Virtualized Desktops for Small and Mid-sized Businesses

Large enterprises are have been reaping the benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure for years — employees like being able to access their desktops from any device at any time and business like the improved security, manageability and cost-savings of virtual PCs. The benefits of virtualized desktops (VDI) has been out of reach for many SMBs due to the high cost of deployment; however, for SMBs to remain competitive in today’s economic climate, it is essential that business find ways to take advantage of the security, flexibility and myriad of cost-benefits associated with desktop virtualization.

Citrix/Kavisa VDI-in-a-box eliminates over 66% of VDI infrastructure costs and delivers virtual desktops for less than the cost of refreshing your business’ aging PCs. By making the cost of virtual desktops commensurate with the acquisition cost of PCs, VDI-in-a-box generates an immediate return on your investment. This does not even include the ongoing operational savings gained from centrally managed virtual desktops.

Bottom line: If you are starting to think about replacing aging PCs, then you need to start thinking about desktop virtualization.

Join ACE IT Solutions and Citrix for a webinar where they will give you an overview with a live demo of how VDI-in-a-Box eliminates 60% of infrastructure costs to deliver virtual desktops for as little as $260 per desktop. See how you can transform your organization and start saving money while increasing employee mobility.

When: Thursday, October 27 at 1 PM EST
Where: Online – register today at http://www.aceits.net/webinar-Citrix-VDI-in-a-Box.aspx
Space is limited. Please register early.

Learn more about Virtual Desktops:
Download this free whitepaper

Apple iPad, Tablets Poised for Widespread Enterprise Adoption

It is hard to believe the iPad has only been around for a little over a year. In that year, the tablet computer has had a massive effect on personal computing. A new study shows that the iPad is poised to do the same for enterprise businesses.

According to the study commissioned by Model Metrics, 78 percent of businesses surveyed plan to deploy tablets by the end of 2013. Eighty-three percent of those businesses plan on deploying the Apple iPad. Google’s Android tablet ranked a far second at 34 percent, and 14 percent plan to deploy Windows-based tablets. Only 20% of businesses surveyed claim they have no plans to deploy tablet computers.

Enterprise applications in high demand for iPads include sales force automation (47%), service desk (35%), expense submission (21%), ERP (20%), and financial (17%). Other enterprise apps include human resources and purchasing.  Though the businesses surveyed may not have officially deployed the tablets, 72% of the enterprises surveyed claim that the tablets are already in use, 41% of those purchased by employees.  The study also concluded that, though many businesses plan a widespread deployment, almost 50% have no adoption strategy in place.

Is your business ready to deploy the iPad? Contact ACE IT Solutions to ensure a smooth and secure deployment.

(About the study: Data was pulled from a survey of 448 business executives, business managers, IT executives, IT managers, and IT professionals from a wide range of company sizes and industry verticals, conducted online by Dimensional Research for Model Metrics in April 2011. Read more here.)

Easy Windows 7 Migration Throughout Your Entire Business

Windows 7 migration in a weekend? Yes, you can with Citrix XenDesktop

By making the move to desktop virtualization with Citrix® XenDesktop®, you can breeze through your Windows® 7 migration and all future Windows migrations and updates — and save big on day-to-day desktop management.

With XenDesktop, you can provision new desktops instantly to any user, anywhere. Enjoy simpler and faster updates, deliver all apps without compatibility issues, and eliminate desk-side support. You’ll also improve corporate data security and compliance.

Join ACE IT Solutions and Citrix for our Desktop Virtualization webinar to learn how you can:

  • Deploy Windows 7 quickly and easily
  • Leverage Existing hardware and slash overall migration costs
  • Secure corporate data and ensure compliance
  • Discover a practical approach to getting started with desktop virtualization

Citrix Dilbert Desktop Virtualization

Citrix Desktop Virtualization solutions make business more efficient and more agile. Industry experts agree that  the time is right to make the move to dynamic virtualization solutions from Citrix. ACE IT Solutions can help. Download the whitepaper to learn more.

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About ACE IT Solutions
ACE IT Solutions is a leading provider of technology and IT services to various industries. Clients rely on ACE IT Solutions as their single source for strategic IT consulting, and support in designing, deploying and managing their infrastructures. Our services include business continuity/disaster recovery planning, IT assessments, security audits, penetration testing and beyond.  In addition to network consulting services, ACE IT Solutions offers a portfolio of managed services, including 24×7 Help Desk, 24×7 Server/Network Monitoring, Offsite Backup, Email Archiving and Email Security. We understand virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and have developed partnerships with the most respected names in virtualization to cover all of our clients technology needs.

Slow Computer?

January 24, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: IT Solutions, Microsoft, Small Business Productivity 

Ten Steps to a Faster Computer (Part 1)

Last week’s blog post discussed the PC lifecycle and when to replace your PC.  For many businesses, a slow computer is the major reason for a new computer purchase.  A slow computer can have a negative impact on employee productivity. Computers that at one time started up quickly and opened applications in a snap will eventually get sluggish and more frustrating for users. Before you plunk down money for a new computer, try troubleshooting your slow computer, you might find that a quick-fix (or cheaper-fix) will save you big bucks.

There are endless reasons for a slow PC. Start your troubleshooting by checking for malware and viruses which are common culprits — a good virus sweep is essential in making sure no bugs are slowing things down and otherwise causing some major issues. Once you eliminate virus/malware issues then move on to these other troubleshooting tips for a faster PC from Tech Republic.

Overheating processor
When the PCs cooling element (fan) is not properly displacing heat, the system may slow down or crash. Laptops with especially powerful processors are prone to overheating. The main reasons for fan failure are dust on the fan, fan motor failure, and loose bearings. Dust can be cleaned off the fan by spraying it with compressed air; however, the lifespan of the fan may be reduced due to overwork. If your laptop is hot, it is probably time to replace the fan.

RAM problems
RAM-related performance issues could come down to RAM timing, flaws in RAM chips or RAM overheating; but one of the most common RAM-related causes of poor PC performance is not having enough of it. Heavy operating systems, like Windows 7, and resource-hungry applications require more RAM. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, run lots of multi-media files, or use memory-intensive applications,  then minimal RAM requirements aren’t going to cut it. Adding more RAM can often increase performance. Note that 32-bit Windows is limited to using 4 GB of RAM, but 64-bit Windows 7 can handle from 8 to 192 GB, depending on the edition.

Hard disk issues
Failing hard disks are sometimes difficult to detect and can slow your computer to a crawl.  Signs of imminent hard disk failure include slow access times on the affected drive, an increasing number of bad sectors when running scandisk and chkdsk, the “blue screen of death”, boot disk failures, or an “Imminent Hard Disk Failure” warning. Troubleshooting and fixing this issue is best left to an experienced computer professional.

Disk type and interface
Hard drives offer many different levels of performance. Faster drives tend to be more expensive. Slow computer issues may be caused by installing programs or often-used files on slow external drives. If you must use external drives, go with the latest version, such as USB 3.0 (up to four times faster than USB 2.0) or Firewire 800. If you don’t have ports to support the faster version, you can install a card to add support.

BIOS settings
Slow computer problems may occur if the BIOS settings do not match the optimal machine configuration. The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is the basic controller that allows all of the components that make up a PC to talk to one another. In order for this to happen, there are a number of things that the BIOS needs to know how to do. This is why the settings within the BIOS are so critical to the operation of the computer system. Often, you can improve machine performance by researching your motherboard’s optimal BIOS settings, which may not be the same as the factory defaults.

Bookmark our blog and check back next week for five more troubleshooting tips for a faster computer.

Is your business’ productivity affected by slow computer issues? Contact ACE IT Solutions today at 908-704-0400 if your system is slow. Our computer experts can save you time and money. We’ll take a look at your PCs and determine how we can speed up your computers and speed up your productivity.

PC Replacement Cycle: Is it Time for a New Computer?

When to replace your business’ aging PCs

PC replacement is a big part of a business’ IT budget. The harsh truth is that all PCs eventually become obsolete and will need to be replaced. Many businesses delay PC replacement until it is absolutely necessary (the appearance of the “blue screen of death”, or employees loosing valuable time waiting for their computers to reboot).

Gartner Research conducted a study of 177 large businesses and discovered that the average life span of a desktop PC is 43 months, and only 36 months for mobile PCs. More than a third of respondents claimed the main reason for PC replacement is to improve user productivity, while more than a quarter cited escalating support costs with older machines. More than 20% said new software requirements led to the need for new computing systems.

There are not hard and fast rules for timing a new computer purchase, but we can offer a few guidelines to help your business decide when it is time to bite the bullet and buy a new computer.

Replacement Hardware Becomes Obsolete
If your IT department can’t find replacement parts for your aging PC, then you have no choice but to buy a new computer. Perhaps your IT staff has been scavenging replacement parts from older computers and you’ve managed to limp along on replacement parts for quite awhile. Good for you and your budget, but bad for productivity. As we all know, technology develops at the speed of light and eventually those computers are going to die and you won’t be able to locate the ancient hardware to match.

The PC is not Compatible with New Operating Systems
Old computers weren’t made with new 64-bit operating systems in mind. Even if your current computer has sufficient CPU and memory to operate a Windows 7 operating system, you will probably have difficulty locating drivers for your hardware.

Maintenance Costs are Becoming Excessive
When your computer repair costs exceed the value of the computer, it is time to cut your losses. If you are spending more time repairing old computers than using them, a new computer will provide significant ROI. Also, faster and newer computers lead to greater employee productivity.

The Old PC is Hampering Productivity
Old computers are slow computers. If your employees rely heavily on their computers for day-to-day business functions, and they are spending a lot of time “waiting” on a slow computer, then a new — faster — computer will help boost productivity. A computer that saves an employee ten minutes a day (including boot-up, logging in, response of apps, shutdown, etc.) will save you roughly 40 hours a year. Depending upon the type of PC you buy, you could realize a ROI in just one year.

The PC Supports 32-bit Only
The 64-bit platform is quickly becoming the standard.  Future operating systems will likely run on 64-bit only. Almost all of the Microsoft server products that are being released will run only on 64-bit platforms. Start budgeting now for new PCs to replace computers that do not include a 64-bit CPU.

Other Considerations: As desktop virtualization gains momentum, more businesses are able to re-provision aging PCs, which delivers substantial costs savings on hardware. Your IT partner can provide guidance on how best to re-provision old computers for virtualization.


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