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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Weekly Roundup: 5 Links for IT Admins

Happy Friday, everybody! Here are five links to help you get through the remaining few hours that stand between now and the weekend.

Windows admins get surprise Skype update in WSUS, more Microsoft licensing hikes (TechTarget)

“Who needs an app store?” Five years of iPhone (Ars Technica)

DR-as-a-Service Moves Closer to Reality (InformationWeek)

Researchers use spoofing to ‘hack’ into a flying drone (BBC)

Top 5 Windows desktop security tips of the year (so far) (TechTarget)

Now if you don't mind, it's lunch time….a.k.a. time to wash down one of these puppies with an ice cold Mountain Dew…diet of course!

FIVmo

You can also check out previous links round-ups here.

10 Days of VMware Go – Day 10: New Filters for Machine Management in VMware Go

In the past, it was easy to put a given machine into a large bucket and promptly lose track of it amidst endless lists of other machines in your infrastructure. Well get excited, folks: we’ve addressed this common pain point for IT admins in the new version of VMware Go. You can now filter via machine groups. For instance, you can filter all of your production (or developer, etc.) servers and view them in one screen in a single click. We’re confident that this will both help save time and preserve sanity.

For more, check out the previous post in this series on the redesigned machine status pages in VMware Go.

Like what you see here? Try a free trial of VMware Go Pro today!

IT Admin Poll: What’s the biggest SMB Virtualization Challenge?

Here at VMware Go, we’re keen on learning about the hardships of IT admins. As a result, we’ve decided to launch a poll for our social media followers. We want to know: What is the biggest challenge around virtualization for small to midsized businesses?

Want to share your answer? Simply click on the link below for the poll:

Poll: What's the biggest SMB Virtualization Challenge?

And guess what? Since we’re in the giving mood (IT Admin Appreciation Day is coming up, after all!), we’re giving away $5 Starbucks gift cards to the first 50 responders.  Nothing like a Venti Mocha Soy Frappucino to get you through the tedium of a Patch Tuesday! 

Disclaimer: We can only provide gift cards to U.S. residents, but those living in other areas of the world can still take the poll.

The poll will be run until July 9 at 5pm PT.  We’ll also post a wrap-up blog reporting the results.  We hope to hear from you,

10 Days of VMware Go – Day 9: Redesigned Machines Status Pages in VMware Go

We’ve overhauled our grid that displays machine statuses to bring more relevant information front and center for IT admins. This will greatly streamline the monitoring process; previously, admins had to click down several levels to see the proper assets. Now, machine groups are listed for each machine on the front page.

For more, check out the previous post in this series on our new patch deployment summary feature.

Like what you see here? Try a free trial of VMware Go Pro today!

Weekly Roundup: 5 Links for IT Admins

Everyone’s watchin’ to see what you will do
Everyone’s lookin’ at you
Everyone’s wonderin’ will you come out tonight
Everyone’s tryin’ to get it right, get it right
 
Everybody’s working for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance
Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance

Here’s to everybody having a great weekend. In the words of my freshman English teacher, “Don’t drink and drive – and don’t get in cars with people who do!”

Now on to your links…

Best Places to Work in IT 2012: Employer scorecard (InfoWorld)

Google allegedly testing new, sidebar-free search interface (TheVerge)

How Reddit Got Huge: Tons of Fake Accounts (Vice)

Office printers spew reams of garbage as 2-year-old Trojan runs wild (The Register)

New internet error code could be created to indicate censorship, as a tribute to Ray Bradbury (The Guardian)

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to go figure out where we can purchase one of these:

Ninjaturtlesvan

You can also check out previous links round-ups here.

10 Days of VMware Go – Day 8: New Patch Deployment Summaries in VMware Go

Have you ever finished a big patch update, only to see a message that effectively said, “You patched x machines with x patches. Congratulations!” Were you annoyed by the opacity of that message, the complete lack of visibility you had into important details that would call out specific errors that may have occurred on a given machine? So were we!

Hence, we’ve incorporated a much more granular patch deployment summary into VMware Go. It will allow IT admins to have much deeper visibility into patch updates to better know how the patching cycle went on each machine, and which vulnerabilities still exist on their network.

Patchsummaries

For more, check out the previous post in this series on how we’ve integrated Shavlik’s safe reboot into the new version of VMware Go.

Like what you see here? Try a free trial of VMware Go Pro today!

10 Days of VMware Go – Day 7: Shavlik’s Safe Reboot Comes to VMware Go

Another new feature coming from VMware Go is safe reboot. This is one of the major technologies that VMware Go added to its suite after VMware’s acquisition of Shavlik last year. The safe reboot feature allows IT admins to control the reboot process for end users in their network. Instead of machines automatically rebooting when an update is installed (and admins subsequently drawing the ire of their entire office), safe reboot allows admins to set up automatic delays for end users so that machines don’t shut down when somebody is mid-task.

SafeReboot

Also check out the previous blog in this series, 10 Days of VMware Go- Day 6: Meet the New Patch Deployment Wizard.

Like what you see here? Try a free trial of VMware Go Pro today!

10 Days of VMware Go – Day 6: Meet the New Patch Deployment Wizard

On the sixth day of VMware Go, my true love gave to me… a new patch deployment wizard!

OK, while this may not initially appear to be as exciting as “six geese a-laying,” we promise you that it’s going to make your life as an IT admin a lot easier (plus, think of all the daily cleanup associated with six pregnant geese—not worth it). You can also probably substitute “CIO” or “IT manager” for “true love” … Otherwise, we pretty much nailed it!

The revised patch deployment wizard takes patch management to a new level by offering an easy-to-use filter that allows you to sort critical security patches on even the most granular of levels. This allows you to ensure uptime and install patches in bunches, as opposed to disrupting your entire network with a massive patch update.

Also check out the previous blog in this series, 10 Days of VMware Go: Day 5- View Missing Patches as a Heat Map- Only in VMware Go!

Like what you see here? Try a free trial of VMware Go Pro today!

IT Confessional Series: The New VMware Go Pro: Making IT Admins Look Cooler Since 2012

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of posts we’ll be running from “Andy,” an anonymous IT administrator working for a mid-sized organization located somewhere in the American Midwest. In his previous post, Andy explained how IT administrators and Game of Thrones have more in common than one may initially think.  

Today, Andy shares his thoughts on some of the features in the new version of VMware Go.

Howdy, everyone! I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Between the recent release of Diablo III and all of the time I’ve spent anonymously bashing the anticlimactic conclusion of season 5 of Mad Men on random internet message boards (plus, you know, overseeing the entire IT infrastructure for the mid-sized organization I work for somewhere in the American Midwest), I haven’t had a spare moment to blog!

Given VMware Go’s recent announcement of new features coming in the updated version, though, I figured it was time to dust off my keyboard and weigh in with some thoughts of my own here. I’ve had the chance to play around with a number of these features as a beta user for VMware Go Pro. Here are my (subjective) thoughts so far:

vCenter-awareness

This may not seem like much on the surface, but it’s amazing the amount of time it’s saved me so far. Increasing our virtualization rate has been the top IT initiative over the past year. This integration allows me to easily access existing hypervisors via vCenter instances, instead of having to do so manually. As we’re steadily adding hypervisors to our infrastructure, it’s a huge relief to be able to streamline the management process.

Virtualization wizard

Underscoring the point I made above, this is another feature that has really helped us accelerate our virtualization project. Whereas previous incarnations of the wizard would only assist with the initial onboarding process for virtualization, this is a much more intuitive wizard. It asks what stage your virtualization project is at, and then makes recommendations accordingly. What’s more, it’s given me a failsafe fact-checker any time my boss asks me what kind of resource utilization we need to broaden our deployment. And if something goes wrong? It’s the machine’s fault, not mine!

Patch status pages

As I’ve stated in this space many times before, I hate patch updates. They are the bane of my existence as an IT admin. Patch updates are like that annoying friend you had in elementary school that would sneak up behind you in the cafeteria everyday, grab your arm, and force you to hit your other arm with it – all while sneering, “Why are you hitting yourself, Andy? Stop hitting yourself, Andy!” Like that kid, patch updates are incessant—and they never stop.

Luckily, VMware Go has gone a long way towards rectifying this problem via their patch status pages. In a nutshell, this feature offers a much more holistic view of your patches – you can quickly identify not only missing patches, but also priority levels for each patch, which machines have them installed, and which don’t.

Group management for patch updates

Sticking with the patch theme, another new feature I really like is group management for patch updates. This allows me to assign specific patches to specific servers (or groups of servers) for specific times. The long and short of this is, I can now easily schedule a big security patch for a development server to occur overnight – lest I risk an army of angry developers accusing me of undermining them by slowing down their server speed during the work day. Conversely, if someone is really bothering me, I can always “accidentally” schedule a patch update to slow them down during the work day… Don’t mess with IT!

View missing patches in a heat map!

This is by far my favorite new feature so far – not so much because it’s a useful tool that allows me to instantly visualize the status of patch updates in my infrastructure (though it is), but because… it’s a freaking heat map! Here’s a bit of advice – when your boss (or better yet, your secret office crush—cough, cough, Liz from accounting, cough, cough) walks by your computer and you want to seem busy instead of revealing that you’ve actually been browsing Reddit for the past 45 minutes, what better way to wow them than with a heat map up on your screen?

What could Andy possibly be doing with that heat map?, they may think. It must surely be extremely important – I thought only government agencies like the CIA and NSA used heat maps. I’d better not bother him, lest I interrupt his concentration on what must be a mission-critical and, frankly, quite impressive-looking project!

Yep, I’ll be ready to ask Liz out any day now at this rate…

Anyway, these are my thoughts on the new VMware Go Pro features so far. Want to try them out for yourself? You can register for a free trial of VMware Go Pro here today! What are you waiting for?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear Liz coming this way. Time to pull up that heat map…

Weekly Round-up: 5 Useful/Fun Links for IT Admins, Part 3

Happy Friday to all of you IT admins out there!  Here are a few fun links to help you to the finish line this afternoon.

Engineering mosquitos to reject malaria (Ars Technica)

Internet Explorer flaw triggers Gmail nation-state attack message (InfoWorld)

Facebook changes data-use policy despite 87% poll opposition (The Register)

Net neutrality could be a victim under an ITU Internet takeover (GigaOM)

Jimmy Kimmel is torturing kids again for our amusement (YouTube)

You can also check out previous links round-ups here.

Happy weekend!