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Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:00

Tools lift BYOD experience


In a bid to make virtualisation and cloud computing more palatable to enterprises which have a high concentration of mobile users, or are implementing a Bring your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, VMware has launched a fistful of new products and a public beta of a system that offers what it describes as 'Dropbox for the enterprise'.


The products available today and later this year bring to life the product roadmap that VMware outlined at its major user conference last year. According to Tim Hartmann, senior manager of systems engineers for VMware in Australia; 'If you look at all the releases they dovetail into BYOD in a big fashion.'


At the heart of that is the release of VMware View 5.1 which offers IT managers a caching methodology to take the load off the underlying storage systems that are accessed by end user devices. By removing the bottleneck Mr Hartmann said it was possible to have a higher density of systems attached, which led to a lower cost per desktop.


The company claims that the total cost of ownership associated with a virtual desktop infrastructure could be cut by up to 50 percent thanks to optimising storage loads. The tool also provides a single management console from which IT managers can control provisioning, configuration management, connection brokering, policy enforcement, performance monitoring, and application assignment.


VMware View is currently being used by a number of Australian organisations including the Sydney Adventist Hospital and the Bureau of Meteorology.


VMware has also launched Horizon Application Manager. Since buying TriCipher in 20120, VMware has been offering that tool in the US. Horizon however has been recast for the global market.


'This is a way of creating a single sign-on '¦ for whatever cloud based applications you are using,' said Mr Hartmann.


The system uses Active Directory to handle the authentication for each user. Instead of needing user IDs for each cloud service a user subscribed to, Horizon now manages that access.


'From an administrator's perspective you can say yes you are allowed to use this service - but also if someone leaves then you can turn that of with the flick of a switch,' said Mr Hartmann.


VMware has also launched its vCentre Operations for View tool which provides IT managers with a traffic light style dashboard to illustrate the end user experience and identify problems.


While this form of insight has been available for virtual machines in the data centre for a while, this extension of the tool allows IT managers to monitor how their end users' devices - whether desktop, mobile, virtual or BYOD - are performing, and where necessary tweak the system to improve that performance.


Finally the company has launched a public beta of its Project Octopus programme, which Mr Hartmann described as 'Dropbox for the enterprise.' Originally three local companies signed up for the private beta pilot of the programme, but Mr Hartmann says that there are now 20 companies trialling the system, which has been made available as a public beta from today.


It will be launched officially later this year.


'It presents you with a folder and that becomes your document repository, which can be made available to other nominated users,' instead of emailing large files around an enterprise, he added.




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