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Blog Posts tagged with Virtualization

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KACE: Microsoft App-V integration scripts for the K1000 now available!

Wanted to let everyone know about some scripts that are now available for the K1000 that you’ll find of interest if you are using, or considering using Microsoft App-V for application virtualization.  Best of all, you can download them here, now and at no cost!

These scripts allow you to manage Microsoft App-V sequencing and deployment directly from your K1000 console in the same manner you deploy all traditionally installed software applications.  To be clear, it does not replace any Microsoft App-V licensing or software (you still need to be compliant and have the software installed on each machine), but this does allow you send software images from either a DVD or network share to the MS sequencer and deploy that sequenced image to your client machines directly from the K1000 interface.  In addition, K1000 inventory will include all App-V installed applications from each machine, right next to all of your traditionally installed software applications. So if you are a K1000 customer that wants an easy way to sequence, deploy and track App-V applications, these scripts are for you!


You can download these scripts and a User Guide for setup HERE.  The guide will walk you through importing and setting up / executing the scripts to help manage your App-V environment!

 

For more information on Microsoft App-V and whether it might be a good fit for your organization, visit Microsoft's App-V home page.

 

We hope you find these scripts helpful!  Let us know what you think!

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VMware Fusion and Mac VMs

Fusion 4.0.2 happily runs Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7 guests.  Great for testing behavior in different OS versions.

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Advanced Virtualization Tips from VMware

VMware is  doing a live webinar where they're going to share in-depth tips about setting up a virtual environment. They're going to to have a Senior Engineer on the call and are going to beyond the basics of virtualization set up and give more advanced details. There is also going to have a customer on  who is going to talk about how they virtualized 90% of their environment. 

 

Date: Thursday, April 19

Time: : 10 a.m. PT, 12 p.m. CT, 1 p.m ET

Here is wehre you can register for the event: http://bit.ly/HPLTra

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Interop 2012

Interop 2012 was a decent show with some good discussions and presentations to get you thinking about IT topics and best practices. Vendors delivered the keynotes twice a day with three different speakers taking a slice of the allotted time. Some (like Cisco) did a decent job of talking at a high level and not openly pitching product but stayed very high level (as keynotes often do). Others (like Aveya) just promoted their product complete with a live demo and pleas to come visit them at their booth. As a desktop guy, I was less interested in many of the networking and infrastructure focused breakouts but was happy to find enough virtualization and cloud topics to keep me interested. I branched away from this track when the topic grabbed my interest (like Social Media and Security). Overall it was a good event and while I found it a challenge to create notes worth sharing for some of the sessions I attended, they all were good for getting you thinking with more of a discussion vibe than one of training (arguably a good thing).  Like the recent MMS 2012 event I attended, I’m sharing my notes here on ITNinja and I hope you’ll find them helpful on there own or at least provide some insight as to if you’d want to attend Interop yourself next year. This list will grow and get links during the week long event as I get my notes together…

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The Dark Side of Virtualization: 10 Reasons These Are Not the Virtualized Apps You're Looking For

This was a good discussion presented by Dave Asprey, VP of Cloud Security, Trend Micro. While the title here says ten reasons, each reason had multiple examples, some of which overlapped, so it was really something like “27 reasons you wouldn’t want to virtualize”. Here is the official list offered by Dave with some notes I took during the discussions of each…

 

When you have static, predictable computing needs

If your organization is already standardized, stable and operations are under control, it may not be worth the cost, complexity and risk of forcing the move to virtualization. In most cases you are better off starting with a small, targeted group proving the technology and learning from the small scale deployment, before pushing forward to widespread implementation.

 

When you can’t get a virtualization friendly license

Sometimes (particularly with small vendors) running in a virtualized environment simply is not supported. You might be able to put pressure on them to provide support; if enough customers take this approach it could work. Otherwise, you can do it anyway and break some rules but to get support you’ll need to reproduce your problem on a traditionally installed instance. Some vendors still require dongles, which clearly makes for a challenge in a virtualized environment.

 

When it just won’t work very well
 

High I/O apps such as databases, and those with disk intensive workloads may be mitigated to some degree by using a pass-through drive instead of a virtual drive but may simply be wise to avoid entirely.  Products that require hardware cards without virtualization drivers are rare but troublesome. Graphics-intensive apps can be a concern but this is an issue VM vendors have been working hard on and as such is improving. It is also worth noting that when evaluating applications that don’t work well, there may be new technologies like I/O virtualization that can help to eliminate concerns.

 

When time drift will hurt your apps

Virtual machines store time apart from the physical host and as the two times diverge some applications can be affected. For example, time drive would clearly impact applications like financial real-time trading applications or an industrial control system.

 

When you work for a cheapskate


If you don’t have the budget to pull it off, don’t start it. Taking a half-hearted approach is very likely to be worse than whatever you have today and would not be well received by users.

 

When you’re already running servers at high capacity


While the overhead required to run a virtualized environment is shrinking fast, even the 5 to 15 percent overhead it requires may be too much if your server is already working at 60 percent or so (as pushing beyond 75% is not recommended).

 

When you don’t have a way to manage encryption keys


The work around for password protecting certificates on individual VMs is not recommended. The ideal solution is a policy based encryption key management solution-- which the presenter’s company Trend Micro happens to sell (but credit where credit is due, he did not push the product but simply made everyone aware of it and within this technical discussion it was not unwelcome content).

 

When you use clustered apps with built in failover


Some older, mission critical applications may have high availability features already. One example given, “Microsoft Cluster Services with a shared disk will break in private clouds that allow VMs to automatically move around”

 

When you want to save money on all desktops by virtualizing them

This seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions about VDI—it simply is not cheaper. You still need a client device (which still needs to be secured and managed) and you are adding significant server infrastructure, which is expensive.

 

When you are running virtualization platform components

For this one Dave explained that Virtualization platforms and hypervisors rely upon AD or DNS so if you virtualized AD or DNS you end up in a situation where you can’t start your virtualized environment because of a requirement it is hosting as a virtualized service. In short, you really have to keep your DNS servers on physical servers.

 

All these issues are being addressed as new releases come to market. While this may come across as negative, all the benefits were also highlighted and virtualization was still encouraged. The point was to get one thinking about the fact that implementing virtualization may not (and should not) mean virtualization everything. 

 

[Home page for Bob's Interop 2012 session notes]

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