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UNC Health Care Leverages IGEL in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Deployment
UNC Health Care selected IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security. This document outlines key findings on how IGEL helps organizations manage entire fleets of thin clients from a single console. In addition, you will see how IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, wi

UNC Health Care selects IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security.

“The need to provide users with access to their desktops from any device anywhere, anytime is driving a growing number of IT organizations to migrate toward VDI environments,” said Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, IGEL. “One of the key advantages that IGEL brings to the table is the simplicity that comes from being able to manage an entire fleet of thin clients from a single console. Additionally, the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, without having to make an upfront investment in new hardware to support their virtualized infrastructures.” 

UNC Health Care selected the IGEL UDC and UMS software for its Citrix VDI deployment following a “bake-off” between thin client solutions. “IGEL won hands down due the simplicity and superiority of its management capabilities,” said James Cole, Technical Architect, UNC Health Care. “And, because the IGEL UDC software is designed to quickly and efficiently convert existing endpoint hardware into IGEL Linux OS-powered thin clients, we knew that by selecting the IGEL solution we would also realize a significant reduction in our capital expenditures.”

Since initiating the deployment of the IGEL UDC and UMS software, UNC Health Care has also experienced significant time savings. “Prior to deploying the IGEL UDC and UMS software, it took our team 25-30 minutes to create a virtual image on each system, not counting the personalization of the system for each use case, now that process takes less than 10 minutes, and even less time when converting the system to VDI roaming,” added Cole.

Additionally, the ease of integration between the IGEL UDC and IGEL UMS with Citrix XenDesktop and other solutions offered by Citrix Ecosystem partners, including Imprivata, has enabled secure access to the health care network’s Epic Systems’ Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.

Mastering vSphere – Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More
Do you regularly work with vSphere? If so, this free eBook is for you. Learn how to leverage best practices for the most popular features contained within the vSphere platform and boost your productivity using tips and tricks learnt direct from an experienced VMware trainer and highly qualified professional. In this eBook, vExpert Ryan Birk shows you how to master: Advanced Deployment Scenarios using Auto-Deploy Shared Storage Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting Host Network configurati

If you’re here to gather some of the best practices surrounding vSphere, you’ve come to the right place! Mastering vSphere: Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More, the free eBook authored by me, Ryan Birk, is the product of many years working with vSphere as well as teaching others in a professional capacity. In my extensive career as a VMware consultant and teacher (I’m a VMware Certified Instructor) I have worked with people of all competence levels and been asked hundreds - if not thousands - of questions on vSphere. I was approached to write this eBook to put that experience to use to help people currently working with vSphere step up their game and reach that next level. As such, this eBook assumes readers already have a basic understanding of vSphere and will cover the best practices for four key aspects of any vSphere environment.

The best practices covered here will focus largely on management and configuration solutions so should remain relevant for quite some time. However, with that said, things are constantly changing in IT, so I would always recommend obtaining the most up-to-date information from VMware KBs and official documentation especially regarding specific versions of tools and software updates. This eBook is divided into several sections, and although I would advise reading the whole eBook as most elements relate to others, you might want to just focus on a certain area you’re having trouble with. If so, jump to the section you want read about.

Before we begin, I want to note that in a VMware environment, it’s always best to try to keep things simple. Far too often I have seen environments be thrown off the tracks by trying to do too much at once. I try to live by the mentality of “keeping your environment boring” – in other words, keeping your host configurations the same, storage configurations the same and network configurations the same. I don’t mean duplicate IP addresses, but the hosts need identical port groups, access to the same storage networks, etc. Consistency is the name of the game and is key to solving unexpected problems down the line. Furthermore, it enables smooth scalability - when you move from a single host configuration to a cluster configuration, having the same configurations will make live migrations and high availability far easier to configure without having to significantly re-work the entire infrastructure. Now the scene has been set, let’s get started!

How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

The Monitoring ELI5 Guide: Technology Terms Explained Simply
Complex IT ideas described simply. Very simply. The SolarWinds Explain (IT) Like I’m 5 (ELI5) eBook is for people interested in things like networks, servers, applications, the cloud, and how monitoring all that stuff (and more) gets done—all in an easy-to-understand format.
Complex IT ideas described simply. Very simply. The SolarWinds Explain (IT) Like I’m 5 (ELI5) eBook is for people interested in things like networks, servers, applications, the cloud, and how monitoring all that stuff (and more) gets done—all in an easy-to-understand format.
Blast Radius Identification and Isolation
Security teams need access to actionable information about everything in the network—where devices are located, how they interact, and all relevant details about their configuration and state. With the Forward Networks blast radius feature, they have the ability to not only isolate devices and cut off paths after an attack, but they can also prevent hosts from being vulnerable to attackers in the first place.

When looking to identify and isolate compromised network hosts, the following questions are important to answer promptly and accurately:

  • What are all the possible paths attackers can take from the compromised host?
  • What ports can they access?
  • What objects are along these paths, and what do those devices touch?
  • Is it possible for the attackers to move laterally in the network to reach critical systems or exfiltrate data to the internet?
The Forward Enterprise blast radius feature allows security operations professionals to answer those questions with one click. They can get detailed information about a compromised host, all the other devices reachable by that compromised host, and all possible traffic flows.

Once the exposure is identified, isolating the devices is a much simpler and faster process. Read the use case for more details, including an example of how the blast radius feature can locate the host device and document in seconds every destination, protocol, and L4 port it could possibly reach.

The ROI of a Network Digital Twin
The majority of network outages cost at least $1 million in operation disruption, reputational damage, and data and financial loss. Troubleshooting and path searches are frustratingly manual, time-consuming processes. With Forward Networks’ digital twin software, such processes can be completed in seconds with actionable information in a vendor-agnostic format immediately accessible. With reduced time needed to troubleshoot costly outages, Forward’s network digital twin provides a clear and robu
How have large enterprises benefited from deploying digital twin software for their complex networks?
By reducing:
  • MTTR by 80% using Forward Networks search functionality
  • 90% of P1/P2 outages
  • Time to deploy new applications from 24 hours to one hour
  • Audit time by 80%
  • Fire-fighting by senior network engineers
Which, in turn, increases:
  • Companies’ ability to reach growth and revenue targets
  • Network security by proactively removing thousands of vulnerabilities
  • Time spent by senior network engineers focusing on projects that deliver business value
Explore the eBook for more details on how managing networks with a digital twin makes networks more agile, predictable, and secure.
See It, Fix It, Manage It: Ensuring Hybrid and Multi-cloud Applications Are Reliable and Secure
Most enterprises are moving to hybrid or multi-cloud architectures. Operating these environments requires IT teams to rethink their approach to monitoring and reporting on applications and environments. Cloud services differ in functions which makes achieving and maintaining a consistent configuration difficult but not impossible. A significant portion of companies plan to utilize third-party products, reducing some of the variability in feature capabilities across clouds to simplify management.

The author of this Pathfinder report is Mike Fratto, a Senior Research Analyst on the Applied Infrastructure & DevOps team at 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Pathfinder reports navigate decision-makers through the issues surrounding a specific technology or business case, explore the business value of adoption, and recommend the range of considerations and concrete next steps in the decision-making process.

This report explores the following topics:

  • the growth of already commonplace cloud usage for mission-critical applications
  • the importance of cloud governance
  • the top cloud security concerns for enterprises
  • the adoption of third-party tools for cloud management
  • the steps IT teams should take to make their cloud environments more secure and reliable
Solving the BIG problems in cloud computing
The two big challenges in deploying and growing cloud usage are cost and security. Shadow IT has contributed to those challenges by causing overspending and exposing organizations to significant security risks. So, how should enterprises address both hybrid (on-premises and in the cloud) and multi-cloud challenges? This research reviews new technologies and approaches that can improve visibility for IT teams, enable security policies across the entire network, and manage costs more effectively.

Vladimir Galabov, Director, Cloud and Data Center Research, and Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Emerging Technologies, are the co-authors of this eBook from Omdia, a data, research, and consulting business that offers expert analysis and strategic insight to empower decision-making surrounding new technologies.

This eBook covers the following topics:

  • the current landscape of cloud computing, including the BIG problems
  • the advantages of using a multi-cloud approach
  • the dangers of shadow IT, including billing surprises and security breaches
  • the move of mission-critical applications to the cloud
  • the considerations regarding cloud security, including recommendations for IT teams