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Events & Webinars

Webinar - IMSCAD and Webair talk VDI & Private Cloud

More details to follow. 

Date:21 April, 2021

Time:05:00 PM - 06:00 PM CET

News, Blogs and Webinars

Is appointing a “Head of Remote Work” essential, to navigate a post COVID world?

Now is the time for industry leaders to take the necessary action to accommodate the next normal for their workforce, the question is, will that include appointing someone as Head of Remote Work?

This role has grown across companies in all industry verticals over the last year, with rapid growth over the first couple of months of 2021. The position will need to combine IT, HR and Real Estate expertise to ensure that, what is now a widely distributed workforce, can work productively whilst working remotely.

This new role could well prove essential to companies, with no certainty as to when employees will be allowed to return to the office in the same way as they did pre-COVID, if in fact, that will happen at all. A Head of Remote Work will be tasked with creating a cohesive remote culture. This will include:

  • Providing a robust remote work technology solution for all employees, giving employees, the tools they need, to remain productive working remotely, is essential to successful remote working.
  • Implementing the correct HR policies, remote recruitment for example. According to LinkedIn, 70% of recruiting professionals say virtual recruiting will become the standard.
  • Reimagining the role of the office, create workspaces specifically designed to support the kinds of interactions that cannot happen remotely. Potentially reducing office footprint, with employees working remotely, is there a need for the same office space?

Despite the coronavirus vaccination programme and lockdown restrictions, workers in five European countries including the UK now expect to work from home until June instead of April, according to research carried out by the AlphaWise unit at the US bank Morgan Stanley.

Will every company appoint a Head of Remote Work? In short, no, I doubt it. But, the IT, HR and Real Estate heads, will need to work closely to achieve the same results. Even for those companies that do appoint a Head of Remote Work, if this specific role is not around in the long term, companies will still need well planned strategies and policies in place, to facilitate successful remote working for all employees.

Having a head of remote work, is not necessarily essential but it will most certainly be of a major benefit and I am sure large numbers of businesses will continue to appoint them. If you do not, ensuring there is joined up planning between the IT, HR and Real Estate teams, is essential to ensure remote working is a success for your business.

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Webinar Recording - VDI – The Ideal Remote-Work solution for AEC firms

Webinar Recording - VDI – The Ideal Remote-Work solution for AEC firms

In this webinar, IMSCAD show you why VDI is the ideal solution for successful remote-working for your business.

Providing employees with the right tools, will not only ensure productivity, it will make sure firms can retain and attract top talent. 

Webinar Recording

Desktop Disaster Recovery solutions for AEC firms from IMSCAD Cloud

What if you lose your on-premise environment in the event of a disaster, whether that be human error, an operational failure, natural disaster or even a pandemic! Don’t risk any downtime impacting negatively on staff productivity, projects not getting finished or your brand being tarnished. IMSCAD Cloud’s and IMSCAD Global’s years of experience deploying cloud and on-premise virtualisation solutions for AEC firms, means we understand what it takes to provide DR desktops that perform for Autodesk users.

The days of having an expensive offsite replication on physical hardware are gone. By having a “pilot light” environment, in the cloud, you can keep Capex, (Capital Expenditure) to a minimum. Cloud providers offer a favorable pay as you go option for hosting Virtual desktops, meaning the only recurring expenditure, is for the infrastructure and storage, this includes the virtual machine base templates.  

Once built, the infrastructure remains always on, the desktops sit dormant, ready to burst and scale as required in the event of an outage. IMSCAD Cloud build and maintain the infrastructure in the cloud, exclusively, for you the customer and provide yearly DR scenario tests, meaning you can sign the solution off as fully functioning for complete peace of mind.  Billing for the infrastructure will be on a monthly basis, until such time as the Disaster Recovery solution is invoked. At this time, you will be billed on a pay as you go basis for the desktops. IMSCAD Cloud can provide as many graphical and non-graphical desktops as needed. In the event of a disaster, we endeavor to make these desktops available within hours, we do however, guarantee, full functionality of the solution within 2 working days.

Once desktop failback has completed, all running instances except for that of the infrastructure will be turned off and deallocated to avoid any unnecessary costs whilst returning the environment to it’s always on base infrastructure.

If you would like more information and help identifying the right Disaster Recovery Solution for your business, contact us at info@imscadcloud.com or follow the link below.

IMSCAD Cloud

Webinar Recording - Cloud Based VDI 'Is It The New Normal For Autodesk Customers?'

Webinar Recording - Cloud Based VDI 'Is It The New Normal For Autodesk Customers?'

In this webinar, IMSCAD explain the growth in Cloud based VDI adoption among Autodesk customers and how lockdown has driven this demand as well as detailing the best way of achieving the ultimate performance for Autodesk users not only at home, but anywhere and on any device.

 

Webinar Recording

Blog - VDI, don’t call it a comeback!

What is VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure,) why implement a VDI solution now and how do you decide on the best VDI solution for your business?

The VDI market is set for an explosion over the next five years, the Global VDI Market is expected to reach USD 25,496.3 Million by 2025 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.1%

In this blog, I will help you understand what Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is, why you should be looking at VDI for your business and what are the most important factors when deciding on the best VDI solution. Including, financial implications and in our opinion, most importantly, performance and therefore user experience to ensure a successful solution.  

What is VDI?

VDI technology enables you to deliver desktops via virtual machines (VMs,) these desktops are managed from a central server and deployed to user via a client or browser. Originally called end-user computing (EUC), this desktop virtualization method was made popular by VMware, which standardized the term VDI. Operating Systems, Applications and Data are no longer being stored locally on an end-point device they are being hosted in data centers. These can be a business’s own, a co-location where a business has its own infrastructure or hardware sitting in a third-party data center, a hosted, private cloud environment where the business doesn’t own the infrastructure, it is rented or one of the Public or Hyperscale Clouds where a business pays for instances. The Operating system, Applications and data are then delivered to the user via an agent or browser.

The great thing about VDI is that users have access, to a personalized desktop, with their own icons, windows and applications and they can access the desktop from home or anywhere remotely on any end point device as all of the processing is being done centrally on a server in the datacenter.

What are the Key Benefits of VDI?

Increased Productivity - Research indicates that virtual desktop solutions can boost productivity by up to 20%. That is attributable to improved uptime levels, better performance and more opportunities for collaboration but also the ability to work from anywhere.

Reduction in IT Management Cost - All data and applications are kept centrally on the servers, all patches, upgrades and fixes are managed centrally as a single instance.  The management of users, their access to applications and data is also centrally controlled by IT.

Improved Data Security & IP Protection - Centralised data ensures that no sensitive data ever leaves the security of the infrastructure.  This removes the security risk and IP protection issues traditionally associated with having distributed data.

Increased Mobility for Users - Organisations can easily facilitate mobile workstyles for all remote users, improving productivity while retaining the necessary levels of security. The anywhere, anytime, anyhow nature of a virtual desktop, allows users to access their desktops on any end-point device, from anywhere.

Improved Enterprise MobilityBusinesses can rapidly respond to change, with the ability to provision and deploy new users, groups or project teams almost instantly, removing the lengthy process of workstation re-provisioning and redeployment.

Business Continuity - The availability of a virtual desktop, coupled with the centralised backup of data makes a VDI solution an attractive alternative to a more traditional disaster recovery option of a stand-by secondary site. It also addresses the increasing issue of weather, travel and pandemic related interruptions, with workers able to work as normal from a remote or home location.

Reduced Carbon Footprint - A reduced requirement for new equipment, lower energy requirements, extended PC life and more flexible working can all help shrink a company’s carbon footprint and address environmental targets

Why VDI now?

Don’t call it a comeback, VDI isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been here for years! This is a good thing as the technology is mature and there has been a lot of investment from the big players in the virtulisation space, such as Citrix and VMWare. Historically, there may have been cultural issues, switching from physical desktops to virtual desktops has proved problematic, users are often stuck in their ways, scared of change and may need convincing regarding performance, especially those using resource hungry graphical applications.   

The VDI market is set for explosion over the next five years, with the latest estimates expecting the global virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) market to be worth USD 25,496.3 million by 2025!

What is the best way of deploying VDI for your business?

There are three, key deployment methods to consider when looking at VDI as a solution for your business, in no particular order, they are as follows. We deploy and support all three VDI solution methods, we are only interested in the best solution for each use case.

On-Prem or On-Premise VDI - deployed on your infrastructure in your own data center, this could be one server in your office or could be your own private data centre, where you are responsible for the infrastructure and everything associated with it. For this sort of deployment, there is a large CapEx (Capital Expenditure) required as the infrastructure needs to be purchased, racked and set up before you can start provisioning desktops. A real positive of this sort of solution is that you are provisioning the servers to suit your use case, the applications your business uses and the workloads.  

Private Cloud or Hosted VDI - Outsource your virtual desktops to a hosted environment, the Virtual Desktops are deployed and hosted in the hosting company’s data center, on bare metal servers, they are responsible for the infrastructure, this is often referred to as private cloud or hosted VDI. With this sort of delivery, there is normally an upfront fee to set up and then a monthly cost, keeping CapEx to a minimum and enabling a more manageable OpEx (Operational Expenditure) model. Like the on-premise solution, with this sort of solution you get the same benefits of provisioning infrastructure to suit your use case, applications and workflows with the extra plus of not having to buy or manage the hardware.

Hyperscale or Public Cloud – You pay for instances and use a vendor’s VDI broker. While spinning up a new desktop is easy, a VDI solution on the public cloud still requires extra, underlying infrastructure and integration components to work. This can be complicated, the infrastructure needs to be designed and deployed before you can begin deploying desktops, this requires a diverse and technical skillset. From the architecture and networking to the security, you are responsible for everything you build in the public cloud. Beware spiraling costs, each of the products or components you add to your virtual infrastructure, from domain controllers to VMs, come with their own associated costs, these are additional costs on top of the cost of each desktop. It’s important you understand what the monthly infrastructure costs look like and not just the desktop costs, it can be a rude awakening down the line. In short, beware, the actual cost of the solution, will be higher than the advertised desktop cost! The other thing to bear in mind is that with these instances, you get what you are given regarding resource, so with certain more demanding use cases and workflows performance can be an issue.   

Food for thought:

In conclusion, the great thing about VDI is that there is a solution out there for every use case, although, certain use cases are more complicated to deploy successfully than others so deployment methods where you can tailor the infrastructure to suit your businesses unique use case will provide better performance due to the bespoke nature of the solution. If up-front costs and the associated costs of owning infrastructure are not an issue an on-premise solution gives you that bespoke solution. As does a private cloud VDI solution where again you get the benefit of a tailor-made solution, but the cost is spread over the length of the contract and the infrastructure is managed by the hosting company, you could say the best of both worlds.

If you need help identifying the right solution for your business, get in touch with us today, for a free, no obligation consultation and to arrange a free demo to trial a VDI solution.  

Written by Charlie Dawson, Channel Director, IMSCAD Global and IMSCAD Cloud

What’s new in VMware Horizon 8 2006

    

What’s new in VMware Horizon 8 2006 – release date 11/08/2020

With the release of VMware’s Horizon 8, the engineers here at IMSCAD Global and IMSCAD Cloud have rolled their sleeves up and have been getting hands on, to understand all that the Horizon 8 2006 has to offer, to ensure we are prepared to help all of our customers with either upgrading to or deploying Horizon 8 as part of a new build.    

As you would expect, with a VMware release, our initial feedback is positive, we have tested some sizeable models in both AutoCAD and Revit and have found it to be very usable with no obvious issues, even when tested from the UK to Ashburn in the US with a round trip time off approx. 100ms. We will be carrying out more in-depth testing, to fully evaluate as it matures, but first impressions are very good, as you would expect.

Below we have listed a few of the key developments, improvements and updates to be aware of included in Horizon 8 2006.  

·        Continued move away from old style web pages that contain flash to more modern browser scripting, in-line with all the major web browser providers as companies focus on security and vulnerabilities within web pages.

·        New naming convention, in a similar vain to how Windows is now updated and other hypervisor/VDI providers, updates will now be based on the year and month of release.

·        HTML access is now turned on by default and working well, although the client remains the recommended way to connect HTML access to applications and desktops provides a perfectly usable environment for users to work from for convenience.

·        When deploying and configuring the first connection server in a pod, you can now not only just deploy on-premise, there are also options included to deploy in the cloud, such as VMWare cloud on AWS and Azure VMWare solution from within the install options. (This is very interesting if using a hybrid model) Definitely something we will be exploring and delving into in more detail.

·        You can now add digital watermarks via a GPO on VDI screens to show ownership, IP details, user details etc.  So, if for example a user takes a picture on their phone of a screen with the company’s proprietary information on it there will be a ‘watermark’ in the image.  (This is a question we have been asked on several occasions, how to stop information being copied by remote workers and this seems to go some way to minimise the risk of data loss if say blackmail or extortion was the main aim)

·        Now contains ‘smart’ provisioning with Horizon View deciding on the optimum way to deploy your clones depending on virtual desktop density.

·        Moving away from View Composer and focusing on instant clones.  Instant Clones are now available on all licenses for much quicker desktop provisioning and saving on system resources required when carrying out the update operations.  Moving to Dynamic Environment Manager, FSLogix etc. and away from persona management to manage users, profiles and policies across your virtual environment either physical or cloud based.

·        Support for older OS’s has been removed Win7, server 2008 etc. Security server now moved to UAG instead.

·        Ability to restrict older version clients from connecting for security.  Users receive a warning if their client isn’t of a certain level that they need to upgrade before being able to connect into the environment.

·        Blast extreme improvements including support for 2 x 8k monitors and support for the Intel GPU running the ice lake processor (10th Gen). This was previously available if you had an NVIDIA GPU is now Intel ready.

·        The client has been updated to work better with webcam videos to use Zoom, Teams with optimizations especially for teams as more companies find staff working remotely.

IMSCAD Cloud and IMSCAD Global are specialists in graphics virtualisation, our experienced team of engineers and consultants are primed and ready to help you implement an end to end solution from concept to deployment, we can help you troubleshoot an existing environment experiencing performance issues and we offer ongoing support to ensure productivity never suffers. 

 

 

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