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! ;-)
This is a really good blog post by Christopher Fife, it touches on a couple of scenarios and explains the solution to how best you would accommodate the solution to them. Good work Christopher! :-)
The Citrix Connector 7.5 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, also known simply as the Citrix Connector, integrates XenApp and XenDesktop 7 with Configuration Manager 2012 (CM). The Connector streamlines use of Configuration Manager deployment technology to automate Citrix server and desktop image management. The Connector leverages the new Application/Deployment Type (App/DT) feature of Configuration Manager 2012 to orchestrate deployment to the right images at the right time. Administrators can optionally use the App/DT model to deliver the actual application publications.
Many of our customers are still early in migrating to the App/DT model. They are still leveraging their extensive library of Packages and Programs developed with great care over many years. These Citrix customers want to know how to use all the goodness of the Connector with these Packages and Programs. So, if you are interested in using the Citrix Connector to deploy Packages and Programs to your Citrix servers and desktop, this post is for you.
In many cases deploying Packages and Programs with the Citrix Connector is a straight forward process familiar to any CM administrator. However there are two scenarios in which specific actions are required to avoid unintended consequences when deploying Packages and Programs with the Citrix Connector.
Scenario 1 – Deploying to Image Managed (MCS or PVS) Citrix hosts
The first scenario that requires special consideration is deploying Packages and Programs to VMs created with Citrix XenDesktop Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS). As an administrator, you want to deploy software on the master image of a Machine Catalog and rely on XenDesktop/XenApp to clone worker VMs. Deploying directly to VM clones wastes compute, storage, and network resources because each clone will discard the changes on reboot.
Thus, the Citrix Connector is optimized to only install applications on the master image of a Machine Catalog while entirely skipping application installation on the clones of the master image. The key enabler that allows us to selectively install applications is a CM client policy that puts a 3rd party agent like the Citrix Connector in charge of when to install application or updates.
Here’s the problem. CM client policy does not stop the installation of Packages and Programs or Task Sequences; it only applies to the App/DT model and Windows Updates. This means that the Citrix Connector cannot prevent the installation of Packages and Programs on MCS or PVS clones, leading to unnecessary resource utilization.
Create a device collection that contains just the update device and deploy Packages and Programs to this device collection instead of the device collection created by the Citrix Connector.
Scenario 2 – App Publishing from the CM Console
The second scenario comes into play when using the CM Console to publish the Package/Program as a XenApp-hosted application. The Citrix Connector uses CM application detection logic to ensure that the application is installed before publishing it to Citrix Receiver. This is to prevent an icon from appearing in Receiver before all the servers in a Delivery Group have the application installed.
Unfortunately Package/Program deployments do not have reliable, ongoing application detection logic. Consequently, this orchestration feature of the Citrix Connector cannot be supported when using the Citrix Application Publishing Wizard to publish apps from the Configuration Manager Console.
Use Citrix Studio to publish the application instead of the Citrix Application Publishing Wizard in the CM Console.
If you are using CM Application Catalog and want the Citrix hosted version of the installed program to appear there, you will need to create a new application with a Script deployment type and a Citrix deployment type. The Script DT supplies the application detection logic by looking for the application’s executable, while the Citrix DT creates the application publication in XenDesktop.
The remainder of this post is divided into two sections and will give specific examples of how to implement the solutions discussed above. The first focuses on image management and precisely targeting the program deployment at the update device for a Citrix device collection. The second section focuses on publishing the program installed by CM as a Citrix hosted app.
Solution for Image Management and Resource Utilization
As previously mentioned, the Citrix Connector cannot prevent the installation of Packages and Programs on pooled Citrix session hosts created with Machine Creation Service (MCS) or Provisioning Service (PVS). To prevent this potential inefficiency, a new device collection must be created that only contains the update device. There are 4 steps to accomplish this:
- create the new device collection,
- deploy the program to the new device collection,
- monitor for deployment success on the update device, and
- update the pooled Citrix session hosts with the updated image.
These steps are detailed below.
For background information about master image management with the Citrix Connector and the role of the update device, watch the Master Image Management video http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/11534 on CitrixTV.
Before you start, use the machine catalog properties to make sure there is a designated update device, the Update Method property value is “update device”, and the Update Device property value contain a machine name. This is a very important step. If an update device is not defined for a Citrix image managed device collection, the steps outlined below will result in a new device collection with zero members.
Step 1: Use the Configuration Manager Console to create a device collection
- In the Assets and Compliance section of the Configuration Manager Console, click the “Create device collection” action on toolbar ribbon.
- On the General Page of the Create Device Collection Wizard,
This is a great blog post by Christopher Campbell and good picture to show the overall capabilities and architecture of the Citrix offering!
You’ve heard us talk about Mobile Workspaces and if you’re a techie you’re probably wondering if Citrix really has the architectural components (a complete, comprehensive and fully integrated architecture) that can deliver any app and data to any user on any device over any network?
Well let’s first identify a few of the market leading technologies that make up the Citrix Mobile Workspaces solution:
- XenApp mobilizes and secures Windows apps on any device
- XenDesktop securely delivers virtual Windows desktops and apps on any device
- XenMobile manages and secures mobile, web and SaaS apps on mobile devices
- GoToMeeting empowers people to meet and collaborate with anyone, anywhere
- ShareFile shares and syncs corporate data securely from any location
- NetScaler optimizes and secures app delivery and on any network
- CloudPlatform orchestrates and provisions apps, desktops and IT services from any cloud
OK, OK. We know you have the products but do they really integrate?
Yes. Don’t believe me? Well as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is what the Mobile Workspace Architecture looks like.
OK. I get it. You have the architecture but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a seamless user experience.
Still don’t believe huh? Well this is what the user experience looks like.
XenMobile is a key ingredient in delivering a mobile workspace. Along with XenApp and XenDesktop it allows organizations to deliver on giving users access to any app from any device. In fact, if you’re an existing XenApp or XenDesktop customer, XenMobile seamlessly plugs into your existing architecture.
If you’re a XenDesktop or XenApp customer this is what your environment probably looks like.
Now this is what you need to enable EMM for BYO and COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) devices and add that MDM, MAM, Secure Email, Secure Data…
Continue reading here!
Finally it’s released, just go and download and enjoy (hopefully)! ;-)
Documentation is available online in Citrix eDocs. Keeping in mind that the online documentation will be periodically updated, you may also download a PDF file with a current snapshot for offline use:
This single package contains the Core and components needed to deploy the server-side infrastructure supporting Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 and includes Director, Studio, Delivery Controller, Virtual Delivery Agent, Personal vDisk, Universal Print Server, Receiver and StoreFront, Profile Management, HDX, Migration tool, License Server and CloudBridge (Branch Repeater) plug in.
Wow… this is really interesting and “weird” I must say…
XenApp is back! :-)
And of course AppDNA is in there as well to simplify software/application management on this platform.
New Citrix XenApp 7.5 makes it simple to deliver any Windows app to an increasingly mobile workforce, while leveraging the cost saving and elasticity of hybrid clouds and the security of mobile device management. Learn more at http://www.citrix.com/xenapp
Hear more about it in this video!
The video above was removed because of that it was accidentally published too early.. but you can find it on YouTube here:
If you haven’t read Part 1 then I highly recommend doing so prior to going directly to the upgrade that we’re covering in this post!
Prepare for a journey in this post about Citrix StoreFront upgrade, uninstallation, console and how messy it could be! NOT all the time, sometimes it “just works”! ;-)
My little NetScaler is already upgraded to 10.1 so unfortunately I couldn’t take you on that journey as well, so we’ll start with the StoreFront upgrade from 1.2 to 2.0 in this post. These are the steps that we need to cover as highlighted in the migration guide that seems very short and straight forward:
Upgrade StoreFront 1.2 to 2.0.
- Logon to the StoreFront server console.
- Upgrade StoreFront by running the StoreFront 2.0 installer as an administrator.
- When the upgrade is completed, open StoreFront administration snap-in, remove CloudGateway controller from each store as this will be moved in the migration solution.
- Open NetScaler Gateway Properties and for each gateway defined and change the version field in settings from 9.x to 10.0.x or later.
- Test the configuration by logging on through web browser or Citrix Receiver.
- Verify if the users are able to login and authenticate to StoreFront defined stores configured.
Is it this easy?
Ok, I’ve downloaded the 2.0 installer, and I’m logged on to the server.
Before we even start the upgrade there are things that could go wrong in removal or upgrades of StoreFront. And one that I’ve seen cause a lot of headache for a lot of people out there is that they have the Windows Firewall service disabled. Though the installation and removal wants to delete or add these rules the installation will fail unless this service is running. As you can see in this picture below you see the FW rule added in StoreFront 1.2:
So let’s verify that the Windows FW service is started, and it is!
I’ll now start the installation by double-clicking the StoreFront 2.0 installer!
What is this popup that came directly after starting the installer?
Wait, ok so you guys at Citrix couldn’t ask me whether you could do this for me? My plan is to upgrade, so please just add a little step in your upgrade program that does this for me… change request #1 for the next SF release and it’s upgrade process! Verify pre-requisites or deal with them!