Rick's Tech Gab

A little Gab about this and that, but mainly Technology!!

Windows 10 Connecting to a VPN

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It used to be a simple task to connect to a VPN with a couple of mouse clicks, but something that has bothered me for some time is the amount of time it takes in Windows 10 with the new UI. Today I finally just got tired of all the clicking to connect, and then the same to disconnect.

I did a quick Google search and most of them required the use of BAT files, which is ok… But not if you have many different VPNs you may want to connect too.

So during this search I came across rasphone.exe, this is located at “C:\Windows\System32\rasphone.exe”

All you need to do is create a shortcut to this on your desktop

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Change the Icon to what you would like

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Even go ahead and pin it to your taskbar, or start menu, up to yourself at this point.

But when you launch this shortcut you now get a dialog where you can select any of your configured VPNs to connect.

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Once you are connected, if you launch the shortcut again, you can disconnect.

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If you do want to pin it to always one connection you can use the shortcut to add some switches.

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like this, and it will always launch V – VPN connection.

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But for me the simple shortcut does the job for what I need.

Just wanted to share, if this doesn’t work for you more options to exist, and they work just as well.

Written by rickrbyrne

May 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

Stay Connected with Edmonton VMUG

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I want our community to be like this!

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Not like this!

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We are working to provide an option for everyone to connect with the Edmonton VMUG. People use different means to socially connect, and we have done the following to help!

Email: Edmonton@VMUG.com

Twitter: @edmontonVMUG

Meet-up: http://www.meetup.com/Edmonton-VMware-User-Group-Meetup/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4615988

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/254278611574863/

VMUG: http://www.vmug.com/edmonton

We can do more, but I think this is a good start. I don’t see the need for anymore at the moment, and of course I do have to keep all this updated Smile 

Now… What do I need from the community. I need you to be active and just pick one, only one to stay connected with us and spread the value of the community.

Please share!!

Written by rickrbyrne

March 26, 2016 at 11:37 am

Posted in Community, VMUG, VMWARE

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Life is about change… Another one for me

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Veeam Backup and Replication has been a love of mine since I first ran into them at VMworld 2009, since that time I have not used anything else to protect my virtual infrastructure. To the point that early 2013 I started to work for Veeam. Let’s say that working for Veeam has not changed my feeling about the company or product one bit. If anything I think more highly of them today. Before I go into the change I am making, I want to say this has nothing to do with Veeam as a company or product. My family has decided they would rather see more of me…… very surprising but they seem to like me around the house, must be my stunning looks, no don’t think it is…. more honey “to do list” I think. Long story short, that leads me to leaving Veeam Software and joining Nimble Storage.

I figured instead of just saying that I was joining Nimble Storage, I should give some of my reasoning behind why Nimble.

I started hearing about Nimble Storage late 2010, when a couple of guys showed up to my office for a meeting with me and my Manager, at the time we were to invested in our current storage provider to consider them even though the product pitch sounded amazing.

In 2011 I started with a new company, after my first couple of weeks, I knew I needed two things, a better data protection strategy and storage. Of course the first thing I did was go ahead and buy Veeam and deploy. But the storage decision took more thought and consideration because at this time the storage start-ups were numerous. I started to scour the internet and do my research, and everything I wanted landed in the Nimble Storage playground. Went ahead and looked up my old contacts and called them in and ended up going with Nimble for my storage. I have condensed the story, if you want to read the rest I did a blog a long time ago “Nimble Storage My Story”

I have been asked by a couple of people, why would I want to sell a box….. Ummm found that very interesting because I don’t consider Nimble’s offering as a box. Sure it is a storage appliance, sure it includes everything you need for you storage needs. But one key piece of the puzzle those people have been missing is the way Nimble has been developed from the ground up to use compute resources as the cap for the amount of IOPs you can get from a disk subsystem. Plus the amount of features they have added at no cost to current customers, and no need to rip and replace the old hardware they purchased. It’s not just a box, it is a end to end solution for all your storage needs no matter what performance you may require.

The Nimble device that I bought back in early 2012 was a CS220, what did it come with?

  • Disk of course
  • 1GbE
  • Compression
  • Web Interface
  • Integrated Protection

Doesn’t seem like much, but wait to see what has been added over the last 2 years, I may be missing things that’s for sure…..

  • Scale-to-fit, and Scale Out (Add Capacity, Increase Cache and Compute, Storage Clusters)
  • Nimble Connect Manager for VMware/Windows
  • InfoSight (Your Dashboard for your entire Nimble Infrastructure)
  • Increased Compression
  • Increased Performance
  • vCenter Plugin (greatly reduces administration effort for VMware)
  • All Flash Shelves
  • New product lines (CS215, CS300, CS500, and CS700)
  • Cloud Storage Solutions
  • Not to mention feature enhancements (Triple Parity RAID, VLAN Tagging, Simplified Configuration, Role Based Authentication, and the list goes on)
  • Nimble Connect (Community driven forum)

Plus they have also talked about other things that are coming

  • VM/VMDK statistics collection inside of InfoSight
  • Storage sizing tool
  • FC protocol

Please look at the Nimble Storage presentations that just occurred at Storage Field Day 6 for more detailed information

Just to add to this, I have stayed close with the company that I implemented the CS220. When I was there we did add capacity to it by means of a shelf. They have recently upgraded the controllers to 10GbE, and also just added a CS300 to the infrastructure. The nice thing about all these upgrades, and changes, it never required one maintenance window or downtime. Even though the CS220 is over 2 years old today, it still benefits from the features and enhancements that Nimble has built in over the years, even more performance, and storage space savings.

This all comes down to why I am joining Nimble Storage. It is another great company that is adds innovation into their product line, and not just looking for ways to generate more profit. They care about their customers by providing extra features at no cost, and I believe one of the best support models in the market.

I look forward to watching the company grow and flourish, but I didn’t want to watch from the side lines anymore.

Don’t forget to head over to www.NimbleStorage.com and have a look for yourself.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Written by rickrbyrne

November 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Want to present at a VMUG? FeedForward can Help!!

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Everyone enjoys coming out to the VMUG, I know in Edmonton we get great community involvement at every event. We all get a chance to talk with old friends and meet new ones.

The normal agenda for a VMUG, is the leaders get some vendors to come out and support the community, we listen to a technical session or two, we chat, ask questions, share experiences,  and at the end we try to do our best to persuade one of the community members to get up and present at the next meeting…… The room normally turns to silence….. why?

It’s not because our members don’t have anything to present, its usually the fear factor of getting up in front of a room full of people, and having to present. We all remember the high-school days, where we go and hide the minute the teacher is looking for someone to get up in the front of the class.

Well…. time to change and get up and speak at your next VMUG. Plus get mentoring from some of the best presenters out there.

I remember the first time I had to get up in front of a room full of people, it was gut wrenching! However I made it through it and have presented more times now than I can remember. But you know what I wish I had during that time, a MENTOR! Learning the hard way was fun, or funny for the people who were watching me learn my way.

This all leads me to FeedForward, something that was started by Mike Laverick, Scott Lowe, and Duncan Epping, to help community members with their presentations, and mentor them though the process of presenting. The great thing about this program is they aren’t going to provide feedback after your present, they are going to help before the presentation, sounds smart doesn’t it Winking smile

You may be asking, how do I find out more, and how can I join this program and start developing some amazing presentation skills and not just be a fly on the wall at the VMUG, and be the person up there doing the talking.

Join the Program: http://www.vmug.com/feedforward

Find out more on the program: http://vmugvoice.vmug.com/2014/February14.htm

Now Mike, Scott, and Duncan can’t mentor everyone that’s why there is a call out for more mentor’s. I tossed my hat in the pile. Either way go check it out and decide how you would like to participate.

Also please follow FeedForward on Twitter @feed4ward, and use the Hashtag #FeedForward

Look forward to seeing you at the VMUG.

Written by rickrbyrne

April 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Posted in VMUG, VMWARE

Tagged with , ,

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange 2013 Beta

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Everyone who uses Veeam today is familiar with the product Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. It has made item level recovery a dream; you almost wish people would delete email, just to use it….. no not really, but that is how simplified the process is. Version 6.5 supports Microsoft Exchange 2010, however today you can get the Beta for version 7 that supports both Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013. The beta works great; it will be fully integrated with Veeam Backup and Replication v7. With the beta not everything works as seamless when it comes to mounting the backup directly to the Veeam Explorer console, but it will when it is fully released. If you would like to download the Beta head over to Veeam and get started.

What has the new version brought to the table?

· Support for Exchange 2013

· Improved engine of restoring items back to the Exchange Server

What Features do you get?

· Explorer like interface that allows you to look into your Exchange Backups and locate things quickly with a familiar interface.

· Search capabilities across one or many mailboxes; quickly find what you are looking for.

· Ability to export to a PST file with no commands to run, export to MSG files to store in a folder, or send as attachments.

· Recover to the original mailbox or a different one.

· No Agents! For backup or restores

· No need to restore the backup

· No special backup, if you already have Exchange 2013 backups you can even use them. Even if the backups came from another source. You just need to point the tool to the Exchange Database File (EDB)

Beta Requirements

· Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

· Microsoft Windows 2008 or later (64-bit)

· Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013

· Microsoft Outlook 2010 or later 64-bit, only if you want to export PST

Install

**To install the v7 Veeam Explorer you will need to uninstall the previous version.

Go to the Control Panel, and launch “Program and Features” and remove “Veeam Explorer for Exchange”

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Extract the files from “Veeam_Explorer_for_Exchange_7.0.0.481” you should now be able to execute “VeeamExplorerForExchange.msi”

The first screen you will see is the welcome screen, click “Next”

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Accept the “EULA”

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Choose your install location.

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At this point you are ready to install

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Within a few seconds the install is complete.

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Now the real work begins, Restore time

With the beta version like I mentioned above you need to do a couple of extra steps. Please remember these extra steps are just for the beta, and when it is fully released you will not have to do this.

Open up the Veeam Backup & Replication console. In the left window expand “Backups” and click on “Disk”, in the right window you will now see all your backups. Expand the disk that contains your Exchange 2013 backup. Right click the backup and select “Restore Guest File (Windows)”. This will mount the backup to your Backup Server. In my setup the location is “C:\VeeamFLR\Exchange02”.

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At this point you should see the “Restore Wizard” pick the restore point you would like to recover data from.

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Click “Next” and enter in a restore reason if you would like.

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Click “Finish” and wait a few moments while the backup mounts to your server.

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At this point you should see the following screen. In the ribbon at the top of the screen you will see “Exchange Items” we are now going to click that and it will launch the Veeam Explorer Console. clip_image013

If this is your first time running the Veeam Explorer console, we do need to do one extra step. We need to provide the application with the Exchange Database Storage Engine file (ese.dll) you can locate this file from your Exchange server. In my setup I have copied the file to my backup server and stored it in a folder on the C Drive called ExchangeDLL. The location of the file on your Exchange Server resides in the bin folder my setup its located at “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin” Once you have copied the file to your backup server we are going to point Veeam Explorer to the proper location. **You only have to do this once**

Click “Options”

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Click “Browse” for the version of the ese.dll you want to specify.

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Locate the file you copied from your Exchange Server, click “open” then click “ok”.

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This is the section where we point Veeam Explorer to the mailbox database. Click “Add Store”

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You will be prompted with the following window. You now need to locate your EDB file, you may have more than one Mailbox Database, if you do select the one where the mailbox resides that you need.

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The file location will vary, depending on your setup. However the database file will be in the same folder location as it is on your Exchange Server. Remember all we are doing is looking at a mounted copy of your Exchanger Server Backup. Once you have the file located, select it and click “open”

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You are now told “online Exchange backup detected, log replay is required” this is normal, and now the logs will be replayed to the database. Click “Recover”

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Explorer view of your Exchange Database is visible. From here you can see all users who are located in this mailbox database.

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We are going to go ahead and restore some items. But first we need to delete some! From my Administrator account I am going to go ahead and delete everything from the account including e-mails, calendar items, and tasks. You will need to take my word for it. Like I said I deleted everything from my account, I want to restore all the items. Here I could go and restore the entire administrator mailbox, but I want more control. In this example I will go ahead and use the “Advanced Find” and add the criteria that I want to show any item over 1KB in size which happens to be everything in that account.

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At this point I am ready to restore the email back to it original location. I have selected all the items I want to recover, right clicked an item and click “Restore to…”

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If you notice from the information below, I am also restoring this email to a server that is not part of the same domain as my backup server. But it is no issue; we have the ability to specify different credentials. I populated the Mailbox account I want to restore the items, but this could have been any mail account in my Exchange Organization.

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The CAS server address should be populated; you can change this if you must. You can also select the location to restore the items; you can put everything back to the original location or specify a different folder.

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Here you can select if you want to only restore changed items, deleted items, and if you would like to mark all restored items as unread.

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Once you hit restore you will see a status window.

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When the Job completes you will get a status window to let you know the outcome of the restore. In my case I didn’t delete a contact so the items merged. Even though this was a small restore it only took 15 seconds! Imagine the hero you can become when you can restore items to someone’s email within a few minutes.

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You don’t always have to restore to the production Exchange Server. Below I will explain your other options.

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Open: Allows you to open the item within Veeam Explorer to look at the item in more detail.

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Save to .msg file: from here you can save the item as a .msg to a location of your choosing

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Save to Desktop: Will save the file as a .msg to the desktop

Send to: Attaches all the items to an email that you can send directly to another mailbox, and from within Veeam Explorer.

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Export to .PST file: Export a selected amount of items or the entire mailbox to a .PST file. You can specify the filename and the location

Export to Desktop\Mailbox: This will automatically export your selection to the desktop with the name of the mailbox.

Veeam Explorer for Exchange also comes with the Veeam Backup Free Edition. Even with this being a beta feature it is rock solid. If you are not running Veeam today head over to www.veeam.com and check out all the great solutions Veeam has developed to ease the stress for Virtualization administrators around the world. You can always tell the Administrators who run Veeam; they are the ones who look well rested with a simile on their face.

Written by rickrbyrne

June 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm

VMUG Workspaces–Connect with your Community

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Why do we all go to the VMUG Meetings? I know why I go, I enjoy talking with people from my local community, who are like of mind. I gain so much value from being around such a smart group of people, who are usually trying to accomplish the same thing I am trying to do. It’s great to pick their minds and see what they are doing, and what is working for their environments but also what isn’t, no need to go down a rabbit hole if someone else has.

Us IT folks love to talk about what we are doing…. We don’t always do well in the normal social circles, but in our own, when we talk the talk, and people understand what we do, and why we are passionate, we just can’t stay quite. Just look at Twitter, the proof is in the pudding. We use social networking, and reach out to people across border’s and oceans, which is amazing……. and it gives us the ability to reach out to people normally we wouldn’t be able to.

Ok where am I go with this? Local VMUG Workspaces!!!

Local VMUG’s usually only have 4 meetings a year. Is that really enough? Yes, we are all busy in our Careers and personal life. But do you still want to reach out to your local community? I know I do, and that is why I head over to my Local VMUG Workspace, and post a discussion. This way I can easily reach out to my Local peers, and see what they are up too… see if anyone is up for a vBeer, if they can help me with an issue I am experiencing, any study tips for certifications, and so many other things. Couldn’t we also do this with Twitter? We sure can, but why not also post it to your local community and maybe get someone locally to assist who may not use social networking as heavily. I’m not saying lets move away from twitter, but lets give a little bit of love to a great solution also provided to us free of charge.

If you agree with this, head over to your local VMUG workspace when you have a few moments, update your profile, subscribe to the ListServ, and start a new discussion. You may be surprised what may come of it.

If you are reading this, and you aren’t a member of the VMUG head over to www.vmug.com and register today! It opens up a wealth of connections and knowledge. You will get to know your local VMware Reps, Local Members, and more vendor connections then you could imagine.

Written by rickrbyrne

March 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Posted in VMUG, VMWARE

Tagged with , , ,

Feb-27-2013 VMUG Meeting Recap – Dell

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imageFirst of all want to thank everyone for coming out to our 1st Quarter Meeting. In total we had 25 Members come out, it was a good showing but I know we can get more people attending. Everyone who enjoys the VMUG please support the group by telling your peers and friends to come out to the events. You can register for the VMUG by heading over to www.vmug.com and pick your local chapter, join in on the discussions and get ready to meet some great people.

This meeting was Dell sponsored and focused on VDI and the capabilities Dell can offer. We also had a very special guest! We had the honor to have Eric Gales (VP and GM of VMware Canada) come out to the event and talk with us, and then he had a Q and A session.

Eric Gales

First of all Eric got up and did a quick overview of VMware and himself, and left the floor opened for questions. Below I am going to list the questions he was asked and provide the answers he provided in a reduce format. Disclaimer: **** Below is my understanding of his responses ****

Q: Does VMware have Cloud Availability in Canada

A: VMware does offer Cloud Availability within Canada but it is not VMware owned, it is third-party. In time VMware plans to open up their own offering for a public Cloud, but they plan to do this within USA first, and then move it to other locales.

Q: Can you go into a High Level overview of SDDC

A: In a nutshell the SDDC is taking everything that VMware is already famous for, and implementing that across the entire datacenter, and giving you the ability to use your CapEX in a more efficient matter while lowering your OpEx, but not just for your Servers everything from your Switches, Load Balancers, Proxies, Firewalls, Routers, Storage…… and whatever else you can dream of running in the datacenter. One of the main reasons they can now move all the datacenter constructs to Software is because almost everything runs the x86 architecture. This will not happen overnight, and will take time to get up to speed, but VMware is helping drive the future of the Datacenter.

Q: How is VMware positing themselves against Citrix related to Virtual Applications?

A: Not once did he say anything against Citrix. He basically said that ends users want to be able to access their data on any device they please. The End-User experience however is one of the most important things, not all data needs to be accessed in the same way, and this is where Horizon Suite comes into play by allowing the end user access in many different ways; Virtual Application, Virtual Desktop, SAAS, Data, or even XenApp published applications with a portal connection within Horizon Workspaces. The VMware solution reduces the complexity of the setup for the Administrators. This is bringing the ability to not manage the endpoint, and just worry about giving the end user the ability to get to access to information from any device and any where.

Q: How is the third-party support for the SDDC related to Networking?

A: As long as the Third-party vendor supports the x86 architecture they can run it with VMware. VMware will offer solutions that you can also use, with their purchase of Nicira they are ahead of the game. In the vSphere suite over the next 18 months thing will start to appear that will provide these solutions. In some setups you may have no choice but to use a hardware solution to provide the service, however VMware is working with these vendors to utilize API’s to plug into the VMware Software layer.

Q: What should Canada expect from the organizational changes at VMware?

A: The biggest challenges for businesses moving into Canada are the size of the country, and the two languages. Canada should expect to see much better resources that will be able to get to know the customers better. VMware will then be able to understand the Business needs with these customers, which allows them to provide solutions that fit.

Q: What do you think the biggest challenges are for VMware in the next year?

A: Translating the vision of the SDDC into reality, every business wants to spread their CapEX further, and reduce the overall OpEX, and provide end users with their information everywhere, but every environment is different and will take different steps to get towards that vision.

Eric made us all think about the SDDC, and what the Horizon Suite can bring to our Organizations. Below I am just going to provide a little overview of the Horizon Suite, and the idea of the SDDC.

Horizon Suite

The main purpose of the Horizon Suite is to empower IT and users with advantages that move the business forward. It provides a lower TCO of existing PC’s and applications, while providing a robust and reliable end-user computing on any device securely, while allowing centralized management of physical and virtual desktops keeping to business polices.

The pieces that make up the Horizon Suite are the following. Click on the links to head to the VMware Site and get all the information.

Horizon View: This product was formerly known as “View” it’s main purpose is to simplify desktop and application management.

Horizon Mirage: A layered image management solution that separates the PC in logical layers which are owned and managed by either IT or the end user.

Horizon Workspace: Combine applications and data into a single enterprise-class workspace. Provides simpler, centralized, policy-based management for the Administrator, and gives freedom of mobility to the End-User.

VMware Blog for Horizon Suite

Software Defined Datacenter

SDDC is where all compute, storage, networking, security, and availability services are pooled, aggregated, and delivered as software. In very simply terms everything will run in Software! We all know how VMware helped change the role of a system administration, now they are trying to do the same with the entire datacenter, I think we will all enjoy the journey.

Head over to VMware site to see more on the vision of the SDDC

Is your Organization ready for the SDDC

Products to help build the SDDC

VMware vCloud Suite

VMware VMware vSphere

VMware vCloud Networking and Security

VMware vCloud Director

VMware vCloud Connector

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager

VMware vCloud Automation Center

VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite

VMware vFabric Application Director

VMware vFabric Application Performance Manager

VMware IT Business Management

Dell Wsye

First off Dell was up with Geoffrey Bruce and Jerry Landry with the Wsye group. Geoff started the presentation with Mega trends driving IT today; Location based services, social media, mobility, mass consumerization, and big data. Which lead into introducing “Dell cloud client computing” which empowers the IT Department to allow the end user to use any device, from anywhere.

With Dell cloud client computing your users can access data from Thin/Zero Clients, cloud PCs, personal computers, mobile clients, smartphones, tablets, and virtual machines. You can define user types such as task workers, office workers, power workers, or mobile workers. Then apply profiles to those users that will grant access to applications, peripherals, and content. Lastly you can identify the solution the user will use to access their data it could be presentation, VDI, cloud PC, Shared, or Web based.

Next up was Jerry, he talked about Wsye hardware. You have three types of Wsye hardware; flexible thin clients, dedicated zero clients, and familiar cloud PCs. His main focus was on the dedicated zero clients, which includes the P25 and P45. These devices are designed for VMware View and based off the PCoIP hardware tehnology.

Top 3 Benefits

  • Hardware zero client is the most secure endpoint available suitable for government, defense, healthcare, finance and other secure-sector deployments
  • Highest performance client endpoint for virtual desktop and remote workstation deployments
  • Easy to manage and quick to deploy with no OS malware protection or patches required

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All your Wsye clients can be managed from a central location. Below is a product overview for management. This management comes built in with the Dell cloud client management.

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If you would like to learn more about Dell cloud client computing.

Dell vStart and ASM

The last presenter of the day was Jeff Davey with Dell, he talked about Dell vStart, and Dell Active System Manager 7.0 (ASM)

Dell vStart gives you a pre-integrated solution for any size business, Dell helps take the risk out of sizing your virtual deployment.

vStart Hardware
Dell vStart 200, 100 and 50:

Dell vStart 1000:

Your vStart rack is installed in your data center by our expert technicians, who make sure your vStart installation is ready to receive your virtual machines.

To learn more about ASM 7 have a look at the following link ASM

To learn more about vStart have a look at the following link vStart

Written by rickrbyrne

March 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm