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Posts Tagged ‘Monitoring’

Microsoft Ignite 2015 summary – #MSIgnite, #EnvokeIT, #Azure, #Office365, #OneDrive, #EMM, #PaaS, #IaaS

Hi all,

We at EnvokeIT participated and collaborated at Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago. And it was one of the most intense events I’ve visited in years with a lot of happening in the business and Microsoft really showed that they are the leading innovator in many areas!

I hope that you enjoy my report and that it gives you a condensed overview of what happened and please contact us at EnvokeIT if you want assistance within any area below! And thank you Microsoft for such a great event and also all you bloggers out there that I’ve linked to in this material.

I must say that this event was positive and a bit scary at the same time. Microsoft is for sure pushing as visionairies and innovators in a lot of areas, and I think that competitors will have a hard time competing in the coming years.

These are the areas where A LOT have been released already and where Microsoft according to my oppinion will increase its market share significantly:

  • Cloud and Mobile services, and with this I don’t mean IaaS service for just running a VM in their public Azure cloud or building a hybrid cloud with connectivity to on-premise datacenters. They are delivering so many capabilities now as PaaS and SaaS services. Just look at the sections below, it’s everything from Enterprise Mobillity Management (EMM), Business Intelligence, Database, Storage, Web Apps/services, Service Availability services (DR, Monitoring/Reporting, Backup etc.), Development, Source Control, Visual Studio Online etc. It’s amazing!!
  • Open Source/Linux support – It’s so cool how much Microsoft have shifted to become an adopter to support more open source technologies and way of thinking than just a couple of years ago! Just have a look at all the Linux support they have in Azure, the Linux support they now have in System Center, Docker support to deliver more DevOps capabilities and all the other services in Azure. It’s amazing and so fun! So now both Microsoft have opened their eyes and realized that they can’t ignore this anymore just like Citrix has with their addition of XenDesktop for Linux with SuSE and RedHat support!

The first day kicked off and was a bombarding of product announcements aimed at helping IT pros secure and manage the new Universal Windows Platform.

CEO Satya Nadella presided over a three-hour keynote, which focused on how Microsoft’s new wave of software and cloud services will enable IT and business transformations that are in line with the ways people now work. Nadella talked up Microsoft’s focus on “productivity and platforms” and how it’s tied with the shift to cloud and mobility. He also highlighted the need for better automation of systems and processes, and better management of the vast amounts of data originating from new sources such as sensors and other Internet-of-Things-type nodes.

As mentioned there where a lot of updates and below I’ve tried to gather these and I hope it gives you a good insight on the infromation we received and also guidance on how you can get more information about the topics.

Included below are links to detailed overviews of each of the demos (from Microsoft blog post) – including information about how to use them, where to learn more, and what you’ll need to get started.

The following picture is a sketch of the keynote and is also quite good at summarizing the message of Mobile and Cloud first!

 

vNiklas also created a great powershell script that automates the downloading of all MS Ignite content with PowerShell and Bits from Channel 9 that you can find here!

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – MDM, MAM, MCSM/MIM etc…

Microsoft’s next chapter in Enterprise Mobility, great blog post on where Microsoft is going etc. http://blogs.technet.com/b/enterprisemobility/archive/2015/05/04/ignite-microsofts-next-chapter- in-enterprise-mobility.aspx …

Windows 10 Continuum – this is cool, think about docking your smartphone to your external screen, keyboard and mouse! That’s try mobility of youre device, this looks really cool and something that I’d like to try out once released!

Have a look at the feature demo at Ignite in the video below.

What’s New and Upcoming with Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager | Microsoft Ignite 2015

This session outlines the latest enhancements in enterprise mobility management using Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager. See the newest Microsoft Intune improvements for managing mobile productivity without compromising compliance, and learn about the futures of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3861/player

In the CloudEnterprise Mobility Management table of content:

Office 2016 public preview available!

Over the last 12 months, we’ve transformed Office from a suite of desktop applications to a complete, cross-platform, cross-device solution for getting work done. We’ve expanded the Office footprint to iPad and Android tablets. We’ve upgraded Office experiences on the Mac, the iPhone and on the web. We’ve even added new apps to the Office family with Sway and Office Lens. All designed to keep your work moving, everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten where we came from. While you’ve seen us focus on tuning Office for different platforms over the last year, make no mistake, Office on Windows desktop is central to our strategy.

In March we introduced an IT Pro and Developer Preview for the 2016 release of our Office desktop apps on Windows, and now—as a next step—we’re ready to take feedback from a broader audience. Today we’re expanding the Office 2016 Preview, making it available to Office users everywhere in preparation for general availability in Fall 2015.

Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, but more importantly they’ll help to shape and improve the future of Office. Visit the Office 2016 Preview site to learn more about the Preview program and if it’s right for you.

New in Office 2016

Since March, we’ve shared some glimpses of what’s to come in Office 2016. Today, we’d like to give a more holistic view of what customers at home and work can expect in the next release. In Office 2016, we’re updating the Office suite for the modern workplace, with smart tools for individuals, teams, and businesses.

Read more…

How to monitor your Internet facing service globally – #Azure, #ApplicationInsights, #Citrix, #NetScaler, #EnvokeIT

Hi again all!

It’s been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post.. I’ve just been too busy working! 🙂

But this is a really cool capability that I think that many of you will like, how often do your company or service provider have a good way of monitoring availability, performance etc. from the public Internet? And if they do then most of the time the larger service providers will build a service and install their own probes on different geographical locations and then they charge quite a lot for this service, and every time you change your application the charge you again for modifying the scripts that the probes use etc.

What I’ve tried and now think is going to be great for both smaller and larger organisations is the Azure Application Insights service. It’s really great and can assist with just this, it’s a service that microsoft provide from their locations globally where you can test your apps in Azure or course but also any web site out there on the Internet. And it doesn’t stop there, you can also use the server installer to also provide metrics from your Windows IIS server up to Azure to get more detailed statistics about the web server itself and requests etc.

Just think about how much it would take for you to setup monitoring from APAC, Americas and Europe for your NetScaler environment.. that would not be done in 10 minutes if you talk to your standard service provider. It took me 10 minutes to setup this reporting to ensure that the NetScaler is available from different locations around the world:

Availability

 

And this is just a simple url ping test to ensure that we get a proper 200 OK response from our EnvokeIT Lab environment that my colleague Björn have setup and modified so nicely with the X1 StoreFront look & feel.

NetScaler_StoreFront_x1_look_and_feel

 

URL_ping_test_netscaler_bear_lab_envokeit

Of course you can make a more proper test than just a url ping test like in this case, the service supports multi-step tests and also content matching etc. It’s also very easy to create one application/service that then consists of multiple locations that you want to monitor, for instance if you’re using GSLB FQDNs as well as regional to ensure that you get the full picture.

More information about what can be done you can find on the Azure Application Insights  pageRead more…

#Netscaler Insight and Integration with #XenDesktop Director – via @msandbu

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Great blog post by Marius! 🙂

This is another one of Citrix hidden gems, Netscaler Insight. This product has been available from Citrix some time now, but with the latest update in became alot more useful. Insight is an virtual applance from Citrix which gathers AppFlow data and statistics from Netscaler to show performance data, kinda like old Edgesight. (NOTE: In order to use this functionality against Netscaler it requires atleast Netscaler Enterprise or Platinum)

Insight has two specific functions, called Web Insight and HDX insight.
Web Insight shows traffic related to web-traffic, for instance how many users, what ip-adresses, what kind of content etc. 
HDX Insight is related to Access Gateway functionality of Citrix to show for instance how many users have accessed the solution, what kind of applications have they used, what kind of latency did the clients have to the netscaler etc.

You can download this VPX from mycitrix under Netscaler downloads, important to note as of now it is only supported on Vmware and XenServer (They haven’t mentioned any support coming for Hyper-V but I’m guessing its coming.

The setup is pretty simple like a regular Netscaler we need to define an IP-address and subnet mask (Note that the VPX does not require an license since it will only gather data from Netscaler appliances that have a platform license and it does not work on regular Netscaler gateways)

After we have setup the Insight VPX we can access it via web-gui, the username and password here is the same as Netscaler nsroot & nsroot

image

After this is setup we need to enable the insight features, we can start by setting up HDX insight, here we need to define a expression that allows all Gateway traffic to be gathered. 
Here we just need to enable VPN equals true. We can also add mulitple Netscalers here, if you have a cluster or HA setup we need to add both nodes.

image

After we have added the node, just choose configure on the node and choose VPN from the list and choose expression true.

Read more…

Monitoring #Netscaler with Operations Manager 2012 – #SCOM – via @msandbu

August 8, 2013 1 comment

Another great blog post by msandbu!!

This guide has been written with Netscaler build 73 and Operations Manager 2012 SP1 (on WS2012) with the management pack from Citrix.

Operations Manager 2012 supports monitoring network devices either through SNMP (v1, 2 and 3) or through just basic ICMP.
Citrix has made a management pack solution, which you can use to enhance the monitoring capabilities in SCOM.
The pack also includes VMM PRO management pack (Which is not gone through in this guide, just the basic management pack)

The management pack can be downloaded from mycitrix (Requires login)
https://www.citrix.com/downloads/netscaler-adc/components/netscaler-management-pack-for-operations-manager-2012.html

(Just a side note: Comtrade is a Citrix Partner who is currently making a new management pack for Netscaler so stay tuned for the new release )

So when we have a functional Operations Manager server up and running we have to install the SNMP service on one of the servers.
This can be done via Server Manager.

After that is installed go into services.msc and choose “Accept SNMP packets from any host” or just enter the IP of the Netscaler server.
Make sure that firewall on the OpsMgr server allows for SNMP traffic 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

Command Center 5.1 Beta – A Complete New Face!

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Ok, found another good and interesting blog post from Citrix. Even though this is great and I’ll try it out but I’m still awaiting more from Citrix on end-to-end monitoring and reporting… but lets give this beta a go! 🙂

This release, I am thrilled to unveil a new Face of Command Center!

Command Center 5.1 brings a fresh new appeal with an Absolute User Interface revamp. The new UI flaunts more organized and intuitive navigation which has been introduced with the aim to bring consistency across all the Citrix networking products.

 

The 5.1 release adds to Command Center’s analytics streak by introducing AGEE Syslog analytics. It breaks open the Syslogs into meaningful graphs and pie charts, laying out top 10 parameters of SSLVPN usage. The AGEE Syslog analytics answers questions raised around SSLVPN usage which comes across in day to day administration:

  • Which are the top user sessions?
  • Which are the top ICA application being used?
  • Which users are consuming high bandwidth?
  • While accessing VPN, which client type amongst ICA, Clientless or Agent has been used most ?
  • Which users didn’t match EPA scan policies?
  • Which users have had the most failed login attempts?

On top of these, it also lets you view the.. continue reading here!

//Richard

Citrix Webinar: Increase your Citrix XenDesktop monitoring capabilities using HP Operations Management Software

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Hot tip from Douglas:

Increase your Citrix XenDesktop monitoring capabilities using HP Operations Management Software

Citrix Ready Webinar with ComTrade

Join us to learn how ComTrade’s Smart Plug-in for Citrix (Citrix SPI) helps you measure, monitor and manage XenDesktop and gives you an end-to-end overview from within the HP Operations Manager and HP BSM. During this 45 minute webinar you will learn:

•  Why customers buy SPI for Citrix and how it fits across the XenDesktop architecture
•  How SPI for Citrix discovers your XenDesktop deployment, performs infrastructure health, checks and visualizes problematic areas
•  How SPI for Citrix measures end-user experience, both real-user and synthetically, to help proactively identify issues before they impact your users

All of the above will be supplemented with real-world demos.

Speakers: Craig Ellrod (Senior Technical Marketing Manager, Citrix Systems) and Bogdan Viher (Senior Product Manager, ComTrade)

Date and Time: September 26th 2012, 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST

More info and registration here!

//Richard

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