Archive for the ‘Tech News’ Category

VMware is raising the bar

On July 12, 2011, VMware CEO Paul Maritz and CTO Steve Herrod will be presenting on the next generation of cloud infrastructure. The webcast titled “Raising the Bar, Part V” has made many believe this will just be a fancy way to introduce the next generation of hypervisor with the release of vSphere 5, however if rumors hold true there could be quite a few more releases also with three breakout deep dives you can only guess.

9:00-9:45 Paul and Steve present – live online streaming
10:00-12:00 three tracks of deep dive breakout sessions
10:00-12:00 live Q&A with VMware cloud and virtualization experts

The event is free — if you sign up today you’ll get an email reminder. If you can’t make the whole event make sure you follow @ConvergenceTech or @mletschin on twitter since we will be following along. A few of my fellow vExperts will also be onsite for the event and will be taking questions during and after the event with the #vmwarecloud hashtag.

On Wednesday, we’ll be recapping the event on ourVMware Community Roundtable — join some of the VMware staff, myself, many of the vExperts and others for an hour of live Q&A.

If you want to talk about it live you can also join a group of virtualization professionals for a networking gathering at the DC vBeers event.

VMware comes around to supporting multiple vCenters

VMware released a new fling today Boomerang.  Boomerang allows for simple management of multiple ESX or vCenter servers simultaneously.  A great resource when you don’t have linked vcenters or are a consulting or engineer working in a large shop.  You can not have all your vcenters in one place with them even collapsing to a hyperlink when they get too big.  This is still Windows only though so no luck for the Mac and Linux guys.  This sounds great but where’s the catch… You can only do basic power operations so far.  If you want to get to vMotion, High Availability, storage configuration, host provisioning cloning, templates, monitoring, or alerts you need to go to vCenter direct.  The good news though is you can use the remote console. Read more

New Guy entering the ranks of vExpert

I was honored to wake up this morning with an email from John Troyer (@jtroyer) and the VMware Team.

Dear Michael Letschin,

 We’re pleased to designate you as a vExpert 2011 as recognition of your contributions to the VMware, virtualization, and cloud computing communities. You’ve done work above and beyond, and we’re delighted to communicate more closely, to share resources, and to offer other opportunities for greater interaction throughout the year as we continue to grow knowledge and success in the community of IT professionals. Welcome to the vExpert 2011 Program!

I have been working in IT for a long time and to this day it is still really weird to get any email or comment referring to me as an “expert.”  I am definitely honored and hope to continue to live up to the bar that has been set by previous vExperts.  Great to join the group and looking forward to what comes from it.

How to Add your Twitter Name to your VMworld Registration

My company has a central point register employees for conferences so the same was true for VMworld. But I noticed that my twitter handle was not included and could not figure out exactly how to add it. After some searching and an email to VMWorld2011Registration@vmware-events.com I was able to figure it out. To save you all a little hassle, here’s a quick screenshot walk through that should help.

  1. Go to http://www.vmworld.com and sign in

  2. Enter whatever your VMworld.com username and password is

  3. Click Register Now (I know you already did but this is how it works)

  4. Select Your Conference Site then Click Submit

  5. Click on Registration

  6. Click on the Pencil Beside Contact Information

  7. Scroll to the bottom and just above Emergency Contact Information you will see a Twitter Username Space. Enter your username including the “@”. If you leave off the @ it will not be on your badge.

  8. Click Continue and you will be taken back to the Registration Information Screen.

All Done. Hope that helps everyone out. Please feel free to pass it along. Social Networking does not do much good if we aren’t social.

VMware goes social and after the big boys

Google and Microsoft have been going toe to toe with each other for the last few years. Google gets their app platform ready for the enterprise with email, calendar, word processors, spreadsheets and presentations all delivered over the web. Then Microsoft follows suit and breaks from their installable application formula and releases hosted Exchange and Office365. Both companies have been looking at ways to make the current way we do business just a little bit easier. The piece that was missing was innovation. Microsoft and Google both have been great innovators throughout the past few years but one company is slowly making a push to dethrone them both. VMware has been steadily buying up what appeared to be niche players in the marketplace. Each of these players has been innovative in their field and VMware is looking to integrate all of these platforms into the new way we can do business. Each of the applications below have been bought by VMware check them out and then I will show how this vision could very well mean a change in the way we do business. – Thinstall – a leader in application virtualization that allowed a user to separate the application from the operating system just like vSphere does to the operating system from the hardware – Zimbra – Originally an open source platform that make it’s livelihood being the backend for Yahoo email before being brought into the enterprise space for collaboration tools – myONElogin – renamed as the first part of Project Horizon, this allows SAML authentication to SaaS applications and will soon do the same for thinapped applications – SlideRocket – presentations need to be portable since we hardly ever give them from the system they are created on, yet PowerPoint presentations can also be the largest files we have, limiting the portability of those files. SlideRocket brings presentations to the web, this one only lacks soe of the innovation of prezi.com that truly reinvents what a presentation could look like – SocialCast – Facebook has revolutionized the way we communicate and the social aspect is more important than ever for efficient office communication. SocialCast does exactly that by bringing our once distant communication circle back to a close group. Each of these products alone looks to be very cool, however the combination would allow you to potentially share a presentation with a colleague in China that you met through SocialCast that was built with SlideRocket while at the same time you both login into a SalesForce account using the same authentication you used to access your computer through Horizon, and then open a published application for your ERP system that had a Thinapped client. No longer are you tied to geographic boundaries and software regulations, no longer are you limited by Microsoft or Apple Based software, and no longer are you limited in using the software that is presented on the web by innovators in your industry. The use of SAML with Horizon means that you can collaborate cross platform, cross country and without the forced tax of a installed application. Rumor has it that VMware still has a few more big acquisitions to announce, that combined with the release of vSphere 5 and an updated VDI offering could spell trouble for the likes of Microsoft, while not immediate, at least it means it is time to start paying attention to someone other than Google. The same goes for Google, with the release of the Cromebook they took the ChromeOS portable, but what happens when I need the security of my LAN?

Is Netscaler Cloud Gateway just Project Horizon on-premise?

The Netscaler Cloud Gateway was released by Citrix with the purpose of delivery applications to the enterprise in a more efficient and better managed process.  The delivery includes not just the existing apps but also SaaS apps like SalesForce and others that support the SAML authentication tokens.  For most of the VMware followers out there this sounds strikingly like MyOneLogin or what was just released as the Horizon App Manager.  There are some key differences however between the products.  Starting on the physical side, the Cloud Gateway is an on-premise device or virtual appliance, while Horizon is designed to be a cloud based services that does not put any equipment in the enterprise datacenters.  Gloud Gateway will be available according to Citrix as a service from Citrix Solutions Providers as well but that does not seem to be the focus at this point.  That is not where the differences stop, the Netscaler allows for quality of services management and license management for these applications across the enterprise.  The Cloud Gateway also integrates directly with all the different versions of Citrix Receiver.

Not surprisingly there are alot of similarities and the release will most likely force VMware to continue with the application push and hopefully integrate ThinApp into Horizon sooner rather than later, since the Cloud Gateway can already present XenApp published apps.

Type 1 Hypervisor Battle

Citrix was the first of the big players to release a Type 1 hypervisor for desktops with the first release of XenClient, but it’s limited hardware compatibility list and the high cost for the equipment it did support was a major limiting factor in it’s success.  MokaFive claims to have a type 1 hypervisor but without the backing of one of the big players it is having limited success, the same goes for NXtop.  VMware had promised a type one for years and has since gone back to claim that the Type 2 Workstation is the future, with options like offline mode for View being a good enough solution.

This week Citrix dropped the gauntlet on the competition with the release of XenClient2 and XenClient XT.  Xen Client 2 supposedly will support 45 million systems and with the integration with Syncronizer you can truly present a enterprise and a personal computer completely isolated from each other on the bare metal of a laptop.  You also get enhance video card support with the support of AMD chipsets.  While the release of XenClient2 gives us more access the XenClientXT release is the one that could have some of the most impact, especially for those of us inside the Beltway.  The ability to have secure access to multiple enclaves with a single device from a company that is already presenting virtual desktops within these same enclaves could result in closing a hole in the O-zone layer just by not having 5 computers under the desk of every federal employee that works with classified data.

Is the type 1 hypervisor ready for production?  That is probably still to be seen, and we need some healthy competition to help us see it grow but this is definitely a significant step towards a new paradigm in endpoint computing.

The death of an operating system..Say goodbye to Windows..

I have been working in IT for almost 15 years and throughout the time, Microsoft has helped me grow a career but over the last few years we have seen possibly the most significant transition since the advent of the personal computer. What should not be surprising is that Apple has been the catalyst for change. Many people in Generation X and Y and every other name you would like to give those born after 1970, first learned how to use a computer in school, working on early Apple and Macintosh systems. This led this same kids to expect the ability to so word processing without a typewriter, followed by sending messages to each other without paying for a stamp, and now the earliest advocates of computers along with the youngest generations entering the workforce have demanded another change. No longer will these users accept whatever computer and system is thrown in front of them.

I place the blame on Apple with the release of the iphone and the App Store. The idea of presenting a single application to a group of users is not something new,in all reality Citrix has been presenting applications to business users since the days of Metaframe and the original Web Interface, but the ability for Apple to change a global mindset is something Citrix has never been able todo. Users now expect that you can access a single application regardless of what device I am using. Google continued to reinforce the attitude with the release of Android. Android is the largest deployed mobile platform in the world, and along with it comes multiple app stores.

The next question is how would applications being presented to a phone or tablet kill an operating system. The answer is rather easy on this one. Users want to bring a Macbook or a ipad or a Android tablet and get all the same applications that you used to only be able to get with Windows. VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft will all present a full windows desktop to a user, but why would I want a full desktop when all I need is an email client and a word processor or an internet browser. The added overhead on a device that I bought because it was optimized seems pointless. The same generations that grew up on Apple II Plus computers and a green screen now have 10x the power in their pocket with smartphones and even more with the ipad and newer tablets. Microsoft has even realized that application based computing is the wave of the future, with the release of Office Live, Microsoft is allowing users to get to their largest consumer product through the web without ever installing a product. When you combine that with the likes o Dropbox and SugarSync you can have all your data and all your applications sitting in a datacenter that you could care less where it is as long as you can access it from your optimized device. A device that is optimized to just run what others create and give you the best connection possible to the internet and the plethora of cloud products.

Windows may not die in the next year or two but with the speed of computing today it is very possible that the life of what has at this point been the most common base for personal computing is very short. Over the next week Citrix will make multiple releases allowing the user to get closer to the application centric computing model during their major conference, you can expect the same style releases from VMware in the end of August at their conference. Microsoft itself has been focusing on the other product lines with added push to use Unified Communications and Collaboration tools along with their own virtualization products. Windows has been around longer than many people imagined and has ridden the wave but it may have been its own biggest enemy by not staying with the times and just becoming a delivery system like iOS.

It has finally come time to close the Windows.

Sent from my iPad 🙂

Project Horizon finally goes public

After at least 2 years of anticipation and waiting we get to see the first release of VMware’s Project Horizon today.  We still have to wait to get the application publishing that many of us hoped would be the first part of Horizon to go public but this new single sign on cloud connected enterprise tool can go along way to help enterprises give the flexibility back to the users.  Horizon App Manager is delivered as a virtual appliance that sends secure tokens instead of full passwords between the corporate environment and cloud providers like SalesForce and Workday.  This gives users the comfort of knowing that a seasoned IT pro had secured the connections and validated that the site they are visiting is in fact the proper place to go and not a hackers imitation.  What Horizon also does is provides a app store in a sense that corporate users can request accounts on these third party services directly within the corporate environment.  Check out the video below from VMwareTV for more details.  I look forward to seeing the next few releases from the Horizon Team.

The Google Chromebook just helped VDI into the mainstream

Google announced that they will be selling the Chromebook for Business for $28 a month per user starting in June.  At first you probably wonder how a web based dumbed down notebook could help the likes of VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft sell VDI solutions.  The answer is simple.  As our data moves into the cloud we have less and less need for the large fast hard drives that have been populating notebooks for the past few years.  Add that to always on connectivity of 3g and you have access to your data (for free up to 100 mb a month).  The next question is now that I can get to my data how to I use it.  You could follow the party line from Google and move everything to Google Docs but that does not work for most enterprises.  However published applications from XenApp or single sign-on solutions like Project Horizon from VMware are moving enterprise applications into the cloud and onto the internet.  So now you can have a notebook that can boot in less than 8 seconds with full web connectivity and a minimal security threat footprint that also has access to your documents that sit in DropBox or SugarSync,  If you add that to the latest release from Ericom of a HTML5 client for VMware View and you can now have enterprise class desktops at your fingertips.  There is of course the worry of what happens in someone hacks the ChromeOS that is on these machines do they now have access to all my data anyway?  It is still possible that could happen but with a team of engineers and an auto-update feature on the Chromebook you would hope whatever vulnerability that may be found would be patched extremely quickly.

This is great now for your work computer but what if I want to use it at home?  The applications that are loaded are already the ones that most uses want to use from their home PC, with full access to chrome, google docs, chat clients, twitter clients and of course angry birds who could want more?

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