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Showing 1 - 16 of 26 white papers, page 1 of 2.
Application Lifecycle Management with Stratusphere UX
Enterprises today are faced with many challenges, and among those at the top of the list is the struggle surrounding the design, deployment, management and operations that support desktop applications. The demand for applications is increasing at an exponential rate, and organizations are being forced to consider platforms beyond physical, virtual and cloud-based environments.
Enterprises today are faced with many challenges, and among those at the top of the list is the struggle surrounding the design, deployment, management and operations that support desktop applications. The demand for applications is increasing at an exponential rate, and organizations are being forced to consider platforms beyond physical, virtual and cloud-based environments. Users have come to expect applications to ‘just work’ on whatever device they have on hand. Combined with the notion that for many organizations, workspaces can be a mix of various delivery approaches, it is vital. to better understand application use, as well as information such as versioning, resource consumption and application user experience. This whitepaper defines three major lifecycle stages—analysis, user experience baselining and operationalization―each of which is composed of several crucial steps. The paper also provides practical use examples that will help you create and execute an application-lifecycle methodology using Stratusphere UX from Liquidware.
Parallels RAS and Microsoft Office 365: Deliver a Superior, Cloud-Optimized Employee Experience
When used together, Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) and Microsoft deliver an enhanced method for employees to access Office 365. With increased security and management options, Parallels RAS delivers a superior employee experience on any device or platform—anywhere.
Microsoft Office 365 is fast becoming the industry standard, with companies rushing to adopt the solution to maximize flexibility and bring down budget costs. However, the online version lacks certain features to maximize the end-user experience and improve employee productivity. This is where a comprehensive, affordable virtualization can be useful. When used together, Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) and Microsoft deliver an enhanced method for employees to access Office 365. With increased security and management options, Parallels RAS delivers a superior employee experience on any device or platform—anywhere.
Monitoring 201: Moving Beyond Simplistic Monitoring and Alerts to Monitoring Glory
Are you ready to achieve #monitoringglory?

Are you ready to achieve #monitoringglory?

After reading this e-book, "Monitoring 201", you will:

  • Be able to imagine and create meaningful and actionable monitors and alerts
  • Understand how to explain the value of monitoring to non-technical coworkers
  • Focus on productive work because you will not be interrupted by spurious alerts
Strayer University Improves End User Computing Experience with IGEL
Strayer University is leveraging the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL UD3 to provide faculty, administrators and student support staff with seamless and reliable access to their digital workspaces.
As IT operations manager for Strayer University, Scott Behrens spent a lot of time looking at and evaluating endpoint computing solutions when it came to identifying a new way to provide the University’s faculty, administrators and student support staff with a seamless and reliable end user computing experience.

“I looked at various options including traditional desktops, but due to the dispersed nature of our business, I really wanted to find a solution that was both easy to manage and reasonably priced,

especially for our remote locations where we have limited or no IT staff on premise,” said Behrens. “IGEL fit perfectly into this scenario. Because of IGEL’s simplicity, we are able to reduce the time it takes to get one of our locations up and running from a week, to a day, with little support and very little effort.”

Strayer University first began its IGEL deployment in 2016, with a small pilot program of 30 users in the IGEL UDC. The university soon expanded its deployment, adding the IGEL UD3 and then Samsung All-in-One thin clients outfitted with the IGEL OS and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS). Strayer University’s IGEL deployment now includes more than 2,000 endpoints at 75 locations across the United States. The university plans to extend its deployment of the IGEL UD3s further as it grows and the need arises to replace aging desktop hardware.
IGEL Delivers Manageability, Scalability and Security for The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group realizes cost-savings; increased productivity; and improved time-to-value with IGEL’s software-defined endpoint management solutions.
In 2016, The Auto Club Group was starting to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution leveraging Citrix XenDesktop on both its static endpoints and laptop computers used in the field by its insurance agents, adjusters and other remote employees. “We were having a difficult time identifying a solution that would enable us to simplify the management of our laptop computers, in particular, while providing us with the flexibility, scalability and security we wanted from an endpoint management perspective,” said James McVicar, IT Architect, The Auto Club Group.

Some of the mobility management solutions The Auto Club has been evaluating relied on Windows CE, a solution that is nearing end-of-life. “We didn’t want to deal with the patches and other management headaches related to a Windows-based solutions, so this was not an attractive option,” said McVicar.

In the search for a mobile endpoint management solution, McVicar and his team came across IGEL and were quickly impressed. McVicar said, “What first drew our attention to IGEL was the ability to leverage the IGEL UDC to quickly and easily convert our existing laptop computers into an IGEL OS-powered desktop computing solution, that we could then manage via the IGEL UMS. Because IGEL is Linux-based, we found that it offered both the functionality and stability we needed within our enterprise.”

As The Auto Club Group continues to expand its operations, it will be rolling out additional IGEL OS-powered endpoints to its remote workers, and expects its deployment to exceed 400 endpoints once the project is complete.

The Auto Club Group is also looking at possibly leveraging the IGEL Cloud Gateway, which will help bring more performance and functionality to those working outside of the corporate WAN.
How Parallels RAS Enhances Microsoft RDS
In 2001, Microsoft introduced the RDP protocol that allowed users to access an operating system’s desktop remotely. Since then, Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to facilitate remote desktop access. However, Microsoft RDS leaves a lot to be desired. This white paper highlights the pain points of RDS solutions, and how systems administrators can use Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) to enhance their Microsoft RDS infrastructure.

In 2001, Microsoft introduced the RDP protocol that allowed users to access an operating system’s desktop remotely. Since then, Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to facilitate remote desktop access.

However, Microsoft RDS leaves a lot to be desired. This white paper highlights the pain points of RDS solutions, and how systems administrators can use Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) to enhance their Microsoft RDS infrastructure.

Microsoft RDS Pain Points:
•    Limited Load Balancing Functionality
•    Limited Client Device Support
•    Difficult to Install, Set Up, and Update

Parallels RAS is an application and virtual desktop delivery solution that allows systems administrators to create a private cloud from which they can centrally manage the delivery of applications, virtual desktops, and business-critical data. This comprehensive VDI solution is well known for its ease of use, low license costs, and feature list.

How Parallels RAS Enhances Your Microsoft RDS Infrastructure:
•    Easy to Install and Set Up
•    Centralized Configuration Console
•    Auto-Configuration of Remote Desktop Session Hosts
•    High Availability Load Balancing (HALB)
•    Superior user experience on mobile devices
•    Supports hypervisors from Citrix, VMware, Microsoft’s own Hyper-V, Nutanix Acropolis, and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

As this white paper highlights, Parallels RAS allows you to enhance your Microsoft Remote Desktop Services infrastructure, enabling you to offer a superior application and virtual desktop delivery solution.

Built around Microsoft’s RDP protocol, Parallels RAS allows systems administrators to do more in less time with fewer resources. Since it is easier to implement and use, systems administrators can manage and easily scale up the Parallels RAS farm without requiring any specialized training. Because of its extensive feature list and multisite support, they can build solutions that meet the requirements of any enterprise, regardless of its size and scale.

PCI DSS Compliance
IT security has always been a major concern for businesses that accept online credit card payments. They hold sensitive information that malicious hackers are after: cardholder data and customer information. This is why businesses are legally obliged to build PCI DSS compliant IT infrastructures.

IT security has always been a major concern for businesses that accept online credit card payments. They hold sensitive information that malicious hackers are after: cardholder data. This is why such businesses are legally obliged to build IT systems and networks that are PCI DSS compliant.

What Is PCI DSS?
PCI DSS is a security standard developed by the PCI Security Standards Council. Designed for businesses that do online transactions and hold customers’ payment records, it helps them build and maintain secure IT systems and networks, ensuring the privacy and security of their customers’ credit-card details and cardholder data.

The set of standards defined in the PCI DSS are the minimum required level of computer systems security that must be in place when processing credit-card data. These standards apply to merchants, processors, financial institutions, service providers, and any other entity that store, process, or transmit credit-card and cardholder information.

Why Businesses Need to Be PCI DSS Compliant
The challenges of building and maintaining a PCI DSS–compliant network are many and depend on several factors—for example, the type of software used, the network setup, and the procedures in place. If organizations that process credit-card payments and store cardholder details fail to build PCI DSS–compliant networks and computer systems, they risk being fined up to $500,000 per month—or even worse, having their trading licence revoked.

This white paper explains how using Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) can help organizations build scalable PCI DSS–compliant networks and also save on costs and administration overheads.

From... to cloud ready in less than one day with Parallels and ThinPrint
Mobility, security and compliance, automation, and the demand for “the workspace of the future” are just some of the challenges that businesses face today. The cloud is best positioned to support these challenges, but it can be hard to pick the right kind of cloud and find the right balance between cost and benefits. Together, Parallels and ThinPrint allow an organization to become a cloud-ready business on its own terms, with unprecedented ease and cost-effectiveness.

Mobility, security and compliance, automation, and the demand for “the workspace of the future” are just some of the challenges that businesses face today.

The cloud is best positioned to support these challenges, but it can be hard to pick the right kind of cloud and find the right balance between cost and benefits.

Parallels Introduction
Parallels is a global leader in cross-platform technologies and is renowned for its award-winning software solutions that cut complexity and lower costs for a wide range of industries, including healthcare, education, banking and finance, manufacturing, the public sector, and many others.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) provides easy-to-use, comprehensive application and desktop delivery that enables business and public-sector organizations to seamlessly integrate virtual Windows applications and desktops on nearly any device or operating system.

ThinPrint Introduction
ThinPrint is a global leader in solutions that support an organization’s digital transformation, helping ensure users can draw on highly reliable and innovative print solutions that support today’s and tomorrow’s requirements.

Joint Value Statement

Together, Parallels and ThinPrint allow an organization to become a cloud-ready business on its own terms, with unprecedented ease and cost-effectiveness.

We support any endpoint device from a desktop PC to a smartphone or tablet, can deploy on-premise or in the cloud, and follow your business as it completes its digital transformation.

You may decide to start digitally transforming your business by delivering applications or desktops from an existing server in your datacenter and move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure later. You can also replace user workstations with newer, more mobile devices, or expand from an initial pilot group to new use cases for the entire company.

Whatever your plans are, Parallels and ThinPrint will help you implement them with easy, cost-effective solutions and the ability to adapt to future challenges.

UD Pocket Saves the Day After Malware Cripple’s Hospital’s Mission-Critical PCs
IGEL Platinum Partner A2U had endpoints within the healthcare organization’s finance department up and running within a few hours following the potentially crippling cyberattack, thanks to the innovative micro thin client.

A2U, an IGEL Platinum Partner, recently experienced a situation where one of its large, regional healthcare clients was hit by a cyberattack. “Essentially, malware entered the client’s network via a computer and began replicating like wildfire,” recalls A2U Vice President of Sales, Robert Hammond.

During the cyberattack, a few hundred of the hospital’s PCs were affected. Among those were 30 endpoints within the finance department that the healthcare organization deemed mission critical due to the volume of daily transactions between patients, insurance companies, and state and county agencies for services rendered. “It was very painful from a business standpoint not to be able to conduct billing and receiving, not to mention payroll,” said Hammond.

Prior to this particular incident, A2U had received demo units of the IGEL UD Pocket, a revolutionary micro thin client that can transform x86-compatible PCs and laptops into IGEL OS-powered desktops.

“We had been having a discussion with this client about re-imaging their PCs, but their primary concern was maintaining the integrity of the data that was already on the hardware,” continued Hammond. “HIPAA and other regulations meant that they needed to preserve the data and keep it secure, and we thought that the IGEL UD Pocket could be the answer to this problem. We didn’t see why it wouldn’t work, but we needed to test our theory.”

When the malware attack hit, that opportunity came sooner, rather than later for A2U. “We plugged the UD Pocket into one of the affected machines and were able to bypass the local hard drive, installing the Linux-based IGEL OS on the system without impacting existing data,” said Hammond. “It was like we had created a ‘Linux bubble’ that protected the machine, yet created an environment that allowed end users to quickly return to productivity.”

Working with the hospital’s IT team, it only took a few hours for A2U to get the entire finance department back online. “They were able to start billing the very next day,” added Hammond.

DPX: The Backup Alternative You’ve Been Waiting For
Catalogic DPX is a pleasantly affordable backup solution that focuses on the most important aspects of data backup and recovery: Easy administration, world class reliability, fast backup and recovery with minimal system impact and a first-class support team. DPX delivers on key data protection use cases, including rapid recovery and DR, ransomware protection, cloud integration, tape or tape replacement, bare metal recovery and remote office backup.
Catalogic DPX is a pleasantly affordable backup solution that focuses on the most important aspects of data backup and recovery: Easy administration, world class reliability, fast backup and recovery with minimal system impact and a first-class support team. DPX delivers on key data protection use cases, including rapid recovery and DR, ransomware protection, cloud integration, tape or tape replacement, bare metal recovery and remote office backup.
Catalogic Software-Defined Secondary Storage Appliance
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products. Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products.

Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
vSphere Troubleshooting Guide
Troubleshooting complex virtualization technology is something all VMware users will have to face at some point. It requires an understanding of how various components fit together and finding a place to start is not easy. Thankfully, VMware vExpert Ryan Birk is here to help with this eBook preparing you for any problems you may encounter along the way.

This eBook explains how to identify problems with vSphere and how to solve them. Before we begin, we need to start off with an introduction to a few things that will make life easier. We’ll start with a troubleshooting methodology and how to gather logs. After that, we’ll break this eBook into the following sections: Installation, Virtual Machines, Networking, Storage, vCenter/ESXi and Clustering.

ESXi and vSphere problems arise from many different places, but they generally fall into one of these categories: Hardware issues, Resource contention, Network attacks, Software bugs, and Configuration problems.

A typical troubleshooting process contains several tasks: 1. Define the problem and gather information. 2. Identify what is causing the problem. 3. Fix the problem, implement a fix.

One of the first things you should try to do when experiencing a problem with a host, is try to reproduce the issue. If you can find a way to reproduce it, you have a great way to validate that the issue is resolved when you do fix it. It can be helpful as well to take a benchmark of your systems before they are implemented into a production environment. If you know HOW they should be running, it’s easier to pinpoint a problem.

You should decide if it’s best to work from a “Top Down” or “Bottom Up” approach to determine the root cause. Guest OS Level issues typically cause a large amount of problems. Let’s face it, some of the applications we use are not perfect. They get the job done but they utilize a lot of memory doing it.

In terms of virtual machine level issues, is it possible that you could have a limit or share value that’s misconfigured? At the ESXi Host Level, you could need additional resources. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but you might need another host to help with load!

Once you have identified the root cause, you should assess the impact of the problem on your day to day operations. When and what type of fix should you implement? A short-term one or a long-term solution? Assess the impact of your solution on daily operations. Short-term solution: Implement a quick workaround. Long-term solution: Reconfiguration of a virtual machine or host.

Now that the basics have been covered, download the eBook to discover how to put this theory into practice!

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.

Digital Workspace Disasters and How to Beat Them
Desktop DR - the recovery of individual desktop systems from a disaster or system failure - has long been a challenge. Part of the problem is that there are so many desktops, storing so much valuable data and - unlike servers - with so many different end user configurations and too little central control. Imaging everyone would be a huge task, generating huge amounts of backup data.
Desktop DR - the recovery of individual desktop systems from a disaster or system failure - has long been a challenge. Part of the problem is that there are so many desktops, storing so much valuable data and - unlike servers - with so many different end user configurations and too little central control. Imaging everyone would be a huge task, generating huge amounts of backup data. And even if those problems could be overcome with the use of software agents, plus de-deduplication to take common files such as the operating system out of the backup window, restoring damaged systems could still mean days of software reinstallation and reconfiguration. Yet at the same time, most organizations have a strategic need to deploy and provision new desktop systems, and to be able to migrate existing ones to new platforms. Again, these are tasks that benefit from reducing both duplication and the need to reconfigure the resulting installation. The parallels with desktop DR should be clear. We often write about the importance of an integrated approach to investing in backup and recovery. By bringing together business needs that have a shared technical foundation, we can, for example, gain incremental benefits from backup, such as improved data visibility and governance, or we can gain DR capabilities from an investment in systems and data management. So it is with desktop DR and user workspace management. Both of these are growing in importance as organizations’ desktop estates grow more complex. Not only are we adding more ways to work online, such as virtual PCs, more applications, and more layers of middleware, but the resulting systems face more risks and threats and are subject to higher regulatory and legal requirements. Increasingly then, both desktop DR and UWM will be not just valuable, but essential. Getting one as an incremental bonus from the other therefore not only strengthens the business case for that investment proposal, it is a win-win scenario in its own right.
The Monitoring ELI5 Guide
The goal of this book is to describe complex IT ideas simply. Very simply. So simply, in fact, a five-year-old could understand it. This book is also written in a way we hope is funny, and maybe a little irreverent—just the right mix of snark and humor and insubordination.

Not too long ago, a copy of Randall Munroe’s “Thing Explainer” made its way around the SolarWinds office—passing from engineering to marketing to development to the Head Geeks™ (yes, that’s actually a job at SolarWinds. It’s pretty cool.), and even to management.

Amid chuckles of appreciation, we recognized Munroe had struck upon a deeper truth: as IT practitioners, we’re often asked to describe complex technical ideas or solutions. However, often it’s for folks who need a simplified version. These may be people who consider themselves non-technical, but just as easily it could be for people who are technical in a different discipline. Amid frustrated eye-rolling we’re asked to “explain it to me like I’m five years old” (a phrase shortened to just “Explain Like I’m Five,” or ELI5, in forums across the internet).

There, amid the blueprints and stick figures, were explanations of the most complex concepts in hyper-simplified language that had achieved the impossible alchemy of being amusing, engaging, and accurate.

We were inspired. What you hold in your hands (or read on your screen) is the result of this inspiration.

In this book, we hope to do for IT what Randall Munroe did for rockets, microwaves, and cell phones: explain what they are, what they do, and how they work in terms anyone can understand, and in a way that may even inspire a laugh or two.

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