Technology Roundup #1

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It feels great to finally get back posting. This site was completely redone and migrated from the free to a hosted solution. Now that it is complete I can get back to delivering some content!

Last year I started a series called “Weekly Roundup”. The purpose of this series was to link and discuss valuable blog posts, articles, whitepapers, etc. that I came across. In the spirit of a new blog I decided to rename the series to “Technology Roundup”.  The format will stay the same and posts will not focus on one particular vendor or technology, but will have a strong focus on desktop virtualization, server virtualization, and application delivery.  Any suggestions or links  to valuable resources are welcomed and encouraged!

VMware unveils vSphere 5 & Cloud Infrastructure Suite

On July 12th, 2011 VMware announced a handful of new releases including vSphere 5, Site Recovery Manager 5, vShield 5, vCloud Director 1.5, and the vSphere Storage Appliance 1.0.  These products, along with the recently released vCenter Operations Manager, compromise what VMware is calling the Cloud Infrastructure Suite.  There has been no official release date but VMware says all these products will be Generally Available sometime in Q3 2011.

Look for a lot more information and deep-dives to come from our lead VMware Architect Mike Letschin soon.

Citrix acquires

On July 12th, 2011 Citrix announced that they completed the acquisition of offers a solution known as “CloudStack” that allows anyone to build infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings without locking clients into any specific hypervisor.  CloudStack is a purpose build Cloud operating system with support for VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer, Open-Source Xen, KVM, and very soon Microsoft Hyper-V.  This solution currently competes with VMware’s vCloud offering, and will even more so once Citrix pulls together all of the pieces in their Cloud portfolio to have an official end to end Cloud solution.  This acquisition solidifies Citrix’s dedication to the Cloud arena, and with most enterprise Cloud deployments being based on the Xen hypervisor I would venture to say they are shaping up to be the leader in this space.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but you can bet that VMware will push back hard.  More to come on this topic in a later blog post…

AppSense releases Environment Manager 8.1

On July 12th, 2011 AppSense released Environment Manager 8.1.  Although it is a point release there are many new features and some great enhancements.  AppSense rebuilt the framework of Environment Manager to make it modular in order to provide customers and partners with feature requests in a much faster turn around time; New Policy enhancements like Conditions for Operating System, Date and Time, File or Folder Exists, and so on are included;  New set of Administration tools including debug setup tool, log viewer, database file and registry import/export tools, database migration tool, and file based registry explorer; User experience enhancements around logoff and shutdown; Improved logon speeds with enhancements to logon policy processing; and the list goes on.

The link above is more of a high level overview of the 8.1 release and this link will take you directly to a PDF with more details of the features and enhancements.

VMware Mind Maps

VMware has done a phenomenal job putting together “Mind Maps” for different products.  Mind Maps are tools for administrators to use when trying to resolve an issue with a certain product.  The Mind Maps provide an in-depth workflow for people to follow and based on your answers it will take you on a different path to help get you to the resolution.  This site is a central repository of all current VMware product Mind Maps.

User Environment Management Smackdown

User Environment Management, (UEM) also known as User Virtualization, has become a hot topic over the past 18 months or so.  UEM is a key component to a successful desktop virtualization project.  Currently desktop virtualization vendors like Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, and Quest must rely on third party UEM vendors to provide a complete solution for managing the user experience.  Of the major desktop virtualization vendors Citrix is the only one with a potential UEM solution but it is limited compared to third party solutions.  VMware has plans to incorporate a profile solution with View based on technology from their acquisition of RTO Virtual Profiles, but the solution is also expected to be very limited compared to third party UEM solutions.  This whitepaper provides an in-depth look at all the major UEM solutions and ranks each of them.  The link above provides a good introduction to the whitepaper and below is a direct link to the whitepaper.

Register for the whitepaper here

XenDesktop 5 Masterclass

Citrix does a good job of providing ways to learn new product releases and the Masterclass series is one of those ways. Masterclass’s are offered for free to everyone.  The Masterclass for XenDesktop 5 is broken down into a series of three (3) videos.  “Part 1 covers simplified Deployment and Administration of XenDesktop 5, basic overview of the XenDesktop 5, Architecture Deployment Examples and How to run a Proof Of Concept. Part 2 cover the XenDesktop architecture Component Communication and Part 3 covers Machine Creation Services, The Database and Troubleshooting. “

XenClient Guide and Audiobook

Douglass Brown of DABCC put together a very well done guide for Citrix XenClient.  This has everything you need and more to get started with XenClient.  It also does a good job breaking down the type-1 client hypervisor.

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