Rove Mobile Admin; Chatter; VMware View
Rove Mobile AdminRove Mobile Admin proved to be an excellent way for data center administrators to extend enterprise network oversight and controls outside of the office, providing a mobile presentation layer for various enterprise applications and systems that can be accessed via most popular modern smartphone operating systems. The Mobile Admin presentation layer is enabled by a middleware server brokering connections from mobile devices on one side, while on the other side accessing the native APIs and instrumentations used by a variety of enterprise systems. In my May review of Mobile Admin 5.1 Professional, I was impressed by the integrations provided to remotely manage our VMware vSphere and Hyper-V virtual infrastructure stacks, as well as our Microsoft Exchange and BlackBerry Enterprise Server implementations. On the client side at that time, Rove worked great with Windows Mobile, Apple iPhone and BlackBerry devices.
In the months since that review, Rove has updated Mobile Admin to Version 6.0, adding support for CA Service Desk Manager in addition to the already existing support for management and alerting platforms such as Nagios, BMC Remedy and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. Version 6.0 also adds a dashboard that aggregates alarms and notifications from all of those management systems. And on the client side, Rove now counts Android among the supported mobile operating systems.
Salesforce ChatterAt the beginning of 2010, I talked about the importance and difficulties of maintaining a personal and corporate identity online. Many of my concerns were addressed when Salesforce.com in the Winter '11 release of its Chatter social media tool included the ability to filter the Chatter stream according to groups, opportunities and cases while also adding Facebook-like recommendations for people and groups to follow in the social media platform. And in a nod to knowledge workers who may not be up on how to use social media, a newly minted "What to do Next" box has now appeared prominently at the top right of the Chatter screen. In my test use of the Chatter, which is included in the Winter '11 release of all Salesforce.com editions, it became clear that Chatter fulfills my requirements for a business-class communication tool that can be securely and reliably used to promote social interaction without losing control of the business opportunities that are the subject of conversation. Winter '11 was released to Salesforce.com customers on Oct. 22. The feature is available at no extra subscription charge for all editions. Organizations can add Chatter-only users for $15 per month per user. Advances made during 2010 to Chatter set the stage for enterprise-class social collaboration.
VMware View 4.5Virtual desktop infrastructure products have a harder row to hoe when compared with their server counterparts. VMware View 4.5, however, stepped up in September with enterprise features that enable local mode and workload customization features for $250 per concurrent user. The View Enterprise regular edition without local mode costs $150 per concurrent user. While VMware View 4 played with a feature that was called "Offline Desktop," View 4.5 fully embraces disconnected desktop operation through what is now called Local Mode. I was able to install a VMware View Client with Local Mode on a laptop, and log on and check out a virtual machine that I was then able to use while disconnected from the View infrastructure. This new local mode makes it possible for employees to take their work on the road while still enabling IT to have control over the desktop configuration. I'm recognizing VMware View 4.5 as a "best of" product in 2010, but I expect even more progress in the coming year. Among other factors, license costs need to continue their downward trend to bring overall acquisition costs below those associated with traditional desktop systems. This is true for desktop virtualization tools in general, including those from Microsoft and Citrix. In part this is because desktop virtualization still requires some type of physical host and, in the case of local mode systems, a physical host that is already encumbered with an operating system license and associated maintenance costs. Desktop virtualization tools in general, as foreshadowed in VMware View 4.5, are poised to handle workloads including full motion video and telephony applications. VMware uses the PCoIP protocol and special hardware to handle intense graphics workloads. Regardless of any future trajectory, VMware View 4.5 showed that it is possible to operate a secure, manageable and scalable virtual desktop infrastructure in 2010.