What’s new in 2011?

CJ Systems would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Like most, we are taking a well earned break (of sorts!) over the festive season which mostly means overspending, over indulging and trying get out of playing family games!

However, before we all get sick of chocolates, turkey, family and film repeats lets have a look at what 2011 has in store…

  • Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2011
  • Everything comes to an end, sorry XP!
  • Citrix gets a facelift, from the core up

Microsoft Small Business Server 2011

Microsoft gets ready to release the latest editions of its market leading small business server operating system. SBS 2011 will be available early 2011 in two main formats: Essentials and Standard.

Essentials is ideal as a first server for businesses with up to 25 users. It includes daily backup of servers and computers to help protect data; centralised data storage; you can organize and access business documents from virtually anywhere; and it includes technologies such as Active Directory Federation Services to enable simple, single sign-on experiences with cloud-based services such as e-mail, collaboration and line of business applications which means the server can grow with your business.

What’s also great is that Microsoft have done away with the idea of Client Access Licenses for this entry level server and included 25 users in the basic Operating System license…a step forward we say!

SBS 2001 Standard is designed for businesses with up to 75 users. It includes enterprise class technologies such as Exchange 2010, Sharepoint 2010; new improved Remote Web Workplace so you can access your organisations resources from any internet-connected PC. The Premium Add-On provides the ability to install Windows Server 2008R2 on an additional server, with SQL 2008 for line of business applications.

Everything comes to an end, sorry XP!

The official deadline for organisations to migrate to Windows 7 from Windows XP is April 2014, when Microsoft will end extended support, leaving the operating system without security fixes or any other form of support. Most organisations’ migrations should be well under way before April 2014 to minimise the potential for problems resulting from third parties such as software vendors terminating support for XP (expected during 2013) and to leave a buffer zone in which to handle any complications that arise.

CJ Systems highly recommend that organisations are completely free of Windows XP by 2013, which means migration considerations need to be made during 2011 and carried out during 2011 and 2012.

There are many ways to migrate including:

  • Accelerate your PC replacement plan to coincide with the 2014 deadline
  • Upgrade Installed PCs
  • Evaluate Partial Migration
  • Explore alternative environments such as virtualised desktops and cloud computing.

CJ Systems are happy to discuss these issues with you, the impact upon your business and how to mitigate the risks of migration for your business. Please contact us via your preferred method.

Citrix gets a facelift, from the core up

Citrix will kick off the long list of updates with its XenServer technology that offers improvements for virtual desktop technology and clouds.

The XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack, for instance, offers new Intelli-cache-technology that optimises storage for VDI implementations.  Storage Area Network (SAN) requirements often increase the cost of VDI.  Citrix’s new technology is said to allow for back and forth rewrites of XenDesktop and Server to local storage devices and other less expensive storage options.  On the cloud front, XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack will feature a fully integrated virtual switch and self-service web administration.

There are two other new cloud products coming from Citrix in the first quarter 2011: Citrix OpenCloud Access and Citrix OpenCloud Bridge.  Both are optional modules to Citrix’s NetScaler product.

OpenCloud Access, which is already available offers integrated security capabilities.  Citrix have said it:

“leverages a network-based approach that coordinates credentials and makes a user’s identity borderless.  It gives easy single sign-on access to all popular SaaS applications , enterprise web applications on hosted IaaS or private cloud platforms, and internal web and Windows applications – just as if they were any other enterprise application. “

OpenCloud Bridge, which is due in the first quarter of 2011:”

“makes it easy for enterprise customers to connect to networks in external clouds, and to access and manage cloud-based resources as a seamless extension of their own network at high speed.  By securely and transparently extending the enterprise demilitarized zone (DMZ) into the premise of the cloud, OpenCloud Bridge makes the service provider environment appear as part of a single secure network, eliminating the need to modify network, security and access configurations when applications migrate from the enterprise datacenter to an external cloud environment – or vice versa.”

It is set to be an exciting year for developing Citrix technologies which we feel will only help organisations embrace the continual change in IT.  With the many imposed software changes by Microsoft approaching fast, 2011 is going to be a pivotal year for many organisation in the planning of their IT infrastructure for the future!

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