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Posts Tagged ‘VDA’

#Citrix Linux Virtual Desktop 1.1 released! – #Linux, #DaaS, #EnvokeIT, #XenDesktop

October 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Citrix has now released version 1.1 of the Linux VDA as a part of XenDesktop 7.6 Feature Pack 3! ūüôā

These are the new features of tis release:

  • Linux VDI dedicated desktops enabled in XenApp, XenDesktop 7.6 infrastructure
  • Multi-monitor support with Linux virtual desktop at maximum total resolution of 8192×8192
  • Support for RHEL 7 and SLE 12.
  • Addition of Centrify for domain join along with existing Winbind and Quest support
  • KDE window manager and enabling QT based applications support on Linux Virtual Desktop
  • Internationalization support for non-English environments

Click here to download!

For more information the please see my previous blog post on this great Linux Hosted Desktop Experience!

Richard_happy_when_Microsoft_and_Citrix_Loves_Linux

//Richard

See how Citrix XenDesktop for Linux looks – #Citrix, #XenDesktop, #Linux, #EnvokeIT, #BYOD, #DaaS

June 4, 2015 1 comment

This is one of the coolest things a part from the Workspace Cloud service that Citrix is working on. I’ve had the pleassure of trying this out and we at EnvokeIT have been doing a lot of tests of this Linux VDA¬†tech preview.

Isn’t it¬†great that both Microsoft and Citrix now seem to love Linux ūüôā¬†¬† (and yes, I manipulated these images so it’s not an official Citrix statement!)Richard_happy_when_Microsoft_and_Citrix_Loves_Linux

So this little blog post is just going to show of the capabilities and how nicely this integrates with the Citrix XenDesktop architecture. First of all I’d like to say thanks to my colleagues Bj√∂rn Bekkouche and Peter Smali for letting me use their lab environment!

Before we get into showing how it works and looks I must just highlight that if you have any questions about how we can assist you to deliver Linux-based Terminal Servers or VDI’s to remote users in a secure and optimal just contact us at EnvokeIT here or pop me an email: richard at envokeit.com.

This is great for all of you with Developers on Linux! Have them code from anywhere in a secure manner! They can run their Linux VDA in your datacenter, connect to it from an Receiver compliant device and code from them and you have your intellectual property secured internally instead of having them checking out Git repositories to their local devices etc.!

So what is XenDesktop for Linux? Well, to answer that really simple I assume that you have some basic knowledge of the Citrix XenDesktop architecture.. if you don’t then please read up on that a little before continue reading, one really good contribution to bulding your architecture is described in this Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook¬†or this Citrix XenDesktop – Blueprint. These contains a lot of valuable information that you shall think of and how to configure the environment to fulfill you use cases.

But overall think of the XenDesktop architecture of something like the following pictures (click to enlarge them). The first one shows the new model where we could run and take care of the VDA’s ourselves on-premise but leverage the Workspace Cloud service from Citrix so that we don’t anymore have to bother about the XenDesktop infrastructure components and the life-cycle management etc. of those. The second one is the more overall traditional architecture overview that you’d see of the different layers.

Apps-Service-Overview

XenDesktop_overview_architecture

And as you see above this details the standard architecture wher you would have your Server or Desktop VDA’s in the resource layer hosting the desktops for your users to connect to, but they have all been Windows-based up until now!

Now with the Tech Preview we can actually install the Linux-based VDA on a Red Hat or Suse machine and access that through the SAME Delivery Controllers and¬†StoreFront stores that also manage our Windows-based VDA’s.

And this is awesome! ūüôā We can leverage the already existing Windows-based architecture to just “hook in” our Linux-desktops as well and get users to conect through Receiver for Web, Receiver and even through the NetScalers if you need (works like a charm!!).

So as you can see here we have a nice little landing page for our entry points that are running different versions and access different environments etc.

EnvokeIT_Access_Portal

So we have Peters¬†entry¬†point running¬†one NetScaler version and theme: Read more…

#Citrix Workspace Cloud Setup on Microsoft #Azure – #EnvokeIT, #DaaS, #XenDesktop, #NetScaler

This is just so cool and great! Finally we who have seen and played with it can talk about it in the open and Citrix is showing the new Workspace Cloud services!

You can also login and try it out at http://workspace.cloud.com

Of course it’s not 100% ready for all use cases¬†etc. but¬†the concept is just great! There are so many customer out there that don’t want to manage their XenDesktop infrastructure components and just want to purchase XenDesktop or XenMobile¬†like a true cloud service.. and this is it!

Gunner Berger created this great demo video on how he just spins up a couple of Windows server with RDS in Azure and then installs the components on the servers and connector in order to be able to connect the domain and workers to the Workspace service, really cool!

Have a nice weekend and contact us at EnvokeIT if you like to know more about this or if you need help with Azure, Office365, Microsoft Infrastructure or Citrix XenDesktop, NetScaler or XenMobile! ūüėČ

//Richard

#Citrix #XenApp and #XenDesktop 7.5 is released

March 26, 2014 1 comment

Finally it’s released, just go and download and enjoy (hopefully)! ūüėČ

https://www.citrix.com/downloads/xendesktop/product-software/xendesktop-75-platinum.html

Documentation is available online in Citrix eDocs. Keeping in mind that the online documentation will be periodically updated, you may also download a PDF file with a current snapshot for offline use:

Admin Guide
Upgrade Guide
Install Guide

This single package contains the Core and components needed to deploy the server-side infrastructure supporting Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 and includes Director, Studio, Delivery Controller, Virtual Delivery Agent, Personal vDisk, Universal Print Server, Receiver and StoreFront, Profile Management, HDX, Migration tool, License Server and CloudBridge (Branch Repeater) plug in.

//Richard

#XenDesktop 7.1 on #Hyper-V Pilot Guide! – #Citrix

February 19, 2014 1 comment

This is a great PoC guide, some thing I would have done differently in detail but overall great work!

You’ve heard of XenDesktop 7.1, experienced a demo and worked through the Reviewer’s Guide. Now where do you turn when you’re ready for a PoC, pilot and preparations for a full-scale rollout?

Here on the Citrix Readiness and Enablement Team, we’re always looking for ways to empower our customers to be successful on their projects. To this end, we’ve taken one of our most popular hands-on lab guides used to train hundreds of internal and external students and reworked it for consumption by the masses. The XenDesktop 7.1 on Hyper-V Pilot Guide can be download fromhttps://citrix.sharefile.com/d/scaa256260df4ab3b. In this guide we cover the following topics with step-by-step instructions and screenshots:

– Configuring System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Installing the Agent
– Setting Up SQL Server Mirroring for a XenDesktop site
– Setting up the XenDesktop Site
– Joining a Controller to an Existing Site
– Configuring StoreFront and Installing Certificates
– Configuring NetScaler for StoreFront Load Balancing
– Installing the VDA Software on Desktop and Server VMs
– Creating Catalogs of Machine for Desktops and Servers
– Creating Delivery Groups for Desktops and Servers
– Delivering Installed and App-V Applications
– Provisioning Services Configuration and Optimizations
– Using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard
– Setting up Remote Access with NetScaler and StoreFront
– Internal and External Connectivity Scenarios
– Load Evaluator Policies
– Monitoring with Director
– Exploring Configuration Logging
– Exploring Delegated Administration
– Working with PowerShell

And much more!

Take a look through the document and let us know your thoughts…

IMPORTANT:¬†This guide is designed to be used as a reference for building PoC and/or pilot environments. Production environments should always be…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

True or False: Always use Provisioning Services – #Citrix, #PVS, #MCS

August 29, 2013 1 comment

Another good blog post from Daniel Feller:

Test your Citrix muscle…

True or False: Always use Provisioning Services

Answer: False

There has always been this aura around Machine Creation Services in that it could not hold a candle to Provisioning Services; that you would be completely insane to implement this feature in any but the simplest/smallest deployments.

How did we get to this myth? Back in March of 2011 I blogged about deciding between MCS and PVS. I wanted to help people decide between using Provisioning Services and the newly released Machine Creation Services. Back in 2011, MCS an alternative to PVS in that MCS was easy to setup, but had some limitations when compared to PVS. My blog and decision tree were used to help steer people into the PVS route except for the use cases where MCS made sense.

Two and a half years passed and over that time, MCS has grown up. Unfortunately, I got very busy and didn’t keep this decision matrix updated. I blame the XenDesktop product group. How dare they improve our products. Don’t they know this causes me more work? :)

It’s time to make some updates based on improvements of XenDesktop 7 (and these improvements aren’t just on the MCS side but also on the PVS side as well).

So let’s break it down:

  • Hosted VDI desktops only: MCS in XenDesktop 7 now supports XenApp hosts. This is really cool, and am very happy about this improvement as so many organizations understand that XA plays a huge part in any successful VDI project.
  • Dedicated Desktops: Before PVD, I was no fan of doing dedicated VDI desktops with PVS. With PVD, PVS dedicated desktops is now much more feasible, like it always was with MCS
  • Boot/Logon Storms: PVS, if configured correctly, would cache many of the reads into system memory, helping to reduce the Read IOPS. Hypervisors have improved over the past 2 years to help us with the large number of Read disk operations. This helps lessen the impact of the boot/logon storms when using MCS.

    Read more…

Demystifying Citrix Excalibur Architecture – via @kbaggerman

A great blog post by Kees Baggerman! ūüôā

For all XenApp admins and consultants out there Project Avalon will bring a big change as we are used to having XenApp servers running on the (what seemed to be) everlasting Citrix Independent Management Architecture and we’re heading to Citrix FlexCast Management Architecture (already included in XenDesktop at this moment) and will be included in the Citrix Excalibur Architecture.

IMA

When looking up IMA in the eDocs you’ll find:

Independent Management Architecture (IMA) is the underlying architecture used in XenApp for configuring, monitoring, and operating all XenApp functions. The IMA data store stores all XenApp configurations.

Basically IMA exists to manage the XenApp or Presentation Server farms by enabling the communications between servers. As stated it transfers information about all XenApp functions like licenses, policies, sessions and server loads. All management tooling within these versions of Citrix’s PS/XA rely on this service for information.

According to Communication ports used by Citrix Technologies IMA uses the following ports:

Ports Source Prot. Comment
2512 Common Citrix Communication Ports TCP Independent Management Architecture (IMA)
2513 Access Gateway 5.0 Controller administration TCP IMA-based Communication

As we can see IMA uses 2512 (by default) to communicate with other servers and the Access Gateway Controller uses 2513 (by default) for IMA-based communication. The port IMA uses can be changed or queried via the commandline tool IMAPORT.

Brian Madden did a blogpost way back in 2007 but it’s definition of IMA is still current:

Independent Management Architecture is:

  • A data store, which is a database for storing MetaFrame XP server configuration information, such as published applications, total licenses, load balancing configuration, MetaFrame XP security rights, and printer configuration.
  • A protocol¬†for transferring the ever-changing background information between MetaFrame XP servers, including server load, current users and connections, and licenses in use
FMA

With the introduction of XenDesktop we got a new architecture called Flexcast Management Architecture. This new architecture has got an agent-based setup where we can install the operating system including the basic applications that need to be installed and after that we can install an agent. This agent registers itself to a controller and is offered through StoreFront to the end user.

This will be delivered by two different types of agents, one to support Windows Server OS’s and one for Windows Desktop OS’s.

Andrew Wood did an article on Excalibur and used this diagram to explain the architecture:

Citrix FlexCast Management ArchitectureCitrix FlexCast Management Architecture

  • Receiver¬†provides users with self-service access to published resources.
  • StoreFront¬†authenticates users to site(s) hosting resources and manages stores of desktops and applications that users access ‚Äď Web Interface as a platform is essentially resting, but it will cease to be.
  • Studio¬†is a single management console that enables you to configure and manage your deployment, a dramatic reduction over the 23 consoles you could well have today. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up an environment, creating workloads to host applications and desktops, and assigning applications and desktops to users.
  • Delivery Controller¬†distributes applications and desktops, manages user access, and optimizes…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Please contribute – What do we expect from Citrix? – Citrix community enhancement list

October 8, 2012 5 comments

Ok, there are a lot of things that I think we all expect Citrix to deliver now in Barcelona when Synergy soon kicks off! But so far I’ve not seen someone that has been combining a community list yet…

And the most important part I feel is that I get more and more information from companies out there that have enhancement requests and issues that they have a hard time expressing and getting into Citrix. The larger enterprises can of course through their channels get more information and also make their voice heard, but the SMB’s have a hard time to do so!

So this is my attempt to start a dialogue with all of U out there on what we expect to see from Citrix in the future! I think it would be interesting to see if the items I’m waiting for a change on is aligned with the rest of the community!

So why don’t we all contribute to a list that we all can share and prioritise over time? I can for a start moderate this list if you comment or send me items that you think should be on the list and then I’ll try to make sure that people within Citrix get the items and I’ll try to follow up! Of course we need help from the CTP’s (just to be clear; I’m not a CTP so don’t get me wrong here) and others as well to put pressure and assist in the governance of this activity.

So this is my first list of items that I think that we can build upon… It’s a first draft and far from the total number of items are there so bear with me! ūüėČ

Please comment below to have your item(s) added to the list and let’s make a change!

ID Product/Area Enhancement request/Issue Status
1 Licensing Ensure that all products supports the license server (NetScaler etc.) Not fullfilled
2 Monitoring & Reporting Ensure that you can get historical concurrent user reports that spans across ALL products (NetScaler/AG, XenApp, XenDesktop etc.) Not fullfilled
3 Monitoring & Reporting Ensure that Citrix provides an end-2-end monitoring and reporting service for the whole Citrix stack. This to ensure that delivery organizations can deliver reports like “Service Availability in %” over time that includes all service components (NetScaler AGEE VIP, StoreFront/WI, PVS/MSC, XenServer, XenApp/VDA, Profile Server, etc. If Citrix isn’t going to do this; then please point on a product that does the job. Not fullfilled
4 Monitoring & Reporting Provide a monitoring solution to ensure health and best practise configurations of all products involved in a traditional “XenDesktop” stacked service. Not fullfilled
5 Cross-product Improve your testing!! There have been to many issues with updates to products in the “Citrix stack” that has caused issues in others, like update to XenServer that caused PVS issues, or updates to a specific NetScaler feature that caused others to fail. Not fullfilled
6 Cross-product Create an central update service for all products that can inform the admin about updates not applied or if components aren’t in synch in terms of SW versions etc. Not fullfilled
7 Cross-product Ensure that the end-user look & feel are the same across the products used in the stack (NetScaler AGEE login page, Web Interface/StoreFront, Receiver etc..). This should not require admins to do and should be a design principle. Not fullfilled
8 Cross-product Come on, simplify the administration of the products in the stack = reduce the number of consoles! Not fullfilled
9 AppController Multi-domain support Not fullfilled
10 AppController Support for multiple setups that can synch the DB. This to ensure that you can have an HA pair setup for instance in Europé and one in the North Americas and have the end-user be logged in against both and have their subscriptions etc follow them (as well as of course reporting, monitoring etc. etc.) Not fullfilled
11 AppController Support for really large AD domains with LARGE # of AD users and AD groups Not fullfilled
12 AppController Support for AD domain structure where the BASE DN is different to where AD users and the AD security groups you want to use for roles Not fullfilled
13 EdgeSight Ensure that EdgeSight or equivalent end-user monitoring and reporting is integrated and that works on both XenApp and XenDesktop VDA’s and that doesn’t increase the IOPS with rediciolous numbers‚Ķ Not fullfilled
14 NetScaler Create SDX platform to run on all MPX appliances, for more info why see; NetScaler MPX vs. SDX dilemma; https://richardegenas.com/2012/10/03/netscaler-mpx-vs-sdx-dilemma/ Not fullfilled
15 NetScaler Provide out of the box integration with the Single Sign-On product (former CPM) so that Account Self-Service can be made directly from AGEE VIP login page. Not fullfilled
16 NetScaler Add support for AG session policies so that ICA proxy can be turned on for specific published apps and desktops and not per session. This for situations where you might have one app or desktop that sits behind an AGEE and others don’t. Not fullfilled
17 NetScaler The NetScaler/Access Gateway HTML/GUI pages used shall be able to be customized per AGEE/AAA Virtual Server. Today they are global pages so that specific modifications/customizations cannot be made and you have to buy an additional NetScaler unless major customizations are done and then life-cycle management becomes an issue. Not fullfilled
18 NetScaler Change so that you can specify different Authentication policies and requirements mapped to Session policies instead of to a Virtual Server, AAA group etc. This could then provide a way so that you could offer ICA proxy mode with single auth and two-factor if you launch/select to open an SSL VPN tunnel Not fullfilled
19 NetScaler It would be good if you on the Receiver could select what authentication you want to perform upon login and not just at setup of the Account. That would mean that you could pass that info the the NS VS and then in AGEE handle that to the authentcaiton policies and session policies. Then a user that has forgotten a hardtoken could still get access but only in ICA proxy mode and have all virtual channels disabled without having to have multiple accounts in the Receiver and admin doesn’t need multiple NS AGEE VS. Not fullfilled
20 Merchandising Server Ensure that it supports larger AD environments and multi-domain support Not fullfilled
21 Merchandising Server Create a central DB for config etc or ensure that MS is migrated into SF asap. Not fullfilled
22 Provisioning Services Improved/simplified support/update functionality for when you use KMS licensing Not fullfilled
23 Provisioning Services Create REAL update msp or msi files for updates, you can’t require admins to go in and replace DLL-files etc in 2012 Not fullfilled
24 Provisioning Services Implement replication of vDisk files (diff-files) etc so that it’s automated within the PVS solution so that you don’t have to rely on DFS-R etc. Not fullfilled
25 ShareFile Ensure that encryption on local devices are available for all device types and OS’s (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Win XP/7/8, Linux, OS X) Not fullfilled
26 ShareFile Design the product so that you could leverage public storage providers for your storage but encrypt it using your own PKI service and proxy traffic to it through the Storage Center server(s) without having to invest in in-house storage solutions and reduce CAPEX. Not fullfilled
27 ShareFile Design the solution so that you can configure the plygin/Receiver functionality when it comes to StoreFront on groups/roles instead of just for the whole account. Not fullfilled
28 Storefront Support for multiple setups that can synch the DB. This to ensure that you can have an HA pair setup for instance in Europé and one in the North Americas and have the end-user be logged in against both and have their subscriptions etc follow them (as well as of course reporting, monitoring etc. etc.) Not fullfilled
29 Storefront Simplify configuration and branding of the StoreFront for Web sites like most other providers have and they had in Web Interface Not fullfilled
30 Storefront Add all features that where available in Web Interface Not fullfilled
31 StoreFront Design the product to allow the user to select whether he/she can group apps and desktops into folders or tabs in StoreFront for Web Not fullfilled
32 Receiver Ensure that email-enrollment to StoreFront stores can somehow support multidomain support (like if you have multiple users having the same email-address; name@company.com can be linked to different AD domains Not fullfilled
33 Receiver Corporate branding for the Receiver, logo, text etc. Not fullfilled
34 Receiver Ensure that all Receivers have the same look & feel and functionality. Like the secondary and primary password field names should be the same on a Mac and a Windows client, as well as other features. Not fullfilled
35 Receiver Add so that Receiver passes DOMAINNAME to NetScaler/AG VS so that it can be used to determine which AD domain to authenticate with. In todays version you have to either make one VS per domain or cascade through multiple domains on the same VS. And cascading is available as a workaround but triggers failed logins against AD and is not that nice and security/AD teams are not that happy… Not fullfilled
36 XenDesktop Support for Linux VDA’s (Ubuntu for example) Not fullfilled
37 XenApp Support for Linux Terminal Servers (Ubuntu for example) Not fullfilled

I’ll post an excel-spreadsheet as well for download soon, and then let’s see if there is an interest or not! ūüėČ

Cheers!

//Richard

READ THIS – Demystifying Microsoft virtual desktop licensing: SA vs. VDA vs. CDL

Why can’t you vendors out there make licensing less complex and more “logical”…??

When it comes to virtual desktop infrastructure, administrators have a lot of choices. You may have wondered about the differences between VDI software options, remote display protocols or all the licenses out there. In this series, we tackle some of the biggest head-scratchers facing VDI admins to help you get things straight.”

Continue reading this great article here!

//Richard

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