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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 #XenServer and #XenDesktop, platforms for CAD – Grid, #vGPU, #NVidia

This is really cool! And I like the innovation that Citrix and NVIDIA is doing around solving this puzzle! Keep up the great job!

For many traditional CAD, CAE and PLM based industries with rigorous product lifecycle control such as Automotive and Aerospace, virtualisation has been approached with caution. CAD moves slowly and the cost of change is large and concerns over network speed, security and the maturity of solutions meant many held off, surveying the Cloud and virtualisation from afar, waiting to see if the benefits outweighed the risks. 

This week, with a tech preview of GPU hardwaresharing for VDI; Citrix and NVIDIA introduced another piece to what is now a very compelling portfolio that delivers all the elements needed to virtualise CAD and PLM on large scales. Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop really have become the natural CAD and PLM platform.

vGPU – True hardware GPU sharing

Complementing Citrix’s existing GPU passthrough and GPU hardware sharing for Windows Server workloads,this new technology enables the benefits of GPU acceleration to be exploited at lower costs. GPU passthrough has been in use for a while, enabling designers like those at Boeing to work using applications such as Dassault CATIA remotely. Our existing software GPU sharing technologies have proved great at delivering graphically intensive applications such as Dassault SolidWorks, Ansys Workbench and Fluent and Autodesk Applications. By offering the full portfolio of GPU passthrough and true hardware shared GPUs via vGPU, Citrix’s portfolio offers organisations the best possible flexibility to optimise their usage of GPU technologies. Mayunk has detailed the options available and I’d recommendhis blog post and guides to explore the options.

We’ve been working not only with NVIDIA on their newest GRID cards but also the major server vendorssuch as HP, Dell, Cisco, IBM and Supermicro to ensure these technologies are fine tuned for theXenServer Hypervisor to maximise performance with the NVIDIA GPUs. HP themselves have produced aninsightful guide on the benefits of vGPU over other technologies.

Those who work in CAD know that for every designer designing…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Here we are again… a lot of companies and Solution Architects are scratching their heads thinking about how we’re going to do it “this time”.

Most of you out there have something today, probably running XenApp on your VMware or XenServer hypervisor with a FC SAN or something, perhaps provisioned using PVS or just managed individually. There is also most likely a “problem” with talking to the Storage team that manage the storage service for the IaaS service that isn’t built for the type of workloads that XenApp and XenDesktop (VDI) requires.

So how are you going to do it this time? Are you going to challenge the Storage and Server/IaaS service and be innovative and review the new cooler products and capabilities that now exists out there? They are totally changing the way that we build Virtual Cloud Computing solutions where; business agility, simplicity, cost savings, performance and simple scale out is important!

There is no one solution for everything… but I’m getting more and more impressed by some of the “new” players on the market when it comes to providing simple and yet so powerful and performing Virtual Cloud Computing products. One in particular is Nutanix that EnvokeIT has partnered with and they have a truly stunning product.

But as many have written in many great blog posts about choosing your storage solution for your VDI solution you truly need to understand what your service will require from the underlying dependency services. And is it really worth to do it the old way? You have your team that manages the IaaS service, and most of the times it just provides a way for ordering/provisioning VM’s, then the “VDI” team leverages that one using PVS or MCS. Some companies are not even where  they can order that VM as a service or provision it from the Image Provisioning (PVS/MCS) service, everything is manual and they call it a IaaS service… is it then a real IaaS service? My answer would be now… but let’s get back to the point I was trying to make!

This HW, Hypervisor, Network, Storage (and sometimes orchestrator) components are often managed by different teams. Each team are also most of the times not really up to date in terms of understanding what a Virtualization/VDI service will require from them and their components. They are very competent in understanding the traditional workload of running a web server VM or similar, but not really dealing with boot storms from hundreds to thousands of VDI’s booting up, people logging in at the same time and the whole pattern of IOPS that is generated in these VM’s “life-cycle”.

This is where I’d suggest everyone to challenge their traditional view on building Virtualization and Storage services for running Hosted Shared Desktop (XenApp/RDS) and Hosted Virtual Desktop (VDI/XenDesktop) on!

You can reduce the complexity, reduce your operational costs and integrate Nutanix as a real power compute part of your internal/private cloud service!

One thing that also is kind of cool is the integration possibilities of the Nutanix product with OpenStack and other cloud management products through its REST API’s.  And it supports running both Hyper-V, VMware ESXi and KVM as hypervisors in this lovely bundled product.

If you want the nitty gritty details about this product I highly recommend that you read the Nutanix Bible post by Steven Poitras here.

Nutanix_Bible640CVM_Dist-1024x384

Read more…

NEW #Citrix Apps and Desktops certifications – #CCIA, #CCE, #CCA, #XenDesktop

Ok, Citrix has now released the new certifications! Have a look, plan, study and take them! 😉

Now in Beta and launching live in early Q4 – a new solutions-focused certification program designed to validate IT professional skills for strategic app and desktop solutions in support of Citrix XenDesktop 7.

New certification path
 
  • Citrix Certified Professional – Apps and Desktops (CCP-AD) validates the skills experienced IT solution builders, such as engineers and consultants, need to install, configure and roll out common XenDesktop 7 solutions.
    1. Obtain the CCA-AD certification.
    2. Prepare with the Deploying Citrix XenDesktop 7 Solutions training course.
    3. Pass the Deploying Citrix XenDesktop 7 Solutions exam.
  • Citrix Certified Expert – Apps and Desktops (CCE-AD) validates the skills experienced IT solution designers, such as architects, engineers and consultants need to assess and design comprehensive XenDesktop 7 solutions.
    1. Obtain the CCP-AD certification.
    2. Prepare with the Designing Citrix XenDesktop 7 Solutions training course .
    3. Pass the Designing Citrix XenDesktop 7 Solutions exam.

Update Paths

We have a simple transition path for you.

CCIAs and CCEEs may update to the new equivalent level by passing only one exam. Eligibility to update will require an unexpired credential. The update path for existing CCIAs and CCEEs will be available until this first version of the CCE-AD or CCP-AD exams are retired. We will provide 3 months notice of any changes to the update requirements or update path availability.

Existing Citrix Certified Administrators (CCAs) and Citrix…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

What will happen to #XenServer now? – #Citrix, #Virtualization, #IaaS

This is a question that I get a lot these days…. what will happen to XenServer now when Citrix has handed it over to the open source community and that it will be available at XenServer.org. Have they really handed it over, if you think yes; what did they then hand over then though it’s been open source based all along?

Well I suggest that you read a bit about the product strategy etc in this release from Citrix on what the view is:

Key Messages and FAQs for Customers

On June 25, 2013, Citrix announced the availability of the Citrix XenServer 6.2 virtualization platform, which is the first XenServer offering to deliver a full featured, open-source, freely available software package. Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal to provide source code access and drive innovation and collaboration around server virtualization and cloud. 

Why the change to open source? 

Citrix is advancing its strategy around open source with the launch of the XenServer.org community portal to drive innovation, collaboration and discussion around XenServer. As evidenced by the strong industry response to phase 1 of this strategy (move Xen to the Linux Foundation, April 15), open source provides us with a way to better engage with ecosystem partners to enable innovation. Open source also provides alignment with the dominant cloud orchestration platforms of CloudStack and OpenStack and meets cloud builder expectations for source code availability and open APIs. Our move to an open source strategy was chosen for several reasons. 

1. Open source is in the Xen / XenSource DNA. 

2. Open source software is leading proprietary software in cloud infrastructure. 

3. Open source enables collaborative development that drives public trust. 

4. Open source communities empower users and broaden market reach. 

What is the new XenServer product strategy? 

Read more…

#Citrix #XenDesktop 7 released – #RTW, #BYOD, #HSD, #VDI

Ok, it’s here! The official release is now available for everyone!

XenDesktop 7 Editions

There are tons of blog posts and materials already out there and some great features as well that comes with this new release from Citrix. If you haven’t already played with the Excalibur release and know about them I suggest that you start evaluating and testing now!

Here are some good links to have a look at:

Enjoy! 🙂

//Richard

#CitrixSynergy keynote – What will be announced?

So here we are! Keynote is about to start!

what can we expect? This is one thing that I definitely like to see:

– MDM + MAM + MIM + XA/XD= one solution/service! Have they finally made some progress into integrating Zenprise, AppController and StoreFront into one “App Store” and policy governance model so that we have one (1) app that handles both MDM, MAM and MIM from a device/user perspective?

Let the show begin! 🙂

//Richard

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#Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 – March 2013

Citrix Support is focused on ensuring Customer and Partner satisfaction with our products.

One of our initiatives is to increase the ability of our Partners and Customers to leverage self-service avenues via our Knowledge Center.

Find below the Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 for March 2013.

Top 10 Technical Articles

Article Number Article Title
CTX129229 Recommended Hotfixes for XenApp 6.0 and Later on Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX129082 Application Launch Fails with Web Interface using Internet Explorer 9
CTX804493 Users Prompted to Download ICA File, Launch.ica, Instead of Launching the Connection
CTX132875 Citrix Receiver Error 2320
CTX105793 Error: Cannot connect to the Citrix server. Protocol Driver Error
CTX127030 Citrix Guidelines for Antivirus Software Configuration
CTX115637 Citrix Multi-Monitor Configuration Settings and Reference
CTX133997 Citrix Receiver 3.x – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX325140 Manually and Safely Removing Files after Uninstalling the Receiver for Windows
CTX101644 Seamless Configuration Settings

 

Top 10 Whitepapers

Article Number Article Title
CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) – Optimization Guide
CTX132799 XenDesktop and XenApp Best Practices
CTX101997 Citrix Secure Gateway Secure Ticket Authority Frequently Asked Questions
CTX136546 Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook 5.x
CTX136547 StoreFront Planning Guide
CTX133185 Citrix CloudGateway Express 2.0 – Implementation Guide
CTX129761 XenApp Planning Guide – Virtualization Best Practices
CTX134081 Planning Guide – Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Policies
CTX130888 Technical Guide for Upgrading/Migrating to XenApp 6.5
CTX122978 XenServer: Understanding Snapshots

 

Top 10 Hotfixes

Article Number Article Title
CTX136714 Hotfix XS61E016 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX132122 Hotfix Rollup Pack 1 for Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX126653 Citrix Online Plug-in 12.1.44 for Windows with Internet Explorer 9 Support
CTX136483 Hotfix XS61E014 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX133882 Hotfix Rollup Pack 2 for Citrix XenApp 6 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX133066 12.3 Online Plug-In – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX136253 Hotfix XS61E010 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136482 Hotfix XS61E013 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136085 Hotfix XA650R01W2K8R2X64061 – For Citrix XenApp 6.5
CTX136674 Hotfix XS61E012 – For XenServer 6.1.0

 

Top 10 Presentations

Article Number Article Title
CTX135521 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX129669 TechEdge 2011 – Overview of XenServer Distributed Virtual Switch/Controller
CTX121090 Planning and implementing a Provisioning Server high availability (HA) solution
CTX133375 TechEdge 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX135356 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Understanding and Troubleshooting ICA Session Initialisation
CTX135358 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – XenDesktop Advanced Troubleshooting
CTX133374 TechEdge 2012 – Monitoring your NetScaler Traffic with AppFlow
CTX135361 Troubleshooting Tools: How to Isolate and Resolve Issues in your XA and XD Env Rapidly
CTX135360 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Planning, Implementing and Troubleshooting PVS 6.x
CTX135357 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Implementing and Troubleshooting SF and Rec for Windows

Top 10 Tools

Article Number Article Title
CTX122536 Citrix Quick Launch
CTX135075 Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit – 64bit Edition
CTX130147 Citrix Scout
CTX111961 CDFControl
CTX106226 Repair Clipboard Chain 2.0.1
CTX109374 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX124406 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX113472 Citrix ICA File Creator
CTX123278 XDPing Tool

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Citrix transfers #Xen to the #Linux Foundation – via @scottjcutter

In 2007 Citrix acquired XenSource gaining control over the development of the Xen Hypervisor part of the Xen project. Today Citrix announcedthat it will hand over the Xen Project to the Linux Foundation which will continue its development. After both Ian Pratt and Simon Crosby who came from XenSource left Citrix to start their company Bromium, Citrix has clearly been struggling on how to continue its involvement in the development of the Xen project, leading to this decision.

The following companies will contribute to and guide the Xen Project as founding members of the Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation: Amazon Web Services, AMD, Bromium, Calxeda, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, Google, Intel, Oracle, Samsung and Verizon.

Its interesting to note that the Linux Foundation also supports the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) development, the hypervisor included in…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Top 5 #Citrix #XenServer Questions from the Citrix Master Class

February 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Below are the top 5 XenServer questions raised from the Citrix Master Class posted by Amanda Saunders!

Let’s face it, XenServer has been around for quite a while. Citrix purchased the hypervisor back in 2007 and released it entirely free to the market in 2009. Since then, we’ve seen over 1 million downloads of the product and mass adoption in all sorts of businesses from SMBs to the largest service providers. Despite all this, we had almost 700 first time attendees on our XenServer Master Class last week taking a look at what this product has to offer. The newbies were joined by 300 additional Master Class veterans who continue to return to see what we’ll be showing off this time on our British radio show inspired, tech webinar. All of the attendees joined in to keep us busy, asking hundreds of questions for our XenServer experts to answer live on the webinar. If you missed it, watch the recording and read a summary of the top questions asked by the audience.

Why are cloud providers choosing XenServer to power their clouds?

This question could have an entire blog post dedicated to it, but I will try to address it as simply as possible. Currently 80% of Citrix CloudPlatform and Apache CloudStack environments are built on top of Xen or XenServer. Why? The high level reasons are scalability and cost*.

Scalability comes from XenServer’s fully replicated architecture across all hosts in an environment. This means there is no management server required to manage a given number of hosts. Should the master host in a pool go down, any other host can be promoted to replace it with no loss of functionality or configuration. In practice, this means cloud providers can freely choose to cluster hosts as required without incurring any additional configuration or management complexity based on cluster size.

While cost is an important factor for every company to consider, it is particularly important when you’re looking at licensing hundreds or even thousands of hosts. Both the open source version of XenServer and the premium version of XenServer that is included as part of your CloudPlatform entitlement, mean cloud providers can get the virtualization layer of their cloud at no cost. These savings can then be turned into additional differentiated service offerings or added savings to their end user.

 *other reasons include open source base, flexibility, VM density and tenant isolation.

XenMotion, what is it and is it free?

We have a competitor in the space who likes to use “v” in a lot of their feature names. A good rule of thumb to find the corresponding feature in XenServer is to replace “v” with “Xen”. XenMotion is our live migration feature that allows you to move VMs from one host in a pool to another provided that the pool has shared storage attached. This has been available in our free version since 2009.

Storage XenMotion is a brand new feature that we released with XenServer 6.1. This feature enables you to move VMs between hosts without the requirement of shared storage which lessens the hardware requirement/expense for both cloud providers using commodity hardware and SMBs with smaller environments. Storage XenMotion is available in our advanced version of XenServer.

Is there an easy way to get support for my environment, even if I’m running on free?

For those of you running a premium edition of XenServer (Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum) we recently changed our support model to offer unlimited, 24×7 support for paid editions of XenServer at about 7% of license cost. What does this mean to the free users out there? Well, it means you can no longer purchase support from Citrix for your XenServer environment. That being said, in addition to the incredible support you can get on the forums, we’ve also introduced a new Citrix Auto Support tool that can do a sanity check of your environment. Simply upload a log file and we’ll check for any issues that we recognize including missing patches, known bugs or configuration errors. This tool can be used for both free or paid editions, so try it out for yourself at http://taas.citrix.com.

What is MonitorIT?

A big thank you to our friends at Goliath Technologies who demoed their brand new version of MonitorIT on our XenServer Master Class. This solution delivers proactive monitoring of your entire environment right out of XenCenter or directly from a browser. What do we mean by “entire environment”? Virtual servers, physical servers, VDI, applications, databases, log management, network, storage, data center components, workstations – EVERYTHING! Do you have multiple hypervisors in your environment? Monitor your vSphere clusters straight from your XenCenter console using this product. You can go one step further and have MonitorIT proactively make changes to alleviate bottlenecks in your environment so the business can keep doing business without interruption. Don’t take my word for it, check out their free trial for yourself. They’ve even opened up their early access program so you can access all the great new features that…

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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