Rocket Rides to Marmite Flavoured Black Holes

What is the most impressive thing about black holes? It is that they can chew up planets or devour entire galaxies for breakfast? Nope. Is it that they can power quasi-stellar objects that pump out more energy than whole galactic clusters and bend light? Still wrong. Think smaller…much smaller. The most impressive thing about black holes is that they remove INFORMATION from the universe. One minute the universe ‘knows’ something…the next minute that knowledge is gone forever. This is a bizarre yet fundamental behaviour of black holes. Just ask any old theoretical physicist. The permanent destruction of valuable information is also a well-known fundamental behaviour of backup tapes, crashed hard drives, scratched CDs and corrupted USB keys. Can you, with your hand on your heart, say that you’ve never lost some information in these or other ways? So, what can be worse than losing precious information? Only one thing – thinking with certainty that you have it and then finding out that you certainly don’t. When you go looking for ‘information’, it’s not because you are ‘just checking’ that it’s there – no – you are looking for it because you need it. And when you discover that it’s gone, you don’t have a plan B, because why would you need a plan B when you were fully expecting to find the information? Plan B is then normally formulated in a panic, poorly conceived and usually just plain rubbish. You don’t want a rubbish plan A, B C or Z. Why would you? So what does this boil down to? Well, there you are empty handed and you need that information. What was the information for? An rocket engine powered by Turkish Delight? A secret industrial process to turn marmite into something fit for human consumption? An application migration to Windows 7? Whatever the case, heed this advice. We don’t know how to fulfil that age old ‘eastern promise’ on rocket engines or the impossible odds of making marmite taste good. What we can tell you for sure though is that for an application migration project you’ll need at least the following information if you are to avoid disappearing into ‘Project Black Hole’: Application names, manufacturers, version numbers, source media, application owners, installation notes, configuration requirements, licenses, hardware and platform requirements, user defined tests, knowledge of desktop builds, knowledge of deployment mechanisms, packaging/sequencing expertise for a managed desktop solution..and more. There’s a start for you. Now, go and get that information save it somewhere safe. Then save it elsewhere too and when you’re done, you should have a peek to make sure it’s still there. Then and only then can you say you are ready for a rocket ride to the next OS. From there, you can safely head off to adventures beyond, safe in the knowledge that no black hole can ruin your sacred platform upgrade with an information vacuum.

Know your application estate before you migrate

In a recent blog I discussed the risks of waiting for an OS Migration Project to find out that a critical application needs to be upgraded or replaced ( but this risk in reality doesn’t just apply to critical business applications and also extends beyond just applications.  What you need is the knowledge and the agility to upgrade anything at any time. If we look at the tried and tested application lifecycle model we have: a request phase, a packaging (Processing) phase, a deployment (Implementation) phase, and finally a management phase for updating or retiring and replacing applications.   Being a lifecycle the fourth phase typically flows into the first phase of the update cycle or the start of a replacement application’s lifecycle.  As I said this is a tried and tested model, in fact it is so well established it can be applied, albeit at a high level, in a number of different scenarios, such as: OS lifecycle, hardware lifecycle and even a service or technology lifecycle.  Each one happily existing in its own discreet lifecycle, not impacting anything else… …and then we wake up to reality.  As with London buses projects very rarely show up one at a time; a hardware refresh will be an opportune time to update the OS, a new OS raises compatibility concerns, compatibility concerns may prompt the upgrade/replacement of critical application or the implementation of new technologies and mitigating strategies, each piece of work demanding additional funding, resourcing and precious management time and all because one simple, “discreet” lifecycle had run its course!!   But this doesn’t have to be the reality… or at least dealing with them all at once shouldn’t have to be your reality.  Upgrading hardware is necessary from time to time in any organisation but if you are already running the latest OS then it simply is a hardware refresh because you are also delivering applications via an agile streaming or well managed deployment solution.  Your upgrade to the latest OS was simply that because your business critical applications had already been updated to a compatible version or moved to an alternate service solution.  You were able to implement the latest deployment technologies and mitigating solutions for incompatible applications because at the time you weren’t trying to do everything else at the same time. So how do achieve this? Simple: “Knowledge” Once you have knowledge about your application and hardware estates and everything that goes with them you can understand, and more importantly address, your readiness for any given scenario.  You can categorise all your applications and understand which ones you really need and which ones are never used (but are still costing you money to maintain), leaner application estates mean lower license fees and the money saved can be invested in a new deployment technology (which you can justify because you have less applications to re-engineer.) Understanding what hardware is compatible with next OS means you can start upgrading hardware now because it is easier to deploy new machines with the new technologies you have already implemented.  Your agile deployment ability and lower costs mean you can upgrade applications when the upgrades become available even if it is out of sync with tradition upgrade cycles and by the time you get round to actually rolling out a new OS that is potentially all you have to do, no new hardware, no new applications, no new technologies.   What were once discreet lifecycles and pieces of work crashing into each other stuck in a vicious circle of impacting each other’s timescales, jostling for funding and resources and management time, now simply flow into each other, each one enabling the next logical progression through cost savings and readiness. Let Camwood’s Enlightened Migration and supporting tools sort out your Application Chaos and stop the Revolution and start the Evolution!


Lots of Citrix XenDesktop messages including XenDesktop 5! A lot of focus on partnerships including the collaboration with Cisco, McAfee and Netapp. The McAfee MOVE anti-virus looks really interesting and with 3.5m XenDesktop licences sold in last 9 months – there’s a big move there in the Virtualised PC space for Citrix. My question is, how many of these have actually been deployed and how are the applications being deployed. Showing my age here – I’ve been working with Citrix since Winframe and guess what – companies need to focus on their apps. Every project I ever worked on started with the desktop delivery definitions, infrastructure and the apps were an afterthought. Citrix and the ten minutes to deploy a desktop is all great and a brilliant message but if it takes you 6 months to put an application stack together or get it through your internal company processes, its pretty moot. Thankfully, recent customer engagements are showing a move towards focussing on the applications and who actually uses them. Time to get everyone enlightened….

Citrix GoToMeeting

Did you know that we help our customers to get their applications and infrastructure to work on Citrix? Camwood are at Synergy in Berlin! Big focus on web and video conferencing – GoTo meeting now has HDfaces. Going head-to-head with webex vendors. Very impressive, hd quality web and video. Supports 6 video feeds at 1920×960 and you don’t need special hardware. Available from Q1 and it is at no extra cost.

Camwood in the press for BAE IT update project win

Camwood has been featured in the press after an announcement that we have been awarded a two-year contract by BAE Systems to support a major IT update project. Under the terms of the contract, Camwood will provide applications migration expertise into a multi-vendor team comprising employees from BAE Systems and its IT partners. The principle goals are to migrate all business-critical applications onto the Microsoft® Applications Virtualization (App-V) platform and enhance the desktop estate to support these virtualised applications alongside an updated desktop solution. BAE Systems has a continuous programme of IT improvement, one element of which is a desktop refresh project known as myIT Desktop. This project will supply up to 37,500 PC users across BAE Systems’ 74 UK sites with virtualised applications and change the way in which IT is provisioned to all employees. The project objectives are to enhance business agility and response, improve IT security, lower the cost of maintenance, and simplify lifecycle management. Read more articles