customer stories

Disaster Recovery with VMware NSX-V and Zerto

Note, this is a reposting of the blog that I initially postedhere onhumairahmed.com. In a prior blog, VMware NSX and SRM: Disaster Recovery Overview and Demo, I described and demoed how VMware NSX and SRM with vSphere Replication combined provide for an enhanced disaster recovery (DR) solution. SRM also provides additional integration with NSX when Storage Policy Protection Groups (SPPGs) are used by providing the ability to automate network mappings. One of the great things about the NSX-V platform, is it can be used with any DRorchestration tool that supports the VMware vSphere ESXi hypervisor. Some of the tools customers are using with NSX include VMware SRM, Dell EMC RP4VM, Zerto, and Veeam. As SRM was discussed and demonstrated in a prior blog, Zerto and NSX together is explained in more detail below.

For more details on Disaster Recovery with NSX, make sure to check-out theDisaster Recovery Solutions with NSX [NET1188BU]session at upcoming VMworld 2017 on August 28th. I will discuss DR with NSX and DR Orchestration tools (SRM, RP4VM, and Zerto) in more detail. Justin Giardin from iland will discuss how they use NSX and Zerto to provide DRaaS solutions. Additionally,Ian Allie from Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC) will discuss how they use NSX and RP4VM to provide DR services for their customers.

Similar to vSphere Replication, Zerto provides the ability to replicate workloads at the VM-level. Zerto Virtual Manager (ZVM) is a standalone manager installed on a Windows workstation. The diagram below shows how ZVM is deployed within the management vCenter domain in a multisite Cross-VC NSX environment.

Figure 1: Example NSX + Zerto DR Deployment

Once ZVM is linked to the respective vCenter, a user can log-on ZVM using vSphere credentials. From the ZVM a Zerto Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA) can be installed on the desired hosts that have VMs that need to be protected.

Figure 2: Deploying Zerto VRAs

In Figure 3, it can be seen that there are four VMs in the Zerto Virtual Protection Group (VPG) being replicated/protected.

Figure 3: Four VMs in Zerto Virtual Protection Group

Similar to what was shown prior with SRM, Zerto can also ensure when a application or site failure eventoccurs the application(s) are recovered on the same network thanks to NSX logical networks spanning both sites and vCenter domains. In addition to the consistent networking across sites/vCenters, consistent security also exists. Thus, the end result is better recovery time objective (RTO) for applications as the IP address for the application does not need to change and security policies do not have to be manually replicated.

Figure 4 below shows how the default network mapping is configured within ZVM. By default, all workloads will failover to the respective default Failover Network upon actual failover and respective Failover Test Network when testing the Zerto DRplan.

Figure 4: Configuring Default Network Mappings in Zerto

As Figure 5 shows, differentFailover Networks andFailover Test Networks can also be configured for each specific VM.

Figure 5: Configuring Network Mappings for Specific VMs in Zerto

An extremely valuable capability of leveraging NSX with DR Orchestration tools like SRM, RP4VM, and Zerto is the capability to test the DR plan without any disruption to the production network. NSX enables this by allowing for isolated test logical networks to be created easily with the same IP addressing scheme. The DR orchestration tools can then be configured to use the isolated test networks for realistic DR Plan testing. This is represented in the below diagram using Zerto.

Figure 6: Simplified DR Testing Using Test NSX Logical Networks

As mentioned prior, for more details on Disaster Recovery with NSX and DR orchestration tools like SRM, RP4VM, and Zerto, make sure to check-out theDisaster Recovery Solutions with NSX [NET1188BU]session at upcoming VMworld 2017 on August 28th.

The post Disaster Recovery with VMware NSX-V and Zerto appeared first on Network Virtualization.

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Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It

The award-winning Corona-Norco Unified School District serves more than 54,000 K-12 students from the California cities of Corona, Norco and Eastvale, as well as unincorporated parts of Riverside County. One of the 10 largest districts in the state, it employs approximately 5,000 people.

Like many public school districts, Corona-Norco has a goal to reduce capital expenses and technology costs overall for its schools to ensure equal access to technology. With costs rising and a small IT team challenged to drive all over a large, traffic-choked area to deliver services, the district faced a big choice when they decided to upgrade in-school computing: Buy more sophisticated and expensive hardware for each school, or take a different approach. They chose a suite of digital workspace solutions that make it simple and cost-effective to manage mobile devices, upgrade to Windows 10 and distribute and maintain apps using virtual desktops.

 

Digital Workspaces Put the Emphasis on Education, Not Patching

In 2012, the district started to roll out virtual desktops on zero clients at schools. Corona-Norco now supports 8,000 zero clients and around 5,000 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) concurrent desktops—with a full-time staff of two. &#rsquo;We don&#rsquo;t see the support number changing dramatically as we significantly ramp up the number of devices,&#rdquo; said Brian Troudy, the district&#rsquo;s director of networking and infrastructure. Adding to the device count is the district&#rsquo;s embrace of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model for maximum flexibility and choice. VMware AirWatch and VMware Workspace ONE extend the district&#rsquo;s digital workspaces beyond classroom computers to tablets and laptops, allowing faculty, students and staff to access any app on any device at any time.

VMware end-user computing solutions have simplified application management and updates, including the district&#rsquo;s upgrade to Windows 10. With the ability to test and patch images &#rsquo;behind the scenes&#rdquo; from a central location, instead of sending IT staff to schools and taking computers out of service, operating system (OS) and app updates are easy to deploy. Said Troudy, &#rsquo;Using the Horizon suite, App Volumes, Thin App and UEM, we&#rsquo;re able to layer into a user’s connection the applications that they need based on certain criteria—the location, class that they&#rsquo;re enrolled in—and all of that can be done dynamically and automatically based on the integrations that we have with other business systems.&#rdquo; IT staff can now spend their efforts working one-on-one with their end users on effective use of technology instead of managing and maintaining the underlying technology.

Teacher Peter D&#rsquo;Agostino noted that he used to have to stay at school after hours and come in early to maintain and patch classroom computers. It could take weeks to get new software installed. Now with VMware Horizon VDI, apps for engineering, history, music production and many more topics run faster and more reliably. &#rsquo;I no longer have to spend time updating computers on my own, taking time away from students. Now I spend my time looking for ways for kids to learn better. It just changes the game.&#rdquo;

 

Money Saved on Technology Goes Back to Student Programs

The district estimates it&#rsquo;s saved $5 million on hardware so far, and more than $75,000 on energy costs alone, by switching to a VDI model. &#rsquo;We&#rsquo;re able to, with VMware technologies, deploy labs of computers to our students at a quarter of the cost,” said Troudy. &#rsquo;It&#rsquo;s also allowed us to keep the experience of the desktop that they&#rsquo;re using up to date and relevant. It&#rsquo;s a night-and-day experience for our students.&#rdquo;

&#rsquo;With VMware … we were able to provide end-user computing at a much lower cost than we did six or seven years ago. There&#rsquo;s nothing that makes me happier as a CIO than to be able to say, I get out of the way, and let the school do what they need to do to make sure the students receive the education they deserve.&#rdquo;
—Ben Odipo, CIO and Assistant Superintendent of Information Technology, Corona-Norco Unified School District

Related:

  • [Video] Western Carolina University Extends Digital Workspace Solutions Campus-Wide
  • VMware + Ellucian: Smart BYOD & Apps with VMware&#rsquo;s Secure Digital Backpack for Education
  • Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective

The post Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Corona-Norco Unified School District Does It appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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NSX-Powered Credit Union Shifts Focus to Speed and Innovation

Personal banking sure isn&#rsquo;t what it used to be. Thankfully.

When is the last time you went to a bank? My trips are so infrequent that I actually enjoy the experience as a change of pace. That&#rsquo;s because normally, I get to transfer money or deposit a check not only online, but from my phone. And things in the banking sector aren&#rsquo;t slowing down, they&#rsquo;re speeding up, as new digital upstarts create competition and a pressure to innovate and make customers&#rsquo; lives easier.

Still, not too long ago, the banking industry was still feeling the shockwaves of the financial crisis. Investments across the industry were tight, meaning more had to be done with less – a story many of us who have had roles in IT can relate to. So when Amy Hysell took on the role of CIO at the Arizona Federal Credit Union (AZFCU), she decided to take a fresh approach. To compete in this fast-moving industry, she stepped back and took a look at on how to enable speed and innovation, while keeping security as the top priority, and also without sacrificing cost efficiency.

Fast forward to today, and a peek atsome of AZFCU&#rsquo;s servicesquickly demonstrates a forward-thinking customer-first credit union. Using their own apps on mobile and even wearable platforms, the credit union offers innovative services like CardPower to manage credit card security, Popmoney to easily send money via text, or Eyeprint ID for additional security.

Using VMware NSX and the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) model, AZFCU was able to modernize their data center and drastically reduce the time spent fighting fires and keeping the lights on, allowing them to shift to a renewed focus on their customers. Let&#rsquo;s look at what that really meant.

Application Continuity

Many IT organizations classify applications in tiers by how critical they are, giving critical applications better attention and higher availability. This is logical, but can also conflict with user expectations in a world where everything is expected to work all the time. Why should one have to choose which application will get high availability?


Using NSX, AZFCU was able to extend their networking and security services across multiple locations, resulting in a streamlined operation running over multiple active-active sites. When a set of resources fails, the application can be instantly recovered in an entirely different location, and with the same networking and security policies ready to go.

What did this mean for the business? Instead of only the privileged few applications being recovered during an outage, any application can be instantly recovered. Instead of a complete recovery taking hours, it takes minutes, or is actually instant. Leveraging resources across locations, new applications could be spun up in minutes or hours, not days or weeks.

“Security Comes First”

If a hacker considers a retail breach of credit card information a jackpot, then getting into a bank must be heaven. This means the increased number of breaches create immense pressure on banks, as their customers trust them to keep their money and data secure.

&#rsquo;It&#rsquo;s fine to be able to identify a data breach, but by then it&#rsquo;s too late,&#rdquo; says Hysell. &#rsquo;With VMware NSX, we can contain a breach and minimize the impact rather than letting it go and doing forensics later to determine what happened. And from a data governance perspective, we have much more visibility, so it&#rsquo;s much easier to conduct risk assessments.&#rdquo;

In addition to becoming more secure, Hysell found the teams able to move faster now that there was a common way to segment new applications appropriately based on some simple questions like whether user sensitive data is involved or not.

Agile Banking

With a new operational model of how applications are deployed, secured, and recovered, AZFCU&#rsquo;s business has seen a dramatically improved SLA for new services. They&#rsquo;ve moved from a reactive model, to a proactive model, allowing them to focus on differentiating innovation, like new ways to make mobile banking easier and more secure.

&#rsquo;With our new data center powered by VMware, we can say &#lsquo;yes&#rsquo; a lot more often,&#rdquo; says Hysell. &#rsquo;Our internal customers are very happy.&#rdquo;

They also get top talent into the business.

&#rsquo;We&#rsquo;re able to attract and retain top IT talent because we&#rsquo;re giving them modern tools to do their jobs better,&#rdquo; says Hysell. &#rsquo;We can understand the health of our network from a single pane of glass. I get a report every day, so I worry a lot less.&#rdquo;

Learn More

Going toVMworld?Amy Hysell will joinmein the breakout sessionIntro to NSX for Application Continuity(session ID NET1300BU). It will be held on Tuesday, August 29that 4:00 PM. Come see us!

More resourceson the topic of Application Continuity with NSX:

  • NSX Multi-site Options and Cross-VC NSX Design Guide
  • VMware NSX and SRM: Disaster Recovery Overview and Demo
  • 3 Ways Organizations Use NSX for Application Continuity

The post NSX-Powered Credit Union Shifts Focus to Speed and Innovation appeared first on Network Virtualization.

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Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective

At VMware, we believe that a digital workspace gives you the ultimate freedom to use any app on any device in any place. You should enjoy frictionless access to apps no matter where they reside, from legacy to RDSH and web-based apps, with single sign-on for simple access.

Attendees at our recent EUC Insights 2017 event did a great job of defining what a digital workspace means to them. VMware employees rely on digital workspaces every day—even when everything else goes wrong. Over the next few weeks, we will share stories of how some of our customers put digital workspaces into practice. These organizations are truly empowering people, from teachers to physicians to IT administrators, to succeed at digital transformation.

How Do VMware Customers Use Digital Workspaces?

Here are just a few of the use cases we are excited to talk about:

  • Mecklenburg County, N.C., is rolling out Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud, with enterprise-grade security and simplified management.
  • Jefferson County, Colo., provides secure virtual desktops to its employees and for public computers that county residents use—with a non-persistent desktop, all data is erased when the session ends, keeping citizens&#rsquo; information secure.
  • Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) in California uses digital workspaces to deliver Windows 10 and the learning technology students and teachers need when they need it from any device, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobility for maximum flexibility and choice. CNUSD also saves valuable funds that can be used for student services.

Stay Tuned!

Watch the EUC Blog in the coming weeks to learn more about how organizations like yours use solutions like VMware AirWatch, VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE to empower their digital workspaces.

Want to get the latest digital workspace, mobility, desktop virtualization and enterprise apps news right in your inbox? Join our Friday “Top EUC News” club at the top of your screen.

Hear first hand how leading companies empower the digital workspace for transformation during VMworld. Register for the EUC Showcase keynote to hear their stories, dive into brand new innovations and much more. Seats are going fast, so register today!

The post Empower the Digital Workspace: The VMware Customer Perspective appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Mercy Innovates from the Data Center to the Patient Bedside

Mercy is an integrated healthcare organization with 43 hospitals and more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, serving more than 3 million patients a year. Through technology, Mercy wants to be better partners with their patients, giving them more guidance and preventing problems before they happen.

Mercy received the 2016 HiMMS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence for using health information technology to improve patient care and the bottom line. VMware helps Mercy innovate in healthcare from the data center to the patient&#rsquo;s bedside.

  • Mercy&#rsquo;s goal is to analyze data to provide better outcomes for patients – making sure they have the right product for the right patient at the right time - and also to keep that data secure with VMware NSX and VMware vRealize Automation.
  • Mercy is using the VMware vCloud Air partner network to provide general healthcare-class hosting
  • Mobile devices increase care in patients&#rsquo; homes, extending their clinical care team. Mercy also uses the tablet-based Mercy Bedside app, managed by VMware AirWatch, which patients and their families can use while in the hospital to ease the care process.

“The role that VMware has played … really is enabling the technology. Building these solutions is impossible without the ability to utilize technology as seamlessly as we use our stethoscopes.&#rdquo;
—Todd Stewart, Vice President of Clinical Integrated Solutions, Mercy

Learn more about innovative solutions for healthcare at vmware.com/solutions/industry/healthcare.

Because you liked this video:

  • VMware Horizon VDI Powers WCH’s Hospital of the Future
  • Case Study: Halton Healthcare Modernizes Data Centers & Expands with New Hospital
  • American Red Cross Uses VDI for Faster Disaster Relief

 

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Progressive Dutch Municipality Protects Citizen Data and Meets Compliance with VMware NSX

Summary: Municipality of Zoetermeer implements Zero-Trust model with VMware NSX-enabled micro-segmentation for advanced security inside data centers. Zoetermeer follows the Dutch BIG (Baseline Information Security Dutch Municipalities) regulations

Zoetermeer is a modern, fast-growing municipality in the province of South Holland. It provides local services such as water supply, sewage and garbage disposal to around 125,000 residents. As a forward-thinking organization, the municipality of Zoetermeer recognizes that the increasing volume of cyber attacks against organizations today has shown that traditional, perimeter-centric security models are no longer effective.

The municipality responded by working with VMware partner ON2IT IT Services on a solution that wouldn&#rsquo;t treat everything inside the network as trusted. Zoetermeer deployed VMware NSX® network virtualization to facilitate a Zero Trust security model. This Zero Trust model is enabled by the unique micro-segmentation capabilities of VMware NSX. Zoetermeer is now compartmentalizing different segments of its network and applying automated, fine-grained security policies to individual applications.

&#rsquo;The municipality of Zoetermeer is committed to delivering digital services to our citizens, and also digital tools to enable the best experience for our employees,&#rdquo; said Mr. Van Gaalen, IT Manager, Municipality of Zoetermeer. &#rsquo;But security must remain paramount. Thanks to VMware, we can provide the right person – citizen or employee - with secure access to the right data, from anywhere.&#rdquo;

In addition to providing advanced security inside its data center, the solutions have enabled the municipality to meet rigorous regulatory compliance requirements. VMware NSX has been instrumental in enabling the municipality of Zoetermeer to conform to BIG (Baseline Information Security Dutch Municipalities). These BIG rules have been introduced by the information security service (IBD) of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and consist of a set of security measures that ensure a good basic level of security for municipalities. To meet these guidelines, optimal and transparent IT processes and security rules are required.

Mr. Van Gaalen also noted, &#rsquo;VMware helps us meet the rigorous government requirements for security and data protection. With micro-segmentation, we can better manage security policies across our network, aligning them with individual applications and ultimately reducing risk. It was the clear next step in achieving a secure software-defined data center,&#rdquo; said

A longstanding VMware customer, Zoetermeer was the first Dutch municipality to use VMware Horizon desktop virtualization. As it continues on its journey of mobile digitization, the municipality will soon provide the majority of its employees with digital workspaces when its newly-built town hall opens. It will deploy VMware AirWatch® Mobile Device Management to securely manage its fleet of mobile devices and to support its growing mobile workforce.

The post Progressive Dutch Municipality Protects Citizen Data and Meets Compliance with VMware NSX appeared first on Network Virtualization.

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Memorial Healthcare Protects Patient Data with a Secure Digital Clinical Workspace

Memorial Healthcare, a top-rated community hospital in Michigan that&#rsquo;s won awards for patient engagement, sees technology as a key to advancing healthcare in its region. Their secure clinical digital workspace allows staff to access the apps and data they need anytime, anywhere. To transform security and protect patient data, Memorial Healthcare deployed VMware NSX, AirWatch and Horizon to secure endpoints and app infrastructure, while streamlining compliance.

Technology ultimately supports the hospital&#rsquo;s mission of helping patients in its region. To aid smaller hospitals that are critical to the area, Memorial Healthcare uses its infrastructure to provide easier access to shared services, including disaster recovery. Having access to secure information on mobile devices and virtual desktops let physicians and staff keep a consistent workflow no matter where they are, in the hospital or in the wider community.

Click here to learn more about how you can empower the digital workspace, such as the secure clinical digital workspace for healthcare, in your company.

More stories you might like:

  • American Red Cross Uses VDI for Faster Disaster Relief
  • Explore Sally Beauty’s Innovative Digital Workspace
  • 3BD/2BA with Security & Simplicity: TCAD Streamlines with Digital Workspace Solutions

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3BD/2BA with Security & Simplicity: TCAD Streamlines with VMware Digital Workspace Solutions

Home of the University of Texas at Austin, a number of growing companies and almost as many great barbecue joints, Travis County, Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. The entity that determines property taxes there, Travis County Central Appraisal District (TCAD), has seen its workloads grow along with the population. TCAD needed better efficiency, higher security and a simpler way to monitor IT applications to protect citizens&#rsquo; sensitive property information.

Now with VMware’s digital workspace solutions, TCAD can:

  • Meet its security needs with micro-segmentation;
  • Transform desktops into a digital, mobile workspace for field appraisers and business users; and
  • Meet strict regulatory compliance.

The results? Seamless access to business-critical apps, reduced hardware costs with VDI, top-notch service and taxpayer savings.

Want to learn how VMware’s digital workspace solutions can help your business enable your workers with secure access to work apps and data from anywhere? Click here to sign up for a behind-the-scenes peek.

More videos you might like:

  • American Red Cross Uses VDI for Disaster Relief
  • Explore Sally Beauty’s Innovative Digital Workspace
  • Simplifying App & Access Management with VMware Workspace ONE

 

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3 Ways Organizations Use NSX for Application Continuity

Five examplecustomers usingNSX to enable application continuity for their business

No one looks forward to data center outages. Not the business leaders who fear revenue loss from applications being down, nor the heroic IT admin whose pager is going off at 3:00 AM. Therefore many critical data centers have a sister location and some form of a disaster recovery plan, should something go awry. At the same time, infrastructure teams are under pressure to be more agile and more responsive to the business, across the board, while still lowering costs and making the most out of what they already have. So what exactly happens in the case of a disaster?

The Ponemon Institute reports the average cost of a data center outage to be $740,357, but with massive variance – some known examples going up to $150 million. As businesses move to accelerate to keep up with changes in their industry, each minute lost to downtime can have an impact not only on company resources but also on brand reputation. This is why enabling businesscontinuity or application continuity in a manner that doesn&#rsquo;t require new infrastructure is vital. VMware NSX can offer companies a competitive edge through networking and security virtualization when facing internal or external threats, such as natural disasters or security breaches.

Example Logical Multi-Site Topology

1. Disaster Recovery

Due to outage infrequency, businesses are often unprepared for downtime, overlooking the amount of manual effort that will eventually be required in the event of the outage. Although solutions for data center storage and workload recovery exist, turning on backup sites often requires manual moving of workloads, manual syncing of networking and security hardware configuration, or in some cases, manual reconfiguration of network IP addresses on a per application basis. This can add hours, if not days. VMware NSX opens up the static nature of networking, providing a network virtualization and security platform that enables workload mobility by defining network services in software, opening the door for a more flexible business.

AeroData (Manufacturing)

For companies like AeroData, which launches approximately 21,000 flights per day worldwide, extensive time lost to outages isn&#rsquo;t an option. When the AeroData team couldn&#rsquo;t achieve its desired architecture with a hardware-based approach, it leveraged NSX&#rsquo;s network site mobility to provide a platform that seamlessly integrates on-premises resources and reduces the manual efforts normally required. As Terry McDonough, President and CEO of AeroData said, &#rsquo;With the help of VMware, we have transformed our environment and have moved from being ‘hardware dependent’ to ‘software managed’ while dramatically improving the availability of our applications by eliminating single points of failure.&#rdquo; This exhibits how alleviating unnecessary manual processes can prevent outages from negatively impacting system operations.

2.Multi Data Center Pooling: Multiple sites, one pool of resources

While network extension across sites can smoothen disaster recovery plans (active/passive), the same foundation can also allow for multi data center pooling. Mobility across sites helps businesses gain flexibility when establishing consolidation activities, application level redundancy and disaster recovery. Through increased mobility, companies can utilize existing infrastructure resources in various sites for a single operation. This has come up after a merger or acquisition and a company finds itself with more data center locations they&#rsquo;d like to consolidate without downtime, or even something as simple as wanting to take hardware out of service to perform an upgrade. The network no longer has to prevent hosting from another building from being a feasible option.

KNPC (Energy)

When Kuwait Natural Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) was looking to increase mobility in order toaccelerate service delivery, improve IT efficiency and deliver a better customer experience, it selected VMware NSX to ensure cloud transformation enabled its IT operations to parallel its business growth speed. With VMware NSX allowing KNPC to migrate VMs or entire data centers from one location to another with minimal or no application downtime, KNPC was able to successfully leverage its resources from various physical data centers to operate as a single logical cloud.

Baystate Heath (Health Care)

Other industries have benefited from this centralized model as well. In the healthcare sector, Baystate Health utilized VMware NSX to ensure optimal application performance for doctors and staff while containing costs and matching increasing healthcare demands. CIO Joel Vengo stated &#rsquo;there&#rsquo;s no difference between data centers in different physical locations—it&#rsquo;s as if they&#rsquo;re in a single rack,&#rdquo; which drives home how VMware NSX helps companies effectively streamline and leverage IT resources.

3. Cross-Cloud: A new industry approach to cloud

In today&#rsquo;s IT industry, the public cloud&#rsquo;s flexibility and elasticity has already altered business workflow and market innovation, but a challenge customers face is cloud capabilities being considered as completely separate entities. These siloed and disparate projects can prevent organizations from fully utilizing private and public clouds for applications, as networking and security solution barriers can obstruct this collaboration. Additionally, with the market becoming increasingly competitive, companies are now searching for ways to institutionalize the public cloud through services like VMware NSX.

Marriott (Hospitality)

Using NSX as part ofVMware Cloud Foundation, Marriott extended their data center security and IT model into the public cloud, giving them a consistent way to manage servicesin both private and public environments, and enabling a consistent experience for their users. Alan Rosa, Senior Vice President for Marriott International can be seen discussing their strategy here, and more details can be found here.

Plains Capital Bank (Finance)

Plains Capital Bank isalready leveragingthe NSX integration with Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to streamline and automate their disaster recovery processes, but moving forward, they&#rsquo;re looking at how NSX can be used to make their journey to the cloud. “The cross-cloud initiative fits in with what we’ve been looking to do,&#rdquo; explained David Stanaway, VP & Sr. Systems Administrator at Plains Capital Bank, in this video:

 

Plains Capital Bank

 

 

If you&#rsquo;re interested in learning how NSX can help prevent your next disaster, or provide consistent networking and security across your environment, here are some resources to get you started:

  • Solution brief providing an overview on how the platform empowers organizations to increase business application continuity
  • Disaster recovery overview and demo
  • Ongoing blog series on Cross vCenter NSX by Humair Ahmed
  • Walkthrough detailing the latest Cross vCenter NSX security enhancements
  • NSX-V Multi-site options and cross-VC NSX Design Guide, which outlines several NSX solutions available for multi-site data center connectivity
  • Our Hands-On Labs, which give you hands-on experience with the platform, without requiring your own setup

For more information about how VMware NSX can help your organization, stay updated on capabilities and advancements by following along on Facebook and Twitter.

The post 3 Ways Organizations Use NSX for Application Continuity appeared first on Network Virtualization.

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Hot Swaps and Hot Chicken: How Zaxby’s Grows a Restaurant Chain with VDI

Zaxby&#rsquo;s, a fast-casual restaurant chain with locations in 17 U.S. states, opened its 800th store in October 2016 and shows no sign of slowing down. The corporate franchising arm of the business, based in Athens, Georgia, uses virtual desktops and a business resumption plan powered by VMware Horizon.

Zaxby&#rsquo;s provides virtual desktops for key employees as part of an overall disaster recovery plan, said Ehsan Choudhury, senior director of IT operations and security for Zaxby&#rsquo;s Franchising. &#rsquo;If something were to happen to our data center on-site, we can effectively flip over to a hot site at a co-lo in a different state,&#rdquo; said Choudhury. &#rsquo;And we can send critical staff home with their laptops. They can VPN in to that co-lo and connect to virtual desktops—they can keep working as if nothing had changed.&#rdquo;

With Horizon, Zaxby’s employees can continue working on virtual desktops, no matter what happens.

The company tests the co-lo data and connections regularly. And it&#rsquo;s a good thing, because Choudhury says the company has had a few instances where, &#rsquo;if it hadn&#rsquo;t been for VMware virtualization, we would have been in pretty dire straits. We once had a critical server that was inadvertently damaged beyond recovery. Standing up a brand new physical server takes a while. But in less than an hour, we were able to deploy a virtual server with all our apps.&#rdquo;

This analyst report named Horizon a leader! Click here to download.

Choudhury notes that Zaxby&#rsquo;s also uses Horizon for testing. &#rsquo;That&#rsquo;s a huge factor in moving projects forward. We can take a snapshot, and if something goes wrong in testing we can roll back to that snapshot. Not so easy to do on a physical server if you have to re-deploy an image.&#rdquo;

[Related: VMware Horizon 7.1 Is GA! What’s New—Part 1]

Zaxby&#rsquo;s depends on business intelligence to make decisions about its restaurants every day. &#rsquo;We do everything based on information about data, like sales and transactions or traffic flow in stores,&#rdquo; said Choudhury. &#rsquo;And those decisions are made very quickly. So it&#rsquo;s important to be able to recover fast after a problem or an outage.&#rdquo;

Workers can also be more productive if they&#rsquo;re not confined to an office. &#rsquo;We don&#rsquo;t really tell people when they can work. They have goals to meet, and sometimes they want to work odd hours to get to those goals. None of that would be possible without virtual desktops,&#rdquo; said Choudhury.

[Related: VMware Horizon 7.1 Technical Deep Dive]

Security is another important factor for this data-driven company. Teleworkers use VPN to connect to virtual desktops hosted on-premises. Because these workers handle sensitive financial information, such as accounting and payroll, it&#rsquo;s important that no data leak out of the corporate infrastructure. With VDI, all the data is hosted at the corporate site and remains within the company&#rsquo;s security boundaries.

&#rsquo;Horizon and VMware are an integral part of our operations. We could not work effectively without them. It&#rsquo;s the single most significant platform that has made a lot of things possible.&#rdquo;
—Ehsan Choudhury, Senior Director of IT Operations & Security, Zaxby’s Franchising

The company plans to move computing from 40-percent to 90-percent virtualized by the end of 2017, possibly moving from standard laptops to thin clients for hardware savings. Choudhury also noted that the company has consolidated multiple servers over the years into a single physical box, saving cost, energy and footprint. &#rsquo;With VMware, our data center footprint is ridiculously small compared to seven or eight years ago. Also, if it hadn&#rsquo;t been for virtualization, I would probably need three or four more people on my team just to keep up with day-to-day operations. VMware is pretty awesome.&#rdquo;

If this post is making you hungry, Choudhury recommends the Kickin&#rsquo; Chicken, Tongue Torch sauce and fried pickles on the side.

Hear more Horizon stories:

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The post Hot Swaps and Hot Chicken: How Zaxby&#rsquo;s Grows a Restaurant Chain with VDI appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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