- Created on Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:10
Q&A Session – HP Cloud Podcast Outline – “Konect for HP Cloud” Press Release
During this Q&A session, HP’s Stephen Spector, Social Media Strategist for HP Cloud, talks with Kane Micheletti, VP of Sales & Marketing for desktopsites, about their remote access software Konect Elite and their new HP Cloud partnered solution.
So Kane, tell me a bit about yourself.
Sure, I’ve been with desktopsites for 7 years now, starting back in January 2007 as Account Manager and taking on more roles and responsibilities as we grow as a company. That with several years of additional sales experience in sales, managing, and training really just keeps me customer focused. I personally have evolved from learning simple sales pitches to providing real value with real functionality in mind. It may sound corny but a long time ago I chose to only sell things that I truly believe in and that add value to people’s lives, always focus on making things simple and easy for the customer.
So desktopsites has been around for a few years now?
We’ve been around for a while now; we still consider ourselves a startup company as we refocused a few years back and decided to really dive into the Microsoft world, and offer SMBs a single remote access solution that is really powerful yet really simple to manage. We kind of took a step back and said, “Well look, it’s all about applications, and most SMB’s have applications that are written for Microsoft servers, so why don’t we focus strictly on that and let’s do it better than anyone else.” So we rewrote the product to synch better with native Microsoft technologies, and have focused on this task ever since: of extending large enterprise capabilities down into the SMB space in the Microsoft world.
Our old focus has always been on publishing and application access, we’ve been doing that for years, and all the things that go along with apps such as desktops, data, and devices, in traditional private clouds where you own the infrastructure. Our new focus, which is really about creating these partnered solutions to allow for new ways of getting those applications, with virtualization for private clouds, BYOD Device support, and the reason for this podcast, which we’re very excited about, our new Public Cloud solutions.
Can you tell us a bit about the Konect product?
We target SMBs, everyone knows SMB’s new the up and comer, with huge market potential there. The reason why is that SMB’s need solutions that allow support for new user workstyles same as large enterprise, and that’s a really big thing, just getting them a solution that can really get a good ROI for them.
When defining SMB’s, it’s not necessarily about how many users, but about the infrastructure behind the scenes. We always say 5 to 1000 users, however Konect can scale to much larger numbers depending on what their looking to do.
When we’re talking about where we fit against the competitors, there are tons great remote access products out there. Again, we’re talking about remote access from Microsoft servers for business critical resources such as desktops, multi-tenant server applications, data, that sort of thing. The Microsoft Free Tools are good and obviously free, but management headache so they’re not really free, which lowers ROI. Large Enterprise solutions are excellent, phenomenal products, they’re just meant for Medium-Large Enterprises.
What ends up happening is that no one really focuses strictly on SMBs, so they’re left to try to pull free tools up or large enterprise solutions down into their space, doesn’t really work out that well in the end.
So we’re left with this empty space, or The Gap as we refer to it, and that’s the spot where Konect fits right in. It fits just right, with the powerful capabilities that SMB’s need to enable these new mobile workstyles, and also simple to manage and maintain, which lowers overall cost and of course increases ROI.
Can you tell me about the value of the new “Konect for HP Cloud” solution?
Sure, there’re really 2 main perspectives: the Administrator’s perspective and the User’s perspective.
KONECT – ADMIN SIDE:
From the admin side we’re really looking to address a single pain point, the “SMB Management nightmare”. As we just talked about, most solutions are great, but not really meant for that space. That’s where we come in.
Konect provides a single pane dashboard from which admins can easily manage and secure user access to critical business resources.
Admins need only Microsoft Certification; there is a very small learning curve to this. I’m a talkative guy, so they put me in sales; I’ve done an install, that’s how simple it is. If I can do it, you can do it!
The reason why is that Konect leverages Microsoft technologies in server 2008 and newer to publish desktops, applications, and data out to users anywhere, anytime, on virtually any device, and auto-provisioning auto-installs the required Roles & Features. It’s a very simple setup, very intuitive and dynamic management dashboard. We even have an Action Pane that makes very powerful operations available with a click of a button. It’s very easy to set up publishing to virtually any device, complete with WAN optimization with RemoteFX support for the ultimate user experience.
KONECT – USER SIDE:
The pain point we’re addressing from the user side is “Look, I just want my stuff”. We give them a nice intuitive delivery, again with a very small learning curve. Resources look and feel as if they’re running locally, but they are actually running on the server. All the users have to Log into Konect (the little “K” icon) with Active Directory credentials, and their published resources pop up on the desktop that look and feel like they’re running locally, but are actually running on the server. We also publish a K-Drive for data; if users open the “My Computer” folder, they’ll see (C:), (D:), and also a (K:) will pop up with the files and folders that they’ve been allowed. As far as logging in with mobile devices, it’s as simple as going to the appstore, downloading the app, and logging in same way. Again, this really intuitive interaction is boosted by RemoteFX support for an optimized user experience, keeping them happy and productive.
KONECT FOR HP CLOUD:
Konect for HP Cloud solutions offer the same great remote access capabilities as in Konect traditional private clouds, but with all the benefits of the HP Cloud, such as disaster recovery options, immediate scalability, very quick setup (within 7-10 minutes), and of course the significant cost savings. You’re really running the same traditional private cloud you always have, just now with the backend in the cloud, getting all the great benefits that come from that.
As a user, I assume I can use this on my desktop, but are there other devices or locations I can use as well?
Yeah really what we’re looking to do here is get that same single experience across the devices. We actually went down the HTML5 road for a while, there’re some great products out there. Because we leverage Microsoft technologies, we were very happy to learn about their new RDC client for Mac, iPad, Android, etc. It’s a phenomenal connection that our customers are very happy with, great results there.
With all these devices, how is Konect licensed?
We have a concurrent, annual subscription model. We used to actually have a purchased product, we switched to an annual subscription, SMB’s were a little happier about having a smaller upfront free and it’s something they can easily budget. And then it’s just the RDS CAL’s and that’s it. All the OS license fees and all that are handled by HP when users sign on to the HP Cloud. All of that’s already taken care of and that’s what helps give the solution a very low entry point. Everything’s pretty much taken care of, you just get going and you’re up and running very quickly.
There’re no other fees to Konect; no server fees, no device fees, from our end it’s just the Konect Access Licenses and RDS CAL’s, that’s all you need.
Upgrades are also free for the year with your subscription. It’s a very simple process which takes about 10-15 seconds. We just got a new Upgrade Wizard that takes care of that, it’s amazing!
Who can use the “Konect for HP Cloud” solution?
There are really 3 main areas: 1) Expanding Businesses with additional locations, 2) Specific User Workstyles, and 3) Mobile Workforces.
- Main Office / Branches
- In the Field / Remote locations
Varying User Workstyles
- Office workers
- Task or Shift workers
- Field / Roaming Workers
- Need secure fast optimized remote access from various BYOD devices
- Driven by customer need
- Mac devices
- Tablets/mobile phones
Bonus: Legacy Environments
- Usually application driven, also device driven
- Easy setup to support in cloud
What does "BYOD Devices" mean?
This simply means my wife bought me a tablet for Christmas and I like it and I was wondering if I could get my work stuff on it. As far as work resources being accessed from these devices, admins just need to keep it separate, and keep it secure. Konect secures access from virtually any device with a secure client for Windows desktops called the Konect Client, and a secure feed called Konect Mobile which connects to the various RDC clients for Mac, iOS, Android, and other tablets and mobile devices. It’s as easy as downloading an app from the appstore. The User Interaction Experience is the same across the devices, and of course boosted LAN/WAN access keeps users happy and productive.
How much does Konect cost?
Konect averages under $90/user/year (that’s under $8/month!) with a few different discounts currently available.
- Quantity Discounts (Purchase a larger user pack and receive an additional discount)
- Duration Discounts (Pre-purchase a year or two for the annual subscription and receive an additional discount)
- NPO Discount (Non-Profit Organizations receive an additional discount upon verification of NPO status)
- Education Discount (Educational Organizations receive an additional discount upon verification of Education status)
Where do I go for Support and how does it work?
We have some excellent Free Online Help Guides available on our website, and we also have Free Email Support currently being offered as well.
Now, sometimes you just want to talk to someone, and we very much understand that, so if you’d like, simply contact dts Support, we have an excellent, friendly team that is very smart and very effective at what they do.
We have what’s called a “Support Plus” subscription available, which, when purchased for a nominal annual fee, gives users unlimited support incidences for the year. Konect is a kind of “set it and forget it” type product, so some people won’t want it, but for others, for only a couple bucks a month per user, the worry-free option is completely worth it.
What’s next for dts?
We are continually expanding on our vision, developing new product features to allow for more complex infrastructures that can empower SMBs with greater and greater capabilities, and also continuing development of partnered solutions to enable ease of deployment for various solutions.
So put it all together for me, what does it all mean?
“Konect for HP Cloud” is a simple solution to set up and maintain, which keep admins happy and effective. It also gives SMB’s very powerful remote access capabilities to enable new workstyles, which keeps users happy and productive. The new solution providing an HP Cloud backend gives very flexible options for scalability and of course cost savings and ultimately a significantly boosted ROI.
How do I get started deploying “Konect for HP Cloud” solutions?
We have a VM Image available on HP Cloud v13.5 Console under Public Images, called “desktopsites Konect Elite v8.6.2”. The image already has Konect installed, and has Notepad and Word already published. We also have a “10 Step Deployment Guide” that admins can follow to get up and running in 7-10 minutes. Admins just have a few settings changes to make, then can access those resources from an iPad halfway around the world!
To learn more, explore our website, we have many different resources available such as videos, short pdfs and full white papers. You can also contact dts directly to get started.
- Created on Monday, 03 February 2014 18:32
Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V supported in Konect Elite v8.6.2 Release
desktopsites, Inc., a leading developer of innovative and cost effective application and virtual desktop delivery solutions for small and mid-size businesses (‘SMBs’), announced today that its flagship patented product, Konect Elite v8.6.2, provides full support for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V. The era of mobility and BYOD is enabling small and mid-size businesses to move from PC-centric IT to data-centric and even cloud-centric IT, where business data is centrally stored, managed, and secured. In this era, small and mid-size businesses need an agile, scalable, and cost effective desktop virtualization infrastructure, whether on-premises or off-site, to help them achieve this transformation with measurable ROI.
“Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V provides businesses and service providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware platform for cloud-optimized infrastructure. We are pleased that desktopsites is providing a desktop virtualization solution that builds on this functionality for customers in small and mid-size organizations.”
- Chris Van Wesep, Group Product Marketing Manager, Server and Tools, Microsoft
Now available via Konect Elite v8.6.2, the features supported include:
- Created on Monday, 27 January 2014 20:41
Solve the BYOD Puzzle; Secure a Mobile Workforce with Konect Mobile™
desktopsites, Inc. is pleased to announce the beta release of Konect Mobile™, which leverages Microsoft’s RDC Client to allow secure access to Konect Resources from Mac OS, iOS, Android, and many other devices/tablets. Secure LAN/WAN capabilities allow users to work seamlessly from anywhere, such as the office, at a branch location, in the field, from home, or on the road.
“With the rapid rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, the face of the desktop is drastically changing, and a new heterogeneous environment has sprung up with users wanting to work from various devices and locations,” says Laura Armstrong, VP for desktopsites. “Businesses now need to be able to deliver critical business applications and desktops to workers who could be using any device, anytime, anywhere.”
While the Konect Client™ supports Windows devices (XP+) with the same seamless experience it always has, Konect Mobile™ now offers the same fast, secure access to Konect Resources from various BYOD devices and tablets as well. With this expanded device support, small and mid-size businesses can gladly welcome the Mobile Workforce and BYOD Movements by providing an excellent user experience regardless of which device users “Konect” from.
- Mac OS (10.6.8+)
- iOS (6.0+)
- Android (2.2+)
- Windows (x86/x64/ARM)
- Created on Thursday, 24 October 2013 18:36
Today, we’re discussing the very hot topic of “VDI, can it eliminate RDSH?” which has been on everyone’s mind as VMWare, Microsoft, and Citrix battle it out in the marketing world.
Brian Madden: http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2013/08/16/if-you-re-using-non-persistent-i-e-quot-shared-quot-vdi-today-why-are-you-not-using-rdsh-did-vmware-snowball-you-or-do-you-have-a-legit-reason.aspx
This is desktopsites’ view:
Dealing with SMB customers over the years, we’ve found they have developed a “Mixed” requirement, but it’s not as 50/50 as one might think.
While almost all 100% of SMB organizations are now looking at VDI as a potential solution, it’s only a small percentage of users at each organization that really need it (persistent). The rest, as Brian is saying here, can do with the much cheaper RDSH alternatives.
Some users need VDI, and some RDSH. Well, to be more accurate, most can use RDSH, but some really do need persistent VDI, now that it’s possible. Heck, some even want non-persistent VDI (application / workstyle requirements).
The idea Brian is getting at is that most organizations using VDI might have a 100/0 or even 50/50 split with RDSH, when it could be more like a 30/70 or 20/80 VDI-to-RDSH ratio. This becomes especially prevalent in the SMB space.
Basically, just don’t be too hasty to assign a VDI solution to customers without checking first if an RDSH solution will suffice.
In all organizations, SMBs especially, the Cost-to-Functionality ratio (or “Value”) is critical to determining a solution’s true efficacy. If they can get the same thing achieved for a third of the cost, why wouldn’t they?
Sometimes the solutions and marketing terms can get mixed up, which is why it all comes down to what the customer needs and wants. They have work that needs to be completed, and they need technology to help them get that work done. They don’t care what solution they use, but they do care how it behaves as a solution. Cost included.
Correctly assigning these various solutions to users will ultimately keep costs down, adding significant value to them as “accepted solutions”, and subsequently the vendors and everyone along the service channels as well.
Once we’ve correctly assigned the specific solutions to the various users, we also need to look at assigning the correct solution provider. Different solutions are aimed at different market segments. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, or solution provider.
After all, the bottom line is still that all organizations need a solution that allows “Mixed” environments (VDI + RDSH), and they (SMBs especially) need it to be as affordable as possible.
Now, we at desktopsites don’t bother pretending to be a Large Enterprise solution; that’s a different market for different solutions.
Where we do fit is the SMB space (5-500 users); our cloud management solution “Konect Elite” has been designed for SMBs since day one.
Both Cost and Functionality are especially sensitive areas to SMBs, who have the same needs as Large Enterprise, but not necessarily the same budgets. That being said, the “same needs” they have are more around general workstyles, and less about the details. In other words, they need the basics, not all the fancy stuff that they’ll never use.
Konect Elite very nicely hits that sweet spot between functionality and overkill for the SMB space.
Konect was designed and priced for SMBs specifically to give them VDI + RDSH capabilities that allow them to compete with Large Enterprise on a workstyle level.
Leveraging Hyper-V and RDS, Konect Elite adds simple yet amazing functionality to Windows Server 2008R2 and newer to offer SMBs very effective VDI + RDSH solutions through one single dashboard.
Click here to learn more about Konect Elite, and how it can help SMBs realize a favorable relationship between VDI and RDSH workstyles, without breaking the bank just trying to get there.
- Created on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 20:16
Brian Madden E-Guide – The State of Desktop Virtualization in 2013
A great read, this E-Guide breaks down the numbers of Desktop Virtualization to give a good representation of “Who’s doing what?” when it comes to both VDI and RDSH.
This blog intends to show how the Konect Elite™ solution helps SMBs gain the most out of the virtualization world.
Desktop Virtualization + Cloud Computing = New Workstyles + Happy Customers
“The main takeaway from this survey is that organizations are starting to use desktop virtualization—not just VDI, but all versions of desktop virtualization—in big ways.” – Page 5
Companies of all sizes are looking to new desktop virtualization solutions to allow new cloud computing workstyles for their users. In the dts/Konect world, Desktop Virtualization has 3 main components, which we define as: 1) Server VM’s, 2) Client VM’s, and 3) RDSH. Desktop Virtualization has its own set of benefits, such as simpler management, lower hardware/operational costs, maximized hardware utilization, testing, development, etc., and even the smallest of businesses can gain from these benefits. More on Konect Virtualization…
Even as great as the various virtualization solutions have become, simply virtualizing resources is not enough; to complete the full picture, you must still push these and other resources out to users on whatever device they have. Enter the “Cloud Computing” side (not to be confused with Public Cloud Computing, “Cloud Computing” refers to all types of cloud infrastructures). “Cloud Computing” is simply a rough marketing term to describe the practice of publishing both physical and virtual resources out to users, allowing businesses to centralize these resources and gain all the benefits of doing so, such as workforce efficiency, lowered costs, and again, simpler management. More on Konect Cloud Computing…
In other words, it’s “Cloud Computing” that gives “Desktop Virtualization” a good portion of its practicality, and it’s the marriage of both sides that really allows companies to fully utilize the various hypervisors. (E.g. What good is VDI creation and management if it’s still too difficult and/or costly to effectively publish out these resources to users?)
It’s the advancement of products and solutions on both these two levels that allow business to fully utilize new mobile workstyles: both the desktop virtualization solution, and the subsequent cloud delivery and management solution. While there are a few solutions that combine the two, they mostly have Large Enterprise in mind and rarely make sense for the SMB space.
Konect Elite is the only single pane manager to leverage only Microsoft-specific technologies (HyperV, RDS) to effectively mix desktop virtualization and cloud computing. Konect Elite gains certain advantages by remaining Microsoft-specific, such as automatic inherent upgrades, low cost of backbone infrastructure, and virtually 99.95% uptime (as there’s no “translation layer” to deal with).
Konect Elite gives SMBs a viable solution to enable a truly mobile workforce and gain the many benefits of implementing a Private Cloud infrastructure. Admins can easily manage the virtualization and cloud computing components, and users can easily access their business resources from wherever they are, keeping them both happy and productive.
New solutions that advance and extend native Microsoft technologies will help to grow and solidify Hyper-V as a major player in the hypervisor market.
“What’s somewhat surprising though is that Citrix XenServer is in second place with 28% versus Hyper-V’s 21%, showing that when it comes to desktops, many customers still are fine with the bundled product that comes with Citrix XenDesktop.” – Page 2
Konect Elite allows SMB’s to fully utilize Hyper-V by very nicely marrying the two solutions together: Desktop Virtualization and Cloud Computing. Konect single pane manager, the KMC, leverages Hyper-V technology to first create and manage VM’s, then in the same dashboard, leverages RDS to publish and manage these and other resources (such as desktops, apps, files, and the users connecting to them).
At the same time, Konect was built specifically on Microsoft technology, and so it all works together without complication. Konect also immediately and automatically gains every single upgrade that comes out with both Hyper-V and RDS.
Add it all up, and this unique combination provides SMB’s with a simple, effective, low-cost solution to easily achieve all their new desktop virtualization and cloud computing dreams, by adding simplicity and extended functionality to both Hyper-V and RDS, thereby allowing SMB’s to fully utilize the native Microsoft technologies.
This means with Konect Elite, Hyper-V is now a complete solution in the SMB space, and growth in those markets will help to grow and solidify it as a major player in the hypervisor market.
But Konect doesn’t stop there.
Konect also can be used as the cloud delivery and management layer in any VMWare hypervisor + Microsoft server environment, again giving SMB’s a simple, effective tool to take VMWare’s amazing desktop virtualization technologies and extend those resulting resources down to the user. In any VMWare setup, Konect saves SMB’s a lot of time, money and headache, when compared to similar large enterprise cloud delivery/management solutions.
And Konect doesn’t stop there, either.
SMB’s still have BYOD needs, just the same as large enterprises. That’s why we’re creating new clients (Konect Zero – HTML5 Gateway; Konect App – Appstore Apps) to allow virtually any and all devices to “Konect”. Currently, users can “Konect” via the native Konect Client, which leverages RemoteFX and other technologies to give users a clean experience when connecting remotely to their business resources. The Konect Client currently supports all Microsoft OS’s XP and newer, and with the completion of the new Konect Zero and Konect App clients, Konect will soon support virtually all devices, including tablets and mobile devices.
And Konect doesn’t even stop there.
Konect is scalable, and can grow with your business. The Konect solution is targeted at any business in any vertical that has 5-500 users, and will scale with you, not against you. Konect provides a single, seamless experience on both the management side and the user side. Right now, Konect can support both physical or cloud infrastructures, and soon, new Konect technologies will allow Mixed Private Clouds as well.
Konect Classic™ is a dts Reference Architecture for Traditional Private Clouds, to be used when a business has the physical hardware on-site.
Konect Cloud™ is a dts Reference Architecture for Publicly Hosted Private Clouds, to be used when a business is “renting/leasing” the hardware infrastructure from any 3rd party cloud hosting company.
Very soon, Konect Ultimate™ will be ready, which is a dts Reference Architecture that will allow you to easily mix Private and Public Cloud Infrastructures, gaining all the benefits of mixed infrastructure scenario, such as off-loading heavy workloads, cloud backup, disaster recovery, inherent co-location, lower upfront infrastructure costs, and many others.
Coming out mid-2014, Konect Platinum™ will be available, which is a dts Reference Architecture that will allow you to easily mix Private and Public Cloud Resources AND Infrastructures, giving SMB’s full cloud capabilities, no matter what the resources are, where the resources are located, or where or what device the users are connecting from.
Right now, SMB’s can easily get into the desktop virtualization and cloud computing world using Konect Elite as the creation, delivery, and management layer in any Private Cloud scenario, enabling them to fully utilize new Microsoft technologies to easily deliver VDI, RDSH, and other resources to their users.
To learn more about Konect Elite SMB desktop virtualization and cloud management solutions, visit our website (www.desktopsites.com) or contact us directly to speak with a live agent who can answer any questions you may have.
Hi! My name is Kane Micheletti – VP of Sales & Marketing at desktopsites, Inc. This blog seeks to offer a fresh and intelligent perspective on the rapidly changing IT world, and to give insight to the many challenges we face from day to day. This is an open discussion, so please don’t hesitate to comment on the blog posts and share them in your social media sites!
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