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See How VMware Go Stacks Up Against the Competition!

While we certainly enjoy the vKool-Aid around these parts, we are in fact aware that VMware Go is not the only option for IT admins that want to manage their IT infrastructure. That said, we do believe we’re by far the best option for those of you that are looking to a) get your virtualization project up and running and b) manage your virtual and physical infrastructure alike from a web-based management console.

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at some major categories for IT management products, and how VMware Go stacks up against alternative solutions:

VMware Go Pro

Microsoft Windows and InTune

Spiceworks

SolarWinds

Kaseya SaaS Solutions

General Solution: How you get it, who it’s for, and how it’s priced

Delivery

Cloud-based through your browser

Client software with cloud-based console

Client software

Dozens of client software apps

Client software

Usability

Easy wizard-based interface for any IT admin

Multiple interfaces and PowerShell scripting for Windows specialists

Simple interface but depends on 3rd party plug-ins

Completely separate software apps for IT specialists

Complex interface for IT specialists

Pricing

Free to deploy and manage basic virtualization.

Subscription for patching.

Purchase Windows Server for virtualization.

Subscription for InTune.

Free

Mainly perpetually licensed apps.

Multiple options for subscription or perpetual licensing.

Virtualization: Helping small and mid-size businesses realize the high ROI of virtualization

Deploy

Remotely deploy vSphere in minutes through a browser

Requires deploying Windows Server 2012

No

No

No

Manage

Start, stop, migrate, configure and remote console all through a browser

Requires Windows Server 2012 management console add-in or PowerShell

No

No

No

Monitor

24/7 email alerts for host and VM performance and availability

Requires 3rd party monitoring tools

No

Separate app just for VM monitoring

Generic machine monitoring

Patching:  Improving the security and reliability for everyone by keeping up with the latest OS and application updates.

Windows Updates

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Business Apps

Hundreds of business apps

No

No

Smaller catalog of apps

Smaller catalog of apps

IT Management:  Increasing productivity of small and mid-size business IT staff through efficient tools and automation.

Assessment

IT Advisor recommends uses for Go to improve your environment

No

No

No

No

Asset Inventory

Yes

No

Yes

Separate app just for inventory

Yes

Helpdesk

Yes

No

Yes

Separate app just for helpdesk

Yes

 

Learn More!

Ready to learn about how VMware Go Pro can help start your virtualization journey and better manage patching? Visit us here for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure and a 30 day free trial of VMware Go Pro.

 

 

Weekly Links – January 28, 2013

Good Monday to all of you – and just a reminder that summer is a mere five months away! That may be hard to stomach at the moment, with temperatures in a lot of the U.S. in single digits at the moment. But take heart, soon enough we’ll be complaining about the brutal humidity – and how much it costs to cool down server rooms – instead of this bitter, bitter cold.

And for those of you who were wondering out there, yes, our New Year’s resolution was to be more positive. How are we doing so far?

Why application development is better in the cloud (InfoWorld)

‘The Quantum Age of IT Excerpt’ (IT Business Edge)

Why Your Data Center Costs Will Drop (InformationWeek)

Can you spot the 10 security mistakes in this workspace? (IT World)

Twitter releases data on government info requests from second half of 2012 (GigaOM)

This week’s apropos of nothing image is just that – absolutely apropos of nothing. But really cool, none the less—especially for you history geeks out there! This is what the sky above London looked like after a massive air battle between British and German pilots in September 1940:

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit us here for a 30 day free trial of VMware Go Pro.

 

This Week in Patching – 1/25/2013

By: Jason Miller, Manager of Research and Development at VMware

After an eventful past couple of weeks in patch management, this week was relatively quiet.  Here is a quick recap in the happenings of patch management this week.

On Monday, a new version of Audacity was released.  Audacity 2.0.3 is a non-security update fixing numerous issues.

On Tuesday, Google released new security updates for their Chrome and Chrome Frame browsers.  Google Chrome / Chrome Frame version 24.0.1312.56 fixes three high, and two medium vulnerabilities.

On Wednesday, Core FTP released a new version with version 2.2.  This version was originally released on January 17th, but the details were provided on Wednesday.  This new version is a non-security update.

Last up for this week are new versions of MozyHome and MozyPro released today.  MozyHome and MozyPro version 2.18.3.247 are both non-security updates.

Happy Patching!

- Jason Miller

Interested in a free 30 day trial of VMware Go Pro for patch management, IT management, virtualization and more? Click here.

Install ESXi through VMware Go

This blog is a repost from Jonathan Frappier’s Blog.  To view the original blog post, click here.

Since the folks over at the VMware Go team liked my first post so much, I figured I’d oblige and write up an article about how to install ESXi through VMware Go since they tweeted about it before I actually wrote it :)

VMware Go, for those that missed the last post, is a cloud based service for small businesses and new VMware admins to help manage and setup their VMware environment.  There are “two” ways to install ESXi from VMware go – by converting an existing Windows server/machine or downloading the ISO and installing manually.  The later isn’t really installing “through” VMware Go but certainly a viable path, and then you can simply add the host once your install is finished.

Once logged into VMware Go, click on the Virtual tab and select Install an ESXi Hypervisor from the drop down menu.

installesxi

Click the Get Started button on the next screen and provide the IP address of the Windows server you wish to convert and click the Next button.

installIP

VMware Go will connect to the IP address of the computer to determine if it is compatible, when prompted enter the username and password for that server.  The machine I tried to install on failed the compatibility check as you can see here:

hardwarefail

Thankfully I am doing this in a VM so one second while I go reconfigure that machine…and we are back and the machine passed the test this time as you can see:

hardwarepass

I popped in my hostname and opted for DHCP config.  Make sure you pay attention to the warning – Windows will be gone!  Make sure you backed up your data, settings etc… if you need anything from this server and click next.  You will see a summary of the actions to be taken.  If you are ready to take the plunge, click the Start ESXi Hypervisor Installation!

startAfter confirming you will blow away your Windows install, you will be prompted for the ESXi password you wish to set, and then need to enter the Windows credentials again.  You can see the task/download/install progress at the top of the screen:

download

Queue on hold music in your head….daaa na na naa naa na.  Less than 20 minutes and a few reboots later I had an ESXi screen where my Windows login screen once appeared and can see the task completed in VMware Go.

taskdone

 

VMware Go was even nice enough to add it to its inventory for me!  So thats it, without ever touching an ISO I nuked my Windows server and turned it into a functional ESXi server!.

Thank you to Jonathan Frappier for allowing us to re-post this helpful blog.  Feel free to check out his blog here and follow him on Twitter (@jfrappier)!

Want to learn about how VMware Go Pro can help start your virtualization journey and better manage patching? Ready to begin your trial? Click here to enjoy 30 days of VMware Go Pro for free!

Weekly Links – January 22, 2013

How about that flu strain going around, huh???

Here’s to hoping that most readers here were able to avoid it—unlike us… After a week of Emergen-C, boxes of tissues and watching terrible Netflix movies on the couch, it’s safe to say that we’re suffering from a bit of cabin fever. Don’t you just love January?

In any event, here are this week’s links:

Facebook pushes a new model for buying servers (InfoWorld)

Java Security Warnings: Cut Through the Confusion (InformationWeek)

GitHub blocked in China (TheNextWeb)

Samsung official confirms Galaxy 8 Note 8.0 tablet (GigaOM)

Kim Dotcom’s new file locker “Mega” opens to the public (Ars Technica)

In keeping with the aforementioned “Cabin Fever” theme, this week’s apropos of nothing image is dedicated to the beach; a.k.a., where we want to be right about now:

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit us here for a free 30 day trial of VMware Go Pro.

 

Cloud Management of VMware hosts using VMware Go for new admins and SMBs

This blog is a repost from Jonathan Frappier’s Blog.  To view the original blog post, click here.

VMware Go is a is a cloud based management solution for (small) vSphere deployments and includes features such as  the IT Advisor, ESXi and vCenter installation automation and patch/inventory scanning (though my free version is prompting me to upgrade to Go Pro for those right now).

As I am setting up a new lab environment, I thought I would poke around at some of the features.  I did a basic ESXi install leaving all the defaults.  As I drill into the inventory for this host, VMware Go identified two potential configuration problems I should correct – setting an NTP server and changing the IP address.

Typically the IP address could be set via the vSphere Client, DCUI or command line and NTP via the DCUI or command line, but VMware Go is targeted (IMO) towards the small business or IT shops with little to no VMware experience so having the ability to set these items via a web interface seems very useful.  Click the Apply NTP Settings button worked flawlessly for the suggested NTP server (you may want to use an internal NTP source in your environment).

There is an import VM feature, but this only works from a VMware Server instance (VMware on Windows) and since that has long since been out to pasture, not sure how useful that would be.  Being able to communicate with VMware Converter running on the network seems like it would be a more useful feature.  I also have the ability to scan the host for patches, since I installed the latest 5.1 release there were none to install so I downloaded 4.1 Update 2.  Adding the host was again easy and straight forward, though the NTP setting originally threw an error but trying to apply again worked correctly.  Running a patch scan worked as expected this time, I found the missing patches and automated shutting down VMs, putting the host into maintenance mode and rebooting the server.  One thing to remember, these are “updates” not “upgrades” so you cannot bring a 4.1 host up to 5.1 or even bringing a 5.0 hosts up to 5.1.

One feature I would like to see, especially for the small IT shop who isn’t comfortable managing ESXi directly is the ability to rename the hosts, currently both my hosts are named “localhost” and have the ability to to manage other basic IP settings such as subnet mask, DNS servers and gateways.

If the free version from VMware Go is nothing else, its a great tool to keep your ESXi hosts up to date with latest patches.  As I get further in my lab setup (vCenter etc…) I will write up additional features that are available in VMware Go and activate my VMware Go Pro trial.

Thank you to Jonathan Frappier for allowing us to re-post this helpful blog.  Feel free to check out his blog here and follow him on Twitter (@jfrappier)!

Want to learn about how VMware Go Pro can help start your virtualization journey and better manage patching? Ready to begin your trial? Click here to enjoy 30 days of VMware Go Pro for free!

Breaking Through the (Virtualized) Barrier – Why the Time is Now for SMBs to Embrace Virtualization

Recently, it was reported that over 65% of enterprise applications are now virtualized. That’s an impressive sum on its own, but staggering when you consider that only 25% of enterprise applications were virtualized five years earlier, in 2008.

The big allure for virtualization – like all major IT innovations – ultimately boils down to cutting cost and complexity in the data center. Smaller and mid-sized organizations (those with 500 or fewer employees), though, have not been able to embrace virtualization as quickly as larger enterprises. Since they have more modest resources than their larger counterparts, the upfront complexity in terms of onboarding to virtualization can be a bit more daunting.

Among other areas, some of the most commonly cited virtualization hurdles for smaller and mid-sized organizations are:

  • Security
  • Lack of knowledge / proper training
  • Technical complexity
  • Cost of hardware
  • Cost of consulting services
  • Legal and regulatory compliance

As virtualization has emerged as an IT best practice, though, things have started to change. For its part, VMware has developed VMware Go Pro – a cloud-based management tool that’s specifically geared for IT admins with limited resources that want to start the virtualization process. It allows those with next to no knowledge of VMware or virtualization to get vSphere up and running in less than 30 minutes via a step-by-step wizard that walks you through the onboarding process. It also includes an IT advisor that provides proactive recommendations for a given network and automates patch management for Microsoft and third-party patches alike.

Interested individuals can learn more about reducing the complexity of virtualization for SMBs in this whitepaper from VMware: http://vmwarego.com/files/VMW-WP-G0-PRO-REDUCE-CMPLX-VIRTUAL-SMBs.pdf

Learn More!

Want to learn about how VMware Go Pro can help start your virtualization journey and better manage patching? Ready to begin your trial? Click here to enjoy 30 days of VMware Go Pro for free!

Weekly Links – January 15, 2013

Hello there, IT admins! Looks like most of the country is dealing with the same frigid weather front—even right here in the Bay Area (some of us could even seen our own breaths this morning—a huge deal for weather-sensitive Northern Californians, mind you).

Here are this week’s links to accompany your hot chocolate this morning:

Your New Guide to Higher Education IT (InformationWeek)

In IT, downtime chooses you (InfoWorld)

Massive espionage malware targeting governments undetected for 5 years (Ars Technica)

15 great IT telecommuting jobs (IT World)

Embrace the Inevitable Change that Comes with IT (IT Business Edge)

This week’s apropos of nothing image is an undated photo from the Upper East Side in New York City, circa 1909.

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit us here for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure and for a 30 day free trial to VMware Go Pro.

This Week in Patching – 1/14/2013

By: Jason Miller, Manager of Research and Development at VMware

Happy New Year.  I hope IT administrators got some much needed patching rest over the past couple of weeks.  2013 is started out quite heavy in the world of patching.

This week was highlighted by a busy Patch Tuesday.  You can read my write up on the January 2013 edition of Patch Tuesday here.

There were also other vendors releasing critical security bulletins on Patch Tuesday.  Adobe released two security bulletins.  APSB13-02 was pre-announced last Thursday as a part of their quarterly update for Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.  Adobe Acrobat / Reader versions 9.5.3 / 10.1.5 / 11.0.1 address 27 vulnerabilities and are rate Critical.  Adobe security bulletin APSB13-01 was not pre-announced by Adobe, but I expected this bulletin to be released after Microsoft announced an update for Adobe Flash Player in Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 last Thursday was set to be released on Patch Tuesday.  APSB13-01 addresses 1 vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player versions 10 and 11 (as well as Adobe Air 3.5).

Mozilla also released security updates to coincide with Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday.  The most notable of the releases by Mozilla was the major update for Firefox.  Mozilla Firefox 18 contains new features as well as security updates.  For those organizations that do not want to roll out new features in their Mozilla products due to concerns of the new features breaking functionality, Mozilla is continuing their effort with the Mozilla ESR products.  These product updates contain new security fixes but do not contain new features.

Here is the details list of Mozilla updates released on Patch Tuesday:

  • Mozilla Firefox 18
    • Security update addressing 12 Critical, 8 High and 1 Moderate Mozilla Security Advisories (30 vulnerabilities)
  • Mozilla SeaMonkey 2.15
    • Security update addressing 12 Critical, 7 High and 1 Moderate Mozilla Security Advisories (26 vulnerabilities)

The other notable updates this week were released on Thursday.  Google updated their Chrome and Chrome Frame browser with version 24.0.1312.52.  This new version fixes 24 vulnerabilities and includes an updated version of Adobe Flash Player that was released by Adobe on Patch Tuesday.  In the past year, Google has been in sync with Adobe on Adobe Flash Player releases.  Interestingly, Google’s release came two days after the Adobe Flash Player release.

There were also some non-security updates released on Thursday.  MozyHome and MozyPro updated their programs with version 2.18.2.244.  Microsoft released a new version of Skype with 6.1.0.129.  This version now integrates with Microsoft Office Outlook contact.

Happy Patching!

- Jason Miller

Interested in a free 30 day trial of VMware Go Pro for patch management, IT management, virtualization and more? Click here.

 

This Week in Patching – 1/7/2013

By: Jason Miller, Manager of Research and Development at VMware

Patching came to a quiet end in 2012 and 2013 is starting off with a bang.  Here is a quick recap of the happenings in patch management this week:

On Wednesday, a new version of CDBurnerXP was released with version 4.5.0.3717.  This new version is a non-security update.  On Friday, Google released a non-security update for their Picasa program with version 3.9.136.120.

Microsoft announced their January 2013 Patch Tuesday Advance Notification.  You can read my write up here on the upcoming Patch Tuesday.  In addition to the seven Microsoft security bulletins being released next Tuesday, there are quite a few non-Microsoft patches being released on Patch Tuesday.

Adobe announced they will be releasing updates for their Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat programs (versions 9/10/11).  These updates are rated as critical and are part of their quarterly update for Adobe Acrobat and Reader.

In addition, Mozilla is lining up to release updates as well for their products.  You can expect updates for their Mozilla Firefox, Firefox ESR, Thunderbird, Thunderbird ESR and SeaMonkey products.

On Microsoft’s preannouncement page for upcoming non-security updates, they have listed Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 10.  With this in mind, expect updates from Adobe for Adobe Flash Player and Google Chrome on Patch Tuesday.  With every Adobe Flash Player release, Microsoft and Google update their browsers to supply the latest version of the Flash Player program.

On the Microsoft Security Advisory front, Microsoft released a new security advisory on Thursday.  Microsoft Security Advisory 2798897 addresses issues with fraudulent digital certificates.  This security advisory places the offending certificates in the untrusted certificate store on systems.  In June 2012, Microsoft released a tool that will run on systems and quickly moves revoked certificates to the untrusted certificate stores.  This tool aids administrators that want an easy and quick way to update certificate issues Microsoft finds.  This tool can be downloaded here.  For those that do not want to use the tool, Microsoft has provided patches for this certificate issue that can be applied to systems.

Until Patch Tuesday, Happy Patching!

- Jason Miller

Interested in a free 30 day trial of VMware Go Pro for patch management, IT management, virtualization and more? Click here.