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Posts Tagged ‘access’

#Citrix #XenDesktop 7 on #vSphere Validated Design Guide is available now!

Really good design guide by Citrix and blog post by Carisa Powell:

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Citrix Solutions Lab 5000-user XenDesktop 7 on vSphere Validated Design Guide.

Yes, you read that right, XenDesktop on vSphere.  XenDesktop is also known to many vSphere customers as the best VDI solution for vSphere, and this design guide showcases the latest release of XenDesktop features and functionality all being hosted on a vSphere hypervisor.  XenDesktop is the best of both virtual apps and desktops from a single platform, so XenDesktop is VDI, XenDesktop is app virtualization, XenDesktop is server-hosted apps and desktops, XenDesktop is secure remote access, XenDesktop is mobility…and with XenDesktop 7 you get all of this functionality from a single platform.

This design guide combines everything that is XenDesktop 7 and delivers it from vSphere to showcase how you can provide an app, desktop, remote access, and more solution for any type of user:

  • VDI – XenDesktop offers a variety of VDI use cases, whether the user needs a standardized, corporate desktop that remains consistent and routine, or the user needs a personalized virtual desktop that he or she can customize to meet their business needs.  This design guide validates XenDesktop Provisioning Services central image management technology for Pooled VDI on vSphere and XenDesktop Personal vDisk technology for delivering Personal VDI on vSphere.
  • Server-hosted Apps and Desktops – XenDesktop also offers server-hosted apps and desktops by leveraging Microsoft Remote Desktop Shared Hosted (RDSH) technology to enable multiple users to connect and share resources from a single server.  This design guide showcases XenDesktop server-hosted resources from Windows Servers on vSphere.
  • Remote Access – XenDesktop leverages Citrix NetScaler appliances to provide secure, remote access from any location.  NetScaler can be a virtual or physical appliance, and this design guide highlights the implementation and configurations of NetScaler Gateway virtual appliances on vSphere.

So why showcase all the features and functionality of XenDesktop 7 on vSphere?  Staying true to the Citrix vision, XenDesktop continues to remain the only hypervisor agnostic app and desktop virtualization solution – including VDI, virtual apps and more.  This means XenDesktop 7 seamlessly integrates with any hypervisor including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix

August 19, 2013 2 comments

I don’t know if you all agree but I find that Microsoft is making some really good strategic decisions to align themselves and be ready for the “next generation” workplace and client services. Everyone has been talking about BYOx and that everyone will bring their own device and consume business services and functions on that device in parallel to doing personal stuff.

But has BYOD taken off yet?

I personally think that it hasn’t to the extent that many thought it would, there are some companies in some countries that have adopted it for some use cases and user categories, but the majority is still struggling with it though their business apps and functions aren’t really there to support this way of working yet.

Even if they have a NetScaler or similar remote access capabilities with some sort of Desktop and App virtualization (like Citrix XenDesktop) to run the apps it’s still not enough. How do you solve the offline working scenario? And isn’t hosted apps and desktops just a legacy workaround until those business processes have been SaaS’ified? And what about “dropbox” alternatives, H: drives and G: drives, Sharepoint data etc. There is still a user data mess (read my earlier post on this) that needs to be solved and especially a “mega aggregator” tool for getting data/content and synch across devices in a secure manner (data also encrypted at rest on ALL devices and not just mobiles)…

Microsoft is kind of stepping up here I must say from a strategy point of view that makes me believe in them, even though I’ve said that no one ever will take my MacBook Air from me! Have a look at the features that are coming with Windows 8.1 to support a more “semi-controlled” or “semi-trusted” device, and the new cloud services like Azure AD, Windows Intunes offerings in combination with the online messaging and collaboration Office 365 services. And they are apparently also working on a “legacy” cloud service to offer desktops as a service (DaaS) as I wrote in a previous blog post as well.

I think that Microsoft is moving in the right direction towards offering the next generation enterprise IT services and to support the new way of working, and fast!

Have a look at these posts/articles on the news in Windows 8.1:

Everything you need, right from (the) Start

Microsoft is focused on delivering one experience across all the devices in your life. The centerpiece of that strategy and experience are the Microsoft services and apps that come right from (the) Start on your new Windows device.

This is the first blog post in a series that will highlight the apps and services driving toward this “one experience” vision. This experience comes to life through more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that come as part of Windows 8.1, including a new one that we are announcing today – Skype, right from (the) Start!

Apps_Graphic_White_REV

It’s where you want to go today….

Read more…

#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

How to check which #NetScaler policy that your #Citrix #Receiver or web browser hits?

April 18, 2013 1 comment

Ok, this is a common issue that you’ll end up in when setting up Access Gateway access scenarios:

How do you know which policy that is hit when your different Receivers are logging in?

Well, there are a couple of nice commands that can help you troubleshooting your access scenario! I guess that most of you have a simple scenario where you have one domain to authenticate against and some simple PNA, CVPN and potentially SSL VPN policies and profiles to deal with, and they are all linked to the virtual server like something like this simple example:

AG_vServer_VIP

But in more complex scenarios you may end up controlling which browser the user is accessing with (for giving nice error messages instead of Citrix default messages when users may use an unsupported browser etc.), or when you have multiple AD domains and AD groups to link different policies to etc. Then it may be complex and you have multiple policies and profiles for the same config with minor changes like the SSO domain name etc. So how do you then troubleshoot that easily?

First we have the must know command that hooks into the auth process of the NetScaler and gives you a view of the authentication process:

cat /tmp/aaad.debug

When you run that and you authenticate you’ll see the result of your auth process agains for instance LDAP and RADIUS sources like the result here when I logged in to our little environment:

aaad_debug_output

At the top of the output you see all the AD groups that I’m a member of that needs to match the group that you like to use on the NetScaler side, and last you see that accept from AD for my authentication request.

Then you know that you’re authentication ok, but which of the session polices are we hitting? Then you need to have a look at this great command:

nsconmsg -d current -g pol_hits

This is the output when I access using my Receiver on OS X:

nsconmsg_policy_hit

Read more…

Designing a virtual desktop environment? – #XenDesktop, #Citrix

This is a good blog post by Niraj Patel.

Questions: How do you successfully design a virtual desktop solution for 1,000 users?  How about 10,000 users?  What about 50,000 users?  What are the questions you should be asking?  Most importantly, where do you start?

Answer: Hire Citrix Consulting for your next virtual desktop project!  OK, that is one right answer, but not the only way to do it.  The successful way to design a virtual desktop environment is to follow a modular approach using the 5 layers defined within the Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook.  Breaking apart a virtual desktop project into different layers provides a modular approach that reduces risks and increase chances for your project’s success no matter how larger you’re planned deployment is.  What are the 5 layers and some examples of the decisions are defined within them?

  1. User Layer:  Recommended end-points and the required user functionality.
  2. Access Layer:  How the user will connect to their desktop hosted in the desktop layer.  Decisions for local vs. remote access, firewalls and SSL-VPN communications are addressed within this layer.
  3. Desktop Layer:  The desktop layer contains the user’s virtual desktop and is subdivided into three components; image, applications, and personalization.  Decisions related to FlexCast model, application requirements, policy, and profile design are addressed in this layer.
  4. Control Layer:  Within the control layer decisions surrounding the management and maintenance of the overall solution are addressed.  The control layer is comprised of access controllers, desktop controllers and infrastructure controllers.  Access controllers support the access layer, desktop controllers support the desktop layer, and infrastructure controllers provide the underlying support for each component within the architecture.
  5. Hardware Layer:  The hardware layer contains the physical devices required to support the entire solution, and includes servers, processors, memory and storage devices.

Want to know how to get started?  Try the Citrix Project Accelerator.  Input criteria around your business requirements, technical expertise, end user requirements, applications, etc. to get started on your architecture based on the 5 layer model.

Lastly, don’t forget to come see SYN318…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Demystifying Citrix Excalibur Architecture – via @kbaggerman

A great blog post by Kees Baggerman! 🙂

For all XenApp admins and consultants out there Project Avalon will bring a big change as we are used to having XenApp servers running on the (what seemed to be) everlasting Citrix Independent Management Architecture and we’re heading to Citrix FlexCast Management Architecture (already included in XenDesktop at this moment) and will be included in the Citrix Excalibur Architecture.

IMA

When looking up IMA in the eDocs you’ll find:

Independent Management Architecture (IMA) is the underlying architecture used in XenApp for configuring, monitoring, and operating all XenApp functions. The IMA data store stores all XenApp configurations.

Basically IMA exists to manage the XenApp or Presentation Server farms by enabling the communications between servers. As stated it transfers information about all XenApp functions like licenses, policies, sessions and server loads. All management tooling within these versions of Citrix’s PS/XA rely on this service for information.

According to Communication ports used by Citrix Technologies IMA uses the following ports:

Ports Source Prot. Comment
2512 Common Citrix Communication Ports TCP Independent Management Architecture (IMA)
2513 Access Gateway 5.0 Controller administration TCP IMA-based Communication

As we can see IMA uses 2512 (by default) to communicate with other servers and the Access Gateway Controller uses 2513 (by default) for IMA-based communication. The port IMA uses can be changed or queried via the commandline tool IMAPORT.

Brian Madden did a blogpost way back in 2007 but it’s definition of IMA is still current:

Independent Management Architecture is:

  • A data store, which is a database for storing MetaFrame XP server configuration information, such as published applications, total licenses, load balancing configuration, MetaFrame XP security rights, and printer configuration.
  • A protocol for transferring the ever-changing background information between MetaFrame XP servers, including server load, current users and connections, and licenses in use
FMA

With the introduction of XenDesktop we got a new architecture called Flexcast Management Architecture. This new architecture has got an agent-based setup where we can install the operating system including the basic applications that need to be installed and after that we can install an agent. This agent registers itself to a controller and is offered through StoreFront to the end user.

This will be delivered by two different types of agents, one to support Windows Server OS’s and one for Windows Desktop OS’s.

Andrew Wood did an article on Excalibur and used this diagram to explain the architecture:

Citrix FlexCast Management ArchitectureCitrix FlexCast Management Architecture

  • Receiver provides users with self-service access to published resources.
  • StoreFront authenticates users to site(s) hosting resources and manages stores of desktops and applications that users access – Web Interface as a platform is essentially resting, but it will cease to be.
  • Studio is a single management console that enables you to configure and manage your deployment, a dramatic reduction over the 23 consoles you could well have today. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up an environment, creating workloads to host applications and desktops, and assigning applications and desktops to users.
  • Delivery Controller distributes applications and desktops, manages user access, and optimizes…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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