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The Definitive Guide to Monitoring Virtual Environments
The virtualization of physical computers has become the backbone of public and private cloud computing from desktops to data centers, enabling organizations to optimize hardware utilization, enhance security, support multi-tenancy and more. These environments are complex and ephemeral, creating requirements and challenges beyond the capability of traditional monitoring tools that were originally designed for static physical environments. But modern solutions exist, and can bring your virtual env

OVERVIEW

The virtualization of physical computers has become the backbone of public and private cloud computing from desktops to data centers, enabling organizations to optimize hardware utilization, enhance security, support multi-tenancy and more. These environments are complex and ephemeral, creating requirements and challenges beyond the capability of traditional monitoring tools that were originally designed for static physical environments. But modern solutions exist, and can bring your virtual environment to new levels of efficiency, performance and scale.

This guide explains the pervasiveness of virtualized environments in modern data centers, the demand these environments create for more robust monitoring and analytics solutions, and the keys to getting the most out of virtualization deployments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

·        History and Expansion of Virtualized Environments

·        Monitoring Virtual Environments

·        Approaches to Monitoring

·        Why Effective Virtualization Monitoring Matters

·        A Unified Approach to Monitoring Virtualized Environments

·        5 Key Capabilities for Virtualization Monitoring

o   Real-Time Awareness

o   Rapid Root-Cause Analytics

o   End-to-End Visibility

o   Complete Flexibility

o   Hypervisor Agnosticism

·        Evaluating a Monitoring Solution

o   Unified View

o   Scalability

o   CMDB Support

o   Converged Infrastructure

o   Licensing

·        Zenoss for Virtualization Monitoring

Salem State University Teams with IGEL, Citrix and Nutanix to Deliver Digital Workspaces
Limited IT resources drive need for the IGEL’s robust management features; maturity of Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure, and the simplicity and time-to-value for Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure offering make the combined solution a no-brainer for the university.
When Jake Snyder joined Salem State University’s IT department, the public university located just outside of Boston, Mass. was only using traditional PCs. “95% of the PCs were still on Windows 7 and there was no clear migration path in sight to Windows 10,” recalls Snyder. “Additionally, all updates to these aging desktop computers were being done locally in the university’s computer labs. Management was difficult and time consuming.”

The university realized something had to change, and that was one of the reasons why they brought Snyder on board – to upgrade its end-user computing environment to VDI. Salem State was looking for the security and manageability that a VDI solution could provide. “One of the biggest challenges that the university had been experiencing was managing desktop imaging and applications,” said Snyder. “They wanted to be able to keep their student, faculty and staff end-points up to date and secure, while at the same time easing the troubleshooting process. They weren’t able to do any of this with their current set-up.”

Snyder first saw a demo of the IGEL solution at the final BriForum event in Boston in 2016. “It was great to see IGEL at that event as I had heard a lot of good buzz around their products and solutions, especially from other colleagues in the industry,” said Snyder. “After BriForum, I went back and ordered some evaluation units to test out within our EUC environment.”

What Snyder quickly discovered during the evaluation period was that the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) was not just plug-and-play, like he had expected. “The IGEL UMS was a very customizable solution, and I liked the robust interface,” continued Snyder. “Despite competitive solutions, it was clear from the start that the IGEL devices were going to be easier to use and cheaper in the long run. IGEL really was a ‘no-brainer’ when you consider the management capabilities and five-year warranty they offer on their hardware.”

Salem State University currently has 400 IGEL Universal Desktop software-defined thin clients deployed on its campus including 360 UD3 thin clients, which are the workhorse of the IGEL portfolio, and 40 UD6 thin clients, which support high-end graphics capabilities for multimedia users. Salem State has also purchased IGEL UD Pocket micro thin clients which they are now testing.
The Gorilla Guide to Moving Beyond Disaster Recovery to IT Resilience
Does your business require you to modernize IT while you’re struggling to manage the day to day? Sound familiar? Use this e-book to help move beyond the day to day challenges of protecting your business and start shifting to an IT resilience strategy. With IT resilience you can focus your efforts where they matter: on successfully completing those projects which mean the most to the progress of the business - the ones that help you increase market share, decrease costs and innovate faster than y
Does your business require you to modernize IT while you’re struggling to manage the day to day. Sound familiar?

Use this e-book to help move beyond the day to day challenges of protecting your business and start shifting to an IT resilience strategy. IT resilience is an emerging term that describes a stated goal for businesses to accelerate transformation and easily adapt to change while protecting the business from disruption.

With IT resilience you can focus your efforts where they matter: on successfully completing those projects which mean the most to the progress of the business – the ones that help you increase market share, decrease costs and innovate faster than your competitors.

With this guide you will learn…
  • How to prepare for both unplanned and planned disruptions to ensure continuous availability
  • Actionable steps to remove the complexity of moving and migrating workloads across disparate infrastructures
  • Guidance on hybrid and multi-cloud IT: gain the flexibility to move applications in and out of the cloud
Defending Against the Siege of Ransomware
The threat of ransomware is only just beginning. In fact, nearly 50% of organizations have suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months and estimates predict this will continue to increase at an exponential rate. While healthcare and financial services are the most targeted industries, no organization is immune. And the cost? Nothing short of exorbitant.
The threat of ransomware is only just beginning. In fact, nearly 50% of organizations have suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months and estimates predict this will continue to increase at an exponential rate. While healthcare and financial services are the most targeted industries, no organization is immune. And the cost? Nothing short of exorbitant.
The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
If you're used to on-premises infrastructures, cloud platforms can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. This eBook written by the veteran IT consultant and trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers all aspects of setting up and maintaining a high-performing Azure IaaS environment, including: • VM sizing and deployment • Migration • Storage and networking • Security and identity • Infrastructure as code and more!

The cloud computing era is well and truly upon us, and knowing how to take advantage of the benefits of this computing paradigm while maintaining security, manageability, and cost control are vital skills for any IT professional in 2020 and beyond. And its importance is only getting greater.

In this eBook, we’re going to focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on Microsoft’s Azure platform - learning how to create VMs, size them correctly, manage storage, networking, and security, along with backup best practices. You’ll also learn how to operate groups of VMs, deploy resources based on templates, managing security and automate your infrastructure. If you currently have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, we’ll also teach you that.

If you’re new to the cloud (or have experience with AWS/GCP but not Azure), this book will cover the basics as well as more advanced skills. Given how fast things change in the cloud, we’ll cover the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll have the theoretical knowledge to effectively adapt and know how to proceed.

You’ll benefit most from this book if you actively follow along with the tutorials. We will be going through terms and definitions as we go – learning by doing has always been my preferred way of education. If you don’t have access to an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial with Microsoft. This will give you 30 days 6 to use $200 USD worth of Azure resources, along with 12 months of free resources. Note that most of these “12 months” services aren’t related to IaaS VMs (apart from a few SSD based virtual disks and a small VM that you can run for 750 hours a month) so be sure to get everything covered on the IaaS side before your trial expires. There are also another 25 services that have free tiers “forever”.

Now you know what’s in store, let’s get started!

Return on Investment (ROI) with Liquidware Adaptive Workspace Management
This paper’s purpose is to inform all desktop management stakeholders at your organization of the quick return on investment (ROI) that your organization can realize when spearheading desktop change and ongoing management with Liquidware solutions. This paper should be considered a companion to Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management ROI calculator.

Today’s rapidly evolving desktop environments demand constant updates and changes to keep them secure, users productive, and businesses competitive. Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management suite covers all phases of desktop changes and management to keep desktop transformations seamless.

Ever-changing business climates have seen budgets continually scrutinized to keep businesses competitive. This paper’s purpose is to inform all desktop management stakeholders at your organization of the quick return on investment (ROI) that your organization can realize when spearheading desktop change and ongoing management with Liquidware solutions. This paper should be considered a companion to Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management ROI calculator.

Work From Home Workspace Strategies
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware in order to provide information and guidance concerning the deployment of Work From Home (WFH) strategies to provide business continuity during times of crisis or unplanned outages. Liquidware Adaptive Workspace Management solutions can speed the launch of virtual workspaces that support WFH options, ensuring that sound data drives decision-making and all migration processes are automated and streamlined.
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware in order to provide information and guidance concerning the deployment of Work From Home (WFH) strategies to provide business continuity during times of crisis or unplanned outages. Liquidware Adaptive Workspace Management solutions can speed the launch of virtual workspaces that support WFH options, ensuring that sound data drives decision-making and all migration processes are automated and streamlined. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording for any external use by any person or entity without the express prior written consent of Liquidware.
Process Optimization with Stratusphere UX
This whitepaper explores the developments of the past decade that have prompted the need for Stratusphere UX Process Optimization. We also cover how this feature works and the advantages it provides, including specific capital and operating cost benefits.

Managing the performance of Windows-based workloads can be a challenge. Whether physical PCs or virtual desktops, the effort required to maintain, tune and optimize workspaces is endless. Operating system and application revisions, user installed applications, security and bug patches, BIOS and driver updates, spyware, multi-user operating systems supply a continual flow of change that can disrupt expected performance. When you add in the complexities introduced by virtual desktops and cloud architectures, you have added another infinite source of performance instability. Keeping up with this churn, as well as meeting users’ zero tolerance for failures, are chief worries for administrators.

To help address the need for uniform performance and optimization in light of constant change, Liquidware introduced the Process Optimization feature in its Stratusphere UX solution. This feature can be set to automatically optimize CPU and Memory, even as system demands fluctuate. Process Optimization can keep “bad actor” applications or runaway processes from crippling the performance of users’ workspaces by prioritizing resources for those being actively used over not used or background processes. The Process Optimization feature requires no additional infrastructure. It is a simple, zero-impact feature that is included with Stratusphere UX. It can be turned on for single machines, or groups, or globally. Launched with the check of a box, you can select from pre-built profiles that operate automatically. Or administrators can manually specify the processes they need to raise, lower or terminate, if that task becomes required. This feature is a major benefit in hybrid multi-platform environments that include physical, pool or image-based virtual and cloud workspaces, which are much more complex than single-delivery systems. The Process Optimization feature was designed with security and reliability in mind. By default, this feature employs a “do no harm” provision affecting normal and lower process priorities, and a relaxed policy. No processes are forced by default when access is denied by the system, ensuring that the system remains stable and in line with requirements.

Unlocking Digital Transformation with Adaptive Workspace Management
Digital transformation can be stalled for organizations that do not start this process of re-architecting their workspace provisioning approaches. In this whitepaper, Liquidware presents a roadmap for delivering modern workspaces for organizations which are undergoing digital transformation. Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management (AWM) suite of products can support the build-out of an agile, state-of-the-art workspace infrastructure that quickly delivers the resources workers need, on demand

The driving force for organizations today is digital transformation, propelled by a need for greater innovation and agility across enterprises. The digital life-blood for this transformation remains computers, although their form-factor has changed dramatically over the past decade.  Smart devices, including phones, tablets and wearables, have joined PCs and laptops in the daily toolsets used by workers to do their jobs.  The data that organizations rely on increasingly comes from direct sources via smart cards, monitors, implants and embedded processors. IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence will shape the software that workers use to do their jobs. As these “smart” applications change and take on scope, they will increasingly be deployed on cloud infrastructures, bringing computing to the edge and enabling swift and efficient processing with real-time data.

Yet digital transformation for many organizations can remain blocked if they do not start changing how their workspaces are provisioned. Many still rely on outmoded approaches for delivering the technology needed by their workers to make them productive in a highly digital workplace.

In this paper, Liquidware presents a roadmap for providing modern workspaces for organizations that are undergoing digital transformation. We offer insights into how our Adaptive Workspace Management (AWM) suite of products can support the build-out of an agile,  state-of-the-artworkspace infrastructure that quickly delivers the resources workers need, on demand. AWM allows this  infrastructure  to be constructed from a hybrid mix of the best-of-breed workspace delivery platforms spanning physical, virtual and cloud offerings.

Why User Experience is Key to Your Desktop Transformation
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware and draws upon its experience with customers as well as the expertise of its Acceler8 channel partners in order to provide guidance to adopters of desktop virtualization technologies. In this paper, we explain the importance of thorough planning— factoring in user experience and resource allocation—in delivering a scalable next-generation workspace that will produce both near- and long-term value.

There’s little doubt we’re in the midst of a change in the way we operationalize and manage our end users’ workspaces. On the one hand, IT leaders are looking to gain the same efficiencies and benefits realized with cloud and next-generation virtual-server workloads. And on the other hand, users are driving the requirements for anytime, anywhere and any device access to the applications needed to do their jobs. To provide the next-generation workspaces that users require, enterprises are adopting a variety of technologies such as virtual-desktop infrastructure (VDI), published applications and layered applications. At the same time, those technologies are creating new and challenging problems for those looking to gain the full benefits of next-generation end-user workspaces. 

Before racing into any particular desktop transformation delivery approach it’s important to define appropriate goals and adopt a methodology for both near- and long-term success. One of the most common planning pitfalls we’ve seen in our history supporting the transformation of more than 6 million desktops is that organizations tend to put too much emphasis on the technical delivery and resource allocation aspects of the platform, and too little time considering the needs of users. How to meet user expectations and deliver a user experience that fosters success is often overlooked. 

To prevent that problem and achieve near-term success as well as sustainable long-term value from a next-generation desktop transformation approach, planning must also include defining a methodology that should include the following three things:

•    Develop a baseline of “normal” performance for current end user computing delivery
•    Set goals for functionality and defined measurements supporting user experience
•    Continually monitor the environment to ensure users are satisfied and the environment is operating efficiently

This white paper will show why the user experience is difficult to predict, why it’s essential to planning, and why factoring in the user experience—along with resource allocation—is key to creating and delivering the promise of a next-generation workspace that is scalable and will produce both near-and long-term value.

Application Lifecycle Management with Stratusphere UX
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.
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.
A Guide to VDI Change Management
Testing can protect business continuity.
How testing protects business continuity

Leverage testing to ensure your change plan is successful

Read this white paper and learn how to:
  • Ensure uptime while implementing change
  • Maximize the end-user experience in a constantly changing environment
  • Leverage testing to guarantee a successful roll-out of your change management plan in both pre-production and production
The Accelerated Change of Digital Workspaces
Overcoming Digital Workspace Challenges Software vendors are delivering changes to Operating Systems and Applications faster than ever. Agile development is driving smaller (but still significant), more frequent changes. Digital Workspace managers in the Enterprise are being bombarded with increased demand. With this in mind, Login VSI looks at the issues and solutions to the challenges Digital Workspace management will be presented with – today and tomorrow.
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Overcoming Digital Workspace Challenges

Software vendors are delivering changes to Operating Systems and Applications faster than ever. Agile development is driving smaller (but still significant), more frequent changes. Digital Workspace managers in the Enterprise are being bombarded with increased demand.

With this in mind, Login VSI looks at the issues and solutions to the challenges Digital Workspace management will be presented with – today and tomorrow.

The rate of changes for the OS and Applications keeps increasing. It seems like there are updates every day, and keeping up with those updates is a daunting task.

Digital workspace managers need the ways and means to keep up with all the changes AND reduce the risk that all these updates represent for the applications themselves, the infrastructure they live on, and most importantly, for the users that rely on Digital Workspaces to do their job effectively and efficiently.

Create and Maintain Superior VDI Workspaces
Both Login VSI and IGEL bring their own specific strengths to the table, giving you the ability to focus on securing and optimizing endpoints, whilst also optimizing end-user experience.
Both Login VSI and IGEL bring their own specific strengths to the table, giving you the ability to focus on securing and optimizing endpoints, whilst also optimizing end-user experience.

Read this white paper and learn how:

  • IGEL & Login VSI provides better VDI workspaces to any enterprise
  • The roll-out of VDI is only successful when end-users are happy
  • To keep VDI environments healthy via Change Management
The SysAdmin's Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
With the shift in the computing paradigm to the cloud, the Azure ecosystem is quickly becoming a critical platform for IT pros to grasp and adopt. But how do you make the leap while maintaining security, manageability, and cost-control? Whether you’re making new VMs directly in the cloud, have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, or you’re looking to manage VMs with cloud-based tools regardless of where they live, The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Servic

With the shift in the computing paradigm to the cloud, the Azure ecosystem is quickly becoming a critical platform for IT pros to grasp and adopt. But how do you make the leap while maintaining security, manageability, and cost-control?

Whether you’re making new VMs directly in the cloud, have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, or you’re looking to manage VMs with cloud-based tools regardless of where they live, The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) will teach you to set up and maintain a high-performing Azure IaaS environment.

Written, and now updated, by Paul Schnackenburg, veteran IT consultant and trainer, this free 100+ page guide covers:
•    VM sizing and deployment
•    Migration
•    Storage and networking
•    Security and identity
•    Infrastructure as code
•    Back up and replication
•    Azure Active Directory
•    Azure Arc
•    Automanage
•    and more!

Given the speed of change in the cloud, this eBook covers the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll know how to proceed. This second edition also has two new chapters, Automanage (Chapter 11) and Azure Arc (Chapter 12), which have been added to bring a lot of automation and cloud-based management to Azure IaaS, all lessening the burden on your time.

Migrating to the cloud no longer seems a question of if, but when. Make the cloud work for you. Download your free copy today!