Vol. 19, #3 - January 20, 2014 - Issue #963

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Are Hybrid Solutions Best?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Are Hybrid Solutions Best?
    • Tip of the Week: Deploying 32- and 64-bit Windows from one DVD
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Major Hybrid Cloud Players
    • Amazon the nay sayer
    • The Year of the Hybrid Cloud
  6. Windows Server News
    • Amid security concerns, cloud insurance makes headway in the enterprise
    • What tasks are fair game for VDI automation?
    • Build your mobile security policy around the enterprise laptop
    • Modern Infrastructure E-Zine: Cloud storage at your service
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Monitor Remote Desktop Sessions with Remote Desktop Reporter

 

Monitor Remote Desktop Sessions with Remote Desktop Reporter

You monitor your network and your logs ... so why don't you monitor your Remote Desktop sessions?  Businesses, MSPs, and Cloud & SaaS providers all depend on Remote Desktop Services for telework and virtualized computing, but few if any monitor that activity.  Remote Desktop Reporter agentlessly collects information on user activity & productivity (active vs idle time), application use / MSP license use data, RDP bandwidth, peak concurrent users, RDS uptime monitoring, and other performance metrics, providing comprehensive reports when needed.  Windows RD Session Host servers, workstations, and Citrix XenApp servers are all supported.  Affordable per-server, per-workstation, and MSP named user licensing is available.

Download your fully functional 30-day trial of Remote Desktop Reporter today.

 

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about hybrid solutions that combine on-premises computing with cloud-based services. Are hybrid solutions the best approach for everyone? Or should some businesses either stick with on-premises solutions or move entirely to the cloud? Even Dogbert things that hybrid solutions can bring benefits (to himself at least) as this Dilbert comic illustrates:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947800909

Are Hybrid Solutions Best?

"Hybrid is the new cloud" seems to be the mantra these days for marketing cloud-based services. Two years ago everyone was saying hosted cloud computing would revolutionize the way businesses do IT by increasing their agility, reducing costs, and expanding reach. Then reality started to set in as major cloud service providers like Amazon, Dropbox, Google and even Microsoft suffered major outages as illustrated in this slide show from InfoWorld:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947811956

The vulnerability of cloud services was brought back to me again just this week by this article on TechCrunch about the latest outage on Dropbox:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947818581

The basic idea behind hybrid computing is simple: combine the benefits of cloud computing while maintaining control over key resources within your existing datacenter. It's the "best of both worlds" approach to enterprise computing, and offhand I can't think of a single large company today that doesn't embrace this approach in some measure, even if it's just for sharing files over the cloud or using cloud-based backups as a secondary safeguard for traditional backups.

The question I'm grappling with though is whether the hybrid approach is right for everyone.

Large enterprises tend to approach IT changes conservatively because of issues of scale, manageability, security, and regulatory requirements. For large companies, hybrid solutions are usually implemented in stages. For example, they might migrate a portion of their workforce to Office 365 to make budgeting easier and simplify their deployment architecture. They could move their application development platform into Windows Azure so they can test applications in an IaaS cloud infrastructure before they roll them out in their production environment. For their call center, they could provision managed desktop computing services from the cloud using a third-party offering like Amazon WorkSpaces. And to make their customer-facing services more flexible and cost-effective, they might implement a customer relationship management (CRM) solution from Salesforce.com.

And by integrating an on-premises private cloud solution, such as one built with the Windows Server and System Center platforms, with a public cloud offering like Windows Azure, enterprises can increase the scalability and flexibility of their datacenter. For example, they could develop and test an application in Windows Azure and then deploy it in-house using System Center. Or they could migrate some of their virtualized workloads from their on-premises Hyper-V hosts onto Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Such a solution is more than simply hybrid computing--it's a hybrid cloud.

So basically, integrating at least some forms of cloud computing with their existing infrastructure is a no-brainer for most large enterprises, which means hybrid computing is the de facto best-of-breed answer to the needs of such companies. But what about smaller businesses? Is hybrid the best approach for them or is it better to follow a "pure play" approach by either keeping all IT in-house or migrating everything they do to the cloud?

Perhaps it depends on the kind of business we're talking about. A cutting-edge online media company will probably follow the cloud-only approach because company employees are likely to span the globe with many working from home. Going cloud-only allows them to focus on content creation/distribution without having to spend unnecessarily on brick-and-mortar infrastructure.

Rapidly growing companies like tech startups are also probably well-served by the pure cloud approach to IT infrastructure and application provisioning. After all, why spend money on server hardware when you might sell your company to an eager buyer and then take the money and run?

And with Microsoft having discontinued their Small Business Server (SBS) platform and pushing their partner network instead to market Microsoft cloud solutions to customers, it's become harder for smaller businesses to build their own on-premises IT solution without also footing the cost of hiring at least one well-qualified tech person to deploy, manage and maintain it.

But despite what reading/watching the tech media might suggest, there are tons more smaller businesses out there than just tech startups. An A to Z of businesses that might have 25 or fewer employees would include architects, bookkeepers, consultants, designers, engineering companies, financial advisors, general contractors, and so on up to zookeepers. All of them need some types of IT services to support their business activities. For some a good old file server might be all that's really needed. Others may find that cloud-based services are all they need to run their business.

But other than using Gmail or Outlook.com and a service like SkyDrive or Dropbox, can any of these smaller businesses benefit from a true hybrid computing solution that tightly integrates on-premises infrastructure with hosted cloud services? If the business is not in the tech field, will they have the expertise to build and maintain such a solution? And would it be cost-effective for them to do so?

What do you think?

We'd like to hear from any of you readers who work in a smaller business with fewer than 50 employees. Do you run all your IT in-house? Why? Have you outsourced everything to the cloud? Why? And have you made the effort to integrate your on-premises infrastructure with cloud services? How has this worked out for your business? Share your stories with me by sending email to [email protected].

TIP: Be sure to check out the Recommended for Learning and Tech Briefing sections of this issue for more on hybrid cloud solutions.

Tip of the Week: Deploying 32- and 64-bit Windows from one DVD

Want to install both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 from a single DVD? I didn't know you could do this until a colleague pointed me to the following article from TechPowerUp:

How to Create a Universal Windows 7 Disc (AIO) with both 32 and 64-bit versions
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947840472

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

Here are some books on hybrid cloud computing that you might want to check out:

Hybrid Cloud For Dummies
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947850581

Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947856987

Windows Azure Hybrid Cloud
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947862519

Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Windows Azure
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947868144

Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012: Private and Hybrid Cloud Solutions for the Mobile Enterprise
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947873737

Microsoft Virtual Academy

This new section of our newsletter highlights the latest announcements from the MVA.

January 27-31: Windows Azure Week

Join Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for Windows Azure Week January 27-31. It’s a free, one-week, real-time intensive virtual conference. Get answers to your questions in a live Q&A from the people who are building Windows Azure. You’ll learn what you need to start moving your existing applications to the cloud today. See all the available sessions, and register for any or all that interest you!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389952377873

Quote of the Week

"Know yourself and you will win all battles." - Sun Tzu

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Monitor and report on Remote Desktop & XenApp sessions on your network. Audit teleworkers, licensing/app use, performance, & more. Perfect for corporate networks, MSP/Cloud Providers, & SaaS vendors.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389949166300
  

Windows Server 2012 introduced many changes to the way we think about OSes, storage, Hyper-V, networking and clouds. R2 preview continues on that path. Download this ebook to learn about the new features of Windows Server 2012 R2 preview.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389949172722

Server performance problems? Find out why with FactFinder Express. See whether the issue is a slow app, slow SQL requests, or a CPU/Memory/Disk bottleneck. 30 day free trial.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389949178300

Want to know how your Exchange messaging system is being used or misused? Want to know most active users, who are overusing the system and what is being stored in their mailboxes?
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389949183503

Microsoft Office 365 has become an option for organizations looking to move content – particularly Exchange – to the cloud. Learn about the new capabilities in Office 365 and what pitfalls await you.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389949187987 

 

Events Calendar

Americas

Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947892409

Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947895159

SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947897597

NEW! TechEd North America on May 12-15, 2014 in Houston, Texas
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947900472

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947903987

Europe

European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947911519

Asia Pacific

NEW! TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947915784

Add your event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Webcast Calendar

Register for Webcasts


Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

We'll start off this week with some links to where you can find more information about hybrid cloud solutions.  

Major hybrid cloud players

Let's start by hearing what the vendors themselves say about hybrid cloud:

Microsoft
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947952878

VMware
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947960644

IBM
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947966128

HP
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947971362

Dell
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947976425

Rackspace
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947981206

 

Amazon the nay-sayer

Not all cloud service providers think hybrid is the answer. Amazon is one player who thinks pure-cloud will be best in the long run for most businesses. Here's some commentary on the matter:

Amazon Web Services grudgingly accepts hybrid cloud (ITworld)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389947994362

AWS Enterprise Spending Surges as Hybrid Cloud Utilization Declines (The Street)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948000659

The Hand That Rocks The Hybrid Cloud Could Rule The Enterprise (ReadWrite)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948006050

VMware's Hybrid Cloud: Not Amazon's Model (Information Week)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948011784

 

The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

Finally, will 2014 be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud? Or was that last year? And when will the Year of Linux on the Desktop finally arrive? (Long-running joke.) Let's hear from a few tech news sites:

2013: Year of the hybrid cloud (NetworkWorld)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948025034

2013 – The Year Of The Hybrid Cloud (CloudTweaks)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948030894

Microsoft, VMware, and the year of the hybrid cloud (VentureBeat)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948039362

Why 2014 will be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud (CloudVelocity)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948047909

2014: The Year of the Hybrid Cloud (TalkTechToMe)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948053050

Why 2014 will be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud (Archimedius)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948058300


Windows Server News

Amid security concerns, cloud insurance makes headway in the enterprise

Providers may have found a solution to the great cloud security scare – insurance policies for companies to protect themselves. Examine the pros and cons of cloud insurance, and its potential in the future of the cloud-based data center.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948068862

What tasks are fair game for VDI automation?

Virtual desktop infrastructures are uniquely suited for utilizing automation tools for updates, deployment and distribution – especially for a large number of end users. But, what exactly should you automate? Find out in this IT tip.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948075269

Build your mobile security policy around the enterprise laptop

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets – you can’t forget about the protection of corporate laptops when building a mobile security policy. Hear from our experts as they outline the 6 essentials steps for developing an effective end point security strategy for today’s mobile workforce.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948081019

Modern Infrastructure E-Zine: Cloud storage at your service

The cloud may provide a viable option for cost-effective, optimized storage – but you must choose wisely. Hear from industry pros as they discuss the effective uses cases, buyer tips and tricks, and advice for overcoming cloud storage conundrums in this exclusive download.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948089378

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

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Ventriloquist Nigel Dunkley tries to pick up girls on the NYC subway using his dummy. Will he succeed?
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948150815

While telling a story about his grandmother in a cafe, Criss continues to astound us with his amazing magic.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948156253

An interesting film showing London in 1923 and 2013 side-by-side.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948161347

Amazing views from the cockpit, the tail camera and the ground of a Lufthansa Airbus A380 landing at San Francisco airport.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948166175

"The Bear" is an unusually involving film about animals that will give you a fresh perspective on their world.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1389948170878


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Monitor Remote Desktop Sessions with Remote Desktop Reporter

You monitor your network and your logs ... so why don't you monitor your Remote Desktop sessions?  Businesses, MSPs, and Cloud & SaaS providers all depend on Remote Desktop Services for telework and virtualized computing, but few if any monitor that activity.  Remote Desktop Reporter agentlessly collects information on user activity & productivity (active vs idle time), application use / MSP license use data, RDP bandwidth, peak concurrent users, RDS uptime monitoring, and other performance metrics, providing comprehensive reports when needed.  Windows RD Session Host servers, workstations, and Citrix XenApp servers are all supported.  Affordable per-server, per-workstation, and MSP named user licensing is available.

Download your fully functional 30-day trial of Remote Desktop Reporter today.

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com