none
Setting up a private cloud

    Question

  • Hi All,

       We might be facing a major shift in our business IT model and I am looking at ways to accommodate this shift. I would love to create a private cloud, but I am unsure of infrastructure required and cost involved.

       I would like to create a network where users at our stores can create documents and save them to a server at group office, and is some cases share the documents. As well as connect to our email server via web interface. Our ERP system is already cloud based so I am only concerned about Office going on to the cloud, something like Office 365, but just for our company. If there is also some way to manage network resources such as shared printers that would be great.

       I have gone through the private cloud section of the MS site but I just cannot seem to get a clear answer, probably just me.

       So I would really appreciate it if someone here could tell me, simply, yes you can do what you would like to do and you will need to run the following software to achieve it. I understand that it is not always that simple, but I would just like to be pushed in the right direction.

    Thank you in advance,

    Rhys


    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 8:23 AM

Answers

  • Hi There, we use Sharepoint 2007 and Exchange 2007 running OWA to achieve what it sounds like you wish to do! We have 167 satelite organisations whom login to our Sharepoint environment from a public url, they then authenticate using ISA server and have access to their area's within the Sharepoint Environment. This allows for sharing calendars, documents announcements etc.

    Email is handled through OWA and\or OUtlookAnywhere, and so far (2 years in the running now) all is good. It was a major technical shift in direction and we did even look at Thin Client solutiosn such as RM. But in the end, Sharepoint, Exchange and ISA server did us well and as support people we're thrilled.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Barry

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:17 PM
  • Yes 100%! All our users have a 'MySite' which has a private documents folder as well as a shared one. It's simplicity itself. I swear I don't work for Microsoft ;o) But it's a great environment to work in and all the Office suite is geared up to work with Sharepoint.

    Good luck with this and there are hundreds of resources to use, don't reinvent the wheel, we've all been there and can help you avoid the mistakes that we made.

    Barry

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:20 PM
  • I am currently operating my infrastructure in a way that might be relevant to this discussion.  I have zero infrastructure onsite.  All of our workstations access our infrastructure through the internet.

    Clarification on terminology:

    "Private Cloud" is not the same as "Web Accessible".  The "cloud" term refers to the manner in which hardware is provisioned.  A cloud doesn't need to have a web interface.

    "The cloud" generally means a hosting provider that provides you with server resources and charges for the resources used instead of the hardware that was dedicated to you.  The cloud is essentially a public utilities model for use of a pool of computing resources.

    Assumptions:

    When you say Private Cloud, It sounds like you are saying you want items to simply be private and secure.  My responses will be based on that assumption.

    The comments in this post lead me to believe that what you really want is to provide your stores with a web interface to your infrastructure.  One might desire this over actually deploying branch office servers to each store.  Exchange OWA is built for web access and in 2010 its a pretty good interface.  Sharepoint Server is built for this and is great for setting up different security zones so that stores can only access their data while protecting the internal company sharepoint sites.  Microsoft BPOS might interest you.

    Considerations for deploying web-apps:

    Data Security:  When data is accessible through the web, there are some new security issues to deal with.  It is potentially easier to move a copy of that data to a location that is external to the company infrastructure.  I.E.:  Files from sharepoint can be saved to a USB stick.  To overcome this issue you would have to tightly control the IP addresses that can access the data, and also control the endpoints so that this data can not be saved outside of the endpoint.  Consider packages that block USB drives and such.  Consider that if the user needs to view a document from sharepoint, instead of a list, then that document will have to be loaded in to an application that is resident on the client-side.  Once the document is open in that client-side application, it's far easier to move it from that computer to an external source.  Perhaps they 'view' sensitive company IP on that computer and then steal the hard drive, for later copying as a secondary disk.  You'll have to physically secure the hardware to overcome that.  Also consider other web security issues such as browser session hijacking.  Wireless access at the stores could potentially be a backdoor around your IP address restrictions.

    Point of Failure:  If your exchange server goes down, Outlook can function in offline mode if setup to accommodate such:  users can still access their contacts and read old messages.  If OWA goes down (and it does), everything is down.  If OWA is exposed to the internet, you have increased your risk footprint.  A DDOS on the OWA server could grind business to a halt.  Typical web security measures could prevent this.  Consider having a few geographically dispersed Exchange Client Access servers to overcome.  Or host exchange in 'the cloud' with someone like Microsoft or Rackspace.  This is where 'the cloud' is very beneficial.  Let the host worry about attacks and uptime.

    Reliability of public internet:  While the internet is mostly stable, and it 'seems' like a good potential backbone for your infrastructure, just wait until you experience your first outage.  When something is wrong with your local internet and leaves your entire infrastructure inaccessible, YOU are to blame.  If someone on the backbone loses a hop and your route suddenly gains 300 milliseconds as it pipes through another country..."the exchange server is down."  If a document on sharepoint normally pops up in a few seconds but today it takes a minute because of a traffic storm..."sharepoint is slow today".  This is one aspect that has been difficult from my point of view.  If everything is onsite and in my hands, I can just go fix it.  If it traverses the public internet, I get to tap dance for everyone while explaining how my idea to work over the internet has benefits that far outweigh everyone sitting around for a few minutes a month.  In my case the business can afford for the users to wait and I have worked with management enough that they now advocate the benefits over the occasional inconveniences.  But I wouldn't rely on the public internet for a high-transaction environment.  With that said:  A private line from the store to the office would really help with this and security.  (Still not 100% reliable, but far superior to public)

    Applications:  Web apps replace only a few desktop applications.  You'll still have to install apps locally and ensure they integrate with the web apps.  Do you have a favorite outlook plugin?  Does your POS or CRM integrate through Outlook to Exchange using an add-on?  Perhaps you have VOIP phones and want they have a client-side application that access the Exchange GAL?  You'll have to find an alternative manner for integrating apps with your backend.  

    Flexibility:  If you allow someone else to host your Exchange/Sharepoint environment, you potentially lose the flexibility to deploy custom solutions.  Even something as simple as journaling a copy of all emails to an archive service become a potential roadblock.  Consider the differences between hosting in a shared environment, verses dedicated, verses a hosted server that you fully manage.

    An alternative solution, remote desktops:

    Perhaps if we transmute the goal of "web accessible" to "deploy very little infrastructure to the endpoints" then you can consider other ideas.  If the endpoints have Windows 7 then you can deploy Windows 2008 R2's new Remote Desktop Services infrastructure.  They provide a web portal page that requires authentication and can then present users with a list of applications.  The applications run in a seamless RDP window.  The users think they are logging in to a web page and clicking on a app.  In reality you're giving them an easy interface for accessing your infrastructure through RDP.  Couple the RDP environment with hyper-v and Application Virtualization and you have an environment where you can install once and run from anywhere.  I use double quotes heavily however because it was my experience RDS, Hyper-V, and App-V all need a few more years of growth before they are reliable enough for me to use them for production.  They're good, and they work...but they seem to be at the Windows 2000 Server level of progress.

    The above solution can also be accomplished with Citrix products.  The Microsoft solution will be ideal once it matures.  Until then, VMWare and Citrix are more reliable as far as uptime is concerned.  I'll switch from Xenapp once RDS is up to speed.

    You could also take the above remote-desktop idea and move all of the supporting infrastructure out to a cloud provider like Amazon EC2 or Rackspace's Cloudservers.  Eliminate most local technology infrastructure and have everyone access their remote desktop through the cloud.  This doesn't eliminate the public internet problem, nor does it reduce budget very much; but it does eliminate many common I.T. tasks.  No more deploying applications to workstations.  Reduce staff that were employed simply to ensure the backend was operational.  Of course this also presents a host of challenges.  EC2 and Rackspace do experience outages and when this occurs, your users can't even work on a Word document.  But then again you have far less to think about with regards to physical hosting and security.  Never again scrape the skin off your hands as you upgrade ram or rack a new server.  Staff don't have to drive in to the office at 1am in response to an emergency (no servers in the office to drive to).  Reduced staffing saves the company on medical, pto, etc.  But then if someone at the hosting facility does something stupid, you can't really update procedures or policies or implement training to help prevent that; you just hope that they do.  Also once you are fully operational, that provider has enormous leverage over you.  They can increase costs and there's little that you can do about it if you don't have a water-proof agreement.

    For about 6 months now I've been running in a remotely hosted, remote desktop environment.  I would say that this is definitely the future but there is still some blood on the edge.  My 3-year plan has me finding a cloud provider to replace all hardware, replacing local workstations with terminals, private lines to the provider, running a hyper-v/app-v portal.  I focus on the OS and apps and let the provider worry about the resources.  The cloud providers are clearly headed in this direction but they have a few years to shake things out.  EC2 instances are a pain.  Rackspace Cloud Servers are still funky to work with.  I want a provider to give me what I see with VMWare.  A GUI tool for spinning up servers and allocating and reporting on resources.  Once the providers improve their front-ends, and -if- I can ensure my connection to them is 100% solid (likely with dedicated lines), then I'll never look at another server room again.

    Food for thought...

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 6:15 PM
  • Hi,

    I think you may need to look at possibly a Citrix environment too. This will complement any Microsoft Products and WILL achieve all of your objectives. Obviously I am sure there are Microsoft Products to assist in the 'Thin Client' area, but I must say with my time with the NHS in England Citrix is tried and tested, certainly keeps costs down, upgrade only one area (server based) and gives access to all the types of documents you need (asuming you allow it). Its all permissions based.

    I would start to investigate Citrix, Citrix NFuse etc. Also the cost of your terminals is (potentially a one off), the servers themselves are the only real hardware that may need upgrading along with the software (please take into accounts its memory\cpu requirements) are the server memory, extra CPU's.

    My main advice now is to contact a potential(s) supplier and ask for a Demo of a thin-client set-up. After reading what you've said I think this really is the way forward for you. Microsoft do the Office and OS products exceptionally well, and Citrix can provide the thin-client element you need to join the two. As for client Hardware, well Sumo do some great kit thats worked for the NHS for at least 10 years now. But of course there are hundreds others waiting for your money. If you want to discuss further then maybe you can contact direct.

    Barry

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:40 PM
  • Attachments in OWA have traditionally been handled by the client.  OWA is just a web page; no viewers.  But in the past few months Microsoft has really been pushing their Office Web Apps.  While I have not yet read of an integration between OWA and their Web Apps, I would expect that such a feature is coming very soon.  They already have their web office apps integrating with Sharepoint (Excel Services) and that clearly seems to be their direction with all of their products.  I'd bet that it's already working with their BPOS product.  So if your timeframe can support it I'd bet you could get that working.  But this is all brand new stuff.  If you're trying to implement it right now, as I have, then expect for it to be a rough experience.

    Outside of Microsoft land there are other apps that can approach your requirements.  Google apps hooks together mail, apps, docs, and even many 'cloud' providers integrate their apps with google:  Such as the full Salesforce.com integration.  I personally tested Google apps and found that they did not come close to approaching the value that we get from Microsoft stuff...but perhaps someone else...

    From what I've read so far I'm agreement with BWilks:  If I had thin terminals right now, I would be looking at setting up a Citrix environment for the next 3 years, and then migrate to fully hosted web solutions after that.  I'd be very surprised to find a thin terminal that didn't support a citrix client.  If you didn't want to mess with Citrix servers then you could outsource that part (I did).  Citrix on thin clients will help you provide a solid and reliable solution to your endpoints while you play around with the 'cloud' stuff and wait for it to mature to satisfy needs such as opening Attachments in OWA without software installed on the client.

     

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 7:21 PM

All replies

  • Hi There, we use Sharepoint 2007 and Exchange 2007 running OWA to achieve what it sounds like you wish to do! We have 167 satelite organisations whom login to our Sharepoint environment from a public url, they then authenticate using ISA server and have access to their area's within the Sharepoint Environment. This allows for sharing calendars, documents announcements etc.

    Email is handled through OWA and\or OUtlookAnywhere, and so far (2 years in the running now) all is good. It was a major technical shift in direction and we did even look at Thin Client solutiosn such as RM. But in the end, Sharepoint, Exchange and ISA server did us well and as support people we're thrilled.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Barry

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:17 PM
  • Barry that sounds spot on, just further to my question, can users save documents that only they have access to, basicallyy can I create them a home drive?

    Thanx


    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:01 PM
  • Yes 100%! All our users have a 'MySite' which has a private documents folder as well as a shared one. It's simplicity itself. I swear I don't work for Microsoft ;o) But it's a great environment to work in and all the Office suite is geared up to work with Sharepoint.

    Good luck with this and there are hundreds of resources to use, don't reinvent the wheel, we've all been there and can help you avoid the mistakes that we made.

    Barry

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:20 PM
  • Sounding good, I meant to ask on my previouse post but for got, how are you managing the resourse on your network, like printers?

    Cheers


    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:37 PM
  • We use a a 2008 Print server(s) with scripting at individual the sites. It's not my area of expertise (scripting) but am assured by my 'hard core' techie that its actually all straight forward. I would suggest checking the 2008 server forums for guidance on setting up a dedicated print server (if hardware \ money allows). We use bascially IP printing arcoss the WAN and some local printers too (still networked though).
    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 1:47 PM
  • I am currently operating my infrastructure in a way that might be relevant to this discussion.  I have zero infrastructure onsite.  All of our workstations access our infrastructure through the internet.

    Clarification on terminology:

    "Private Cloud" is not the same as "Web Accessible".  The "cloud" term refers to the manner in which hardware is provisioned.  A cloud doesn't need to have a web interface.

    "The cloud" generally means a hosting provider that provides you with server resources and charges for the resources used instead of the hardware that was dedicated to you.  The cloud is essentially a public utilities model for use of a pool of computing resources.

    Assumptions:

    When you say Private Cloud, It sounds like you are saying you want items to simply be private and secure.  My responses will be based on that assumption.

    The comments in this post lead me to believe that what you really want is to provide your stores with a web interface to your infrastructure.  One might desire this over actually deploying branch office servers to each store.  Exchange OWA is built for web access and in 2010 its a pretty good interface.  Sharepoint Server is built for this and is great for setting up different security zones so that stores can only access their data while protecting the internal company sharepoint sites.  Microsoft BPOS might interest you.

    Considerations for deploying web-apps:

    Data Security:  When data is accessible through the web, there are some new security issues to deal with.  It is potentially easier to move a copy of that data to a location that is external to the company infrastructure.  I.E.:  Files from sharepoint can be saved to a USB stick.  To overcome this issue you would have to tightly control the IP addresses that can access the data, and also control the endpoints so that this data can not be saved outside of the endpoint.  Consider packages that block USB drives and such.  Consider that if the user needs to view a document from sharepoint, instead of a list, then that document will have to be loaded in to an application that is resident on the client-side.  Once the document is open in that client-side application, it's far easier to move it from that computer to an external source.  Perhaps they 'view' sensitive company IP on that computer and then steal the hard drive, for later copying as a secondary disk.  You'll have to physically secure the hardware to overcome that.  Also consider other web security issues such as browser session hijacking.  Wireless access at the stores could potentially be a backdoor around your IP address restrictions.

    Point of Failure:  If your exchange server goes down, Outlook can function in offline mode if setup to accommodate such:  users can still access their contacts and read old messages.  If OWA goes down (and it does), everything is down.  If OWA is exposed to the internet, you have increased your risk footprint.  A DDOS on the OWA server could grind business to a halt.  Typical web security measures could prevent this.  Consider having a few geographically dispersed Exchange Client Access servers to overcome.  Or host exchange in 'the cloud' with someone like Microsoft or Rackspace.  This is where 'the cloud' is very beneficial.  Let the host worry about attacks and uptime.

    Reliability of public internet:  While the internet is mostly stable, and it 'seems' like a good potential backbone for your infrastructure, just wait until you experience your first outage.  When something is wrong with your local internet and leaves your entire infrastructure inaccessible, YOU are to blame.  If someone on the backbone loses a hop and your route suddenly gains 300 milliseconds as it pipes through another country..."the exchange server is down."  If a document on sharepoint normally pops up in a few seconds but today it takes a minute because of a traffic storm..."sharepoint is slow today".  This is one aspect that has been difficult from my point of view.  If everything is onsite and in my hands, I can just go fix it.  If it traverses the public internet, I get to tap dance for everyone while explaining how my idea to work over the internet has benefits that far outweigh everyone sitting around for a few minutes a month.  In my case the business can afford for the users to wait and I have worked with management enough that they now advocate the benefits over the occasional inconveniences.  But I wouldn't rely on the public internet for a high-transaction environment.  With that said:  A private line from the store to the office would really help with this and security.  (Still not 100% reliable, but far superior to public)

    Applications:  Web apps replace only a few desktop applications.  You'll still have to install apps locally and ensure they integrate with the web apps.  Do you have a favorite outlook plugin?  Does your POS or CRM integrate through Outlook to Exchange using an add-on?  Perhaps you have VOIP phones and want they have a client-side application that access the Exchange GAL?  You'll have to find an alternative manner for integrating apps with your backend.  

    Flexibility:  If you allow someone else to host your Exchange/Sharepoint environment, you potentially lose the flexibility to deploy custom solutions.  Even something as simple as journaling a copy of all emails to an archive service become a potential roadblock.  Consider the differences between hosting in a shared environment, verses dedicated, verses a hosted server that you fully manage.

    An alternative solution, remote desktops:

    Perhaps if we transmute the goal of "web accessible" to "deploy very little infrastructure to the endpoints" then you can consider other ideas.  If the endpoints have Windows 7 then you can deploy Windows 2008 R2's new Remote Desktop Services infrastructure.  They provide a web portal page that requires authentication and can then present users with a list of applications.  The applications run in a seamless RDP window.  The users think they are logging in to a web page and clicking on a app.  In reality you're giving them an easy interface for accessing your infrastructure through RDP.  Couple the RDP environment with hyper-v and Application Virtualization and you have an environment where you can install once and run from anywhere.  I use double quotes heavily however because it was my experience RDS, Hyper-V, and App-V all need a few more years of growth before they are reliable enough for me to use them for production.  They're good, and they work...but they seem to be at the Windows 2000 Server level of progress.

    The above solution can also be accomplished with Citrix products.  The Microsoft solution will be ideal once it matures.  Until then, VMWare and Citrix are more reliable as far as uptime is concerned.  I'll switch from Xenapp once RDS is up to speed.

    You could also take the above remote-desktop idea and move all of the supporting infrastructure out to a cloud provider like Amazon EC2 or Rackspace's Cloudservers.  Eliminate most local technology infrastructure and have everyone access their remote desktop through the cloud.  This doesn't eliminate the public internet problem, nor does it reduce budget very much; but it does eliminate many common I.T. tasks.  No more deploying applications to workstations.  Reduce staff that were employed simply to ensure the backend was operational.  Of course this also presents a host of challenges.  EC2 and Rackspace do experience outages and when this occurs, your users can't even work on a Word document.  But then again you have far less to think about with regards to physical hosting and security.  Never again scrape the skin off your hands as you upgrade ram or rack a new server.  Staff don't have to drive in to the office at 1am in response to an emergency (no servers in the office to drive to).  Reduced staffing saves the company on medical, pto, etc.  But then if someone at the hosting facility does something stupid, you can't really update procedures or policies or implement training to help prevent that; you just hope that they do.  Also once you are fully operational, that provider has enormous leverage over you.  They can increase costs and there's little that you can do about it if you don't have a water-proof agreement.

    For about 6 months now I've been running in a remotely hosted, remote desktop environment.  I would say that this is definitely the future but there is still some blood on the edge.  My 3-year plan has me finding a cloud provider to replace all hardware, replacing local workstations with terminals, private lines to the provider, running a hyper-v/app-v portal.  I focus on the OS and apps and let the provider worry about the resources.  The cloud providers are clearly headed in this direction but they have a few years to shake things out.  EC2 instances are a pain.  Rackspace Cloud Servers are still funky to work with.  I want a provider to give me what I see with VMWare.  A GUI tool for spinning up servers and allocating and reporting on resources.  Once the providers improve their front-ends, and -if- I can ensure my connection to them is 100% solid (likely with dedicated lines), then I'll never look at another server room again.

    Food for thought...

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 6:15 PM
  • Thanx for the thorough reply Chris, it is much appreciated.

       Just clear up a few things, yes I am looking to make our office products web accessible by our stores, not setting up a cloud, I just miss understood the phrase. 

    The reason I am looking at this is two fold, firstly bandwidth in South Africa is ridiculously expensive, for example out data line rental each month is 20,000.00 ZAR which translates to roughly 2900USD  which is shocking if you consider that our line speed is ONLY 128kbps, and we are only servicing 4 stores on that bill.  Using ADSL is going to be considerably cheaper and 32x faster.

       The second reason I am looking at something like this is that we are now looking at implementing JCurve/Netsuite as our ERP,  which for those that don’t know is a cloud based ERP.  So I have been asked to cut our comm’s bill so that JCurve will become a viable option, and added to that most of the network clients are Thin Clients.  Which means I cannot install office on them, so that would mean that each user would need to have two point of work, one locally, namely IE to access JCurve and the other their current RDP connection to work on with their office products.  Then this means that I am going to have to create some sort of VPN to head office, which means that I am going to have to introduce more costs and more head aches.  Also haveing JCurve and Office on separate “PC’s” means that the clients will not be able to import or export quotes from or to Excel.

    Which bring me to two new, i.e. I just thought of them, potential issues,
    1. Can a user open, or is there a way to open, an attachment sent via eMail,  more specifically a PDF or image, if the client is a thin client. 
    2. If I need to browse to and open an  Excel Sheet to upload to JCurve, will the open file dialog box be able to open a file on SharePoint, again I am assuming that the client being used is a thin client.

    The thing to keep in mind is that 90% of our staff are salesmen, so they should spend 90% of their time on our ERP, and very little time on office product’s and when they do use Office it is going to mostly be to receive emails. Sending quote’s and the like can be done directly from JCurve.

    Your security concerns are well noted, and something that I will keep in mind. 

    As to your POF, again point well made, to combat that we plan to make use of ADSL routers with a HSDPA failover, so when the ADSL dies, HSDPA will kick in.  And as per my previous point’s you can see that PWA will not be mission critical app’s internet and JCurve are our critical components.   As to the speed issue, based on our current set up, I promise you most of our guy’s will not miss 300ms and those that may already blame me for every hiccup.  Best one to date, I was told that “THE” internet is down, when I got to the PC, IE was hanging *sigh* (l)users.


    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Thursday, December 02, 2010 8:41 AM
  • Hi,

    I think you may need to look at possibly a Citrix environment too. This will complement any Microsoft Products and WILL achieve all of your objectives. Obviously I am sure there are Microsoft Products to assist in the 'Thin Client' area, but I must say with my time with the NHS in England Citrix is tried and tested, certainly keeps costs down, upgrade only one area (server based) and gives access to all the types of documents you need (asuming you allow it). Its all permissions based.

    I would start to investigate Citrix, Citrix NFuse etc. Also the cost of your terminals is (potentially a one off), the servers themselves are the only real hardware that may need upgrading along with the software (please take into accounts its memory\cpu requirements) are the server memory, extra CPU's.

    My main advice now is to contact a potential(s) supplier and ask for a Demo of a thin-client set-up. After reading what you've said I think this really is the way forward for you. Microsoft do the Office and OS products exceptionally well, and Citrix can provide the thin-client element you need to join the two. As for client Hardware, well Sumo do some great kit thats worked for the NHS for at least 10 years now. But of course there are hundreds others waiting for your money. If you want to discuss further then maybe you can contact direct.

    Barry

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:40 PM
  • Attachments in OWA have traditionally been handled by the client.  OWA is just a web page; no viewers.  But in the past few months Microsoft has really been pushing their Office Web Apps.  While I have not yet read of an integration between OWA and their Web Apps, I would expect that such a feature is coming very soon.  They already have their web office apps integrating with Sharepoint (Excel Services) and that clearly seems to be their direction with all of their products.  I'd bet that it's already working with their BPOS product.  So if your timeframe can support it I'd bet you could get that working.  But this is all brand new stuff.  If you're trying to implement it right now, as I have, then expect for it to be a rough experience.

    Outside of Microsoft land there are other apps that can approach your requirements.  Google apps hooks together mail, apps, docs, and even many 'cloud' providers integrate their apps with google:  Such as the full Salesforce.com integration.  I personally tested Google apps and found that they did not come close to approaching the value that we get from Microsoft stuff...but perhaps someone else...

    From what I've read so far I'm agreement with BWilks:  If I had thin terminals right now, I would be looking at setting up a Citrix environment for the next 3 years, and then migrate to fully hosted web solutions after that.  I'd be very surprised to find a thin terminal that didn't support a citrix client.  If you didn't want to mess with Citrix servers then you could outsource that part (I did).  Citrix on thin clients will help you provide a solid and reliable solution to your endpoints while you play around with the 'cloud' stuff and wait for it to mature to satisfy needs such as opening Attachments in OWA without software installed on the client.

     

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 7:21 PM
  • Thanx for the feed back.
    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Monday, January 10, 2011 9:23 AM
  • Thanx for the feed back.
    A user needs the admin password like nitro glycerine needs a good shake.
    Monday, January 10, 2011 9:23 AM
  • is there a product to buy and install to offer office 365 to people as aprivate cloud or public hosting service? i realize microsoft sells the solution for 6 and 10 bucks a monthm, but how can i build my own cloud office 365 offering....i realize i need to sign volume licensing agreements, pay big bucks....but i cannot find a download, and architecture diagram....any tangible engineering as to what size servers i would need to offer this service to 100 users....anyone else besides microsoft doing this yet, or will microsoft allow us to build up services for office 365 like we did for hosted exchange/sharpoint.....thanks
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 2:02 AM