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Citrix Lifecycle Management cloud service – is it something for you? YES! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS @EnvokeIT

I must admit that both Microsoft and Citrix are on the right track, it’s amazing to see the number of great “cloud” services that they now are releasing. If you’ve been reading my blog and follow me on Twitter then you know that I’m already a HUGE fan of Azure and all its offerings, and now Citrix comes up with a real interesting cloud based service to simplify the life-cycle management of their offerings, great job!

In this post we’re going to look at little closer to the Citrix Lifecycle Management service. So let’s start of with what it is, have a look at this great overview video:

Citrix Lifecycle Management is a comprehensive cloud-based lifecycle management solution to accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and ongoing management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

Supporting many types of IT workloads across virtual and private or public cloud environments, this solution enables IT organizations to become faster, more cost-effective and more agile, and it helps maintain service quality and high availability with redundancy, automatic scaling and disaster recovery of applications. Built on blueprints incorporating validated reference architectures, configurations and best practices, Citrix Lifecycle Management provides a unified and standardized set of management tools for rapid and best practice-driven design, deployment and management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

See this blog for a further explanation of Citrix Lifecycle Management.

Citrix Lifecycle Management is delivered as a cloud-based service through the newly launched Citrix Workspace Cloud.

The cloud service interacts with many types of supported Resource Locations that can be located either up in a public cloud service like Azure (that rocks!) or your on premise location and leveraging any of these technologies:

Citrix-lifecycle-Management-Resource-locations-support

Once that you’ve connected the service to one of your Resource Locations then you can really start to look at the process of deploying your services to it, here is a good overview of the process of deploying a blueprint:

Citrix-Lifecycle-Management-process-deploy-blueprint

As you can see the process is really straight forward, 1 connect to your Resource Location, 2 Add your blueprint and then as the 3rd step you Deploy it! Read more…

Finally – Citrix Workspace Cloud is GA! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS, #SaaS, @EnvokeIT

This is something that we at EnvokeIT have been trying out for quite a while and really enjoy, it’s a great service that will simplify a lot for many service providers and customers. Contact us at EnvokeIT if you have any questions or if you need assistance on your journey to the cloud!

Workspace-Cloud-Launch-300x183

Now your business can take advantage of Citrix Workspace Cloud, the fastest and easiest way for IT to enable business productivity with secure apps, data, device management and more.

I’m pleased to announce the general availability of Citrix Workspace Cloud, the industry’s simplest way to build and deliver a complete workspace without compromise.

Now, you can easily combine virtual apps and desktops, mobile apps and device policies and data – securely delivered from any cloud or infrastructure you choose – whether on-premises, off-premises or both in a hybrid model.

Workspace Cloud is Revolutionary

Over the past 18 months, the team has been busy engaging with customers, partners, industry analysts, media, Citrix Technology Professionals, ISVs and alliance partners around the world as we built Workspace Cloud.

The general reaction has been consistent: Workspace Cloud is unlike anything else and comprehensively addresses the biggest challenges in workspace management.

The cloud-based management and control plane accelerates deployments. The choice of infrastructure locations provides the flexibility partners and customer’s demand, and the comprehensive set of workspace services that are always up to date ensure you can meet the broad set of IT use cases.

A single unified, global, and multi-tenant SaaS platform to create complete workspaces

People do their best work when they have immediate access to their work resources – the people, apps, and files they need at any specific moment or context.

While other vendors offer a ‘workspace’ that is nothing more than virtual desktops offered in their own cloud, Workspace Cloud makes it easy to deliver a people-centric, modern workspace located on-premises, off-premises or both in a hybrid model.

Easily compose workspaces containing apps, desktops, mobile and data. Workspace management allows you to use existing corporate Active Directory domains to add, remove or change the resources from one place once and on-demand – everyone and every resource in the workspace is updated.

Stay in control and retain choice for your infrastructure and cloud selections

Want to run your contractor applications out of Amazon, your productivity apps in Azure to be near their Office 365 data, and desktops on-premises? No problem. Workspace Cloud provides the only solution that allows you to select the best infrastructure combinations based on economics, performance, existing capacity, sovereignty, and expertise. This means the selection can be made on a per-service basis. This choice extends not only to your applications and desktops, but also to your data.

Workspace Cloud accelerates deployment and management through a SaaS-based control plane and securely communicates with your infrastructure through a simple cloud connector. Driven by a simple stateless, zero-touch management architecture. After a simple installation the connector is ready to provision resources, enumerate users from Microsoft Active Directory domains, and launch session requests.

Comprehensive portfolio of workspace services available as a subscription

Workspace Cloud subscriptions contains services that address the core use cases customers face every day and are available today. Start with one offering but easily add more based upon your expanding business needs.

The core services we’re announcing today include:

  • Applications and Desktops Service – Deliver secure virtual apps and desktops to any device, and leave the product installation, setup, configuration, upgrades and monitoring to Citrix based on industry-leading XenApp and XenDesktop technology.
  • Mobility Service – Provide cloud-based, comprehensive enterprise mobility management (EMM) — including mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management, and enterprise-grade productivity apps — for a secure user experience on BYOD or corporate devices based on XenMobile technology.
  • Secure Document Service – Meet the mobility and collaboration needs of employees and the data security requirements of the enterprise with this secure enterprise file sync and sharing service based on ShareFile technology.
  • Lifecycle Management Service – Accelerate and automate the design, deployment, and ongoing management of Citrix enterprise workloads with comprehensive lifecycle management. The service provides standardized, repeatable automation technology with a catalog of blueprints – assembled scripts that capture configurations, settings and other complex details into a single repeatable solution. Read more about this new technology here.

Continue reading more here!

//Richard

See how Citrix XenDesktop for Linux looks – #Citrix, #XenDesktop, #Linux, #EnvokeIT, #BYOD, #DaaS

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.

Isn’t it great that both Microsoft and Citrix now seem to love Linux :-)   (and yes, I manipulated these images so it’s not an official Citrix statement!)Richard_happy_when_Microsoft_and_Citrix_Loves_Linux

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.

Apps-Service-Overview

XenDesktop_overview_architecture

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.

EnvokeIT_Access_Portal

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

Hi all,

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 following picture is a sketch of the keynote and is also quite good at summarizing the message of Mobile and Cloud first!

 

vNiklas also created a great powershell script that automates the downloading of all MS Ignite content with PowerShell and Bits from Channel 9 that you can find here!

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.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3861/player

In the CloudEnterprise Mobility Management table of content:

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.

Read more…

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/XenDesktop

  • 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]

Read more…

#Citrix Workspace Cloud Setup on Microsoft #Azure – #EnvokeIT, #DaaS, #XenDesktop, #NetScaler

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! ;-)

//Richard

PLEASE Citrix fix integration with Azure Stack! – #AzureStack, #CitrixCSP, #CitrixSynergy, #MSIgnite

Hi,

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!

AzureStack

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!

//R

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