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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

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.

Switch to Parallels Remote Application Server and Save 60% Compared to Citrix XenApp
This article will explain how Parallels Remote Application Server can easily act as a business’s desktop and application delivery solution, offering the same qualities as other leading solutions such as Citrix XenApp, but at an entirely different and affordable price. As a result, companies who opt to use Parallels Remote Application Server could save up to 60%, while gaining added flexibility and maneuverability for their devices.
A few years ago, Citrix had two separate products for its virtualization solutions: XenApp and XenDesktop. In 2016, Citrix merged them into a single product; XenDesktop 7. The change was not well received by Citrix customers, and Citrix has split them again into XenApp and XenDesktop from version 7.5 onward. The major difference between XenApp and XenDesktop is the type of virtual desktop delivered to the user. XenDesktop includes all XenApp features and also has a VDI solution, so from this point on we will use the XenDesktop term in this document to refer to Citrix virtualization solution: published applications and virtual desktop infrastructure. Although XenDesktop is the most popular solution in the industry, it has several shortcomings coupled with a very expensive price tag. Due to migration from Independent Management Architecture (IMA) to Flexcast Management Architecture (FMA), there is no option in place to upgrade to XenDesktop 7.x from previous versions of XenApp (5 or 6.X). Therefore, now is the right time to jump ship. In this white paper, we examine how migrating to Parallels Remote Application Server can reduce the costs of an application and virtual desktop delivery solution by more than 60%. Parallels RAS is an easy-to-use, scalable application and desktop delivery solution which has the lowest total cost of ownership amongst its competitors. Considered an industry underdog by many, Parallels Remote Application Server has been in the industry since 2005, and many Citrix customers have already switched to Parallels RAS.
Top 5 Backup and DRaaS Considerations to Strengthen Your Multi-Cloud Strategy
Enterprise IT is embracing multi-cloud as the go-to model for cloud deployments. By 2019, nearly 81% of enterprises will have adopted a multi-cloud strategy. While this trend gives organizations more flexibility overall, it puts added pressure on IT teams to manage backup and recovery in a more complex environment.

Enterprise IT is embracing multi-cloud as the go-to model for cloud deployments. By 2019, nearly 81% of enterprises will have adopted a multi-cloud strategy. While this trend gives organizations more flexibility overall, it puts added pressure on IT teams to manage backup and recovery in a more complex environment.

To reduce complexity and lower costs, it is imperative to deploy a single platform that consolidates management for all of your needs - including both on-premises infrastructure and any public cloud platform you choose.

Which features and functions give you the best opportunity for multi-cloud success?

This special white paper, developed in conjunction with TechTarget, outlines the key factors to consider in maximizing your multi-cloud strategy to achieve:

  • Non-stop business continuity
  • Digital transformation agility
  • Analytics and visibility
  • And more!
Gartner Market Guide for IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools
With the onset of more modular and cloud-centric architectures, many organizations with disparate monitoring tools are reassessing their monitoring landscape. According to Gartner, hybrid IT (especially with IaaS subscription) enterprises must adopt more holistic IT infrastructure monitoring tools (ITIM) to gain visibility into their IT landscapes.

With the onset of more modular and cloud-centric architectures, many organizations with disparate monitoring tools are reassessing their monitoring landscape. According to Gartner, hybrid IT (especially with IaaS subscription) enterprises must adopt more holistic IT infrastructure monitoring tools (ITIM) to gain visibility into their IT landscapes.

The guide provides insight into the IT infrastructure monitoring tool market and providers as well as key findings and recommendations.

Get the 2018 Gartner Market Guide for IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools to see:

  • The ITIM market definition, direction and analysis
  • A list of representative ITIM vendors
  • Recommendations for adoption of ITIM platforms

Key Findings Include:

  • ITIM tools are helping organizations simplify and unify monitoring across domains within a single tool, eliminating the problems of multitool integration.
  • ITIM tools are allowing infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to scale across hybrid infrastructures and emerging architectures (such as containers and microservices).
  • Metrics and data acquired by ITIM tools are being used to derive context enabling visibility for non-IT teams (for example, line of business [LOB] and app owners) to help achieve optimization targets.
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.

HyperCloud Intelligent Cloud Management Platform At-a-Glance
Cloud usage is on the rise. Whether organizations choose a public, private, or hybrid cloud model, the goal is to bring significant productivity enhancements into organizational processes. These enhancements result in higher efficiency, simplified administration, business agility, and increased cost savings from IT standardization. But adopting or moving to the public cloud comes with challenges that include choosing the right technology, incorporating team resources, and optimizing cost-efficie
Cloud usage is on the rise. Whether organizations choose a public, private, or hybrid cloud model, the goal is to bring significant productivity enhancements into organizational processes. These enhancements result in higher efficiency, simplified administration, business agility, and increased cost savings from IT standardization. But adopting or moving to the public cloud comes with challenges that include choosing the right technology, incorporating team resources, and optimizing cost-efficiency.

Now, HyperCloud™ intelligent cloud-management platform empowers you with machine learning and cloud analytics to accurately plan and efficiently manage your cloud environments. You can adopt a proactive approach to cost management, as well as governance and security—while managing all your cloud environments at scale with a single pane.

Trusted by enterprises, service providers, and government entities, HyperCloud, transforms your infrastructure and applications while accelerating the transition process, and bridging any gaps, giving you unprecedented management control, both on-premises and off.
10 Benefits to Using a Scale-Out Infrastructure for Secondary Storage
Essential Tips to Protect, Access and Use Data Across On-Premises and Cloud Locations As organizations seek to implement web-scale IT features for their secondary workloads, including data protection, they need to be able to expand, contract, modify their infrastructure quickly and with minimal effort. What’s more, they must be able to deliver expected outcomes reliably and at a lower cost.
Essential Tips to Protect, Access and Use Data Across On-Premises and Cloud Locations

As organizations seek to implement web-scale IT features for their secondary workloads, including data protection, they need to be able to expand, contract, modify their infrastructure quickly and with minimal effort. What’s more, they must be able to deliver expected outcomes reliably and at a lower cost.

Scale-out infrastructure is a new solution rising to meet these challenges. Offering a single platform for shared compute and storage resources, a scale-out infrastructure simplifies storage for high-volume secondary data and processes enabling organizations to deliver expected outcomes reliably, with greater scalability, and at lower cost. Consider these ten reasons to take a unified approach for your data protection and secondary storage and discover a more agile way to protect, access and use data across your on-premises and cloud locations.
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