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Introducing new indices VSIavg100, VSIavg250, VSIavg500, VSIavg1000 and VSIavg5000

With the emergence of Cloud-based and Hyper Converged Infrastructures (HCI), the concept of maximum number of users is slowly getting obsolete. In tests of these auto-scaling infrastructures the VSImax score is often not reached. The index VSIbase remains valid as a description of the baseline performance (one user) of a system, but we need a series of new indicators to be able to better understand, communicate and compare the performance of systems while being used by larger number of users.

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Top 3 Challenges for NHS IT Departments

The National Health Service (NHS) is the name used for the 4 public health services in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The NHS provides a comprehensive range of health services, free for people ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. Together the 4 National Health Services employ around 1.6 million people with a combined budget of £136.7 billion.

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Meltdown and Spectre: Quick start guide for testing

Meltdown and Spectre

So you know the mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are going to have a measurable impact on the performance and efficiency of your system, not to mention user experience. The only way to get ahead of the problem is to start addressing it now. Some of the numbers we are hearing from our customers and partners in the industry are quite alarming, but your action should come from the numbers that you get through your own testing, as it will be different for just about every solution out there. You can find some information on our early Windows 7 and Windows 10 testing in our blogs.

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The impact of Meltdown and Spectre patches on Windows 7

Meltdown and Spectre

In my previous article I outlined how Windows 10 scalability is affected by the Meltdown and Spectre patches delivered by Microsoft. From our customers and the community, we got messages that Windows 7 (via Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon view) would be impacted more than Windows 10 so obviously that one was next to be put through its paces in our labs. 

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The impact of Meltdown and Spectre patches on Windows 10

Meltdown and Spectre

Over the last weeks a lot has already been written about the supposedly high impact that the patches of both Meltdown and Spectre will have on the performance of computer systems but even experts do not yet agree how big the impact will be on centralized desktop environments such as Microsoft RDS, Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop and of course VMware Horizon causing a lot of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

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Don’t let your user-experience be a “Spectre” of itself after “Meltdown”

Bust your ghosts not your user experience

The names Spectre and Meltdown invoke feelings of dread in even the most seasoned IT engineer. To those uninitiated, let me get you up-to-speed quickly. Spectre is a vulnerability that takes advantage of “Intel Privilege Escalation and Speculative Execution”, and exposes user memory of an application to another malicious application. This can expose data such as passwords. Meltdown is a vulnerability that takes advantage of “Branch prediction and Speculative Execution”, and exposes kernel memory. A compromised server or client OS running virtualized could gain access to kernel memory of the host exposing all guest data. Both vulnerabilities take advantage of a 20-year-old method of increasing processor performance.

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The value of correct sizing in the Cloud

The Cloud is rising and the growth predictions are insane. Often we aren’t even aware when we are making use of the Cloud. Think about Hotmail, Office 365, Citrix Cloud or even websites like Airbnb. Not owning the servers, like Airbnb does with houses, but also with their website back-end, isn’t the only advantage of the Cloud. Other advantages are obvious: scalability, flexibility, disaster recovery, etc. But those advantages come at a cost. With a pay-per-user model like Office 365, the costs are evident. But if you go to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model it can become confusing. Choosing the right amount of cloud resources is crucial to get the best value for money.

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