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Posts Tagged ‘XenServer’

Citrix Lifecycle Management cloud service – is it something for you? YES! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS @EnvokeIT

I must admit that both Microsoft and Citrix are on the right track, it’s amazing to see the number of great “cloud” services that they now are releasing. If you’ve been reading my blog and follow me on Twitter then you know that I’m already a HUGE fan of Azure and all its offerings, and now Citrix comes up with a real interesting cloud based service to simplify the life-cycle management of their offerings, great job!

In this post we’re going to look at little closer to the Citrix Lifecycle Management service. So let’s start of with what it is, have a look at this great overview video:

Citrix Lifecycle Management is a comprehensive cloud-based lifecycle management solution to accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and ongoing management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

Supporting many types of IT workloads across virtual and private or public cloud environments, this solution enables IT organizations to become faster, more cost-effective and more agile, and it helps maintain service quality and high availability with redundancy, automatic scaling and disaster recovery of applications. Built on blueprints incorporating validated reference architectures, configurations and best practices, Citrix Lifecycle Management provides a unified and standardized set of management tools for rapid and best practice-driven design, deployment and management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

See this blog for a further explanation of Citrix Lifecycle Management.

Citrix Lifecycle Management is delivered as a cloud-based service through the newly launched Citrix Workspace Cloud.

The cloud service interacts with many types of supported Resource Locations that can be located either up in a public cloud service like Azure (that rocks!) or your on premise location and leveraging any of these technologies:

Citrix-lifecycle-Management-Resource-locations-support

Once that you’ve connected the service to one of your Resource Locations then you can really start to look at the process of deploying your services to it, here is a good overview of the process of deploying a blueprint:

Citrix-Lifecycle-Management-process-deploy-blueprint

As you can see the process is really straight forward, 1 connect to your Resource Location, 2 Add your blueprint and then as the 3rd step you Deploy it! Read more…

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 #XenServer and #XenDesktop, platforms for CAD – Grid, #vGPU, #NVidia

This is really cool! And I like the innovation that Citrix and NVIDIA is doing around solving this puzzle! Keep up the great job!

For many traditional CAD, CAE and PLM based industries with rigorous product lifecycle control such as Automotive and Aerospace, virtualisation has been approached with caution. CAD moves slowly and the cost of change is large and concerns over network speed, security and the maturity of solutions meant many held off, surveying the Cloud and virtualisation from afar, waiting to see if the benefits outweighed the risks. 

This week, with a tech preview of GPU hardwaresharing for VDI; Citrix and NVIDIA introduced another piece to what is now a very compelling portfolio that delivers all the elements needed to virtualise CAD and PLM on large scales. Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop really have become the natural CAD and PLM platform.

vGPU – True hardware GPU sharing

Complementing Citrix’s existing GPU passthrough and GPU hardware sharing for Windows Server workloads,this new technology enables the benefits of GPU acceleration to be exploited at lower costs. GPU passthrough has been in use for a while, enabling designers like those at Boeing to work using applications such as Dassault CATIA remotely. Our existing software GPU sharing technologies have proved great at delivering graphically intensive applications such as Dassault SolidWorks, Ansys Workbench and Fluent and Autodesk Applications. By offering the full portfolio of GPU passthrough and true hardware shared GPUs via vGPU, Citrix’s portfolio offers organisations the best possible flexibility to optimise their usage of GPU technologies. Mayunk has detailed the options available and I’d recommendhis blog post and guides to explore the options.

We’ve been working not only with NVIDIA on their newest GRID cards but also the major server vendorssuch as HP, Dell, Cisco, IBM and Supermicro to ensure these technologies are fine tuned for theXenServer Hypervisor to maximise performance with the NVIDIA GPUs. HP themselves have produced aninsightful guide on the benefits of vGPU over other technologies.

Those who work in CAD know that for every designer designing…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Citrix #NetScaler #SDX Installation Overview Video

This is a pretty good “quick” video of the SDX installation! Have a look at it, and remember not to use 1Gbps interfaces only if you want to run more than 7 VPX’s on the SDX! Then go for 10Gbps interfaces or many channels/interfaces of 1Gbps to not hit the SR-IOV limit of 7/1Gbps interface! 😉

Description
12:45 screen capture with PPT overview on IP Addressing, and walking through install, IP Change for SDX’s SVM and XS IPs, licenses, and then the install of a NetScaler instance with NSIP and SNIP. This is intended to be a quick overview before you set out on a first SDX install, and is in compliment with the SDX Quick Install Guide.

See the video here!

//Richard

What will happen to #XenServer now? – #Citrix, #Virtualization, #IaaS

This is a question that I get a lot these days…. what will happen to XenServer now when Citrix has handed it over to the open source community and that it will be available at XenServer.org. Have they really handed it over, if you think yes; what did they then hand over then though it’s been open source based all along?

Well I suggest that you read a bit about the product strategy etc in this release from Citrix on what the view is:

Key Messages and FAQs for Customers

On June 25, 2013, Citrix announced the availability of the Citrix XenServer 6.2 virtualization platform, which is the first XenServer offering to deliver a full featured, open-source, freely available software package. Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal to provide source code access and drive innovation and collaboration around server virtualization and cloud. 

Why the change to open source? 

Citrix is advancing its strategy around open source with the launch of the XenServer.org community portal to drive innovation, collaboration and discussion around XenServer. As evidenced by the strong industry response to phase 1 of this strategy (move Xen to the Linux Foundation, April 15), open source provides us with a way to better engage with ecosystem partners to enable innovation. Open source also provides alignment with the dominant cloud orchestration platforms of CloudStack and OpenStack and meets cloud builder expectations for source code availability and open APIs. Our move to an open source strategy was chosen for several reasons. 

1. Open source is in the Xen / XenSource DNA. 

2. Open source software is leading proprietary software in cloud infrastructure. 

3. Open source enables collaborative development that drives public trust. 

4. Open source communities empower users and broaden market reach. 

What is the new XenServer product strategy? 

Read more…

#Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 – March 2013

Citrix Support is focused on ensuring Customer and Partner satisfaction with our products.

One of our initiatives is to increase the ability of our Partners and Customers to leverage self-service avenues via our Knowledge Center.

Find below the Citrix Knowledge Center Top 10 for March 2013.

Top 10 Technical Articles

Article Number Article Title
CTX129229 Recommended Hotfixes for XenApp 6.0 and Later on Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX129082 Application Launch Fails with Web Interface using Internet Explorer 9
CTX804493 Users Prompted to Download ICA File, Launch.ica, Instead of Launching the Connection
CTX132875 Citrix Receiver Error 2320
CTX105793 Error: Cannot connect to the Citrix server. Protocol Driver Error
CTX127030 Citrix Guidelines for Antivirus Software Configuration
CTX115637 Citrix Multi-Monitor Configuration Settings and Reference
CTX133997 Citrix Receiver 3.x – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX325140 Manually and Safely Removing Files after Uninstalling the Receiver for Windows
CTX101644 Seamless Configuration Settings

 

Top 10 Whitepapers

Article Number Article Title
CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) – Optimization Guide
CTX132799 XenDesktop and XenApp Best Practices
CTX101997 Citrix Secure Gateway Secure Ticket Authority Frequently Asked Questions
CTX136546 Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook 5.x
CTX136547 StoreFront Planning Guide
CTX133185 Citrix CloudGateway Express 2.0 – Implementation Guide
CTX129761 XenApp Planning Guide – Virtualization Best Practices
CTX134081 Planning Guide – Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Policies
CTX130888 Technical Guide for Upgrading/Migrating to XenApp 6.5
CTX122978 XenServer: Understanding Snapshots

 

Top 10 Hotfixes

Article Number Article Title
CTX136714 Hotfix XS61E016 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX132122 Hotfix Rollup Pack 1 for Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX126653 Citrix Online Plug-in 12.1.44 for Windows with Internet Explorer 9 Support
CTX136483 Hotfix XS61E014 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX133882 Hotfix Rollup Pack 2 for Citrix XenApp 6 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
CTX133066 12.3 Online Plug-In – Issues Fixed in This Release
CTX136253 Hotfix XS61E010 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136482 Hotfix XS61E013 – For XenServer 6.1.0
CTX136085 Hotfix XA650R01W2K8R2X64061 – For Citrix XenApp 6.5
CTX136674 Hotfix XS61E012 – For XenServer 6.1.0

 

Top 10 Presentations

Article Number Article Title
CTX135521 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX129669 TechEdge 2011 – Overview of XenServer Distributed Virtual Switch/Controller
CTX121090 Planning and implementing a Provisioning Server high availability (HA) solution
CTX133375 TechEdge 2012 PowerPoint and Video Presentations – Reference List
CTX135356 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Understanding and Troubleshooting ICA Session Initialisation
CTX135358 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – XenDesktop Advanced Troubleshooting
CTX133374 TechEdge 2012 – Monitoring your NetScaler Traffic with AppFlow
CTX135361 Troubleshooting Tools: How to Isolate and Resolve Issues in your XA and XD Env Rapidly
CTX135360 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Planning, Implementing and Troubleshooting PVS 6.x
CTX135357 TechEdge Barcelona 2012 – Implementing and Troubleshooting SF and Rec for Windows

Top 10 Tools

Article Number Article Title
CTX122536 Citrix Quick Launch
CTX135075 Citrix Diagnostics Toolkit – 64bit Edition
CTX130147 Citrix Scout
CTX111961 CDFControl
CTX106226 Repair Clipboard Chain 2.0.1
CTX109374 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX124406 StressPrinters 1.3.2 for 32-bit and 64-bit Platforms
CTX113472 Citrix ICA File Creator
CTX123278 XDPing Tool

Continue reading 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

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