.

F5 is also establishing and documenting jointly with Epic a set of best practices for application delivery, designed to improve the scalability and availability of the most common HTTP, SSL, and FTP Epic components. F5 will be providing these best practices both as technical documentation as well as an iApp, to streamline deployment of these critical healthcare systems.

We’re excited about this announcement and extend a hearty congratulations to VMware on this notable achievement.

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VMware Horizon View 5.2 Performance and Best Practices, and A Performance Deep-Dive on Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics

By Banit Agrawal, Senior Performance Engineer, VMware

VMware Horizon View 5.2 simplifies desktop and application management while increasing security and control and delivers a personalized high fidelity experience for end-users across sessions and devices. It enables higher availability and agility of desktop services unmatched by traditional PCs while reducing the total cost of desktop ownership and end-users can enjoy new levels of productivity and the freedom to access desktops from more devices and locations while giving IT greater policy control.

Recently, we published two whitepapers to provide a performance deep-dive on Horizon View 5.2 performance and hardware accelerated 3D graphics (vSGA) feature.

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Paving the Way for VDI

By: Courtney Burry, Director of PMM, VMware End-User Computing BU

In the past several years, many customers have turned to desktop virtualization in an effort to drive down costs and improve operational efficiencies.  This year, however, the tide has shifted. In a survey recently conducted by Forrester Research, Inc., and blogged about by David Johnson (Has VDI Peaked? A Change in the Adoption Drivers Sheds New Light, And New Life, April 1, 2013), the number one trigger for customer interest in VDI was actually around the need to support employee access across locations.

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