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

June 4, 2015 1 comment

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…

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…

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:

Availability

 

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.

NetScaler_StoreFront_x1_look_and_feel

 

URL_ping_test_netscaler_bear_lab_envokeit

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.

More information about what can be done you can find on the Azure Application Insights  pageRead more…

#XenMobile and the #Citrix Mobile Workspaces Architecture – #BYOD

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!

//Richard

 

Bug in Citrix Receiver 13 for Linux – cannot connect with multiple STAs – @CitrixSupport, @CitrixReceiver, #Citrix

Ok, we’ve had some issues with Citrix Receiver version 13 for Linux.. and it’s not just ONE issue. I found one that I thought I just have to share… so it’s lab Saturday for me at the office in a true geek manner with two XenClients and my favourite MacBook!

Bugg_finding_geek_Saturday

I guess that some of you have tried the Linux Receiver and knows how hard it is to get working, especially on a 64-bit distribution of Linux like Ubuntu 12.04 LTS och 13.10 LTS.

If you follow these instructions you can get it onto the device and then login through a browser (local Receiver UI may still not be full functioning!)..

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CitrixICAClientHowTo

What I’m about to show you is that it’s not just only getting Receiver on the device and ensuring that the SSL certificates are trusted. You then have to be able to use it as well externally through a NetScaler Gateway (NSG) into StoreFront and your XenApp/XenDesktop VDA’s.

Just assume that you have a production environment that consists of a NetScaler Gateway and a StoreFront server, if you then in StoreFront have configured your NetScaler Gateway correctly and the appropriate STA configuration (with MULTIPLE STA’s) then you will notice that you can’t launch a session.

BTW, the recommendation from Citrix is to use multiple STA’s, right! See this from edocs:

For all deployments, if you are making resources provided by XenDesktop, XenApp, or VDI-in-a-Box available in the store, list on the Secure Ticket Authority (STA) page URLs for servers running the STA. Add URLs for multiple STAs to enable fault tolerance, listing the servers in order of priority to set the failover sequence. If you configured a grid-wide virtual IP address for your VDI-in-a-Box deployment, you need only specify this address to enable fault tolerance.

Important: VDI-in-a-Box STA URLs must be entered in the form https://serveraddress/dt/sta in the Add Secure Ticket Authority URL dialog box, where serveraddress is the FQDN or IP address of the VDI-in-a-Box server, or the grid-wide virtual IP address.

The STA is hosted on XenDesktop, XenApp, and VDI-in-a-Box servers and issues session tickets in response to connection requests. These session tickets form the basis of authentication and authorization for access to XenDesktop, XenApp, and VDI-in-a-Box resources.

If you want XenDesktop, XenApp, and VDI-in-a-Box to keep disconnected sessions open while Citrix Receiver attempts to reconnect automatically, select theEnable session reliability check box. If you configured multiple STAs and want to ensure that session reliability is always available, select the Request tickets from two STAs, where available check box. Read more…

#XenMobile on Android and MicroVPN issue unless you really synch Worx releases…

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Hi,

If you’ve worked with XenMobile and especially the AppController to deploy WorxMail and WorxWeb you know that these establish  a MicroVPN tunnel to reach internal resources when needed.

One thing that I noted today was that when you upgrade your AppController and NetScalers and people also upgrade their Worx Home app on Android you can run into an issue unless you upgrade and align your Worx Home and WorxWeb apps.

The new Worx Home 8.6.1 on Android requires that you run WorxWeb 1.3.3 from Citrix, otherwise the MicroVPN tunnel won’t be established and you won’t reach your internal resources through it.

So it’s more important than ever to ensure that you try your NetScaler, AppController and Worx apps and align their releases.. once they work then you see this great progress and tunnel being established.

Android_MicroVPN_tunnel_established

It would be nice to get a good table of which versions of each product/component that you should run and which ones that can support all use cases like; XenMobile , ShareFile on prem, ICA/HDX proxy, SSL VPN and SmartAccess for RfW and proxy! I’ve not yet found one combination that delivers everything. 😉

Happy XenMobile’ing!

//Richard

#Citrix and Palo Alto Networks Team to Deliver Consolidated, Multi-tenant Network Security and #ADC Services on #NetScaler SDX

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

This is really interesting!!

With the myriad of features that we launched in PAN-OS 6.0, you may have missed a new deployment option for Palo Alto Networks VM-Series in your data center. In addition to the support of VM-Series for VMware environments, you can now deploy the VM-Series on the Citrix NetScaler SDX platform. We launched this with Citrix officially today.

Virtualized and cloud environments require the secure and efficient delivery of the right applications to the right users using any device and from any location. To do this, you need an infrastructure that supports all aspects of application delivery (security, availability, performance and visibility) and embraces the key characteristics of cloud:

  • Multi-tenancy – the ability to support differing needs of new application owners, business units or service provider customers
  • Agility – the services must have the ability to be provisioned and de-provisioned on demand, with support for automation and orchestration
  • Scalability – the services must have the ability to flexibly scale up, scale out capacity to meet the needs of the business

Citrix NetScaler SDX is an open, multi-services platform that addresses these requirements. The NetScaler SDX platform consolidates NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC), and best-in-class network and security services required for application delivery. Now, with the introduction of VM-Series on Citrix NetScaler, you’ll be able to provide dedicated instances of security and ADC for per application load balancing with dedicated firewalling. You now also have a complete, integrated security and availability solution for Citrix XenApp XenDesktop deployments – from secure remote access, high-availability…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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