THDP22 A Little Google, a Little VDI and stuff

help desk imageThis is going to be a little different type of show today.  I am still forced to compromise my workflow’s quality and content because of my surgery.  I think I sound tons better than I did on the last show.  I thought last week that I felt good enough to work.  Apparently I was wrong.  Man, listening to the recording of THDP21, aside from the audio challenges we had, I sounded like I had no energy and one foot in the grave.  Hopefully this week I at least sound like I got rid of the foot thing.

I don’t want to dwell on this but for those of you who are newbies to the show, I had total knee replacement surgery in June.  For the last 2-3 weeks I have been trying to get a show out every week but I have had mixed results with that.  I have been bothered by three things that have been the result of the surgery:  (1) my leg’s swelling isn’t going down fast enough, (2) I have restless leg on steroids when I go to bed and so (3) because of that (mostly) I can’t sleep at night.  Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday I was able to carve out a full night’s sleep each night for the first time since my surgery four weeks ago.  Boy did that feel good.

When asked at therapy how I felt Thursday am I had to admit though that I was awfully tired.  Oh well.  I can see that with every day my knee is becoming less of an issue.  No real pain meds anymore (of which I am personally really amazed about).  And this week I am going to try to ween myself off the cane.  I went to the kitchen, washed overnite dishes, started coffee, got my 2 slices of toast (with honey butter) and took it all into my office to read the paper (online).  All without my cane.  Without pain??  No.  But I have been using the cane 100% of the time since November of last year.  That’s a little over 8 months!!  It needs to go bye-bye.

Ok, about this week’s show:

What I did this week was take all past conversations with Ed and pulled out some interesting content.  Sometimes they are quite lengthy and sometimes they give us just a “taste” of the subject.  Today’s subjects are like that; short but sweet.  As time has gone by The Help Desk Podcast has been evolving into the type of podcast we are right now.  As we produce more episodes we can tell what subjects and styles you as an audience like because of the higher (or lower) ratings.

We will always try to give you the topical, timely information that you require.  Also as time has gone by, I will recover fully from surgery and the quality of our broadcast will improve.  And so will the timing of our shows.  We are set up to be a weekly show that lasts 30 minutes.  We have been all over the place on the length of shows.  No problem there, I would rather go longer than break up a long show into two parts.

It’s the frequency of shows we need to work on.  I will eventually get some sleep consistently at night and I will be able to stay awake while editing our shows.  Not as easy as it may sound when you are working on 2 hours of sleep in a bed.  So enough explanation.  Let’s get onto the juicy stuff:


Google was in the news this last week with a new product called “Drive for Work”.

Apparently Google is feeling pressure from Microsoft Office 365 toward their Apps suite.  So to meet that they have come out with something they call “Drive to Work”.  So, let’s see what each offers us here.

Google                                                                               Office 365

–      Essentially Apps for Business                          – a mature set of Apps popular with Business

–      Unlimited cloud storage                                    – 1 TB for Enterprise users

–      All Apps cloud based                                          – 365 offers desktop versions of Apps

–      No Enterprise social networking tool          – Has Yammer

–      $5/user, per month                                            – Enterprise E3 costs $20/user per month

Microsoft also offers Lync Online, and an intranet type of collaboration suite with Sharepoint Online.

Office 365 has also just recently been ported to the iPad.

They both offer email, calendaring, storage, IM, web-based office software and then audio/video communications for businesses, schools, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Here at IT Solutions-MI, LLC we use both fairly interchangeably.  We use Office 365 administratively mostly because we can get 5 licenses for the level we pay for.  We then use Google Drive to collaborate on podcasts because I find it easier to use.

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We also have a small section about VDI this week.  VDI is Virtual Display Interface.  If you are a school administrator or any sort of Enterprise administrator, a common problem is people all having different apps on their desktops.  Users are maybe downloading apps to allow them to shop, text or call non-work people.  This would be a productivity problem for any organization.  And it would be a nightmare for IT support, Quality control staff and/or regulatory auditors.

So, how to fix this?  How about if we set it up so every desktop only had the apps they need to complete their tasks?  What if these apps were actually “images of the needed desktop and that image came from your servers?  This is VDI.

Ed and I talk about VDI in general and also a little about Microsoft’s Azure.  “Everybody” offers their own version of VDI:  VMWare, even Amazon E3 with their AWS (Amazon Web Services).  Just a note that we will be talking about Amazon E3 and AWS in the near future.

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