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Cloud Management Best Practices with eWeek

A few weeks ago, Mahesh Kumar, the Sr. Director of Product Marketing at the Cloud Management Business Unit of VMware, set down with eWeek to share his views of the Cloud Management best practices. The interview was focused on the current and near-future issues that organizations face when going through digital transformation. In particular, eWeek had asked Mahesh to focus on the multitude of issues around people-process-technology transformation, as seen from the prospective of adopting multiple clouds, deploying hybrid applications, adopting new infrastructure constructs like containers, etc.

While the goals of adopting cloud strategies are very ambitious, and the expected benefits are profound, there are many decisions that enterprises need to make on their cloud journey. Mahesh highlights a number of best practices we have observed in real-world customer environments, that have proven to work. These practices span across broad range of cloud management, and are often not easy to identify quickly to avoid a number of costly mistakes. For example, the questions customers need to answer for themselves in the beginning and at different phases of the journey, are:

  • Where do you begin when it comes to monitoring your cloud environments?
  • What should you automate, and when, and what benefits should you expect?
  • What value does log analysis deliver?
  • How do containers and microservices play into an enterprises&#rsquo; cloud management strategy, and how do you bring them into the overall cloud management framework?

Mahesh dives deep into a number of specific situations and use cases that we see in customers&#rsquo; environments. Overall, the article provides good advice and guidance on many cloud management issues. While the views provided are not limited by VMware&#rsquo;s specific solutions and technologies, and go beyond of a single vendor, the overall opinion reflects on the VMware&#rsquo;s vision and strategy for cloud management platforms (CMP) in particular, and the broader cloud issues in general. I highly recommend you reading the article at the Business Week&#rsquo;s site and leveraging its conclusions in your own environment.

 

The post Cloud Management Best Practices with eWeek appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Knowledge Center Highlights: App Virtualization & VDI (July Edition)

Hello Citrix Community! We’re sharing a hand-picked list of articles based on the most frequently referenced topics within the Citrix Tech Support team for July 2017!

How Do I for Windows Application Delivery

Citrix’ XenApp and XenDesktop virtualization provides a …


  

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Crash Course in XenApp/XenDesktop Admin Skills Saves Time & Money

It’s hard to allocate scarce time and money to training, even when you know that up-to-date skills and knowledge are essential to the success of your organization, your team and your career.

Citrix Education understands this challenge. That’s why we


  

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Yelb, yet another sample app

Another pet project I have spent cycles on as of late is an open source sample application called Yelb (thanks to my partner in crime chief developer Andrea Siviero for initiating me to the mysteries of Angular2).

This is the link to the Yelb repo on GitHub.

I am trying to be fairly verbose in the README files in the repo so I am not going to repeat myself here. Someone said GitHub repos are the new blog posts in the DevOps and cloud era. I couldn&#rsquo;t agree more.

For the records, Yelb looks like this (as of today). The skeleton of this interface was literally stolen (with permission) from a sample application the Clarity team developed.

When deployed with direct Internet access it should allow people to vote and (thanks to Angular2 and the Clarity based UI) you will see graphs dynamically changing. In addition to that, Yelb also track the number of page views as well as the application layer container hostname serving the request.

I thought this was a good mix of features to be able to demo an app to an audience while inspecting what was going on in the app architecture (e.g. watching the container name serving the request changing when multiple containers are deployed in the app server layer).

Good for using it to demo Docker at a conference, good for using it as the basis to build a new deployment YAML for the 37th container orchestration framework we will see next week.

This is the architecture of the application (as of today).

Check on the GitHub repo for more (up to date) information about Yelb.

If you are into the container space I think it helps a lot owning something that you can bring from personal development (from scratch) to production. You have got to see all the problems a dev sees by taking his/her own app into production using containers and frameworks of sort.

While you are more than welcome to use Yelb for your own demos and tests (at your own peril), I truly suggest you build your own Yelb.

Not to mention the amount of things you learn as you go through these exercises. I am going to embarrass myself here by saying I didn&#rsquo;t even know Angular was not server side and that I didn&#rsquo;t know how the mechanics of the Angular compiling process worked. Stack Overflow is such an awesome resource when you are into these things.

Massimo.

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Now Available: New Exams for Citrix NetScaler 12!

Citrix Education is pleased to announce the availability of two next-generation Citrix Certified Associate - Networking (CCA - N) certifications based on Citrix NetScaler 12Do not delay and be among the first to take and pass the NEW!


  

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IoT am Arbeitsplatz – Was ändert sich wirklich für uns?

Beitrag von Matthias Schorer, Lead Business Development Manager, IoT, EMEA bei VMware

Web-Meetings, soziale Netzwerke und mobile Arbeitsplätze – internetbasierte Anwendungen und Cloud-basierte Speicherdienste, die große Datenmengen mobil machen, gehören inzwischen zum ganz normalen Arbeitsalltag. Was aber kann IoT leisten, um diese Dienste noch besser an den Arbeitsalltag anzupassen?

Nicht alles über einen Kamm scheren

Aufgrund der enormen Veränderungen in den letzten Jahren ist die Angst davor, dass die Digitalisierung uns Menschen überholt, groß. Ich denke jedoch, dass man dieses Thema etwas differenzierter betrachten muss. Auch die Industrialisierung war Fluch und Segen auf einmal. Es sind dadurch viele Arbeitsplätze entstanden, bei denen schwere körperliche Betätigung von Maschinen übernommen wurden. Ähnliches wird meines Erachtens auch jetzt wieder passieren oder passiert bereits. Natürlich verändert IoT auch die Art, wie wir arbeiten. IoT wird es Mitarbeitern letztlich ermöglichen, den Workspace nach ihren Bedürfnissen auszurichten, durch optimierte Prozesse Zeit zu sparen und so auch Produktivität zu gewinnen.

Der Mensch bleibt Dreh- und Angelpunkt

Wie soll das funktionieren? Informationen über persönliche Wünsche und Lebenssituationen der Mitarbeiter, die das IoT über Sensoren und Apps sammelt, wird es Unternehmen ermöglichen, das „Smart Office&#rsquo; noch individueller und flexibler zu gestalten. Dabei geht es nicht nur um den Bürostuhl, der sich nach der Erfassung der Körpermaße eigenständig ergonomisch ausrichtet, oder die automatisierte Rollladensteuerung. Auch das Office Management lässt sich automatisieren: Telefonanlagen, die alle Konferenzteilnehmer selbst anwählen und in den Call holen, sobald der Termin ansteht oder Beamer, die sich zu Präsentationsbeginn selbst aktivieren und einrichten. Aber auch Besprechungsräume, die selbst feststellen, dass sie zwar gebucht sind, aber sich fünf Minuten nach dem geplanten Beginn der Besprechung niemand in dem Zimmer befindet, sind keine Utopie. Der Raum würde dann automatisiert wieder freigegeben, die Klimaanlage reduziert.

Berufsbilder und Tätigkeiten ändern sich

Diese Vorteile betreffen zwar in erster Linie „Denkarbeiter&#rsquo;, die über mobile Devices und PC-Arbeitsplätze den direkten Zugang zum Internet of Things haben. Aber auch Beschäftigte in gewerblichen Bereichen, zum Beispiel in Produktion, Logistik oder Handel erfahren Erleichterung. Zum Beispiel geben die mit Sensoren und Aktoren ausgestatteten und über das Internet vernetzten Maschinen selbst bekannt, wann sie gewartet werden müssen, Ersatzteile benötigen oder Material nachgefüllt werden soll. In der Produktion oder im hochautomatisierten Zentrallager kommunizieren die Maschinen im Idealfall auch selbst miteinander. Sensoren in den Arbeitsanzügen erkennen, wenn der Mitarbeiter, zum Beispiel beim Heben von Lasten, seine Wirbelsäule überlasten würde, und senden eine Warnung auf sein Handy. Der Mitarbeiter kann sich auf die Optimierung seiner Arbeitsprozesse konzentrieren. Aber auch im Handel bzw. im Verkauf entfallen zeitaufwändige Tätigkeiten, zum Beispiel die manuelle Kontrolle und Aktualisierung des Lagerbestandes oder die Bestellung. All das kommt letztlich nicht nur den Kunden, sondern auch den Mitarbeitern zu Gute. Und last but not least: Durch IoT fallen nicht nur Tätigkeiten weg, es entstehen auch ganz neue spannende Berufsbilder, zum Beispiel im Bereich der Datenanalyse oder in der Software- bzw. App-Entwicklung.

IoT ist nicht Frankenstein!

Ich bin der Meinung: Die Anreicherung vieler Arbeitsprozesse mittels IoT Technologien bietet letztlich eine enorme Chance für den Menschen, nämlich die, sich auf die menschlichen Stärken zu fokussieren – das eigenständige Denken und Handeln. So skeptisch man gegenüber IoT auch sein mag, am Ende wird eines deutlich: Noch hat jeder technologische Fortschritt zwei Seiten gehabt. Jede Veränderung birgt Chancen und Risiken. Vor rund 200 Jahren entstand mit „Frankenstein&#rsquo; der erste Science-Fiction-Roman, der schon damals davor warnte, dass sich vom Menschen erschaffene Kreaturen selbstständig machen und die Menschheit zerstören. Eine Dystopie, die sich zum Glück nie bewahrheitet hat. Die technologische Entwicklung hat schon immer einen großen Teil zur Entwicklung der Menschheit und einem humaneren Arbeiten und Leben beigetragen und wird es auch in Zukunft tun. Davon bin ich überzeugt.

Wie stehen Sie zum Smart Office? Sehen Sie im Internet of Things eher die Chancen oder die Risiken für Ihren Arbeitsplatz? Welche Erfahrungen haben Sie bisher gemacht? Ich freue mich auf einen regen Austausch mit Ihnen auf Twitter, LinkedIn oder XING.

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Modernising the data center is the way towards digital and DevOps

Business and IT leaders agree that data center and cloud transformation will yield big benefits, ranging from greater business agility and responsiveness to change, greater cost efficiencies and faster time to innovation for new applications.

But that doesn&#rsquo;t necessarily mean scrapping everything that already exists within the business and starting from scratch. Instead, businesses can bring their IT environment up-to-date by modernising the infrastructure, automating IT and running modern apps.

Data center modernisation is at the heart of this movement to change.

For some businesses it could mean a move to DevOps, for others it could be a shift to transforming into a digital business. Many are striving for both. Either way, data center modernisation can lead to a significant boost in speed and agility – two key attributes at the heart of DevOps and digital transformation.

Take Amdocs, a market leader in customer experience software and services. The company had a challenge to provision an environment for developers and testers to work quickly without depending on IT.

&#rsquo;Previously, it took us between three hours to three days to provision an environment, which is market standard. It wasn&#rsquo;t enough for us,&#rdquo; said Golan Remi, Head of Global Business Technologies at Amdocs IT.

&#rsquo;We needed to transform our code from development through testing for the customer in record time, so we conducted a POC with multiple private cloud vendors. The VMware solutions proved to be the closest to our requirements and the easiest to install and operate,&#rdquo; he explained.

The organisation deployed a large-scale private cloud based on VMware&#rsquo;s software-defined data center (SDDC) architecture. It allowed Amdocs to provision thousands of vApps on a daily basis as part of Amdocs&#rsquo; automated DevOps processes.

Previously it took the organisation between three days to a few weeks to create a full environment for its developers – but this has all changed.

&#rsquo;Now, a developer can come to work, press a button, go and make a coffee and when they come back the environment is ready for them,&#rdquo; Remi said.

The company is able to globally provision an environment to all of its developers and testers with zero dependency on IT, while also significantly shortening its ramp up time and being more flexible to its customers&#rsquo; needs.

Another example of a company that has been implementing a DevOps philosophy is Telefonica, the huge digital telco with more than 300 million users in 21 countries across the world.

Its Senior DevOps Manager, Gustavo Martin Bouso, said that the company took the decision to refresh its hardware and storage using the hyper-converged system.

&#rsquo;The benefits including a reduction in cost, a reduction in complexity and having a scalable system. VMware is helping us with digital transformation,&#rdquo; he said.

It&#rsquo;s clear with these examples that with SDDC technologies, customers can modernise data centers for infrastructure flexibility, security, and scalability.

To go a step further, organisations can leverage VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture, easily extending this to public clouds, giving their developers an integrated hybrid cloud environment for deploying modern apps.

This is all part of their journey towards a DevOps culture and a digital future.

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A Cross-Cloud approach is driving business innovation and agility

Organisations are constantly looking for greater business agility and a faster time to innovation for new applications – all while managing cost efficiency.

To do this, even the most successful businesses have to rely on new ways of integrating their technologies with other reliable and resilient partners that can take their capabilities up to a new level.

The VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture™ lets IT organisations easily leverage VMware hybrid clouds and manage multiple clouds.

Take two of our very own customers - CINIA Group, a successful IT services company that focuses on network, cloud and software, and Proact, Europe&#rsquo;s leading independent integrator for data center and cloud solutions. Both companies are incredibly successful at what they do – but instead of standing still, they have looked to provide new services and increase their existing capabilities.

CINIA Group, wanted to build a new Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) for customers requiring critical infrastructure and availability on its Lioncloud.

It is based on VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director, with the support of partner Fluentscale.

Kristian Nieminen, Director of Cloud Services at CINIA Group said that the company built this new DRaaS on VMware technology because &#rsquo;it was the best of both worlds.&#rdquo;

&#rsquo;It&#rsquo;s a platform for modern cloud native workloads, and also performs as a robust and scalable platform for legacy systems,&#rdquo; he explained, adding that vCloud Availability for vCloud Director was selected as one of the core elements due to its easy integration to the existing Lioncloud infrastructure.

This is exactly what VMware Cross Cloud Architecture provides – an integrated architecture that supports customers&#rsquo; cloud strategies with freedom and control.

Nieminen added that this is backed with one of the best price-to-performance ratios – meaning that it is cost efficient too.

&#rsquo;vCloud Director proved to be versatile and easy-to-use technology. By using it, we have managed to build a cost-effective, powerful and very secure platform which is always available,&#rdquo; he said.

Like CINIA Group, Proact has been a VMware customer for a number of years. It has based all of its 22 datacentres on the VMware cloud management platform, giving customers who are at different stages of their journey to the cloud a number of options.

&#rsquo;Customers are all at different stages, both investment and technology wise, but with a hybrid cloud and VMware software-defined datacentre solution, they can select what kind of services they want to move to the cloud now, and leave the rest behind and slowly develop these into a full-cloud solution if they want to,&#rdquo; Proact&#rsquo;s Managing Director, Carsen Egeberg, explained.

He said that the biggest benefit of the Proact Cloud on VMware products is the time-to-market.

&#rsquo;This isn&#rsquo;t just time-to-market from an IT perspective but from a business perspective. [It helps with] entering new markets, cutting down costs – all the development any company in the world needs to stay above the water,&#rdquo; he said.

Proact&#rsquo;s hybrid cloud enables customers to stop thinking in physical layers and start thinking about services required for the company. It also gives them the opportunity to move services around freely between a local private cloud, a Proact hybrid cloud in one of its data centres, all the way out to the public cloud.

Our work with CINIA Group and Proact shows how we can help enterprises to confidently integrate public clouds to scale and extend their businesses, delivering agility, capacity, and resilience, and also accelerating innovation.

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How VMware Cloud Management Helps You Get the Most out of Your ServiceNow Investment

First, a hat tip where it&#rsquo;s due: ServiceNow is a leader in the ITSSM space, claiming the #1 spot in the much-coveted magic quadrant in Gartner&#rsquo;s ITSSM Magic Quadrant (Gartner: 24 August 2016 G00291752), and with an easy to use GUI and out of the box integrations for popular vendors including VMware, it&#rsquo;s no wonder ServiceNow is so popular for self-service cataloging in the IT service delivery space. Indeed, many of our customers enjoy a complementary relationship between ServiceNow and VMware, using the former for ITSSM and VMware&#rsquo;s cross-cloud management platform to automate and orchestrate their fully integrated software-defined journey.

ServiceNow recently made a spate of announcements including a Cloud User Portal, apparently aimed at expanding their footprint beyond ITSSM. To recap briefly, ServiceNow last month announced a roll-up dashboard of cloud services, costs and health information under its catalog hierarchy. It&#rsquo;s Cloud Services Catalog now includes additional governance over certain cloud resources and supports VMware-based clouds as well as others.

This is a good moment to reexamine the depth and breadth of VMware&#rsquo;s platform for complete cloud management, which I&#rsquo;ll expand on below.

For what it&#rsquo;s worth, in the same report that Gartner gave such high marks to ServiceNow for ITSSM leadership, the analysts wondered aloud whether the company wasn&#rsquo;t getting somewhat defocused away from its core competencies.

Briefly, here are 3 ways VMware&#rsquo;s Cloud Management remains the most compelling complement to ServiceNow&#rsquo;s deep catalog expertise for cloud manmagement:

  1. VMware offers a fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center
  2. VMware features sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration
  3. VMware Cloud Management avoids added risk of using third party tools at enterprise scale

Fully integrated Software-Defined Data Center

Introducing any ServiceNow cloud management abilities into a customer&#rsquo;s SDDC could degrade the benefits of software-defined initiatives by introducing custom work streams with added complexity and cost. Moreover, any attempt to work around vRealize Automation can negate the value of the SDDC, especially in areas such as policy automation, control and blueprints.

NSX Blueprint in vRealize Automation

To realize the vision of the self-healing data center requires a management control plane that delivers accurate and actionable data; only a policy-based approach, rather than a rules-based approach, can properly discern what is really critical.

Sophisticated automation and policy-based orchestration

vRealize Operations provides full polling, analysis, alerting and reporting for monitoring of vSphere and surrounding infrastructure. vRealize Operations includes machine learning and dynamic thresholding out of the box, capacity analysis including reclaimable space, and automated remediation. vRealize Operations can push discovered objects and attributes to ServiceNow APIs and can push Alerts and updates to ServiceNow APIs for incidents, including a URL for launch in context back to vRealize Operations for more information. Learn more on GitHub.

Minimize risk of third party tools at enterprise scale

As an enterprise evolves in its software-defined journey, the risk in using third party tools actually grows; this is because a fully virtualized stack, with storage, networking and compute, is a lot more complicated than just server virtualization. Orchestration and policy-based automation become critical and we&#rsquo;ve seen time and again that third party tools that work okay as you scale up—don&#rsquo;t work well as you scale out to the order of tens of thousands of VMs.

The only way to ensure the high levels of certainty needed for business-critical applications is with an automated control plane that&#rsquo;s natively integrated with your stack. In short, VMware and ServiceNow are a great combination, with VMware doing the heavy lifting for cloud management and offering deep integrations for the ServiceNow catalog.

As the undisputed leader in datacenter automation—IDC recently named VMware as the market share leader with 28 percent of a $2.3 billion market (June 2017, IDC #US41372217)—I offer a note of caution for enterprises considering using any third party tool, especially unproven ones, along with their cloud management platform.

ServiceNow + vRealize Automation Integration

For our part, VMware&#rsquo;s isn&#rsquo;t holding still either, by the way. Our recently-announced integration for ServiceNow in vRealize Automation delivers that much-coveted &#rsquo;single pane of glass&#rdquo; with best-of-breed prebuilt integrations.

I would share a lesson learned from the hard experiences of some less-than-lucky enterprises: it&#rsquo;s good to be cautious of depending on third party tools, especially unproven ones, for a cloud management platform.

The post How VMware Cloud Management Helps You Get the Most out of Your ServiceNow Investment appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Get the Most out of the VMware Solution Exchange

Ted Dunn is the Program Manager of the VMware Solution Exchange. In this post, Ted will provide an overview of the VMware Solution Exchange and share insider tips on how to get the most out of the platform.


The VMware Technology Alliance Partner team is excited to introduce our partners and customers to our new and improved Solution Exchange (VSX) Marketplace! The new marketplace is much more than just an update. We&#rsquo;ve completely restructured the entire marketplace and moved to a new, more flexible platform.

What’s the same?

The new VSX Marketplace still gives Technology Alliance Partners the ability to showcase their products and solutions using a self-service portal. Customers can still research, review and download products and solutions and view their compatibility with VMware Products.

What’s changed?

The new VSX Marketplace platform improves the look and feel of the site, and makes the marketplace easier, faster, more reliable and more effective for our partners and customers. We&#rsquo;ve integrated with the MyVMware single-sign in to make logging in to the marketplace more convenient, updated the home page and improved the keyword and filter search for products.

The administration menu has been completely rebuilt to improve the experience of adding and editing listings. Because of the new platform we will be able to add new and improved reporting and user management and continue to add to and update the marketplace like never before.

We&#rsquo;ve migrated all of the content from the old marketplace to the new, and we&#rsquo;re working with our partners to update each and every listing. We&#rsquo;re implementing tools to keep content fresh and accurate so that visitors to the site know that they are finding the latest and greatest partner solutions. We&#rsquo;ll be reaching out with more information as we continue to add tools and resources to the marketplace in the future.

What do I do now?

As a Technology Alliance Partner we&#rsquo;re asking for you to help us make sure the content in the marketplace is as up-to-date as possible. Please log in to your account and check that all listings are current and accurate, and check your company profile to make sure it is correct as well.

For more information about how to interact with the VSX Marketplace please see the information and resources on thePartnerspage and, as always, the VSX Alliance Team is available to help with any questions about the VSX Marketplace and to provide assistance if any issues may arise.

For any questions about the marketplace please reach out

The post Get the Most out of the VMware Solution Exchange appeared first on VMware Tech Alliances (TAP) Blog.

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