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Archive for the ‘XenDesktop’ Category

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

Deploying #SCCM 2012 Packages and Programs with the #Citrix Connector – #DaaS, #XenDesktop

January 13, 2015 Leave a comment

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.

Solution

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.

Solution 1

Use Citrix Studio to publish the application instead of the Citrix Application Publishing Wizard in the CM Console.

Solution 2

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.

 

Solution Details

 

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:

  1. create the new device collection,
  2. deploy the program to the new device collection,
  3. monitor for deployment success on the update device, and
  4. 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.

Machine Catalog Properties

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,

Read 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

 

#Citrix #XenApp and #XenDesktop 7.5 is released

March 26, 2014 1 comment

Finally it’s released, just go and download and enjoy (hopefully)! 😉

https://www.citrix.com/downloads/xendesktop/product-software/xendesktop-75-platinum.html

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:

Admin Guide
Upgrade Guide
Install Guide

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.

//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…

#XenDesktop 7.1 on #Hyper-V Pilot Guide! – #Citrix

February 19, 2014 1 comment

This is a great PoC guide, some thing I would have done differently in detail but overall great work!

You’ve heard of XenDesktop 7.1, experienced a demo and worked through the Reviewer’s Guide. Now where do you turn when you’re ready for a PoC, pilot and preparations for a full-scale rollout?

Here on the Citrix Readiness and Enablement Team, we’re always looking for ways to empower our customers to be successful on their projects. To this end, we’ve taken one of our most popular hands-on lab guides used to train hundreds of internal and external students and reworked it for consumption by the masses. The XenDesktop 7.1 on Hyper-V Pilot Guide can be download fromhttps://citrix.sharefile.com/d/scaa256260df4ab3b. In this guide we cover the following topics with step-by-step instructions and screenshots:

– Configuring System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Installing the Agent
– Setting Up SQL Server Mirroring for a XenDesktop site
– Setting up the XenDesktop Site
– Joining a Controller to an Existing Site
– Configuring StoreFront and Installing Certificates
– Configuring NetScaler for StoreFront Load Balancing
– Installing the VDA Software on Desktop and Server VMs
– Creating Catalogs of Machine for Desktops and Servers
– Creating Delivery Groups for Desktops and Servers
– Delivering Installed and App-V Applications
– Provisioning Services Configuration and Optimizations
– Using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard
– Setting up Remote Access with NetScaler and StoreFront
– Internal and External Connectivity Scenarios
– Load Evaluator Policies
– Monitoring with Director
– Exploring Configuration Logging
– Exploring Delegated Administration
– Working with PowerShell

And much more!

Take a look through the document and let us know your thoughts…

IMPORTANT: This guide is designed to be used as a reference for building PoC and/or pilot environments. Production environments should always be…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#VDI Calculator v5 is Now Available with Major New Features – #IaaS, #Storage, #BYOD via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is awesome! Great work by @andreleibovici!

I am happy to announce the General Availability of the new VDI Calculator v5. This new version is the single biggest release since I started delivering the calculator. I have completely re-architected the way the calculator works, allowing multiple types of desktops to be configured in a single calculation for a single solution.
 
All existing features have been retained and will work in the exact same way you are used to, but you now have the ability to select different  options for different types of desktops or desktop pools.
 
As an example, you may choose Desktop Type 1 to be a ‘student’ desktop using Linked Clones with 10 different pools; conversely you may choose Desktop Type 2 to be a ‘professor’ desktop using Full Clones with 5 individual pools. This new calculator gives you much more granular control over your calculations eliminating repetitive tasks when sizing larger environments.
 
To enable multi-desktop pool calculations just select ‘-’ and ‘+’ in the top bar menu.
 

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 9.50.39 AM

 
Another additional feature is what I call ‘Ask for Help‘. During the application session when you select the Update option a new screen will show up asking if you would like to be contacted by VDI solutions vendors that can help reduce costs, improve performance or improve manageability of your VDI solution. If you are interested…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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