It is no secret that deploying virtual desktops and apps can be challenging. System architects often need to build in features like redundancy, fault tolerance and high availability to avoid system crashes and a resulting mob of unhappy and unproductive users. Accommodating these requirements can drag out the planning and execution phases of a virtual desktop deployment.
The many rewards to virtualizing desktop and apps—improved data security, operational cost savings and the efficiency of centralized management, among many other benefits—make an increasing number of organizations take the plunge. So, how do you get to the benefits without the hassle in a much shorter time?
Leveraging Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliances (HCIAs) is one obvious choice. HCIAs:
Contain compute, memory and storage;
Typically have a single point of support;
Have lots of special sauce to get them up and running quickly; and
For six years, enterprises around the world have depended on FlexPod as their converged infrastructure of choice for delivering mission-critical workloads with greater performance, agility and economic value. In the first five years alone, over 6,300 customers deployed the platform, supported by more than 100 validated designs and 1,100-plus partners, who have built their data center practice around this solution.
As more organizations embrace the software-defined data center, we see several paths on how they can get there. One is certainly a “build-your-own” approach that requires the IT team to have deep architectural and operational expertise in sizing workload and building a system for performance that can scale in a linearly predictable way. But it also requires commitment to a sometimes-protracted design and deployment cycle, which can lengthen time-to-service and make ROI more elusive. Most aspire to a cloud-like model that offers the kind of service elasticity and predictable costs typically not found when stitching the required components together.
As many banks face tighter IT budgets, building a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a cost-saving alternative to adding hundreds of new desktops. For New York-based Flushing Bank, though, the move to VDI wasn’t just about doing more on less budget. VDI was their best bet to strengthen security, according to a new article at Windows IT Pro.
BDP International helps chemical producers, major enterprises, pharmaceutical companies, oil and gas suppliers and major retailers track their product shipments around the world. BDP also provides their customers with just-in-time logistics to ensure sensitive shipments get where they need to be in days by land, sea and air.
However, BDP’s IT organization realized they couldn’t provide that same responsiveness to their own customers, the company’s employees located across 130 countries. When IT failed to successfully deploy their critical BDP application suite to Google Apps, they took it as a wakeup call.
The company sought out a true enterprise, scalable solution for their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and found it in VMware Horizon. The Horizon platform provides BDP with a suite of solutions to deliver a digital workspace.
It used to be that graphics performance was purely the domain of CAD professionals, enthusiasts, creative agencies and the like. For the longest time, a virtual barrier existed between the haves and have-nots. The haves depend on an immersive, high-powered experience to get work done, while the have-nots spend their day peering into mundane apps, like presentations and spreadsheets.
When we think about virtualizing workspaces and delivering apps from the mobile cloud, we traditionally focused our technology “horsepower” on ensuring the graphics experience has been uncompromised for the top of the food chain: engineers, designers, creative types, etc. Rightly so, given the substantial investment traditionally found in physical graphics workstations and the transformation of that asset into a virtualized one sitting in the data center. Continue reading →
Nobody wants to provision physical machines anymore. It’s a time-consuming, costly exercise fraught with user downtime. But what do you do when you can’t give virtual desktops (VDI) to contractors, offshore developers or field workers? That’s where VMware Horizon FLEX comes in. FLEX is the secure policy management infrastructure that gives you total control over local virtual machines.
Fortune 500 company (and VMware partner) NetApp brings in more than $6 billion in revenue by providing big businesses with technology to store and manage data. NetApp’s customers are major innovators, using data management to its fullest potential to grow their businesses. And NetApp’s engineers play a major role in keeping the company’s technology up to speed with customers’ demands.
To accomplish that, engineers needed help from IT to increase their work productivity. They needed a new level of flexibility in order to access work in between meetings and while traveling. They needed to be able to securely work on any device, while keeping the experience consistent and the performance high.
In fact, NetApp’s engineers are so integral to maintaining a competitive advantage that the company’s executives called for a complete desktop transformation. IT was tasked to virtualize desktops for more than 8,000 employees across four of the company’s research and development (R&D) locations.
An escalating proportion of threats come from insider-led breaches. One recent survey reveals that 40% of organizations sampled are expecting an insider-led attack within the next 12 months. Another study suggests that such breaches cost companies an average of $3.79 million per breach, with an average cost per lost or stolen record of $154.
Hackers recently encrypted a Los Angeles hospital system’s patient data, demanding a $3.4 million bitcoin ransom before data access would be restored. More than the monetary losses, victims often cite the irreparable damage to brand and loss of trust their top concerns.
The Anatomy of an Attack
Insider-led breaches typically begin with current or former employees, contractors or other trusted insiders, either maliciously or unknowingly compromising their workspace. The breach then becomes a launch pad for malware. The attack often spreads laterally throughout the enterprise, seeking out low-priority, relatively undefended systems, such as databases or file servers sitting behind the corporate firewall. Attackers can then either encrypt data and demand payment for the key or quietly siphon sensitive data outside the firewall, often weeks or months before being detected. Continue reading →
Electronic medical records (EMR) have become a quintessential part of modern healthcare. Doctors and nurses are busy. Patients want more personalized care. So the ability to quickly access accurate patient records online, without losing facetime, is transformative.
What’s more, clinicians increasingly want to be able to do this from any device and in any treatment setting (in the doctor’s office, bedside, over the phone, etc.). To do this seamlessly and securely, modern hospitals also now need a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to run an EMR solution.
When the Women’s College Hospital (WCH) redeveloped their medical center, they made the VMware Horizon VDI solution part of their healthcare transformation. Here’s how the leading academic and ambulatory, or outpatient, care hospital in Canada sped up processes for busy doctors and nurses with Horizon.
I almost overlooked the news blurb regarding Emancipation Day, until I saw the word “taxes” in the title and did a double take. Emancipation Day is being celebrated on Friday, pushing the official tax-filing deadline to April 18. Effectively, this gives us three extra days to file our taxes this year. And if you’re like me, you’re probably letting out a whoop of delight as we gain some extra time to file our taxes this year.
According to Jackson Hewitt, over 60% of all Americans use a paid tax preparation service to file their taxes. That’s a great opportunity for providers such as H&R Block, the world’s largest tax service provider, whose headcount jumps exponentially every year between December 1 and April 15.
Due to the seasonal nature of the tax business, H&R Block scales from several thousand tax professionals to more than 100,000 mostly temporary associates every tax-filing season. The influx of temporary workers puts an enormous strain on the company’s business processes, including the deployment of streamlined and reliable technology infrastructure to cater to a seasonal spike in capacity. By deploying virtual desktops (VDI) with thin clients as endpoints, H&R block was able to scale and simultaneously realize significant capital savings. Continue reading →