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Posts Tagged ‘RDS’

#Citrix #XenApp 7.8 & #XenDesktop 7.8 Available for Download – #EnvokeIT

February 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Citrix has no released XenApp & XenDesktop 7.8 for download! If you wonder how this new release could help you then contact us at EnvokeIT for more information!

Customers with active Software Maintenance (SWM) or Subscription Advantage (SA)–effective February 17, 2016–can download XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 on Citrix.com.

The XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 release greatly simplifies application management, delivering a 90% time savings over traditional methods. It enhances the user experience, while introducing scalability improvements, enabling a 40% memory reduction and a 20% increase in CPU efficiency for select behavior. Plus new features strengthen security and compliance.

Simplify app management and delivery through new AppDisk technology

The 7.8 release includes exciting, new AppDisk app layering technology that lets you package and manage applications independent of your master desktop or server image. AppDisk alleviates the management complexity of multiple, departmental-based images by instantly layering applications onto your golden image based on different employee needs, making it easier than ever to deliver, install or update an application without changing or impacting the pristine, master image.

Save 90 percent of testing time by integrating AppDNA compatibility testing with AppDisk

Extending the app layering benefits of AppDisk, AppDNA for AppDisk instantly assesses the compatibility of the AppDisk applications with the associated master image, provides step-by-step remediation guidance to make any app compatible, while also reordering multiple assigned AppDisk layers for peak performance. Now you will be able to validate and remediate any OS or inter-app compatibility issues before delivering AppDisk applications to your user community.

Read more…

Which #DaaS architecture is right? – #Azure, #RemoteApp, #Microsoft, #Citrix, #Workspace

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I really feel for you Solution Architects out there that have to struggle with how to revamp your companies or customers Hosted Desktop/App services. They may be provided by a service provider today, or you do it yourself on-premise and manage them, or you’ve already taken the step to purchase it as a true DaaS/SaaS service from a public cloud provider. Today the options are many, and too many if you add all the hosting models and the technology options you have. From a business perspective you’re getting the heat to deliver something with the word “cloud” in it just because it’s hot, and management then expect that TCO is sooooo low and that you have now problems in delivering at all within a couple of weeks and you can scale up and down without any issues at all from a financial or technical perspective… 😉

Often you also don’t even have the business, security, functional or technical requirements either so you’re supposed to come with the magic solution that fits all needs! 😉

My personal view is also that some of our vendors/partners out there don’t seem to have one (1) clear strategy either (at least not officially).

Some are building and providing their own “cloud architecture” models for DaaS for partners to build on (VMware, Citrix, Microsoft etc.), and then they also are providing specific models for certain partners as well that run on top of other cloud solutions, like Citrix Service Provider (CSP) offerings on Azure or on-premise. As a partner to these companies you also are in a tough spot, are you to partner with them and deliver their technology on your infrastructure, or shall you wait until they deliver a fully working public cloud offering (like WorkSpace Services) and then add your added value on top of that? Options are many and I don’t think that Citrix has given their whole story yet, I still think that they business wise need to go where Microsoft is going by providing a DaaS service by themselves directly to customers and thereby also “cut” the partner network out because once the technology and self-service becomes to easy then what shall they add as value then? There will always be customers that wants help to onboard, operate etc. of course but this will be another type of service and many Citrix and Microsoft partners need to be become more solution focused and get away from the SME space and deliver integration and more IT management consulting skill sets instead.

But let’s get back to more technology…

I’ve been kind of waiting to get some time over to test the RemoteApp service in Azure. I personally think that this is the future and they way that many small to medium size business fairly short shall start to look at. Not all of these companies have the skill set or financials to look at building a good Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings of Windows applications internally. I’m a bit annoyed though that out of the box there isn’t any Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering and that it’s still just the RDS/Hosted Shared Desktop model that is provided. A real Hosted Virtual Desktop or VDI offering would be nice and a license model that goes with it from Microsoft.

There are today so many different options that companies that want to provide or consume a DaaS service can leverage today, Citrix Service Providers have all of their options in terms of technology stacks (CloudStack, CloudPlatform, CSP for Azure, App Orchestration 2.5, Microsoft System Center, Azure Pack and all options that are out there)… but which one shall/can you select? And what if you’re NOT a Citrix service provider and have a huge datacenter and haven’t already done your CAPEX investments around compute, network and storage etc..? Where do you then turn?

I think that here is where RemoteApp and a future Workplace Services offerings with Citrix on top would be great! You as a customer can turn to a partner/consultant company to get guidance and assess all your requirements and then easily be provisioned an environment that is of the “standard cloud offering” or get a customised one tailored specifically for your needs.

Like in my little demo scenario here I provisioned a fully functional RemoteApp environment that hosted all of the Microsoft Office 2013 apps that I use and also got a lot of storage at the same time… in almost no time at all!

Azure RemoteApp helps employees stay productive anywhere, and on a variety of devices – Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. Your company’s applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they’re easier to scale and update. Users can access their applications remotely from their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone. While appearing to run on the users’ local device, the applications are centralized on Azure’s protected, reliable platform.

Azure RemoteApp combines Windows application experiences with the powerful capabilities of Remote Desktop Services on Microsoft Azure – the cloud for modern business.

I also like the licensing model:

  • Azure RemoteApp is priced per user and is billed on a monthly basis.
  • The service is offered in two tiers: Basic and Standard. Basic is designed for lighter weight applications (e.g. for task workers). Standard is designed for information workers to run productivity applications.
  • Pricing: Each service has a starting price per user that includes 40 hours of service per user. Thereafter, a per hour charge is applied for each user hour up to a capped price per user. You will not pay for any additional usage beyond the capped price in a given month.
This means that you’ll get Office 2013 managed for standard information workers of a max price of 23 USD/month including management of the RDS Image and Office etc. and it also includes user data storage. Then you could of course also upload your own image with your apps as well and publish. Pretty good price model and will be interesting to see if this is what we will deliver in the future for all small/medium size companies instead.
As a comparison you can compare RemoteApp pricing then with the example if you would build your own RDS environment in Azure according to the following good guidelines: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/dn451351.aspx
A little follow up TCO example below. This Azure hosted RDS example would give the 25 user company a dedicated RDS solution in Azure for 27 USD/month from a CAPEX perspective (HW + SW/licensing), I know that this is not a CAPEX investment if you go for it but you should compare it to your CAPEX investment you need to do if you would purchase compute, network, storage, licenses etc. The main point also is that  this does not include any OPEX costs needed to support and operate it. This would be great for providing a Hosted Desktop/Software service for a line of business app… but here you’re already at 27 USD/user/month, and RemoteApp is at 23 including user storage of 50Gb (where Microsoft also manage the “image and software” from a life-cycle management point of view.
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RDS on Azure example quote:

More Azure solution pricing examples: http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/10/14/more-azure-solution-pricing-examples.aspx

What if you then also shall put Citrix on top of that… cost increases of course and still you’re kind of limited of being a SPLA or CSP in order to build this, or you go and ask a SPLA/CSP to provide it for you if you’re an end-customer.

But back *again* to the test-drive that I did of RemoteApp…

Read more…

#Amazon WorkSpaces – “#VDI” cloud service – #VDI, #BYOD

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment

This is an interesting offering from Amazon! I however don’t like that everyone talks about the “VDI” concept all the time.. this is based on Windows server with Desktop Experience and not a client OS.

Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud. Amazon WorkSpaces allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need with the device of their choice, including laptops, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android tablets. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can provision a high-quality desktop experience for any number of users at a cost that is highly competitive with traditional desktops and half the cost of most virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.

WorkSpace Bundles

Amazon WorkSpaces offers a choice of service bundles providing different hardware and software options to meet your needs. You can choose from the Standard or Performance family of bundles that offer different CPU, memory, and storage resources, based on the requirements of your users. If you would like to launch WorkSpaces with more software already pre-installed (e.g., Microsoft Office, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, etc.), you should choose the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options. If you don’t need the applications offered in those bundles or you would like to use software licenses for some of the applications in the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options that you’ve already paid for, we recommend the Standard or Performance bundles. Whichever option you choose, you can always add your own software whenever you like.

WorkSpaces Bundle Hardware Resources Applications Monthly Price
Standard 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $35
Standard Plus 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $50
Performance 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $60
Performance Plus 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $75

All WorkSpaces Bundles provide the Windows 7 Experience to users (provided by Windows Server 2008 R2). Microsoft Office 2010 Professional includes Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft OneNote 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Publisher 2010 and Microsoft Access 2010.

Read more…

#Windows #Azure Desktop Hosting Deployment Guide – #RDS, #BYOD – via @michael_keen

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

This is great! Have a look at this guide!

Hello everyone, this is Clark Nicholson from the Remote Desktop Virtualization Team. I’m writing today to let you know that we have just published the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Deployment Guide. This document provides guidance for deploying a basic desktop hosting solution based on the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide. This document is intended to provide a starting point for implementing a Desktop Hosting service on Windows Azure virtual machines. A production environment will need additional deployment steps to provide advanced features such as high availability, customized desktop experience, RemoteApp collections, etc.

For more information, please see Remote Desktop Services and Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Microsoft Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guides

October 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Wow, these are some compelling guides that Microsoft delivered!! Have a look at them! But of course there’s always something more U want! Let Service Providers provide DaaS services based on client OS’s as well!!!

Microsoft has released two papers related to Desktop Hosting. The first is called: “Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide” and the second is called: “Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide“. Both documents provide a blueprint for creating secure, scalable, multi-tenant desktop hosting solutions using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager or using Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.

The documents are targeted to hosting providers which deliver desktop hosting via the Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA). Desktop hosting in this case is based on Windows Server with the Windows Desktop Experience feature enabled, and not Microsoft’s client Operating Systems like Windows 7 or Windows 8.

For some reason, Microsoft still doesn’t want service providers to provide Desktops as a Service (DaaS) running on top of a Microsoft Client OS, as outlined in the “Decoding Microsoft’s VDI Licensing Arcanum” paper which virtualization.info covered in September this year.

The Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide provides the following sections:

  • Desktop Hosting Service Logical Architecture
  • Service Layer
    • Tenant Environment
    • Provider Management and Perimeter Environments
  • Virtualization Layer
    • Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager
    • Scale-Out File Server
  • Physical Layer
    • Servers
    • Network
  • Tenant On-Premises Components
    • Clients
    • Active Directory Domain Services

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The Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture covers the following topics:

Remote Desktop Services are now allowed on #Windows #Azure – #RDS, #TS, #XenDesktop

This is a great thing that you should have a look at and investigate how it would fit you and your organization! Finally Microsoft has changed the license model! They still have some work to be done on it though so we can run Virtual Desktops (VDI’s) as well!! 😉

Read this great blog post from lpanzano:

I’ve not seen a lot of news about this so I thought it was worth writing a short post just to remember everyone that on July 1st, Microsoft has officially changed Windows Azure licensing terms (PUR) to allow the use of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Previously this scenario was not allowed in Windows Azure. Before July 1st you could only access an Azure Windows Server VM for purpose of server administration or maintenance (up to 2 simultaneous sessions are authorized for this service).

Let’s see some details about this change:

  • To enable more than 2 simultaneous sessions you will need to purchase RDS Subscriber Access Licenses (SALs) through the Microsoft Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) for each user or device that will access your solution on Windows Azure. SPLA is separate from an Azure agreement and is contracted through an authorized SPLA resellerClick here for more information about SPLA benefits and requirements.
  • RDS Client Access Licenses (CALs) purchased from Microsoft VL programs such as EA, do not get license mobility to shared cloud platforms, hence they cannot be used on Azure.
  • Windows ‘Client’ OS (e.g. Windows 8) virtual desktops, or VDI deployments, will continue to not be allowed on Azure, because Windows client OS product use rights prohibit such use on multi-tenant/shared cloud environments.
  • Customers can use 3rd party application hosting products that require RDS sessions functionality (e.g. Citrix XenDesktop), subject to product use terms set by those 3rd party providers, and provided these products leverage only RDS session-hosting (Terminal Services) functionality. Note that RDS SALs are still required when using these 3rd party products.

Continue reading this post here!

Citrix also created a good blog post on their view of the top 5 scenarios for putting XenDesktop on Azure:

Top 5 Scenarios for XenDesktop on Windows Azure

Since Windows Azure launched I have looked forward to the day Citrix would be able to work jointly with Microsoft to support XenDesktop and XenApp workloads. We are excited that today is the day we announce support for XenDesktop 7 and XenApp 6.5 on Windows Azure. Customers can now take advantage of the leading Citrix desktop virtualization solution and all of the HDX user experience goodness on Microsoft’s leading public cloud. With the announcement we’ve published two design guides (here andhere) to help get you started with your deployments.

Read more…

Performance Tuning Guidelines for #Windows Server 2012

February 11, 2013 Leave a comment

This is a whitepaper that all techies out there should read if you’re dealing with Windows Server 2012!

About This Download

This guide describes important tuning parameters and settings that you can adjust to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the Windows Server 2012 operating system. It describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, and performance goals.

The guide is for information technology (IT) professionals and system administrators who need to tune the performance of a server that is running Windows Server 2012.

Included in this white paper:

  • Choosing and Tuning Server Hardware
  • Performance Tuning for the Networking Subsystem
  • Performance Tools for Network Workloads
  • Performance Tuning for the Storage Subsystem
  • Performance Tuning for Web Servers
  • Performance Tuning for File Servers
  • Performance Tuning for a File Server Workload (FSCT)
  • Performance Counters for SMB 3.0
  • Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (SPECsfs2008)
  • Performance Tuning for Active Directory Servers
  • Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host (Formerly Terminal Server)
  • Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Virtualization Host
  • Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Gateway
  • Performance Tuning Remote Desktop Services Workload for Knowledge Workers
  • Performance Tuning for Virtualization Servers
  • Performance Tuning for SAP Sales and Distribution
  • Performance Tuning for OLTP Workloads

Download here!

//Richard

 
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