This is one of the coolest things a part from the Workspace Cloud service that Citrix is working on. I’ve had the pleassure of trying this out and we at EnvokeIT have been doing a lot of tests of this Linux VDA tech preview.
So this little blog post is just going to show of the capabilities and how nicely this integrates with the Citrix XenDesktop architecture. First of all I’d like to say thanks to my colleagues Björn Bekkouche and Peter Smali for letting me use their lab environment!
Before we get into showing how it works and looks I must just highlight that if you have any questions about how we can assist you to deliver Linux-based Terminal Servers or VDI’s to remote users in a secure and optimal just contact us at EnvokeIT here or pop me an email: richard at envokeit.com.
This is great for all of you with Developers on Linux! Have them code from anywhere in a secure manner! They can run their Linux VDA in your datacenter, connect to it from an Receiver compliant device and code from them and you have your intellectual property secured internally instead of having them checking out Git repositories to their local devices etc.!
So what is XenDesktop for Linux? Well, to answer that really simple I assume that you have some basic knowledge of the Citrix XenDesktop architecture.. if you don’t then please read up on that a little before continue reading, one really good contribution to bulding your architecture is described in this Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook or this Citrix XenDesktop – Blueprint. These contains a lot of valuable information that you shall think of and how to configure the environment to fulfill you use cases.
But overall think of the XenDesktop architecture of something like the following pictures (click to enlarge them). The first one shows the new model where we could run and take care of the VDA’s ourselves on-premise but leverage the Workspace Cloud service from Citrix so that we don’t anymore have to bother about the XenDesktop infrastructure components and the life-cycle management etc. of those. The second one is the more overall traditional architecture overview that you’d see of the different layers.
And as you see above this details the standard architecture wher you would have your Server or Desktop VDA’s in the resource layer hosting the desktops for your users to connect to, but they have all been Windows-based up until now!
Now with the Tech Preview we can actually install the Linux-based VDA on a Red Hat or Suse machine and access that through the SAME Delivery Controllers and StoreFront stores that also manage our Windows-based VDA’s.
And this is awesome! :-) We can leverage the already existing Windows-based architecture to just “hook in” our Linux-desktops as well and get users to conect through Receiver for Web, Receiver and even through the NetScalers if you need (works like a charm!!).
So as you can see here we have a nice little landing page for our entry points that are running different versions and access different environments etc.
So we have Peters entry point running one NetScaler version and theme: Read more…
Microsoft Ignite 2015 summary – #MSIgnite, #EnvokeIT, #Azure, #Office365, #OneDrive, #EMM, #PaaS, #IaaS
We at EnvokeIT participated and collaborated at Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago. And it was one of the most intense events I’ve visited in years with a lot of happening in the business and Microsoft really showed that they are the leading innovator in many areas!
I hope that you enjoy my report and that it gives you a condensed overview of what happened and please contact us at EnvokeIT if you want assistance within any area below! And thank you Microsoft for such a great event and also all you bloggers out there that I’ve linked to in this material.
I must say that this event was positive and a bit scary at the same time. Microsoft is for sure pushing as visionairies and innovators in a lot of areas, and I think that competitors will have a hard time competing in the coming years.
These are the areas where A LOT have been released already and where Microsoft according to my oppinion will increase its market share significantly:
- Cloud and Mobile services, and with this I don’t mean IaaS service for just running a VM in their public Azure cloud or building a hybrid cloud with connectivity to on-premise datacenters. They are delivering so many capabilities now as PaaS and SaaS services. Just look at the sections below, it’s everything from Enterprise Mobillity Management (EMM), Business Intelligence, Database, Storage, Web Apps/services, Service Availability services (DR, Monitoring/Reporting, Backup etc.), Development, Source Control, Visual Studio Online etc. It’s amazing!!
- Open Source/Linux support – It’s so cool how much Microsoft have shifted to become an adopter to support more open source technologies and way of thinking than just a couple of years ago! Just have a look at all the Linux support they have in Azure, the Linux support they now have in System Center, Docker support to deliver more DevOps capabilities and all the other services in Azure. It’s amazing and so fun! So now both Microsoft have opened their eyes and realized that they can’t ignore this anymore just like Citrix has with their addition of XenDesktop for Linux with SuSE and RedHat support!
The first day kicked off and was a bombarding of product announcements aimed at helping IT pros secure and manage the new Universal Windows Platform.
CEO Satya Nadella presided over a three-hour keynote, which focused on how Microsoft’s new wave of software and cloud services will enable IT and business transformations that are in line with the ways people now work. Nadella talked up Microsoft’s focus on “productivity and platforms” and how it’s tied with the shift to cloud and mobility. He also highlighted the need for better automation of systems and processes, and better management of the vast amounts of data originating from new sources such as sensors and other Internet-of-Things-type nodes.
As mentioned there where a lot of updates and below I’ve tried to gather these and I hope it gives you a good insight on the infromation we received and also guidance on how you can get more information about the topics.
Included below are links to detailed overviews of each of the demos (from Microsoft blog post) – including information about how to use them, where to learn more, and what you’ll need to get started.
- The New Outlook App: A Modern Standard for Secure E-mail
- Enhanced Data Protection with Windows 10
- Windows 10 Device Guard
- Azure RemoteApp
- Document Tracking & Secure Collaboration with Azure RMS
- SaaS Management with Cloud App Discovery
- Detecting Anomalous Sign-Ins with EMS
- Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
- Deploying Azure in Your Datacenter
- The Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS)
- Power BI in SCCM
The following picture is a sketch of the keynote and is also quite good at summarizing the message of Mobile and Cloud first!
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – MDM, MAM, MCSM/MIM etc…
Microsoft’s next chapter in Enterprise Mobility, great blog post on where Microsoft is going etc. http://blogs.technet.com/b/enterprisemobility/archive/2015/05/04/ignite-microsofts-next-chapter- in-enterprise-mobility.aspx …
Windows 10 Continuum – this is cool, think about docking your smartphone to your external screen, keyboard and mouse! That’s try mobility of youre device, this looks really cool and something that I’d like to try out once released!
Have a look at the feature demo at Ignite in the video below.
What’s New and Upcoming with Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager | Microsoft Ignite 2015
This session outlines the latest enhancements in enterprise mobility management using Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager. See the newest Microsoft Intune improvements for managing mobile productivity without compromising compliance, and learn about the futures of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.
Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.
- Enterprise Mobility Vision
- The Evolution of Enterprise Mobility
- Moving Forward in a Mobile-first, Cloud-first World
- Mastering Mobility: A How-to Guide
- Today: Integration into Broader Systems
- Tomorrow: Mobile Productivity
- Empowering SCCM Admins
- Our Plan to be Your Long Term Vendor of Choice
- Extra: The “Master of Mobility” Video Series
Office 2016 public preview available!
Over the last 12 months, we’ve transformed Office from a suite of desktop applications to a complete, cross-platform, cross-device solution for getting work done. We’ve expanded the Office footprint to iPad and Android tablets. We’ve upgraded Office experiences on the Mac, the iPhone and on the web. We’ve even added new apps to the Office family with Sway and Office Lens. All designed to keep your work moving, everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten where we came from. While you’ve seen us focus on tuning Office for different platforms over the last year, make no mistake, Office on Windows desktop is central to our strategy.
In March we introduced an IT Pro and Developer Preview for the 2016 release of our Office desktop apps on Windows, and now—as a next step—we’re ready to take feedback from a broader audience. Today we’re expanding the Office 2016 Preview, making it available to Office users everywhere in preparation for general availability in Fall 2015.
Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, but more importantly they’ll help to shape and improve the future of Office. Visit the Office 2016 Preview site to learn more about the Preview program and if it’s right for you.
New in Office 2016
Since March, we’ve shared some glimpses of what’s to come in Office 2016. Today, we’d like to give a more holistic view of what customers at home and work can expect in the next release. In Office 2016, we’re updating the Office suite for the modern workplace, with smart tools for individuals, teams, and businesses.
Synergy 2015 – A condensed recap of everything you need to know – via @gkuruvilla, #Citrix, #CitrixSynergy
This is a great summary recap that George Kuruvill has done of Citrix Synergy 2015! Great work and enjoy this blog post!
For those of you who were not able to attend Citrix Synergy this year & dont have the time to sit through the key note recordings, I decided to put together a condensed version of some of the key announcements. So here goes!
Citrix Workspace Cloud
- Citrix hosted control plane that enables customers to deliver a comprehensive mobile workspace to end users.
- Gives customers the flexibility to host workloads on premises, in public or private clouds.
- Control plane also provides end to end monitoring of user connections.
- Evergreen infrastructure since Citrix maintains all core infrastructure components.
- Workspace Cloud Connector installed on premises on a Win 2k12 server that establishes SSL communication between control plane and customer environment. Used to talk to infrastructure components like Active Directory and hypervisors hosting workload
I wrote a blog on CWC and the value proposition a month back that you can find here.
SYN 217 – Workspace Cloud – Technical Overview [Video]
Citrix Lifecycle Management
- Comprehensive cloud based service that can be used to design, deploy and manage both Citrix and other enterprise applications.
- Based on the ScaleXtreme technology.
- Lifecycle Management enables customers/partners to deploy infrastructure not only on premises but also public/private clouds (resource locations)
- Customers/Partners have the ability to create blueprints to automate infrastructure deployments end to end. Examples of blueprints include a XD deployment for instance where you could not only install all the XD infrastructure but also automate the installation of all supporting infrastructure like Active Directory, SQL etc.
- Vendors have the ability to create blueprints as well that can then be consumed by customers and partners alike.
- Customers/Partners also have the ability to incorporate scripts (new/existing) into the deployment.
- Once a blueprint is developed, its added to a library. Any resource within the library can then be deployed to a resource location (on premises, public/private cloud)
- Another key benefit of the Lifecycle Management technology is the ability to automate application upgrades.
- Xenapp 6.5 maintenance extended till end of 2017, EOL extended till 06/2018. Details here
- New Feature Pack for XA 6.5 (enhance storage performance, Lync support enhancements, UPM enhancements, Director “Help Desk” troubleshooting”, Storefront 3.0, Receiver.next)
- XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 FP2 (End of Q2)
- New Receiver X1
- Lync 2013 on Mac
- Touch ID Support
- HDX with Framehawk
- Native Receiver for Linux
- Linux Apps and Desktops (Redhat and SUSE support)
- Desktop Player for Mac 2.0 (June)
- Desktop Player for Windows (Tech Preview)
SYN 233 – Whats new in XenApp and XenDesktop [Video]
SYN 319 – Tech Update for XenApp and XenDesktop [Video]
This is just so cool and great! Finally we who have seen and played with it can talk about it in the open and Citrix is showing the new Workspace Cloud services!
You can also login and try it out at http://workspace.cloud.com
Of course it’s not 100% ready for all use cases etc. but the concept is just great! There are so many customer out there that don’t want to manage their XenDesktop infrastructure components and just want to purchase XenDesktop or XenMobile like a true cloud service.. and this is it!
Gunner Berger created this great demo video on how he just spins up a couple of Windows server with RDS in Azure and then installs the components on the servers and connector in order to be able to connect the domain and workers to the Workspace service, really cool!
Have a nice weekend and contact us at EnvokeIT if you like to know more about this or if you need help with Azure, Office365, Microsoft Infrastructure or Citrix XenDesktop, NetScaler or XenMobile! ;-)
PLEASE Citrix fix integration with Azure Stack! – #AzureStack, #CitrixCSP, #CitrixSynergy, #MSIgnite
Ok, Microsoft have made some really cool announcements of Azure Stack, yes STACK not Pack. Azure Stack is NOT version 2.0 of Windows Azure Pack.. this is really important to note!
Azure Stack is basically the Azure technology used by the public Azure cloud but you can take that on-premise to your datacenter to deliver your own Azure cloud. No need of VMM or the traditional Fabric Management infrastructure!
This is how Microsoft puts it:
Microsoft Azure Stack brings proven innovation from Microsoft’s hyper-scale public cloud into your datacenter, providing agility and productivity for application owners, flexibility and control for IT, and assurance that corporate assets are protected.
So then we come to the topic of this post, if we know get this really 1st class IaaS and PaaS capabilties on-premise using Azure Stack HOW can we then leverage that to provision Desktop-as-a-Service offerings with Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop on top of it?
My dream would of course be that Citrix provides Workpace Services and the main XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure as a SaaS service, and that you internally just build your Azure Stack Resource Groups with all components needed for the DaaS tenant (network, storage, AD, VM’s to slap the VDA on etc.) using Visual Studio to leverage intellisense and builtin objects/IDE capabilities to add resources to your json deployment template file. So when you provision this deployment into your Azure Stack IaaS solution you spin up everything for the tenant and then slap the VDA on there that just connects to the XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure in the Citrix cloud to automate this and reduce the need of managing that part!
That would be awesome!
Please Citrix deliver this instead of App Orchestration!
How to monitor your Internet facing service globally – #Azure, #ApplicationInsights, #Citrix, #NetScaler, #EnvokeIT
Hi again all!
It’s been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post.. I’ve just been too busy working! :-)
But this is a really cool capability that I think that many of you will like, how often do your company or service provider have a good way of monitoring availability, performance etc. from the public Internet? And if they do then most of the time the larger service providers will build a service and install their own probes on different geographical locations and then they charge quite a lot for this service, and every time you change your application the charge you again for modifying the scripts that the probes use etc.
What I’ve tried and now think is going to be great for both smaller and larger organisations is the Azure Application Insights service. It’s really great and can assist with just this, it’s a service that microsoft provide from their locations globally where you can test your apps in Azure or course but also any web site out there on the Internet. And it doesn’t stop there, you can also use the server installer to also provide metrics from your Windows IIS server up to Azure to get more detailed statistics about the web server itself and requests etc.
Just think about how much it would take for you to setup monitoring from APAC, Americas and Europe for your NetScaler environment.. that would not be done in 10 minutes if you talk to your standard service provider. It took me 10 minutes to setup this reporting to ensure that the NetScaler is available from different locations around the world:
And this is just a simple url ping test to ensure that we get a proper 200 OK response from our EnvokeIT Lab environment that my colleague Björn have setup and modified so nicely with the X1 StoreFront look & feel.
Of course you can make a more proper test than just a url ping test like in this case, the service supports multi-step tests and also content matching etc. It’s also very easy to create one application/service that then consists of multiple locations that you want to monitor, for instance if you’re using GSLB FQDNs as well as regional to ensure that you get the full picture.
Citrix have released a couple of good blog posts on the new version of XenMobile 10:
Ten Benefits XenMobile 10 Offers To Channel Partners
XenMobile 10 marks the simplification milestone in our Enterprise Mobility Management journey. Today, at Summit Las Vegas we are happy to announce the release of XenMobile 10. XenMobile brings great benefits for both end users and IT administrators.
And here are ten benefits I can think of, from the top of my head that XenMobile 10 brings to our Citrix channel partners:
- Better for Business:
With the 20+ enterprise workflow efficiencies and design improvements that enable business users’ productivity on smartphones and tablets, XenMobile is focused on empowering mobile users. With Citrix’s dedicated focus on user experience, the Worx apps and the Worx Gallery apps are designed to enable enterprise user workflows.
- Enterprise-grade Product: XenMobile architecture is built for complex and sophisticated network topologies that exist in a typical large enterprise with its offices and users across the world.
- Consolidated Architecture: XenMobile 10 integrates the mobile device and application management consoles along with some NetScaler Gateway controls, into one product. This consolidated architecture in this release makes it easy to use and deploy thereby ensuring our channel partners remain successful in their service engagements.
- Intuitive Dashboard:XenMobile 10 brings a fresh look with the redesign of the administrative dashboard. Channel partners can now manage and deploy XenMobile with a complete understanding of the deployments.
- Faster Deployment: With the consolidated architecture for mobile device and application management along with the additional controls for NetScaler Gateway, the deployment time with XenMobile 10 is reduced by 75%!
- Mobile User Workflows: True Mobility is about enabling the user not with a bunch of applications, but with the applications that let the user get their job done without exhaustingly navigating through multiple apps. XenMobile has always focused on enabling user workflows; XenMobile 10 now delivers additional enhancements to allow the end users remain productive without having to be tethered a specific device or a location.
- Automation: We recently announced the automation of APNS Certificate Signing process with which partners can now renew the APNS certificates for their customers. The concept of automation is now extended to ISV partners’ self-verification of their wrapped applications and a self-service portal for end users that allows them to location, track and wipe their lost/stolen device themselves.
- Faster Migration: With the migration tools that will be released for XenMobile 10, channel partners can easily migrate the existing XenMobile customers.
- Security and best-in-class User Experience: Traditionally, security and user experience of products never coexisted. However, XenMobile is proud to bear an exception for this norm by delivering an end user experience that is Better For Business without compromising security. XenMobile offers end-to-end FIPS compliant solution for mobility.
- Specialization Benefits:…