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Monthly Archives: June 2013

The ABC Guide to Secure Printing

We did the secure printing demo at the HIMSS New Orleans this March. For the upcoming HIMSS AsiaPac 2013 in HongKong, we will again demo extensively on the secure printing solution with VMware Horizon View. This blog will share the design concept and why you should care about secure printing for HIPAA compliance.

Secure Printing allows a user to print a document, which is not immediately sent to a printer, but sent to a secure print queue. At a subsequent time, the user may release the document to be physically printed through a variety of signal mechanism, i.e. MFP printer menu control or proximity card two-factor authentication (2FA) dongle attached to network based printers.

Within healthcare, secure printing is a necessary feature, especially within the constraints of HIPAA. Because patient data is not to be available to any person except designated care givers, leaving patient documents sitting on a printer exposes healthcare businesses to liability.

To support HIPAA, Print Jobs must be logged to include:

  1. Print job submission need to show date, time, user and, if possible, application and document name;
  2. Print job release event;
  3. Print job error and/or resubmittal;
  4. Print job success;
  5. Print job deletion;
  6. Print job moved to storage;
  7. Print job moved to different owner queue.

We will talk about the technical architecture and design flow on “Print Job Creation” and “Print to a Print Job” in the next “The ABC” blog series.

There are many secure printing solutions including JetMobile, ThinPrint, and PrinterLogic etc which are compatible with Horizon View Client-Agent communication model. Here is a little story from JetMobile to walk you through “the day in a life” of a print job.

VMware View and Jetmobile SecureJet: A Short Story

Dr. Anderson had a very busy day at the hospital. That night he worked from home to catch up on paperwork. Although he was able to remotely access his desktop to work on patient charts, he was not able to print. He could have easily printed to a printer at the hospital, but the documents would have printed and been left on the output tray unattended. He couldn’t risk violating HIPAA policies and exposing patient charts by printing without physically being present to retrieve the documents. He would have to wait to print until he returned to the hospital the next day.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Dr. Anderson realized his preferred printer was being serviced. He couldn’t use the nearest printer down the hall, because he didn’t know the IP address or printer name. Unfortunately, the printer on the cardiovascular floor was the only one he was sure of, but it was also very far away.

Reluctantly, Dr. Anderson sent his document to the printer on the cardiovascular floor. After 139 paces, two left-turns, one right-turn and a short elevator ride to the 4th floor, he finally arrived at the printer…and somebody else was printing. This was a big problem because that ‘somebody’ was printing a 200-page document. Dr. Anderson was going to be waiting awhile.

After a very unsatisfying lunch, Dr. Anderson returned to the cardiovascular floor to retrieve his document. To his surprise, his document was not at the printer. His mind raced. Did it print? Did it get thrown away? Did someone take it? The document he printed was very confidential. Dr. Anderson now found himself in an ethical dilemma. Not to mention, he was potentially in a lot of trouble because the document he printed contained personally identifiable information for some of his patients.

On his way to report the incident, Dr. Anderson pulled out his tablet to write some notes for later. His notes were automatically sent to his smartphone and synchronized with his office computer. He couldn’t help but ask himself, “Why can’t my print jobs follow me wherever I go, just like my notes?”

Dr. Anderson’s story represents a common problem. Desktop virtualization software from VMware has significantly increased mobility, convenience and efficiency in the workplace. With virtualization in place, users are no longer concerned with where, when or how to access their desktop. However, desktop virtualization can further complicate the task of printing documents. A user may move between floors throughout the day easily accessing their desktop as needed. Eventually, a time will come where printing is necessary. When selecting ‘Print’, the user will be faced with all sorts of printer options that could look something like this:

It may be that the user has been at the organization long enough to have memorized one or two of the most ‘reliable’ printer names, but the challenge is that the list will change every time it is accessed from a different workstation. Printers can also be moved, so an IP address or printer name can be misleading or unreliable. It is also possible users may learn to navigate the challenges associated with printer-location awareness, but may run into problems keeping documents confidential, or print to a device that is in use or out of order.

Fortunately for Dr. Anderson and the entire mobile workforce, virtualization now extends to the printing environment. Jetmobile’s SecureJet Enterprise allows a user to print anywhere, from any device in the building. SecureJet eliminates location awareness by utilizing a single print queue. Remember that long list of available printers? With SecureJet, no matter what desktop you are printing from, it will look like this:

The user doesn’t have to remember the printer IP address, printer name, or where the printer is located. Users can already access their desktop from any PC workstation. Why not be able to print from anywhere too?

The ABCs of Deploying VMware Horizon View 5.2 with Microsoft Lync 2013

Tony Huynh, Product Management End-User Computing

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the VMware Horizon View 5.2 Microsoft Lync 2013 VDI Client Installation/Configuration Guide is now publicly available.

The document provides a step-by-step guide on how to deploy a Microsoft Lync 2013 client on a VMware Horizon View desktop along with a Lync VDI plugin on a Windows client.  By doing so, customers can leverage the power of the Lync VDI plugin to make rich voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) and videoconferencing calls without negatively affecting the datacenter server or network.

The document will help partners and customers understand and avoid some common mistakes when deploying the Microsoft Lync 2013 client and Lync VDI plugin with Horizon View desktops.

Some common pitfalls when deploying the Lync 2013 client and Lync VDI plugin include:

  • Knowing what is and is not supported
  • Downloading/installing the correct software
  • Misconfiguration of Lync 2013 server and client and Lync VDI plugin
  • Windows client misconfiguration

Follow up questions

If you have additional questions regarding the deployment of the Lync 2013 client and Lync VDI plugin with Horizon View 5.2 desktops, please post your questions to our community page.

Useful Links

Lync client qualified devices

Deploying Lync VDI Plugin

Lync VDI Troubleshooting

Lync VDI plugin (32-bit) download

Tell us your thoughts on this latest announcement on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Abracadabra! Horizon Mirage 4.2 Help Desk web console for fulfilling user requests

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

A primary new feature offered in Horizon Mirage 4.2 is a Help Desk web console. This web console enables Help Desk personnel to easily fulfill common user requests, such as desktop recovery and incremental backups, always with the zero-touch style of Horizon Mirage. The Horizon Mirage Web Manager transforms Help Desk personnel into magicians!

Magic Hat and Wand

The new web console allows Horizon Mirage Help Desk personnel to perform the following actions on selected devices:

  • Enforce Layers
  • Set Drivers (device drivers)
  • Reboot
  • Suspend
  • Synchronize (synchronize the current endpoint with the backup image)
  • Collect Logs
  • Restore (restore desktop from a backup image)
  • Revert to Snapshot (restore to a particular snapshot of the desktop)
  • Note (enter notes about a device)

Continue reading

The Convergence of IT and Communications

by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, End-User Computing

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the International Avaya User Group (IAUG) conference in Orlando, Florida.  The name of the conference was aptly titled “Converge2013” and brought together almost 3,000 users and partners of Avaya unified communications and networking gear.  VMware was one of the sponsors of the event and we met many Avaya customers who came by our exhibitor booth.

It was interesting to see that a few “old school” telephony administrators didn’t know who VMware was.  VMwho?  Historically, the IT department handled all of the servers, networking, and applications while the telephony administrator managed the phone system.  However, as adoption of Voice over IP has become more prevalent, there has been a convergence of these roles.  On the virtualization front, communications applications can be seen as just another app and deployed as a virtual machine in the datacenter.  In addition, on the end-user front, as softphones increasingly are used both at the office desk and on mobile devices, desktop virtualization can simplify management and security of communications.

VMware has worked closely with Avaya to enable scalable deployments of softphones without taxing the datacenter.  Using a custom developed plug-in, client devices can communicate point to point after an initial communications session is established.  Coding and decoding of real-time media is handled by the endpoint instead of at the datacenter which helps reduce latency and enable highly scalable deployments.  A webinar recording is available on YouTube that gives all of the details for this joint Avaya VMware solution.

While desktop virtualization in the unified communications space is a relatively new concept, many Avaya customers I spoke to are interested in using it for specific use cases.  Probably the most popular use case is for contact centers.  Contact center agents only require access to a limited application set and don’t install custom applications on their endpoints.  Furthermore, the contact center function is often outsourced or is located offshore.  This use case is ideal for desktop virtualization which provides the security, ease of scalability, and ease of management outsourcing and offshoring require.  A new VMware white paper is available that highlights how businesses can leverage desktop virtualization for their offshoring and outsourcing initiatives.

No doubt some telephony administrators are resistant to change as having ownership of the communications system ensures job security for them.  However, these people will be left behind as the convergence of IT and communications continues unabated.

Were you at IAUG as well?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Announcing Horizon Mirage 4.2!

by Hanan Stein, Product Management, End-User Computing

Today, VMware is pleased to announce the launch of the latest edition of VMware® Horizon Mirage™: the Horizon Mirage 4.2 release. In Horizon Mirage 4.2 VMware has made major storage performance improvements which greatly reduces the time it takes an endpoint to finish centralization. How significant is the impact you ask? Great question! Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends heavily on your environment, but we are quite sure that it will reduce the time significantly in environments where the storage is the bottleneck.  So we could have published “X% improvement achieved in the lab” we will try to share performance improvement data from real world deployments if our customers give us permission to publish it!

What’s new in VMware Horizon Mirage 4.2?

Endpoint centralization improvements – By reducing the total number of IOPS required, Horizon Mirage 4.2 significantly reduces the time it takes for an endpoint to finish centralizing.  Large deployments with thousands of devices will notice the most improvement!

Windows Vista OS support – Horizon Mirage now supports Windows Vista for disaster recovery and Windows 7 Migration (both in place migrations and through hardware refresh.).  As with Windows XP to Win7 migration, users can continue to work as Horizon Mirage downloads the Win7 image in the background, minimizing end-user down time.

New Help Desk Web Console: Horizon Mirage 4.2 provides web portal to helpdesk personal for troubleshooting and the repair of an end user’s system.   The Help Desk Web Console offers easy access to the admin console from any browser.

Localization – Horizon Mirage client and File portal are now localized and support four new languages: French, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese

Automated in-place Windows 7 Migration with Sophos 5.5 - Horizon Mirage can now migrate an enpoint with Sophos 5.5. endpoint encryption running without the need to de-crypt and re-crypt the endpoint.   This makes the security and compliance team very happy!

VMware Licensing Alignment:  Horizon Mirage is no longer licensed by device count but instead on the Horizon Suite user-based licensing model.

We are incredibly excited to announce our latest developments for Horizon Mirage.   Tell us your thoughts on our latest announcement via Facebook and Twitter.

Giving PCs New Purpose

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

Simplifying desktop management is still a very compelling reason for organizations across the globe to make the move to desktop virtualization. And not surprisingly, many organizations seem to make this move when faced with an upcoming or imminent PC refresh. Why? Because they can take the money that would typically go into buying a whole new fleet of PCs and instead invest this money into virtual desktop infrastructure. PCs can be repurposed to run as thin clients and given a new lease on life-usually with better performance. And IT organizations can focus on improving data security, supporting workplace mobility and driving down the day to day costs of desktop management.

Information Age highlighted a great example of this with Hertz-the global car rental company, earlier this week. Faced with the need to improve operational efficiencies, Hertz had the choice of refreshing its fleet of 4000 PCs and laptops spread across over 1,000 sites across Europe or moving to desktop virtualization.

By moving to desktop virtualization with VMware® Horizon View™, Hertz has been able to improve PCI compliance and security, reduce operational costs (help desk incidents alone have dropped by 33%) and simplify technical infrastructure.

Not surprisingly, Hertz expects to save a lot of hardware investments in the coming years by extending desktop lifecycles from three to five years up to 10 years with the use of Dell Wyse thin clients.

Western Wayne-a school district out in Pennsylvania, is another really good case in point. The district received a “classrooms for the future” grant a couple of years back. Instead of putting the money into new laptops-the IT department opted to build out their virtual desktop infrastructure and move to thin clients. And while the district spent a good chunk of their grant on getting their virtual desktop project off the ground in year one-by year two they were seeing real savings. In fact-they were even able to take some of these savings and offer up funding to the art and music departments for new technology purchases.

Now if you can’t repurpose PCs that you own in the process of moving to VDI- certain organizations have also shown that you can repurpose the PCs of your partners instead…

Facing significant budget cuts, the Iowa Workforce and Development Agency, one of Iowa’s largest state agencies-was actually asked to close over half of its 55 offices. Still intent on providing agency services-it partnered with other organizations that had PCs on hand for public use-including other state agencies, public libraries, National Guard Offices and colleges and leveraged virtual desktops to drive down costs by $6.5M, enhance security and reach more people than ever before. And it didn’t matter that partner PCs were older since the PCs were repurposed to run as thin clients. Today the agency has over 1500 virtual desktops running across all 99 counties in the state.

Looking to replace your fleet of desktops, laptops or tablets this year? You may just want to take a look at desktop virtualization and repurpose those PCs instead. :)

Are you considering desktop virtualization?  Tell us all about it on Twitter and Facebook!