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Blog Posts tagged with Cloud Computing

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MMS2012: Windows InTune Deep Dive

Vision/Goals

  • To enable flexible work styles (empower users to work from anywhere)
  • To complement to SCCM (deliver simplified enterprise-class management for IT with less cost and higher productivity)
  • To offer the latest in Windows (give users a modern OS experience for greater productivity, security and mobility benefits)
  • Rapid release cycles (provide customers continuous improvement and new features without costly deployments)

Pillars

  • User Centric: Enable IT Pros to think users
  • Self Service: Empower users to meet their own management needs
  • Modern Devices: manage corporate and personally owned phones and tablets 

Demo Notes

  • Like Office 365, creating a user in InTune creates a user in the Azure Active Directory (AD) (Cloud Identity). You can sync an Azure AD account with your local on premise AD (Synced Identify) but doing so means the user has to manage two sets of password. However, there is an option to enable single sign-on. An Office 365 account can also be tied into this single sign on feature (Federated Identity). While not automatic, it was stressed that this is not a difficult process.
  • User device affinity can be specified through the UI, choose a user and an unassigned device to create the relationship
  • Self service portal allows users to perform pull installations in addition to the new push deployment capabilities recently introduced by InTune for Windows desktops only (no mobile support at this time)
  • Lots of help and links to best practices are included within the admin UI
  • Apps can be made available to users and it then becomes available for a pull installation via a user portal on their appropriate devices: Windows (can push), Windows Phone, iOS, and Android (pull)
  • Windows Installer command lines are known and used (with an option to override and specify your own, such as to include values for public properties)
  • Client user portal is HTML5 so any HTML5 supported browser may be used
  • As an end user you can see your applications but the demo was to make the software available for user initiated installation, not pushed.
  • To address concerns about many people all deciding to download available applications at the same time, some peer caching is leveraged. In the demo shown Lync was downloaded quickly and looking at PerfMon it was seen that the download was actually sourced from another computer that downloaded the computer the previous day.

Top Questions and Concerns from Enterprise Customers

  • How many computers does InTune support? Does it scale to meet enterprise needs?
  • How reliable is cloud-based management. Does it comply with regional privacy standards?
  • What is the bandwidth requirement? How can I reduce Internet bandwidth usage? 

Units can be added anytime to accommodate new accounts. It is architected and developed by the same team that delivered Windows update service. Managing up to 5k seats per account is supported today by IT pro experience and this is a number they will improve upon with each release to better support larger enterprise needs.

Data center is allocated based on the declared location of the account holder to comply with regional privacy standards.

There are many scenarios to consider for bandwidth requirements: initial deployment, endpoint protection, software deployment, patch management, etc.

Microsoft says typical bandwidth usage is low but that you should plan in case of large number of computers sharing a single Internet connection.  Average bandwidth usage 5mb per day, an average patch Tuesday: about 10mb and an average agent install usage is about 120mb. You can set policies to prevent bandwidth usage during working hours if you wish. Finally peer caching sis supported for PCs running Windows 7 and later. No additional infrastructure is required to support this (this is one of the technologies that powers BranchCache).

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Release Operations - What's in Store

Last week, 451 Research Senior Analyst Jay Lyman and IT expert Dr. Jacob Ukelson came together to discuss the future of IT Release Operations.

In this discussion, they addressed the buzz words that are abundant in today’s IT world; cloud, virtualization, DevOps and continuous deployment. But what do these words really mean and where are we actually headed?

Dr. Ukelson and Mr. Lyman came together to answer these questions and discuss the growing role of DevOps in the enterprise as well as why application centricity is necessary to achieve excellence in release operations. After watching this video, you will understand how application centricity:

  1. Translates into shorter application release cycles
  2. Focuses on incremental releases and
  3. A tighter sense-response loop

Virtualization and cloud technologies enable fast and simple basic provisioning of infrastructure environments, providing the capability to quickly create environments for basic application development and testing.

Learn more about the Future of IT Release Operations here: http://bit.ly/futureITonline

 

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Packaging Event 2012

 For the 7th year in a row, PDS will organize the Packaging Event. Just like the previous six years, we’ve chosen for the strategic location and fabulous atmosphere of the Amsterdam ArenA. 
The exhibition floor will be located in the newly build event hall. Technical Sessions will be held in the various rooms of the Amsterdam ArenA and keynotes near the exhibition floor.

This 7th edition will guarantee top (international) speakers and interesting subjects in the field of application management, packaging, application deployment, desktop management and, of course, application virtualization.  
Just a few of the confirmed speakers in 2012: Bob Kelly (www.itninja.com), Microsoft NLRuben SpruijtDarwin Sanoy, but also Jim Ryan & many many more. Stay tuned for more updates coming months.

Topics for the 2012 event are:

  • Desktop Management
  • Application Virtualization
  • (Private) cloud computing
  • Application Compatibility 
  • Windows 7/8 migrations

Sign up! 

 

 

Reasons to attend PackagingEvent:

  • Product management presentations from Microsoft, Flexera Software (AdminStudio), Quest Software(ChangeBASE) and many more. 
  • Get the latest information (on first hand) from the leading products.
  • Take a close look in the future of Desktop Management and Application Compatibility &Virtualization.
  • Get a chance to talk to the people behind the Windows Installer Technology & Application virtualization techniques
  • Experience hands-on demonstrations at the Lab Sessions.
  • Discuss with the Program Managers of your preferred products about future releases.
  • Visit the Exhibition Area and learn about the great solutions from your local Services - and Solutions companies.
  • Enjoy the company of 600+ visitors throughout the day in the fantastic atmosphere of the Amsterdam Arena.
  • Discuss with the experts about the future of Desktop Delivery & Application Management.
  • 2012 will be indoor but ... how did the 2011 edition look like (link to HD movie @ YouTube)?

Looking forward to see you October 11-12 @ the Amsterdam ArenA !
 

Kind regards,
Jeroen Braak

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Cloud computing lessons learned

Over the years, I've dealt with a number of cloud based solutions and I've found a few lessons learned that I thought I'd share.

 

Cloud Software Privacy Concerns:

Not everything can be stored in a cloud, there are regulations and guidlines that may prevent information from being uploaded to a third party that can limit the use of software

Intergration:

Some cloud products just don't provide the intergration for local authentication to directory services, beware you don't want to be managing hundreds of accounts on a per cloud service.

Mostly Cloud based:

I've had some cloud based vendor that had some applications that still needed to be installed and those parts may just not work well or will require additional IT support. Some have activex or java requirements. Some need sync programs installed, very few were completely web based without some interaction with the os.

 

 

 

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October 17, 2012 Webinar – Application Rationalization: Reduce cost, duration and risk for Windows 7/8 migration

Please join us for the first webinar in our two part series: Application Rationalization for Windows 7/8 and Beyond. In this 45-minute webcast hosted by Futurestate IT, you will learn how to rationalize an application portfolio in order to reduce the cost, duration and risk of a migration project.

Application rationalization is a critical first step in a migration plan. By eliminating, consolidating or modernizing applications, organizations can trim the scope of applications that need to be migrated to the new platform.

In this webinar, we will review:

  • Key criteria for rationalizing a portfolio for migration
  • Findings from our recent survey of IT professionals regarding strategy, best practices and challenges for conducting rationalization as part of a migration plan
  • Potential migration cost savings that can be realized by performing application rationalization
  • Benefits of leveraging AppRx for automated rationalization analysis

For more information visit www.futurestateit.com 

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