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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Weekly Links – October 29, 2012

Mondays! I hate Mondays! They make me so steamed!

Weekends! Talkin’ ‘bout the weekend!

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!

We’ll offer a free trial of VMware Go Pro to anybody who can tell us where those lyrics came from.

As you may have noticed, we’ve switched things up here and are now posting your weekly links on Mondays, instead of Fridays. Why? We figured you needed this little ray of hope to get you over the initial hump of another arduous week.

That, plus the fact that our friend Jason Miller is now posting his weekly patch management news updates in this space on Fridays. If you haven’t checked out his first “This Week in Patching” post yet, we highly recommend doing so—and checking back for new posts from Jason every Friday from here on out.

And with that, here are this week’s links:

Why admins should know how to code (InfoWorld)

Gartner’s Top 10 IT Trends: Hits and Misses (InformationWeek)

Save the world with tech? It’s getting easier all the time (GigaOM)

The Security Reality of Road Warriors (Wired)

5 dysfunctional IT relationships – and how to repair them (Computerworld)

In keeping with the major theme of this week – Halloween – we decided to spotlight one of the best costumes we’ve seen out there on the interwebs (read: Reddit) thus far. You can never go wrong with a Monty Python-inspired costume as far as we’re concerned:

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!

This Week in Patching – 10/26/2012

By: Jason Miller, Manager, Research and Development

The highlight of this week was Adobe releasing a new security bulletin on Tuesday.  Adobe Security bulletin APSB12-23 addresses six vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution and is rated critical.  Administrators should look at applying Adobe Shockwave Player 11.6.8.638 to their affected machines as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, Microsoft released a new version of their Skype product with version 6.0.0.120.  This update is a non-security update that integrates Skype with Microsoft and Facebook services as well as a few other new features.

On Thursday, Google released a new version of their Google Chrome browser and Chrome Frame browser plugin with version 22.0.1229.96.  Google has been very good at posting detailed release notes with every release of their Chrome, Chrome Frame and Chrome OS software.  Yesterday, Google did not post release notes for the updated products.  It is tough to play the guessing game with patching.  When in doubt, always assume an undocumented update is a security release.

Happy Patching!

– Jason Miller

Oh and here’s a 30-day free trial of VMware Go Pro for free!

Customers Love VMware Go Pro!

We recently conducted a study of VMware Go Pro users in conjunction with TechValidate. We had the opportunity to interview a number of IT users and garner feedback on how they’re using VMware Go Pro.

Here are some of the highlights:

U.S.-based bank uses VMware Go Pro to track and manage hardware assets, lowers total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for other solutions for IT management

“Using VMware Go Pro we’re able to cover more third party applications than managing just Windows Server Update Services.”

Large healthcare company uses VMware Go Pro to adopt and manage virtualization, reduce system downtime

“We like using Go Pro because it allows us to increase infrastructure reliability.”

Computer software company chooses VMware Go Pro to control software inventory and licenses, install and maintain a vSphere hypervisor

“VMware Go Pro made it easy to adopt and manage virtualization. We’ve already realized an ROI of over 75% with it.”

Pharmaceuticals company increases virtualization ROI with VMware Go Pro, enables single point management to view, monitor and modify virtual environments

“Using VMware Go Pro, we’ve been able to increase physical and virtual IT infrastructure reliability and deliver smoother business operations.”

Interested in seeing how you can realize similar results for your IT infrastructure? Try a 30-day free trial of VMware Go Pro for free!

Weekly Links – October 22, 2012

Happy Monday to our favorite IT admins! Prepare for yet another grueling week of software patches, security meltdowns, email client crashes and endless helpdesk tickets etc, etc. Have any particularly good IT horror stories from last week? Share them below!

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

The Google IQ Test (InfoWorld)

Hackers rob $400,000 from Washington town (InformationWeek)

Low Unemployment Rate for IT Pros Falls Further (IT Business Edge)

Experts: Windows 8 features make account passwords easier to steal (Ars Technica)

Twitter, Reddit battle over freedom of speech (GigaOM)

Finally, this week’s apropos of nothing image: Origami Yoda!

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!

This Week in Patching – 10/19/2012

By: Jason Miller, Manager, Research and Development

It is that time for a weekly recap of the happenings of patch management.

This week was highlighted by a critical security update from Oracle.  Oracle released updates for their Java programs with Java 7 update 9 and Java 6 update 37 during their quarterly update.  These updates address 28 vulnerabilities.  Some of the vulnerabilities addressed by this update were zero-day vulnerabilities.  With any patch addressing zero-day vulnerabilities, administrators will want to patch as soon as possible.  Apple also released an update for the newer version of Java.  This update release coincided with Oracle’s Java release.  The next scheduled update for Java is set for February 19, 2013.

On Wednesday, Adobe released new versions for their Adobe Acrobat and Reader product lines.  Adobe Acrobat / Reader 11 (or XI) does not contain any security fixes from the version 9 or 10 product lines.

On Thursday, VideoLAN released a new version for their VLC media player.  The release notes for VLC media player 2.0.4 state there are fixes for “security issues” but no CVE has been submitted for this version.

The Document Foundation released a new version of their LibreOffice product that prompted some confusion.  The release version for LibreOffice has steadily been increasing on a normal cadence.  LibreOffice 3.4.x was followed by 3.5.x.  On August 15th, LibreOffice had a new major version with 3.6.x and has since been followed up by minor version increases (3.6.1, 3.6.2).  Yesterday, LibreOffice 3.5.7 was released.  This version number is lower than the 3.6.x branch and has confused people.  From a LibreOffice blog posting, they have stated that the 3.5.x branch will continue to receive updates as will the 3.6.x branch.  The 3.5.x branch is intended to be a stable branch where the 3.6.x introduces new features to the LibreOffice program.  LibreOffice 3.5.7 (released yesterday) and LibreOffice 3.6.2 (released on October 4) both do not contain any security fixes.

Happy Patching!

– Jason Miller

Oh, and here’s a free 30 day trial of VMware Go Pro, just in case you need some help patching.

vSphere Essentials + VMware Go Pro = Worry-Free IT Management for SMBs

In its early days, virtualization was seen as a luxury for IT departments. Sure, it would save you considerable money on hardware and utility costs and improve overall performance for your IT infrastructure—but there was also a significant upfront cost and technical training required to get it up and running. At that point, it was essentially limited to the IT 1%-ers (come on, it’s election season – grant us that one terrible analogy…).

After a while, virtualization evolved from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have; nearly every single Fortune 500 company, for example, had virtualized most or all of their infrastructure by the early 2010s. At this point, virtualization has emerged as a best practice in IT and nearly every single medium-to-large organization has gotten on board with it.

It’s just now, though, that many smaller and mid-sized organizations are beginning to embrace virtualization. As the market has evolved, the barrier to entry has dropped and cost-conscious SMBs are beginning to realize the potential of virtualization.

With that said, we realize that every dollar counts—and getting started with virtualization wasn’t always the easiest option in the past. With that in mind, we’ve made it even easier for SMBs to get started with virtualization: from now until December 15, VMware Go Pro will be bundled with vSphere Essentials and vSphere Essentials Plus.

That means that you can get use VMware Go Pro to greatly simplify and streamline your vSphere installation.  And Go Pro provides industry-leading patch management at no additional charge when you purchase vSphere. So what are you waiting for, sign up today!

Not convinced yet? Try a 30-day free trial of VMware Go Pro for free – no questions asked!

Weekly Links – October 12, 2012

Good afternoon to our favorite IT admins! Any fun plans in store for this weekend? Personally, we want to go see that Seven Psychopaths movie—how can you go wrong with Tom Waits, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in the same movie?

Now for your weekly links:

Top 10 cloud jobs (InfoWorld)

Seven Reasons Why Companies Need to Automate Disaster Recovery (IT Business Edge)

BYOD: The New IT Management Headache (Network Computing)

10 technologies shaping the future of IT (IT World)

The IT Crowd (required viewing if you haven’t seen it yet) (Netflix)

This was too good to pass up – this week’s apropos of nothing image:

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!

 

VMware Go Pro Presenting at VMworld Barcelona!

Exciting news for VMworld Barcelona attendees: VMware Go Pro will be presenting not once, but twice, at VMworld this week! Our own Manoj Jayadevan and Arun Lal will be delivering two separate presentations on the advantages of VMware Go Pro.

Check out the abstracts for each presentation below. Definitely worth checking out if you’re at the show today:

Creating a Highly Profitable Virtualization Practice with VMware Go Pro

Tuesday, October 9 at 2:00 PM CET – Hall 8, lower level | Room E3

In this session, we will provide an overview of the business opportunities, and profitability models that will help you grow a sustainable virtualization business with VMware Go Pro. VMware Go Pro is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering hosted by VMware designed for partners and IT admins of companies with less than 1000 employees that makes it easy to adopt and manage a virtualized environment, protect and secure IT assets and increase reliability of SMB IT infrastructures. In this session, attendees will learn how to provide a wide array of virtualization and IT management services leveraging VMware Go Pro cloud service and in the process tap new cloud-based recurring revenue opportunities.

VMware Go: The Zen for Small and Midsized Business IT Management

Tuesday, October 9 at 3:30 PM CET – Hall 8, lower level | Room B1

Cloud computing is transforming the way small and midsized business IT infrastructure is being managed. In this session, we’ll take a deep-dive exploration into the cloud-based VMware Go physical and virtual IT infrastructure management solution from a business value perspective. We will explore all the virtualization and security features, how to manage updates, along with how to create policies, and how to upload and deploy software, all from a single, Web-based management console.

Not in Barcelona this week? No worries! You can visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you meet the specific needs of your IT environment.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!

Weekly Links – October 5, 2012

Who’s going to VMworld Barcelona this week? We hear Catalonia is lovely this time of year (unless you’re from Madrid, that is – we don’t think Catalonia is ever lovely for folks from Madrid…).

VMware Go will be there – check back here on Monday for a more detailed overview of our two sessions.

In the meantime, read these life-changing links and then go enjoy your weekend.

Open source equals software freedom, not free software (InfoWorld)

Ten Tips for Improving Data Center Energy Efficiency (IT Business Edge)

How Steve Jobs Inspired IT Execs (InformationWeek)

How to replace missing Start button in Windows 8 (IT World)

Candidate for Maine State Senate attacked over Warcraft character (Ars Technica)

This week’s apropos of nothing image features a pretty obscure Internet video that you’ve probably never heard of. And socks. Apparently this was purchased for $1 in Seoul (per Reddit – an ever-credible stream of information):

You can read our previous links round-ups here. And be sure to visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!

 

VMware Go Pro: Enabling IT Geeks to Automate Patch Management Updates, Pre-Order Assassin’s Creed and One-Up Their Friends All in the Same Day

By Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the twelfth 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 shared (over-shared?) intimate details from his diary and discussed how VMware Go Pro has helped him overcome virtualization hurdles.

Today, Andy returns after a lengthy absence to share a conversation he recently had with his old friend Pratik. In between geeking out over the pending release of “Assassin’s Creed 3,” Andy and Pratik compare notes on the respective tools they’re using to manage their IT infrastructure. Andy is of course using VMware Go Pro, while Pratik is using a similar tool from another well-known software company, to less successful results…

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I’m back, folks.

(This is the part where you pause to say, “Oh, thank God Andy’s back! We’ve missed him so since he last posted over two months ago! Our lives weren’t the same!”)

Or not. I get it—it was weird to share my private manjournal (Ed. note – he means “diary”) with the Internet. I’ve since received more than a couple of messages that have compared my narrative in that post to, among other things, “a rejected script for the MTV 1990’s melodrama My So Called Life” and “song lyrics that even Nickelback would hate.”

Don’t worry, I’ll stop showing any tangible signs of happiness here (my therapist is going to hate this), since that’s what you people seem to want. But I digress.

I had an interesting conversation with my old friend Pratik earlier and thought I’d share it here. We were comparing notes on the tools we use to manage our respective IT infrastructures (as you may recall, Pratik used to work with me but now manages IT for a different anonymous mid-sized organization). I use VMware Go Pro, of course; Pratik uses a similar, but-inferior-in-my-esteemed-opinion, tool that comes from that large software company from the Pacific Northwest that produced all of those goofy cloud commercials last year. You know who I’m referring to…

Andy_from_Alderaan: hey pratik

HaxerPrat1k: hey andy

Andy_from_Alderaan: sup?

HaxerPrat1k: just got back from gamestop, tried to preorder a copy of assassins creed, but the first load is already sold out… ridiculous!!!11!!1!!

Andy_from_Alderaan: its going to be an epic game. just read kotakus review. luckily for both of us, i was able to preorder mine last week.

HaxerPrat1k: ugh, i had no time last week… i spent most of my free time building patch updates for upcoming adobe and mozilla releases. such a pain in the butt.

Andy_from_Alderaan: seriously? you had to build ur own patch?

HaxerPrat1k: i mean, yeah. but I get ready-made patch updates for windows, so it evens out.

Andy_from_Alderaan: how is that evening out? building patch updates for any app is about as fun as waxing your upper lip.

HaxerPrat1k: do you wax your upper lip, andy?

Andy_from_Alderaan: DON’T TRY TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT!

Andy_from_Alderaan: anyway, im just saying it’s a waste of time for u to have to build any patch updates urself. i have vmware go pro, and it provides ready-made updates for both windows and 3rd party apps. not only that, but it also gives me automated alerts when a patch update is coming up, so i dont have to waste my time trolling google to find out when the next chrome update comes out.

Andy_from_Alderaan: instead I can focus my time on more important things, such as preordering assassins creed 3.

HaxerPrat1k: what a low blow.

Andy_from_Alderaan: here’s one more: im about to get a raise because my companys IT infrastructure is now 100% virtual and there havent been any performance issues. and more importantly, the final price tag was a lot less than we initially projected…

HaxerPrat1k: dam homie, howd u pull that off?

Andy_from_Alderaan: as far as my boss is concerned – it was my own personal genius…

Andy_from_Alderaan: really though, its the fact that vmware go pro makes it super easy to onboard your infrastructure to virtualization. there were a bunch of wizards that walked me through it step by step, so that i actually looked like i knew what I was doing.

Andy_from_Alderaan: and it also allowed me to configure my servers and actually control them from a centralized console

HaxerPrat1k: i can do that too. theoretically, at least. apparently i need to purchase an add-on pack, which sounds like it could be pretty helpful.

HaxerPrat1k: unfortunately, my boss is giving me zero leeway in terms of budget for the rest of the year. so i guess ill just have to stick it out.

Andy_from_Alderaan: so i guess i win.

HaxerPrat1k: whatever andy. at least i dont wax my upper lip.

Andy_from_Alderaan: you are officially uninvited from my assassins creed 3 release party later this month.

HaxerPrat1k: so itll be just u then?

Andy_from_Alderaan: fine. u can come. but admit im better than managing IT than u are

HaxerPrat1k: i admit that vmware go pro is better at managing IT than i am.

Andy_from_Alderaan: fair enough. gotta go – DUNE just came on spike tv.

HaxerPrat1k: cya

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Learn More About VMware Go Pro Today!

Be sure to visit go.vmware.com for more information on how we can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Better yet, you can try it for yourself here – and it’s free!