Post by Matt Sarrel, CISSP, Founder and Executive Director of Sarrel Group
This blog was originally posted on the VMware Go blog. To see the original post, click here.
The life of a small business IT person is not an easy one. While big businesses have entire IT shops staffed by people with titles such as “network administrator,” “support tech level 1,” and “SQL developer,” small businesses typically have one to three IT people with titles such as “IT jack-of-all-trades,” “computer guy” and, my all-time favorite, “Hey you, fix this!” Days are filled with development of detailed plans that may or may not ever be implemented because you’re too busy putting out fires. The boss won’t hire additional staff, yet expects that her question about how to bold something in Word be given greater priority than securing the company’s web site. It’s enough to make you pull your hair out (if you still have it).
And it doesn’t stop at the end of the day. Many small business IT administrators use evenings and weekends to work on long-term projects without interruption. But what happens when something goes wrong and you’re not there? If you’ve had the foresight to build remote administration services (and the luck to have them funded), then you just might be able to save yourself a trip to the office. I remember back to the days of my first network: when a certain device would go down on the weekends my pager would go off and I’d have to drive to work just to cycle power on that device. My boss knew the device was essential, but wouldn’t allocate funds for a new one or for an acceptable remote administration solution.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then VMware Go Pro is definitely something you need to check out. The combination of proactive and reactive measures available via a web interface eases the burden of installing and configuring not only virtual machines but also physical ones. Imagine how much time you’d save if you could automate patch scanning, application, and remediation. And now imagine how much more comfortable you could be if you could do this from anywhere.
For example, this has been a hectic few weeks for me. I’ve got test projects going on in the lab plus I’ve been flying all over the country for meetings and trade shows. I need test systems to be up and running for my employees, but I’m not even in the same half of the country as my lab. The whole business can’t grind to a halt because I’m not there to patch operating systems, applications, and hypervisors, but the business will grind to a halt if I stop flying around and bringing in new clients.
With VMware Go Pro I can simply log in over the web, immediately see the status of my test machines, and fix whatever software issues have arisen. The dashboard shows me the following:
It’s only a matter of minutes for me to walk through scanning for and deploying missing patches. Sure, I’ll sit outside in the sun 2000 miles away from the lab and let VMware Go Pro do the work for me.
Hey, while I’m here in the VMware Go Pro interface I can schedule scanning and deployment to take place without my intervention. Hmmm. A self-maintaining lab sounds pretty good to me – I can import existing ESXi and vCenter Servers so they can be managed by VMware Go Pro, increasing my operating efficiency by placing all of my virtualized resources under a common management platform. And then with all of my newly found free time I can use VMware Go Pro to deploy more hypervisors and VMs. It’s so easy to manage them all under a single console that I might as well.
To learn more about VMware Go Pro, please visit go.vmware.com.