State of IT 2017

As we start the New Year it’s appropriate to look at the state of I.T. and give you the JustWorks perspective on where the best path forward will take us.

First we need to remember that the basic structure of a computer has not changed: a computer uses a processor to process data that is kept on storage. The proximity of the processor to the storage is still absolutely key, and that affects how “cloud services” work, or don’t work. The larger the data being processed, the more important it is that the processor and the data it is working on are joined by a fast connection, so applications like CAD and accounting cannot tolerate a situation where the processor and the storage are separated by the typical Internet link available to most businesses today. Either the data needs to be local (in the same place, like the office) to the computer, or the processing needs to be done remotely, close to where the data is.

Using this model we can more easily understand the different cloud services that are available.

  • “True cloud” services are where both the processing and the storage are provided by the vendor, so all the user needs is a window into their systems — a good example is QuickBooks Online, where the data and the processing are done on Intuit’s servers and all you need is a web browser to see the results.
  • “Hybrid cloud” services are where the processing and the storage are not always colocated. A good example of these type of services are the cloud file services, where the files exist in the cloud but are also replicated locally so that they can be used by your (local) computer. Hybrid solutions typically require both some local systems and some remote (cloud) systems to deliver the solution effectively.

For the majority of businesses the world of cloud services has not advanced to the point where they can replace their local applications, and it may well be many years before that is true. So most businesses are stuck in between the old world of local networks and servers, and some combination of the true and hybrid cloud services.

The way forward is to be ready to move applications to the cloud when that becomes feasible, and in the meantime get as much advantage as possible from hybrid cloud services without breaking what works on the local, office-based network. This is what we have designed JustWorks 7 to deliver.

jw7JustWorks 7 is our seventh major design revision in our 21 year history, and just happens to neatly coincide with 2017 as the launch year. In designing JustWorks 7 we have preserved the ability of our customers to continue to run the applications they need on their office network, while also providing the benefits of a distributed cloud file system that is available from anywhere on any device. Customers can share their data securely with partners and vendors, enable remote working, and still have lightening fast access in the office.

JustWorks 7 provides a platform that supports local applications today, and is ready for those applications to move to a cloud service provider as soon as our customers are ready to do that. Our design is a “hybrid cloud” that prepares our customers to move to “true cloud” when the time is right.

Our new design moves the core collaboration tools of email, calendaring and file sharing so that they are cloud based, but easily accessible from the office too. The reference design for JustWorks 7 is based on using Microsoft’s Office 365 services for email, but can also accommodate anyone who would prefer to use Google, Amazon or another vendor for email. The JustWorks 7 cloud file service works equally well irrespective of which vendor is providing the email services.

JustWorks 7: designed for the future, and today.
We make IT simple.

New “cloud” services for 2016

JustWorks has added some key new services to our full service managed systems portfolio. All of these services are available as extensions of your existing services, and they have all been tested by JustWorks in production.

To provide advanced services for the new “cloud” era we are offering new services to meet the following needs:

  • Messaging, fax, conferencing & phone in single unified service
  • File sharing accessible from any device, any where at any time
  • Security enhancements for your Internet connection

Messaging, fax, conferencing & phone

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with RingCentral to bring you fully unified communications in the cloud.
RingCentral can completely replace your phone system, or just add additional functionality to what you already have. The service includes “follow me” phone numbers so that you only ever need to provide a single phone number for your business contacts to reach you, no matter whether you are sitting at your desk or on the road (even where you have WiFi but no cell phone signal!). The service also includes unlimited calls and SMS messaging in the continental USA, fax and voicemail to email integration, and last but not least online conferencing for phone, screen sharing and HD video.
You can find out more at www.ringcentral.com or just call us and we can walk you through how it might fit with your needs.
Pricing ranges from $40/month for your whole company, to $40/user/month for full phone functionality including a desk handset.

File sharing accessible from any device, any where at any time

JustWorks has partnered with Egnyte to enable the extension of your in-office file sharing out into the rest of the world, all while maintaining the high levels of security you have come to expect from JustWorks solutions.
Once we have setup your cloud file server, you will be able to access all your files from any web browser, smartphone, tablet or remote computer, with ease. You can also create connections for your vendors and subcontractors to share specific files/folders securely with them.
You can find out more at www.egnyte.com or just call us and we can walk you through how it might fit with your needs. The first 2 users and 1Tb is included in our Manage service level, and pricing is $20 or $40 per user/month after that, depending on what version you choose.

Security enhancements for your Internet connection

We have migrated all JustWorks installations to the Sophos security platform – there’s nothing you need to do, this is part of our service.
Now that the Sophos security system is in place at your offices we will be able to enhance your Internet and network security with better WiFi security, email encryption, and load balancing over multiple Internet connections.

We will also offer Sophos Reflexion email security as an alternative for email SPAM filtering, as McAfee are discontinuing their service.
We will be in touch with you when we roll this out to your site.

We are excited to be able to offer these new services, and look forward to making them simple for you take advantage of.

Why View is better than Xen

JustWorks Central is built on VMware technologies and now you can check out the new website from VMware End User Computing that has easy to digest explanations of why we made that choice! The site is all about View’s key advantages over Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS and VDI, and the status quo.

Have you asked “Why did JustWorks deploy VMware View over other solutions?”

This site provides the answers. The top technical reasons as well as the top business reasons are provided in a compelling and easy to digest format.

What makes View better?

Loads of reasons. We could write a book. Instead, we suggest having a look at WhyChooseView.com for six of the most compelling reasons organizations continually choose View. Six entertaining animation videos describe the benefits of View compared to competitive offerings:

  1. Real Desktop Security: VMware View—More Secure and Easier to Manage
  2. Real Device Diversity: End User Mobility, Future-proofed, with a Clear Roadmap to the Cloud
  3. Greater Business Efficiencies Generate a Shorter Payback Period
  4. Leverage Deep vSphere Integration
  5. Superior End User Experience. Extended IT Control
  6. Enhance Citrix XenApp with VMware View & ThinApp

All backed up with customer testimonials and case examples of View’s winning ways.

Windows 2003 in the cloud? Yes!

The JustWorks Central cloud can host servers running a wide range of operating systems, including Windows Server 2003.

Thousands of businesses and organizations have applications that still require Windows 2003 to run. For some the cost of upgrading the application to a version that supports newer operating systems is prohibitive, for others the time and effort required to rewrite their applications to run on a newer operating system is taking longer than planned. Whatever the reason, the fact is that these are often core, critical applications and they need to be kept running.

Stuck on old hardware

The situation is complicated by the difficulty of getting old operating systems to install onto new hardware; often there are no drivers to support the more modern chipsets and peripherals built into new computers. So old operating systems tend to be left running on old hardware, further compounding the problem and increasing the chance of a disastrous failure.

Custom clouds for unique businesses

JustWorks Central provides a boutique cloud platform that allows our customers to define their needs very precisely, and get just the right cloud, built just for them. We can support any operating system that runs on VMware, and that means any of the following, to name just a few:

  • Windows Vista, XP, 7
  • Windows 2003
  • Windows 2008, R2
  • Windows 2012, R2
  • Red Hat
  • Ubuntu/CentOS
  • Apple OSX

So if you have an old Windows server that needs a new home, JustWorks Central is the 5 star hotel it deserves at the budget price you want.

From your old hardware to our new cloud

JustWorks services include the ability to ‘scrape’ your old Windows server off the old hardware it is running on now, and convert it into a virtual machine that will run happily on our cloud infrastructure. And because we use VMware standards, your new old server is fully transportable – take it to any vCloud you like, or even bring it back in house next year!

Your cloud, built just for you

Find out more about how a JustWorks Central cloud built just for you can improve your business’ return on IT and deliver the most reliable, hassle-free platform for your applications, old and new! Call us today.

 

New VIEW clients out from VMware

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Just before the holidays VMware released “Tech Preview” versions of their Apple Mac OSX and Android clients for VMware View virtual desktop environments.

You can get them from this link if you have a VMware login, otherwise contact us and we can help you.

Native OSX with PCoIP

The new Mac client for View is a native OSX application, and no longer requires the Microsoft Remote Desktop client to be installed as well. It’s very simple, free of clutter, and runs really well in our tests so far. Importantly, this new client supports the PCoIP protocol to deliver the best possible end user experience even when the bandwidth available is variable.

Updated iPad app

Also a few days before the holidays VMware updated their iPad app for View. The app is free from Apple’s AppStore and now allows you to send your video output to a high resolution screen (using iPad “mirroring”), while the iPad screen becomes a large keyboard complete with trackpad and right/left-click mouse buttons. As a possible alternative to a zero client (like the ones from Samsung that we use and recommend), you could have an HD TV and an Apple TV on your desk instead!

To find out more about these new clients or how using virtual desktops can greatly simply your IT contact us and we will happily give you a login to our demo View environment.

 

Executive Seminar – Cloud Computing

What does “cloud computing” mean for your business?

Join us at one of our regular Executive Seminars to find out more about “cloud computing” and how it applies to your business.

What does “cloud computing” really mean?

  • How does “cloud computing” change the way I run my business?
  • What do I need to start preparing for, if I want to move to the “cloud”?
  • What are the challenges I can expect to face?
  • When will the “cloud” be ready for me?

JustWorks hosts our exclusive lunch & learn seminars in San Jose and around the Bay area. The event is free of charge, no obligations, just education; and is open to business leaders and managers in the Bay Area.

Call us today and reserve your space at this event, while space lasts.
Lunch & parking is included.