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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Hoboken Consulting Group Virtualizes with VMware Go Pro, Saves Time and Money with Streamlined IT Management

Today, we want to share an interesting customer use case. Hoboken Consulting Group (HCG), a New Jersey-based management consulting firm, recently used VMware Go Pro to virtualize their physical infrastructure – a process that saved them a considerable amount of money and allowed them reduce their operating costs by over 80%.

They had previously been hampered by the cost and complexity of managing their physical infrastructure; as a smaller organization, they weren’t able to negotiate advantageous vendor terms with big tech companies (we won’t name names here…), nor did they have the requisite manpower needed to deploy and manage a physical infrastructure.

The Problem
Like many organizations in a similar position, they were interested in virtualizing their infrastructure to save time and money – but they lacked the necessary know-how – as well as a dedicated IT department – to do so quickly and efficiently.

In the meantime, HCG was struggling; they were losing bids to competitors. Just to gear up to submit a proposal, HCG often had to purchase and provision physical servers – incurring cost and risk with no guarantee of winning the bid. Proposals had to factor in the cost of business process management software, needed hardware and technicians’ to to travel and install the solution. Because of these factors, HCG bids typically took a month to prepare, and came in at a relatively high cost.

“We just couldn’t compete with the big consulting firms,” said Marlon Edwards, an IT architect at HCG. “We were investing in hardware and in consultants’ time, but we’d lose the bid to faster and cheaper competitors. We struggled to stay in business.”

The Solution
HCG saw virtualization as a way to break free of the backbreaking costs that they were incurring as a result of their physical IT infrastructure. After evaluating a number of virtualization solutions, they identified VMware as the best fit for their environment. Included with their purchase of VMware vSphere was a free trial for VMware Go, which Edwards decided to test out.

Edwards enjoyed the ease with which he could operate VMware Go Pro and cited its virtualization onboarding and ensuing management process as extremely helpful in getting HCG’s virtualized infrastructure up and running—and doing so quickly. According to Edwards, virtualizing with VMware has allowed HCG to reduce customer costs up to 80 percent.

“VMware kept us in business,” said Edwards. “We don’t have to buy physical servers anymore. That’s the bottom line; that’s what made us competitive. You just log on to VMware Go Pro and spin up images based on a template. It’s all automated. This allows people to start businesses a lot cheaper and faster, with better resources.”

Learn More!
Want to learn about how VMware Go Pro can help start your virtualization journey and better manage patching? Click here for a free 30 day trial.

Happy Holidays, From Andy the Angry IT Guy

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the thirteenth 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. Today, Andy flexes his creative muscles and shares his experience dealing with a server going offline earlier this week – shamelessly set to the tune of an old Christmas standard…

Twas the week before Christmas, when our main server went down

“This is really going to suck,” I said, sporting a great frown

I went to the server room, to check the root cause

Feeling my colleagues’ wrath as I walked past – it was unceasing, without pause

 

I was nearly to my destination, when who should jump out?

 But Jack, the new sales guy — an insufferable lout

 “Hey Andy,” he sneered, his voice dripping with scorn

 “Why’d our computers all break? What, were you watching porn?”

 

 “Why are you even here? Shouldn’t you be bro-fisting and pounding Jaegermeister all day?”

 … Would’ve been a great counter-insult; it’s what I wanted to say

 Instead I just shrugged, and brushed right on by

 To the data center I went, to have a private cry (It’s not easy, after all, being the IT guy!)

 

As I wiped at my eyes, I surveyed the scene

It looked bad, really bad… a long night loomed ahead, filled with lots of caffeine

The server was fried; the router was shot

I thought about just quitting right then and there, leaving that stupid server to rot

 

Exchange was on there, so were Adobe and SQL

Without these apps running, there would be lots of angry people

It was amidst this despair that I suddenly proclaimed, “Whoa!”

“I can just migrate these VMs with VMware Go!”

 

My problem was soon solved, with laughable ease

Setting up a new VM and migrating the apps was a total breeze

The process took minutes – not an hour, not a week

My holiday was saved, I was too happy to speak

 

Now, you may be wondering, did my colleagues express gratitude?

Of course they didn’t! Like always, they were aloof and quite rude

But I couldn’t have cared less, that’s right I said it

I can now spend Christmas week at home, with Xbox and Reddit

 

With that, I’ll sign off and wish you all farewell

As I finish this lament about the job from hell

Happy holidays to all of you, from Palo Alto to Prague

And please do keep reading my rants on this blog!

 

See you all in 2013!

 

Learn More About VMware Go Pro Today!

VMware Go Pro can help you seamlessly begin your virtualization journey, and has the industry-leading patch management platform. Click here to get started today!

This Week in Patching – 12/21/2012

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

Here is a quick recap in the world of patch management.  This week was highlighted by security updates for RealPlayer and Opera.

Late last Friday, Real Networks released an update for the RealPlayer media player.  RealPlayer 16.0.0.282 is a security update addressing two vulnerabilities.

On Saturday, a new version of VLC Media player was made available.  VLC 2.0.5 is a non-security that now includes support for Microsoft Windows 8.

On Sunday, we saw two new patch releases.  CDBurnerXP 4.5.0.3685 and Notepad++ 6.2.3 are non-security updates.

On Monday, new updates were made available for the Mozy software backup program.  MozyHome / MozyPro 2.18.1.235 are both non-security updates.

On Tuesday, Opera released a new version of their Internet browser.  Opera 12.12 is a security update addressing two vulnerabilities on Windows that could lead to Remote Code Execution if exploited.

Happy Patching!

– Jason Miller

P.S. Click here to learn more about how VMware Go Pro can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Weekly Links – December 17, 2012

Happy “Most-of-Us-Won’t-Be-Working-Next-Monday” day, everybody! Seriously, though, it’s hard to believe that we’re just over a week from Christmas (and Channakuh is already upon us!).

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Started it, even? Yeah, us neither. Here’s to battling the riotous, crazed last-minute crowds at Macy’s this week. It will all be over soon enough.

FYI, we will be on hiatus next week – see everybody back here in 2013. In the meantime, happy holidays!

Your weekly links:

Six Ways IT Still Fails Business (InformationWeek)

The 2012 InfoWorld geek IQ test (InfoWorld)

Developer warns of critical vulnerability in many Samsung smart phones (Ars Technica)

Research: Agile developers rule the roost, experience trumps toolsets (GigaOM)

Google Maps for iOS Was Downloaded Over 10 Million Times in Its First 48 Hours After Launch (TechCrunch)

This week’s apropos of nothing image is dedicated to all of you who, at some point in life or another, have had to endure the dreaded “awkward family holiday photo.” Hang in there, at least you’re not these people (and if you are in fact this people: Godspeed).

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.

 

 

This Week in Patching – 12/14/2012

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

This week in patching was highlighted by Microsoft’s December 2012 Patch Tuesday.  Microsoft released seven security bulletins addressing 12 vulnerabilities.  You can read my full write up on Patch Tuesday here.

On the non-Microsoft front, Adobe released an update for their Adobe Flash Player and Air products.  Adobe Security Bulletin APSB12-27 addresses three vulnerabilities as is rated as Critical.  Adobe has started the trend of releasing security updates for Flash Player on Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday.  This trend will probably continue as Microsoft and Google both bundle Adobe Flash Player in their latest browsers.

On that note, Microsoft released an update for their security advisory (KB2755801) to include the latest version of Adobe Flash for Internet Explorer 10.  Google released an update on Patch Tuesday for their Chrome browser.  Google Chrome 23.0.1271.97 contains the latest version of Adobe Flash Player as well as addressing six Google Chrome vulnerabilities.

To wrap up Patch Tuesday, Apache released a new version of Tomcat for Windows with version 7.0.34.  This latest version of Tomcat is a non-security update.

On Thursday, Oracle provided updates for Java version 6 and 7.  Java 6 update 38 and Java 7 update 10 are non-security releases.  The next scheduled security update for Oracle Java is planned for February 19, 2013.  It is important to note that the next scheduled security update will be the last time Java version 6 will receive a security update.  At that time, Oracle will continue to provide security updates for Java version 7.  In the next few months, administrators should look at testing the upgrade for Java version 6 to version 7.  Java can be quite tricky to upgrade.  There are occasions where older software programs that rely on Java simply will not work with the latest version.  By June 18, 2013, administrators should be upgraded to Java 7.  That date will be the next scheduled security update after Java 6 has reached end of life for support.

On Friday, Apple provided updates for their iTunes product with version 11.01.  This update addresses non-security issues with their recent major upgrade in version 11.

Typically, the last two weeks of the year are very quiet for vendors releasing patches for their software.  If any vendor does release updates, I will be back next Friday with an update on the happenings in patch management.  If not, I will be getting a head start on ringing in the New Year.

Happy Patching and Happy Holidays!

– Jason Miller

Click here to learn more about how VMware Go Pro can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

 

 

Simplify Your IT Management with VMware Go Pro (Webinar)

Attention IT admins! Have you been looking for a cost-effective way to implement virtualization? Look no further; VMware Go Pro is here to help!

Join us for a webinar that will demonstrate how easy it is to deploy VMware vSphere and manage both your virtual and physical infrastructures with VMware Go Pro.

WHEN: Thursday, December 13 at 8:00 AM PT / 11:00 AM ET

WHERE: Register here

WHO: Chris Barron and Fabio Ramos of VMware

Any questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Hope to see you Thursday!

Click here to learn more about how VMware Go Pro can help you better manage your IT infrastructure.

Weekly Links – December 10, 2012

Another day, another dollar… Here’s to another week of the daily grind. Looking for a silver lining? We’re only 11 days from the apocalypse, if you trust the “end of days” crowd, that is (no folks, the Mayans did NOT predict the end of the world on December 21, 2012).

Which sounds better to you: another 20-30 years of managing trouble tickets for clueless colleagues, or floating in purgatory for the rest of eternity (it’s a trick question… they’re one in the same!).

Your weekly links:

Your key technology decisions for 2013 (InfoWorld)

Google Apps No Longer Free For Businesses (InformationWeek)

Worst security snafus of 2012 (ITWorld)

Online job boards don’t work – how big data can fix the problem (GigaOM)

Everyone gets new Twitter pages December 12 (The Next Web)

Now, on to this week’s apropos of nothing images… It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s—oh wait, it is a plane! Cool shot all the same.

Who can tell us what city they’re flying over here?

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.

 

This Week in Patching – 12/7/2012

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

This week in patching was a very light week with very few releases.  This is not unusual for this time of the year.  In the past few years, I typically see a lighter number of releases from software vendors during the month of December.  Here is a quick recap on the happenings in patching this week:

On Monday, Foxit released a new version of Foxit Reader with version 5.4.4.11281.  This update is a non-security update.

On Wednesday, The Document Foundation released an update for their 3.6.x LibreOffice program with LibreOffice 3.6.4.  This release is also a non-security update.

Next Tuesday marks the December 2012 edition of Patch Tuesday.  I will be going into detail on all of the happenings here next Tuesday.

Happy Patching!

– Jason Miller

Want to learn more about VMware Go Pro? Click here.

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

Installing ESXi with VMware Go

By: Matt Sarrel, CISSP, Founder and Executive Director of Sarrel Group

In many small businesses, common barriers to virtualization are lack of expertise and initial upfront costs. VMware Go Pro provides cloud-based step-by-step wizards guide to novices and experienced virtualization administrators alike through deploying and managing virtualization.  VMware asserts that with this new release, users will now be able to deploy VMware vCenter via a web browser for centralized management of their virtualized infrastructure in 30 minutes or less.

Today I put VMware Go to the test.  I have a test workstation that I’m preparing to install VMware ESXi onto.  It is an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 running at 2.40 GHz with 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive currently running Windows 7 Ultimate N.  I know from experience that I can run ESXi on a machine like this with no trouble, and can easily run 4-6 virtual machines on that ESXi instance.  But that’s a fairly manual process, so who wants to do that?

In order to get started I launched Internet Explorer from my test machine and browsed https://go.vmware.com where I logged in.  Please note that a little bit later I discovered that the installation could not take place on the same machine logged into VMware Go.  It would be nice for VMware to tell you this, but they don’t, so I am.

Normally I would launch IT Advisor, but this time I’m clicking on the Virtual tab to launch the Virtualization Setup Wizard.  This page has detailed instructions, including video tutorials, for installing an ESXi hypervisor, managing an existing ESXi hypervisor, or managing an existing vCenter Server.

From the dropdown box I choose Install an ESXi Hypervisor and the wizard starts.  All I really have to do is click Get Started.  There are five steps to installing an ESXi hypervisor using VMware Go:

  1. Choosing a Windows machine to install onto
  2. Test the Windows machine for compatibility
  3. Configure Settings like host name and IP address
  4. Automatic Installation
  5. Manage Online after the install is complete.

After I click Get Started a window pops up to install the VMware Go agent and required components.  This is very straightforward and I basically click next a few times.  At this point I have to refresh my browser window, login to VMware Go again, and choose Install an ESXi hypervisor from the dropdown box.

At this point the wizard wants to test the target machine for compatibility.  An important thing to do before the scan is to disable User Account Control and security software that might interrupt the scan.  I enter the IP address of the target machine and check the box to use current windows session credentials.  VMware Go scans the machine to make sure that the hardware meets or exceed minimum requirements.

My machine passed, which I knew it would, but the wizard alerts me that Windows is configured for DHCP and ESXi would like a static IP address.  I also have to enter a hostname for my new ESXi server.

After clicking Next, VMware Go displays a summary page listing the configurations that I’ve already made earlier in the wizard, so I can just click to start the installation, sit back and watch.

During the installation, VMware Go shows the tasks that run.  Which is comforting so I know what’s going on.  I can see that the test machine has rebooted and is running the ESXi installation routine locally.  I’m not prompted to answer any questions as I already have using the VMware Go virtualization wizard.

And then, bang, the target machines reboots and comes up running ESXi.  I have to admit, that was pretty easy.

As a final step, I press enter and the test machine reboots in order to provide me with the comfort of the familiar ESXi home screen.  The next step is to load a browser and login to the ESXi server, download VMware vSphere client, start managing my hypervisor and installing new virtual machines.

From start to finish, that process took less than half an hour (it actually took longer to write about it!).

Want to learn more about VMware Go Pro or try it free for yourself? Click here.

 

Weekly Links – December 3, 2012

Happy December, folks! Random tip for you before we jump into this week’s links: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Watch it. Season three wrapped up last night, and just, wow.

That’s about it for the mindless banter on our end – here are this week’s links:

Should LulzSec Suspect Face Life in Prison? (InformationWeek)

How IT will be blown to bits (InfoWorld)

Guess what Mr. CIO? One in five of your employees uses Dropbox at work (GigaOM)

Ten lies programmers tell themselves (ITWorld)

Dating sites help you find love by browsing Reddit, watching lolcats (Ars Technica)

This week’s apropos of nothing image doubles as your official reminder that we are now only 160 days, 12 hours, 17 minutes from a new Star Trek movie. ZOMG!!!!

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.

Want to learn more about VMware Go Pro? Click here.

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