Friday Mar 21, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1

Happy Friday, everyone! Our Friday Spotlight this week is a blog entry from the Oracle Secure Global Desktop engineering team, with some info on what they've been up to: 

Hadn't noticed that this blog has been quiet for a while.  Time to catch-up!

So, what's been happening with Oracle Secure Global Desktop recently?  The biggest event was the release Oracle Secure Global Desktop version 5.1 in November 2013.  This version builds on the tablet support for iPads introduced in version 5.0 and extends it to Android devices.  It also supports the use of the tablet client, using HTML 5 technology, in Chrome browsers.  The traditional Oracle Secure Global Desktop clients are not being neglected and a Patch Set Update was delivered in February 2014 to support their use in Internet Explorer 11.

Talking of "Patch Set Updates", that's the other big, recent development.  In early 2014, we released 'tarantella patch' commands that can be retro-fitted to Long Term Support (LTS) maintenance releases of Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle Secure Global Desktop Gateway to patch existing installations.  Using these commands, you can keep current with third-party components, like the JVM, and apply bug fixes to Oracle Secure Global Desktop.  It's not an alternative to upgrading to the latest version to get the latest features, but helps alleviate immediate problems until an upgrade can be scheduled.

Finally, the other big change is the relationship between Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VDI, but that's a big topic that needs an entry to itself...

We'll see you next week with another Friday Spotlight!

Tuesday Feb 25, 2014

The February '14 Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is Out!

The February 2014 Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available! It includes content on an updated Oracle VM cost calculator (now including Oracle Linux!), 2014 IT Predictions, community demonstration videos, what's new in Oracle Secure Global Desktop, and much more!

Read the February edition online right now, or subscribe to get future issues delivered straight to your inbox.


Friday Feb 21, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Amitego's Tools Updated for latest Oracle Secure Global Desktop

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our spotlight this week is on a fantastic tool, VISULOX Helpdesk from Amitego. If you’re a user of Oracle Secure Global Desktop, you have probably heard of Amitego. They provide tools that extend the feature set of Oracle Secure Global Desktop.

Whereas Oracle Secure Global Desktop is primarily designed for secure remote access to applications and desktops for a single user, Amitego provides extra, complementary tools to control and manage secure access for multiple users to the same session. This is really useful in situations such as where a manager needs to approve a transaction, or if two people with trusted information are needed to complete a task, or, perhaps the most common scenario, providing helpdesk services.

Their new tool, VISULOX Helpdesk, is based on the new VISULOX 3 framework and helps solve this last problem. It allows controlled assisting of a user by another user, without opening up the security risks associated with doing this on your desktop PC. You can do things like assign a group of users that a supervisor can assist with, and then the users can request help from the supervisor, and that supervisor can view their session in tandem. And the user still has control, too -- they can even switch off the cooperation view temporarily to enter a password, for example. And, of course, all of the clients and applications supported by Oracle Secure Global Desktop are supported by VISULOX Helpdesk, so you can even use your tablet device to remotely view and participate in a session.

If you need to do any sort of tandem work or helpdesk services and you’re using or looking at using Oracle Secure Global Desktop, you should go have a look at Amitego and read about their various offerings. Their tools have recently been updated to work with the latest Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1.

Have a great week!

Friday Dec 20, 2013

Important Patch Set Updates (PSU) for Oracle Secure Global Desktop

Oracle has released some important Patch Set Updates (PSUs) for Oracle Secure Global Desktop which customers should be aware of.

These critical patch clusters are available for immediate download and installation, as described in the following version-specific announcements:

Patch Set Updates are available for all active Long Term Support (LTS) maintenance releases, as enumerated within the Secure Global Desktop Release Announcement Reference (1597467.1).   No other versions of SGD are designated to receive a formal PSU.   Administrators of earlier releases—(i.e. 4.5, 4.60, 4.61, 4.62, or 4.70)—must move to a designated maintenance release in order to apply these comprehensive solutions.

ACTION REQUIRED:  The Oracle Support team would like to stress the importance of the immediate consideration and installation of the December 2013 PSUs, as planned updates to the Java plug-in will adversely impact the user experience of all unpatched versions of Secure Global Desktop prior to Secure Global Desktop 5.10.

These changes will require proactive action on behalf of SGD Administrators to prevent service interruption when the forthcoming updates planned for Java do arrive.

Additional information regarding this particular scenario is described within a dedicated knowledge article:

  • Users Connecting to Secure Global Desktop are Presented with Dialog, "This application will be blocked in a future Java security update because the JAR file manifest does not contain the Permissions attribute."  (Doc ID 1594506.1)

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Virtualization Friday Spotlight - November 1, 2013

Welcome to Friday, we hope you had a good week! It was exciting for us here (especially those with Android tablets!) due to the announcement of Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1. So, our Friday spotlight is the news release "Oracle Secure Global Desktop Adds Support for Android Tablets".

Have a great week!


Friday Sep 13, 2013

Friday Tips #45

Happy Friday!

Our tip this week is on Oracle Secure Global Desktop, which provides secure remote access to Oracle Applications and other enterprise software. One of the really great things about Secure Global Desktop is that once the administrator has setup an application the first time, providing access to that application to any number of users takes literally seconds.

Check out this great step by step tutorial for publishing an application to an entire group of users in the enterprise directory by the Fat Bloke:

Controlled Application Deployment with Secure Global Desktop

Speaking of Secure Global Desktop, if you're coming to Oracle OpenWorld, don't miss a fantastic session we're doing on the topic of secure application access, featuring Airbus and NHS Lothian. Both of these large organizations use Secure Global Desktop as an access layer for a variety of applications from many different types of devices. It will be a fascinating session and if you're at all interested in remote access, security, application virtualization, or anything similar, you won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, September 24
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Westin San Francisco, Concordia

Wednesday Aug 21, 2013

Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Part 2

If you're attending Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (and we hope you are!), the Schedule Builder tool is now available for you. Schedule Builder lets you register for the sessions you want to attend during the show. If you're interested in Oracle Virtualization, there are a number of sessions, hands on labs, and product demos that will be interesting to you. I covered several of the sessions in part 1 of this series, and in this one I'm going to cover a few more sessions. In the 3rd part of this series, I'll cover the Hands On Labs and demo stations that you can visit.

What's New with Oracle VM Server for x86 and SPARC: A Technical Deep Dive (CON9544)
Oracle VM Server virtualization solutions provide users the best combination of price, performance, certification, and advanced features tailored for ease of deployment and management. Spanning both x86 and SPARC architectures, it's designed to support a diverse set of OS workloads such as Linux, Solaris, and Windows to meet the wide ranging demands of modern IT environments. Join us to get the latest technology updates on Oracle VM Server.

High Availability and Infrastructure Best Practices with Oracle VM (CON11258)
This session will provide practical details and best practices on building and scaling an Oracle VM environment for High Availability for Database and infrastructure best practices. From information gathering and planning to analyzing needs of your environment, you will learn to plan for growth in infrastructure components to accommodate failover, DR, HA and migration. This session will also cover the methods to reduce downtime during events like system upgrades and migration and troubleshooting during system outages.

And in the Develop track:

What's New in Oracle VM VirtualBox (CON9550)
Oracle VM VirtualBox is the world's most popular cross-platform virtualization software, with nearly 100 million downloads. Optimized to run on desktop systems, Oracle VM VirtualBox is an ideal choice for development and testing, and can help ease cross-platform headaches by allowing you to run multiple platforms on your laptop or PC. In this session Oracle experts will cover the latest advancements in Oracle VM VirtualBox, including information on features such as VM Groups, guest automation, resource controls, and more.

One of my favorite features for attendees of Oracle OpenWorld is the "Focus On" documents that group together similar content as kind of a quick reference guide. This year, Focus On documents are done with a cool dynamic web page, so any changes that happen in the next few weeks (for example, when the Hands On Labs signups open up in the next week or so, or if a session gets oversubscribed and is moved to a bigger room), the Focus On page will automatically update. So, please go here to have a look at the most up to date Focus on Virtualization, and then bookmark it for future reference:

Focus on Virtualization

This year's show is shaping up to be a big one! Most of the folks that post on this blog will be there along with a large number of folks from the Oracle virtualization team, and we're very excited to meet you in person!


Monday Aug 12, 2013

The August 2013 Virtualization Newsletter is Here!

  • Find out about the latest Engineered System, being unveiled tomorrow, August 13, at 10am PT.
  • A summary of Oracle Virtualization content you can see at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.
  • Two new white papers: Why Use Oracle VM for Oracle Databases, and Deployment Considerations for Oracle Secure Global Desktop.
  • The new release of Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder 12c.
  • And more!


Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

June 2013 Virtualization Newsletter is Here!

The June Edition of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available! In this issue, you'll learn about:

  • Announcing Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.0
  • Dell Announces New Infrastructure Offering with Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager, Optimized to Run on Dell x86 Systems
  • Oracle VM Continues to Expand Partner Ecosystem with Cisco and NetApp 
  • Get Ready for Oracle OpenWorld 2013

And much more!

Head on over and read the newsletter. You can also subscribe and have it automatically appear in your inbox each time a new edition is released!


Friday Jun 14, 2013

Friday Tips #32

Happy Friday! Our tip this week is about Oracle Secure Global Desktop and directory services.

What versions of Active Directory and LDAP does Oracle Secure Global Desktop support? 

Answer from the Deployment Considerations for Oracle Secure Global Desktop white paper:
Active Directory authentication and LDAP authentication are supported on the following versions of Active Directory:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Supported LDAP Directories

Oracle Secure Global Desktop supports version 3 of the standard LDAP protocol. You can use LDAP authentication with any LDAP version 3-compliant directory server. However, Oracle Secure Global Desktop only supports the following directory servers:

  • Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition version 11gR1
  • Microsoft Active Directory on Windows Server 2003, 2003 R2, 2008, and 2008 R2
  • Oracle Internet Directory 11gR1 (all 11.1.1.x.0 releases)

Other directory servers might work, but are not supported.

For more detail, have a read through the User Authentication section of the documentation

See you next week!


Wednesday Jun 12, 2013

Oracle Secure Global Desktop Survey

To help us design Oracle Secure Global Desktop better, we would like to collect feedback from our customers about their deployments with Oracle Secure Global Desktop via a short, simple 11 question survey. This survey is for those customers and partners who have deployed Oracle Secure Global Desktop in production environments and can be specific about the product features and/or product dependencies they find important and useful.

We appreciate a few minutes of your time filling this survey out. Here is the link to the survey.

Friday May 03, 2013

Friday Tips #26

Happy Friday! With the exciting release of Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.0 this week, we though we'd do something a little different with our Friday tip.

Since access via iPad with HTML5 is a big part of this release, a question that has come up a few times is what performance is like over cellular connections. So, we recorded some video of an iPad using an iPhone 5 on LTE as a mobile hotspot, connecting back to an Oracle Secure Global Desktop server. You can see the real world cellular performance in the video below:

See you next week!


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.


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!


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.



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