Enterprise Tech News

Dell acquires EMC. Technically, the biggest Merger Ever!

Dell Inc. and EMC Corporation today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Dell, together with its owners, Michael S. Dell, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell, MSD Partners and Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, will acquire EMC Corporation. The transaction is expected to be around USD $67 billion. This deal will unite Dell’s strength with small business and mid-market customers with EMC’s strength with large enterprises to fuel profitable growth and generate significant cash flows.

Mr. Dell and related stockholders will own approximately 70 percent of the company’s common equity, excluding the tracking stock, similar to their pre-transaction ownership. EMC stockholders to receive approximately $33.15 per share in a combination of cash as well as tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC’s economic interest in the VMware business.

The combination of Dell and EMC is expected to create the world’s largest privately-controlled, integrated technology company. The company will be a leader in the extremely attractive high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market with complementary product portfolios, sales teams and R&D investment strategies. The transaction combines two of the world’s greatest technology franchises with leadership positions in servers, storage, virtualization and PCs and it brings together strong capabilities in the fastest growing areas of the industry, including digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security.

VMware will remain a publicly-traded company and continue to provide customers value through leading software- defined data center technology, together with its cloud, mobile and desktop offerings. This transaction is expected to accelerate VMware’s growth across all of its businesses through significant synergies with Dell’s solutions and go-to-market channels. VMware remains committed to investing in and partnering with its strong, industry ecosystem.

The combined company will consist of strategically-aligned businesses and incubated high-growth assets, fostering innovation, enabling customer choice and attracting and retaining world-class talent. 

EMC and VMware hosted a joint conference call with investors on October 12, 2015 at 7:45 am Eastern Time to discuss the transaction. The call can be heard here at

This is the biggest merger ever in the Tech industry. The previous bigger was the HP-Compaq acquisition; however, this is expected to be twice as big as that.

I think, Citrix is the next big company to look at. I predict, either Microsoft or HP will buy it. Lets see if it ever happens!

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Webinar: Setting up a Virtual Environment: The Right Way, the Right Tools

The popularity of virtualization is increasing rapidly, and organizations of all sizes are utilizing various forms of virtualization to maximize hardware investments, reduce energy costs and increase configuration flexibility. Still, the options and application of virtualization are varied. There are many ways the technology can be implemented, and IT professionals are often unsure of where to begin, if they’re on the right virtualization plan, or what tools to use to complement their virtual environment.

If you are an IT administrator looking to improve or setup your virtual infrastructure and want to make sure that you’re on the right path, then join Dell KACE and VMware experts for this live hour long program and demonstration, where you’ll learn how to:

  • Create and execute a virtualization strategy
  • Implement virtualization in a sequence and pace that’s consistent with organizational needs
  • Determine what tools will best complement your virtual infrastructure

Make sure that your virtual infrastructure plan doesn’t go off track with poor setup or tools that don’t function as needed. Dell KACE and VMware work seamlessly together, allowing IT admins to streamline their virtual infrastructures and get up and running quickly.

Join them on Thursday, April 19 at 10 a.m. PT, 12 p.m. CT, to learn more click here.

Source: Dell KACE Notifiers

For more information on Virtualization, read these articles.

Events Microsoft

Webinar: Simplifying Application Virtualization Adoption

Adopting virtualization is a great idea, but how to get started? What applications should be virtualized? How can they be easily prepared? How much time will this take –and how much will it cost? If something goes wrong with an application, what are the troubleshooting steps? Learn how to avoid risk, save time and reduce the budget for a virtualization project by automating the application preparation process.

Looking for a faster, easier option for adopting virtualization technologies? Let App-DNA show how to simplify the forward path to new technology—from Microsoft App-V and Citrix XenApp to Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8, XenDesktop and Server 2008 R2.

  • Remove uncertainty in determining what resources, time and skills are needed to start a virtualization project – or move forward an existing proof of concept
  • Determine the success of applications on your desired virtualization platform (or Windows 7/IE 8 ) — without spending hours on tedious manual testing
  • Streamline internal processes around preparing applications for virtualization – without learning how to Sequence
  • Accelerate the application virtualization process by empowering application owners with access to create their own App-V ready application packages

App-DNA will show how you don’t need to be a virtualization guru to successfully implement a virtualization project. Automate the process with application management software to field your virtualization project —and your ongoing OS migrations.

Join App-DNA and DABCC for an informative webinar Wednesday, Jan 26 1pm Eastern US/6 pm GMT

Microsoft Tools

Download – P2V Migration for Software Assurance

P2V Migration for Software Assurance uses the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user’s existing Windows XP or newer client environment to a virtual hard disk then automates the delivery of an updated and personalized Windows 7 operating system containing a virtual machine with the user’s previous Windows environment, applications and Web browser. The user’s previous virtual desktop retains its existing management components, domain membership and policies. The process also publishes applications and the browser for the user to access them seamlessly within Windows 7’s start menu.

P2V Migration supports both native Lite Touch Installation using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or Zero Touch Installation using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with included scripts and task sequence templates.

How It Works –

  1. Starting Windows environment with Windows XP SP3 or newer. Environment is personalized with applications or browser customizations potentially not compatible with Windows 7.
  2. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 or System Center Configuration Manager 2007 initiates fully-automated migration to Windows 7. Process includes P2V conversion of the running OS using Sysinternals Disk2VHD.
  3. Windows 7 migration complete. Windows 7 contains the previous operating system in its entirety within a virtual machine.
  4. Standalone application and Internet Explorer links published from virtual machine to native Windows 7 start menu.

Even the most skilled IT shops, with resources to work through application compatibility challenges, often find a few users blocking roll-outs to entire sites or larger numbers of users due to:

  • Compatibility of specialized, region or user-specific applications, browser customizations or USB device drivers.
  • Missing installation files or media to install applications or drivers for testing or redelivery.
  • Critical users who cannot risk losing any functionality of their current desktop environments and require a working backup before moving to Windows 7.
  • Incompatible application from previous operating system is launched seamlessly within Windows 7 using RemoteApp integration and Virtual PC.
  • These types of issues make it difficult to completely replace existing systems with Windows 7 without causing user disruption. Allowing users to retain their current desktop environments while moving to Windows 7 can smooth the transition while mitigating or delaying investments required for making applications and hardware natively compatible with Windows 7.

    Download P2V Migration for Software Assurance now: P2V Migration for Software Assurance

    Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid operation for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

    Microsoft Tools Virtualization

    Download Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0

    The increasing use of virtual machines—for purposes ranging from support of older operating system environments to power savings—has created new challenges for IT. In particular, virtual machines may be left offline (stored in a non-operating state) for extended periods of time, which conserves resources when the server capacities of the virtual machines are not needed or frees up physical computing resources for other purposes.

    However, offline machines, templates, and virtual hard disks do not automatically receive operating system, antivirus, or application updates that would keep them compliant with current IT policy. An out-of-date virtual machine may pose a risk to the IT environment. If deployed and started, the out-of-date virtual machine might be vulnerable to attack or could be capable of attacking other network resources.

    Therefore, IT groups must take measures to ensure that offline virtual machines, templates, and virtual hard disks remain up-to-date and compliant. At present, these measures involve temporarily bringing the virtual machine online, applying the necessary updates, and then storing it again.

    VMST 3.0 helps you reduce IT costs by making it easier to update your offline virtual machines, templates and virtual hard disks with the latest operating system and application patches—without introducing vulnerabilities into your IT infrastructure.

    VMST 3.0 helps customers more effectively—and safely—manage the workflow of updating their offline virtualization environment.

    Using VMST 3.0, customers can now service:

    • Offline virtual machines in a SCVMM library.
    • Stopped and saved state virtual machines on a host.
    • Virtual machine templates.
    • Offline virtual hard disks in a SCVMM library by injecting update packages.

    Download This Solution Accelerator, which provides automated tools and guidance that IT professionals can use to update offline virtual machines, templates, and virtual hard disks efficiently and without exposing them to security risks.

    Click here to access the video module, At the end of this module, you’ll be able to:

    • Describe the challenges with updating offline virtual machines, virtual hard disks, and templates.
    • Explain how the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool will greatly streamline the process of servicing and updating offline virtual environment.

    You can upgrade to Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0 from Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 and the Beta version 3.0 of the tool, review the Getting Started GuideLearn More

    Guest Posts Virtualization

    Virtual SAN Fragmentation – Diskeeper Corporation’s V-locity

    Guest Post – The marriage of Storage Area Networks (SANs) and virtual machines is a match made in heaven. The entire idea of a SAN is to reduce unnecessary resource usage on production systems and to streamline storage so that it’s more easily accessible. Virtual machines take the entire concept one step further, adding the benefits of maximizing hardware resources and the capability to add servers without taking up additional space.

    File fragmentation—since the origin of modern computing is a prime drain on system performance—has substantial effects on both technologies. In the case of SAN, gains made with network technology and drive speeds are totally dependent on the state of the files on the disk. If those files are fragmented, data being read and written will be slowed to the degree of the fragmentation, affecting all users and applications waiting for that data. The entire purpose of a SAN is defeated. Even performance measures such as thin provisioning are crippled: in a fragmented environment, drive space is wasted.

    Virtual environments also suffer their own brand of trouble from fragmentation, due to the fact that a virtual environment has added steps to data storage and retrieval. When a file request occurs on a virtual server, the I/O request is relayed, at the least, from the guest system to the host system—which means multiple requests are occurring for each file request. When fragmentation is present, there are multiple I/O requests for each fragment, creating an enormous amount of unnecessary overhead on disk subsystems.

    Robust technical challenges require robust solutions and Diskeeper Corporation’s V-locity virtual platform disk optimizer—developed for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V platforms—is designed specifically to relieve IT personnel from dealing with complex fragmentation scenarios in virtual environments.

    “V-locity software is absolutely transparent on our virtual SAN systems; it just works,” said Richard Webb of Sustainable Evolution, Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington.

    V-locity utilizes Diskeeper Corporation’s proprietary IntelliWrite fragmentation prevention technology, which makes it possible to prevent 85 percent of fragmentation before it ever happens. Fragmentation is addressed at both the host and virtual machine levels—so that performance is maximized all across the virtual platform. V-locity also has InvisiTasking® technology, which means that only otherwise idle resources are utilized in addressing fragmentation and handling other tasks associated with VMs.

    “The V-locity product really takes care of the fragmentation on the host and VMs automatically, without the need of manual intersession or overhead of creating scripts and jobs,” Webb said. “The central reporting and configuration management really facilitates ease of management and metric transparency.”

    When combining two of today’s most beneficial innovations—SAN and virtual machines—fragmentation is completely addressed with V-locity.

    You can contact Colleen Toumayan, at this email address for more information.

    Read other Guest Posts here –

    Microsoft Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

    Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) – Introduction

    Windows XP Mode was introduced in Windows 7 as one of mitigation which would allow users to run legacy applications on Windows 7 as of one Compatibility solutions.  This method looks cool and easy. Its suited for individuals or small scale companies. However, when the size of the organization is high, this solution is not advised. It is not easily manageable and thats exactly where MED-V comes to help!

    Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), enables deployment and management of Microsoft virtual PC Windows desktops to address key enterprise scenarios. Primarily, MED-V helps enterprises upgrade to the latest version of Windows even when some applications are not yet functional or supported. MED-V builds on top of Virtual PC to run two operating systems on one device, adding virtual image delivery, policy-based provisioning, and centralized management.

    MED-V helps to minimize application-to-operating system compatibility issues while accelerating operating system migration. In fact, MED-V helps remove the barriers of upgrading the operating system. By delivering Windows XP or Windows 2000 productivity applications in a Virtual PC, you can complete testing more quickly and manage incompatible applications after the upgrade. MED-V also gives users a seamless experience because virtualized applications can be accessed from the standard desktop Start menu and appear alongside native applications.

    To Install, Setup and Work with Virtual Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 – Read this article

    When you add MED-V to a Microsoft Virtual PC, you’ll get the following administration capabilities:

    • Virtual images repository and delivery to provide mechanisms for simplifying the process of creating, testing, delivering, and maintaining virtual images from a central location.
    • Centralized management and monitoring to help administrators manage the entire life-cycle of virtual machines deployed on desktops throughout the enterprise
    • Usage policy and data transfer control on the MED-V client to enforce user or group usage policies, access permissions to virtual images, and data transfer permissions

    In coming days, you will read more on this topic!

    Courtesy: Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog

    Microsoft Tools Virtualization

    Download Linux Integration Services v2.1 for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2

    The Microsoft Virtualization team announced the availability of the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services for Linux Version 2.1. This release marks yet another milestone in providing a comprehensive virtualization. They have supported Linux as a guest operating system on the virtualization platform from the days of Virtual Server and continue to enhance the support in that regard.

    The following features are included in the 2.1 release:

    • Driver support for synthetic devices: Linux Integration Services supports the synthetic network controller and the synthetic storage controller that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
    • Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.
    • Timesync: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain synchronized with the clock on the host.
    • Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be gracefully shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
    • Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support: Supported Linux distributions can use up to 4 virtual processors (VP) per virtual machine.
    • Heartbeat: Allows the host to detect whether the guest is running and responsive.
    • Pluggable Time Source: A pluggable clock source module is included to provide a more accurate time source to the guest.

    Download the Linux Integration Services v2.1 for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V R2 here

    This version of the integration services for Hyper-V supports Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 / 5.3 / 5.4 / 5.5.

    For support questions, please utilize the Linux Integration Services forum here:

    Microsoft Tools Virtualization

    Download System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal (SSP) 2.0

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal (SSP) 2.0 lets you build the foundation for an on-premises cloud infrastructure, enabling you to deliver IT as a service for your organization. Using SSP, you can respond more effectively – and at lower cost – to the rapidly changing needs of your organization. SSP is freely available, and fully supported by Microsoft. This solution is built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center VMM. You can use it to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and to deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter.

    VMMSSP includes a pre-built web-based user interface that has sections for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers, with role-based access control. VMMSSP also includes a dynamic provisioning engine. VMMSSP reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding,” infrastructure request and change management. The VMMSSP package also includes detailed guidance on how to implement VMMSSP inside your environment.

    Download System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal (SSP) 2.0 here

    The self-service portal provides the following features that are exposed through a web-based user interface:

    • Configuration and allocation of datacenter resources: Store management and configuration information related to compute, network and storage resources as assets in the VMMSSP database.
    • Customization of virtual machine actions: Provide a simple web-based interface to extend the default virtual machine actions; for example, you can add scripts that interact with Storage Area Networks for rapid deployment of virtual machines.
    • Business unit on-boarding: Standardized forms and a simple workflow for registering and approving or rejecting business units to enroll in the portal.
    • Infrastructure request and change management: Standardized forms and human-driven workflow that results in reducing the time needed to provision infrastructures in your environment.
    • Self-Service provisioning: Supports bulk creation of virtual machines on provisioned infrastructure through the web-based interface.Helps business units to manage their virtual machines based on delegated roles.

    Important: VMMSSP is not an upgrade to the existing VMM 2008 R2 self-service portal. You can choose to deploy and use one or both self-service portals depending on your requirements.

    Courtesy: Microsoft TechNet

    You would also be interested in downloading these Books / WhitePapers from TradePub –

    General Microsoft

    Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, XP– New Book from PACKT Publishing

    Hello Folks, I have just started to review a book “Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, and XPwritten by Russel Smith. Windows OS Engineering and Application Platforms have always fascinated me ever since I started Packaging applications. I hope this book gives me lots of information, which I can further share it with you all..!

    Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, XP– New Book from PACKT PublishingLooking from the Technology perspective, the contents of this book can be broadly classified into these sections –

    • Overview of Least Privilege Security in Microsoft Windows Operating System. and how to Solve Least Privilege Problems with the Application Compatibility Toolkit.
    • Detailed explanation on User Account Control (UAC) covering various concepts like Access Token Model, Elevation Prompt Security, Configuring UAC through Group Policy etc.
    • Software Distribution using Group Policy and Windows Installer.
    • Managing Internet Explorer Add-ons and Best Practices on Deploying Commonly used ActiveX Controls. If you don’t know what this is, you can visit
    • Supporting Users Running with Least-Privilege, Deploying Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker, Preparing Vista and Windows 7 for Least Privilege Security.
    • Provisioning Applications on Secure Desktops with Remote Desktop Services, Balancing Flexibility and Security with Application Virtualization and Deploying XP Mode VMs with MED-V.

    I shall post a detailed review of this book soon. Until then, you can read this free chapter, Chapter No. 3 – Solving Least privilege Problems with the Application Compatibility Toolkit and let me know your comments / reviews.

    You can also Order the book Online here from PACKT Publishing

    About the Author: Russell Smith specializes in management and security of Microsoft-based IT systems and is a Contributing Editor for CDW’s Biztech magazine and writes regularly for industry journal Windows IT Professional. Russell is also contributing author to Supporting and Troubleshooting Applications on a Microsoft Windows Vista Client for Enterprise Support Technicians from Microsoft’s Official Academic Course (MOAC) series of books published by Wiley and Sons. he is an independent IT consultant and MCSE with more than ten years of experience. Russell’s recent projects include Active Directory Security Consultant for the UK Health Service National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) and Exchange Architect for Wipro Technologies. Russell also has extensive experienceas an IT trainer.