Archive for October 18, 2018

Review: VMware Fusion 11

Posted in Products with tags on October 18, 2018 by itnerd

VMware has released VMware Fusion 11 which is the latest version of their virtualization product for macOS in the last couple of weeks. Last year’s VMware Fusion 10 impressed me so much that I switched to it from Parallels Desktop as my personal choice for virtualization on my Mac. Thus I was very interested to see what VMware brought to the table in version 11.

Let me get straight to the point. If you’re looking for a bunch of new and cool features, you’re not going to see that here. And that’s not a bad thing as from what I can tell, VMware Fusion 11 is meant to enhance what was already a solid platform and bring it in line with other VMware virtualization offerings. And that’s not a bad thing as one strength that VMware Fusion has is that it can pull from their other virtualization offerings to make itself better for Mac users. Plus you can integrate VMware Fusion into a larger VMware environment with ease as it fully supports that use case with ease. Having said that it does have a bunch of improvements which include the following:

  • macOS Mojave compatibility
  • Support for the iMac Pro and MacBook Pro models. Including TouchBar support.
  • Support for Windows 10 1803, Ubuntu 18.04, macOS 10.14, Fedora 28, RHEL 7.5, CentOS 7.5, Debian 9.5, OpenSuse Leap 15.0, FreeBSD 11.2, ESXi 6.7
  • Support for Apple Metal and Microsoft Direct X 10.1
  • Security fixes and architectural changes have been made to mitigate threats like Spectre and Meltdown.
  • Support for virtual NVMe drives on Macs that have those drives.

The last item is particularly interesting as NVMe drives offer performance advantages over regular SATA drives. Thus if your Mac has an NVMe drive in it, this will make your VMs run significantly faster. The second last item was a chief motivator for me to move to VMware Fusion last year as my previous virtualization product didn’t offer those fixes.  Support for Metal is great because that is another way that VMware has increased the performance of the product. And while I welcome support for Direct X 10.1, support for Direct X 11 or 12 would be most welcome for the game players out there. Other than that,   I did notice some improvements from a disk and graphics perspective after I upgraded and started testing my VMs.

One really cool feature is that VMware Fusion 11 includes an Applications Menu which sits in the Mac’s main Menu Bar at the top of the screen for easy access. This menu allows you to quickly browse and select your VMs and also to control individual VMs even when they’re not running. The menu can be used to start, shut down or pause a VM, or to switch viewing modes on the Mac desktop. It’s really handy.

Here’s the bottom line. This is an evolutionary upgrade that will appeal to a variety of users. Whether you are a home user or an enterprise that runs other VMware products, there’s value in upgrading to VMware Fusion 11. It is available starting at $79.99 USD for new customers and $49.99 USD as an upgrade. And don’t forget there is a Pro version which is $159.99 USD for new customers and $119 USD as an upgrade.


Fujitsu Announces ScanSnap iX1500

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 18, 2018 by itnerd

Fujitsu Canada has announced, the ScanSnap iX1500, a new flagship colour duplex model, joining the Fujitsu ScanSnap Series of document scanners.

The core appeal of the ScanSnap Series is in its ability to effortlessly convert most office documents into PDF’s, searchable PDF’s, Word and Excel documents, and more. ScanSnap is an essential productivity tool for knowledge workers whether they are scanning to their desktop, a network folder or to a Cloud service.

New 4.3-inch touch screen

iX1500 users can complete end-to-end processes with just “one touch” of the new large, 4.3-inch colour touch screen. Basic tasks such as setup and Wi-Fi configuration, checking scanning statuses and choosing save-to destinations are easy, even for first-time users with the touch screen’s use of simple visual icons.

Up to 30 pre-configured profiles can be made, optimized for each user’s workflow. Default profile icons come preset “out of the box,” representing popular functions such as sharing documents, managing business trip expenses, and sending attachments with email, to name but a few.

A single unit can also be shared among multiple users in an office, and identified by different icon colours, saving information to specific destinations based on individual user preference.

Connect to popular cloud services with ScanSnap Cloud

The iX1500 features ScanSnap Cloud, which connects to your favourite cloud service – without needing a computer or mobile device – to manage your documents, receipts, business cards, and photos. You can create pre-configured shortcuts right on the touch screen to send scans to a specific cloud service, or use ScanSnap Cloud’s intelligent sorting feature to deliver scans to the correct cloud service automatically.  Supported cloud services include Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Expensify, Google Drive, Google Photos, Hubdoc, LedgerDocs, OneDrive, Rocket Matter, SecureDocs, and TALK.

Introducing the all-new ScanSnap Home software

Users can now easily manage, edit, and utilize various types of scanned paper with the ScanSnap Home interface. By combining powerful ScanSnap functions into a single application, the software enables you to organize documents, business cards, receipts, and photos.

  • Advanced software for total document management ScanSnap Home offers excellent functions to organize and search through your data using folders, tags, and keywords. You can now identify the digital information you need more quickly and easily than before – freeing up more time on productive tasks and serving your customers.

Additionally, business users will appreciate the ability to utilize the built-in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality, allowing you to create searchable PDFs, or convert your scanned documents into editable Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files.

  • The iX1500 learns and optimizes performance as you scan The iX1500 automatically names and suggests titles for your scanned files based on content and preset naming conventions. Suggestion accuracy is improved the more titles are repeatedly edited, allowing users to avoid spending time on repetitive corrections. Edits made to company names attributed to scanned business cards, are reflected on successive scans with the same attributed company.

ScanSnap iX1500 key features

  • Automatic detection of page size, colour, blank pages, and page orientation
  • Scans 30 sheets per minute in colour-duplex mode; large 50-page hopper capacity
  • Easily scans long receipts that tend to curl, with the included Receipt Guide
  • Scans unconventional documents with Manual Scan
  • Cleans streaked images without the need for rescanning with Streak Reduction
  • Notifies users of dust that may interfere with scanning via Dust Detection
  • Offers built-in Wi-Fi with Direct Connect Mode to a laptop or mobile device
  • Supports 2.4- and 5-GHz Wi-Fi

The ScanSnap iX1500 is available through authorized resellers and VARs including Amazon, ATS Systems, Staples, and others. Suggested List Price for the ScanSnap iX1500 scanner is $665 CAD.  Reseller prices may vary.  Product is now shipping.

TP-Link Announces New Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Solution

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 18, 2018 by itnerd

TP-Link has launched the Omada OC200 cloud controller. This cloud-managed wireless network gives decentralized IT operations the flexibility to control multiple access points in different locations and instantly troubleshoot from anywhere in the world without having to move from site to site. The ability to set up a robust wireless connection at multiple sites while managing and controlling the network in a centralized location greatly reduces business costs and improves productivity.

The Omada wireless solution includes a hardware cloud controller, EAP cloud-enabled controller software, ceiling-mount access points, and outdoor access points. Adding to the comprehensive Omada solution is the just released EAP225-Wall AC1200 MU-MIMO PoE Wall-Plate Access Point which gives users fast, private and stable dedicated in-room Internet connections regardless of room size. These wall-plated access points are widely used in hotels, dormitories and other locations.

Omada hardware products are powered by Broadcom and Qualcomm enterprise-grade chipsets and provide abundant processing power and superior wireless experience. The elegant and modern encasing blends in with any interior design and appeals to hospitality, campuses, parks, stadiums, restaurants, retailers, offices and government IT departments moving towards a cloud-managed solution.
Instantly Configure a Network

Centralized management with the Omada controller software and cloud access gives IT administrators remote access from a single location. Simple plug-and-play configuration allows for new access points to be set up within minutes.

Quicken IT Response Time

Network downtime can be costly for any businesses. IT administrators no longer need to travel to the physical location to troubleshoot wireless connectivity with a cloud-managed solution. Omada hardware also connect to form one seamless mesh network. If an access point fails within the network, other access points on the same network adapt to the change automatically and connect to the wireless equipment to maintain seamless coverage.
Increase Network Visibility

The complimentary EAP cloud-enabled access point controller software allows the ability to control, adjust and visualize the entire network from any connected PC or device remotely. Speeds can be throttled, network usage reports can be generated and IT administrators can detect network issues before they happen with improved network visibility application.
Omada Cloud-Managed Solution, Pricing and Availability Overview:

Cloud Controller

Cloud Access Controller for Centralized Management – Manage wireless network over the cloud with PoE (802.3af/802.3at) support, Omada App and secure login via SMS and Facebook: Model#: OC200 – MSRP $99.99 (CAD)

AC1200 Wireless MU-MIMO Wall-Place Access Point – Upgrade Ethernet wall jacks to a high-performance wireless access point. No additional wiring required with PoE (802.3af/802.3at) support and acts as switch by providing three Ethernet ports: Model#: EAP225-Wall – MSRP $89.99 (CAD)

Ceiling Mount Access Point

AC1350 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP225 V3 – MSRP $99.99 (CAD)

AC1750 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP245 V3 – MSRP – $129.99

AC1200 Broadcom Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP320 – MSRP – $199.99

Outdoor Access Point 300Mbps-  Durable and Weatherproof Wireless N Outdoor Access Point Model#: EAP110-Outdoor – MSRP $69.99 (CAD) T

he Omada Cloud Managed Solution is available for TP-Link resellers at any TP-Link authorized distributor. Customers can also purchase TP-Link business products at any national retailer and e-tailer. Learn more about the Omada Wireless Solution.