Using Stratusphere UX to Proactively Manage Spectre and Meltdown Efforts

Spectre and Meltdown, and the newly coined category of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities, have created new challenge for workspace administrators—namely, the challenge of being able to report on an enterprise scale, quantify performance impacts and mitigate negative effects. A colleague of mine wrote specifically about the performance challenges in “Meltdown and Spectre – Minimize impact and avoid performance problems.”

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What’s New in Stratusphere UX 6.0

I’m very excited to announce the general availability of Stratusphere UX 6.0. With this release, the solution has received an architectural upgrade, a dashboard builder, support Whats-Newfor new client devices, and application features to facilitate application strategy and reporting.

Under the Covers

Primary to this release is a new and highly-scalable architecture, which will support an increase of 400 percent in scale and increases of 40 percent in interface responsiveness and over 100 percent in reporting time. Additionally, Stratusphere UX 6.0 introduces a distributed Collector Appliance, for the aggregation and collection of Stratusphere Connector ID Key (an extremely lightweight in-guest agent) data and network data—related, Connector ID Keys now offer a feature to failover to another Stratusphere Collector in the event of an appliance or infrastructure failure.

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Baselining the User Experience and Defining a Measure of Success with Stratusphere UX

For over 25 years we’ve seen innovation and change in many areas of information technologies. For example, the shift from monolithic mainframe to distributed microcomputer-based computing. Networking has been completely reborn and wireless technologies have enabled pervasive access for all. Telephony is no longer a dedicated infrastructure and voice is simply another data type. All of that aside, there is a core segment of IT that has yet to ‘fully’ shift and emerge in a new and meaningful way. This segment is the user workspace.

IBM_KeyboardDon’t get me wrong, the desktop systems we have today are substantial more powerful and feature-rich than those IBM Model M ‘click’ keyboards we sat behind in the late 80s and 90s. And we certainly have newer approaches to deliver, manage and operationalize those systems—whether that be VDI, or some other host- or cloud-based workspace delivery approach. But for the most part, we still rally around the machine itself; especially as it relates to the user experience.

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Putting User Experience at the Center of the Workspace

In the past, I’ve covered topics such as Breaking Down Silos and Changing Your Point of View and Outside In versus Inside Out. In these and other posts, the theme has been about putting the user first. Regardless of where you might be in the user lifecycle: performing activities such as assessing, designing, migrating or methodologyvalidating a proof of concept or pilot; or operationally, looking at ongoing monitoring, diagnostics and troubleshooting; or perhaps you’re checking the health or optimizing your platform or infrastructure… In all cases the message and concept is simple: Put the user at the center of workspace delivery and management.

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Head in the Clouds? DaaS and User Experience with Stratusphere UX

The move to virtual desktops, whether full on-premises VDI or a managed desktop as a service (DaaS) in the cloud, can be wrought with hidden challenges. Some of these challenges are technical, and some political; however, the result is the same: disruption, not meeting user expectations and greater risk to user productivity. These challenges or head-in-the-cloudsvisibility gaps are amplified in larger environments as there are more fingers in the pie, often combined with distributed technical responsibilities.

Ultimately, the question you should be asking yourself is who owns accountability to the user experience. If delivered properly, the desktop or workspace should appear to be a consistent and familiar experience—regardless of whether it is delivered atop physical PCs, virtualized locally or delivered as a service in the cloud. But who gets the light shined on them when things go astray? Is it the desktop team? Perhaps the infrastructure folks who own the storage, servers and network are to blame? And in the case of DaaS, this demarcation becomes a lot more imprecise.

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What’s New in Stratusphere UX 5.8.6

What’s New in Stratusphere UX 5.8.6

On the heels of release 5.8.5, we are thrilled to share version 5.8.6 of Stratusphere UX. And while much of this release focuses on behind-the-scenes enhancements and routine virtual appliance patches, we have introduced a couple of key features I wanted to highlight. Whats-NewSpecifically, I wanted to share some detail on the newly organized and enhanced Advanced Mode Dashboards, as well as some goodness from our friends at NVIDIA.

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Stratusphere in the Cloud on Amazon Web Services EC2

I’m super excited to share that our Stratusphere appliance is now supported on EC2 in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This is exciting for a number of reasons, but overall it’s a great way to get started with Stratusphere for use cases where off-premise hosting is of value. We envision two lwl-aws-1clear uses—user assessment or onboarding, and validation of machine performance in cloud-based virtual workspaces.

Regardless of the delivery approach, it is critically important to know your user behaviors, application use, PC workload consumption and overall user experience. Stratusphere has been able to assist in these cases for on premise installations, and now can do the same for those who wish to deploy our Stratusphere Appliance in the cloud.

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What’s New in Stratusphere UX 5.8.5

We’ve recently released Stratusphere UX version 5.8.5, and I could not be more pleased. This release is packed full of goodness, and benefits our customers in a number of areas,
such as: significantly lowering the barrier to diagnostics, enhanced ICA/HDX Citrix Whats-Newinformation and metrics, official support for the Nutanix platform, and application and process-level GPU metrics. In this post I’ll highlight a few details of each, but look for future posts that will dive deeper into each of these features and functions.

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