Thursday, November 22, 2018

Microsoft acquires FSLogix

Ø  FSLogix specializes in solving common challenges seen in virtual desktop environments when deploying Office 365 and non-persistent desktops
Ø  FSL was in initial days focused on tech called Cloaking for application management in Windows world (turn on and off individual applications)
Ø  One use case of Cloaking is that you can build a single base Windows image that actually has all your apps in it & you can use that single base image for all your users. Depending on the rights of the user when they log in, the cloaking software will automatically hide and un-hide the right combination of apps the user needs, it works for both physical and VDI
Ø  To enable cloaking FSL has File System Filter Driver, which is managed by a set of rules that you configure via the FSLogix Apps RuleEditor
Ø  To address the problem of Large windows base Image FSL created App Containers, which is similar to what AppVolumes is doing
Ø  App Container is used in something that FSL call Profile Containers. By creating a VHD for each user’s profile with FSL’s Profile Migration Utility, one can connect to Outlook OST files solving the issue of OST caching and the behavior of Outlook in online mode when used with Office 365
Ø  The way FSL interacts with the VHD you only have to open up one SMB connection to the VHD, rather than mounting it as a sort of network drive.
o   Solving Outlook search so you can search for any of your emails easily.
o   Roam OneDrive for Business user data between PCs to negate the need to resync that data each time you log on to a different PC.
o   Skype for Business Global Address List (GAL) roaming.
Ø  A key feature of FSL Office Containers is their ability to enable Cached Exchange Mode for Outlook in RDSH and non-persistent VDI env
Ø  Windows Virtual Desktop , Announced sep ~ 2018 in Ignite
o   It’s delivered via Azure (speed, scale, security, and compliance).
o   It’s the only cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience
o   It can be used for Office 365 Pro Plus

For many years, Citrix and more recently VMware have owned the desktop virtualization market, MS had limited investment into the market, leaving both Citrix and VMware be the leader but now MS looks to be working actively in the space. 1st Windows Virtual Desktop then Multiuser windows 10 and now FSL. Giving credence to the notion that endpoint OS belongs to DC

Monday, September 10, 2018

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 7 1808

Æ Product Name change - Citrix Virtual Apps (former name: XenApp) Citrix Virtual Desktop (former name: XenDesktop)
Æ Citrix have also changed their release cycle to follow built version + YYMM (Year, Month) and is following Microsoft how they name their release built for Windows OS/Server
Æ Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: Provided as a cloud service and as an on-premises product. Deliver Windows, Linux, web, and SaaS applications or full virtual desktops from any cloud: public, on premises or hybrid. Virtual Apps and Desktops was formerly XenApp and XenDesktop.
Æ Citrix Workspace app: The Citrix Workspace app incorporates existing Citrix Receiver technology as well as the other Citrix Workspace client technologies. It delivers additional capabilities to provide end users with a unified, contextual experience where they can interact with all the work apps, files, and devices.
Æ Citrix Content Collaboration and Citrix Files for Windows: The access, collaboration, workflows, rights management, and integration features of ShareFile are now available in the Citrix Content Collaboration component set. Citrix Files for Windows allows you to access your Content Collaboration files directly through a mapped drive, providing a native Windows Explorer experience.
Æ Citrix Hypervisor: The technology from XenServer for virtualization infrastructure, based on the XenProject hypervisor, is now Citrix Hypervisor.

(New names)
(Old names)
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
Citrix Workspace app
Incorporates Citrix Receiver and extensive enhancements
Citrix SD-WAN
Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN
Citrix Secure Web Gateway
Citrix NetScaler Secure Web Gateway
Citrix Gateway
Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway
Citrix Content Collaboration
Citrix ShareFile
Citrix Files for Windows
Citrix ShareFile Desktop App, ShareFile Sync, ShareFile Drive Mapper
Citrix Hypervisor
Citrix XenServer
Citrix Provisioning
Citrix Provisioning Services

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ICYMI : Microsoft 365 for Firstline Workers & other Ignite Updates

o   On Monday MS introduced a software bundle for so-called front-line workers like cashiers, truck drivers and factory employees, HCM software has been on Microsoft's public roadmap
o   Microsoft 365 F1, the new offering includes StaffHub, a recently launched app for managing shifts so that employees don't need to call in or stop by the main office to check a weekly schedule printed on a piece of paper – Deskless workers
o   F1 comes with the Office 365, Windows 10 and MS Enterprise Mobility and Security suite
o   StaffHub is a cloud-based platform designed for employees whose job requires them to be on their feet or on the go. Examples include retail staff, baristas, factory floor workers, site workers, and so on. It helps you create and manage work shifts, share files, and communicate important information with team members
o   StaffHub teams split into managers and users. Managers have read-write access to create and publish schedules for their teams through a browser app. Users can only read schedules and cannot update them without manager intervention. Once managers make changes to schedules like adding new shifts or accepting requests for time off, workers receive relevant updates that affect their schedule. The online schedule for a team is always up-to-date, a major advantage over traditional paper-based schedules            
o   MS Teams is becoming the default communications client in Office 365. Microsoft announced that the team collaboration app will replace the current Skype for Business client in Office 365 “over time,” though the company did not provide an exact timeframe
o   Bing for Business for Microsoft 365 and internal company search use. The native search tool uses machine learning (ML) and the Microsoft Graph to deliver personalized search results on company data, documents, people sites, locations, and public web search results
o   Windows 10 device can now be joined to on-premises Active Directory (AD) and Azure AD at the same time. Co-management takes advantage of this improvement and enables the device to be managed by both ConfigMgr agent and Intune MDM. This allows organizations to move parts or workloads of their management to the cloud. For eg, customers can transition device compliance check, resource access profile deployment, or update management from ConfigMgr to Intune while continuing to use ConfigMgr for other workloads such as software distribution and deep device security configuration.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Automation Architect

·       There is no one tool that will automate your entire data center and there is no tool that will devise automation strategy or deal with the policy and organizational implications of an automation project
·       IT organizations at the largest enterprises have already begun to appoint automation architects
·       Automation projects will encounter both technical and non-technical challenges. You need an architect empowered to address both
·       As you devise your automation strategy, an automation architect will help your enterprise address a number of key technical decisions:
o   Which tools will be used, and for what purposes?
o   What is the best way to implement the tools?
o   Who will be in charge of maintaining each?
·       They will also consider the following business process realities:
o   How will corporate policies be decided and enforced?
o   To what extent should technical requirements drive business decisions, and vice versa?

o   How can the IT organization best collaborate with the business it serves?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Windows 10 S - All you want to Know

o   Windows 10 Cloud is here in the form of Windows 10 S targeted @ Education Market as an Option to Chromebook

o   Traditional apps will work on Windows 10 S only if it’s packaged as a Windows Store app, try to run an app not from store & you see below message

o   Microsoft is bringing the full desktop Office apps to the Windows Store to support the Windows 10 S release,
o   Apps are run in secure containers that can’t access other parts of the operating system
o   You won’t be able to buy Windows 10 S by itself, only on devices that come with it preloaded
o   Windows S a pared down version of Windows Pro cannot:
x   Run Non Store Apps
x   Join Domain
x   Run any other Browser except Edge
x   Have any other search integrated except Bing

Windows S Vis a vie Chromebook competitor is a thin client, a low or mid-range laptop, and has MDM (read Intune) & modern management aspects. Like WinRT it does not run regular Windows apps. Differentiator with RT is Windows S will support real Office apps, it runs on x86
Assuming there are enough apps that level the playing field with Chromebooks, it could make a dent in that space. There could not be a huge enterprise play but as time goes by and UEM picks up steam, perhaps it can catch on there, another use case could be using Win10 S device as a thinclient.
It’s a cheap Platform / Device combo as a segment companies are looking to address: Google with Chrome has been very successful in the space, HP and now Samsung pushing phones that turn into desktops, Apple campaigning to position the iPad as a laptop replacement and now MS with windows S. It will be a divided market.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MS Hololens Commercial edition

·        Commercial Suite includes the Development Edition, enterprise features for added security and device management, and a warranty -
·        Run Published applications from Azure such as the new announced service Citrix XenApp “express” instead of the discontinued “Azure RemoteApp”
·        Remote graphics  AR - Working on either a Word document or heavy GPU CAD application such as Autodesk AutoCAD from the Hololens. The applications are not installed on the Hololens, they are running from servers pixels are only streamed to the Hololens
·        Enterprise features
o   Kiosk mode - You can limit which apps to run to enable demo or showcase experiences.
o   Mobile Device Management (MDM) - Manage multiple HoloLens devices using InTune. Manage settings, select apps to install and set security configurations
o   Identity -  Azure Active Directory and credentials with PIN unlock.
o   Windows Update for Business - Controlled operating system updates to devices and support for long term servicing branch.
o   Data security - BitLocker data encryption and secure boot is enabled on HoloLens
o   Work access - Remotely connect to the corporate network through a VPN on a HoloLens. HoloLens can also access Wi-Fi networks that require credentials
o   Windows Store for Business -Set up an enterprise private store, company’s apps for your specific HoloLens usage and distribute apps to selected group of users

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Surface as a Service & Changes to E Plans

Ø  Service providers would now be able to offer 3 Microsoft services on a subscription basis: Microsoft’s Azure, Office 365, and now Windows 10
Ø  Microsoft plans to make its recently renamed Windows 10 Enterprise product available as a subscription for $7 per user per month, or $84 per year
Ø  Announced July 12, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is the name of the lower-end of two different versions of Windows 10 Enterprise.
Ø  Windows 10 Enterprise E5 is the new name of the Windows 10 Enterprise version that also will include Windows Defender ATP
Ø  E3 =  Windows 10 Enterprise E3, Office 365 E3, and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
Ø  Secure Productive Enterprise E5 bundle = Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Office 365 E5, and Enterprise Mobility + Security E5
Ø  Microsoft also announced Surface as a Service essentially leasing to customers on a per-month basis

New Subscription Options for Windows 10 and Surface for Businesses | Windows Experience Blog   

Monday, September 19, 2016

App Streaming - Deep Linking in mobile apps

o   Google, which has a strategic interest in making mobile more like the web, is working on something called App Streaming It allows user to get native app experience without having to download the app
o   You had your AOL, your CompuServe, your Prodigy, your MSN — all online services that were disconnected from each other, some with unique content that could only be accessed if you installed (and subscribed to) that particular online service – The Web browser ended this
o   Disconnected World Of Apps - If you want New York Times news within an app environment, you need to download its app. If you want to interact with Facebook easily on mobile, you need the Facebook app. If you want to purchase from Amazon, another app was required (and even then, with iOS, you couldn’t buy because Amazon doesn’t want to pay the “Apple Tax” cut that Apple wants from any iOS app that sells things)
o   Goal is to move between apps just as you do with the web? Here Comes Google App Indexing, Apple Deep Linking & Universal Links, Facebook App Links and Bing App Linking
o   With app streaming, Google will broadcast what you’re looking for within an app, no download /install required, it’s a pilot test that Google’s doing with nine publishers in the US including Hotels Tonight
o   For now only happens for those using the Google App, on Android 5 and Android 6 devices — and only if you’re searching with US English as your setting. Moreover, you need to be on a good WiFi connection for the streaming to happen apps are rendered exactly as if you were using an actual downloaded version
o   Google App Indexing means that Google is now fed information from Hotel Tonight about what’s inside the app, all of its app pages - finding truly app-only content

o   Apple Universal Links can also render app-only content. But those links depend on someone having actually installed an app. With Google’s system, there’s no app installation required