Windows 7 Migration – Using Dell’s KACE Appliance

2017-07-27T00:01:11+00:00 April 30th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Helping Provide Comprehensive Capabilities for Rapid and Reliable Migration

With the Windows 7 release now a reality, for many organizations the question is no longer whether to migrate, but how. As XP reaches end of life and Vista became merely a skipped step for most, the prospect of a full scale Windows 7 migration looms. Beyond the necessary tasks of actual Windows 7 rollout and preservation of user data, other migration challenges include identifying which machines can be upgraded, which applications are supported on Windows 7 and assuring that license tracking is not disrupted throughout the process. In addition, 83% of respondents in a recent Dell KACE survey stated that they plan to skip Vista and go directly to Windows 7. This strategy poses significant complications since Microsoft does not support in-place upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7, and requires a fresh installation.

The Solution

Dell KACE Appliances help optimize the process of migrating to the Windows 7 operating system through easy to deploy and use appliances. The KACE appliance-based approach saves you time and money through a solution that helps facilitate tasks such as user state migration, operating system deployment and application distribution, helping speed the move to Windows 7 and minimizing end-user downtime. Upon successfully completing a Windows 7 migration, KACE appliances can assist to provide PC lifecycle management including patch and configuration management, providing even more potential savings.

Features of KACE Appliances helping support a successful Windows 7 migration include:

Windows 7 Migration
  • Windows user state migration can permit you to retain user-specific files and settings when installing Windows 7. You can migrate user states when installing an operating system and applications, helping minimize end-user downtime and reducing the risk of losing critical information.
  • Inventory assessment helps you check machines for Windows 7 readiness. The KACE Appliance discovers machines on your network and collects detailed hardware and software inventory. The appliance can then help assess which machines in a network are ready for a Windows 7 deployment. An innovative client to server communication protocol gathers inventory multiple times per day, helping ensure that your data is up to date.
  • K-imaging is a flexible file-based imaging format. You can more easily add files and folders to a Windows 7 K-image. Through K-imaging, the KACE Appliance helps eliminate redundant transfers in the capture, storage, and deployment of Windows 7 images.
  • Network OS install allows you to automate the build out of Gold Master reference machines used for Windows 7 image capture. The KACE Appliance slipstreams drivers along with a network OS install, helping to provide a hardware independent option to deploy Windows 7.
  • Asset management helps track Windows 7 operating system and software license compliance. KACE asset history monitors assets as they undergo hardware and software changes through a Windows 7 Migration. Software metering shows you the Windows 7 software in your network that is actually being used versus simply installed. Unused software licenses can then be reassigned or retired, helping save your company money.
  • Patch management allows you to deploy relevant Windows 7 patches and updates to machines on local and remote networks as they become available. Rely on the KACE Appliance to distribute Windows 7 updates so that you do not have to wait for the full service packs from Microsoft.
  • Pre and post deployment configuration helps make it easy to bundle relevant Windows 7 applications while utilizing thin images, a systems deployment best practice. Since thin images contain only the operating system and applications that everyone in your organization needs, they help you to maintain fewer images. And because thin images are simpler, deployments can be more reliable and users can experience less downtime.
  • Remote site management allows you to migrate machines outside your headquarter network to Windows 7. The KACE Appliance remote site management technology requires virtually no dedicated hardware. You can retain the convenience of a centralized administrative console while utilizing the remote network to serve as the engine for the deployment.
  • KACE Virtual Kontainer technology lets you keep your Windows 7 deployment fresh and free from potential application conflicts. Deploy key applications with less worry of impacting your new Windows 7 deployment.

Source: Dell

On-demand Application Delivery

2017-07-27T00:01:11+00:00 April 9th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Definition

Enabling on-demand application delivery involves streamlining or automating the application delivery process to be more responsive to end-user productivity needs and less reliant on IT intervention, without compromising security or manageability.

Challenges

  • Increasing number of mobile and remote users makes traditional application delivery less reliable
  • Increasing mobility of users between computers complicates application delivery and license management
  • The fluidity of virtual desktops and virtual machines requires an equally flexible delivery technology

Symantec Solution: Endpoint Virtualization

Provision and protect endpoint environments instantly using streaming, virtualization, and desktop broker technologies to reduce costs and increase productivity

  • Avoid downloads and installations and improve application delivery and streaming
  • Support local execution while maintaining central control
  • Allow users to obtain authorized applications, on-demand, without requiring IT intervention
  • Enable delta-only application upgrades or back-grades to reduce network bandwidth usage

Windows 7 Migration – Using App Virtualization

2017-07-27T00:01:11+00:00 April 7th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Windows 7 will impose many challenges to organizations having to migrate to this new operating system. Ensure application compatibility of your mission critical desktop applications using VMware ThinApp to virtualize applications. Then centralize and simplify desktop management using VMware View and virtualize your complete desktop environment.

  • Virtualize your desktop applications with VMware ThinApp to build in compatibility
  • Virtualize your desktops with VMware View for centralized management of your user environment
  • Ensure delivery of the best user experience with VMware View PCoIP

Minimize the Cost and Disruption of Windows 7 Migration

Get the benefits of upgrading to Windows 7 without endless testing and troubleshooting of integration issues.

IT organizations are faced with the daunting task of having to migrate their desktop environment to Windows 7 as Windows XP support approaches its end and Windows XP availability squeezed with impending complex licensing.

But upgrading 100s or 1000s of desktop devices is costly and time consuming. Windows XP applications will not automatically be compatible with Windows 7. For example Web-based apps that work great on Internet Explorer 6, may not run on Internet Explorer 8 with Windows 7. Additionally, many organizations have custom applications driving their businesses, recoding and recertification their applications for Windows 7 is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Most of them will have to rely on external vendors to provide the new compatible applications. And the clock is ticking.

Start the transition to Windows 7 today by virtualizing your existing Windows applications with VMware ThinApp. Application virtualization removes the dependency of applications from the underlying operating system so you can run a single application across multiple Windows operating systems. This helps to streamline application migration, ease the burden of cost and complexity for IT and create a seamless transition for end users.

Once your applications are virtualized, consider moving to a complete Virtual Desktop environment using VMware View and further separate the operating system from the underlying hardware and deliver as a secure managed service from the datacenter.

Separate desktop environments from the underlying hardware and run a single image of the operating system on a variety of machines with VMware View. Desktop operating systems, applications and data can be isolated and managed independently in the datacenter.

The VMware virtual desktop solution lets you:

  • Minimize costly application porting and reduce regression testing
  • Reduce conflicts and support calls by providing application isolation and portability using VMware ThinApp, an integral part of VMware View
  • Deliver next generation desktop architecture with modular desktops
  • Enhance image and application management
  • Extend the life of your application and hardware to maximize and protect your investment

Minimize Costly Regression Testing

Applications virtualized with VMware ThinApp are contained in single image formats such as .EXE and .MSI. These images can simply be deployed to end point device or delivered as a secure managed service using View. There is no need for costly deployment downtime and disruption to end user activities.

Since virtualized applications are fully isolated images that do not require installation and commit no changes to the registry, this removes any potential conflict that can be introduced to the environment and greatly reduces the need for regression testing.

You can even deploy a single image of an application to multiple OS versions. Complete a company-wide Windows 7 migration quickly and easily, without costly application porting and lengthy regression testing. Using VMware desktop virtualization, you will:

  • Run a single image of the Windows 7 OS across your virtual environment on a variety of hardware types
  • Maintain user productivity by enabling Windows 7 migration across many systems without rebooting
  • Reduce management costs and power consumption by encapsulating older systems and running them in a more efficient, server-based environment
  • Ensure application compatibility on all endpoint devices

 

Fast to Deployment and Minimize Support Demand on IT

Migrating an entire desktop environment to a new operating system is a time-consuming and costly endeavor for IT and a disruptive event for end users. With VMware desktop virtualization solutions, you can continue to deliver the same applications your end users are accustomed to along with their profiles to Windows 7 quickly and seamlessly. By first virtualizing the applications with VMware ThinApp into single image files, then using VMware View to virtualize the desktops and isolating the desktop environment from the OS. The resulting combined stack helps IT to streamline deployments of both applications and virtual desktops to end point devices. The virtualized applications and desktop environments eliminate direct dependencies on the underlying Windows 7 environment. This helps to reduce conflicts and reduces demand on IT and helpdesk support.

  • Maximize worker productivity and dramatically reduce support calls and maintenance overhead with VMware View. Images of the desktops reside in the datacenter and are deployed to each end user‘s machine. Virtualizing applications isolates them from the OS so they remain unaffected during OS upgrades and migrations, lessening support costs and frustration.
  • Eliminate conflicts and reduce helpdesk support calls.
  • Migrate application and desktop as a single “stack” to minimize disruptive end user downtime.

Source: VMware

Citrix Receiver for Windows & Mac

2017-07-27T00:01:11+00:00 April 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|

On-demand applications from any Windows & Mac device

Citrix Receiver for Windows and Mac is a lightweight software client that runs on laptops, desktops, Macs and netbooks – turning any device into a powerful business tool to access virtual applications and desktops. With Receiver installed on a device, IT can rapidly deliver virtual applications and desktops people need to do their jobs. Receiver for Windows and Mac, along with its innovative console, Merchandising Server, enables faster roll-out of virtual applications and desktops, simplified client management and update, and a single unified user experience for everything Citrix.

Flexible Client Software Configuration
Built with a browser-like ‘plug-in’ architecture, Receiver for Windows & Mac enables flexible client software configuration ideal for every user in your organization.  IT administrators can select from plug-in functions for hosted applications, secure VPN access, communications services and self-service applications with Citrix Dazzle.  Receiver also supports 3rd party plug-ins to further simplify client software management.

Safe, Secure, High Definition Experience
Receiver includes built-in HDX technologies to bring a high definition user experience for virtual applications including document-oriented, data-intensive, graphics-rich and multimedia applications – on any network connection.  Receiver supports high performance, standards-based encryption security for all data from the datacenter, over the network to users anywhere.

Zero-Touch, Silent Updates
Receiver allows the use of enterprise computing services without the need to understand or worry about the underlying complexities. Installs are a simple point and click, and once Receiver is installed, it’s pretty much ‘lights out’, with zero-touch, silent updates from there forward.

Auto-Updating with Targeted Deliveries
Receiver is completely under centralized administrative control to allow the entire Receiver setup, including plug-ins, to be kept up-to-date, with scheduled automatic download to users based upon user preferences for update checks, or IT-controlled mandatory updating.  Receiver enables IT to deliver client software updates to users using a rules-based system based on group credentials, IP addresses, machine names, login IDs, or operating systems. This provides the flexibility to ensure plug-ins are delivered to only appropriate, authorized users.

Receiver for Windows & Mac is free and is available immediately for any Windows or Mac-based device, including PCs, Laptops, Macs and Netbooks. Receiver is also available for smartphones and iPad.

Microsoft’s – Remote Desktop Services

2017-07-27T00:01:11+00:00 April 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an emerging architectural model where a Windows client operating system runs in server-based virtual machines (VMs) in the data center and interacts with the user’s client device such as a PC or a thin client. Similar to session virtualization (formerly known as Terminal Services), VDI provides IT with the ability to centralize a user’s desktop; instead of a server session, however, a full client environment is virtualized within a server-based hypervisor. With VDI, the user can get a rich and individualized desktop experience with full administrative control over desktop and applications. However, this architecture, while flexible, requires significantly more server hardware resources than the traditional session virtualization approach.

Key benefits of VDI are:

  • Better enablement of flexible work scenarios, such as work from home and hot-desking
  • Increased data security and compliance
  • Easy and efficient management of the desktop OS and applications

VDI Standard Suite and VDI Premium Suite

Microsoft provides two suite offerings to purchase and deploy VDI: Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Suite (“VDI Standard Suite”) and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Premium Suite (“VDI Premium Suite”). These two suites make it simple for customers to purchase the comprehensive Microsoft VDI infrastructure and management software, while providing excellent value amongst competing VDI offerings.

The Microsoft VDI Standard Suite is a complete VDI offering which offers the following features:

Desktop Delivery:

  • Basic connection broker to deliver personalized and pooled virtual machine-based desktops in low-complexity environments
  • Web-based remote access and full-fidelity end user experience

Application Delivery:

  • Separation of application layer from image with app streaming
  • Reduces app-to-app conflicts and need for regression testing
  • Easy application life cycle management via policies

Virtualization Platform:

  • Reliable, micro-kernelized hypervisor with small footprint
  • Supports live migration

Management:

  • Integrated, end-to-end management
  • Dynamic provisioning of apps to physical, virtual and session-based desktops
  • Rapid VM provisioning with cloned VHD’s
  • Support for failover clustering and storage migration
  • Patching, updating and monitoring of physical VDI host

For customers that want additional functionality, the Microsoft VDI Premium Suite is a comprehensive desktop centralization offering: It includes all the features of the VDI Standard Suite, but it also leverages the full capabilities of Windows Server Remote Desktop Services to provide greater flexibility for desktop and application delivery. Specifically, it offers the following desktop and application delivery features and benefits on top of the VDI Standard Suite:

Desktop Delivery:

  • Single brokering, discovery and publishing infrastructure for VDI and session-based desktops and applications
  • Higher user density with session-based desktops than with virtual desktops

Application Delivery:

  • Separation of hosted applications from the image
  • Isolation of incompatible applications and consolidation of Remote Desktop Session Host server silos

In order to enable the above mentioned features, the Microsoft VDI Suites incorporate a package of specific use rights of the following Microsoft infrastructure and management products; please contact your Microsoft licensing specialist for details:

  • Remote Desktop Services Client Access License (RDS CAL)
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) including App-V
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) Client Management License
  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Standard Server Management License
  • System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Standard Server Management License

Both the VDI Standard Suite and the VDI Premium Suite are licensed per client device that accesses the VDI environment, and thereby allow for flexibility of server infrastructure design and growth. The subscription based license will ensure that customers always have access to the latest versions of software. The VDI Standard Suite and the VDI Premium Suite are designed to complement the per device subscription model of VDA, further simplifying the buying experience for Microsoft VDI customers

VDI is best suited for contract and offshore workers and for users who need access to their work environment from home, including from a non-company owned PC. For complex deployments which require enterprise-level VDI capabilities, Microsoft is partnering with third party vendors such as Citrix Systems to provide a complete and scalable end-to-end solution to customersMS RMD Chart

 MS RMD Diagram

Remote Desktop Services’ RemoteApp virtualizes a processing environment and isolates the processing from the graphics and I/O, making it possible to run an application in one location but have it be controlled in another.

Remote Desktop Services makes it possible to remotely run an application in one location but have it be controlled and managed in another. Microsoft has evolved this concept considerably in Windows Server 2008 R2, and renamed Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to better reflect these new features and capabilities. The goal of RDS is to provide both users and administrators with both the features and the flexibility necessary to build the most robust access experience in any deployment scenario.

To expand the Remote Desktop Services feature set, Microsoft has been investing in the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, also known as VDI, in collaboration with our partners, which include Citrix, Unisys, HP, Quest, Ericom and several others. VDI is a centralized desktop delivery architecture, which allows customers to centralize the storage, execution and management of a Windows desktop in the data center. It enables Windows and other desktop environments to run and be managed in virtual machines on a centralized server. RDD and VDI addresses all these challenges with the following features:

 
For both virtual and session-based desktops, the quality of user experience is more important than ever before. Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services improves the end user experience significantly for VDI and session virtualization (fka Terminal Services) through new Remote Desktop Protocol capabilities. These new capabilities, enabled with Windows Server 2008 R2 in combination with Windows 7, provide for a richer user experience and improve end user productivity. Microsoft RemoteFX, a new set of remote user experience capabilities being developed by Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, will enable a full-fidelity, local-like desktop environment for virtual and session-based desktops and applications. RemoteFX will complement the enhancements made to RDP in Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services and will extend the benefits of a rich remote desktop or application to a wide array of client devices, from the most powerful PC to low-cost thin clients and other access devices.
  • Extends Remote Desktop Services to provide tools to enable VDI
  • Provides simplified publishing of, and access to, remote desktops and applications
  • Improved integration with Windows 7 user interface
  • Multimedia Redirection
  • True multiple monitor support
  • Audio Input & Recording
  • Aero Glass support
  • Improved audio/video synchronization
  • Language Bar Redirection
  • Task Scheduler

 New RemoteApp & Desktop Connection (RAD) feeds provide a set of resources, such as RemoteApp programs and Remote Desktops. These feeds are presented to Windows 7 users via the new RemoteApp & Desktop Connection control panel, and resources are tightly integrated into both the Start menu and the system tray. The improved RemoteApp and Desktop Connections features in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 provide the following improvements:

Improved RemoteApp and Desktop Management

 

While RAD improves the end-user experience, RAD also reduces the desktop and application management effort by providing a dedicated management interface that lets IT managers assign remote resources to users quickly and dynamically. Windows Server 2008 R2 includes the following RAD management capabilities to help reduce administrative effort:

  • RemoteApp & Desktop Connections control panel applet
  • Single administrative infrastructure
  • Designed for computers that are domain members and standalone computers
  • Always up to date
  • Single sign-on experience within a workspace
  • RemoteApp & Desktop Web Access

Improved RemoteApp and Desktop Deployment

 

Administrators faced with larger RAD deployment scenarios will also find additional management features in Windows Server 2008 R2’s Remote Desktop Services aimed at improving the management experience for all existing scenarios previously addressed by Remote Desktop Services as well as the new scenarios available via RAD. These improved management features include:

  • PowerShell Provider
  • Profile Improvements
  • Microsoft Installer (MSI) compatibility
  • Remote Desktop Gateway

 Source: Microsoft