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Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the Software-Defined Data Center

This is a cross-post from the VMware Operations Transformation Services blog.

KevinLeesBy: Kevin Lees

VMworld is almost upon us. Technology continues, of course, to be a key enabler in helping IT on its transformation journey, whether that journey is to offering IT as a Service, moving more fully to Cloud, supporting cloud native applications and continuous delivery, DevOps, or any number of other initiatives focused on providing increasing value to the business. It’s also the primary reason you attend VMworld. But, as we work with our customers across the world, we continue to see how integral people and process changes are to really making this journey successful and to truly providing the value business is increasingly demanding of IT.

To help you make the most of the great technology and solutions VMware provides and will be showcasing at VMworld, we’re hosting an Operations Transformation track again this year. As the Principal Architect for our Global Operations Transformation Practice, this track is near and dear to my heart. We have a great lineup of sessions focused on the practical aspects of applying organizational, people, and process change to get the most out of VMware’s technology.

I have several sessions this year, but one that might be of particular interest is focused on the key best practices we’ve learned while helping some of our biggest IT customers transform their value proposition to their business customers by deploying a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). I’ll discuss what not to do and what to watch out for, as well as what you should do to be successful. I’ll present lessons learned through real customer examples (though the names will be changed to protect the innocent) and provide guidance on how you can avoid learning the same lessons – the hard way. Of course I’ll address the organizational, people, and process aspects but will also dive into some of the technical challenges we overcame or avoided along the way. This particular session is OPT 5361 on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

I know you’re looking forward to VMworld as much as I am. I hope to see you in one or more of my sessions but more importantly, check out the Operations Transformation track in the on-line Schedule Builder. You won’t be disappointed and you could be the hero “back at the office’ because IT’s success isn’t just about the technology.

Quick guide to my sessions:

Tuesday Sept. 1

  • 12:30 OPT 4743 Organizational Change Group Discussion
  • 2:30 OPT 4992 vRealize CodeStream:  Is DevOps about Tools or Transformation?

Wednesday Sept. 2

  • 8 :00 OPT 5232 Cloud Native Apps, MicroServices and Twelve-Factor Apps:  What Do They Mean for your SDDC/Cloud Ops?
  • 11:00 OPT 5361 Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the SDDC
  • 2:30 OPT 5972 80K VM’s and Growing:  VMware’s Internal Cloud Journey Told by the People on the Frontlines

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Kevin Lees is principal architect for VMware’s global Operations Transformation Practice and is based in Colorado.

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Strategizing and Modernizing your Cloud Delivery Practice

This is a cross-post from the VMware Operations Transformation Services Blog.

Part 1 – Establishing your Cloud Business Management Practice 

By Khalid Hakim, Charlie McVeigh

History, particularly IT history, sure does have a way of repeating itself.

Think back to the 80’s and the advent of mini computers.   Mini computers were widely adopted by business units because of the perceived difficulty and cost of having the IT organization implement business solutions on the corporate mainframe.   In the 1990’s it was the PC.  Again, Corporate IT was seen as too slow and too expensive for the business solutions that were needed.  In the  2000’s  it is the advent of 2nd and 3rd generation Internet applications followed quickly by  the mobile computing revolution.  Like a broken record, corporate IT organizations were perceived as being slow and expensive to react to these new business demands.   Now that we are  in 2015, IT organizations are fighting the proliferation of public cloud offerings that business units cannot seem to drink up quickly enough.

What is common to each of the historical phases that are described above?  Business units that consume IT services perceived that they could procure IT services and applications more quickly and at a lower cost than corporate IT organizations could provide them.

What does this mean for the CIO in the modern era of IT?  It means that CIO’s must adapt or run the risk of being rendered irrelevant in relation to the way IT is consumed today and into the future.  It means that  CIO’s must now get on board with the concept of “running IT like a business.”  It means that CIOS’s must evolve such they are arbiters of technology and understand economically where is the best place for IT workloads to run.  Is it private cloud?  Public cloud?  Hybrid?  Outsourced?  Insourced? SaaS?  Iaas?  PaaS?  The choices are nearly endless – and you get it – todays CIO must be versed in all of these capabilities.

Todays effective CIO is asking and seeking answers most of the following questions:  Can you tell me on the spot what your total cloud spend is, and, what that spend is comprised of?  What’s the cost for you to deliver a unit of cloud service (IaaS for instance)? And what about your consumers: Who consumes what service and at what cost?

Can you identify the services used and the cost allocation for each service? How is your cost efficiency compared to that of other public cloud infrastructures? How can you use that type of information to optimize the cost of your existing and future operations? How can you create a showback report to each of your stakeholders?

Let’s say that you’re the VP of Cloud — think through how you would justify your data center investments. Have you proactively analyzed demand vs. capacity and how this is impacting your forecasting/budgeting exercises?  How can you scale dynamically to fulfill your consumer needs? Have you thought about your goal to optimize the cost of delivering cloud services? “What if” scenarios, benchmarking, and the reduction and optimization cost and price of your cloud services should be considered as well. Don’t you need closer monitoring to the quality of your delivery, such as continuous analysis and improvement? Have you thought of aligning your efforts with the corporate marketing and promoting your cloud services value?

(I can hear you thinking, enough with the questions already…)

What I would like to share with you today is a 6-month program (shown in the diagram below) to transform your cloud initiative into a successful robust cloud business management practice. The goal of the Cloud Business Management (CBM) service is to set up a cloud business management practice to enable effective, efficient, and agile business management of your cloud services.

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The following components are addressed in the full cloud business lifecycle service.

  • Cloud Business Manager Workshop – Educate the cloud service delivery teams on the foundations of cloud business and financial management aspects including costing, pricing, showback/chargeback, budgeting, forecasting, and cost optimization.
  • Cloud Business Strategy Assessment – Evaluate the IT business operational maturity of an organization and compare with VMware recommended practices. VMware will recommend possible strategies and propose a plan that best fits the organization IT and business models.
  • Cloud Services Definition – A comprehensive methodology to define cloud services and their constituent components end-to-end.
  • Cloud Services Costing – Understand Customer’s cloud services cost end-to-end and create a service-based cost allocation and classification strategy for Customer’s cloud services.
  • Cloud Services Pricing – Help Customer set a cloud pricing strategy and propose rates for the various components and offerings. This includes showback, cost recovery, investment funds, and driving particular behavior.
  • Cloud Services Marketing – Set up the cloud services marketing strategy including branding, marketing objectives, cloud service positioning, communications plan, value measurement, cultural considerations, and catalyst of change. Also, identify types of promotions and drivers of cloud services consumption and behavior impact.
  • Consumption and Showback / Chargeback – Help Customer develop a process for reporting on cloud service consumption and billing for cost recovery using VMware vRealize™ Business Advanced. In addition, determine the required people roles and dashboards.
  • Cloud SLM and Contracts Management – A comprehensive Cloud Service Level Management process including SLA and OLA templates between Cloud Infrastructure and Tenant Operations teams and the consumer. Additionally, basic vendor contract management process is provided.
  • Cost Optimization – Develop and execute a cloud cost optimization repeatable process that includes competitive analysis, benchmarking, public cloud comparison, and cost savings realization.
  • Cloud Services Budgeting and Forecasting – Develop a cloud-service-based budgeting and forecasting process to enable a more efficient demand and supply chain supported by the vRealize Business Advance cost model.

So, how is this valuable to your organization?

  1. Help your business consumers be accountable for better management of their cloud spend  rate cards, showback, chargeback, service tier options, and fair recovery of IT costs
  2. Help you make informed decisions for hybrid cloud, cost takeout, application rationalization, intelligent workload placement and bill of cloud
  3. Empower your IT to deliver on cloud promises for the desired quality, at the right cost by creating tighter alignment and accountability between IT, Business, and Finance
  4. Present you a comprehensive cloud business management practice within your IT organization leveraging your investment on vRealize Business and enabling you to run your cloud like a business
  5. Accelerate your transformation journey to an IT organization that is more consumption and cloud-service based

In our next blogs, we’ll cover the cloud business management components in greater details to help you plan for your Cloud Business Management (CBM) practice within your organization.

And if you’re heading to VMworld, don’t miss this session!

Using vRealize Business for Cloud Business Management

IT services and applications gradually rely on cloud services that provide more flexibility and agility for IT providers to supply the value to the business on demand. However this change also introduce new challenges to manage a dynamic environment that needs to scale economically per consumer’s demand. The cloud model can facilitate the shift to a business focus for the entire IT hierarchy—from the top to the technical teams managing and delivering the cloud. But to achieve the full business value of the cloud, companies need to put in place a more specialized and robust Cloud Business Management (CBM) practice. The CBM practice addresses the key business aspects of cloud operations.  Khalid Hakim, global operations financial and business management architect, and Kobi Katzir – Senior Product Line Manager at VMware will shed light on this new business practice using VMware vRealize Business to move your cloud management to the next level in maturity and position it as a strategic partner to your business consumers and line of businesses.

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Khalid Hakim is an operations architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice. You can follow him on Twitter @KhalidHakim47.

Charlie McVeigh is an IT business management strategic advisor, and you can follow him on Twitter @cbmcveigh

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VMworld 2015: Top 10 Can’t Miss Sessions for SMBs

VMworld 2015 is just a few weeks away, which means it’s time to decide which sessions you’ll go to. That can be a daunting task for any organization considering how many options VMworld offers, but for small and medium sized business, choosing the right session can be an even bigger challenge. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 can’t-miss talks, panels and presentations for SMBs.

The Top 10 Can’t Miss SMB Sessions:

Businesses of every shape and size can expect to learn the latest and greatest when it comes to virtualization and infrastructure at VMworld 2015. In particular, SMBs stand to learn a lot from sessions detailing new technologies like containers, how leading experts wear multiple hats and how organizations can reclaim capacity and gain efficiency with vSphere Operations Management. Here’s a closer look:

Session: Date and Time: ID Number:
Container Orchestration with the SDDC Monday, 12:30 – 1:30 PM CNA4590
Design Advice for Small and Midsize Business Monday, 3:30 – 4:30 PM INF4448
Take Virtualization to the Next Level: vSphere with Operations Management Monday, 2-3 PM INF4586
vSphere 6 Security Update Wednesday, 8-9 AM INF4758
Day to Day Automation of VMware Products to Increase Productivity and Efficiency Wednesday, 12:30 – 1:30 PM INF4793
Insight Into vSphere 6 vMotion: Architecture, Features, Performance and Debugging Tuesday, 2 – 3 PM INF4936
Managing vSphere 6.0 Deployments and Upgrades, Part 1 Tuesday, 3:30 – 4:30 PM INF4944
vSphere 6 Security Deep Dive: Certificates and Identity Wednesday, 8 – 9 AM INF4946
What’s New in vSphere? Wednesday, 9:30 – 10:30 AM INF5060
vSphere Web Client – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Wednesday 11 AM – 12 PM INF5093

It’s not too late to join in on the fun! To register for VMworld, click here. For more information about VMworld events, sessions, FAQs, and more, visit our VMworld site.

Virtualization and Security in the Law Firm World

Ivan

Post by Ivan Talley, VMware Systems Engineer

It’s probably not a surprise that law firms utilize VMware products for the same reasons as other businesses. I wanted to highlight some of the key benefits of virtualization that I witnessed first-hand while working at a large law firm in Texas.

It’s no question that law firms manage an enormous amount of documents. These documents are often produced by the firms and retained as well. Document management systems like iManage WorkSite or eDOCS DM, provide incredible document management capabilities to the attorneys who produce and use this data. Virtualizing the back end systems for these types of products compliments accessibility through increased availability in the event of hardware problems. Inevitably, when a law firm experiences any hardware failure, critical cases can be impacted by inaccessible documents. The business case for virtualization of these applications alone justifies virtualization. This is overlooking the significant savings gained from consolidation and administration that are well documented for virtual environments.

With VMware’s vRealize Operations, availability can be increased again due to the patented algorithms that are constantly monitoring and analyzing the environment. Being able to understand how your systems are being used and where you are in relation to your capacity allows the IT staff to proactively provide the resources necessary for the business. Proactively staying ahead of demand, while insuring the necessary redundant capacity, helps to insure that all case information is always available.

Another area of significant impact is in relation to security. We discovered that through traffic monitoring tools, there were literally thousands of unauthorized access attempts being made to our perimeter firewalls. The reasons are numerous, but one of the most interesting that came to my attention was the fact that law firms often hold highly sensitive customer data and are the “softer” target in many situations. For example, patent filings, etc. for defense contractors may contain highly sensitive technological information that is compartmentalized at the manufacturer’s site. If the representing law firm has copies of this information they need to have the most secure network possible. VMware can also address these concerns with VMware NSX .

VMware NSX makes micro-segmentation operationally feasible, preventing lateral spread of threats inside the data center once perimeter defenses have been overcome. This level of security is assigned at the VM level and protects individual systems from any malicious activities, even if it happens to be originating from within the firm’s own network. Allowing a firm the choice to firewall EVERY system is a level of security that cannot be practically implemented with physical devices. Beyond security there are other efficiencies VMware NSX provides that will lighten network bandwidth load by reducing ARP traffic, etc.

As you can see there are several areas specific to the legal environment that can benefit tremendously from investments in the VMware product line. For more information on specific products I suggest you begin by spending a few minutes at our Product Walkthroughs site, http://featurewalkthrough.vmware.com/. Additional information and assistance such as demos and evals are available by contacting your inside sales team here at VMware. We’re here to help and glad to do so.

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New vSphere 6 & NSX Videos Added to the Learning Zone

This is a cross-post from the VMware EDU blog.

We are constantly adding new content to the VMware Learning Zone – our subscription service for continuous access to video-based training. Last month we added four new titles:Learning Zone

  • vSphere 6 Content Library (Part 2: Demo) In this second part of a 2-part video series, Andy Cary explains the purpose of the new feature known as Content Library which shipped with vSphere 6. The Content Library is a repository for storing VM Templates, ISO Files, and scripts which can be replicated between vCenter instances. He also shows you how to setup a Content Library, and you’ll learn which mechanisms are used to replicate Content Libraries.
  • vSphere 6: NFS Enhancements (Part 1: Presentation) In this first part of a 2-part video series, Andy Cary walks you through which enhancements were made to the NFS client in vSphere 6 and why.
  • vSphere 6 – NFS Enhancements (Part 2 – Demonstration) In this second part of a 2-part video series, Andy Cary shows you exactly how to set up a connection to NFS server with vSphere 6 ESXi host via NFS 4.1.
  • NSX Architecture: Review of NSX, Use-Cases and Components In this video, NSX expert Paul McSharry takes you on an in-depth look at NSX architecture, including a review of NSX and technical considerations in why a business would choose NSX. He then walks you through NSX components, what they look like, what they do, and how they interoperate. He then shows you how to install NSX and shares several pitfalls you can avoid during installation.

Learn more about the VMware Learning Zone, see the complete list of available titles, and watch a few sample videos here.

The Benefits of Blue Medora’s MS SQL Server Management Pack

Ivan

 Post by Ivan Talley, VMware Systems Engineer 

VMware’s vRealize Operations (vROps) allows you to monitor, analyze, and alert your virtual and physical environment. Our partner, Blue Medora, specializes in the creation of Management Packs that continue to extend the scope of vROps. Management Packs are the necessary adapters that allow us to collect metrics, combined with symptoms, alerts, recommendations, and custom dashboards for a particular product or application. Blue Medora recently announced the availability of their MS SQL Server Management Pack. This new component is compatible with MS SQL 2008 R2, 2012, and 2014. It can be used with vRealize Operations 5.8 or 6.x. Management packs require that you are running vROps Advanced or Enterprise.

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The MS SQL Server Management Pack will help IT staff  “gain end-to-end visibility into Microsoft SQL Server health, performance, availability, and capacity with VMware vRealize Operations.”

Take a look at Blue Medora’s web site where you can also download a 30-day trial. You can also view a video or review screen shots to gain more insight into this exciting new vROps Management Pack. (http://www.bluemedora.com/products/vrops-management-pack-for-microsoft-sql-server/) 

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Windows 10 Receives Positive Outlook From IT Professionals

By Mark Margevicius, director of enterprise solutions, End-User Computing, VMware

This is a cross-post from the VMware EUC blog.

Previews for blockbuster movies are always exciting but they all come to an end as the lead-up culminates with the eventual opening weekend that draws hundreds of thousands of excited fans. Similarly, months of anticipation have culminated this week with the launch of Windows 10, the much-anticipated release of the latest Windows operating system that will introduce a new endpoint management paradigm to the industry.

As part of this industry moment, we commissioned a survey with TechValidate to examine the opinions and sentiments of IT professionals towards the Windows update.  The survey findings represent feedback from roughly 250 VMware customers and were completed earlier this month.

Through this survey, we discovered some real nuggets of insight from customers , which I’d like to share with you in this post. So without further adieu, below are 5 key takeaways from our recent survey.

1 – IT professionals are generally keen towards Windows 10

  • Large majority of IT professionals expect Windows 10 to meet expectations (77%)
  • Perceptions about Microsoft appear to be on an upswing with 1 in 3 respondents (34%) having improved their opinion of Microsoft in the last 12 months
  • Advanced security (34%), heterogeneous device support (30%) and simpler and faster Windows deployments (19%) are the top three features IT professionals are excited for
  • Large majority (69%) expect the Windows 10 migration effort to be about the same as previous Windows OS migration

Microsoft fully understands that there is great appetite for a product that is secure, simple, and easy to manage – factors that are paramount to customers. Windows 10 has some great features in the areas of management, mobility and cloud-enabled functionality. However, the survey results show that customers may not yet fully understand these new capabilities. Despite the availability of EMM-based tools that simplify Windows migrations, most customers expect the actual migration to require approximately the same effort as prior versions of Windows where non-EMM solutions were non-existent. Windows 10 offers the opportunity for enterprise customers to approach management in a fundamentally different and better way. Customers who seize this should benefit from the EMM-based approach to managing configurations, devices, applications, and data.

2 – Customers expect Windows 10 to be difficult to deploy and have doubts about security claims

  • Top three concerns among IT professionals are application compatibility (81%), time constraints among staff (56%) and Windows 10 stability (52%)
  • Opinions about data security as it relates to heterogeneous device support in Windows 10 are largely evenly split among IT professionals without strong leanings one way or another

Changing the minds of existing and loyal customers is hard, even for Microsoft. Their experience with prior Windows releases leaves many customers expecting Windows 10 to present the usual problems of application compatibility and stability. Further, customers doubt some of the claims that Microsoft is making Windows 10 equally secure for PCs, tablets, and smartphones. We are more optimistic – we believe many customers will be pleasantly surprised with how well Windows 10 runs existing Windows applications and we expect relatively few compatibility issues. Furthermore, we believe that many of the management/deployment challenges of pre-Windows 10 migrations will be largely be a non-issue because of the new EMM techniques that Windows 10 introduces. We encourage customers to begin their Windows 10 testing within the next 3-6 months to begin the process of identifying technical and operational issues.

3 – IT Professionals regard Windows 10 as “just” another operating system

  • Large majority identify desktops and laptops as the most relevant platform for their organizational deployment of Windows 10 (90%)

Microsoft is the victim of its own positioning established over 25 years of PC product offerings.  Changing the market’s perception of where Windows 10 fits will take effort and time. Windows is most relevant on desktops and laptops, and will likely remain so. Windows desktops have been and remain a staple tool of productivity for organizations, and will continue delivering great value to users. However, Microsoft has struggled extending Windows on non-PC devices. Even though the demand and growth in mobile devices is high, the use of Windows on those mobile devices remains in a minority position. We expect Microsoft to change this “PC-only” perspective over time, as products such as the Surface 3 and Xbox reach broader markets and use cases both in and out of the enterprise.

4 -Survey respondents view VDI as a top delivery model for Windows 10

  • More than half (51%) of organizations surveyed plan to use VDI to upgrade to Windows 10

Deploying Windows 10 is more than merely installing an OS on a device. It involves regression testing, application interoperability, integration testing, deployment plans and support models. One way to accelerate testing and adoption is by deploying Windows 10 images in a VDI environment where management and configuration will be quicker and easier. We also believe that VDI-based deployments have become increasingly attractive to wider audiences because of better operations, costs and security. These customer types see Windows 10 migrations as an opportunity to deliver “a better desktop” that is hardware independent, more secure, less costly and is more resilient than conventional PCs.

5 – Enterprise deployment is unlikely before mid-2016

  • Most IT professionals (35%) do not plan to deploy Windows 10 for at least another year

Windows migrations traditionally take considerable time (often years) for most organizations, based on factors such as complexity, number of users, locations and type of business. Employing sound project management methodologies requires the right organization, budget, resources, time and justification.  Further, organizations do not embark on migration projects without some immediate or pending need such as security, end of support or increased functionality. Many organizations consider OS upgrades when PC refresh projects occur, typically every 4-5 years. Organizations that recently upgraded hardware, have stable Windows 7/8.1 configurations, or have well-managed PCs today will be hard-pressed to build a business justification for early Windows 10 deployments. We do believe that organizations should begin their Windows 10 testing in 2015 with eventual wide-scale adoption beginning in 2016. The management, operational and security benefits of Windows 10 makes the platform significantly more valuable than either Window 7 or 8.1 for organizations and users alike.

In summary, Windows 10 presents customers with an opportunity to apply better management to a broader set of use cases and devices that involves tablets, smartphones, as well as PCs. This holistic end-user computing approach gives customers the ability to unify both desktop and mobile management under one model that will be easier to support, take less effort, is more reliable and more secure. For IT teams searching for solutions to help with their efforts, VMware offers a variety of solutions (AirWatch EMMHorizon 6Horizon AirMirage Workspace SuiteHorizon FLEXFusion 7Workstation 11) to assist in the migration along with the ongoing management of Windows 10.

When does your organization plan to upgrade to Windows 10? What do you think about the new OS? Let us know in the comment section below.

How VMware EUC Solutions Can Help With Windows 10 Desktop Migrations

By Shawn Bass, senior director, strategy and planning, End-User Computing, VMware

This blog is a cross post from the VMware EUC blog.

With Windows 10 set to release on July 29, it’s a great time to start thinking about Windows 10 adoption in your organization. Listed below are the top reasons why I believe Windows 10 will be the fastest-adopted version of Windows in the enterprise and why VMware’s EUC products have an important role in your Windows 10 plans. Our AirWatch teammates also put together a valuable blog titled “10 Things IT pros should know about Windows 10” which is a great read that I highly recommend.

Microsoft has done a number of things that could lead to quick adoption of Windows 10 in the enterprise, including:

  • Free (or nearly free) Upgrade: For the first time, Microsoft is making the upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge to consumers. While this doesn’t apply to business customers, those under SA will have upgrade rights to Windows 10. Making Windows 10 free to consumers is an insightful strategy to get workers to use Windows 10 on their home computers, which will then increase their expectations of the technology upgrade at work.
  • Near Seamless Upgrades: Windows 10 will be easily upgradable in-place for users running Windows 7/8/8.1.  Building this into task sequences for deployment means that companies will be able to avoid the traditional lengthy and time-consuming rip and replace imaging process.
  • Dynamic Image Management: Windows 10 will offer a new dynamic configurable option that streamlines Windows image customizations. This means organizations won’t need to rip and replace PC images (even for new PCs) for configuration changes but instead, can execute a runtime provisioning package to make the device comply with corporate standards. Rip and replace imaging will still be supported, but runtime provisioning will make the process faster and less dependent on existing (PXE/Boot CD) methods.  More details on runtime provisioning can be foundhere.
  • EMM Management: Windows 10 has the greatest amount of EMM-managed policies of any version of Windows before.  This concept, combined with the new methods of device enrollment built into Windows 10, enables organizations to move from managing Windows 10 with traditional on-premises management tools to EMM management on Windows 10 devices.

With all of that said, VMware End-User Computing solutions offer unified endpoint management and can help organizations enroll or migrate users and devices to Windows 10, configure or deliver applications to Windows 10 devices, and help manage security policies and lifecycles of devices and users.

  • Windows 10 Migrations Can Deploy A “Better” EUC Service: Managing PCs that contain an OS, applications, data and user information has traditionally been costly, fragile and operationally exposed. While Windows 10 will allow customers to repeat this fragmented migration process, VMware offers tools, services and technologies that reduce cost, offer operational excellence and dramatically improve EUC security when deploying Windows 10. The benefits of VMware Horizon FLEXHorizon AirAppVolumes and AirWatch are proven to dramatically change how organizations provision EUC services to their users.
  • DaaS and VDI Can Quickly Deploy Windows 10: Many organizations expressed interest in using our VMware Horizon Air Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform or our VMware Horizon 6 on-premises VDI solution to provide a training environment that allows employees to try out the look and feel of Windows 10 until the rollout to the physical devices is complete.
  • Windows 10 + VMware Horizon Offers The Best In Security and Control:  There are many organizations that use VDI as a central deployment strategy, and when you are looking to make a major user experience change, it’s also a great time to consider such centralization efforts. Horizon VDI will support Windows 10 as a host operating system, and customers will be able to use centralized virtual desktops as a desktop strategy. For those customers concerned about high security, a central Horizon VDI deployment combined with VMware NSX with micro-segmentation offers a reduced set of data center resources that are accessible to the virtual desktop session’s user. This technology offering presents something that cannot be matched with traditional physical desktop infrastructure. For more information about NSX and micro-segmentation, please read here.
  • VMware Horizon RDSH Can Manage Windows 10 “App Compat” Issues: While Windows 10 will likely not have the same number of application compatibility issues as older versions of Windows, there will inevitably be some apps that are not compatible on Windows 10.  Placing those apps onto our VMware Horizon RDSH platform allows businesses to move these problematic apps into the data center and use a remote display protocol to deliver the problem apps into their newly upgraded Windows 10 desktops where the applications won’t run successfully natively. For more information on application delivery options available in VMware Horizon 6, read our whitepaper on this topic.
  • Manage Unruly Disconnected Windows 10 Users with VMware Horizon Flex:  Another option for application compatibility challenges is to leverage the VMware Horizon FLEX solution to deliver a fully managed Windows 7 instance onto an upgraded Windows 10 host machine. Doing so will allow an organization to migrate applications to their Windows 10 estate over time while still maintaining the ability to run them under Windows 7 until they can complete the migration.
  • Manage Legacy and New Windows with VMware Mirage: Some organizations have still not completed their migration to Windows 7 and have systems still running Windows XP.  Others have a mixture of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, all of which makes the upgrade to Windows 10 more complicated. VMware Mirage is a useful tool that allows organizations to migrate between versions of operating systems quickly while retaining user data and settings. Despite Microsoft’s inclusion of runtime provisioning into Windows 10, there will be some organizations that will still insist upon rip and replace imaging to deploy Windows 10 for security reasons. With VMware Mirage, we support bare metal provisioning to support these customers as well.
  • Quickly Test and Evaluate Windows 10 with VMware Fusion, Fusion Pro, Player, Player Pro and Workstation: VMware FusionFusion ProPlayerPlayer Pro and Workstation are great ways to evaluate and test Windows 10 in an isolated and secure virtual environment on a Windows, Linux, or Mac PC.  Workstation and Fusion Pro advanced features make it easier for technical professionals to evaluate, test, and develop software for Windows 10 prior to production deployment. No other desktop virtualization software offers the performance, reliability and cutting edge features of VMware’s personal desktop products.

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Cloud Capable, Now What?

Part 1 – Defining Your Vision is the First Step to Creating a Cloud Operating Model

Dion

 

By Dion Shing

In a recent consulting project, I worked with a customer to help design their cloud operating model. The key focus was on designing an operating model that would support a specific purpose. It was not so clear, however, what that purpose was.

Defining a Purpose Before Developing a Cloud Operating Model

As we went through the workshops, it was clear the customer understood that:

  • Operational processes adapted for cloud computing should underpin the cloud operating model
  • Integration with enterprise service management processes would be necessary
  • Standardization and automation form key principles of cloud computing which can be achieved by integrating process, coordinating people and enabled through technology

What was still ambiguous to them was how they could define an appropriate cloud operating model and structure that would solve their specific business issues.

Our initial recommendation was to develop the cloud operating model in iterative stages, addressing the majority of the business cases, but not all of them.

The Incremental Approach

The first scenario they focused on aimed at building competencies toward Cloud Service Provider Level 3 maturity (VMware’s Cloud Maturity Model) in increments over a medium time horizon.

As we progressed with that scenario, another business case emerged in which the customer would provide cloud computing services to external customers in the same time horizon. This necessitated a change to the design of the cloud operating model and required Level 5 maturity, focusing on the processes in service and business control.

Due to the time frames, an organic growth strategy would take too long and not be sufficient.  This necessitated a different approach with respect to structure. Considerations for partnership and outsourcing were put forward, altering the design of the operating model with a heavier focus on developing processes for vendor management and service brokerage.

What this highlighted to me was how critical it is to understand the overarching enterprise goals and objectives as you set out to design and build a cloud operating model that will meet your organization’s needs.

The example I just laid out represents a process that was effective, but is it possible perhaps to make it efficient as well?

What’s Next in This Blog Series?

As I continue with this blog series I will:

  • Lay out an approach for establishing a cloud operations transformation strategy that is matched to the goals and objectives of the business
  • Examine why the IT department should play an equal role in establishing and shaping business strategies and business models to support the development of innovation and sustained competitive advantages
  • Explore how a cloud organization structure and operating model can be designed based on different enterprise strategies and how to manage the implementation of the change.

Dion Shing is an Operations Architect based in Dubai.

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AirWatch Training Class added to VMworld 2015 US Schedule

This is a cross post from the VMware EDU blog.

The schedule of training courses available the week before VMworld has expanded.

airwatch-300x150The new course is an exclusive, partner-only offering of an AirWatch Boot Camp for a discounted price of just $2,500. This course comprises the three AirWatch technical training modules and prepares you to take the three associated exams required for earning the Mobility Competency. The modules include VTSP Mobility, VMware AirWatch: Cloud Deployment and VMware AirWatch: On-Premise Deployment. You’ll gain the technical knowledge necessary to address mobility challenges across a variety of verticals. Learn how to effectively plan, lead, and execute next generation mobility projects using AirWatch tools. Master innovative techniques for large scale, advanced mobile deployments.

Gain the skills you need to become a recognized leader in deploying the AirWatch mobility management solution at this unique offering. Class size is very limited in this offering which is expected to be quite popular, so register early to secure your seat.

This course is in addition to the other classes scheduled for San Francisco before VMworld 2015 US:

  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6]
  • VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.0]
  • VMware vRealize Automation: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.2]
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.0]

Learn more about these classes and the other training discounts available for VMworld attendees.

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