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Posts Tagged ‘AG’

Choose your #Citrix #NetScaler … wisely… – via @hlouwers

This is a question I get a lot and I must say that Henny Louwers did answer it well in this blog post!

I spend a lot of my time breaking down the different models of Citrix NetScaler appliances and different Software Editions within the Citrix NetScaler portfolio.

I decided to set up a blog about this since the path is usually pretty much (lengthy but) the same. This does not mean the answer is always easy because there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

The first thing I would like to get off my chest is the following: Stop seeing/selling the Citrix NetScaler as a replacement for Secure Gateway. It is so much more than that. I often have discussions with various engineers and consultants telling me that Citrix NetScaler is so expensive for a Remote Access solution because Secure Gateway always used to be free. No offense but a Citrix NetScaler solution belongs to the networking department, not the Citrix XenApp sys admin department. Or maybe limited.

That leads me to the first difficult thing of a Citrix NetScaler project. The adoption of the Citrix NetScaler appliances to the networking guys of an organization. They need to embrace the solution to make this a success. For some reason they too see it as a ‘’Citrix’’ solution. For that reason one of the most important meetings to setup is usually with the networking guys to try to explain the L3-L7 functionality of the Citrix NetScaler solution. When they realize it competes with F5, Juniper, Cisco, etc then we are on the right track.

NetScaler Gateway or NetScaler Standard Edition

Usually the first question of a customer is regarding something simple like replacing the Remote Access solution. Since the NetScaler is going to be the main platform for publishing Citrix publications a NetScaler Gateway can be considered as a valid option. This is when I tell a customer it would be wise to spend a little extra on the NetScaler Standard Edition since this would leverage the solution be having full load balancing capabilities (among others). When you compare prices between the NetScaler Gateway and NetScaler Standard Edition you will see that the Standard Edition will be somewhat more expensive but I for one think that it is worth the difference given the feature set that come with the Standard Edition. Of course the NetScaler Gateway can always be upgraded to a NetScaler Standard Edition (or higher) if you will.

Another feature of Citrix NetScaler Standard Edition is the ability to run Citrix Web Interface on the appliance. Honestly, I do think is not really that important anymore….

Continue reading here

//Richard

Heads Up – issues with Access Gateway Plug-in for Mac OS X Version 2.1.4 – #Citrix, #NetScaler

Well, I guess that you’ve already read all the good things about the new capabilities of the newer Access Gateway plug-in, Receiver and Access Gateway Enterprise that together with StoreFront will add additional features and functions that haven’t existed before. It’s now built to work together with the Receiver on the Windows and Mac OS X platforms and promises a lot by various blog posts from Citrix and others (incl. myself).

Here is an example of what it can (should) do: What’s new with Access Gateway MAC Plug-in release 2.1.4

But is the Access Gateway Plug-in that great? Well, before you plan to implement version 2.1.4 on OS X and especially if you want to leverage the SSL VPN functionality and host checks (EPA) then read the Important notes and Known issues for this release:

Important Notes About This Release:

  1. The Access Gateway Plug-in for Mac OS X Version 2.1.4 supports Citrix Receiver Version 11.7
  2. Import the secure certificate for Access Gateway into the Keychain on the Mac OS X computer.
  3. The Access Gateway Plug-in for Mac OS X Version 2.1.2 and earlier versions are not supported on Mac OS X Version 10.8.
  4. Endpoint analysis scans for antivirus, personal firewalls, antispam, Internet security, and EPAFactory scans are not supported for Mac OS X.
  5. Client certificate authentication is not supported for Mac OS X.

First of all I’d say that these notes are not that great if you ask me! Why do I have to add the cert into the Mac Keychain? Why doesn’t the plug-in support the more “advanced” host checks like personal firewalls, certificates etc.?

Wait, it get even worse!! And before you go to the whole list I’d highlight these top ones that I’m kind of surprised about:

  • It doesn’t support LAN access
  • Upgrading doesn’t work
  • Doesn’t apply proxy settings configured in session profile
  • It doesn’t support SAN certificates
  • Users cannot start the Access Gateway plug-in if the Receiver is already started, you first have to shut down the Receiver

Here you see the full Known Issues list for this release:

  1. When users disable wireless on a Mac OS X computer and connect by using a 3G card, the Access Gateway Plug-in does not upgrade automatically through Citrix Receiver. If users select Check for Updates to upgrade the plug-in, the upgrade fails and users receive the error message “Updates are currently not available.” [#45881]
  2. If you run stress traffic for HTTP, HTTPS, and DNS simultaneously, the Access Gateway Plug-in fails. [#46348]
  3. When users disable wireless on a Mac OS X computer and connect by using a Vodafone Mobile Broadband Model K3570-Z HSDPA USB 3G stick, the Access Gateway plug-in does not tunnel traffic. [#256441]
  4. If you configure an endpoint analysis policy and also enable the client choices page and proxy servers in a session profile, occasionally a blank choices page appears after users log on. When you disable the choices page in the session profile, the choices page appears correctly. [#316331]
  5. If users connect to Access Gateway with the Access Gateway Plug-in for Mac OS X and then run ping with a payload of 1450 bytes, the plug-in fails to receive the ICMP reply. [#321486] Read more…

SSO to StoreFront not working in CVPN mode – #Citrix, #NetScaler, #StoreFront

January 31, 2013 3 comments

Single Sign-On from Access Gateway to StoreFront not working in CVPN mode

There is yet another “thing” to have in mind when setting up Access Gateway and StoreFront in CVPN mode!

It’s been an interesting day (or days/weeks/months I must admit) with some “issues” with a NetScaler ADC, Access Gateway with CVPN profiles and StoreFront 1.2. And one thing that we have been struggling with was Single Sign-On to StoreFront when we had the AG configured for CVPN access. And it was just this environment where I’ve seen this issue!!

After a lot of troubleshooting the Citrix guys came up with an explanation on why SSO from AG doesn’t work in this specific environment! And it’s not an obvious one to find I must say… but I now understand why it doesn’t work!

So let’s explain the design reason for why it doesn’t work (so bear with me, solution at the end!!)…

The following picture tries to give a VERY rough picture of how it could look like, clients on the Internet on the left, then a NetScaler ADC with the Access Gateway feature enabled and a vServer configured. This AG vServer has session policies and profiles for ICA proxy (old traditional ICA proxy policy) and the little newer CVPN mode. And YES; I’ve left out a lot of stuff like AD etc. to simplify this picture A LOT…

High_Level_Design_overview_SSO_not_working

The overall idea and config is that AG authenticates the user and then shall do SSO to StoreFront. The CVPN policy have been created according to all best practices etc. (Citrix CloudGateway Express 2.0 – Implementation Guide).

But SSO still doesn’t work!! If you login through a browser when having the CVPN policy linked to the vServer you’ll see that authentication works perfectly but then when it tries to passthrough the authentication to StoreFront it fails.

This picture just shows the login to the NetScaler ADC Access Gateway vServer:

NetScaler_Access_Gateway_login

Read more…

What’s new with Access Gateway MAC Plug-in release 2.1.4 – #Citrix, #AG, #Receiver

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Another great blog post from Prashant! You rock! 😉

The new Citrix Access Gateway Appliance release 10.0.71.6014.e brings along with it the new MAC plug-in release 2.1.4. MAC OS, along with Microsoft Windows, are the two main desktop platforms supported by Citrix Access Gateway for full SSL Tunnel. The AG plug-in is most commonly used in tandem with Citrix Receiver, to provide access to your virtual applications and desktops, provided by XenApp & XenDesktop respectively. The Receiver and AG plug-in also work together to provide end users access to intranet web and SaaS resources via Citrix CloudGateway.

The new 2.1.4 plug-in brings the following new enhancements for Citrix Receiver users:

  1. Seamless Desktop Receiver experience: With this release of Access Gateway plug-in, end users will no longer have to sign into the plug-ins as a manual step, to access apps / sites that require a full SSL tunnel. Receivers automatically launch a SSL VPN session via Access Gateway as needed. Result is – end user just deals with Citrix Receiver and Receiver internally (and automatically) deals with Access Gateway on user’s behalf.
  2. EPA with ICAProxy / CVPN: Receivers can now seamlessly launch AG plug-ins to connect to an Access Gateway vServer configured with End Point Analysis policies, in ICAProxy and CVPN modes as well. Earlier, this was supported only for Full Tunnel access.
  3. ….

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Why no Snaphot feat. on NetScaler like on AG? – #Citrix, #NetScaler

January 9, 2013 2 comments

Ok, I had the “pleasure” to be working with an Access Gateway setup a little while ago… and I don’t know if I should actually say that it was a pleasure when I all did was missing the NetScaler.

But there is one feature that Access Gateway has that NetScaler doesn’t that I like and see a need for; Snapshots!

Why hasn’t Citrix build the same EASY way to make a snapshot of a config on NetScaler??? This would simplify things a lot from a change management point of view. You could of course make this happen yourself but need to be savvy and it’s hazzle… It would also ensure that admins that aren’t hardcore NetScaler nerds actually could get some confidence to change stuff and have a back out plan to revert to a previous snapshot if something goes wrong.

And the great thing about a snapshot is that it represents all the Access Gateway settings, licenses, and certificates at a specific time. If you have multiple software versions installed on Access Gateway, you can have snapshots that span the different software versions. Imagine if there was a button you could press to do that done on the NetScaler!

Video of how it works: How To: Take and Restore Snapshots on Citrix Access Gateway 5.0

Creating Snapshots to Manage Access Gateway Configuration Settings

I think that this will be a good thing to add now when more shops will setup Access Gateway Enterprise on NetScaler and only use it for just that…especially now when it’s also going End of Life (EOL).

Citrix: Please  make this happen! 😉

//Richard

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