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Cloud Transformation: Are you Ready? What about your Team?

Are you ready for cloud transformation?

As the CIO, you know cloud is good for you. Capacity on demand! Independence from hardware… IT as a service, even as self-service… In other words, you know why you are doing it. You fought for, and got the budget allocated, you acquired the best technology, and your trusted consultant has proven to you in a nicely-done POC that the technology works. But you know, it&#rsquo;s not just the technology. Will your cloud fly high and deliver the expected benefits, or fall rock-hard on the shoulders of your IT team? Will your consumers use it, or see it as an additional burden? Will everyone be happy, including those whose job description changes, or worse? So, let’s talk about cloud transformation.

Cloud is based on advanced software technology, specifically server virtualization and cloud management, but that&#rsquo;s not all. Clearly, we are speaking about the people/process/technology transformation here. And there is no one better than Kevin Lees, the chief technologist of IT operations transformation at VMware, to help you understand how to make cloud work for your IT organization. Kevin has recently published a new white paper: Organizing for the Cloud, where he looks at the organizational impacts of cloud transformation from multiple perspectives and provides insights and advice about how to prepare for—and execute—a winning transformation strategy. Download here, or keep reading for a condensed overview.

Kevin starts off by identifying the key differences between the traditional and the cloud-based IT. How do the roles change? Are the responsibilities the same? And who bears the costs?

Then, Kevin defines the steps to the cloud IT model. First, you need to set the target, and set expectations. What are your goals in the end of the day? Is it saving costs? Or improving agility? Or achieving lights-out operations to minimize the human factor&#rsquo;s impact? Once you establish that, we understand better the degree of change, and how to prepare your organization for it.

In the next section, Kevin provides guidance on how to design an effective cloud organizational model as a core requirement of preparing an organization strategy for supporting services in an SDDC-based cloud environment. He offers the team structure where IT becomes muchmore customer focused.

Drilling down deeper into the details, Kevin looks at the roles and responsibilities of different components of the organization, with the goal of creating tighter collaboration across the traditional &#rsquo;plan-build-run&#rdquo; IT paradigm. The paper discusses different teams&#rsquo; charters as they work together to enable the new paradigm of delivering IT as a service to both internal and external constituents. Each team is explained, from the goals to the operating mode, and their relationship to the Line of Business. The paper also goes over a number of individual key roles within the teams, making it a really a hands-on guide into designing and implementing the new organization.

Next, the paper discusses the a cultural aspect and the mind-set shift in how IT interacts with its customers as well as how IT defines, develops, delivers, and manages services for consumption. It covers three key shifts:

  • Service-Oriented, Customer Focused Culture
  • Collaborative Culture
  • Agile-based Culture

And finally, the paper offers a number of critical steps to achieve success with your cloud initiatives. These are based on the vast experience that Kevin and his team have developed while helping VMware customers to reach their goals.

The paper concludes with the invitation to learn more about the VMware SDDC-based cloud solution at www.vmware.com/ solutions/it-outcomes.html, and information about VMware professional services who can help you get started on your cloud journey and achieve the results faster.

 

 

The post Cloud Transformation: Are you Ready? What about your Team? appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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New Fling released – IOInsight

By Sankaran Sivathanu

VMware IOInsight is a tool to help people understand a VM’s storage I/O behavior. By understanding their VM’s I/O characteristics, customers can make better decisions about storage capacity planning and performance tuning. IOInsight ships as a virtual appliance that can be deployed in any vSphere environment and includes an intuitive web-based UI that allows users to choose VMDKs to monitor and view results.

Where does IOInsight help?

  • Customers may better tune and size their storage.
  • When contacting VMware Support for any vSphere storage issues, including a reportfromIOInsight can help VMware Support better understand the issues and can potentially lead to faster resolutions.
  • VMware Engineering can optimize products with a better understanding of various customers’ application behavior.

IOInsight captures I/O traces from ESXi and generates various aggregated metrics that represent the I/O behavior. The IOInsight report contains only these aggregated metrics and there is no sensitive information about the application itself. In addition to the built-in metrics computed by IOInsight, users can also write new analyzer plugins to IOInsight and visualize the results. A comprehensive SDK and development guide is included in the download bundle.

The fling works with vSphere 5.5 or above and can be downloaded athttps://labs.vmware.com/flings/ioinsight.

The post New Fling released – IOInsight appeared first on VMware VROOM! Blog.

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Un’opportunità da cogliere

Ian Evans, Vice-presidente End User Computing EMEA di VMware parla delle opportunità per i partner EUC per il 2017 e di come la mobilità possa essere il &#rsquo;cavallo di Troia&#rdquo; per arrivare ai CIO.

Circa cinque anni fa, il workplace ha iniziato un processo di rivoluzionario cambiamento. Le persone hanno iniziato a pensare che le applicazioni e la navigazione fosseroimportanti tanto quanto l&#rsquo;utilizzo delle email e, con il conseguente inizio della saturazione degli smartphone sul mercato, iniziammo a allontanarci dal desktop.

Siamo in un momento nel quale le aziende si sono rese conto che la rivoluzione digitale e il business possono aiutare i collaboratori a essere più produttivi, potendo lavorare sui propri dispositivi mobile.

Questo porta a una focalizzazione sulla user experience e su come unificarla senza tener conto di quale device venga utilizzato o dove sia l&#rsquo;utilizzatore finale. Sia che gli utenti stiano lavorando da un&#rsquo;automobile con il proprio tablet, sia che stiano facendo un meeting con il cliente al cellulare, essi necessitano di applicazioni che costantemente operino nella stessa maniera.

Gli utenti oggi necessitano di piattaforme che permettano di rispecchiare chi l&#rsquo;utente vuole essere, come vuole accedere e quando. È&#rsquo; l&#rsquo;unica maniera per permettere alle persone di lavorare meglio. Tutti i fornitori di software hanno bisogno di essere mobile-enabler – tutto sta nell&#rsquo;avere gli insight che permettano di dare alle persone giuste la giusta applicazione per il lavoro che essi devono svolgere.

I partner che hanno compreso tutto questo, si riveleranno quelli di maggior successo, e continueranno ad esserlo per tutto il 2017. I clienti di questi partner potranno percepire l&#rsquo;effetto immediato dell&#rsquo;ottimo lavoro che stanno facendo, facendosi supportare con costanza nel loro percorso verso il mobile. Vogliamo dare la possibilità ai nostri partner di muoversi da un approccio &#rsquo;solution-based&#rdquo;, in modo da aiutare i propri clienti nel percorso che li porterà a essere più digitali. Al fine di essere profittevoli, i partner hanno la necessità di vedere che un progetto da 1 milione di euro possa espandersi fino a 3 volte tanto. Essi non solo possono offrire una soluzione di mobilità ma possono anche offrire app management e sicurezza, per esempio.

Il mobile è sempre stato il &#rsquo;cavallo di Troia&#rdquo; per arrivare ai CIO – e oggi lo è ancora di più, specialmente perché nel 2017 ci si aspetta che molte aziende intraprenderanno un percorso di trasformazione digitale. Oggi la mobilità è entusiasmante e certamente è riconosciuta dal senior management come qualcosa che possa servire a trattenere il proprio staff o attrarre forza lavoro giovane. Con le nostre soluzioni i partner possono dire: &#rsquo;noi sappiamo come rendere le vostre persone più produttive, efficienti e felici&#rdquo; – e questo è il messaggio a cui il board presta attenzione.

Quindi, cosa significa tutto questo? Nel 2017 vogliamo incoraggiare i nostri partner a non stare immobili – e anzi a provare nuove cose. Noi vogliamo far cogliere loro tutte le opportunità che gli si presentano.

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FREE WEBINAR: Plan Your Migration from XenApp/XenDesktop to Citrix Cloud

As technology continues to evolve, cloud-based solutions become more attractive to IT departments due to their flexibility, scalability, and reduced Capital Expenditure. As your organization begins planning and evaluating your Cloud options, it’s good to have a game plan in …


  

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View the 2016 CSP Survey Results Via An On-Demand Webinar!

A new CSP survey report from the Citrix Service Provider Center of Excellence has highlighted many interesting trends observed by our Citrix Service Providers (CSPs).

Some of the highlights of the report are:

  • The Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) market has matured and


  

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Our New Corporate Story: Accelerating Digital Business Transformation

Read our corporate story to see how Business and IT leaders are aligning on a core set of business outcomes as they experience the benefits of digital transformation. It highlights our joint customers’ top-line business goals, so that together, we can help accelerate those outcomes by focusing on four strategic IT priorities.

The post Our New Corporate Story: Accelerating Digital Business Transformation appeared first on Partner News.

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Citrix Connection is Slow? Not really!

Sometimes we hear from end users that their Citrix applications or desktops are “slow today.” Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop are usually the first suspects when the user experience is not on par with expectations. This results in a higher than


  

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The View from RSA: Securing the New Era of Business

Last week’s RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco came at a critical time, as organizations seek to reconcile the tremendous opportunities offered by new technologies with the the constantly evolving cyberthreats that challenge the security of enterprise apps, data, networks,


  

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Cloud-First Doesn’t Mean Cloud Only: Announcing Trade-Up Promos to Citrix Cloud Services

While many enterprises see the advantages of a move to the cloud, they can be overwhelmed by the potential costs and complexities involved. Citrix Cloud offers a way to simplify that process, and today we are announcing new trade-up promotions


  

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vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Video Guide

[this post originally posted at virtualjad.com]

Welcome to the vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation VIDEO Guide. This is a collection of all the videos making up the full vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Guide.

The guide (and these videos) was put together to help you deploy and configure a highly-available, production-worthy vRealize Automation 7.2 distributed environment, complete with SDDC integration (e.g. VSAN, NSX), extensibility examples and ecosystem integrations. The design assumes VMware NSX will provide the load balancing capabilities and includes details on deploying and configuring NSX from from scratch to deliver these capabilities.

Be sure to refer back to the full guidefor detailed configuration steps or more info on any given topic.

01, Introduction

High-LevelOverview

  • Production deployments of vRealize Automation (vRA) should be configured for high availability (HA)
  • The vRA Deployment Wizard supports Minimal (staging / POC) and Enterprise (distributed / HA) for production-ready deployments, per the Reference Architecture
  • Enterprise deployments require external load balancing services to support high availability and load distribution for several vRA services
  • VMware validates (and documents) distributed deployments with F5 and NSX load balancers
  • This document provides a sample configuration of a vRealize Automation 7.2 Distributed HA Deployment Architecture using VMware NSX for load balancing

Implementation Overview

To set the stage, here&#rsquo;s a high-level view of the vRA nodes that will be deployed in this exercise. While a vRA POC can typically be done with 2 nodes (vRA VA + IaaS node on Windows), a distributed deployment can scale to anywhere from 4 (min) to a dozen or more components. This will depend on the expected scale, primarily driven by user access and concurrent operations. We will be deploying six (6) nodes in total – two (2) vRA appliances and four (4) Windows machines to support vRA&#rsquo;s IaaS services. This is equivalent to somewhere between a &#rsquo;small&#rdquo; and &#rsquo;medium&#rdquo; enterprise deployment. It&#rsquo;s a good balance of scale and supportability starting point.

 

02, Deploy and Configure NSX

We will be leveraging VMware NSX in this implementation to provide the load balancing services for the vRA deployment as well as integrating into vRA for application-centric network and security. Before any of this is possible, we must deploy NSX to the vSphere cluster, prepare the hosts, and configure logical network services. The guide assumes the use of NSX for these services, but this is NOT a requirement. A distributed installation of vRA can be accomplished with most load balancers. VMware certifies NSX, F5, and NetScaler.

(You can skip this section if you do not plan on using NSX in your environment)

 

03, Deploy vRA Virtual Appliances

The vRA virtual appliance (OVA) is downloaded from vmware.com and deployed to a vSphere environment. In a distributed deployment, you will deploy both primary and secondary nodes ahead of kicking off the deployment wizard.

The VA also includes the latest IaaS installers, including the required management agent (that will be covered in the next section).

 

04, Prepare IaaS Hosts

vRA&#rsquo;s IaaS engine is a .net-based application that is installed on a number of dedicated Windows machines. In the old days, the IaaS components were manually installed, configured and registered with the vRA appliance(s). This included manual installation of many prerequisites. The effort was quite tedious and error-prone, especially in a large distributed environment.

In vRA 7.0 and higher, the installation and configuration of system prerequisites and IaaS components has been fully automated by the Deployment Wizard. But prior to kicking off the wizard, the vRA Management Agent needs to be installed on each IaaS host. Once installed, the host is registered with the primary virtual appliance and made available for IaaS installation during the deployment. While the Deployment Wizard will automatically push most of the prerequisites (after a prerequisite check), you have the option to install any or all of the prereqs ahead of time. However, the wizard&#rsquo;s success rate has improved greatly and is the preferred method for most environments.

 

05, Deployment Wizard

The Deployment Wizard is invoked by logging into the primary VA&#rsquo;s Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) using the configured root account. Once logged in, the admin is immediately presented with the new Deployment Wizard UI. The wizard will provide a choice of a minimal (POC, small) or enterprise (HA, distributed) deployment then, based on the desired deployment type, will walk you through a series of configuration details needed for the various working parts of vRA, including all the windows-based IaaS components and dependencies. For HA deployments, all the core components are automatically clustered and made highly-available based on these inputs.

In both Minimal and Enterprise deployments, the IaaS components (Manager Service, Web Service, DEMs, and Agents) are automatically pushed to available windows IaaS servers made available to the installer thanks to the management agent.

 

06.1, NSX Load Balancer Configuration

Next we&#rsquo;ll be configuring load balancing and high availability policies for the distributed components. An NSX Edge Service Gateway (ESG) will be providing the load balancing and availability services to vRA as an infrastructure service. vRA supports In-Line and One-Arm load balancing policies. This implementation will be based on an In-Line configuration, where the vRA nodes and the load balancer VIPs are on the same subnet.

(If you do not plan on using NSX for HA services, you can skip this configuration)

 

07, Initial Tenant Configuration

vIDM is policy-driven and adds a significant amount capability over the IDVA. vRA 7 customers will gain many of the OOTB capabilities of the stand-alone vIDM product and be able to configure and manage these features directly with the vRA UI. For anyone who has used vIDM as a stand-alone solution or as part of another product (e.g. Horizon Workspace), configuring vIDM will be just as straight forward. But even if you&#rsquo;ve never configured it before, it is intuitive and walks you through the logical steps of setting up auth sources and advanced policies…

For Active Directory integration, vIDM Directories are configured to sync with one or more domains. AD can be configured as the exclusive provider, a backup (e.g. when 2FA fails), or as part of a more complex authentication policy. Several AD-specific policies are available to fit most use cases. vRA itself does not query AD directly. Instead, only the vIDM Connector communicates with the configured AD providers and performs a database sync (AD -> Local vPostgresDB) based on the configured sync policy. In addition to AD, vRA 7.1 added support for LDAP auth stores.

 

08, IaaS Fabric Configuration

The IaaS Fabric is made up of all the infrastructure components that are configured to provide aggregate resources to provisioned machines and applications. vRA’s IaaS Fabric is made up of several logical constructs that are configured to identify and collect private and public cloud resources (Endpoints), aggregate those resources into manageable segments (Fabric Groups), and sub-allocate hybrid resources (Reservations) to the consumers (Business Groups).

 

09, Creating IaaS Blueprints

A Blueprint is a logical definition of a given application or service and must be create prior to publishing that service in the service catalog. That includes all traditional IaaS (Windows / Linux / Multi-Tier Apps), containerized applications, and XaaS (anything as a service). An IaaS blueprint also defines the resource configuration logic for the included service(s), including CPU, memory, storage, and network resource allocations for a given machine component and defines the workflow that will be used to provision the machine(s) at request time, depending on the desired outcome.

The Converged Blueprint (CBP) Designer is a single, converged designer for all blueprint authoring. Blueprints are now built on a dynamic drag-n-drop design canvas, allowing admins to choose any supported components, drag them on to the canvas, build dependencies, and publish the finished product to the catalog. Components include machine shells for all the supported platforms, software components, endpoint networks, NSX-provided networks, XaaS components, and even other blueprints that have already been published (yes, nested blueprints). Once dragged over, the admin can build the necessarily logic and any needed integration for each component of that particular service.

In this module, we will be creating a couple example vSphereBlueprints — 1 x Windows 2012 R2, 1 x CentOS 6.7 — and preparing them to be published in the catalog (next section). Later, we’ll be adding additional configurations to each of blueprints for more advanced use cases.

 

10, Catalog Management

Once the blueprints have been created and published, you makethem available for consumption in the unified Catalog. The Catalog is the self-service component of vRA, which provides any number of services to consumers. But before that can happen, you must determine which users or groups (e.g. Business Group users) will have access to each catalog item. vRA uses a rich set of policies to provide granularity that ensures services are only available to users that are specifically entitled to that particular service (or action).

Catalog Management consists of creating Services (e.g. categories), assigning published catalog items to a Service, and entitling one or more Business Groups users to the item(s).

 

11, Approval Policies

Approval policies are optionally created to add governance and additional controls to any and all services. vRA provides a significant amount of granularity for triggering approval policies based on the catalog item, service type, component configuration, lifecycle state, or even based on the existenceof a particular item. Once created, active approval policies are applied to Services, individual Catalog Items, and/or Actions in the Entitlements section.

Approval Policies can be triggered at request time (PRE) or just prior to delivering the service to the consumer (POST)…or a combination of the two. For example, manager’s approval can be required at request time (before provisioning begins) and another approval can be required for final inspection prior to making the service available to the requesting consumer. For traditional IaaS machines, a policy can also include options that allow the approver to modify the request prior to approving (e.g. mem, cpu configuration). At provisioning time, the approver is notified of the pending request. Onceapproved, the request moves forward. If it is rejected, the request is canceled and the user is notified ofthe rejection.

In this section, we will create threeapproval policies — one that is triggered based on configurations (cpu count), one that requires a Business Group manager’s approval and one that is triggered when a particular day-2 action is invoked.

 

12.1, Extensibility Basics

It’s really difficult to summarize vRA’s extensibility in one or two paragraphs, but i’ll give it a shot. Extensibility refers to any configuration or customization that modifies vRA’s default behavior. This can include customizing the user experience at request time (e.g. adding enhanced configurationoptions, requiring specific inputs, etc), incorporating ecosystem tools and binding them to a machine’s lifecycle (e.g. load balancers, CMDB/ITSM tools, IPAM, Active Directory, configuration management, and so on).

vRA’s vast extensibility capabilities can be as basic or as complex as required. But ultimately they are designed to ensure vRA is plugged in to the broader ecosystem of tools and services based on the business needs. Many lifecycle extensibility servicesare configured and managed within vRA’s UI (e.g. Property Dictionary, Custom Properties, AD Integration, Event Broker, and XaaS. But one of the most important components of Extensibility is vRealize Orchestrator (vRO), which can beconsumed within vRA but managed in it’s own UI (vRO control center, vRO client).

In this module we’ll be getting our feet wet with Extensibility. I’ll provide an overview of vRA’s extensibility tools and usage and an introduction to the Property Dictionary, Custom Properties, and vRealize Orchestrator. I’ll introduce and put to use the Event Broker and XaaS — two critical pieces to vRA’s extensibility — in later modules.

 

12.2,Simple Extensibility Use Cases

Now that you have a general understanding of vRA’s extensibility capabilities, let’s put some of that knowledge to use. In this module we’ll be leveraging extensibility for some basic extensibility use cases. We’ll use Custom Properties to control vCenter folder placement of provisioned machines, create a Property Definition to provide resource placement options (vis drop-down) at request time, and create Active Directory policies for each Business Group to define where we want machine objects placed in Active Directory.

These are just the basics to get your feet wet. Extensibility willplay a big part in many more modules later.

 


That’s it for now! Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, the next set of videos will dive into more advanced topics, such as software authoring, container management, SDDC integration (VSAN, NSX), and several advanced extensibility use cases.

Please provide feedback (here…not on Youtube) if these videos have been helpful and feel free to start a conversation.

+++++
@virtualjad

The post vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Video Guide appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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