Friday Apr 26, 2013

Friday Tips #25

Happy Friday, everyone! Our tip this week is on a basic task that is done frequently with Oracle Secure Global Desktop. In the video below, watch Mohan Prabhala, Product Management Director, Desktop Virtualization, as he describes the steps to publish an application:

Thanks Mohan!

We'll see you all next week with another tip.

-Chris 

Friday Apr 12, 2013

Friday Tips #23

Happy Friday, everyone! We had a great week at Collaborate 13, thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth. We also blogged about "Oracle VM and Oracle Linux pre-validated, pre-tested with FlexPod", released version 4.2.12 of Oracle VM VirtualBox and version 4.63 of Oracle Secure Global Desktop. Lots of great stuff going on!

Speaking of Oracle Secure Global Desktop, our Friday Tip this week is on that very product. In this video tip, Mohan Prabhala covers how to disable or enable copy functionality in applications to increase security:

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Final Day of HIMSS13

We're just getting ready to wrap up the booth at HIMSS13. Like a lot of Oracle shows, every single demo of Oracle Applications was done using Oracle desktop virtualization. I sat down with Adam Workman, Principal Consultant with Oracle, to talk about the booth deployment. Adam and team were responsible for designing and implementing the demo infrastucture for the booth.

Why is Oracle using desktop virtualization instead of laptops at the demo pods?
One of the philosophies we have at Oracle is we have the entire stack to run the infrastructure. So we like to show our customers that we can do that, and that's why we bring the infrastructure to the show.

The other reason why we do it, quite frankly, is because it makes our lives a lot easier. It allows us to bring in an infrastructure that can support dozens of applications without needing to configure individual laptops. We don't have to worry about all the infrastructure and administration to bring in dedicated PCs, which makes things much easier.

What is the server backend required to support the show?
Interestingly enough, we can actually run the show on a single Oracle Sun Server X3-2. But we want to provide an enterprise solution, so we bring a second server to make sure everything will  stay up if we had a hardware fault, etc., This year, since we want to give people a real world visualization of what it would take to bring this into their organizations, we brought a real rack and hardware that would be similar to a customer deployment, and it lets you run over 500 desktops. That's more capacity than we need for this show, but it's more typical of a real deployment.

This is your 3rd year doing this show, were there any different challenges this year versus previous years?
The move to a "real world deployment" actually made the show even easier. In years past, we would ship the hardware, set it up onsite, get it all ready for the demo people to use. By moving to a larger real world infrastructure, it changed our setup a little and allowed us to rack and stack all the servers prior to the show and made our setup a lot easier.

Do the customers even know they are seeing a "virtual" desktop when they are looking at Oracle Healthcare applications on the booth?
From a performance standpoint, they have no idea that they're not looking at a notebook or a hidden PC. The reason the customer knows is that the demo staff point out the Oracle Sun Ray Clients on the desks and show the customers the servers that are running in the booth.

Is the end user experience is the same as it would be if you were using laptops?
It's the same or better, and from a demo staff perspective, they actually prefer when we do this. They used to have to bring laptops or preconfigure a laptop before the show, keep track of it, maintain it, and so on. With desktop virtualization, they can just show up and know that things are going to work.

Were there any Oracle Applications that weren't compatible or didn't work with the booth setup?
There are no applications that we we're demonstrating here that were incompatible or didn't work. Oracle's browser based applications are certified to work with Oracle desktop virtualization and everything we've had here has worked great.

Have you had any downtime?
We've had no downtime whatsoever, the system just hums along and runs.

How long did it take you to do the set up before the show?
It takes approximately one work week - 40 hours - to build the infrastructure. There were three of us, so it happened very rapidly, over the span of a couple of days. We had one person who physically racked and stacked the servers. We then made sure all the servers and the storage array had the latest firmware on them, and from there, things go really fast. We just install the operating system, install Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which takes maybe 15 minutes, and from there, we just load the official Oracle golden template that comes from our global IT operations.

And how will teardown go?
The teardown is actually ridiculously fast. We just have to walk around and power off the Sun Ray Clients, we give the servers the shutdown command, and unplug them, and that's it. So, literally, 15 minutes and we'll be done. And the convenience going to the whole setup is that it literally rolls back into a crate and goes back to Oracle.


How easy is it to reuse this setup for anther show?
We designed the the servers, storage, and rack as a reusable component, so it's just a refresh between the shows if an update comes out. You always have to update the Windows golden image before it goes out for security reasons, but it's very easy to get it ready for the next show.

Was there anything healthcare specific you had to do for the booth deployment?
There's aren't settings in the software that I would say are specifically for healthcare, but there any many features we take advantage of with healthcare. One of the features we talk about a lot is caregiver mobility. And one of our newer features related to that is location awareness. So, as a doctor or nurse moves inside a facility, the applications need to know where the person updating the record physically is and we've added a flexible software feature so that the EMR and applications know that they've changed locations. So we're showing that today.

-Chris 

Monday Mar 04, 2013

HIMSS 2013, Day 1

We just wrapped up day one of HIMSS13 in New Orleans. HIMSS is always a really important event for us because so many healthcare organizations leverage Oracle technologies. And desktop virtualization lends itself perfectly to healthcare, especially with "caregiver mobility." This simply means that doctors and nurses can move from place to place and retain secure access to patient data. In our case, it also means desktop mobility between PCs, iPad and Android tablets, and in-room mounted thin clients.

We're here with some really amazing folks from the Oracle Healthcare team and the Oracle desktop virtualization team, and we're going to get some videos up for you over the next few days shot live on the show floor.

And if you're here, please stop by and say "hi" to us! As usual, the entire Oracle booth is being hosted with Oracle desktop virtualization, and we'll go into more detail on that in our next post.

-Chris

Friday Mar 01, 2013

Friday Tips #17

Happy Friday, everyone! We're busy getting ready for HIMSS13 in New Orleans (we'll be posting during the show next week, so please stay tuned for that), but that won't stop us from doing our Friday tip. This week's question focuses on Oracle Secure Global Desktop:

Question:
How do I setup an LDAP server using the command line option within Oracle Secure Global Desktop?

Answer by Mohan Prabhala, Product Management Director, Oracle:
The ‘–login-ldap-url’ command line option was removed since Oracle Secure Global Desktop version 4.6. So using the ‘–login-ldap-url’ option when running the ‘tarantella config edit’ command will not work. You must use a service object which is a group of directory services configuration settings used for SGD authentication mechanisms. So the commands below should be the way to make this work: 

tarantella config edit --login-thirdparty 1 
tarantella config edit --login-ldap-thirdparty-profile 1 
tarantella config edit --login-ldap 1 
tarantella service new --name generated --type ldap --url "ldap://<server hostname>" 

It is important to note that authentication mechanisms such as LDAP are used by Oracle Secure Global Desktop to login into the webtop. By default, Oracle Secure Global Desktop does not query LDAP during the launch of an application (once in the webtop). It is possible to pass through LDAP credentials to authenticate applications at launch time using the Authentication Configuration Tool (authconfig).

Tuesday Feb 05, 2013

Airbus Deploys Oracle Secure Global Desktop

Airbus, a world leader in the civil air transport market, employs approximately 52,000 people at sixteen sites in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The company relies on partnerships with major companies around the world and has a network of 1,500 suppliers in 30 countries.

Airbus uses Oracle Secure Global Desktop to provide a dispersed workforce of aircraft designers, structural engineers, and other essential, ground-based staff with secure, real-time access to test results during flight trials. Technical teams no longer need to travel to the company’s center in Toulouse, and experts have the ability to start to evaluate results immediately. Using Oracle Secure Global Desktop has helped Airbus accelerate compliance with global aviation regulations, complete tests required by potential customers more quickly, and reduce time to market for new aircraft.

"Oracle Secure Global Desktop enables us to deliver real-time flight test data direct from the cockpit to any number of designers, engineers, component manufacturers, and other authorized users, regardless of location or client device." – Ghislain Banville, IT Architect, Flight Test Data Equipment, Airbus 

Read more details.

Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

Hear us talk about BYOD!

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time on the phone with John Renko, consulting developer in the desktop virtualization group here at Oracle. You might know him from his fantastic answers to many of our Friday Tips questions.

While BYOD has become a pretty common idea over the last couple of years, John has been conducting his job using BYOD principles for many years. And given his job developing desktop virtualization technologies, he's an expert in the space. You can hear John and I talk about how BYOD works, what sorts of things are ideal for it, some things that aren't a perfect fit, and more in this podcast:

John Renko and Chris Kawalek Discuss Bringing Your Own Device for Enterprise Application Access

My thanks for John for taking the time to speak with me!

-Chris

Friday Dec 14, 2012

Friday Tips #6, Part 1

We have a two parter this week, with this post focusing on desktop virtualization and the next one on server virtualization.


Question:
Why would I use the Oracle Secure Global Desktop Secure Gateway?

Answer by Rick Butland, Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle Desktop Virtualization:
Well, for the benefit of those who might not be familiar with client connections in Oracle Secure Global Desktop (SGD), let me back up and briefly explain. An SGD client connects to an SGD server using two distinct protocols, which, by default, require two distinct TCP ports. The first is the HTTP protocol, used by the web browser to connect to the SGD webserver on TCP port 80, or if secure connections are enabled (SSL/TLS), then TCP port 443, commonly identified as the "HTTPS" port, that is, "SSL encrypted HTTP." The second protocol from the client to the server is the Adaptive Internet Protocol, or AIP, which is used for displaying applications, transferring drive mapping data, print jobs, and so on. By default, AIP uses the TCP port 3104, or port 5307 when SSL is enabled.

When SGD clients need to access SGD over a firewall, the ports that AIP requires are typically "closed"; and most administrators are reluctant, to put it mildly, to change their firewall configurations to allow AIP traffic on 3144/5307.  

To avoid this problem, SGD introduced "Firewall Forwarding", a technique where, in effect, both http and AIP traffic are "multiplexed" onto a single "well-known" TCP port, that is port 443, the https port.  This is also known as single-port firewall traversal.  This technique takes advantage of the fact that, as a "well-known service", port 443 is usually "open",   allowing (encrypted) traffic to pass. At the target SGD server, the two protocols are de-multiplexed and routed appropriately.

The Secure Gateway was developed in response to requirements from customers for SGD to support multi-stage DMZ's, and to avoid exposing SGD servers and the information they contain directly to connections from the Internet. The Secure Gateway acts as a reverse-proxy in the first-tier of the DMZ, accepting, authenticating, and terminating incoming client connections, and then re-encrypting the connections, and proxying them, routing them on to SGD servers, deeper in the network. The client no longer needs to know the name/IP address of the SGD servers in their network, they connect to the gateway, only. The gateway takes care of those internal network details.    

The Secure Gateway supports the same "single-port firewall" capability as does "Firewall Forwarding", but offers the additional advantage of load-balancing incoming client connections amongst SGD array members, which could be cumbersome without a forward-deployed secure gateway. Load-balancing weights and policies can be monitored and tuned using the "Balancer Manager" application, and Apache mod_proxy_balancer directives.  

Going forward, our architects recommend the use of the Secure Gateway over "Firewall Forwarding" for single-port firewall traversal, due to its architectural advantages, its greater flexibility and enhanced features. 

Finally, it should be noted that the Secure Gateway is not separately priced; any licensed SGD customer may use the Secure Gateway component at no additional cost.  

For more information, see the "Secure Gateway Administrator's Guide".

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

DOAG 2012 and Educause 2012

Oracle understands the value of desktop virtualization and how customers have really embraced it as a top tier method to deliver access to applications and data. Just as supporting operating systems other than Windows in the enterprise desktop space started to become necessary perhaps 5-7 years ago, supporting desktop virtualization with VDI, application virtualization, thin clients, and tablet access is becoming necessary today in 2012. Any application strategy needs to have a secure mobile component, and a solution that gives you a holistic strategy across both mobile and fixed-asset (i.e., desktop PCs) devices is crucial to success.

This means it's probably useful to learn about desktop virtualization, even if it's not in your typical area of responsibility. A good way to do that is at one of the many trade shows where we exhibit. Here are two examples: 

DOAG 2012 Conference + Exhibition

The DOAG Conference is fast approaching, starting November 20th in Nuernberg, Germany. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that we attended last year as well.

This conference is fantastic for us because we get to speak directly to users of Oracle products. In many cases, those DBAs, IT managers, and other infrastructure folks are looking for ways to deal with the burgeoning BYOD model, as well as ways of streamlining their standard desktop and access technologies. We have a couple of sessions where you can learn a great deal about how Oracle can help with these points.

Session Schedule (look under "Infrastruktur & Hardware")

The two sessions focused on desktop virtualization are:
  • Oracle VDI Best Practice unter Linux (Oracle VDI Best Practice Under Linux)
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Implementierungen und Praxiserfahrungen (Virtual Desktop Infrastructures Implementations and Best Practices)
We will also have experts on hand at the booth to answer your questions on using desktop virtualization. If you're at the show, please stop by and say hello to our team there!

Educause 2012 

Another good example is Educause. We've gone the last few years to show off a slough of education oriented applications and capabilities in the Oracle product portfolio. And every year, we display those applications through Oracle desktop virtualization. This means the demonstration can easily be setup ahead of time and replicated out to however many "demo pods" that we have available. There's no need for our product teams to setup individual laptops for demos -- we can display a standardized Windows desktop virtual machine with their apps all ready to go on a whole bunch of devices like your standard trade show laptop, our Sun Ray Clients, and iPad.

Educause 2012 just wrapped, so we're sorry we missed you this year. But there is always next year! Until then, here are a few pictures from this year's show:

You can also watch this video to see how Catholic Education Australia uses Oracle Secure Global Desktop to help cope with the ever changing ways that people access their applications. 

-Chris 

Friday Nov 02, 2012

Lots of great stuff going on with Oracle Secure Global Desktop!

You're probably familiar with Oracle Secure Global Desktop, our solution for providing secure, browser-based access to Oracle Applications and other enterprise software. It's a fantastic product and one I've been personally involved with for nearly a decade! I wanted to give you a quick update on all the fantastic things that are going on with it:

First, we have done a few videos with Oracle's Mohan Prabhala at trade shows recently. You can get a quick product refresher and an update on the latest new features by watching these:




Next, we talked at length with Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth on Brian and Gabe LIVE about Oracle Secure Global Desktop. Click here or on the screenshot below to go to the brianmadden.com video. Part 1 focuses on Oracle Secure Global Desktop.

Listen toward the end for Brian to say, “I kinda want this actually at TechTarget right now.”

The analysts are talking about us, too. When we released Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, Chris Wolf over at Gartner had this to say on Twitter.

Last, just a quick reminder for existing Oracle Applications customers that Oracle Secure Global Desktop is easy for you to leverage for secure application access. Oracle Secure Global desktop is certified for use with Oracle browser-based applications such as Primavera, E-Business Suite and with Exalogic. Steven Chan over at the E-Business Suite Technology blog gives a great explanation of how Oracle Secure Global Desktop works with E-Business Suite, as an example.

As the title says, lots of great stuff going on!

-Chris

Monday Oct 15, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld 2012, Live From The Show Floor Videos

At shows like Oracle OpenWorld, we like to catch up with the session speakers and other experts with short video clips that we post on our YouTube channel. For Oracle OpenWorld 2012, we put together this handy playlist of server and desktop virtualization related videos:

We were also able to catch up with a few Oracle Linux partners at the Oracle Linux Pavillion. You can find those videos here:

And if you'd like to look at the slides for any of our virtualization presentations or any other Oracle OpenWorld session, have a look at the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 content catalog. There's a lot of great information there!

 -Chris

Wednesday Aug 15, 2012

Gabe Knuth Talks About Oracle Secure Global Desktop

I was really happy to see that Gabe Knuth over at brianmadden.com wrote a piece on our Oracle Secure Global Desktop. He goes a little bit into the background of the product, which is great because the software has quite a long history. I've been personally involved with the product for a lot of that time, so it was especially good to see it for me. We'll explore some of that history in another post, but for now, have a read about what Gabe has to say:

Oracle Secure Global Desktop is still around? That's what I thought, too!

And if you want a quick refresher on what Oracle Secure Global Desktop does, our very own Jeff Reilly can give you a quick overview in this video from last year's Oracle OpenWorld:

-Chris 

Wednesday Aug 01, 2012

Videos from BriForum Chicago 2012

We had a really wonderful show at BriForum Chicago last week! Thanks to everyone for stopping by our booth and coming to our session. It was great to meet all of you, answer questions, and get to hear about how you're using desktop virtualization.

We recorded some videos at the show, and got into a couple of areas we haven't yet touched on. One, is a video in Spanish by Jorge Angel. Another really interesting one is with Brad Lackey where explains the architectural security differences with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. We also have a video from our featured speaker Phillip Fiedler from Open Technologies, giving a quick summary of his session. Really interesting stuff! Here are the videos we did on the show floor:

This is the official video made by the brianmadden.com folks of our demo. The video is hosted there, so you'll need to click the thumbnail here and hop over to their page to see it, but it's worth it!

-Chris

Thursday Jul 12, 2012

Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Part 3

Mini-Series Entry 3 of 3: Server Virtualization Sessions

This is the third entry of a three part mini-series looking at Oracle server and desktop virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

In our previous entries, we covered the Oracle Virtualization keynote session, hands on labs, and desktop virtualization sessions. Below are four key sever virtualization sessions for you to enjoy at this year's Oracle OpenWorld.

Session ID: CON6814
Ready to get more value from your server virtualization investment? In this practical session, experts from Verizon and Oracle explain how to get the real benefits of IT flexibility, agility, and efficiency by using server virtualization while saving time and money and avoiding hassles. Discover tips and tricks for using Oracle VM 3, Oracle Linux, and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c to rapidly deploy enterprise applications in hours or days instead of weeks. Learn about innovations for automating all deployment functions, and hear about best practices for configuring and managing networks and storage. The session will help you save time and money, reduce data center errors, and help you realize the full potential of server virtualization.

Session ID: CON8487
The latest generation of Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) and database technology provides an agile database deployment infrastructure optimized for running on bare metal hardware. The same architecture can be used on Oracle VM to further benefit from template-based deployments or virtualization-based environments in general. Attend this session to understand the key considerations for transitioning to or running Oracle RAC in an Oracle VM-based environment. The session includes a live demo showing how the new deploy cluster tool streamlines deployment of Oracle RAC.

Session ID: CON8727
Many IT organizations need different OS and hardware to address stringent service levels and meet competitive pressures. Oracle VM enterprise-class server virtualization offers a high-performance architecture and the broadest workload support. It provides server virtualization for Oracle's x86 and SPARC architectures plus tight integration support for OSs such as Linux, Oracle Solaris, and Windows. Oracle VM Server virtualization gives users the best combination of price, performance, certification, and advanced features to make the entire software/hardware stack for enterprise applications easier to deploy, manage, and support. This session covers the latest Oracle VM technology updates and transforming your data center to the next level of efficiency while reducing operating costs.

Session ID: CON8734
Virtualization has changed how IT delivers information and business services. As IT organizations migrate from traditional computing data centers to cloud-based infrastructures, traditional virtualization offers only part of what the migration requires. Stacks of enterprise applications driving crucial business services and management orchestrations-hardware to software to cloud-based services-are fundamental ingredients of a successful migration. This session covers Oracle's virtualization and management offering: Oracle VM, its integration with Oracle Linux, and cloud control/lifecycle management with Oracle Enterprise Manager. See how the Oracle VM/Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder 11g integration can help you simplify and standardize enterprise application deployment to the cloud.

Session ID: CON8735
You've consolidated your server farms-mail servers-but what about enterprise application workloads, database, business apps? These are crucial and are running on Oracle Solaris, Linux, and Windows. How hard is it to manage this application sprawl? This session shows the benefit of Oracle VM for virtualizing Oracle and how Oracle VM Templates have foundational tools for speeding enterprise application workload virtualization for rapid deployment of applications such as Oracle Database and Oracle's Siebel Customer Relationship Management. You'll learn about recipes for deploying applications with more than 90 predefined Oracle VM Templates for your Oracle applications, in minutes, not days or hours. You'll also hear how to manage virtualized application sprawl with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Session ID: CON7393
Cloud computing can be implemented in several ways: public, private, hybrid, or community. To add to the deployment choices, cloud computing services can be offered as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS), with or without full self-service capabilities. This session lays down the foundations for business cases for going to the cloud, using key common drivers and common use cases.

  • Outsourcing 
  • Core competency 
  • Portfolio rationalization 
  • Infrastructure consolidation

As we get closer to the event, we'll do another post on the virtualization product demos you'l be able to see at the show. And remember, there are over 1,700 more Oracle OpenWorld sessions in the content catalog.

We look forward to seeing you at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 on September 30th!

- The Oracle Virtualization marketing team

Wednesday Jul 11, 2012

Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Part 2

Mini-Series Entry 2 of 3: Desktop Virtualization Sessions

This is the second entry of a three part mini-series looking at Oracle server and desktop virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

In our previous entry, we covered the Oracle Virtualization keynote session as well as hands on lab sessions you won't want to miss. Below are four key desktop virtualization sessions you can also add to your calendar.

Session ID: CON8799
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, New York, and partner Northrop Grumman provide the foundation of the Secure Access Baseline for the Enterprise (SABER) accredited desktop solution. At SABER’s core are Oracle desktop virtualization products. In this session, representatives from AFRL and Northrop Grumman join an Oracle speaker to discuss the unique security challenges of deploying desktops with extremely strict security requirements and how all organizations can benefit from following the SABER example when deploying their desktop architectures.

Session ID: CON8801
Over the last several years, use of personal devices in the enterprise has dramatically increased, with IT organizations rapidly learning to adapt to this changing landscape of application and desktop access. This session describes how Oracle desktop virtualization can help IT embrace employees’ use of their own devices for work-related activities while making applications, data, and desktops more secure and manageable.

Session ID: CON8802
Using public and private clouds has taken hold as a common way to deploy services to the enterprise. A burgeoning addition to the cloud model is cloud access to desktop applications. With Oracle’s comprehensive portfolio of hardware and software, engineered to work together, a complete desktop cloud solution can be designed for accessing Oracle Applications and other enterprise applications. In this session, learn how a complete cloud-based desktop application access solution can be deployed with Oracle technologies.  

Session ID: CON8733
Oracle VM VirtualBox provides high performance, support for numerous virtual appliances available in the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), multiplatform application development and testing, 2-D/3-D graphics acceleration, and cutting-edge features—including the ability to teleport a running virtual machine between hosts. Oracle VM VirtualBox is a useful tool for developers who need to port code across different operating environments. Because Oracle VM VirtualBox enables hosting of multiple guest operating systems on a single machine, a developer can easily switch operating systems in no time, simply by changing between different desktop windows. In this session, you will understand why it will be your favorite tool as well.

You can read more about these and about 1,700 more Oracle OpenWorld sessions in the content catalog.

Tomorrow, we'll look at server virtualization. See you then!

- The Oracle Virtualization marketing team 

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