Browsing Posts tagged SMB

As a followup to my last blog post, Forrester recently published a really interesting research report on Macs in the Enterprise called “People Are Bringing Macs To Work — It’s Time To
Repeal Prohibition”
by David K. Johnson. The basic premise of the article is that people want to use their Macs for and that IT departments should let them. And it goes through several steps and solutions for customers to use when considering or implementing Macs in the Enterprise. Needless to say we not only agree with this but see it every day with our ExtremeZ-IP customers.

I was also very interested to see the slew of comments that accommodated this report. There were a few articles written about this report but the one that took my notice was the ArsTechnica article. They wrote up an extensive article on the report and I spent some time reading the commentary which make for interesting and entertaining reading. The first article is here and then they wrote a followup piece this week which you can read here. There are hundreds of comments but you can see that this subject definitely brings out some passionate responses.

As I have written about before there is certainly a core group of Mac users that typically are in advertising, media & entertainment, print/publishing or any of the creative fields. And there are the Education users and all the home users that would love to use a Mac at work. What we are seeing now are the non-traditional verticals also embracing the Mac. There are lots of reasons for this trend. Consumerization of IT is one. Another is the growing role of Apple in the Enteprise, as iPhones and iPads have made significant inroads. We have seen this with our mobilEcho Mobile File Management solution.  This has resulted in a halo effect and a reconsideration of the Mac as an enterprise client. I am sure there are other trends and they all overlap and intersect at various points.

I expect to see more analyst reports and articles on this subject. As David K. Johnson, the author of the report points out, forward-thinking enterprises will embrace this trend. Others who do not do so at their own peril.

Again, if you are interested in reading the report you can get download it here.

Windows IT Pro magazine recently completed a review of our ExtremeZ-IP solution and gave it 4.5 out of 5! Needless to say, we are pretty excited about this and just wanted to share this article. ExtremeZ-IP is used by thousands of organizations around the world and is considered by many to be the gold standard for providing seamless file access for Macintosh clients in Windows server environments. It simply takes care of all the problems, big and small, that users encounter when trying to integrate these two disparate worlds. And the Windows IT Pro review confirms what these thousands of customers already know – it solves their problems.

In the year since I joined the company I have seen some interesting trends in our ExtremeZ-IP customers. While we have always been strong in the obvious Mac fields – education, advertising, print/publishing, media &entertainment, and other creative fields – we are also seeing other companies in non-traditional verticals opening up to the idea of supporting the Mac. So we are seeing the evolution of IT consumerization right before our very eyes. And we see the same thing with the Apple in the Enterprise trend. We see it both on the desktop/laptop side with our ExtremeZ-IP business as well as on the mobility side with our mobilEcho business. The interest level in ExtremeZ-IP (as measured by leads) has almost doubled over the last year. We are seeing more interest now than we have ever seen. The pace really started to accelerate with the introduction of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and we see no sign of this slowing down.

And it’s easy to see why this is happening. ExtremeZ-IP provides true enterprise integration of Macintosh clients into Windows server environments, and addresses all the key issues, including:
• Compatibility – problems with file corruption, file permissions, application lockups and file names disappear.
• Performance – ExtremeZ-IP consistently provides a higher performing experience than competitive solutions.
• Maintains the Mac experience for the user – ExtremeZ-IP ensures Mac users maintain the full range of the Mac experience, such as spotlight search, whereas other solutions result in degraded user functionality
• Management and security – for the IT organization, management is made easy and security is maintained with integration into Active Directory.

So if you get a chance take a look at the Windows IT Pro review. Or better yet, just download our free trial and take it for a spin yourself.

Apple iPad sales hit 2 million last week – a milestone few companies or products have ever achieved… let alone in their first two months of sales.  And while iPads have yet to significantly impact the enterprise, it has become apparent to most global enterprises that the Mac has grown in both presence and relevance.  In fact, more and more companies today are offering their employees Mac and Windows options for their personal desktop environment.  This not only makes for happier users, it also helps to ensure that already productive Mac users remain that way.

Further, this trend has spread to include, not only the traditional media, broadcasting, and advertising verticals that one might expect, but also unfamiliar territories such as financial services and technology as well. News from Google this week reveals that, due to security concerns, they are moving away from Windows PCs enterprise-wide, in favor of Mac and Linux clients.

And yet, with today’s growing base of Mac users accessing a primarily Windows-based enterprise, fundamental differences between the Mac and Windows operating systems can make the integration between Macs and Windows a significant challenge.  Most fundamentally, Mac performance and file integrity can be compromised because of incompatibilities between Windows and Mac OS X operating systems – largely caused by the differences in the file sharing protocols they are designed to use.  In the Windows case, file sharing is conducted using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which lacks many of the capabilities included in the Mac’s default Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).

And, as Mac users encounter data integrity issues or become dissatisfied with system performance, they naturally turn to the Help Desk, which has seen a significant increase in inbound calls from Mac users who simply need a way to share data with Windows-based systems.

What’s needed is a solution that ensures transparency between Mac and Windows, in what is becoming less and less a Windows-centric world.