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Posts Tagged ‘remote’

#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

WOW! – MS readies ‘Mohoro’ Windows desktop as a service – #BYOD, #DaaS – via @brianmadden

What can you say!?!? It wouldn’t surprise me a bit!! Of course Microsoft would come out with an Azure based cloud offerings of Desktops as a Service! I will follow this progress for sure, interesting and NOT so nice for quite a number of partners out there…

SummaryMicrosoft is believed to be building a Windows Azure-hosted desktop virtualization service that could be available on a pay-per-use basis.

In yet another example of its growing emphasis on remaking itself as a devices and services company, Microsoft looks to be developing a pay-per-use “Windows desktop as a service” that will run on Windows Azure.

msdesktopvirtualizationstack

The desktop virtualization service, codenamed Mohoro, is in a very early development phase, from what I’ve heard from sources. I don’t know the final launch target, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t until the second half of 2014.

Mohoro is a town located on the island of Grande Comore in the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. Given that members of the Microsoft India Development Center may be playing a key role in Mohoro’s development, according to my sources, the codename choice seems appropriate.

Microsoft owns the Mohoro.com and Mohoro.Net domain names.

Mohoro, like another Windows service, Windows Intune, is a product of Microsoft’s Server and Tools unit, I hear. Windows Intune is still not yet hosted on Windows Azure (as far as I know), but supposedly the plan is to move it to Azure at some point. Windows Intune already does make use of Windows Azure Active Directory as its directory and authentication service.

The same way that Windows Intune is the cloud complement to System Center, Mohoro seems to be the cloud version of Remote Desktop/Remote App. 

This is like “Remote App as a hosted service,” said one of my contacts. It could be for companies who want thin clients or to run legacy apps on new PCs. Right now, companies have to have their own servers in the equation to do this, but “with Mohoro, you click a few buttons, deploy your apps, use Intune to push out configuration to all of your company’s devices, and you’re done,” my contact added. 

Microsoft currently offers multiple ways for users to access their Windows desktops remotely via different virtualization technologies and products.

The aforementioned Remote App/Remote Desktop allows Windows users to connect to a remote Windows PC and access resources from it. On the Windows RT front, given that operating system’s restrictions on use of almost any existing Win32 applications, Remote Desktop provides a way for users to continue to use apps they already have on new hardware like the Microsoft Surface RT. Licensing of Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop Services is complex, however, and requires access to server infrastructure on the back-end.

Currently, it is not possible under Microsoft’s licensing terms to run Windows client in virtual machines hosted on Windows Azure. (The new Azure VMs do allow…

Continue to read this great blog post by Mary Jo Foley here!

//Richard

Simplified VDI Architecture – #Citrix, #XenDesktop

This is a great start of a blog series from Citrix!

There’s a perception that VDI is complicated.  I’m far from being a rocket scientist, and I’ve managed to implement many successful VDI projects over the past ten years.  I truly believe that VDI is one of those things that is only as complicated as you make it.

It’s like saying that driving is complicated.  You’d have to be crazy [or very brave] to take your first lesson in Manhattan…during rush hour.  That’s why your driving instructor starts you off on a quiet street.  You need to know your boundaries.  Being successful with VDI is the same – keep things simple to start with and slowly increase complexity at your own pace, when you’re ready for it.

This raises the question – what’s the quiet street equivalent of a beginner’s VDI architecture?  It might not be the most optimized and efficient solution, but it would be quick to implement, do the job well and wouldn’t require specialist knowledge or skills.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’d like to share my thoughts.

There’s a lot to consider, so I’m going to break this up over four different blog posts:

  1. Simplified VDI Architecture – Introduction & FlexCast
  2. Simplified VDI Architecture – Storage
  3. Simplified VDI Architecture – Provisioning
  4. Simplified VDI Architecture – Reference Architecture

Martin Zugec will be helping me out with this blog series and will be referring to his experience on actual customer projects that followed many of these recommendations.

XenDesktop or VDI in a Box?

First up, you need to make a decision on VDI in a Box or XenDesktop.  VDI in a Box is easier to setup but does have some limitations.  Check out Allen Furmanski’s excellent blog post for guidance on how to make this decision.  I’m going to concentrate on XenDesktop for this post.

FlexCast

Although each FlexCast model has its own unique advantages, each additional model included adds complexity to the overall project.  There is a great table in the Virtual Desktop Handbook (FlexCast Model Selection – Table 11) that provides guidance on the capabilities of each model.  The main thing to note is that all scenarios, apart from offline, can be accommodated using the Hosted VDI model (XenDesktop), either with or without a Personal vDisk.  It may not be the optimal selection in every instance, but it is almost always a viable solution.

There are a number of reasons why I think that XenDesktop is simpler than XenApp, including:

  1. Desktop applications are developed to run on desktop operating systems such as Windows XP or Windows 7.  There aren’t many developers that test their applications on Windows Server 2003 or 2008.  Therefore, you’re far less likely to run into application issues with XenDesktop than you are with XenApp.  Even if your applications run okay on 2008 with XenApp, you’re probably going to have issues getting support from the application vendors.
  2. Hosting applications on multi-user operating systems can introduce additional application compatibility challenges.  Users may share the same configuration files and registry hives, especially if the applications are not multi-user aware.  This means that one user may change a setting that affects all other users of that server.  There are a ton of tips and tricks to get these apps working correctly but we want to keep things simple and choosing XenDesktop helps us achieve this goal.
  3. As multiple users are hosted on the same operating system, it is important that XenApp desktops are locked down to prevent security breaches and misconfiguration that could impact all users sharing the environment. Typically, this results in an extremely controlled and restricted user experience, hindering user satisfaction and acceptance.
  4. With XenApp desktops, a single user can consume a disproportionate amount of resources, impacting the performance of other users sharing the same XenApp server.  XenDesktop, on the other hand, allows vCPU and RAM assignments to be controlled on a per-user basis.  For this reason, I strongly recommend that heavy users are hosted on XenDesktop rather than XenApp.
  5. With XenDesktop, it is possible to provide users with fully personalized desktops.  This includes the ability for users to install their own applications.
  6. Unlike XenApp, XenDesktop supports generic USB redirection:

I’m a huge fan of Remote PC, especially when you consider just how simple it is to deploy.  However, there are some things Remote PC just can’t do, including:

  • You don’t have the flexibility to quickly provision or de-provision desktops based on business demands.
  • Image management is more complicated than a virtual desktop because you can’t use MCS and PVS can be challenging with desktops outside of the data center
  • You need to have a good connection between your XenDesktop Controllers and the physical desktops.  Something not always available for WAN users.

Regardless, Remote PC is a great solution in many scenarios.  Consider deploying Remote PC at the very start of your project.  It allows you to realize immediate value while you’re designing and implementing your full VDI solution.

If XenDesktop is so much simpler why do so many projects still standardize on XenApp?  It all comes down to cost – XenApp offers significantly higher levels of scalability than XenDesktop (some sources quote 300% more users).  Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

Processor

The Virtual Desktop Handbook provides us with guidelines on processor requirements for both XenApp and XenDesktop (Processor Requirements by Workload – Table 22):

If processor is the bottleneck, we can estimate the scalability of XenApp and XenDesktop for a fairly typical server configuration (2×8 cores):

As you can see, XenApp offers between 17% (heavy user) and 28% (light user) more users than XenDesktop – but nowhere near 300%!  Let’s put this into context, if you had 1,000 concurrent normal users, you would need seven physical servers for ‘XenDesktop: Windows 7’ and six physical servers for ‘XenApp: 2008 R2’.  Is one additional server per ~1,000 users enough to justify the additional complexity of XenApp?

RAM

For RAM, the Virtual Desktop Handbook table (Memory Requirements by Workload – Table 23) shows us that ‘XenDesktop: Windows 7’ requires significantly…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Client – #RDS

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS13-029 – Critical

Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Client Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2828223)

Published: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 | Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Version: 1.1

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Windows Remote Desktop Client. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Critical for Remote Desktop Connection 6.1 Client, Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 Client, and Remote Desktop Connection 7.1 Client where affected on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. It is rated Moderate for Remote Desktop Connection 6.1 Client, Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 Client, and Remote Desktop 7.1 Client where affected on Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that Remote Desktop Client handles objects in memory. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Most customers have automatic updating enabled…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#XenMobile, #MobileSolutions – Is this what we’ve been waiting for? – #Citrix, #ZenPrise, #BYOD

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Ok, so Citrix has now presented their new offering after merging Zenprise into their product portfolio. And is this what you have been waiting for?

My personal answer to that is probably yes, now you have all the capabilities (almost) out there to get your BYOx program/strategy and architecture in place or if you just want to add additional capabilities to your existing service offerings.

I must say though that the packaging is compelling and VERY interesting!

Citrix Mobile Solutions Bundle

The Citrix Mobile Solutions Bundle, which is comprised of XenMobile MDMand CloudGateway, offers a complete enterprise mobility management solution that enables IT to manage and secure devices, apps, and data.

XenMobile MDM Edition

XenMobile MDM Edition offers market leading mobile device management capabilities that deliver role-based management, configuration and security of corporate and employee-owned devices.

What I’d like to see is a roadmap where Citrix becomes an even more complete provider of technology in the Mobility segment. I still believe that Mobility is not only about smartphones and tablets and all the apps that you shall deliver to those devices and non-managed and non-corporate owned devices. There is still a need to provide device management of corporate assets that are not smartphones and tablets! And why should you have to implement another device management service/product for those.

So please Citrix = add Windows 7/8, OS X and Linux device capabilities as well in your almost complete Enterprise Mobile Management offering!

The offering is of course also today an early release where the former Zenprise product and CloudGateway is provided under the same marketing and price bundle but I’m waiting for when we have one (1) enterprise app store! And all capabilities from one technical architecture and product that you enable each capability on a need basis and are licensed accordingly.

But this is a great step for Citrix and I must say that I’m looking forward to see where this is going, I mean the feature set is pretty awesome!

Compare Features

XenMobile MDM Edition

Mobile Solutions Bundle

Enterprise MDM
Device management
Configure policies
Security and compliance
Scalability and high-availability
Ease of administration
Provisioning and self-service enrollment
Enterprise integration
Monitor and support
Decommission devices
Secure email, browser and data sharing apps
@WorkMail
Email attachment encryption
@WorkWeb
ShareFile integration
Microsoft SharePoint integration
Mobile app containers
Mobile application management
MDX Vault
MDX Interapp
MDX Access
App wrapping
Unified app store
Enterprise app store
Follow-me apps
Identity management, single sign-on and scenario-based access control
Active Directory integration
Instant application and data provisioning
Single sign-on to apps and data
App requests
Instant application and data de-provisioning
Strong authentication
Secure remote access
Policy enforcement

More information about the technologies have also been added to eDocs!

MobileSolutions_Citrix_edocs

 

Of course also made their competition table:

Compare the Mobile Solutions Bundle to other enterprise mobility solutions

These are exciting times and I’m looking forward to play around with the whole bundle!

Read more about XenMobile/Mobile Solutions here!

//Richard

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