VMware Horizon Mirage 4.4 Now Available

So earlier today I was in Reston, VA at VMware’s swanky new Executive Briefing Center with a customer talking about End User Computing.  When my buddy Chris mentioned that VMware Mirage 4.4 has gone GA.  I cannot tell you guys how much traction this product gets from customers when I perform a break fix demonstration right in front of their eyes.  It truly is a powerful piece of software for maintaining the integrity of either physical or virtual endpoints.  Below is the official announcement from VMware about the release.  Let me know if you have any questions!

 

VMware Horizon Mirage 4.4 Now Available!

Horizon Mirage 4.4 is now generally available! This latest release of Horizon Mirage introduces several exciting new features that benefit a variety of areas in IT. Horizon Mirage 4.4 now includes support for the latest Windows desktop operating systems – Windows 8 and 8.1. With this addition, Horizon Mirage can protect desktops and laptops with operating systems starting from Windows XP (if you still have it!) to Vista to 7 and now 8 and 8.1.  The next major feature, and one that benefits distributed enterprises, is a new Mirage Gateway. The gateway allows secure centralized management of remote endpoints without the need for VPN. Finally, enhancements to the Windows 7 migration process helps make migrations even faster with Horizon Mirage – as if they weren’t fast enough already! Here’s more information on some of the key new features in Horizon Mirage 4.4:

Windows 8 Support – Windows 8 and 8.1 devices can now be centralized and recovered using Horizon Mirage. IT can initiate a full system recovery in case of a lost, stolen, or broken beyond repair desktop, laptop or tablet. End users can initiate self-service file recovery in case they want to revert a deleted file or revert a file to a previous snapshot. And all of this can be done in minutes to hours, not days to weeks.

Mirage Gateway – The Mirage Gateway helps remote users connect their devices back to the corporate network, where Horizon Mirage is centrally located. End users do not need to set up a VPN connection to synchronize or back up their local files to the centrally-located Mirage Server(s). Saving this extra step across many remote users creates a non-disruptive experience for those remote users. And, the Mirage Gateway includes enterprise-grade scalability and security.

Fast Windows 7 Migration – A new policy can be applied to endpoints such that data does not get backed up or centralized during a migration workflow. This can lead to a tremendous amount of time saving as centralization is generally one of the biggest time consumers in a migration project.

Easy Upgrade for Horizon View Customers with Horizon Mirage – If IT needs to upgrade the Horizon View agent from 5.3 to future releases, they can do so with Horizon Mirage. Using a base or application layer is a two-step process that allows IT to perform this upgrade. The upgrade does not disrupt any applications that are managed outside of the base or app layer that contains the View upgrade.

Web Console and File Portal Enhancements – Using the web console and file portal just got better with Horizon Mirage 4.4. End users can now download multiple centralized files, and even folders, across devices. The web console has been further improved to allow IT to perform mass centralization and get deeper insight into the endpoints being managed with dashboard drilldowns. These enhancements automate management for IT, making troubleshooting easier and providing a scalable endpoint centralization option.

As noted above, Horizon Mirage 4.4 introduces several enhancements and new features that help IT work better, faster and smarter. This translates into fantastic support for end users, which helps maximize business efficiency.

Crap… where does the time go?

As you can see I haven’t really been very thorough in making some updates to the site, and I’m getting the urge to get back into the  swing of things.  

Since I’ve been gone, I’ve gone through a couple of different jobs in the Hampton Roads area, primarily because each position I accepted pretty much had me sitting at a desk waiting for something to do.  Which is exactly the opposite of what I told them I wanted to be doing. That being said I’ve found a position with a great new company in central Virginia as a VMware Solutions Architect.  Getting to meet new customers and help them along their journey to a more streamlined and automated infrastructure environment is what I love to do.

I’m going to start posting regularly here on what I’m seeing customers struggling with in addition to some VMware product updates and how-to’s.

In addition to the new activity going on here, make sure you check out all of the new websites that we’ve got up and running at The New Tech.

If you have any suggestions for content here, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email.  See you guys soon!

 

How To Record iHeartRadio & Elliot In The Morning

I have a confession to make, I can’t remember the last time I listened to terrestrial radio. I’ve had satellite radio in my vehicles ever since Opie & Anthony joined XM, and have never had to listen to commercial in my car in nearly a decade.

My girlfriend however loves the morning radio show Elliot in the Morning out of Washington, DC.  iHeartRadio used to be her saving grace as she would catch up on the previous day’s show throughout her work day.  But earlier this summer iHeartRadio decided they weren’t going to broadcast Elliot’s replays throughout the day and decided to only play his show live. So in my ongoing quest to keep my girlfriend happy I started to look for options on how to download the daily episodes of Elliot.

Eitm3

I stumbled upon the website DAR.fm and thought that this was going to be much easier than I had anticipated.  Basically DAR has a collection of shows that you can search for, and records them for you allowing you to listen to them online, or download them to a moblie device of your choice for offline listening.  The only problem is the mobile applications suck a bag of dicks.  They constantly get stuck trying to download portions of a show (of which there are twenty 15 minute parts), entire shows don’t show up in the mobile app, or it just freezes completely.  So with all of the headaches of using a service I had no control over, it was time to engineer something that I could manage myself and verify that episodes were being downloaded.

Head on past the break to figure out what I ultimately came up with.

Dell announces VRTX and my hunch on their next acquisition

Dell VRTX Datacenter in a box announcement

Earlier today, Dell announced the VRTX (http://www.dell.com/Learn/us/en/555/shared-infrastructure) which is their new remote / branch office datacenter in a box solution.  Breaking it down into bullet points may make understanding exactly what they’re doing a little bit easier…

Dell PowerEdge VRTX Features

[unordered_list style=”bullet”]

  • Up to four 2-socket, half-height M520 & M620 server nodes combine superb performance with exceptional flexibility
  • M620 – 50% more memory than nearest competitor for greater consolidation and virtualization
  • M520 – outstanding platform for mainstream business applications
  • Enterprise-class high availability features
  • First to market with dual SD cards for redundant hypervisors
  • RAID options for specific needs
  • Optional hot plug and swappable power supply units, HDD’s and fans in the VRTX chassis
  • Comprehensive, intelligent systems management
  • 5U Tower Chassis (Rackable)
  • Front KVM access / LCD Display / USB / Optional DVD-RW
  • Office level acoustics & power (100V – 240V)
  • Hot Plug HDDs: 12 x 3.5” or 25 x 2.5”
  • 8 Flexible PCIe slots – assignable to compute nodes
  • 3 FH/FL with DW card support (225W)
  • 5 LP/HL 75W
  • Ethernet (1GbE)
  • 1GbE internal switch module is standard
  • Optional Pass-Thru Module with 8 1GbE ports
  • Switch QoS provides priority of traffic
  • 1100W AC at RTS
  • Optional redundant management controller

[/unordered_list]

Now if you’ve gone through and read that you’re probably thinking to yourself “Holy hell that’s a ton of stuff inside a single box!”  And you’d be right.  But it’s an interesting move on Dell’s part and here’s why.  Traditionally branch / remote offices have been relegated to the dark and cold basement corner that no typical IT department wants to think about.  They don’t want to have to keep track of storage, networking and compute power across tens or hundreds of sites, and often times are stressed enough managing their primary facilities which is why the VRTX makes so much sense.  Included in the VRTX packaging is a geographical dashboard of deployed boxes which makes management and insight into what each office is doing effortless.

Instead of having a dedicated network rack in these remote / branch offices you can now deploy a single 5U device which by default comes in a tower configuration with acoustics that are on par with typical office workstations but includes networking, storage, and up to 4 M620 blades for high availability.  Depending on the pricing, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about the VRTX announcement, and if / how you would utilize the device in your infrastructure.

Read on past the break where I give you a couple of reasons why I think the WAN optimization company SilverPeak may be Dell’s next acquisition.

Moving Up and On…

Damn, it’s been a terribly long time since I’ve gone ahead and updated my site here so I figured with finding a new job, some pretty big changes happening with TheNewTech.tv and some personal things that I’m trying to wrap up why not go ahead and put a little more effort into getting things going on this.

So let’s start off first by catching up, shall we?

I’ve just recently started a new job with a company called Entec, and I know you’re thinking to yourself “Damn Matt you sure do change jobs a lot!” And that’s pretty accurate but there’s a reason behind my most recent employment changes. First off if you know me, or have caught any of the online media that I’ve been a part of for the last decade you know that I’m a pretty strong willed person. To the point in which it can be labeled a fault, but in my mind I just look to it as the attribute of someone who knows what they want, and strives to achieve it. The last couple of jobs that I’ve had I was pretty much lied to when it came to the description of what I was actually going to be doing.

I originally left the employment of a company that I had been with for nearly 5 years because there really weren’t any additional opportunities for growth or advancement. This move was completely my decision and it wasn’t solely about money. I had reached a point with that particular company which saw me babysitting an otherwise well oiled machine, and having nothing much to do but browse the internet all day. Now some may think that’s the greatest job in the world… Getting paid to browse the internet! But let me assure you that simply isn’t the case, ultimately you’re checking the same websites all day waiting for something new to come up. And when I wasn’t doing that I was working on other projects of mine, and to me it just felt I was wasting away being a desk jockey and that simply me.

So I left, and took a job with a company that promised I would be engaged in new business development, as well as solution development. What they actually needed was someone to sit at a desk for 6 months and fill a body at one of their clients in the event something catastrophic happened. So I left a job that was paying me to browse the internet for another company that basically paid me MORE money to do the same thing. Needless to say I was a little frustrated by this, but the client was fairly close to where I live and I thought in the end once this contract was over we were going to get back to what I had initially signed on for. Fast forward 6 months when the contract did indeed end and I was driving around to new clients assisting with infrastructure redesigns, and actively engaging with decision makers to fix a bunch of issues that previous technicians had screwed up. That was until the company I was working for needed a sharepoint administrator to install a new deployment for a local municipality. This didn’t exactly sit well with me in the first place due to the fact that the project manager leading this deployment really had no clue as to the requirements, and was in essence shoving this down the City IT department’s throat. They didn’t need this, and while I’m all about trying to make a dollar, this wasn’t the way to go about it. So after that disagreement, the company and I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to work out long term so we parted ways.

But wait there’s more, continue on after the break to see what I’m up to now.