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Posts Tagged ‘Workspace’

GPO and PowerShell support in #AzureAD and #Intune? Tech Preview released – #EnvokeIT Workspace Client

February 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Finally… we’re pleased to announce that we now have released the Tech Preview of the EnvokeIT Workspace Client service!! 🙂

What is this and why did we build this SaaS device configuration service?

Have you also tried to roll-out Windows 10 with Azure AD and potentially also Microsoft Intune and lack capabilities like Group Polices to control registry and files or to run PowerShell scripts?

We’ve solved that for you! The EnvokeIT Workspace Client is a device configuration client built on the cloud and for the cloud! Now you have all the capabilities that you require to deliver a modern Windows 10 Out-of-the-box delivery using Azure AD!

Have a look at our “quick” overview video or just sign up for a free Tech Preview tenant and you’ll be up and running within minutes!

The service is built for Windows on Azure and leverages the latest technology to ensure that you can adopt the Windows and Azure AD architecture without lacking what you need from good old Group Policies!

Here are some examples of what the service can solve for you:

  • You want to remove the Windows “bloatware” for all your Windows 10 devices, no problem
  • If you want to specify and ensure that all your users have the same company background, you can do that!
  • If you need to configure application settings for all users, no problem!
  • Do you need to have an updated User Guides or other material easily pushed to your users desktop, no problem!
  • If your web applications require that they are put in Local Intranet or Trusted Sites in your browsers, then you can push that out!
  • Does your Windows application require specific local settings files to be pushed to the clients, no worries we’ve got you covered there as well!
  • Do you need to push out Microsoft Edge policies you can do that as well! For a complete list of built-in Group Policy objects that you can configure see this list.
  • If you need to do special configuration of the OS, applications or user settings you can do that through PowerShell scripts, you write the scripts and our agent makes sure it’s run in user or system context. Configuration possibilities are endless with PowerShell script support!

Read more at the site or sign up for your own trial tenant!

https://cloudclientportal.envokeit.com

http://www.envokeit.com/en/project/envokeit-workspace-client/

And if you need any assistance in your Windows 10, Office 365 or Enterprise Mobility Project just contact us at EnvokeIT: info@envokeit.com or send an email to me directly: richard.egenas at envokeit.com

//Richard

Finally – Citrix Workspace Cloud is GA! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS, #SaaS, @EnvokeIT

This is something that we at EnvokeIT have been trying out for quite a while and really enjoy, it’s a great service that will simplify a lot for many service providers and customers. Contact us at EnvokeIT if you have any questions or if you need assistance on your journey to the cloud!

Workspace-Cloud-Launch-300x183

Now your business can take advantage of Citrix Workspace Cloud, the fastest and easiest way for IT to enable business productivity with secure apps, data, device management and more.

I’m pleased to announce the general availability of Citrix Workspace Cloud, the industry’s simplest way to build and deliver a complete workspace without compromise.

Now, you can easily combine virtual apps and desktops, mobile apps and device policies and data – securely delivered from any cloud or infrastructure you choose – whether on-premises, off-premises or both in a hybrid model.

Workspace Cloud is Revolutionary

Over the past 18 months, the team has been busy engaging with customers, partners, industry analysts, media, Citrix Technology Professionals, ISVs and alliance partners around the world as we built Workspace Cloud.

The general reaction has been consistent: Workspace Cloud is unlike anything else and comprehensively addresses the biggest challenges in workspace management.

The cloud-based management and control plane accelerates deployments. The choice of infrastructure locations provides the flexibility partners and customer’s demand, and the comprehensive set of workspace services that are always up to date ensure you can meet the broad set of IT use cases.

A single unified, global, and multi-tenant SaaS platform to create complete workspaces

People do their best work when they have immediate access to their work resources – the people, apps, and files they need at any specific moment or context.

While other vendors offer a ‘workspace’ that is nothing more than virtual desktops offered in their own cloud, Workspace Cloud makes it easy to deliver a people-centric, modern workspace located on-premises, off-premises or both in a hybrid model.

Easily compose workspaces containing apps, desktops, mobile and data. Workspace management allows you to use existing corporate Active Directory domains to add, remove or change the resources from one place once and on-demand – everyone and every resource in the workspace is updated.

Stay in control and retain choice for your infrastructure and cloud selections

Want to run your contractor applications out of Amazon, your productivity apps in Azure to be near their Office 365 data, and desktops on-premises? No problem. Workspace Cloud provides the only solution that allows you to select the best infrastructure combinations based on economics, performance, existing capacity, sovereignty, and expertise. This means the selection can be made on a per-service basis. This choice extends not only to your applications and desktops, but also to your data.

Workspace Cloud accelerates deployment and management through a SaaS-based control plane and securely communicates with your infrastructure through a simple cloud connector. Driven by a simple stateless, zero-touch management architecture. After a simple installation the connector is ready to provision resources, enumerate users from Microsoft Active Directory domains, and launch session requests.

Comprehensive portfolio of workspace services available as a subscription

Workspace Cloud subscriptions contains services that address the core use cases customers face every day and are available today. Start with one offering but easily add more based upon your expanding business needs.

The core services we’re announcing today include:

  • Applications and Desktops Service – Deliver secure virtual apps and desktops to any device, and leave the product installation, setup, configuration, upgrades and monitoring to Citrix based on industry-leading XenApp and XenDesktop technology.
  • Mobility Service – Provide cloud-based, comprehensive enterprise mobility management (EMM) — including mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management, and enterprise-grade productivity apps — for a secure user experience on BYOD or corporate devices based on XenMobile technology.
  • Secure Document Service – Meet the mobility and collaboration needs of employees and the data security requirements of the enterprise with this secure enterprise file sync and sharing service based on ShareFile technology.
  • Lifecycle Management Service – Accelerate and automate the design, deployment, and ongoing management of Citrix enterprise workloads with comprehensive lifecycle management. The service provides standardized, repeatable automation technology with a catalog of blueprints – assembled scripts that capture configurations, settings and other complex details into a single repeatable solution. Read more about this new technology here.

Continue reading more here!

//Richard

Azure AD Premium a visionary in Gartner IDaaS Magic Quadrant! I love it! – #Azure, #AzureAD, #IDaaS

This is awesome! I just love what Microsoft is doing with all the cool Azure offerings! That’s also why I’ve been digging deeper into this area lately and also took the Microsoft Specialist – Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam and been playing around with Azure AD, DirSync and ADFS a lot.

Now with the whole release of Windows 10, Azure AD, Intune, ADFS and System Center we’re going to have a lovely story going forward with how to do client management going forward, just take a Windows 1o device, join it through Azure AD, Intune and federation and then sign in using your on-premise AD credentials. On top of that you can also then leverage Azure AD or federation with it for your SaaS apps as well and with SSO, and why not use the Azure connector to make your on-premise web apps available on the Internet with authentication as well!

Microsoft and Azure rocks!

Now also with the magic quadrant from Gartner that shows how well Microsoft is doing! It look very promissing, and just think about combingin all this also with Citrix Workspace cloud going forward! So great! 🙂

Gartner just released their Magic Quadrant for Identity Management as a Service (IDaaS) and after only ~10 months in market, Azure AD premium was placed in the “Visionary” quadrant, far to the right of our competitors for our completeness of vision and our ability to execute, only slightly below companies with established, multi-year track records.

If you are a Gartner client, you can find the report here. We will have a complimentary copy to share soon, so please check back.

We’re really pleased with this result. We believe it validates our vision of providing of a complete solution for hybrid identity management, a solution that includes not just a directory and employee identity management, but full suite of identity capabilities, an integrated device management offering (Microsoft Intune), leading edge information protection (Azure RMS) and a robust set monitoring and security capabilities.

I am especially delighted by this validation because it says a lot about our customers, implementation partners and ISV partners who have worked together with us. They have been awesome about sharing their time and energy every day, to make sure that the products and services we build meet their needs and are helping them position their companies to thrive in the emerging world of cloud and devices.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Microsoft.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Synergy 2015 – A condensed recap of everything you need to know – via @gkuruvilla, #Citrix, #CitrixSynergy

This is a great summary recap that George Kuruvill has done of Citrix Synergy 2015! Great work and enjoy this blog post!

For those of you who were not able to attend Citrix Synergy this year & dont have the time to sit through the key note recordings, I decided to put together a condensed version of some of the key announcements. So here goes!

Citrix Workspace Cloud

  • Citrix hosted control plane that enables customers to deliver a comprehensive mobile workspace to end users.
  • Gives customers the flexibility to host workloads on premises, in public or private clouds.
  • Control plane also provides end to end monitoring of user connections.
  • Evergreen infrastructure since Citrix maintains all core infrastructure components.
  • Workspace Cloud Connector installed on premises on a Win 2k12 server that establishes SSL communication between control plane and customer environment. Used to talk to infrastructure components like Active Directory and hypervisors hosting workload

I wrote a blog on CWC and the value proposition a month back that you can find here.

SYN 217 –  Workspace Cloud – Technical Overview [Video]

 

Citrix Lifecycle Management

  • Comprehensive cloud based service that can be used to design, deploy and manage both Citrix and other enterprise applications.
  • Based on the ScaleXtreme technology.
  • Lifecycle Management enables customers/partners to deploy infrastructure not only on premises but also public/private clouds (resource locations)
  • Customers/Partners have the ability to create blueprints to automate infrastructure deployments end to end. Examples of blueprints include a XD deployment for instance where you could not only install all the XD infrastructure but also automate the installation of all supporting infrastructure like Active Directory, SQL etc.
  • Vendors have the ability to create blueprints as well that can then be consumed by customers and partners alike.
  • Customers/Partners also have the ability to incorporate scripts (new/existing) into the deployment.
  • Once a blueprint is developed, its added to a library. Any resource within the library can then be deployed to a resource location (on premises, public/private cloud)
  • Another key benefit of the Lifecycle Management technology is the ability to automate application upgrades.

XenApp/XenDesktop

  • Xenapp 6.5 maintenance extended till end of 2017, EOL extended till 06/2018. Details here
  • New Feature Pack for XA 6.5 (enhance storage performance, Lync support enhancements, UPM enhancements, Director “Help Desk” troubleshooting”, Storefront 3.0, Receiver.next)
  • XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 FP2  (End of Q2)
    • New Receiver X1
    • Lync 2013 on Mac
    • Touch ID Support
    • HDX with Framehawk
    • Native Receiver for Linux
    • Linux Apps and Desktops (Redhat and SUSE support)
    • Desktop Player for Mac 2.0 (June)
    • Desktop Player for Windows (Tech Preview)

SYN 233 – Whats new in XenApp and XenDesktop [Video]

SYN 319 – Tech Update for XenApp and XenDesktop  [Video]

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! 😉

//Richard

PLEASE Citrix fix integration with Azure Stack! – #AzureStack, #CitrixCSP, #CitrixSynergy, #MSIgnite

Hi,

Ok, Microsoft have made some really cool announcements of Azure Stack, yes STACK not Pack. Azure Stack is NOT version 2.0 of Windows Azure Pack.. this is really important to note!

Azure Stack is basically the Azure technology used by the public Azure cloud but you can take that on-premise to your datacenter to deliver your own Azure cloud. No need of VMM or the traditional Fabric Management infrastructure!

AzureStack

This is how Microsoft puts it:

Microsoft Azure Stack brings proven innovation from Microsoft’s hyper-scale public cloud into your datacenter, providing agility and productivity for application owners, flexibility and control for IT, and assurance that corporate assets are protected.

So then we come to the topic of this post, if we know get this really 1st class IaaS and PaaS capabilties on-premise using Azure Stack HOW can we then leverage that to provision Desktop-as-a-Service offerings with Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop on top of it?

My dream would of course be that Citrix provides Workpace Services and the main XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure as a SaaS service, and that you internally just build your Azure Stack Resource Groups with all components needed for the DaaS tenant (network, storage, AD, VM’s to slap the VDA on etc.) using Visual Studio to leverage intellisense and builtin objects/IDE capabilities to add resources to your json deployment template file. So when you provision this deployment into your Azure Stack IaaS solution you spin up everything for the tenant and then slap the VDA on there that just connects to the XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure in the Citrix cloud to automate this and reduce the need of managing that part!

That would be awesome!

Please Citrix deliver this instead of App Orchestration!

//R

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.
image

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…

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