TIPS: Increasing your Facebook privacy

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The other day after I had spent some time tightening down my Facebook privacy, I posted a little Status update informing everyone of my little accomplishment. Since then, I have been sent quite a few message from friends asking how they can do the same. So instead of repeating myself, I decided to crank out a quick post that can help.

Decide what you want to be available to EVERYONE

The first thing you need to decide is; how much of your Facebook profile can be seen by people who you don’t know. (I class ‘Friend’s of Friend’s’ as people I don’t know). Whilst you may know all of your friends quite well, you have no idea who they decided to brush shoulders with in the past. And I am sure many of us are guilty of adding people as friends who we only met once on drunken night out…

How to check  what can be seen by the EVERYONE

Second thing you’ll need is either a second Facebook account (I have two; one for friends, one for work colleagues). OR a friend who you can sit with whilst you do this. They’ll need to ‘un-friend’ you to be able to see how much of your profile you can see from someone who is not a friend.  Read the rest of this entry »

And I thought “The Cloud” was just a fad…..

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Mobile Cloud AppsIt’s true, I actually wrote that in a blog post back in March 2010 called Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It’s….The Cloud! Until now I’ve not really given it to much thought. Obviously, working at VMware I needed to understand vCloud Director, but that was only really from a functionality/design perspective. However since starting my new role at Canopy I’ve begun to take more notice of “The Cloud” and what it has to offer to both consumers and also to businesses. Whilst working for a Canopy I’ve found it very easy to get immersed into a bubble and end up only paying attention to what the company offers as products/solutions. So much so, I began to lose the bigger picture and stopped thinking about what other cloud products/solutions there were out there, not just for businesses but also to us, as consumers.

It wasn’t until a few days ago when I was sipping cocktails on Sentosa Island when I realised, without really noticing it, I was already a heavy consumer of “The Cloud”. However my consumption wasn’t of solutions like SaaS,PaaS, IaaS etc which I used to class as “typical” cloud offerings. My consumption was, in my eyes more subtle. This maybe because there wasn’t a large initial cost on purchase which I personally associate with the “typical” cloud services. There also wasn’t a massive operational change, which is another invisible cost that I also associate with “Moving to the cloud”.

“New Phone, DM me your numbers!”No Contacts

Let’s look at my mobile (cell) phone (Android). If I want to make a call on my phone, I can search my contacts for the person I want to call. All of the contacts on my phone are automatically sync’ed to my Google account. If I loose my phone, I still have all of my contacts. How many times do you see Facebook posts which read something like “New Phone, DM me your numbers!” ? This is no longer an issue for me. All of my contacts are sync’ed to “The Cloud”.

Another good example; My friend accidentally drops his phone in his beer (it happens!). The phone is now dead. He turns to me and says, “I’ve just lost all the photo’s of my son’s birthday”. – This something that happens far to often. It doesn’t have to. I have setup a FREE Dropbox account and installed the Dropbox app onto my phone and configured every photo to be sent to my Dropbox account after it is taken. If I lose my phone, my photo’s are still available to me via the Dropbox website.

I’m not going to keep throwing examples at you as I am sure you get the point. But I will give you a quick list of some of the “Cloud” services that I use as a consumer on a regular basis (I have purposely not included Cloud services I use for my job at Canopy).

  • Google Apps (Chrome, Calendar, Contacts, GMail) – Used hourly
  • Spotify (Pro) – Used maybe 12 hours a day
  • Evernote (Pro) – Used this on a hourly basis
  • Dropbox – Used daily
  • Flickr (Pro) – Used daily
  • Netflix – Used daily
  • Feedly – Used daily
  • Sticher – Used weekly
  • Tripit – Used weekly

I am very surprised at the amount of “Cloud” based services I already use without really noticing. I was also surprised that I actually pay for some of these services. In the past I’ve always been reluctant to pay for these services, I’d always make do with the free offerings. However it’s got to the point where I use them so much day-to-day, it is actually beneficial for me to pay for these premium services.

I think my use of Cloud services has stemmed from my use of mobile devices. I have a phone, a couple of tablets, laptops etc. I want my data to be accessible to me regardless of where I am or what device I am on, so I look for services that can allow me to do that. In an ideal world I would like to be able to do my day-to-day work tasks from any device – anywhere, however I don’t really want to use a VDI to allow me to do this.

I think I am nearly there!

Step Back

I invite you all to take  a step back, flick through the app’s you have on your mobile devices, TV’s, computers and take a look at how many Cloud services you are actually using. Did it surprise you as much as it did me?

Cloud computing is clearly not a fad, I actually think it is the future. We will continue to see more and more of our data move off of our devices and be stored in cloud services allowing us to access it whenever and where ever we are in the world. This future excites me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Onwards and Upwards!

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Onwards and UpwardsToday I am both delighted and sad to announce that I am leaving VMware. Sad in the respect that over the past 3 years I have made some really great friends and had some amazing experiences and opportunities whilst at VMware.

However I am delighted because I am moving to a company that has a bright future and is looking to be a big player in the Cloud market. I will be taking a Senior Architect role at Canopy Cloud within their Engineering team working closely with the guys in the CTO office.

Here is a little more information on Canopy taken from their website www.canopy-cloud.com

Canopy Cloud

Canopy, an Atos company powered by EMC and VMware technology, is a one-stop-shop that offers cloud services focussed exclusively on bringing the benefits of cloud delivery to large public and multinational private sector organizations.

The Canopy offerings are based on open standards so customers can choose their preferred technology and decide whether to run solutions off- or on-premise to best meet their business needs.

I’m really excited as for the last three years my main focus has been on End User Computing architectures based on products from VMware. Moving forward my primary focus will be Cloud architecture, vCloud Director, vCAC, vCO etc. Not only am I excited to learn new technologies, I also relish the challenge in helping Canopy grow from a small business into a key player in the Cloud services market. Once again it’s going to be a steep learning curve – Bring.It.On!!!

I will continue to blog and tweet. The focus of my posts are likely to change based on the projects I am working on at Canopy.

Simon Long in AmsterdamI’d just like to publicly thank all of my friends/colleagues that have made my past three years so much fun at VMware. I have many fond memories of my time in both PSO and CoE/PSE. Whilst going through my old emails I found this old photo of me which was taken during a 4 month project over in Amsterdam. This was probably the most political / stressful / rewarding project I got to work on during my time at PSO. It’s one of those projects that will stay with me throughout my career. As painful as it was at the time, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it. It certainly improved me as a consultant.

As my final day at VMware approaches I am beginning to realize how much I will miss it here. However I’ve learnt, emotions and sentiment shouldn’t be used as a reason to stay in a role.

As one chapter ends, another begins.

My VMworld 2013 San Francisco Sessions

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VMworld 2013 San Francisco is now less than two weeks away!! But there is still plenty of time to make sure you schedule in all of your “must see” sessions. To help with the scheduling, VMware has just release their VMworld 2013 app for both iOS and Android. This is a cool app that you can use to create your own schedule, or access a schedule you’ve create via the vmworld.com website. I all also have many other features such as a Venue Map, Hands on Lab information, details of all of the sponsors/exhibitors and much more.

Here is a list of my session, a couple of which are being repeated.

Demystifying VMware Mirage: Tips and Tricks for Success (EUC4815)

Wondering what Mirage really does, how it works, and how to successfully design and implement Mirage for your company or organization? VMware’s Global Professional Services team will present a technical walk-though of a real-world end-to-end design & implementation of VMware Mirage. Hear first-hand how VMware Architects address technical and operational challenges, such as server and storage sizing, networking, and other critical VMware Mirage design elements. The team will show real-world architecture examples and share their lessons learned and best practices enabling you to be successful in deploying VMware Mirage.

Session Times

  • Wednesday 16:00
  • Thursday 12:30 (Repeat)

PCoIP: Sizing For Success (EUC5249)

Baffled by the PCoIP sizing minefield that accompanies an Horizon View deployment? No idea where to start? Join Chuck and Simon as they give an introduction to PCoIP, helping you understand important characteristics of the protocol that need to be considered when sizing for PCoIP. The session will then guide you through the critical steps required to optimize, measure and calculate PCoIP bandwidth requirements tailored to your environment.

Session Times

  • Wednesday 10:00
  • Thursday 14:00 (Repeat)

EUC Experts Panel – Successful Implementations (EUC6045)

Performance issues with virtual desktops? Experiencing issues with virtualized apps? Unsure how to scale your virtual desktop environment? What about Horizon Workspace and Mirage? Where do they fit into your desktop strategy? Come meet EUC Architects from Global Services Engineering as they answer your questions and explain their experience with designing and implementing some of the largest and most complex EUC environments to date. This helps customers realize the full potential of their EUC investment and is responsible for solving some of the thorniest problems and toughest design challenges. The panel includes experts in all of the Horizon Suite products, as well as critical infrastructure support elements for EUC such as Active Directory and anti-virus, storage solutions, networking, load balancing and many others. Come and ask the experts for help with some of the challenges you are facing and let them share their field experience and lessons learned to help you in all your EUC endeavors.

Session Times

  • Tuesday 16:00

PCoIP Log Viewer Now Supports VMware Horizon View 5.2 Log Files

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PCoIP Log Viewer Update for Horizon View 5.2Great news PCoIP users, Chuck Hirstius (@rexremus) has finally got around to updating his invaluable PCoIP Log Viewer to support Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log files. The PCoIP Log Viewer is extremely useful when working with Horizon View environments that are using PCoIP. Whether you are trying to troubleshoot a PCoIP issue or trying to workout PCoIP bandwidth consumption.

For those of you who haven’t use the tool before, I’d recommend checking out my PCoIP Troubleshooting section.

 

Changes

  • Now supports VMware Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log files
  • The Parser Command-line utility has been integrated into the Viewer. So no need to Parse the logs into XML first.

NOTE: The new version of the PCoIP Log Viewer will only parse Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log directly in the Viewer. For PCoIP logs from older versions of Horizon View, you’ll still need the Parser.

Although there isn’t a lot of changes on the front end, Chuck has made some substantial changes on the back-end of this tool. You can read more about the changes he has made in his latest post: PCoIP Log Viewer Updated for View 5.2

Downloads

If you already have the PCoIPLogViewer.jnlp Webstart you will automatically get updated to the latest version.

If you do have it, you can download it from the mindfluxinc.net website.

Netapp’s VMware Horizon View 5 Solutions Guide

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Netapp

I just heard that this document was released and just wanted to bring it to your attention. VMware Horizon View 5 Solutions Guide

 

This solution guide outlines VMware View 5 on NetApp storage. The guide covers pool design, cloning choices, and guest optimization, as well as end-user data layout. New technologies that are available in View 5.1, such as View Storage Accelerator, are also covered. This solution guide explains the different design choices and why each choice affects the outcome of the virtual desktop deployment.

So if you're are working on a Horizon View project using Netapp storage, I'd highly recommend you read this first to make sure you are following all of the recommended guidelines

The document is available for download here: http://www.netapp.com/us/media/tr-4181.pdf

Why Can’t I Have A Stretched VMware Horizon View Cluster?

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For those of you who are involved in the architecture of Horizon View environments, I'm sure you this is a question you've always asked, but may have only ever got the response of "VMware doesn't support that design". Why doesn't VMware support this design? It works….most of the time?

During my time at VMware I've heard many different reasons as to why VMware does not support this design. Finally I have an accurate reason and wanted to share it with you.

What is a stretched VMware Horizon View cluster?

For those of who are asking yourselves, "What is a stretched VMware Horizon View cluster?", I'll set the scene a little. A stretched Horizon View cluster is when a single View Pod (cluster of View Connection Severs), spans more than one physical location connected by WAN / MAN / MLAN and NOT by a LAN.

An example of a stretched Horizon View Cluster:

Stretched Horizon View Cluster

After an internal discussion around this subject, a colleague and good friend of mine Mike Barnett, who used to be an Escalation Engineer in VMware's GSS (Global Support Services) set the record straight for us. 

So I've decide to adapt his explanation and share it with you.  Read the rest of this entry »

VMware Horizon View: New Technical White Papers

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Technical White PapersOver the past few week or so VMware has release some really useful technical white papers focused around VMware Horizon View. I just wanted to bring these to your attention in case you messed the announcements.

If you have an Horizon View environment, I would highly recommend you give these papers a read to ensure you are following all of the VMware's latest "Best Practices" that are appropriate for your environment.

My First Published Technical White Paper

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Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment GuideToday my first official technical white paper got released on VMware.com – titled, Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment Guide. It's been a long time coming. It was one of those papers where I could keep adding and adding to it.

The paper talks about the following topics:

  • Why 3D Matters for VMware Horizon View
  • Understanding the Differences Between Soft 3D/SVGA, vDGA and vSGA
  • Prerequisites
  • Application Requirements and Use Cases
  • vSGA Installation
  • vDGA Installation (Tech Preview)
  • VMware Horizon View Pool Configuration for vSGA
  • Performance Tuning Tips
  • Resource Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting

Hopefully it should cover everything you need to enable your Horizon View desktops for 3D rendering.

There are a number of other VMware Horizon View: New Technical White Papers that have been released recently that are well worth a read. Check.Them.Out

How Can I Run Multiple VMware Horizon View Clients At Once?

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Horizon View ClientSomething I get asked regularly is, "How Can I Run Multiple VMware Horizon View Clients At Once?", so I thought I'd just put a quick post out in the hope that in the future people will come across this post before having to ask. Quite often users would like to have multiple View sessions open at once on the screen or across screens. By default the Horizon View client only allows you to see a single View session at any one time. You can swap between multiple sessions, but you will still only be able to see a single session at any one time. This is how you can run multiple VMware Horizon View clients at once.  Read the rest of this entry »

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