Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Configuration Manager’

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! ūüôā

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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äúupdate device‚ÄĚ, 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 ‚ÄúCreate device collection‚ÄĚ action on toolbar ribbon.
  • On the General Page of the Create Device Collection Wizard,

Read more…

User-centric application delivery with Microsoft System Center and the #XenApp Connector for Configuration Manager

Another good blog post from Citrix:

This week we are happy to announce the release of the XenApp Connector for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (a.k.a. Project Thor), marking the culmination of several months of collaboration between Citrix and Microsoft.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager helps IT empower people to use the devices and applications they need to be productive, while maintaining corporate compliance and control.  It provides a unified infrastructure for mobile, physical, and virtual environments that allows IT to deliver applications and manage user experiences based on identity, connectivity, and device.

More so than any previous release of Configuration Manager, the 2012 release supports the model of user-centric IT management.  The new focus of Configuration Manager is one of empowering users by putting them at the center of the IT universe; one that supports user self-service, bring-your-own-device initiatives, workforce mobility, and the overall IT consumerization trend.   We are very excited about the power this user-centric model provides and how that model is realized via integration of Configuration Manager and XenApp.

So what does the XenApp Connector do?¬† Put simply, it extends the reach of admins using Configuration Manager to a much broader range of devices and user locations. Historically, Configuration Manager has been used for management of Windows OS & applications deployed to Windows PCs, Windows laptops, Windows Servers and Windows Phones operating within the traditional IT periphery ‚Äď in other words Active Directory domain joined machines.

The XenApp Connector and Citrix Receiver extend the reach of Configuration Manager to deliver apps not just to Windows devices but all kinds of office and mobile devices including Linux, iOS, and Android devices; in fact nearly every device on the market today..  The Connector also enables a more flexible and mobile workforce. Users are able to gain access to the applications they need regardless of whether they are in the office, working from home, or on the road.

To deliver this functionality, the XenApp Connector leverages three capabilities introduced with System Center 2012:

  • Deployment Types
  • User-centric administration, and
  • The Application Catalog

Read more…

Correct – SCCM 2012 doesn’t support SQL Mirroring! via @agerlund – #SCCM

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Beware before upgrading to SP1. SCCM does not support database mirroring and if you’ve configured it don’t just try to upgrade! Thx @agerlund!

As stated here SQL mirroring is not supported for the ConfigMgr database. However a technet article do not stop all database administrors‚Äôs from enabling the setting anyway believing that it will not cause any issues ‚Äď but boy it does. SQL mirroring will break the SCCM SP1 upgrade process and leave the primary site server in a non-functional mode where a site restore is the only way back.

The issue can be found in the ConfigMgrSetup.log file.

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Great Microsoft System Center 2012 documentation – #SCCM, #SCOM

SCCM 2012 for Linux and UNIX

September 11, 2012 1 comment

Ok, this is interesting! Microsoft is adding more support for Configuration Manager in terms of managing Linux and UNIX targets. It will be interesting to see what the end-result will be when SP1 ships and most interesting will be if Microsoft will be able to convince the Linux and UNIX community out there that this is something that is competitive with other solutions like Puppet, Chef, STAF etc.

Here is a summary of the feature set planned for the SP1 release;

Functionality More information
Collections, queries, and maintenance windows Collections of Linux and UNIX Servers
Hardware inventory Hardware Inventory for Linux and UNIX Servers
Software Distribution Software Deployment to Linux and UNIX Servers
Monitoring and reporting Monitoring the Configuration of Linux and UNIX Servers

Read more…

%d bloggers like this: