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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

IGEL Powers Rich Multimedia Computing Experience for Fulton Financial Corporation
In an effort to optimize the productivity of its employees and enable them to have more time to focus on their customers, Fulton sought to upgrade the thin clients for its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure. With the help of its Citrix partner and IGEL Platinum Partner, Plan B Technologies, Fulton selected the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD6) thin clients featuring Intel Celeron J1900 Quad-Core processors and the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS).

Fulton Financial Corporation has a long and storied history that began in 1882 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where local merchants
and farmers organized Fulton National Bank. The bank’s name was chosen to honor Lancaster County native Robert Fulton, the inventor and artist best known for designing and building the Clermont, the first successful steamboat.

In an effort to optimize the productivity of its employees and enable them to have more time to focus on their customers, Fulton sought to upgrade the thin clients for its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure, with the help of its Citrix partner and IGEL Platinum Partner, Plan B Technologies.

In selecting a desktop computing solution to support its Citrix application virtualization infrastructure, Fulton had one unique business requirement, they were looking for a solution that would mirror the experience provided by a Windows PC, without actually being a Windows PC.

During the evaluation process, Fulton looked at thin clients from IGEL and another leading manufacturer, conducting a “bake-off” of several models including the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD6). Fulton like the fact that IGEL is forward- thinking in designing its desktop computing solutions, and began its IGEL roll-out by purchasing 2,300 IGEL UD6 thin clients in 2016 for its headquarters and branch offices, and plans to complete the roll out of IGEL thin clients to the remainder of its 3,700 employees in the coming months. The bank is also leveraging the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) to manage its fleet of IGEL thin clients.

Charity Golf Tournament Sponsorship Results in a Hole-in-One for IGEL and Lockton Companies
Lockton was in the midst of a Citrix VDI roll-out when one of its thin client manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using to power its endpoints. This presented a number of challenges that the Lockton team needed to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out. Lockton was introduced to IGEL by Choice Solutions, an IGEL Platinum Partner, and selected the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD2-LX); IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS); IGEL Universal D

Although Lockton is the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm, clients most frequently describe the insurance broker as team members who make their businesses better. Energy, innovation and deep expertise fuel Lockton’s focus on solving its clients’ problems and achieving real results.

It is this spirit of innovation that led Lockton to recently embark on the deployment of Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at its headquarters in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, MO., and local office locations across the United States and around the globe.

Lockton was about a quarter of the way through its Cirrus VDI deployment when one of its thin client manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using, without warning. This presented a number of challenges that Lockton’s IT team was unable to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out.

Around the same time Lockton was experiencing issues with the thin client manufacturer, they participated in a charity golf tournament in Kansas City that was hosted by IGEL Platinum Partner Choice Solutions and sponsored by IGEL. Following the golf tournament, Lockton tested the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD2-LX) and the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) management console. The insurer realized immediately that the superior design and secure infrastructure management capabilities would make it possible for them to easily manage their entire network of thin clients in the U.S. from the company’s headquarters in Kansas City, and this was a key selling point.

To date, with the help of Choice Solutions, Lockton has deployed 1,200 IGEL UD2-LX thin clients and expected that number to increase to 1,800 by the end of 2017. Lockton also has a small number of licenses for the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter software which they are leveraging to turn hardware from other thin client manufacturers into IGEL-powered endpoints. Additionally, the insurer is using the IGEL UD Pocket to deliver the IGEL desktop to employees using legacy thin client hardware.

Ease of Management and Flexibility Lead to Long-Term Relationship for IGEL at Texas Credit Union
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union was looking for a more powerful endpoint computing solution to deliver e-mail and core financial applications through its Citrix-based infrastructure to its end-users, and IGEL’s Universal Desktop thin clients and Universal Management Suite (UMS) software fit the bill.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is more than just a bank. It is a financial cooperative intent on helping its members save time, save money and earn money. Over the years, the credit union has grown from providing financial resources to military service members and their families to serving hundreds of thousands of members across Texas and around the world. RBFCU has a presence in three major market areas — Austin, Dallas and San Antonio — and has more than 55 branches dedicated to serving members and the community.

First and foremost, RBFCU is people. It’s the more than 1,800 employees who serve members’ needs each day. It’s the senior team and Board of Directors that guide the credit union’s growth. It’s the members who give their support and loyalty to the credit union each day.

To help its employees provide the credit union’s members with the highest levels of services and support, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union relies on IGEL’s endpoint computing solutions.

Omaha School District Leverages IGEL’s Revolutionary Micro Client
Millard Public Schools is currently leveraging the IGEL UD Pocket, a revolutionary micro client, inside the district’s computer-aided design (CAD) classrooms to securely and cost-effectively deliver Autodesk software to their CAD students via a Citrix virtual desktop.
Millard Public Schools was looking for a secure and cost-effective way to deliver graphics intensive CAD applications to students via Citrix virtual desktops. The school district selected the IGEL UD Pocket and is now leveraging the micro thin client inside its CAD classrooms. Some of the key benefits the district has experienced as a result of the IGEL solution include ease of management and configuration, time and cost savings, support for a robust multimedia experience, and enhanced endpoint security as students are now only able to access their Windows-based, GPU-enabled virtual desktops from a secured Linux-based endpoint.
Austin Solution Provider Powers DaaS Offering with IGEL and Parallels
In 2014, Austin-based Trinsic Technologies introduced Anytime Cloud. Anytime Cloud is a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution designed to help SMB clients improve the end user computing experience and streamline business operations. Through Anytime Cloud, customers gain access to the latest cloud and virtualization technologies using IGEL thin clients with Parallels, a virtual application and desktop delivery software application.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Trinsic Technologies is a technology solutions provider focused on delivering managed IT and cloud solutions to SMBs since 2005.

In 2014, Trinsic introduced Anytime Cloud, a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) designed to help SMB clients improve the end user computing experience and streamline business operations. To support Anytime Cloud, the solution provider was looking for a desktop delivery and endpoint management solution that would fulfill a variety of different end user needs and requirements across the multiple industries it serves. Trinsic also wanted a solution that provided ease of management and robust security features for clients operating within regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services.

The solution provider selected the IGEL Universal Desktop (UD) thin clients, the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC), the IGEL OS and the IGEL Universal Management Suite. As a result, some of the key benefits Trinsic has experienced include ease of management and configuration, security and data protection, improved resource allocation and cost savings.

A Journey Through Hybrid IT and the Cloud
How to navigate between the trenches. Hybrid IT has moved from buzzword status to reality and organizations are realizing its potential impact. Some aspects of your infrastructure may remain in a traditional setting, while another part runs on cloud infrastructure—causing great complexity. So, what does this mean for you?

How to navigate between the trenches

Hybrid IT has moved from buzzword status to reality and organizations are realizing its potential impact. Some aspects of your infrastructure may remain in a traditional setting, while another part runs on cloud infrastructure—causing great complexity. So, what does this mean for you?
 
“A Journey Through Hybrid IT and the Cloud” provides insight on:

  • What Hybrid IT means for the network, storage, compute, monitoringand your staff
  • Real world examples that can occur along your journey (what did vs. didn’t work)
  • How to educate employees on Hybrid IT and the Cloud
  • Proactively searching out technical solutions to real business challenges
Top 10 Reasons to Adopt Software-Defined Storage
In this brief, learn about the top ten reasons why businesses are adopting software-defined storage to empower their existing and new storage investments with greater performance, availability and functionality.
DataCore delivers a software-defined architecture that empowers existing and new storage investments with greater performance, availability and functionality. But don’t take our word for it. We decided to poll our customers to learn what motivated them to adopt software-defined storage. As a result, we came up with the top 10 reasons our customers have adopted software-defined storage.
Download this white paper to learn about:
•    How software-defined storage protects investments, reduces costs, and enables greater buying power
•    How you can protect critical data, increase application performance, and ensure high-availability
•    Why 10,000 customers have chosen DataCore’s software-defined storage solution
PrinterLogic and IGEL Enable Healthcare Organizations to Deliver Better Patient Outcomes
Healthcare professionals need to print effortlessly and reliably to nearby or appropriate printers within virtual environments, and PrinterLogic and IGEL can help make that an easy, reliable process—all while efficiently maintaining the protection of confidential patient information.

Many organizations have turned to virtualizing user endpoints to help reduce capital and operational expenses while increasing security. This is especially true within healthcare, where hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers seek to offer the best possible patient outcomes while adhering to a variety of mandated patient security and information privacy requirements.

With the movement of desktops and applications into the secure data center or cloud, the need for reliable printing of documents, some very sensitive in nature, remains a constant that can be challenging when desktops are virtual but the printing process remains physical. Directing print jobs to the correct printer with the correct physical access rights in the correct location while ensuring compliance with key healthcare mandates like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is critical.

Healthcare IT needs to keep pace with these requirements and the ongoing printing demands of healthcare. Medical professionals need to print effortlessly and reliably to nearby or appropriate printers within virtual environments, and PrinterLogic and IGEL can help make that an easy, reliable process—all while efficiently maintaining the protection of confidential patient information. By combining PrinterLogic’s enterprise print management software with centrally managed direct IP printing and IGEL’s software-defined thin client endpoint management, healthcare organizations can:

  • Reduce capital and operational costs
  • Support virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and electronic medical records (EMR) systems effectively
  • Centralize and simplify print management
  • Add an essential layer of security from the target printer all the way to the network edge
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.

Modernized Backup for Open VMs
Catalogic vProtect is an agentless enterprise backup solution for Open VM environments such as RedHat Virtualization, Nutanix Acropolis, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Oracle VM, PowerKVM, KVM for IBM z, oVirt, Proxmox and Xen. vProtect enables VM-level protection and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software such as IBM Spectrum Protect, Veritas NetBackup or Dell-EMC Networker. It is easy to use and affordable.
Catalogic vProtect is an agentless enterprise backup solution for Open VM environments such as RedHat Virtualization, Nutanix Acropolis, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Oracle VM, PowerKVM, KVM for IBM z, oVirt, Proxmox and Xen.  vProtect enables VM-level protection and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software such as IBM Spectrum Protect, Veritas NetBackup or Dell-EMC Networker. It is easy to use and affordable.
Modernized Backup for Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor
Catalogic vProtect is an agentless enterprise backup solution for Nutanix Acropolis. vProtect enables VM-level protection with incremental backups, and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software such as IBM Spectrum Protect, Veritas NetBackup or Dell-EMC Networker. It is easy to use and affordable. It also supports Open VM environments such as RedHat Virtualization, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Oracle VM, and Proxmox.
Catalogic vProtect is an agentless enterprise backup solution for Nutanix Acropolis. vProtect enables VM-level protection with incremental backups, and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software such as IBM Spectrum Protect, Veritas NetBackup or Dell-EMC Networker. It is easy to use and affordable.  It also supports Open VM environments such as RedHat Virtualization, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Oracle VM, and Proxmox.
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.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Cost Calculator
Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs! Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!

Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs!

Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!  

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!