Application Strategy in the New Enterprise…

2017-07-27T00:01:08+00:00 December 14th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Why is the right application strategy important?

Whether it is physical or virtual, the endpoint device won’t matter if you can’t get to your data; and it’s through applications that you get to your critical data.  But management of applications can be an administrative burden.  How can you take applications administration to the next level?

 The right application virtualization tool will:

  • Decrease your time to market by 20-40%
  • Decrease your software license spend by 30-50%
  • Reduce or eliminate your need to rewrite legacy applications
  • Allow central management of all your apps
  • Increase Software license management and compliance

For example, in the common case of having to reset a hung application, the average cost of a help desk ticket to reset an app is $345 without an application virtualization tool.  With the proper tool, an app reset can be done in 18 seconds; virtually eliminating that cost.  This has a two-fold benefit – decreased end user downtime, and decreased IT support costs.  But just having a tool to handle these situations does not — by itself — solve all your problems; you must have a strategy.

The right application strategy requires a 3-pronged approach

To arrive at an optimized virtual user-centric experience requires a three-part strategic focus that encompasses the following:

  1. Desktop Strategy
  2. Application Strategy
  3. User Strategy 

Each of these pieces is equally important.  While in some cases you can have an application strategy without a desktop strategy, you should never have a desktop strategy without an application strategy.  From this perspective, it becomes clear that an application strategy can actually be more important than a desktop strategy.  

How it can go wrong

My thoughts based on what I see from a sales and trending perspective:

  • Over time, server virtualization created such a positive ROI for both capex and opex, that it was assumed that desktop virtualization would be another no-brainer to implement.  Companies who have embarked on VDI pilots and initiatives have quickly become disillusioned; realizing that the same efficiencies that were gained at the server level do not necessarily apply at the desktop. Eventually, they are forced to rethink their strategy.
  • Companies that embark on Win7 migrations – and do not take the time to make a strategic decision about how they will manage their applications – may become disillusioned as well, as they are feeling the pain of long cycles to virtualize their applications for a new OS and new endpoint device.  And in addition to the long cycles to prepare the applications, there are the inevitable challenges with legacy apps and conflicting apps.
  • Aging infrastructures and desktop devices create projects driven by choosing an “endpoint strategy” (translated as endpoint device only) where the only thing taken into consideration is the device.  Their whole strategy is around making decisions about thin client, zero client, fat client, etc.; all without thinking about the delivery method or the user profile.

Overall, as companies make strategic decisions about their Virtual Desktop Strategy, there can be tunnel vision about the desktop piece as the only strategic piece, with applications and users being an afterthought.

How to make it right

Herein lies my mission:  To educate those embarking on a VDI initiative about the importance of choosing the right application strategy.

 

How To Force Windows 7 To Open Excel Spreadsheets in Separate Windows…

2017-07-27T00:01:08+00:00 November 30th, 2011|Uncategorized|

As IT consultants, we occasionally find ourselves with large spreadsheets that need to be reviewed with human eyes (rather than by filters or scripts) for inspection or comparison, etc.

The other day I was quite frustrated while comparing a large amount of data between two Excel spreadsheets.  I had to constantly switch between each spreadsheet, or set them up side by side in the same window.  Since I have two monitors (of course), I wanted to be able to take advantage of ALL my screen real estate for my spreadsheet needs.  I searched a bit, and found a cool tip on the WhiteSites Blog from author Paul White (thanks Paul!) for my conundrum; and since Paul’s original post is mostly for Office 2003 (with updates for 2007/2010), I thought I should share a “readers digest” version of only the 2007/2010 version of it here.

Again, please note that these instructions are specifically for Excel 2007/2010. 

WARNING: Always backup your registry before making any changes. Do not attempt to perform these tasks if you are not comfortable with editing the registry.  Seriously.  Don’t.

  • Open Regedit
  • Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTExcel.Sheet.12shellOpencommand
  • The “(default)” value will be something like this:
"C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14EXCEL.EXE" /e
  • Append a “%1” to the end of the “(default)” value, making it:
"C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14EXCEL.EXE" /e "%1"
  • Rename the “command” value, which is right below the “(Default)” value, to “command2” or something else.
  • Rename the “ddeexec” key to “ddeexec2” or something else.

After you have done this, your Registry should like similar to this:

 

 …and with that, your Excel spreadsheets should now open in separate windows. 

Enjoy!

 

Symantec Workspace Streaming / Virtualization Overview

2017-07-27T00:01:08+00:00 May 24th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Understanding Workspace Streaming (SWS)

Symantec Workspace Streaming

Symantec Workspace Streaming is an application streaming solution that enables on-demand application provisioning, offline cache, license recovery and instant application upgrades. Symantec Workspace Streaming increases end user productivity with controlled, guaranteed access to any Windows based applications from any location at any time, including remote and mobile users.

Key Features

  • On-demand application streaming – simplifies OS image management by reducing the number and size of images
  • Dynamic license management – proactively insures license compliance by avoiding over-deployment and optimize software costs by re-harvesting licenses when they expire or after a period of disuse
  • Single-click application upgrades – upgrade and patch applications quickly and painlessly, or roll back applications to the previous version if required
  • Disconnected Usage Capability

Key Benefits

  • Reduce software license costs
  • Simplify Application delivery
  • Reduce application support costs/disruption
  • Improve utilization of existing hardware and software resources

 

Symantec Workspace Virtualization

Symantec Workspace Virtualization provides application virtualization that helps reduce application conflicts, testing requirements and support calls. Symantec Workspace Virtualization helps IT organizations improve management and control over endpoints to reduce the total cost of ownership of laptops and desktops.

Key Features

  • Virtual application layers – patented filter driver technology enables virtual layers that are transparent to the base operating system and other applications
  • Selective isolation – provides a solution for incompatible Windows 7 apps and insures system and application compatibility under any circumstance
  • Endpoint Management integration – Workspace Virtualization is a standard component of Symantec’s Client Management Suite (CMS), Total Management Suite (TMS), Symantec Workspace Streaming (SWS), Software Management Solution

Key Benefits

  • Eliminate conflicts between applications and base operating system, such as incompatible Windows 7 applications
  • Reduce application pre-deployment testing requirements
  • Provide instant reset for broken applications

Running IE v6 on Windows 7 with Symantec Workspace Virtualization

2017-07-27T00:01:09+00:00 August 6th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If you are looking for a way to run IE v6 on Windows 7 desktops, take a look at Symantec’s Endpoint Virtualization technologies. The software includes two different modules that are free of charge, including Workspace Virtualization administration and the Browser Selector tools. They are fairly simple to setup and flexible enough to isolate individual applications from the host Windows 7 OS.
Symantec Endpoint Virtualization
http://www.symantec.com/connect/endpoint-virtualization
Entry level pricing starts at $45 per node

Source:  WebInformant.blogspot.com  By: David Strom

Microsoft Starts Windows Embedded Update Service

2017-07-27T00:01:09+00:00 July 2nd, 2010|Uncategorized|

Microsoft initiated a free Windows Embedded update service for device developers, which started on Monday.

The new Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) service is currently available and can be accessed by downloading the software here. The software can be installed and run on Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The WEDU service, which reduces the time developers have to spend searching for updates, currently provides updates only for Windows Embedded Standard 7 developers. Microsoft plans to add support for Windows Embedded Compact 7 “within the calendar year,” according to the company’s announcement. Windows Embedded is Microsoft’s family of componentized operating systems used to support thin clients and various devices.

Project managers can use WEDU (pronounced “we do”) to ensure that their teams have the most current development environments. Users of WEDU need to have administrative access privileges to manage the service.

To use WEDU, administrators specify the products that should receive updates by registering them through the service. The next step is to specify the locations of the distribution shares where the updates should be activated, according to an MSDN library article. WEDU will search for daily updates in the background. Administrators can also perform manual scans for new updates.

The service comes with a few caveats. While updates can be automated, the WEDU tool doesn’t let the user remove the updates. Windows Control Panel has to be used in those instances to remove “certain updates for developer tools,” according to the MSDN article. The article adds that “updates to distribution shares and repository databases cannot be removed.”

Microsoft provides advice on maintaining distribution shares and creating distribution shares in its blogs. The former blog recommends importing all Microsoft-released packages and updates and not removing packages from distribution shares. Distribution shares should be backed up before importing any updates.

Load More Posts