VMware launched a new version of the Boxer iOS app earlier this month and its pretty awesome. The app is for companies using VMware to manage their employee’s mobile devices VMware Boxer is available for both AirWatch and Workspace One customers. The app includes some attractive features, not surprising as Boxer is intended to replace the preloaded Mail feature on the Apple iPhone and iPad.
The new app allows for preference customization such as change of sound when new emails arrives. You can also take different actions by swiping email messages, and easily bulk edit messages. The app combines email and calendar taking away the need to navigate away from Boxer in order to see your calendar events. Similar to other applications put forth by Microsoft and Google in terms of functionality.
Boxer VMware will be made free for AirWatch users on the orange, blue and yellow plans. For those who have already committed their email needs to VMware, no need to worry. If you are one of the many that still want VMware purely for email management, VMware will release a special build on the app that will let consumers more more slowly and provide more time between updates. Most consumer and commercial users will be presented with rapid release updates as they are made available, but the extra feature for businesses that wish to update at a slower pace is an attractive option.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: VMware goes after Outlook with Boxer email app for Airwatch
Over the last six months we have seen more and more organizations move to session based technology for cost reasons as well as compliancy reasons. The current solution set that BVA would recommend or offer were Microsoft based or Vmware. There has been some strong project clients that we have interacted with that forced the Citrix as the solution set. As a result BVA had to become well versed in the solution and test it internally which was done very successfully. This solution has a small footprint and works great for internal or external clients. It also plays very will with streaming video and audio which the Microsoft solution has some challenges.
- Simple to deploy – You can set up VDI-in-a-Box in three simple steps and go from zero to production in under an hour, and eliminate the dependency on storage and network resources
- Simple to manage – With VDI-in-a-Box, all you need is Windows expertise to centrally manage and securely grant anytime, anywhere virtual desktop access to your users
- Simple to scale – To suit your changing business needs, VDI-in-a-Box has the flexibility to incrementally grow a deployment on-demand by simply adding inexpensive industry standard servers
Designed for IT organizations with simpler needs, VDI-in-a-Box makes it easy to deliver centrally managed, personalized virtual desktops securely to any device on any network—all for less than the cost per user of new PCs. With Citrix HDX, users enjoy the same rich, high-definition experience found in enterprise-class Citrix XenDesktop no matter what kind of device they use.
Transform desktop IT
- Reduce your PC refresh budget by deploying virtual desktops instead of more expensive PC replacements
- Empower Windows® admins to handle virtualization with a single intuitive management console, eliminating the need for storage specialists, network administrators, database administrators or virtualization experts
- Cut desktop management costs by consolidating patching and management, lengthening PC refresh cycles and scaling incrementally without having to overprovision for key features like high availability
Are you thinking of running your VMware virtual infrastructure on Amazon’s EC2 public cloud service? You might want to look at SolarWinds’ Virtualization Manager 4.0. An integrated virtualization manager, it tracks compute, network, and storage resources used to let you predict capacity limits and help you with your planning. It can even estimate what it will cost you to run in EC2, Amazon’s Pay-As-You-Go cloud capacity.
Virtualization Manager is a low-cost, easy-to-use comprehensive package that boasts Capacity Management, VM Sprawl Control, Performance Monitoring, Configuration Management, and Chargeback Automation in its listing of features.
Note that this product only works for the VMware environment — Hyper –V (Microsoft) or open-source hypervisor platforms are not supported.
Solar Winds VM began shipping in early June. It is available as a virtual appliance. Cost is $2,995 for fifty powered-on VMs under management. Downloadable as a free trial from http://www.solarwinds.com/products/virtualization-manager/.
BVA has been performing many virtual implementations in recent months and over the course of 10 years we have been involved with many different types of SANs on the market. Shared storage for the small to medium size businesses are starting to become a norm and with lower cost points for virtual server software it more advantageous for companies to go with that architecture. Our most common project these days are moving 6 to 15 production servers into a three-cluster virtual node architecture with shared storage leveraging VMware or HyperV. After testing and playing with a few different SAN’s, bva favorite is the The NetApp FAS 2040. It has up to 136 disks (136 TB) storage capacity, FC-SAN, IP-SAN (iSCSI), and NAS (CIFS/NFS) protocol support.
Full SAS capable which is more than capable to handle the typical i/o for small businesses today. Full Fiber Channel capable, full SATA or FC/SAS/SATA disk mix. Single and dual active-active controller models are capable for an aggressive price point. The SAN also has (2) two 4Gb FC ports as well as (4) four GbE ports and 1 SAS port per controller which is very versatile. (4) Four GB cache per controller which is the standard configuration when we are doing our typical installation.
The NetApp 2040
The FAS 2040 systems offers unified file and block storage. That means one solution for CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, and FC SAN storage protocols. The units Data ONTAP operating system provides storage efficiency through higher utilization of capacity via thin provisioning and SnapshotTM technology. The unit is also very scalable by way of having the option to add more drives to an existing original enclosure. It means being able to combine existing and expanded data-management resources in the fastest, most elegant solution.
VMware has released a new VMware View client for iPad. It’s available for free in the App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vmware-view-for-ipad/id417993697?mt=8
VMware View Client for iPad features include:
• Secure, Instant-on Windows Desktops – VMware View Security Server support for PCoIP allows for a simple, secure remote connection and authentication to a user’s Windows desktop over a WiFi or 3G network. Reconnecting to a View Desktop(2) is made even easier with the ability to select and connect to a list of recently connected desktops.
• Modern Desktop Experience – The new VMware View Client delivers Windows-based virtual desktops while taking advantage of the superior user experience provided by PC-over-IP (PCoIP) display protocol, creating a highly responsive and flexible user experience.
• Intuitive, Multi-Touch Support – Custom gestures on the new VMware View Client enable quick and easy navigation around the virtual desktop by taking advantage of iPad’s Multi-Touch display. An innovative on-screen track pad lets users leverage a more traditional mouse interface with the iPad’s keyboard for efficient text input.
• Device and iOS Support – Support for the iPad Keyboard Dock and Bluetooth keyboards makes text input even easier while the iPad VGA connector allows you to connect to an external monitor. VMware View Client for iPad supports iOS 4.2 and iOS 4.3.
As smart phones are becoming the standard these days, it becomes challenging for businesses to keep track of and handle all of the personal devices that are compatible with the corporate environment. Well that quite soon could become something of the past as VMware and LG have teamed up to bring you virtualization on the smart phone.
At the Mobile World Congress in Spain, VMware and LG showed off a technology that essentially allows you to run multiple instances of the Android OS on a single phone. You immediately think of virtualization and say there is nothing new here, but I would say you are wrong. Basically what this technology presents to businesses both small and large is the ability to easily manage and control access to their corporate systems. You can run your own personal apps, check email, and make calls on your personal profile while almost instantly switching to your corporate profile. This would allow you to then access work contacts, run business applications, and connect safely to your corporate network. The best part of this is that the virtualized instance runs directly from an SD card. Check out the video below.
Personally I think this is great news for IT firms and businesses that have tried dealing with the ever so difficult task of monitoring and managing smart devices and their access to the network. It allows them to simply load the necessary applications and email accounts onto the virtual machine that resides on the SD card and put it in a user’s phone instantly allowing them secure access to the network.
Then in case of termination, losing employees, and lost devices, the IT staff can remotely lock or wipe your profile. This all can happen without affecting any of your personal data. If you leave the company, all they have to do is remove your smartcard and they are done.
This sounds like a very cost effective and easily controllable solution for a lot of businesses that are worried about mobile security. I really would love to try this hands on if the opportunity ever presented itself and I am really eager to see where they go with this.
Check out the video here!
For about 2 years now BVA has developed and tested an offering that allows organization the opportunity to move their physical servers off-site into the cloud. There are several advantages with this type of architecture that really helps business grow and increase their overall up-time and satisfaction. This offering is important for BVA as well as organization here in the valley. The days of replacing physical servers are over for the small to medium size businesses. It’s important to reevaluate your long term strategy so that it falls in line with what is going on in the technology world. Too many times do we see organization’s continue with the old-line of technology due to inexperience and lack of confidence in change. This offering that BVA has decided to adopt, truly leverages virtualization in a very robust and redundant infrastructure. This offering is housed at a local data-center that is a tier 1 facility. The virtual cluster/farm is roughly 40 physical servers hosts leveraging the VMware virtualization platform. This offering can provide a public and private cloud solution. Both solutions are very reliable and offer a 100% SLA on hardware up-time which is quite beneficial and worth the cost associated for this type of infrastructure architecture. This environment has redundant switches, firewalls, power, and bandwidth. There are three different ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) which allow true redundancy when it comes to back-bone connectivity.
The biggest difference between the two offerings is pretty straight forward:
- Public Cloud Server – a host environment that is a 40 physical server environment that is not dedicated to your organization
- Private Cloud Server – a host environment that is a 3 physical server environment that is dedicated to your organization
The cost is really aggressive and I feel its realistic for a small to medium size business looking for advanced IT solutions. Here is a great example of the cost structure because it is varied depending on the specifications needed via physical server.
- 2 Processors, 2GB of RAM, 250GB of 15k rpm Disks = $350/Month
- 4 Processors, 8GB of RAM, 250GB of 15k rpm Disks = $610/Month
- 4 Processors, 16GB of RAM, 350GB of 15k rpm Disks = $950/Month
Server virtualization has been popular for many forward thinking IT consultant companies for the past number of years. However, in recent years small to mid-size companies are now taking advantage of the benefits that virtualization can offer. VMware has continued to lead the charge when it comes to virtualization software. If you are new to server virtualization and VMware you may have heard of the benefits of V-Motion and high availability in terms of host servers, but a less known feature of VMware is Storage VMotion.
During a recent disk storage upgrade to a network storage device, we were able to move our production virtual disks from one physical array to another on the same device without downtime or an extensive maintenance window. Storage VMotion is just another tool that has made systems administration a joy to work with. Check it out the next time you need to do maintenance on your VMware SAN/NAS storage device.
I will admit VMware is not for everyone; but server virtualization and server consolidation will continue to be the wave of the future when it comes to technical architecture.