Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:56:00 GMT

Natural disasters, data center outages and pandemics – these are unfortunate words that have been popping up in the media way too often in the past.  Recently, hurricane “Irene” hit the US East-Coast. A state of emergency prevailed across the entire coastal area, many people were evacuated. For hours, public life at Washington stopped and there was no train or bus service in New York; air travel also came to a standstill, as many flights were cancelled. In this case the question arises: How to maintain business continuity if one cannot get to the company or your home office is flooded or must be evacuated?

Many outside influences can negatively impact business processes and thus interrupt a company's business continuity. These outside influences cannot, unfortunately, be controlled or foreseen by any company. The best solution is to be prepared for any disaster or data center outage.

With a disaster recovery plan in place, organizations can ensure business continuity even in emergency situations. The capability to leverage remote data centers and co-location facilities allows organizations to safeguard their technology resources and spread them across multiple locations, ensuring business continuity and mitigating the risk of an outage. For example, important e-mails can be answered remotely via an Internet browser and deadlines can still be met.

By leveraging secure remote access solutions, enterprises are also better equipped to recover from all types of disasters and emergencies.

The only way to be sure that your data is safe, is by deploying a remote access solution before disaster strikes; only then can the full benefits of secure, smooth and uninterrupted business continuity be expected. 

For more information on disaster recovery, please visit: http://www.hobsoft.com/solutions/pandemic_preparation.jsp.

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‘Going Green’ with a Virtual Workplace

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Tue, 23 Aug 2011 05:53:00 GMT

At an increasing rate, today’s enterprises are being driven to lower operational costs and improve employee productivity.  Between the continual rise of fuel prices and the way the economy has been affecting people, telecommuting is starting to become a trend that companies are drawn to.  The concept of a virtual workplace, or telecommuting, has increasingly been implemented as a way to boost employee satisfaction and productivity as well as reduce their carbon footprint and energy expenses, in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Companies are ‘going green’ by using environmentally-friendly and resource-sparing applications of information technology.  In most cases, telecommuters are reducing their companies’ carbon footprint by shifting energy consumption to their own homes. Secure remote access solutions utilizing SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) offer access to individual PCs, whether at the company office, home or on the road.  In addition to providing employees with the flexibility to work inside and outside of business hours, remote access offers significant energy savings.

As virtual workplace programs grow in popularity within enterprises, there continues to be no shortage of studies and surveys indicating its bright future. In a analyst report by Forrester Research it is predicted that the U.S. telecommuting ranks will swell from 34 million in 2009 to 63 million by 2016 -- fueled by broadband adoption, better collaboration tools and growing management experience.

With remote access solutions at the backbone of virtual workplaces, employees are always connected to their corporate networks while visiting customers, business partners, at home or while in the field. The ability to securely, economically and reliably access enterprise resources from diverse platforms and terminals is, now and in the future, a not-to-be underestimated competitive advantage.

For more information on the virtual workplace, please visit: http://www.hobsoft.com/news/news081210.jsp

 

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HOB Stress Test for Windows Remote Desktop Services

Posted by Frederick Varnes Fri, 19 Aug 2011 15:07:00 GMT

Task

As a manufacturer of remote desktop solutions HOB is repeatedly asked how many users can work simultaneously on a Windows Server. Unfortunately, there is no blanket statement for this question. Therefore HOB has performed a load test with defined hardware HOB.

Following question should be answered:

"How many users can use the remote desktop services on a defined hardware platform at the same time, and also use these reasonably?"

In this test, the emphasis was placed on the load behavior perceived by the user and less to the collection of performance values of the operating system. This was done through working parallel in a session and at the same time conducting a simulated background load - by means of a increasing the number of test sessions.

Description of the Test Environment

This test should be well understood and therefore importance was placed on common hardware and standard applications.

Remote Desktop Session Host:

Hardware:

HP ProLiant DL 380 G6, 2 x W5590 (3.33 GHz) processors with 8 cores (and hyper-threading / are 16 threads), 96 GB RAM, 2 x 300 GB SAS HD (mirror) on HP Smart Array P410i (512 MB cache), 1 GB/s Network Card

 

Operating system and software environment:

Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint used for this test), updates and hotfixes as of 21.01.2011, no virus scanner, no further adjustments (only default values), no page file

 

400 local user accounts, no Active Directory

Remote Desktop Services Client Simulation:

Hardware:

HP ProLiant DL 380 G6, 2 x W5590 (3.33 GHz) processors with 8 cores (no Hyper-Threading), 96 GB RAM, 8 x 300 GB SAS HD (RAID 1 + 0), 1 GB/s Network Card

 

Client software used:

HOBLink JWT 3.3.0579:

Scenario 1:

Screen size 1024 x 768, color depth 15-bit, compression on, audio off

Scenario 2:

Screen size 1280 x 1024, color 32-bit, compression on, audio off

 

Implementation of the Test Sessions

 

25 User sessions in the 5-seconds interval have been signed up by a batch file. The Users were newly registered and no re-connect s was carried out to existing sessions. The User-profiles already existed, therefore no effect by the first-time creation of the User-profiles from the default profile.

A Macro was generated for the creation of the load test on the server. For this the following software was used:

MacroMaker 3.0.0.6 (http://members.ij.net/anthonymathews/MacroMaker.htm)

This software was selected because in the process it causes very little CPU- and RAM-load on the host. Because the process is running in each User-session, it can have a noticeable additional burden and thus affect the result.

All Macro activities were carried out exclusively through the keyboard. Control via Mouse was not utilized because there are too many depending factors on the correct location of the various menus, buttons, and so on. Also it would not be possible to respond to a changing screen resolution by the client via Mouse control.

The Macro initiates Word first and enters a text. This is printed via a HP PCL printer driver on device ": nul". Then, Excel is started and performs simple calculations - multiple multiplications of random numbers. The results are processed into two diagrams and printed (as above). Then, a PowerPoint presentation is played, a Notepad is briefly opened, text entered and closed.

This Macro was executed in a loop with short pauses 100 times. Because there are no long pauses in the flow of the macro and i.e. also print jobs were simulated, you can definitely speak of a heavy-load profile, which is also mentioned in relevant reports/reports as power users.

Test Results

Results for Scenario 1: Display size 1024 x 768, Color depth 15-bit, Compression on, Audio off

User Count

Committed Memory in GB

Ø CPU-Usage in %

Noticed Stress Reaction

1 (Admin) Idle

4

~ 0

 

25

9

~ 5

 

50

14

~ 10

 

75

19

~ 15

 

100

24

~ 20

 

125

30

~ 30

 

150

35

~ 35

 

175

41

~ 40

 

200

47

~ 45

 

225

53

~ 50

 

250

60

~ 65

Occasional minor disruptions

275

66

~ 75

 

300

74

~ 90

Noticeable delays

325

81

~ 95

Starting program clearly takes longer, writing (Word) is still performing well

350

88

~ 100

 

375

95

~ 100

Additional connections no longer possible

Results for Scenario 2: Display size 1280 x 1024, Color 32-bit, Compression on, Audio off

User Count

Committed Memory in GB

Ø CPU-Last in %

Noticed Stress Reaction

1 (Admin) Idle

4

~ 0

 

25

9

~ 10

 

50

14

~ 15

 

75

21

~ 20

 

100

27

~ 25

 

125

33

~ 35

 

150

40

~ 45

 

175

46

~ 50

 

200

51

~ 55

Noticeable delays

225

59

~ 70

 

250

66

~ 80

 

275

72

~ 90

Starting program clearly takes longer, writing (Word) is still performing well

300

79

~ 100

Starting Explorer takes 5 seconds

325

89

~ 100

Slow responsiveness

350

95

~ 100

Additional connections no longer possible

 

Conclusion

In the first scenario, up to 250 sessions could be established simultaneously without any problems. Beyond 250 meetings first delays and stalling were noticeable. Nevertheless, working in an existing session was possible without disturbing side effects. At 300 sessions there were disturbing delays and with 325 sessions, the startup took significantly longer, although working was still possible.

With the higher resolution for the clients in the second scenario, you could operate up to 200 sessions without any problems. Then at the beginning there were minor disruptions, and then an increased deterioration of the subjective procedure. By 275 sessions work is affected and at 300 sessions there were clearly noticeable delays for users.

This test also reveals that the 64-bit technology allows significantly more users to work on a Windows Server, than with the previous 32-bit operating systems, even though the comparative figures are missing here due to the ability to use much more memory. Blanket statements that only about 30-50 simultaneous users can work on a Windows Remote Desktop session host probably stem from the period of the 32-bit Windows operating systems and are a thing of the past.

Hans Herrgott / Kai-Uwe Augustin

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