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Mark CathcartTexas as a playground for rich Mexicans

After the recent fuss over alleged Muslim “no-go”  areas in Europe and,  specifically the UK,  which are total nonsense,  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal better meet with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and start talking about a wall along the Tejas border with Louisiana.

At least down in Southern California, they think swathes of Texas are already a playground for middle and upper classes from Northern Mexico.  Gotta love uninformed,  speculation. Back at ya ‘Merica

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Mark CathcartSomething for the weekend – Ruby Ridge

I continue to try to get behind some the things held as “norms” here in Texas, and more broadly in America. This week has seen many examples of the gun lobby an the freedom from big government get riled up.

Even as a Brit’ I watched with amazement the FBI “invasion” at the Siege of Waco on UK TV. But the whole episode waas too easily dismissed when you stand back and look at those involved, almost as easy as “nut jobs!”.

I came across the story of a Texas Resident John Joe Gray, who is still holed up as a fugitive after 15-years, in his wooded, 50-acre ranch about 100-miles southeast for Fort Worth. I read into his case to see if that would show how many of the gun, freedom fighters had drawn their fear of being disarmed. Nothing really, if this report in the Houston Chronicle is true, not the cause célèbre I was looking for the cops are ignoring him.

11487373-standard[1]After reading an article on John Joe Gray, I came across a link pointing to the Retro Report and their video on the American Standoff at Ruby Ridge in 1992. Fascinating stuff. Ruby Ridge preceded the Waco Siege by almost a year, and at least for me, was unknown.

Having watched through to the end, I can certainly see the seeds of mistrust in the Federal Government, government overreach etc. It’s easy to extrapolate from there. Hundreds of smaller incidents, someone constantly telling you about the bogeyman, eventually you believe it.

Watch along, if you hadn’t heard of Ruby Ridge Idaho, you will after that. Something for the weekend?

Dell TechCenterDell is Ready to Enter the Next Era with Microsoft Windows 10

On January 21, our partner Microsoft shared a preview of the next chapter of Windows at an event held on their Redmond Microsoft campus. We’re excited to continue partnering closely with them, as they deliver the next version of Windows – Windows 10.

 Terry Myerson Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems speaking at their Windows 10 launch event

A lot of you are also excited for it, and have been asking us about availability, drivers, upgrades, etc.

While we can’t provide more details on Windows 10 beyond what Microsoft shared, we can talk about our current Windows devices such as our new multiple-award-winning XPS 13 and our recently-updated Latitude portfolio of business systems.

And, you can purchase these today without worrying about obsolescence tomorrow.

“For people with qualified Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, we are offering a free upgrade,” said Peter Han, vice president of Marketing, Worldwide OEM Division Microsoft Corp. “We want Windows as a service to power the next billion devices and we hope that our current and future customers love it.”

Some of the innovations and features announced yesterday that showcase how Windows 10 will empower people to do more include:

  1. Single Platform: Windows 10 is a single platform built to work seamlessly across all form factors including your phone, tablet or PC. This gives developers a broader app development platform as well, and enable customers to purchase an app once to use across all their devices.
  2. Cortana: Microsoft’s voice-activated personal digital assistant, Cortana is designed to help you to get things done more easily and efficiently and will be available not only on phone, but also PCs and tablets.
  3. Project Spartan: An all-new browser purpose-built to deliver a better web experience—one that’s made for easy sharing, reading, researching, and getting things done online.
  4. Office for Windows 10:New universal Office apps great for touch-first productivity across all devices.   
  5. Suite of In-Box Apps: A new set of in-box applications – universal for working consistently across all Windows devices – for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging, and Mail & Calendar.
  6. Upgrade: Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified, new or existing, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year following the availability of Windows 10.

Another element that makes Windows 10 interesting is how the user community has been involved in its development. We’ve found great success with such crowdsourcing through our IdeaStorm community, our Social Innovation Challenge and more.

“Since we launched the Windows Insider Program in September, we’ve been joined by 1.7 million Windows Insiders, who have delivered over 800,000 pieces of feedback,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of Operating Systems. “We are truly co-creating the future of Windows with you and we’re humbled by your valuable role in this new open development process.”

Myerson also announced on the Windows blog today that some of the new features demoed on Wednesday will be available for Windows Insiders starting today.

For a comprehensive overview of the Windows 10 platform and some new devices announcements made at the event, please review the following Blogging Windows  blog post, Windows for your Business blog post and feel free to view the on-demand recording of the event.

 A man stands in his living room using Microsoft HoloLens enabled by Windows 10.

Dell TechCenterWhitepaper on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 cluster configuration for Dell PowerEdge VRTX with NFS storage

I have been working together with our RAID storage team on some guides for configuring HA clustering on Linux. The first whitepaper we published was on clustering on VRTX with RHEL. This is a whitepaper on clustering with SLES 11 SP3. It is available at:

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/20440909

Please share any feedback on the linux-poweredge mailing list. If you are not already on the list, you can subscribe at <https://lists.us.dell.com/mailman/listinfo/linux-poweredge/>.

Dell TechCenterBig Data Best Practices Lead to Greater ROI

This blog looks at some best practices that may be employed to gain the most ROI when adopting a Big Data solution.(read more)

Dell TechCenterFoglight in Top 10 Most Popular APM Solutions of 2014

IT Central Station has compiled their reviewer data for 2014 and found that Foglight was one of the Top 10 Most Popular APM Solutions of 2014. IT Central Station is the Yelp for Enterprise IT, publishing unbiased user reviews of Enterprise IT products...(read more)

Ryan M. Garcia Social Media Law4 Ways That Copyright Is Just Trying To Do Its Job And Doesn’t Control You

“Did Comcast just copyright my diaper? Does that mean I just filled it with derivative works?”

Copyright law has its flaws but it doesn’t control your life.  This despite a blog post that’s been making the rounds on social media.  I’m not going to link it because I’m trying to combat the fear-mongering–one more verified kill and I earn my Hysteria Killer badge!–but you may see it out there getting some shares.  I make it a rule that once four of my friends shares one of these blatantly wrong articles I need to blog about it.  Fourth one was shared this morning, so here we go.

First off, if you ever see a blog post saying that something is controlling you, be skeptical.  Especially if it is something you knew existed but didn’t give it a second thought until this tantalizing headline appears across your feed.  “This is trying to control me?” your freedom loving mind will think, “I DO NOT WANT TO BE CONTROLLED!  YOU DON’T KNOW ME ANONYMOUS ISSUE I DID NOT CARE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES AGO!”

Our latest culprit?  Copyright law.  It’s trying to control you and run your life and make you watch Gilmore Girls reruns.  And only that last thing is good.

As a skeptic, the number one thing to look for is the source.  In this case the article is coming just from one book–it’s essentially a book report.  Single source articles trying to present a comprehensive look at an issue should set off a mild alarm.  Single source articles trying to just tell you about that source–that’s fine.  Like a movie review or an interview with someone.  But when it’s trying to tackle something as big as copyright law, you should expect more.  Like, I dunno, two sources.  Or more.

If you have the time to search for the single source’s credentials you are typically going to find they are very different from what the article suggests.  Like in this case where the article suggests that the book’s author is just an innocent copyright researcher who has some thoughts on the issue.  Instead, the author is a proud proponent of killing a part of copyright law and seeks out every opportunity to advance his cause.  He’s about as impartial a jury member as the prosecutor.

So what is copyright law being accused of this time?  Only these four horrible things.

1. Copyright is all about locks.

This is coming from the guy who hates these locks.  Despises them.  Thinks they are worse than the Star Wars prequels.  The truth is far less evil.  Copyright law does care about locks around content, but it isn’t all about them.  Not even the majority of copyright law is about these locks–directly or indirectly.  Copyright law is about authors and trying to figure out a way to reward them for their creative efforts.  Efforts which are easily stolen.  It’s a difficult challenge in today’s age of incredibly simple copying and as we face new ways of consuming and creating content.  Copyright law does need to change, but to say it’s all about the locks is like saying your car is all about the seat belt.

2. Copyright law is privacy law.

This one is bizarre since it’s talking about US law, a country with the least amount of privacy laws in the western (and a good chunk of the rest) world.  The US is extremely corporate-friendly when it comes to privacy, especially when compared to Europe which is very consumer friendly.  In the European Union they have a documented and acknowledged fundamental human right to privacy.  In the United States the same government agency that oversees privacy also regulates those tags on your mattress that can’t be removed under penalty of law.

Suggesting copyright law is privacy law is a strange statement.  Stranger still is the support for this argument–that when Viacom sued Google they wanted to be able to look at private videos to see if they were infringing.  Yes, Viacom made an outrageous argument in an outrageous lawsuit that went on for years and where Viacom lost almost every step of the way.  Eventually they settled for no money, which is as close to saying “Whoops, my bad!” as a giant media conglomerate is going to come these days. Taking one bad argument from a really bad lawsuit and turning it into a scare tactic is pretty cheap.

3. Copyright law weakens security.

The argument here is that you use computers a lot and computers like to patch themselves without telling you and that’s really insecure because you don’t know what they’re doing.  That’s an interesting theory except that but for a handful of people in the world NOBODY KNOWS EVERYTHING YOUR COMPUTER CAN DO.  Seriously, even computer engineers at Microsoft working on Windows will know their own piece but ask them about another section of the operating system and they’ll shrug, admit they don’t know, and blame them for some bug that impacts their world.  That’s how computers have operated for decades yet–if you want to know every moving piece of how the machine works then get yourself an abacus, stop driving your car, and pitch your smartphone into a lake.  Modern technology builds on the work of more people than you’ve ever known–if that new functionality somehow translates to less security then you just have a crazy definition of security.

4. Copyright law is surveillance and censorship law.

Oh holy hell.  Copyright is considered surveillance because…Snowden?  Seriously, that’s as cohesive an argument they can make.  They toss in Edward Snowden’s name and suddenly it’s about surveillance.  Hey, know what?  Edward Snowden loves frozen yogurt.  Loves it.  So frozen yogurt must be about surveillance too.  Delicious, delicious surveillance.

The censorship take is about organizations abusing the process to issue take down threats.  This is a somewhat fair criticism.  The law does provide for organizations to request content to be removed from web sites and the web sites must comply in order to be shielded from really ugly lawsuits.  Some organizations may abuse this process to claim copyright for material that has no copyright protection, they just don’t like it.  Definitely abuse.  Clearly abuse.  Also not allowed under the law, but it may take a company some work to weed out those requests from the legitimate ones.  Copyright law is not about censorship just because someone is abusing it and for a while can get away with it.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

I am not saying copyright law is perfect.  It does need to change for new technologies, a new collaborative economy and creative environment that technology has created, and better limits between the public interest and corporate ownership.  But just as copyright law is not perfect neither is any other law.  It’s something that impacts us every day whether we realize it or not, from reading articles online to sharing links on Facebook to creating funny memes to watching shows on Netflix.  We live in an incredibly rich world of content and copyright is important.

But it doesn’t control your life and anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to sell you something.


Dell TechCenterNew Date! Accelerate your Windows Server Migration with Dell Software & AppZero

We have a new date for our Webcast: Accelerate your Windows Server migration with Dell Software & AppZero New Date: 29th January 2015 Time: 16:00 BST / 11:00 EST Presented by: Dell Software experts in Asset Manager and ChangeBASE together...(read more)

Dell TechCenterConnected workers, efficient IT

Global workers can communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere, and with any device using Microsoft Exchange, Lync and SharePoint. These natively integrated unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools are helping more businesses, governments and nonprofits achieve business and IT goals because employees can simply get more done, faster.

Organizations can realize even greater returns from Microsoft investments with Dell solutions for Microsoft UC&C. Efficient, affordable and protected UC&C solutions from Dell have already helped numerous organizations. For example:

  

Locala users add three more hours of appointments each day and improve patient care, while IT boosts UC&C performance and data security with an end-to-end Dell solution.

Employees at Hawaiian Airlines enhance customer service and achieve a sense of “family” among team members with a minimal investment in IT by using existing Dell infrastructure. 

IT staff at TGE accelerate performance of key Microsoft applications by delivering up to 20 times faster access at the network core, as well as cutting network costs by 30 percent.

Students and employees of ID College get more done in less time with easier-to-manage email and dependable voice and video services facilitated by Dell storage and networking solutions.

Global Dell employees gain seamless data access and mobile communications, while the company eliminates more than $1 million in costs with solutions based on Dell servers, storage and networking.

What can a Dell solution for Microsoft UC&C do for you? If you’re a business manager, you can help staff be more productive with anytime, anywhere access to unified communications – typically at a lower cost than with separate video conferencing and telephone services. Chief information officers can deliver reliable, affordable UC&C services by consolidating communications on high-performance, cost-effective servers, storage and networking. IT managers can simplify deployment, monitoring, management and maintenance with reference architectures, best-practices guidance, comprehensive services and automation tools from Dell.  

Formore details about how you can achieve more with Dell solutions for Microsoft UC&C see the links below.

Dell UC&C eBook

Dell UC&C video

Dell UC&C website

Mark CathcartTwo small deposits

I’ve often commented on my absolute disdain for the US Banking system. I’ve been poking around with what I can do to remove some of the barrier to the time delay and inefficiency in the system.

I used my online banking system to add the bank details of a friend. I did it by adding it as an “external account”, providing the ABA routing number and the account number. It informed me that two small deposits would be made into the account, and once I had the details to come back and confirm.

I emailed my friend and said I’d done it and why, and asked to be notified when they arrived and what they were. Once notified, I confirmed with my online bank and immediately did an online funds transfer of $100, it arrived overnight. Next day, I initiated a transfer from my friends account of $50, again, it arrived overnight. I then did another transfer of $50, no problem.

So, while there is no way for me to do any formal set-up or account management, without a single signature, and as far as we can see, no way for my friend to stop me crediting, or more importantly debiting from their account. I’m hopeful that a call to the bank could stop it, surely?

For the record, we bank at completely different banks. Yep, the US Banking system truly sucks, 3rd world at best of function and performance. Out of this world on profits though…


Dell TechCenterUnsarling Traffic Jams at TACC

A look at how researchers are using TACC's Stampede to help solve Austin's growing traffic woes.(read more)

Mark CathcartFarewell to “alms”

I wrote to the Austin Chronicle a couple of weeks back to follow-up on their quote of the week, from departing Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

“It is important to remember that there are over 860,000 people living in Austin. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep this in mind when you’re facing 200 loud voices in the Council Chamber.”

My observation, from being one of those 200 8-10x during Leffingwells tenancy, and addressing the dais probably 3-4 times, was

So, our rail or fail Mayor Leffingwell reminds us that there are some 860,000 people in Austin, and it’s hard to remember that when confronted by 200 loud voices in the chamber [“Quote of the Week,” News, Jan. 9].
Perhaps if he’d been more of a leader, less confrontational, and paid more attention to the issues of those various 200 people, he’d have been elected in 2012 by more than a paltry 10% of Austin voters.
Voter apathy in Austin is legend, and you get what you vote for.

Fellow Austin rail advocate, Andrew Clements followed up my letter aka “piled on” in a follow-up letter, it’s a much better summary of the Leffingwell era, or “legacy” .


Dell TechCenterHaving the Right Tools for the Right Job

To get a job or task completed one needs to the right tools. Yes, it takes know-how and skill but the tools are essential. The butcher, baker and cabinet maker all have a set of tools that are specific to getting their prescribed tasks completed. But just because the correct knife is critical for the butcher, it is little use to the cabinet maker. The right tool for the right job is everything.

In the world of backup and recovery it is much the same. Applications, especially critical ones such as email or databases, need a specific set of tools to allow users to adequately protect and recover them in a timely fashion. This concept of using the right tool for the right job is not new, but an offshoot of our “one size never fits all” mantra we have discussed in the past.

That said, the IT world has undergone several transformational changes in the past several years. The era of converged infrastructure is now upon us, meaning that once separate technology and solution stacks such as servers, storage and networking, now reside in a single chassis. Essentially, it’s a datacenter in a box, if you will. Converged infrastructure also relies on a highly virtualized management or orchestration layer to facilitate the movement of data inside or outside of a physical datacenter or cloud. Another benefit of converged infrastructure is simplified deployment and fewer vendor specific products the customer must deal with during the procurement process. 

So in the era of converged infrastructure application protection and recovery can be a more complex process at the outset. Again, this all hinges on choosing the right tools for the job. Before one can make that determination of the right tool or set of tools, administrators need to determine the applications that are truly central to the mission of their organization.

Email is critical

We hear time-and-time again that email is critical to the operation to most firms. Downtime or data loss is no longer an option for most companies, particularly for their email applications. In order to ensure timely recovery of email without data loss one must have the right set of tools and develop a set of best practices for lossless recovery of their email applications.

In many cases, there is no singular set of tools for application recovery. Customers must embrace tools that are scalable and provide a consistent protection and recovery framework from their datacenter to their applications. The choice depends on their Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). In the case of an email application, does the tool support granular file or folder recovery? Will some level of email be operational during an outage or disaster? Is the tool optimized for offsite disaster recovery and cloud backup of Exchange servers? These are all very key questions when evaluating a new tool for critical application recovery such as email.

In addition to having the right tools for rapid, consistent recovery of critical applications such email or Exchange Servers customers must have a well scripted and orchestrated recovery procedure in place to ensure adequate recovery objectives are met. Moreover, we believe that customers must have a set of best practices to go alongside the best tools for email or application recoveries. The items that a customer must be mindful of when considering a protection and recovery solution or strategy include:

  • Understanding their existing backup environment, including BC/DR initiatives
  • Size, scale and scope of applications to be protected
  • A clear notion of each application RPO and RPO
  • Level of granularity of item, file, folder or object recovery
  • Understanding offsite recovery mechanisms that could use replication technology, disk-based appliances or cloud
  • The alignment of RPO and RTO to current and future business initiatives

These considerations are by no means exhaustive but are important considerations for customers to weigh when deploying new tools for email or application recovery. At Dell, we have a broad portfolio of tools designed to enable customers to achieve email and application recoveries that meet or exceed stringent RPO/RTO’s and align with customer business requirements. Simply put, our data protection and recovery solutions save time, money and provide greater customer value than prevailing solutions in the market today. We continue to develop and refine our products to meet aggressive customer application recovery today and in the future. We encourage customers looking to make a change to consider Dell solutions.

For more tips and best practices for protecting Exchange, download our white paper.

  

 

Dell TechCenterProtecting employee privacy in a BYOD environment

Our mobile devices know more about us than ever before. We can use them to track our health and fitness levels, make mobile payments and control our household thermostats. But the unprecedented levels of personal information stored on these devices cause...(read more)

Dell TechCenterWe have moved!

Find us now at our new home. Same great content on cloud from thought leaders at Dell and outside. So head over to our new blog and don’t forget to subscribe!   

Dell TechCenterThere's Still Time to Register for Today's Group Policy Webcast @DellSoftware

If modifying and deploying Group Policy objects (GPOs) is a team effort in your organization, take a few minutes to get to know GPOADmin , Dell Software’s award-winning solution for GPO management. Register for a live tech demo to watch product...(read more)

Dell TechCenterSimplify deployment and management of virtual desktops in mixed environments and save money

If your IT department has a strong relationship with Microsoft, founded upon an Enterprise Agreement or Software Assurance, or if you receive large discounts on Microsoft licenses, you should consider implementing a desktop virtualization strategy on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. You will be able to implement flexible VDI delivery scenarios, with a choice of application virtualization, remote desktop sessions (RDSH) or full VDI (RDVH) all from a single management console. In addition to providing the usual benefits of desktop virtualization, such as enhanced security, data control, optimization of IT resources and support for BYOD programs, you will also save money: with Dell and Microsoft, the cost per seat starts at under $250. You can also implement persistent virtual desktops for only about 15% more compared to pooled VMs, with or without High Availability.

Dell has released a solution that delivers these benefits: Dell Wyse Datacenter for Microsoft VDI and vWorkspace is a full Dell end-to-end solution, including datacenter infrastructure, Microsoft virtualization software, Dell software, endpoints, and Dell support services. Dell Wyse vWorkspace is Dell's simple, flexible and high performance desktop virtualization software. It is available as an optional component providing providing advanced features that dramatically improve VDI deployments. Indeed, Dell not only offers datacenter infrastructure and endpoints optimized for desktop virtualization, we also offer software that eliminates common adoption and management roadblocks.

Wyse vWorkspace is part of our Dell desktop virtualization solutions for Microsoft that, “when enabled”, enhances and streamlines management for larger or more complex environments. vWorkspace also provides a single console for IT departments with specific requirements not addressed by the native Microsoft Remote Desktop Services platform. vWorkspace is built upon, and fully supports the latest Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor platform and the Microsoft RemoteFX display protocol as its foundation, around which it adds centralized management, desktop and application delivery from VDI, Remote Desktop Session Host, Physical PCs or Microsoft App-V. The purpose of this analysis is to review this list of advanced features and the associated benefits of vWorkspace, some of them unique in the VDI software market.

Scale to tens of thousands for seats

If you have a relatively simple IT environment, if you can scale in pools of roughly 500+ users, or higher if you have PowerShell scripting expertise, you will be well-suited to use Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services alone as your desktop virtualization platform. But if you have a larger environment, if deploying VDI in pools of 500+ users is not practical, you can benefit from the scalable management console provided by vWorkspace.

Avoid problems before they occur

vWorkspace comes with unique Diagnostics and Monitoring features (formerly known as Foglight for Virtual Desktops, see Fig. 1) that are integrated in the vWorkspace Management Console. This software suite puts rapid problem resolution at the fingertips of your helpdesk, desktop support or datacenter personnel. The same management console provides the control center for the entire desktop virtualization infrastructure, enabling the deployment and management of hundreds up to tens of thousands of virtual desktops or remote sessions (RDSH) as needed. Without this integration of monitoring, diagnostics and management in a single console, it can be nearly impossible to correlate events to users and applications. vWorkspace correlates all of the relevant information in a meaningful manner, simplifying management, one of the core tenets of desktop virtualization.

Dan Bolton, from London’s Kingston University, implemented vWorkspace Diagnostics and Monitoring and said: "The tool provides deep infrastructure visibility through detailed architectural representations and out-of-the-box alerts. The in-depth monitoring and diagnostic capabilities have helped me reduce my mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) by at least 75% and ensure more than 99% uptime for my virtual desktops."

Support legacy applications

While the majority of today’s applications run on modern Windows operating systems, many organizations’ business critical applications still run on Windows XP, Windows 2003 or 2008 Terminal Server, or 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host. Several others run on Linux for the flexibility and collaborative improvements inherent in open source software. vWorkspace allows you to maintain your legacy applications in a modern desktop virtualization environment with unified management through a single console. Additionally, these legacy applications maintain a seamless look and feel your users receive with their newer Windows 7 or 8.1 applications. Without this type of broad coverage, IT would likely need to maintain multiple environments, and users would need to navigate to different places for different applications, requiring oversight, user downtime and lost productivity.

Patch and maintain quickly and efficiently

As desktop virtualization deployments grow, patching and maintaining the environment can become very difficult. With native tools, it can take several hours to service hundreds or thousands of virtual machines in a timely manner in order to apply application and security updates. vWorkspace well-designed advanced scheduling, automation, provisioning and caching capabilities allow your IT team to deploy and update hundreds of virtual machines in minutes, or service thousands of VMs in less than an hour. This in turn eliminates the need for disruptive service outages. vWorkspace adds features to Hyper-V consolidating oversight management operations while not taxing the network, storage or currently logged on users.

Control endpoints and user access to specific environments

As user mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives become more common, the need to deliver the best user experience while maintaining a high level of security has become a crucial role for IT. vWorkspace Advanced Targets feature allows you to use granular connection policies to deliver the right applications and virtual desktops to approved users or devices, based on any combination of administrator-defined criteria. This capability then allows IT to grant access to applications based on the user’s identity, location, connectivity and device type. Additionally, the user environment can migrate as his or her environment changes, either in school classrooms, computer labs or hospitals.

For example, a student may have access to certain courseware while on campus, but only to an approved subset when logged on remotely. A university computer lab may be dynamically configured for different courseware, depending on the day of week, time of day and the identity of the end user. In high security environments, certain users (like contractors) may need to use multi-factor authentication such as Dell Defender or RSA SecureID to gain access to sensitive applications or be blocked entirely when requesting access from an untrusted endpoint. Advanced Targets enables IT to enforce almost any type of logic their organization requires in order to provide seamless and secure access to your increasingly mobile users using almost any type of device.

Support virtual desktops across domains with multi-tenancy

Some organizations may discover they need to support untrusted environments, due to de-centralization of IT, mergers and acquisitions, or because they host environments for customers that must not communicate with each other (for security reasons). A challenge in desktop virtualization has been how to service these types of customers without requiring complex security trusts (which may not be allowed), and without duplicating the brokering infrastructure for each “tenant”. vWorkspace multi-tenancy feature enables seamless management and application access in multi-tenant environments, with complete isolation, using a single, centralized desktop virtualization infrastructure. For example, as a customer in a hosted environment, I should not be aware or have access to another customer’s existence, let alone their applications or data. vWorkspace makes this possible.

Reduce storage costs and speed up VM deployments

Another advantage of the vWorkspace architecture is the in-memory caching on the virtualization host server. The server is designed to “hypercache” frequently-accessed data such as the gold image of the operating system in RAM. This memory-based approach helps prevent resource contention associated with boot storms and latency since the most regularly accessed elements are stored in memory to be accessed quicker. Once the IT administrator has created a template virtual machine and finalized the master VM, vWorkspace reads the block sizes of the VHD. By monitoring which blocks are constantly being accessed the solution can cache those blocks in RAM and distribute them from memory rather than from disk-based storage. HyperCache also reduces the IOPS load required within the desktop deployment. This allows the solution to leverage less-expensive Direct Attached Storage (DAS) or local disks instead of more costly SAN space.

The HyperDeploy feature allows almost instant provisioning of virtual desktops including persistent desktops: VMs are created at the same time that the Golden Image is being copied on the server(s), allowing to save up to 40% disk space.

Support for Linux VMs and mixed environments

If you have a need to support Linux workloads alongside Windows VMs, in order to do some software development for instance, vWorkspace is currently the only enterprise desktop virtualization software providing basic support for x64/x86 Linux distributions such as CentOS, Red Hat, Debian or Ubuntu. You can do provisioning, brokering and perform a range of simple power management functions on Linux virtual desktops, based on xRDP connectivity (an open-source RDP stack for Linux). In addition, Dell also offers a range of Wyse thin clients supported on Ubuntu or SUSE Linux (T50, D50D, Z50D and X50M).

Overlapping software tools are not required since the vWorkspace platform supports mixed environments, both in terms of VM operating systems and hypervisors: your IT department can import Microsoft Hyper-V, SCVMM, VMware vSphere, and Parallels Virtuozzo into a single vWorkspace management console and simplify the management responsibilities of your IT administrator.

Keep your users happy with a great experience

vWorkspace supports a wide range of endpoint devices based on Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android, Java, Linux, ThinShell and HTML5-enabled browsers, allowing your users to choose the device of their choice. This is made possible via freely available vWorkspace connectors.

vWorkspace runs natively on RemoteFX. The vWorkspace team has made improvements to this protocol enhancing RDP support for audio, graphics, multimedia, multi-monitoring, print and USB on WAN. The latest version brings improvements such as Flash Redirection, multi-media redirection and bi-directional audio. Users can continue to integrate unified voice communications, Web conferencing, and video conferencing into their desktop computing experience as the solution supports Microsoft Lync 2013. vWorkspace also supports voice applications over LAN & WAN, even over high latency and low bandwidth connections. Finally, it also supports end-to-end Universal Printing for VDI and RD Session Hosts, eliminating the need for a third party application.

Conclusion

At Dell, we have fully integrated our solution with Windows Server 2012 R2 so we can leverage Microsoft’s secure, scalable and high performing platforms that are core to our desktop virtualization solution; the hypervisor (Hyper-V), the display protocol (RemoteFX) and the application virtualization (App-V). Our vWorkspace suite provides your IT department enhanced management, flexibility and performance features around the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platform providing the flexibility you need to whatever changes come your way. And you can do all of this in a most cost effective way.

For more information, read the reference architecture for Dell Wyse Datacenter for Microsoft VDI and vWorkspace or learn about the vWorkspace virtualization software. Visit www.dell.com/wyse/microsoft or contact us to learn more.

Dell TechCenterProduct Release: Wyse vWorkspace Connector for Mac OS X version 8.5

Good day, We just released version 8.5 of the vWorkspace Connector for Mac OS X. The Connector for Mac is desktop virtualization client software that enables you to access Windows and Linux based desktops, applications and data from your Mac anytime...(read more)

Dell TechCenterIT Admins and Security teams simplify, speed and close security gaps with InTrust 11.0

An organizations’ most valuable asset is its data and the users that have access to it. For IT and security departments it’s imperative to ensure company data is secure, available and compliant. In order to do this, IT must keep track of critical...(read more)

Dell TechCenterWhy Advancing the Circular Economy for IT Matters

Today, we live in a mostly linear economy, one in which we take, make, consume and dispose of natural resources daily. The end result? Trash and diminishing natural resources. This model is not sustainable.

Over the next 30 years, three billion people will enter the middle class, which means there will be three billion new consumers of more stuff, including technology. This is great news for both IT and the prospect of eradicating poverty, but it also forces us to become much more thoughtful and focused on maximizing the resources that are available. 

A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. A new study by WRAP and the Green Alliance also shows that improving resource efficiency can make a “valuable contribution” to reducing unemployment. These business and design principles have been core to Dell’s sustainability strategy from the beginning – from product design and innovative packaging materials to smarter shipping and robust recycling programs.

What’s more, we are also committed to enabling customers to use cloud services, virtualization and other technologies that make it easy for customers to achieve their goals without acquiring more ‘stuff.’

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Last night, during the inaugural Circular Economy Awards at Davos, our Dell team was honored with the 2015 Accenture Award for Circular Economy Pioneer. The award recognizes established organizations demonstrating existing business innovation that supports a circular economy.

“Dell is not only setting an outstanding example through its own sustainability practices, but is playing a leading role in advancing the standards, infrastructure and international policies that will move the entire technology industry toward a circular economy. This will safeguard scarce resources and ultimately improve the competitiveness of those who, like Dell, are leading the charge,” said Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture.

Advancing a circular economy requires that we all look beyond our walls to inspire better practices throughout our entire ecosystem, making sustainability easier for customers and partners. How can IT help advance your sustainability goals?  Leave a comment or tweet me @TrisaDellCRO.

For more information on Dell’s circular economy efforts, visit dell.com/circulareconomy or follow us on Twitter @Dell4Good #LegacyOfGood.

Michael Dell with Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture, at the 2015 Circular Economy Awards, Davos Switzerland

Michael Dell with Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture, at the 2015 Circular Economy Awards, Davos Switzerland.

Dell TechCenterPlease Release Me… Let me go…

To be clear, this blog post will focus on Stat specific to Release Management and not the song. What’s Important? There are several key items that are important to know for Release Management: Your Stat Admin must create the release “labels”...(read more)

Dell TechCenterBronto Software Delivers Customer Analytics with Dell Networking

As a cloud-based marketing provider for over 1300 brands, and the number one ranked email marketing provider according to the Internet Retailer Top 1000, Bronto Software has enormous demands on their IT infrastructure. With billions of transactions per day, Bronto experiences a demand increase of more than 3x during busy shopping periods (e.g. Black Friday/Cyber Monday, other major holidays, etc.), and has seen a 30% revenue growth over the last few years. To stay ahead of this rapid increase in customer volume, Bronto requires a 70% growth in their IT platform.

With this rapid growth, and a need for big data analytics and SaaS IT complexity, they recognized the significant upgrades to their networking infrastructure couldn’t be met by their current vendor. That’s why they chose Dell Networking. Bronto saw Dell Networking as uniquely effective at meeting their business growth and big-data throughput requirements, and were impressed with Dell Active Fabric, which utilizes the Dell Networking S6000 switch to function at the spine/aggregation layer.  “The Dell Networking S6000 gives us 2.5 terabytes per second of back-lane speed, which blows what we had out of the water,” according to Systems Engineering Manager, Doug Hairfield. 

BrontoFor the access/top-of-rack layer, Bronto chose the Dell Networking MXL blade switch for its industry leading speed in managing thousands of virtual machines for effective east/west (server to server) communication.  Bronto was also impressed with Dell’s Virtual Link Trunking (VLT) technology. VLT creates a trunk between two separate pieces of hardware, allowing for redundancy so that customers can take down one piece of hardware for maintenance and upgrades without disrupting their network operations.  They saw that other vendors had similar  technology but couldn’t match the complete features of Dell’s VLT solution.  They also saw an advantage in Dell’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) ready switches – as they expect to deploy SDN in the future.   “Dell has really come to the table and helped us architect a solution that has been amazing and has really helped to move Bronto’s game forward on the networking side,” said Hairfeld.

As those at Bronto reflect on the company’s success and current momentum, they consider Dell’s relation to be strategic to its future. “Dell has given us the tools and expertise that have helped us realize our open-source IT model,” says Erik Morse, VP of Engineering.  “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing Dell is a resource we can draw on whenever we need them.” 

To learn more about Bronto’s success deploying Dell Networking check out the video below. Follow us on Twitter at @DellNetworking to learn more about Dell's Networking capabilities.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterIt’s not too late to join our Webcast: Accelerate your Windows Server migration with Dell Software & AppZero

Webcast: Accelerate your Windows Server migration with Dell Software & AppZero Date: 22 nd January 2015 Time: 16:00 BST / 11:00 EST Presented by: Dell Software experts in Asset Manager and ChangeBASE together with experts from AppZero ...(read more)

Dell TechCenterInstalling Debian 8 on a Dell XPS 13

This is a step-by-step installation guide written by Eric Mill (@konklone) and Paul Tagliamonte (@paultag) showing how to install Debian 8 on a Dell XPS 13 notebook:

You will need:

    • A USB drive** with at least 1 GB of space.
    • A USB network connection.** Like a smartphone that can tether a WiFi connection over USB, or a USB WiFi stick.
    • You Will Also Need A Computer

I am using a Dell XPS 13 purchased through the Dell Ubuntu program: https://www.dell.com/ubuntu

Dell calls their program Project Sputnik (https://sputnik.github.io/), and it is managed by a friendly team of Linux engineers inside Dell who partner with Ubuntu (http://partners.ubuntu.com/dell) to ensure that your computer will Just Work with Linux.

The Dell XPS 13* is also used by multiple Debian team members, so your pain points will be theirs, and they're likely to quickly fix things.

Supporting Dell's program is a wonderful thing to do, and it's also just a great laptop.*

 *

You Will Also Need Debian

Debian has `unstable`, `testing`, and `stable` versions:

    •  `unstable` is the most fresh: the edge.
    •  `testing` runs 10 days behind `unstable`, and is probably what you want.
    •  `stable` is (deliberately) quite out of date as it waits for software to prove itself, and because of that is extremely stable. It runs underwater robots.


This guide uses the latest beta image, on the `testing` channel. As of writing, this was: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/jessie_di_beta_2/amd64/iso-cd/debian-jessie-DI-b2-amd64-netinst.iso 

Please visit GitHub to read Eric's excellent guide in it's entirety: https://github.com/konklone/debian/blob/master/installing.md

* minor edits from original document

Dell TechCenterCONFIG.XML Deciphered

This is an updated edit to a previous post from some time ago to raise its awareness of this great feature again.  In previous posts we had talked about how you could configure the Wyse vWorkpspace client to automatically get configured. The actual configuration is stored in a file called CONFIG.XML. Basically every single client setting can be controlled through CONFIG.XML. Stephen Yorke provided us with lots of infomation so this post describes all the different settings that are available, what they mean and what possible values they can have.  You can use  this document as a guideline to create your own CONFIG.XML. Do not use it as a source CONFIG.XML. Use the sample CONFIG.XML located on each vWorkspace Connection Broker at C:\Program Files\Quest Software\Provision-IT as the source for your customer CONFIG.XML.


CONFIG.XML Settings


'FarmName'(string, Default='vWorkspace Farm')

This is the Farm Name, this can be anything you want it to be but once connected it will take the name of the actual vWorkspace Farm set in the vWorkspace Management Console

'OverrideFarmName''(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Off, No override of the Farm Name

1 = On, Allow override of Farm Name

Override Farm Name will allow one to set the 'FarmName' to anything you want and this is how it will show up in your AppPortal client.

'HideSettings'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not Hide in the vWorkspace Client

1 = Hide the vWorkspace Client settings

This is used so users cannot see the settings set for the vWorkspace Client.

'DefaultLocation'(1|2|3, Default is 1 if PromptForLocation is 0) The CONFIG.XML file supports up to 3 different locations for a Farm Connection, set this to the one you want to be the default startup.

'PromptForLocation'(integer, 0|1 = Default=1)

0 = Off, Do not prompt for location

1 = On, Prompt for location

PromptForLocation tells the vWorkspace Client to prompt for a location, this is specified in the LOCATIONS SECTION of the CONFIG.XML file; Inside Office, External Access, SSL Access, ETC Names can be anything.

'EnableSSO'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable SSO

1 = Enable SSO

This is for Cached Credentials NOTKerberos Authentication

'EnableKerberos'(0|1 = Default=0 = Takes precedence over EnableSSO)

0 = All Authentication

1 = Initial Authentication Only (Logon)

'DisallowSaveCredentials'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Allow clients to save their credentials within the vWorkspace Client

1 = Do not allow clients to save their credentials within the vWorkspace Client

'DesktopWidth'(640 to 4096, default=800)

Custom width for Connections, does not apply if SeamlessMode is set to 1

'DesktopHeight'(480 to 2048, default=600)

Custom height for Connections, does not apply if SeamlessMode is set to 1

'FullScreen'

0 = Do not enable full screen mode

1 = Enable full screen mode

'SpanMonitors'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not use vWorkspace enhanced Multimonitor capabilities

1 = Enable vWorkspace enhanced Multimonitor capabilities

'ColorDepth'(8 to 32 = Default=8)

Set the default colour quality of your Desktop Connection/vWorkspace Applications: 8, 15, 16, 24, 32

'SeamlessMode'(0|1 = Default=1)

0 = Off, No Seamless Windows

1 = On, Seamless Windows will be used

'EnableLocalTextEcho'' (0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Off, Local Text Echo disabled

1 = On, Local Text Echo enabled

'DisplayConnectionBar'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not display the connection bar when using full screen

1 = Display the connection bar when using full screen

'PinConnectionBar'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not pin the connection bar

1 = Pin the connection bar

'EnableLocalTextEcho'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Off, Local Text Echo disabled

1 = On, Local Text Echo enabled

'EnableGraphicsAcceleration'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Off, Graphics Acceleration disabled

1 = On, Graphics Acceleration enabled

'EnableMultimediaRedirection'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Off, Multimedia Redirection disabled

1 = On, Multimedia Redirection enabled

'AudioMode'(0|1|2 = Default=0)

0 = Bring sound to the local computer

1 = Do not play sound

2 = Leave at remote computer

'KeyboardHook'(0|1|2 = Default=0)

0 = On local computer

1 = On remote computer

2 = In full screen mode only

'RedirectDrives'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect local drives

1 = Redirect local drives

'RedirectPrinters'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect local Printers (this is not Universal Printers)

1 = Redirect local Printers

'RedirectUniversalPrinters'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect Universal Printers

1 = Redirect local Universal Printers

'RedirectComPorts' (0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect local COM Ports

1 = Redirect local COM Ports

'RedirectSmartCards'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect SmartCards

1 = Redirect SmartCards

'RedirectHandhelds'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect Handheld Devices

1 = Redirect local Handheld Devices

For Terminal Services this applies for the USB-IT feature, for desktop (VDI) connections this setting applies to the Universal USB support.

'RedirectClipBoard'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect the Clipboard

1 = Redirect the Clipboard

'RedirectMicroPhone' (0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not redirect the Microphone

1 = Redirect the Microphone

'EnableWallpaper'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable local wallpaper

1 = Enable local wallpaper

'EnableFullWindowDrag'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable windows content while dragging

1 = Enable windows content while dragging

'EnableAnimation'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable Animations

1 = Enable Animations

'EnableThemes'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable Themes

1 = Enable Themes

'EnableBitmapCaching'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not enable Bitmap caching

1 = Enable Bitmap caching

'AutoReconnect'(0|1 = Default=1)

0 = Do not auto reconnect to a session if disconnected/dropped

1 = Auto Reconnect to a session if it is disconnected/dropped

'AllowPasswordManagement'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not use Password Management Server

1 = Use Password Management Server

The Password Management server must already be setup and functional on a Member Server of the Domain. This site has a Configuration document on this setup.

'PasswordManagementServer' (string)

Fully Qualified Domain Name or SSL Certificate Name of the Password Management Server, do not include https or port numbers just the string for the server itself:

pwdmgr.domain.com

'PasswordManagementPort'(1 to 65535, Default=443)

Port to use for Password Management Server, 443 is default in the Control Panel applet

'DIShortcutLocations'

bitfield where:

1=Desktop, 2=StartMenu, 4=StartMenu\Programs

Combinations are any items added together, e.g, 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7)

'AutoLaunchAppN'(AppName, N is 1 to 10)

Desktop

Microsoft Outlook

PuTTY

You can have a total of 10 auto-launched applications, the Data is the actual name of the Managed Application within the vWorkspace Management Console; Resources '> Managed Applications

NOTE: The vWorkspace Client will only launch the FIRST application found and will not launch multiple applications, this is useful if multiple Groups have different a different list of Applications assigned to them; HR have an HR Application, Developers have a Developer Program, Admins have a Full Desktop, ETC'

'Number'(1|2|3)

Used to identify the location which you are creating, you can have up to 3

'Name'(string)

Name of the Connection; IE: Internal, External, Secure, ETC

'Protocol'(0|1 = 0=http, 1=https)

If using Secure-IT this should be 1 but if only using this for internal connections it will most likely be 0

'TCPPort'(1 to 65535, default=-1)

The TCP Port of the Connection Broker Server

'UseProxy'(0|1 = Default=1)

0 = Configure AppPortal to NOT use the Proxy Server configured in Windows.

1 = Enable AppPortal to use the Proxy Server configured in Windows.

'ProxyServer'(string)

IP:Port of proxy server to use for connections

'ProxyServerBypassList'(string)

see MSFT documentation for proxy exceptions

'ServerList'(string)

Comma separated string of connection broker servers, FQDN, IP, NetBIOS name

broker1.domain.com, xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

'RDPonSSL'(0|1 = Default=0)

RDP over SSL (Secure-IT connections)

0 = No RDP over SSL

1 = Use RDP over SSL (you will need to have Protocol set to 1 and the SSLGateway set

'EnableNAT'(0|1 = Default=0)

0 = Do not Enable NAT translation for firewall connections

Dell TechCenterAs Ebola Tests the World, Dell Teams Step Up with Technology

Our government customers do some very demanding and difficult work, and for the most part they do so unnoticed and unrecognized. This work occurs in both ordinary and extraordinary times.

While Ebola may have moved from the front page of many news organizations, the emergency response underway in West Africa to stem the spread of the deadly virus continues.

When TIME chose the Ebola Fighers as Person of the Year for 2014, they noted it was “a test of the world’s ability to respond to potential pandemics,” and Dell played a part in helping the world face that test.

CDC EIS Officer, Miwako Kobayashi provided training for around 65 staff at CH Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County.

When most people think of an emergency or disaster response, technology isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but it is one of the most important elements of any response plan. The rapid flow of information is a force multiplier, helping those on the ground respond more effectively.

“I know technology can significantly help these efforts. Already, we know mobile data collection is going to save doctors hours per day of routine paperwork.” said Joel Selanikio, M.D. in a special report to WTOP.com from Sierra Leone earlier this month.

Rapidly accessible information also greatly assists those at emergency operations centers to understand needs on the ground so that assets can more effectively be deployed in response to those needs. The technology required for these operations isn’t always complicated but it is essential.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been in the midst of a very challenging set of circumstances as they work to address the dire situation in West Africa during the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As CDC has risen to meet the challenge, the CDC Foundation—an independent nonprofit with a mission to connect CDC to the private sector—turned to Dell to assist them in very quickly deploying some much needed technology resources for CDC’s teams in the field.

Dell’s government team organized, imaged and donated over 100 notebooks to CDC, through the CDC Foundation, in just over two weeks to match the speed of the epidemic.

Ebola team plans for visits to help figure out how CDC can support southern counties in Liberia.

As a Dell employee, it feels good to know that we were able to meet this very challenging need to help CDC fulfill its mission of saving lives and protecting people. It’s especially heartning whenI hear on NPR Morning Edition that Liberia has registered its lowest weekly total of cases since June. Sierra Leone has reported a decline for the second week running, and in Guinea, where the epidemic began, the number of cases has also fallen.

The Dell Federal business team was honored to help CDC professionals, who in many cases were on the front lines fighting the epidemic, to respond in the field with the tools needed to accomplish their mission.

It doesn’t happen often, but when customers like the CDC Foundation reach out for assistance we do all we can to help them.

The credit for this significant undertaking goes to our Dell Federal team that was able to pull all of this together so quickly. We’re here to serve our customers in the federal government every day — but we’re particularly heartened to give just a little bit extra to meet a critical need.

Images via CDC

Dell TechCenter5 Ways Toad Xpert Edition Can Help You Write Better Code

A few of us write perfect code the first time through. Like this fellow.

For the rest of us, there’s Toad for Oracle Xpert Edition. We’ve published a new business brief packed with screenshots and five ways Xpert Edition can help you write better code.

Team productivity, tighter code and better testing

Toad for Oracle Xpert Edition picks up from Toad for Oracle Base Edition, the tried and true tool for database development and administration. Unlike other development environments for SQL, Xpert Edition is built for team productivity. Many of its features enable teams of programmers to collaborate and release tighter, better-tested code.

Here is an overview of the five things you can do with Xpert Edition to write and release better code:

  1. Write more-efficient code quickly and easily. Xpert Edition includes integrated SQL and PL/SQL performance tuning, with the Auto Optimize tool inside the Toad Editor, and SQL Optimizer for reduced query times.
  2. Ensure code quality. You can validate your code in real time in Toad Editor or use Code Analysis for review and management reporting across the entire project.
  3. Manage code changes effectively. Integrate with version control tools and combine Team Coding with Code Analysis to enforce your organization’s standards of code quality.
  4. Quickly create valid test data. The Data Generation feature populates empty tables with representative data for the data types defined within the schema objects.
  5. Automatically generate sync scripts and report on schema changes. You can confirm that your expected schema changes are moving successfully from DEV to TEST to PROD and quickly catch any unexpected changes.

Next steps

Try Toad for Oracle Xpert Edition free for 30 days and have a look through the business brief, “Top Five Reasons to Upgrade to Toad Xpert Edition” for lots more details on how Xpert Edition can help you write better code.

Dell TechCenterAuto-configuration of Provision Networks Clients

One common question to our Technical Support Engineers is how do I auto-configure clients that are not logging on via Web-IT (the vWorkspace Secure Web Portal). Stephen Yorke from our Technical Support Department was kind enough to share the following documentation with us:


The CONFIG.XML file used by vWorkspace allows one to AUTO-configure the vWorkspace Connector client. There are a couple of things one will need to know prior to configuring this file.

1. There is a TEMPLATE file located in \Program Files (x86)\Quest Software\vWorkspace\Provision-IT on your Connection Broker Server. Another blog post discusses all the different settings that are available in CONFIG.XML

2. If you want AUTO-configuration to work, you will need to do one of two things:

The Easy Way
Create a DNS Entry (A Record or CNAME) assigned the name VWORKSPACE which is actually a Web Server located on your network and place the configured CONFIG.XML file in the root of the Web Server

•IIS: \Inetpub\wwwroot
•Apache: edit the 000-default file and look for DocumentRoot ( found in /etc/apache2 )

A Little Trickier
Create a login script or push out a Registry Setting to your client computers. The registry setting is:

HKLM\Software\Provision Networks\Provision-IT Client
Value: AutoConnectURL
Type: REG_SZ
Data: http://www.domain.com

You might have multiple CONFIG.XML files if you have multiple farms. No problem, just use the following registry key (you will require Client version 5.9.227.118 or above for this):

HKLM\Software\Provision Networks\Provision-IT Client
Value: AutoConnectURL
Type: REG_MULTI_SZ
Data: (One Per Line)
http://www.domain1.com/config.xml
http://www.domain1.com/provconf/myconfig.xml
https://ssl.domain.com/config.xml

3. Install the vWorkspace Connector Client

4. Launch the client and it will Auto-Magically configure itself!

Dell TechCenterThree Steps to Simplify Your Identity and Access Management

I spend way too much of my time thinking about identity and access management (IAM). I guess it’s what pays the bills, so that’s a good thing. I get paid to write about, talk about, and evangelize the Dell way of doing IAM.

I’ve written a little book called Identity and Access Management for the Real World. Chapter One: The Fundamentals delves into the basics of IAM, the challenges we all face, and some recommendations to overcome those challenges.

Unlike many of you, if I mess something up I just look like a fool … no one really gets hurt, my employer doesn’t suffer significant damage, and there’s no headlines warning everyone of the dangers of doing business with me or my employer.

Identity and access management challenges can be boiled down to a few concepts:

  • People need access to stuff to do their jobs and someone has to make sure that they can get to what they need when they need it.
  • The business needs to make sure that those people only get to the stuff they should get to and not too much.
  • There’s always someone watching to make sure that you do those things according to some rules, that you had no hand in defining.
  • The people at risk if things go wrong are often woefully lacking in the ability to control their own fates (i.e. they must rely on people that know how to do stuff but not why to do it to actually set up and enforce the rules that must be followed).

These tenets aren’t universal; there are organizations that have everything nailed down and have all the right people doing the right things and are able to prove it. But there are many more (possibly you and your organization) that are struggling with one or more of these factors. That’s just the way it is. Here’s a short Identity and Access Management video that discusses one company’s struggle with, and solution to this complexity problem. 

I think the reason we have these problems is that we’re spending so much time putting out fires that we haven’t been able to purge the dead undergrowth to prevent the next fire from spreading out of control. After all, when you find a weakness or experience a breach, you must immediately find a solution to that problem. And the fastest solution may not be one that has anything to do with the preventing the next fire that will inevitably ignite. We end up with a bunch of disjointed access methods, a jumble of ways authorization is defined and enforced, and lots of productivity-sapping hoops that end users and IT have to jump through just to do their jobs – all in the name of better security. The victim is business agility (and isn’t that what we’re all in business for in the first place?)

Here are three things you can do to minimize the disjointed and ad hoc approach to IAM that is so prevalent:

  1. Reduce complexity where ever possible. Take advantage of existing tools and infrastructure whenever possible to reduce the need for new identities, new provisioning workflows, and new IT tasks to simply grant users access. A great example of this is the AD bridge – simply extending Active Directory authentication and authorization to Unix/Linux systems has proven to dramatically reduce the workload and risk of access to those systems.

  2. Put the business in charge. We all love our IT departments but they should not be the ones making decisions on who should access what and under what circumstances. But they are precisely the ones that most often control these things simply because they know how to manage the systems and the accounts. Do whatever you can to return that control to the ones that are accountable for the data stored and used on those systems.

  3. Keep your eye on the prize. The ultimate goal of everything is to fulfill your organizational objectives – whether that’s making money, serving constituents, educating people, or changing the world. This concept of agility is difficult when all your efforts are focused on simply getting things done. From an IAM standpoint this means lots of wasted time and effort on menial tasks like password resets, multiple logins, redundant roles, and manual provisioning processes. All of those things are important, but following the first two recommendations will inevitably result in a more efficient (and more governable) IAM approach that becomes a business enabler not productivity black hole.

The little book I've written goes into more detail on this future-proof approach to IAM. Subsequent chapters discuss the specifics of governance, access management, privileged account management, mobility, and even IAM as a service. I’ll be writing about those topics in the coming weeks.

 

Dell TechCenterWhen Protecting Specific Applications, Start at the Beginning

The convergence of IT systems, and IT teams and resources, is happening on a ongoing basis. In the attached paper from DCIG, the firm cites  an IDC report putting the growth of the “converged infrastructure market” at 54 percent over the next three years (versus a 1.2 percent growth for the general infrastructure market). A healthy growth rate indeed, but the specific numbers aren’t as important as the fact that convergence is happening and as IT teams, we need to face that reality.

But it won’t be a light switch where everything changes at once, and for some time there will be specific applications that need individual attention. For these applications, such as databases, which may have been a specialty of one person in the past but are now the responsibility of a converged team that may not have as deep knowledge, the key is simplicity.

Luckily, many of the larger tenets of a smart backup and recovery plan hold true for application specific solutions. If you are looking for best practices and tips on protecting databases, specifically Oracle, the attached paper from DCIG provides some great information.

But before we get there, it’s important to review some important points in data protection planning, as they all apply to your approach with Oracle.

So without further ado, here are the first four steps we recommend businesses follow when building a smarter (read; more simple) backup and disaster recovery plan:

1.  Conduct an asset inventory

Yes, it probably goes without saying, but you can’t start planning without first knowing what your environment looks like. This is where you’ll want to collect information on all IT assets. In the case of application-specific scenarios, you want to know the basics. Which applications is the business running? Are there any dependencies inside this system? How much data is involved?

 2.  Perform a risk assessment

Once you’ve mapped out your infrastructure and identified dependencies, this is where you answer the question of “what if” X, Y or Z happens. That can take the form of outages and crashed, but in the case of databases, it includes the corruption of those databases and how the data (corrupt or otherwise) gets moved or replicated through the system.

 3.  Define the criticality of applications and data

At face value, this one’s pretty simple. Your company’s database is more important than your co-worker’s secret BitTorrent server. However, this step shouldn’t be skipped or quickly worked through. Restoring business-critical applications requires you to first understand which ones are actually critical, and more importantly, gain mutual agreement on the level of criticality across business units. There can be some hard decisions here, but they need to be made.

 4.  Define Recovery Objectives

Here’s where a lot of people get tripped up. We oftentimes see IT pros set recovery objectives without consulting application owners and business line managers. Guess what happens when your IT-defined SLAs don’t match the business expectations? Not a great place to be. It’s important we set our objectives collaboratively to ensure our plan is effective.

Hopefully this is useful information regardless of whether you’re interested in general disaster recovery planning or specifically protecting your Oracle database. For more info on the latter, please take some time to look at the attached DCIG report.

Ravikanth ChagantiContainers – What are they? Why do you need one? – Part 1

Containers? No, not the shipping containers but the much-hyped container technology in the computer industry. I am sure even if you have not used any of the existing container technologies, you must have at least read or heard about them. I am not the first one to write about containers and this is certainly not an in-depth overview of container technologies. I will eventually get there and show you how you can deploy different container technologies. This series of articles is about my own thoughts and a documentation for my own reference. In the process, I wish to help my readers as well. Let us get started. In this article, I will first describe what is the need for containers and how they are different from the virtual machines that we have been using all this while. Infrastructure Challenges Before we start looking at containers, let us dig into some of the challenges in the current infrastructure models. This will form the foundation for moving to containers and you will be able to appreciate the value containers bring. Traditional …

Dell TechCenterEnterprise Reporter: Do you want to use a shared data location?

In my previous article, I provided an overview of How to Select Scopes from Other Domains . Today, we'll be exploring the use of shared data locations to improve collection times. Each discovery cluster can be configured to access an optional shared...(read more)

Dell TechCenterThe spectrum of strategies for securing data on mobile devices

 As you launch or expand a mobility program for your organization’s employees, you know that securing data is a top priority. You need mobility solutions that make sure intellectual property, customer credit card data, patient information and other types of sensitive data remain protected from loss, theft and other unauthorized access.

Of course, not all types of data residing on or accessed from mobile devices require the same type or level of protection. For example, if you allow employees to use their own personal devices as part of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, your organization doesn’t need to invest in expensive security solutions that protect their personal emails. At the same time, though, you do need ways to protect any enterprise emails that those employees read, create and send using their devices.

Understanding what types of data your mobile employees are accessing is the first step in applying the appropriate types and levels of protection. Let’s look at the spectrum of data types and identify some possible ways to keep those types secure.

1.  Highly regulated data. Some enterprise data must be tightly secured to comply with government or industry regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) or regulations stemming from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

There are several possible ways to maintain compliance with these regulations while supporting mobile productivity. For example, you might adopt a secure enterprise workspace solution to ensure this highly regulated data does not commingle with or “leak” into the personal environment on an employee-owned device. Workspace solutions such as Dell Mobile Workspace and Desktop Workspace allow mobile employees to access this highly regulated data while offering extensive security capabilities that protect data residing on devices. These solutions also provide the reporting and audit trail capabilities needed to demonstrate compliance.

You might decide to take additional steps and lock down that highly regulated data in the data center. You could, for example, allow employees to access web-based applications if those applications already exist. Creating new web-based applications might be too costly and time-consuming, however.

Alternatively, you could use a solution such as Dell Wyse vWorkspace, which enables mobile workers to access data that remains secure in the data center. With this solution, no regulated data resides on mobile devices. Like the other Dell workspace solutions, reporting and audit capabilities help you streamline the process of providing compliance.

In some cases, organizations might need to go even further in protecting data. For example, government agencies might require employees to use specially secured agency-issued devices and connect to data only through secure, on-premises network connections.

2.  Confidential enterprise data. What about other confidential enterprise information, such as intellectual property, business strategies, partner agreements, employment information and so on? Unauthorized access to this information could lead to a damaged reputation, loss of research funding, identity theft and no competitive edge.

Using an “app wrapping” solution or web-based application approach might help secure some of this data. But a secure enterprise workspace approach can deliver the requisite level of security while also streamlining management and providing the flexibility to address a wide range of business group needs.

Workspace solutions help secure applications, data and enterprise networks. But your organization may decide to focus your security efforts solely on the data. For example, a school might allow teachers to use their own versions of Microsoft Office on their personal laptops for work. IT administrators could then apply file-level encryption to make sure sensitive information relating to students remains secure even while teachers are using Office.

3.  Non-confidential enterprise data. Not all information created and shared among enterprise employees requires high levels of security. Publicly available information (such as the addresses of suppliers or partners), non-work-related texts between colleagues and similar data would cause no serious harm to the company if it were lost or accessed by unauthorized people. The challenge is separating this data from confidential data.

You could use file-based encryption to secure just the data you need to secure, which is where a secure enterprise workspace solution might be useful. With a workspace, you could keep that non-confidential data protected along with other data without requiring extra effort or cost. A workspace also gives employees the option to keep non-confidential information in their personal space.

4.  Personal data. If you’re running a BYOD program, you’ve probably decided that protecting your employees’ personal emails, texts, applications, photos, social media posts and other files is their responsibility. You might enable them to benefit from enterprise solutions, such as full hard-drive encryption or anti-virus software, for example, but for the most part, your security focus is — and should be — on enterprise applications and data. Since most employees want to preserve their privacy, few will be upset that you are not directly enforcing security policies that cover their personal environment.

Whatever types of data you need to protect, and whichever solutions you employ, user education is essential. Make sure your employees understand what data is sensitive, why your chosen security solutions are important and what their roles are in terms of protecting information.

Ravikanth ChagantiReboot Camp Bangalore – Learn about Microsoft Cloud offerings from the experts

Bangalore IT Pro, PowerShell Bangalore, and BDotNet groups along with Microsoft are organizing the Reboot Camp Bangalore on January 31st. Reboot Camp is a India-wide event organized by Microsoft communities and is an in-person event. The Bangalore event features several community rock stars and Microsoft evangelists talking about Microsoft Cloud offerings both from a IT Pro and Developer point of view. I will be speaking in the IT Pro track about Microsoft Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and Windows Azure Pack for building private clouds. Here is the complete agenda: Start Time Session Speaker 9.30AM Keynote TBA 10.00AM Overview of Microsoft Cloud Offerings Nirmal Sundara Raman (MSFT) 11.15AM Azure Infrastructure as Service Pracheta Budhwar (MSFT) 12.15PM Azure Resource Manager Ravikanth Chaganti 02.00PM Office 365 Services Nirmal Sundara Raman (MSFT) 03.00PM Better together: Azure AD + O365 and Windows Phone TBA 03.30PM Building Private Clouds with Azure Pack Ravikanth Chaganti 04.30PM Closing Note on next steps for IT pros TBA You can register for this event at http://rebootblr.azurewebsites.net/

Gina Minksthe new face of storage bloggers

This week, Stephen Foskett’s Virtual Field Day (VFD4 to be exact) was in Austin. One thing I noticed right away is that I didn’t know most of the delegates. I think I upset some of them, but in all honestly I was so excited to see that. This week I added 8 new blogs to my RSS reader: I have a new woman in tech to follow (y’all she is the real deal..if you are

read more here

Dell TechCenterIntelligent Features Simplify Migration from #LotusNotes to #MSExchange & #Office365

Dell's Migrator for Notes to Exchange (MNE) recently released advanced features that resolve some of the most common challenges and concerns when migrating from Domino & Notes to the Microsoft technology stack. Included in these exciting updates...(read more)

Dell TechCenterPredictions for 2015: Analytics here, analytics there, analytics everywhere

In a recent article in which she laid out a few predictions of the her own, my colleague and noted big data industry expert Joanna Schloss made the astute observation that in many ways, 2014 was the calm before the storm for big data. After years of industry hype, organizations finally dove head-on into the work of re-architecting their IT infrastructure to better align with the new big data landscape, with many standing up new big data platforms and aggressively investing in modern data integration solutions. That work, while both substantial and critical, merely represents the start of the process – a means to an end, if you will. The real entre comes in the form of turning all of that data into actionable insights that help organizations make smarter business decisions.

A set of six dice with the words: certain, equally likely, likely, unlikely, highly, unlikely and impossible

2015 – The Year of Analytics

That’s why 2015 is poised to be the year of analytics. It’s the year we turn the corner in terms of our understanding of what “business intelligence” really means. Using data to figure out what’s happened in the past simply isn’t enough. Gaining insight into what’s going to happen in the future – and what your business should do about it – is now paramount. Predictive analytics will no longer been seen as the domain of mathematicians discretely running backroom calculations, but instead as a mainstream practice vital to the business stakeholders across sales, marketing, development, compliance, manufacturing, finance, and even HR.

In addition to advanced analytics becoming both unavoidable and irreplaceable, here are a few other analytics-related trends I expect to see unfold in 2015:

Real-time, all the time

Ok, maybe things won’t progress quite that far, but real-time analytics will surely emerge as a major theme throughout 2015. Let’s face it – the need to process and analyze data in real-time is a challenge that everyone faces. It’s also one to which there is no single, broadly accepted industry solution. Any time those factors line up (big industry need, no great solution), a host of start-ups are sure to follow. I expect we’ll see more than our fair share startups in the real-time analytics space in 2015.

Analytics at the edge

One of the major, direct impacts we can expect to see as a result of the Internet of Things (IoT) is an increased desire on the part of businesses to push analytics out to the vast world of edge devices that create the IoT landscape. Data analysis has traditionally required that data be pulled in from its source and delivered to an analytic platform. But as the sources of data continue to proliferate in the IoT era, that becomes a bigger and bigger challenge. Increasingly, vendors will seek to break the mold and flip the model on its head by delivering analytics out to the data. You can fully expect Dell to be on the leading edge of this movement. 

The privacy battle goes public

The issue of privacy in a big data world is one that the industry as a collective whole has danced around for some time. The guess here is the dance ends in 2015. I expect firm battle lines to be drawn – be it by consumer groups, customer advocates, and perhaps even politicians. Matt Wolken, vice president and GM of information management solutions at Dell Software, wrote a few months back that when it comes to consumer privacy, the onus falls not on the provider of data, but the user of the data. I expect others in all walks of industry to follow his lead and make similar statements in 2015.

Data become ubiquitous

Marketers tend to use, reuse and overuse the term big data analytics. I’m as guilty as anyone, trust me. But I fully expect 2015 to be the year that big data and big data analytics become terms of the past, or at least start to move in that direction.

Remember, it’s not about big data. It’s about all data. The organizations that understand and embrace this concept will be those that succeed.  Of all these predictions, and all the others you’ve likely read over the past month, that’s the one you can take to the bank – literally.

Dell TechCenterWhat to Look for in a Deduplication Solution

What is the biggest challenge facing your organization today? If you are an IT professional, massive data growth is probably at the top of your list. For environments that are struggling with large volumes of data, deduplication — eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data — can be a real lifesaver.

How would you like to get your backups running 200 percent faster? What if you could shrink storage space needs by up to 93 percent, with 15 times less in replication bandwidth requirementsand shrink your backup-to-disk storage costs to as little as $0.17/Gb?

Many organizations are considering adopting deduplication appliances to reduce their data footprint. Since backup and recovery is often a primary driver of data growth, a purpose-built backup appliance that leverages advanced deduplication technology can significantly reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored. Deduplication on the source side can also make backup times shorter and reduce the amount of traffic on the network, lowering bandwidth requirements and saving money. 

When evaluating a deduplication appliance, it is important to consider several key factors. 

  1. Ease of deployment. How quickly can you get the appliance up and running in your environment? You don’t want to have to wait weeks or months.
  2. Ease of management. Once the appliance is installed, you want it to be simple to manage.
  3. Scalability and performance. With data growing very quickly, you need an appliance that can scale alongside your environment and allow you to add more storage capacity on the fly. The appliance should also provide powerful performance, with ingest and restore speeds that enable you to easily meet your backup window and recovery-time objectives.
  4. Integration. The more integration you can have between the deduplication appliance and your backup software, the more seamless and generally trouble-free your backup environment will be. Look for an appliance that will be an easy addition to your existing backup and disaster recovery workflow.
  5. Technical support. What kind of technical support can you expect from the vendor and how quickly can you get it? Do they have round-the-clock support, and how robust is the support process? 

Many of the same considerations also apply to the choice of backup software. The scale, speed and integration of the software with the deduplication appliance are critical factors. In addition, flexibility is essential for backup software, which should offer the ability to back up to disk, tape or even cloud. Other considerations include application awareness to restore applications to consistent points in time, and support for other emergent backup features. 

Dell data protection solutions help IT implement these key considerations and simplify the way data is protected. That is especially true of two products in the Dell family of solutions, the DR6000 deduplication appliance and NetVault Backup software version 10. Both products strengthen the Dell end-to-end portfolio of backup and recovery solutions while specifically addressing the needs of enterprise customers. Tight integration between NetVault Backup 10 and the DR6000 means organizations can easily incorporate the advantages of appliance-based deduplication and disaster recovery into the backup workflow, and can see a big improvement in backup and restore speeds. 

Deduplication is a proven technique that ultimately saves time and money. By keeping a few key factors in mind when considering a deduplication appliance, organizations can find the right fit for their environment and business needs. 

Download the white paper to learn more about what to look for in a deduplication appliance.

Dell TechCenterThe Virtualization Management Vision

Introduction Most modern data centers have become quagmires of chaos – mulitiered applications, hybrid clouds, multiple sites, 24x7 expectations, latency-sensitive applications, slashed budgets and a constant rate of change. Many data center...(read more)

Dell TechCenterMaking Security a Business Enabler Not a Barrier

January 27, 2015 | 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific 

For years, identity and access management (IAM) has been seen as the project of denial, restriction, limitation and sometimes failure. The processes and technologies required to enhance security seemed also destined to stifle collaboration and interfere with revenue-generating work. In fact, at times, the processes forced employees, partners and customers to spend precious time searching for ways to circumvent the IAM infrastructure in order to do their jobs. 

The next generation of IAM solutions is changing this perception. Attend this live event with Carol Fawcett, Executive Director & Chief Information Officer at Dell Software, to learn how these new modular and integrated IAM solutions better enable business. 

Attendees will learn how the latest IAM solutions:

  • Enable IT to offload those pesky decisions of who needs access to what and put them in the hands of business owners who can better address them 
  • Empower auditors to get what they need without interrupting the business 
  • Enable individual workers to get swift and controlled access to the things they need to be productive and do their jobs 
  • Help IT professionals recast the benefits of their IAM projects' beyond security and add business value through increased operational agility


Register today!

About the presenter: 
Carol Fawcett is Executive Director, Mergers & Acquisitions and Chief Information Officer for Dell Software Group at Dell. She is responsible for leading and driving Dell Software’s overall strategic information technology vision, enabling the company to align, leverage and capitalize on the biggest trends in security, mobile, analytics and cloud. Carol has more than three decades of experience serving in IT leadership roles. Prior to joining the Dell Software team Carol held positions at Quest Software, Western Digital, Coldwell Banker and Pacific Mutual.

Dell TechCenterAnnouncing the release of biosdevname 0.6.1

(Posted on behalf of Jordan Hargrave.)

Biosdevname is a utility used to help map Linux Ethernet devices to their physical location in a system. Traditionally in Linux, ethernet devices have been named ethX, which may or may not correspond to the Lan-on-Motherboard (LOM) numbering in the system. Biosdevname is a udev helper application that maps the original ethX names to location-specific names. This is useful when deploying multiple servers that require all ethernet names to be the same. The names are of the form eX_vf for embedded slots and pXpY_vf for NICs in PCI slots.


The latest release of biosdevname 0.6.1 fixes issues on some cards that support multiple devices per PCI Bus:Device:Function and merges in some upstream changes from RedHat.

This version will be available in future OS releases from Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu.

The latest version of biosdevname is available from http://linux.dell.com/biosdevname or the git repository: http://linux.dell.com/git/biosdevname.git

Dell TechCenterStill Using Sqoop on Your Oracle Databases? It’s Time to Start Replicating.

In healthcare, it’s used on clinician notes and machine statistics to improve patient outcomes.

In retail, it’s used on activity logs and user click-streams for campaign targeting.

In banking, it’s used on web logs and credit reports for fraud detection and risk analysis.

Online transaction processing (OLTP) in these verticals works on thousands or millions of records at a time. If you analyze that volume of records in a production database, you run the risk of hampering performance for your customers and internal users.

In an Oracle environment, smart organizations analyze a copy of the records in real time or near-real time in an Apache™ Hadoop® cluster, away from the production database. They are creating new types of archives, including Hadoop archives, where they can analyze years of data while keeping their production database performance high and their storage costs low.

Apache Sqoop is one way to copy data between Oracle and Hadoop, but it’s not perfect for every scenario, so we’ve released two new technical briefs to help you figure out which approach best suits your needs.

1. Moving Data from Oracle to Hadoop

Our tech brief “Move Data from Oracle to Hadoop and Gain New Business Insights” explains the differences between Sqoop and SharePlex Connector for Hadoop and the advantages of the latter for data analysis.

In short, each product solves a different business problem: Sqoop is designed for occasional, batch data transfer to create a data snapshot, while SharePlex Connector for Hadoop performs near-real-time or real-time data replication.

Database replication plays a big role in areas like failover and branch operations, and as you’ll see in the tech brief, the SharePlex Connector for Hadoop paves the way for replication in data integration and deep analysis in the verticals I mentioned above – healthcare, retail, banking – and others like utilities, manufacturing and even online relationship sites.

Under the hood – How it works

As we explain in the tech brief, while Apache Sqoop accesses the Oracle system directly as a user, SharePlex Connector for Hadoop takes the low-impact route of reading data from the change data records in the Oracle redo logs.

SharePlex Connector for Hadoop uses the Java Message Service queue and posts updates and supporting metadata either to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) for near-real-time replication or to HBase for real-time replication.

The tech brief details your options for accessing the change data written to HDFS for a particular Oracle table:

  • Access via HiveQL, a SQL-like query language
  • Access via Custom MapReduce programs

Finally, we’ve appended a table showing you the pros and cons of using Apache Sqoop and SharePlex Connector for Hadoop, depending on your business or technology need.

2. Partitioning with Hadoop

The second tech brief is called “Hadoop Partitioning for Analytics.” If the queries you run on Oracle differ greatly from those you run on Hadoop, your Oracle partitioning scheme may not suit the analytical processing you run on Hadoop. We cover two schemes you can test for optimal performance:

  • Custom partitioning to create partitions for each unique value of an Oracle column.
  • Range partitioning to segment the data by a range of values for a column.

Included in the tech brief are partitioning scenarios, with schemas and sample queries.

Your turn

Read the new tech briefs, “Move Data from Oracle to Hadoop and Gain New Business Insights” and “Hadoop Partitioning for Analytics.” You’ll find food for thought in both of them, whether you’re still building your business case for replicating Oracle to Hadoop or you’re ready to optimize your existing implementation of SharePlex Connector for Hadoop.

How are you getting the most out of Oracle and Hadoop? Let me know in the comments below.

Dell TechCenterTomorrow's webcast: Managing the Lifecycle of Digital Certificates #ActiveDirectory @DellSoftware

Managing digital certificates just got a lot easier with the all-new Active Administrator for Certificate Management. You have limited options for managing digital certificates across the enterprise. Without valid certificates in place, malicious parties...(read more)

Dell TechCenter5 Steps to Effective IT Governance

How can you maintain IT compliance while empowering business users to get the job done? Today’s connected world means that workers can be more collaborative and productive than ever before. But the opportunities presented by increased enterprise...(read more)

Mark CathcartDell Software Official Site – Simplify IT Management

We’ve released our latest web presence for the Dell Software group, it’s got direct download links, try and/or buy, easy to find information and more.

Dell Software Official Site – Simplify IT Management | Mitigate Risk | Accelerate Results.

Software at Dell


Mark CathcartNews of the Weird

The news of the weird column in the weekly Austin Chronicle is an interesting thing. Published by Chuck Shepard, it’s is mostly extracted, printed, and syndicated verbatim from http://www.newsoftheweird.com/syndicate.html. It’s a mix of quirky, surreal articles, many of which you would’t share with your mother or your children.

The case of Richard Rosario though deserves to be on other pages, it’s news of the bizarre. If true as reported, it’s one of those things that shows, you are only one unlucky break from having your life totally disrupted and bellies the truth behind the American system of fare just for all. You can hear the details of the story here.

2015-01-14 11.17.33


Dell TechCenter2015 Year of the Whale and other disruptive trends in IT

The post below is from James Thomason, CTO of Dell Cloud Marketplace.

The year 2014 was as a very exciting period in cloud computing as several emerging technologies and trends began to shape the future of IT.  In late 2014 the overarching trend disrupting technology and industries everywhere is still the growth of software.  Software is now nearly ubiquitous due to the proliferation of general purpose processing power, low-cost personal computing devices, and the advent of universal connectivity through the Internet.  The biggest challenge still facing developers and IT operations teams today is the ability to build and scale complex distributed systems, and to continuously evolve those systems in response to rapidly changing customer and market needs.

Check out the rest of the post here.

Dell TechCenter2015 Year of the Whale and other disruptive trends in IT

The post below is from James Thomason, CTO of Dell Cloud Marketplace.

The year 2014 was as a very exciting period in cloud computing as several emerging technologies and trends began to shape the future of IT.  In late 2014 the overarching trend disrupting technology and industries everywhere is still the growth of software.  Software is now nearly ubiquitous due to the proliferation of general purpose processing power, low-cost personal computing devices, and the advent of universal connectivity through the Internet.  The biggest challenge still facing developers and IT operations teams today is the ability to build and scale complex distributed systems, and to continuously evolve those systems in response to rapidly changing customer and market needs.

Check out the rest of the post here.

Dell TechCenterThe Dell-Citrix Alliance is a Win-Win for Channel Partners

Dell has a long history of working closely with partners to deliver comprehensive solutions that work “better together” for our customers. Our team has worked closely with Citrix for over 20 years, and through thousands of hours of joint engineering work, Dell and Citrix have architected a wide range of solutions to support customers’ desktop virtualization ambitions.

At Citrix Summit 2015, we’ve been talking with our channel partners to hear about how we can support them as trusted advisors to their customers.

Jeff McNaught chats with Eugene Alfaro, CTO and board member of Cornerstone Technologies, a Dell and Citrix partner

Dell’s partner event at Summit this year was a packed house! I had an opportunity to interview a panel of experts including Gunnar Berger, CTO of Citrix Desktop Applications Group, Randy Lewis, senior director of business development and sales at NVIDIA, and Eugene Alfaro (pictured above), CTO and board member of Cornerstone Technologies, a Dell and Citrix partner.

We also heard a great strategy update from Jeff Thibeault, senior manager of North America cloud client-computing channel sales at Dell. It was a lively exchange of ideas with the audience of 70 partners providing their perspective, posing questions, and sharing knowledge.

One message we continue to hear loud and clear: it’s essential that our channel partners are equipped with the knowledge and skillset to help sell, deploy, and support the end-to-end solutions we develop. The Dell Cloud Client-Computing team is laser-focused on providing partners with comprehensive end-to-end solutions that they can take to customers, as well as world-class training and enablement via the Desktop Virtualization Solutions Competency, a simplified program and engagement model to streamline their business interactions with Dell.

Dell’s Desktop Virtualization Solutions Competency now features courses specifically designed to train partners on the sales and technical benefits of joint Dell and Citrix solutions for desktop virtualization. Since streamlining and updating the Desktop Virtualization Competency training and requirements, Dell has seen more than 30 percent increase in the past year in the number of Dell partners who have completed the competency globally.

We’ve also recently introduced the Dell Citrix Campaign-in-a-Box to provide our partners with the tools they need.  Developed in conjunction with Citrix, the site contains valuable sales enablement materials like call scripts and product guides, as well as demand generation materials for partners that can be co-branded with their own logos, images, and copy, allowing partners to create their own customized demand generation campaign around Dell and Citrix solutions.

We’ve also developed innovative sales tools like the Cloud Client-Computing Partner Advisor to help reduce sales cycles by allowing partners to size and configure customized Citrix solutions based on proven Dell reference architectures in a matter of minutes through an easy-to-navigate, web-based tool. The resulting output lists all of the required datacenter hardware, end points, and software needed to deploy the solution.

Finally, we added new ready-to-use VDI templates in the PartnerDirect Online Solutions Configurator tool for Wyse Datacenter XC Appliances for Citrix XenDesktop. This allows partners to easily create and customize a web-Scale converged appliance VDI solution through a unique and simple self-service online portal.

With the deep-rooted Dell and Citrix collaboration, everybody wins.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

Dell TechCenterEnhanced Molecular Dynamics Performance with K80 GPUs

This blog quantifies the performance of two molecular dynamics applications, LAMMPS and GROMACS, by comparing their performance on K80s to a CPU only.(read more)

Dell TechCenterInstron selects Dell over AvePoint, Metalogix and Sharegate and cuts #SharePoint migration time by 70%

To enable collaboration among an increasing mobile global workforce, Instron needed a fast and cost-effective solution to simplify a complex and risky process: migrating SharePoint 2010 to Office 365. With Migration Suite for SharePoint , Instron moved...(read more)

Dell TechCenterCloud as an Enabler of IT Transformation and Innovation

During the Executive Summit panel session at our recent Dell World conference last November, two of Dell Services Federal Government’s customers (a civilian regulatory commission and a defense agency) highlighted how they are moving away from legacy architectures and migrating to cloud-based platforms and updated business models that will position their agencies for future success.

Clouds and the text: Transform your IT infrastructure

Each agency is in different stages of their cloud adoption journey. One has migrated to a private cloud model and is already seeing cost savings from consolidating and standardizing IT infrastructures, data centers and desktops. The other is adopting private and public cloud options as well as mobility, big data and security enhancements with emerging technologies and services.

In spite of the disruptive nature of this transformation, they are thriving and making great progress in transitioning their agencies to be more responsive and improve the way they achieve their mission, serve citizens and deliver services across their organizations.

Choice . . . the heart of Dell’s cloud strategy

With our government customers, choice is a key factor in providing the right fit as many agencies require flexible combinations of cloud delivery models with both on-premise and hosted alternatives to meet diverse agency objectives and specialized federal government security and compliance requirements. 

Dell Services Federal Government offers the widest choice of cloud resources across the leading platforms and providers, enabling government agencies to choose the most appropriate cloud solution for their specific agency need or mission.

Our strategy is focused on three areas:

Dell Services Federal Government cloud strategy diagram

So whether an agency wants to build their own cloud environment to migrate sensitive data to a federally secure and compliant cloud (Dell Enterprise Private Clouds), leapfrog to innovative cloud technology without upfront hardware or software costs (Dell Managed Clouds) or need to deliver cloud services through brokerage FedRAMP public clouds (Dell Cloud Brokerage), Dell Services Federal Government can provide the right fit to meet future agency mission needs in a multi-cloud world.

And let’s not forget that adopting a cloud strategy can be a cost-effective means to support missions. For government, it is more than just about saving operating costs, it’s about effective governing. Especially as budget pressures persist, if government agencies find more effective and efficient ways of accomplishing missions and lowering costs, then it’s win-win!

Throughout this blog series, we will walk you through these three cloud categories, the value they can offer to your agency, popular usage of these delivery models and Dell’s unique approach to simplifying cloud by delivering end-to-end solutions that blend freedom of choice with the power to do more.

For more information, visit the Dell Federal Services website or contact Neil_Seiden@federal.dell.com.

Dell TechCenterTapping into powerful productivity

Bird Eye view of TGE Engineering base, Christian Domschke, TGE Engineering, GermanyOne of the world's biggest energy companies is TGE Gas Engineering — active in the oil and gas, petrochemicals and chemical industries (image depicts bird's eye view of TGE Engineering base, Germany). Its success rests on quality, reliability and stability. Yet at the same time, keeping ahead of the game — from Europe to India and China — means getting IT support and performance right first time. The company was being slowed down by its core switches and needed a solution fast. Image 1

Existing switches seek retirement in face of XXL data volumes

So, what was the problem? The existing core switches were running at 100 percent capacity, and just couldn’t cope with the growing volume of big data traffic in the data center. Productivity was dropping like a stone, with staff waiting 10 minutes to log on. Worse still, key office applications vital to the enterprise were running at a snail’s pace. Head of the IT Service Christian Domschke puts it bluntly: “We needed new switching technology and got to work looking for a solution provider.”

Company wants to energize IT with new partnership

The breakthrough came when Domschke attended a Dell Networking event in Germany where he talked to our partner, Unique Projects. He instantly liked their positive and confident response to TGE’s technical needs and recalls: “I felt as though I was talking to the right people to help us upgrade our switches.” The Dell brand and support from the Dell account team were also critical in his decision. We, at Dell Networking, allowed them to test the switches for what was going to be a major investment. Unique Projects proposed Dell Networking because TGE could upgrade to 10G providing the bandwidth and capacity that would support their future growth. Domschke was impressed with the our account team’s support, long term view and understanding of his unique business needs.

The solution consisted of Dell Networking S4810 switches with configuration consultancy supplied by Unique Projects. TGE gained a Dell Active Fabric solution that paved the way for a virtualized software-defined networking architecture. The beauty of the new solution is that it helps create an easily scalable data-center design at a lower cost than traditional architectures. The customer also saw the value in the human touch: Dell ProSupport means our Dell experts can be on-site in a heartbeat to maximize performance.

IT team soothes its headache – effects felt company-wide

Going back to resolving the unintended consequences on the business of the previous solution, it’s easy to see that this was much more than resolving a headache for the IT team. IT can now drive development with much more responsive support but the big benefits are enterprise-wide. Employees can boost their productivity with data access that’s now 20 times faster at the core due to our networking technology and twice as fast for the access switches. And it’s a highly scalable solution. “We can now launch new services quickly and give the business a level of agility that’s fundamental to future growth,” says Domschke.

Fast returns on investment. Faster mobile staff. The fastest data speeds yet

There are also rapid returns on investment, with TGE reducing expenditure on core switching by 30 percent. And the double whammy is that the savings help the IT team meet its commitment to overall cost reduction while freeing up resources for other areas of the network.

Additionally, the enterprise is getting greater value from its business-critical Microsoft environment, which staff use both in the office and on the road. All this would have been impossible without the versatility of the our networking solution. Indeed, with faster data speeds across the network and more room for data traffic, the company is set to realize further efficiency gains and is continuing to streamline its data-center operations. Domschke concludes: “It was in our interests to have a single vendor for our entire data center — Dell Networking gave us a viable alternative to Cisco to maintain our single vendor goal. Expenditure on core switching is down 30 percent while staff productivity is up."

Read the full case study here. To learn about other Dell Customer Stories, follow us @DellNetworking or search for #DellStory on Twitter.

Dell TechCenterDell Mobile Security and Big Data Attend Retail's BIG Show 2015 - NRF15

Great energy in New York this week at the just-wrapped, National Retail Federation show!

At the show 32,000 retailers and industry experts convened to share the vision of how the next generation of retail technology solutions will help differentiate retailers and accelerate business growth. Hot topics this year included: What’s the future of mobile payment? Advances in wireless networks, and of course, security.

Dell Venue based point of sale (POS) solutions

At the Intel and the Mobile Technologies Inc. booths, next-generation mobile payment solutions for retail storefronts were showcased, including Dell Venue based POS solutions. Retailers are very interested to learn how Dell Retail Solutions can help them keep up with today’s empowered shopper and get the most out of store mobility investments. To learn more, read Transforming the Customer Engagement with Mobile Point of Sale

Dell's booth at NRF15Dell security solutions were also on display, including our recently introduced Dell Sonicpoint wireless access points. Deploying and managing a wireless network can seem like a scary proposition to retailers, not to mention expensive. However with the new Dell Wireless Network Security solution, setting up and managing a wireless network is neither and is integrated with next-gen firewall appliances to ensure security. Dell SonicWALL next-gen firewalls include a built-in wireless controller that automatically detects and provisions every attached Dell SonicPoint. This saves time and cuts costs. Ongoing management is done through the firewall as well, so IT can manage both wireless and security through a single pane of glass.  And real Dell Security retail customers are benefiting from these network security solutions.

Aaron’s implemented a secure distributed VPN connecting Dell SonicWALL Network Security Appliance (NSA) firewalls in High Availability (HA) pairs in their corporate offices and regional fulfillment centers, with approximately 1,500 TZ Series firewalls distributed across the retail stores. The deployment has saved the company over $500,000 monthly when comparing the connectivity fees on broadband to T1s.

“When we compared Dell SonicWALL feature-to-feature with competing solutions, Dell SonicWALL beat them hands down,” said Jason Tate, Director of Network Services, Aaron’s. 

Boston Pizza International; Large restaurant chain protects over 350 stores, keeps threats at bay with Dell SonicWALL Global Management System (GMS)

“We’re able to defend our network against threats significantly better, and take proactive action as a result of GMS,” said Steve Johnstone, CIO, Boston Pizza International

Having both security and high-speed wireless in one solution that’s easy to deploy and lowers TCO makes the choice simple. Retailers tend to agree. For more information about Dell security solutions for retail, including network, mobile and email security products, read secure solutions for retailers.

At Dell we’re committed to helping retailers and partners reach their goals. Thank you and see you next year!

Dell TechCenterDell Wyse vWorkspace ThinShell 2.5.2

  

It is my pleasure to introduce you to vWorkspace ThinShell. ThinShell is a shell replacement for Windows PCs and thin clients. Shell replacement allows organizations to transform their existing PCs into thin-behaving clients. ThinShell can also be used to simplify a thin client deployment. ThinShell accomplishes this by replacing the windows shell (explorer.exe) with its own much slimmer shell interface. Users power on their access device, are prompted for credentials and are then presented with their virtual workspace. This prevents user confusion and simplifies a virtual desktop/RDSH deployment. ThinShell can be configured to act as an RDP connector or to leverage the user interface of the vWorkspace Connector for Windows

ThinShell is a great compliment to Dell Wyse vWorkspace and has been deployed by many of our customers.

 Below is a list of select features that contribute to ThinShell's appeal:

 

  • Local Applications Shortcut - A Local Applications setting is now available. It allows you to add a shortcut icon to the ThinShell interface, which can be used to launch a file, folder or URL.

 

  • Clear User Name Setting - A Clear User Name setting is now available. When enabled, this parameter clears the user name from the authentication dialog box after the user disconnects or logs off a virtual desktop.

 

  • Anonymous Login - Anonymous Login has been added to ThinShell Native Mode Settings. You can enable this feature if you want to allow users to connect to a farm without entering credentials. When Anonymous Login is enabled, a target named Anonymous is automatically created. Users logging in anonymously will have access to the managed applications and the resources assigned to this target.

 

  • New User Interface- We have added a sleek, new interface to ThinShell making it easier to use and more configurable. In addition to the new look, the new interface allows administrators to control which options the end users can see and use.

 

  • Support for Windows 7 and WES -ThinShell has added support for Windows 7 and Windows Embedded Standard 7.

 

  • Password Manager support- ThinShell users can now change their domain password using the ThinShell interface.

 

  • Command Line Configuration- The location of the ThinShell Settings XML file can now be set at runtime using command line switches.

 

  • New look and feel

 

  • Legal Notice- ThinShell now can prompt the end user with a notification before a connection is made to the virtual workspace.

 

Before implementing ThinShell, we recommend that you first read the release notes and the associated documentation that can be found on our support pages or on our free trial software page.

 

Kelly Craig

Product Manager

Dell TechCenterBringing in a New Year With the Same Old Priorities

As we welcome in the New Year, many of us are dealing with the same challenges from last year. On a personal level, that could mean staying on a consistent exercise routine or not indulging in one’s personal vices. It seems that with every new beginning there are the same old challenges in front of us for the New Year.

But don’t beat yourself up - the same is true for most organizations. New challenges are the old challenges. As we know, business conditions and priorities change from year-to-year but there are many consistent challenges that companies of all sizes face. From an IT perspective, one of an organization’s most significant competitive advantages is its ability to recover after and outage, a disaster, a catastrophic event or human error preventing them from carrying out their mission. Furthermore, in this era of non-stop commerce, IT operations must follow the sun without interruption, especially in the event of any unforeseen disaster.

Moreover, corporate user expectations have changed in recent years with regard to availability, access and platform availability. Corporate users are now more accustom to accessing their data anytime, anywhere on any platform. Third-party research validates these trends. As a result, many corporations are rapidly evolving their IT infrastructure in order to provide the optimum level of user access, availability and assurance that their data is safeguarded in the event of an outage or interruption in business operations.

IT managers face a conundrum of providing their corporate users increased levels of service while at the same time controlling costs and re-architecting their infrastructure to accommodate both new and legacy processes. We hear time and time again, that IT managers’ top priorities include improved services to end users, reduced costs, and reduced risks associated with security breaches or data loss. In short, IT managers must provide consumer like levels of service with intuitive easier-to-use and manage tools while better aligning IT processes with their business objectives and application owners. IT organizations are forced to make changes. Remaining steady-state is no longer an option. Addressing the same old priorities with new challenges takes new approaches to cost-effectively manage and improve service levels. So how do IT managers balance their old priorities and new challenges?

We believe they need to be much more innovative in their approach to better align their IT infrastructure in order to meet these new objectives and to ensure their data protection and recovery will keep pace with their rapidly changing user requirements. In a recent IDC study, IDC EMEA Tech Spotlight, outlined four suggestions for IT managers need to be mindful of in order for them to keep pace with their user expectations this new era.  IDC, along with Dell, believe that it is sound and prudent advice to consider the following:

  • Map your workloads and their requirements:  Not all workloads have the same data protection requirements as they are not handling the same type of data. Getting an overview of the various applications or services that your organization uses, and classifying them by business criticality and sensitivity of data handled provides a good starting point for an innovative data protection strategy that fits to the new Third Platform requirements.
  • Consolidate, standardize and automate where possible: With ever growing amounts of data sources and information to manage, the need to consolidate, standardize and automate has never been more pressing then now. Only with automation, IT managers will be able to achieve the response times that their users require and to manage the growing amounts of data with the same staff. 
  • Test your ability to restore and recover: Backups are done for the sole purpose of ensuring a company's ability to recover information or systems as needed. However, many organizations don't have an easy means to test their ability to recover, and tend to be overly confident that they can recover just because they are doing backups and are left woefully exposed when required to recover for real.
  • Evaluate Purpose Built Backup Appliances:  One of the new backup and recovery storage technologies that is designed to solve the challenges of storage performance and capacity are Purpose Built Backup Appliances.  They have several benefits that enable IT managers to live up to their users' expectations and run their data protection processes much more efficiently, as they are designed for ease of deployment, recovery speed and efficient operation as well as providing integrated best practice.

 

A New Year should ring in new hopes for the coming year, but in data protection, the New Year usually highlights the challenges of the previous year. However, in this new era of increased corporate user expectations IT managers must use innovative approaches for solving these new challenges and expectations. We promise the year ahead for IT managers will be very challenging indeed and they will not be grappling with the same old problems. 

Dell TechCenterDell OpenManage Plug-in Version 1.0 for Nagios Core is now available

Author: Vishwanath S Patil

 

The new Dell OpenManage Plug-in version 1.0 for Nagios Core version 3.5.0 and later provides a relatively easy way for current or prospective Dell customers who use Nagios Core software to monitor Dell PowerEdge servers. The plug-in provides easy integration to the Nagios Core and monitors the Dell servers through an agent-free, out-of-band technology via Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) with Lifecycle Controller.

 

The plug-in equips IT administrators with the information necessary to make rapid yet informed decisions regarding their data center resources and helps to increase staff productivity by reducing unplanned downtime. This brings increased ease of use and continued investment protection for Nagios Core customers.

 

This release supports discovery and monitoring of 12th and later generation of Dell PowerEdge servers only. This plug-in provides capability to monitor server overall health, server component-level health and SNMP alerts generated from the devices. It also supports one-on-one iDRAC web console launch to perform further troubleshooting, configuration or management activities.

 

Key Dell OpenManage Plug-in Features:

 

Feature

Function

Benefit

Discovery and Monitoring

Discovers and Monitors Dell servers including component health (e.g. Physical disk, Virtual disk, Fan, Battery, NIC, Intrusion etc.) in Nagios Core Console

 

Enables monitoring the health of Dell servers periodically from a single interface for quicker fault detection and resolution

 

Event Monitoring

Monitor SNMP traps from supported devices

Enables monitoring the health of Dell servers as and when problem occurs.

Server Information

Provide basic server information including component-level details

Gives holistic view of server infrastructure and enables further troubleshooting and escalating to the support team

1:1 iDRAC Web Console Launch

Link and launch of one-to-one iDRAC console from Nagios

Enables further troubleshooting and one-to-one configuration, update, or management of Dell servers.


For more information, download links, and product documentation please visit the Dell OpenManage Plug-in for Nagios Core wiki page. We encourage you to continue this conversation in the OpenManage Connections for 3rd Party Console Integration Forum if you have any comments or other feedback.

Dell TechCenterHow are you securing cloud data on mobile devices?

 More and more organizations are adopting cloud-based solutions to enhance IT flexibility, improve business agility and reduce costs. They are using public clouds to capitalize on the performance of the latest technologies while avoiding capital expenditures. They are implementing private clouds to improve the utilization of hardware while maintaining full control over IT. And they are integrating private clouds with public services to gain the extra burst capacity they need during busy periods.

Individuals and business groups are adopting cloud services as well. Individuals are uploading photos to cloud services so they can easily share images with friends and family. Business groups are implementing cloud-based storage services, such as Box, to streamline collaboration and eliminate the costs of buying and managing an in-house storage environment.

Cloud solutions can help complement mobility solutions. By implementing cloud-based solutions, organizations can give mobile workers easy ways to access enterprise information, share content and store documents while they are on the road.

But how can you make sure cloud-based data remains secure, especially as an increasing number of workers tap into that data from a growing variety of mobile devices? Following a few best practices is critical for protecting data in this era of the cloud.

1.  Understand where your sensitive data resides. If your organization has already implemented a public, private or hybrid cloud solution, you’ve probably gone through the process of deciding where particular types of data should reside. For example, you might have decided to use public cloud services for web hosting while keeping highly regulated customer information in a private cloud, behind your enterprise firewall.

When you allow mobile employees to access enterprise information stored in a cloud, you have to consider how that access will occur. Will you allow employees to transfer information from a cloud to their mobile devices? If employees are using personally owned mobile devices as part of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, does that change your answer? Will you let them view information from mobile devices without a secure connection to the cloud?

Determining whether sensitive data will reside on mobile devices — and even whether it will be viewed from mobile devices — can affect your mobile security strategy for cloud-based data.

2.  Require PINs and passwords. If mobile workers are accessing cloud data from their mobile devices, make sure you require PINs and/or passwords for any area where that access occurs. Require a PIN to unlock the smartphone; mandate a password for web-based applications or mobile apps where users are tapping into enterprise data.

Consider multifactor identification methods for extra protection. Just like your bank, credit card company or cellular carrier, which might require you to identify a user-selected picture or type in a secondary password to access your account, you too need to be sure the users accessing cloud data are who they say they are. 

3.  Implement encryption and data-loss protection (DLP). Use file-level encryption to help make sure particular files remain secure whether they are stored in a cloud environment or on your employees’ mobile devices. Deploy data-loss protection to restrict what employees can do with files. For example, you might decide that employees can keep a local copy of a file on their mobile devices but only if that file is encrypted and cannot be moved to an external USB drive.

4.  Make sure you have auditing and reporting capabilities. To maintain compliance with your enterprise policies and any other industry or government regulations, you need to be sure you can track access to information. As you select security technologies or mobility solutions, be sure you can audit user access and report on user activity without excessive complexity.

5.  Consider a secure enterprise workspace solution. One way to protect cloud data is to make sure employees access that data from within a secure enterprise workspace. A secure enterprise workspace creates an environment that is distinct from the host environment. With the right secure enterprise workspace solution, you can encrypt data within the workspace, apply DLP policies to prevent data from leaving that workspace, and track and report on all activity within the workspace. A workspace gives you the security and control you need while enabling employees to use their own preferred devices.

6.  Educate users. No matter what technologies or approaches you select, it’s critical to educate users on the importance of security and clearly communicate their responsibilities for keeping data secure. Explain why they must use cloud-based content and collaboration services only from within the workspace. Let them know the potential risks of accessing enterprise files from a cloud when they’re using a corner café’s WiFi public hotspot. Help them understand why they shouldn’t move customer information stored on a private cloud to external devices or share that information using personal email accounts. The more they know, and the more secure options they have available, the less likely they will use unsecure ways to access your data in the cloud.

Dell workspace solutions — including Dell Mobile Workspace, Desktop Workspace and Wyse vWorkspace™ — can help you provide mobile employees with secure access to data stored in the cloud. To learn more about whether a secure enterprise workspace fits your needs, register now for our upcoming webinar “Secure Enterprise Workspaces: The Right Approach for Mobile Productivity.”

Dell TechCenterSee What's New in Managing Digital Certificate Lifestyle on Tuesday, Jan. 20: Demo @DellSoftware

Managing digital certificates just got a lot easier with the all-new Active Administrator for Certificate Management. You have limited options for managing digital certificates across the enterprise. Without valid certificates in place, malicious parties...(read more)

Dell TechCenterDell welcomes delegates to Virtualization Tech Field Day 4

Virtualization Field Day 4 is already well underway here in Austin, Texas, with presentations yesterday and today from a variety of IT organizations in the virtualization space. For those not familiar with Tech Field Day, it’s an event series focused on bringing together innovative IT vendors and independent thought leaders to share information and opinions in a presentation and discussion format. The presentations are recorded and usually available via livestream, so it’s a great opportunity for folks to watch and learn what the major players in IT are up to, from stealth startups all the way up to the major, established vendors.

Tom Hollingsworth hugs the PowerEdge VRTX during a Tech Field Day site visit to Dell HQ. Flickr Photo: Stephen Foskett

Dell first participated in a Tech Field Day way back in 2011, Tech Field Day 7. Since then we’ve taken part in four other Field Days, including the first ever Storage Field Day in 2012. This is our first Virtualization Field Day, and we’re excited to have the delegates visit our Round Rock campus

We see these events as a golden opportunity not just to share our technology innovations but also to gain insights from the community of writers and thinkers that make up the Tech Field Day delegates. Here are the folks who will be joining us for Virtualization Field Day 4:

Amit Panchal  Technical IT Manager and blogger

Amy Manley vExpert and an automation junkie

Christopher Kusek CTO at @Xiologix - EVP of Engineering, Technology Evangelist

Emad Younis datacenter enthusiast, vExpert and blogger

James Green independent blogger, 2014 vExpert, and virtualization consultant

Jeff Wilson virtualization & storage engineer in the SME market.

Julian Wood London based enterprise infrastructure architect and blogger.

Justin Warren consultant and freelance journalist

Larry Smith 19 yrs. in IT, 11 yrs. VMware virtualization

Marco Broeken  Blogger, Dutch Virtualization Admirer and DaaS Lover

Matt Simmons Small Infrastructure IT Administrator in Academia

Mike Preston 3 x vExpert, blogger at mwpreston.net

We have a packed agenda prepared for tomorrow, and we would love for you to join us via livestream and Twitter. Here are the topics we will be covering (all times are Central Time):

8:00 – 8:10          Dell’s Enterprise Strategy 

8:10 – 9:00          vFoglight

9:00 – 10:00        All flash, hybrid flash, NVMe, Fluid Cache and more

10:00 – 11:00     Unleashing the Data Services Economy (Intel)

11:00 – 12:00     FX Architecture

Delegates will also have an opportunity to stretch their legs after lunch and get a tour of Dell’s on-site Modular Data Center.

Check out this link for more information on Virtualization Tech Field Day. And here are a couple of preview blog posts from the delegates – it’s shaping up to be a lively discussion. Be sure to follow along on Twitter via the #VFD4 hashtag and the livestream, and share your thoughts with us!

Footnotes