Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan, Gerardo A Dada

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Disaster Recovery: What About Fluffy the Cat and Saving Your Desktops?

Through virtualization, employees can access their applications and data very safely over a network

Disaster recovery is about being able to get your business back up and running as quick as you can after the disaster happens.  Throughout this series, my teammates have focused on the Infrastructure side of the house, servers, virtual machines…etc.  You can see the full series here: Disaster Recovery Planning for I.T. Pros

However I have a question, what about the desktops?  As a reminder my good friend Jennelle posted series of questions  in part 1 of this series: Disaster Recovery for IT Pros- How to Plan, What are the Considerations-

Here are my three main questions to get started:

  1. What is the most important application or services in each business unit or for the business overall?
  2. How much downtime is acceptable?
  3. How much data loss is acceptable?

imageThese questions still apply to desktops and for the users on them, however desktops have always been tricky.  Generally speaking we have focused on the last question, how much data loss is acceptable and would look something like this:

  • Payroll Data Spreadsheet: Not Acceptable
  • Pictures of Fluffy the Cat:  Acceptable

While this may not have pleased our users it allowed us to keep our data needs for protecting our environment to a minimum.  Poor Fluffy.  As IT Pro’s we have been trying to protect our users systems for years.  We have had tools like Group Policy, Folder Redirection, Roaming Profiles…etc that have helped us to minimize the business data loss.  We also implemented soft policies like, save all your important data to the network (shares, portals..etc) and we hoped our users listened.  This also made us use filtering technologies to prevent the Fluffy the Cat pictures being saved to the network.  Once again…poor Fluffy.

So in today's modern world with BYOD becoming more of a standard than an exception this problem can get even trickier.  Just think if you have your BYOD systems there is going to be a combination of business and personal data.   Here are two alternatives (RDS and VDI)  we can provide our users in today’s world

Remote Desktop Sessions (RDS)

Formerly known as Terminal Services, RDS is a core service in Windows Server and greatly improved in Windows Server 2012 R2.  RDS provides the backend services for VDI as well essentially allows you to create a session back to a server.  This is a quick and easy way to allow people to access and keep resources on your infrastructure services.  Here are some of the new features for Windows Server

  • Centralized resource publishing --- Works hands in hand with Remote app services that allow you to provide end users with an experience that can replace locally installed applications
  • Rich user experience with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP): This is the core service in RDS that provides an session to the server and will work like most local applications.
  • Rich graphics experience with RemoteFX vGPU --- Allows you take graphic processors off your Video cards on your backend server and provided them to your end user VDI sessions.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

This works together with Hyper-V to essential provide a full desktop to a “thin client”.    With VDI, users can access their desktops from any connected device, improving their ability to be productive even in the case
of disaster. VDI presents the user interface (UI) to users’ devices by using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) with RemoteFX to provide a rich desktop experience. This allows you to provision your organizations approved desktop virtually (with all the apps and settings) to your users that may not have older hardware that can support your current standards.

Through virtualization, employees can access their applications and data very safely over a network.  This allows you to keep all the data for a user either on the network locations for the users applications or stored in the virtual desktop session for the end user.  Anything that the user puts in the VDI session is saved in that session.  So if the user sets Fluffy the cat as their desktop back ground, than that is saved.  This provides a centralized desktop environments to improve business continuity and provide a return to productivity in disaster-recovery scenarios. Users can access their personal desktop even when their primary workplace is not available due to extreme situations (e.g., inclement weather or power outage) or when their physical devices are not available (e.g., lost, stolen, or dysfunctional).

From a disaster recovery scenario this is probably the most robust solution for you and your users.  While it will save anything in the VDI session.  However, if Fluffy the cat is only on the local client storage, and the device is lost, stolen, or ruined…then poor Fluffy.

As you can see there a lot of challenges to protecting users desktops, however with Windows Server 2012 R2 technologies Hyper-V and RDS you can provide your organization some great ways to help save the users desktops.

When it comes to whole of idea of providing disaster recovery for your clients, VDI and RDS provide some interesting potential to help with DR for clients.  This is in by no means a best practice and there are other ways and technologies to backup clients and save Fluffy the Cat.

We hope your are enjoying the series on Disaster recovery and if you missed a part take a look here: Disaster Recovery Planning for I.T. Pros

More Stories By Matt Hester

Matt Hester is a Senior Information Technology Professional Evangelist for Microsoft. Matt has been involved in the IT Pro community for over 20 years. Matt is a skilled and experienced evangelist presenting to audiences nationally and internationally. Prior to joining Microsoft Matt was a highly successful Microsoft Certified Trainer for over 8 years. After joining Microsoft, Matt has continued to be heavily involved in IT Pro community as an IT Pro Evangelist. In his role at Microsoft Matt has presented to audiences in excess of 5000 and as small as 10. Matt has written 4 articles for TechNet magazine. In addition Matt has published 3 books:

You can contact Matt off his blog at http://aka.ms/matthester

@ThingsExpo Stories
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...