Microsoft Office (Exchange) 365 – RDSH Myth 20 Comments

For many years now, the everything in cloud is happening more and more, among all the services / software available as a services, most of the vendor are promising a cheaper way to manage their software and a much more simple way to manage it.. I know some of you will disagree with what I writing about and some will agree, this is a view from my experience on the field :) A couple of weeks ago I launched a small poll on Twitter asking this question : "Why Do you think companies are moving to Exchange 365 ?" Here are the results : "It's less complex" won the poll follow by "it's a fashion" and then "it's cheaper"... I tend to agree with everything here, because if you get rid of a complete Exchange infrastructure with all the people you need to architecture and manage it, it will be cheaper and less complex for sure ! But this is just a dream without complexity of companies and without user's usage of their Outlook. What I try to point here is : Moving to Exchange 365 is not as easy as it seems, some company do have a "basic" Outlook / Exchange usage and it won't bring issues but most of the companies I saw have had issue because Microsoft and Microsoft's Partner did not capture the way users were used to work with their Outlook mail software. The picture above is the "put everything into the Cloud, you will save money" ideal. This ideal is true and can be reached when you know your users work habits and already have an organised mail infrastructure. But this ideal can be easily broken If it looks easy on the paper or in a Powerpoint presentation, simple things can break this kind of project into pieces and make it fails.. How ? Here is a list (to be completed :D ) Outlook plugins Online Mode RDSH environment Bad Architecture decision / Consulting ... ... Outlook plugins is the work enemy of the Cloudification because it means in 90% of the case you'll be forced to keep Outlook mail client, it's a road block for OWA adoption... Once you're stuck with the Outlook mail client, you need to deal with the Online or Cache mode with Exchange 365... Piece of cake right ? Workstation / Laptop --> Cache mode enable, no problem ! But what about…

Are we missing something ? 2 Comments

As you might know I'm the CTO of a super cool company here in France (Activlan) base around Paris and one side of my job is to watch in my crystal ball to know what our customers will need and how they could use us to remain on top of their productivity with their IT. Reducing cost and accelerate process; giving flexibility and liberty to their users and keeping the information safe when needed. What's very cool in my job is I always exchange so many things with you all during events, when we meet here and there, online and in real life that is give me a flavor of what's happening in IT in a lot of country very different than here in France. Of course I try to give back what I learned of all this shared experience and knowledge but these last months I've been busy working hard on some other project. So, this title brings me back to an old blog : VDI ok, What's next ?  published in May 2012 where my conclusion was : What really matters in the vWorld ? In the end, the data. I think that was about right in 2012 and you know, with all the VDI, RDSH, offline and online, Hypervizor of all type, application installed, streamed or isolated, using a phone a tablet, a thin client or a computer, in the end the only thing that matter remains data. Software vendor in our segment are pushing harder and harder their mobile (ie MAM and MDM) solution thinking everyone should buy these software and work with tablets and phones. I think we aren't still there just yet... When someone is hired in a company this is almost all the time a giant waste of time (and money) the first days... No desktop ready, no application access etc... In the big company, MDM and MAM need to be addressed but that will never be wildly use for the next 2/3 years, what user expect from their company is to have access to their data (core need) through a applications accessed via a desktop, or not but with a consistent environment. They want to work in an optimal way during their working hours and sometime be able to access their data from home or a remote location, but taking over the personal people's phone is over-rated for now. The MAM MDM hype remind me the…

Cloudify my lab with Windows Azure 13 Comments

As I got an unlimited access to Windows Azure I wanted to check out how I could extend my lab into it and use it to store VMs workload (at first). Here what you need : Citrix NetScaler VPX (tested with NS10.1: Build 122.17.nc & NS10.1: Build 123.9.nc) Windows Azure Access Homelab (running on vSphere 5.5) Of course, you need licence for everything... Considerations : Before configuring a CloudBridge tunnel between a CloudBridge appliance in datacenter and  Microsoft Azure, consider the following points: The CloudBridge appliance must have a public facing IPv4 address (type SNIP) to use as a tunnel end-point address for the CloudBridge tunnel. Also, the CloudBridge appliance should not be behind a NAT device. (or you'll have to setup a route for your LAN computers, I'm explaining how to at the end of this blog) Azure supports the following IPSec settings for a CloudBridge tunnel. Therefore, you must specify the same IPSec settings while configuring the CloudBridge appliance for the CloudBridge tunnel. IKE version = v1 Encryption algorithm = AES Hash algorithm = HMAC SHA1  You must configure the firewall in the datacenter edge to allow the following. Any UDP packets for port 500 Any UDP packets for port 4500 Any ESP (IP protocol number 50) packets IKE re-keying, which is renegotiation of new cryptographic keys between the CloudBridge tunnel end points to establish new SAs, is not supported. When the Security Associations  (SAs) expire, the tunnel goes into the DOWN state. Therefore, you must set a very large value for the lifetimes of SAs. You must configure Microsoft Azure before specifying the tunnel configuration on the CloudBridge appliance, because the public IP address of the Azure end (gateway) of the tunnel, and the PSK, are automatically generated when you set up the tunnel configuration in Azure. You need this information for specifying the tunnel configuration on the CloudBridge appliance. First thing first, you need to use your Windows Azure account and follow the next step to begin to configure the IPSec tunnel by creating a local network In the left pane, click NETWORKS. In the lower left-hand corner of the screen, click + NEW. In the NEW navigation pane, click NETWORK, then click VIRTUAL NETWORK, and then click ADD LOCAL NETWORK. In the ADD A LOCAL NETWORK wizard, in the specify your local network details screen, set the following parameters: NAME  VPN DEVICE IP ADDRESS In the lower right corner of the screen,…