Citrix XenApp "Iron Cove" 6.5 Tech. Preview (Part.1) Citrix XenApp "Iron Cove" 6.5 Tech. Preview (Part.2) Citrix XenApp "Iron Cove" 6.5 Tech. Preview (Part.3) A new release of Citrix XenApp is available for download, this is a Tech Preview of Citrix XenApp 6.5, code name "Iron Cove", you can download it HERE (MyCitrix account required) This version of XenApp is part of Desktop Virtualization Tech Preview available at the same address. Here is what's new in this release : Server Platform Support The XenApp Technical Preview software can be installed on the following platforms. For all system requirements, see System Requirements. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Microsoft Windows Server 20008 R2 Service Pack 1 Windows Desktop Experience Integration Installed by default when installing the XenApp server role, this feature provides a Windows 7 look and feel including desktop customization. PowerShell script options enable administrators to control desktop and environment defaults while allowing end users to customize their desktops.When installed and enabled, this feature also removes the Windows Server Manager Console from the XenApp server's toolbar and relocates the Citrix XenApp administrative tools such as the AppCenter to the Start menu's Administrative Tools\Citrix folder. See Delivering XenApp to Software Services Subscribers for more information. Citrix AppCenter The AppCenter provides a streamlined interface for performing management functions. From the AppCenter, you can manage components administered through other Citrix products, such as Citrix Secure Access and Citrix Single Sign-On. For Citrix XenApp, you can configure and monitor servers, server farms, published resources, and sessions. Session Prelaunch, Session Linger, and Fast Reconnect This collection of features improves the user experience by eliminating delays when launching and maintaining sessions. By using configurable Session Prelaunch policy settings, a session is started automatically when a user logs on to the farm. By implementing Session Linger policy settings, sessions remain alive for a configurable period before termination, rather than terminating when users close applications.Fast Reconnect, built into XenApp Technical Preview and requiring no configuration, helps minimize delays when users reconnect to existing sessions. Citrix HDX Enhancements This XenApp Technical Preview includes the latest HDX enhancements: HDX MediaStream Flash Redirection Audio Settings Multimedia Conferencing with HDX RealTime Increased 2D and 3D Application Scalability and Performance Prioritized Network Traffic Dynamic Windows Preview Support Migration Center with Graphical User Interface With the choice of using a PowerShell cmdlet command line or graphical user interface, XenApp administrators can import application, folder, server…

VDI Project – Not only a XenDesktop project (part.1) VDI Project - The framework (part.2) VDI Project - Hypervisor war (part.3) VDI Project - Desktops and applications delivery (part.4) VDI Project - User Environment Manager (part.5) Designing the architecture for such a big and complex environment is a challenge. To do so I needed to think about all the possibilities of desktop / application delivery process and mechanism AND the technology I would have to use to give as much flexibility as possible while keeping in mind the existing layers. To automate and industrialize, I needed to find a software like Microsoft SCCM to deploy the operating systems, software and handling inventory. My customer had this ancient software named Radia and wanted to continue to use it since HP bought this company and renamed the product to HP Client Automation. So I didn't really had the choice on this one and I had to make sure this software will be able to bring all the automation I was looking for. After a certain number of meeting with HP, the software was good for OS deployment, Inventory management but had some lake of features in the software deployment. As my customer already bought the licenses (In fact they bought it before the beginning of the project...) I had to manage with that. Then I needed to chose the hypervisor, the connection broker, the application virtualization solution, the profile management solution and make sure everything would fit in a 3 level down architecture (Datacenter --- First Level --- Second Level --- Third Level) To make the choice I had to find all the software technology able to answer each need and compare it to another one. I also introduce the User Environment Management concept into the discussion. Here is the list of solutions I chose to work with / compare : Hypervisor : vmware vSphere vs Citrix XenServer vs Microsoft Hyper-V Automation & OS Deployment : Altiris vs HP Client Automation Application virtualisation : Citrix XenApp vs vmware ThinApp Desktop broker : vmware View vs Citrix XenDestop User Environment Manager : RES vs AppSense But this "fair" way to chose the best product by testing, evaluate it wasn't in everyone's mind and I have to front choices already made before the beginning of the project. This is the "forced" list I had few days after the project kick off : Hypervisor :…

VDI Project – Not only a XenDesktop project (part.1) VDI Project - The framework (part.2) VDI Project - Hypervisor war (part.3) VDI Project - Desktops and applications delivery (part.4) VDI Project - User Environment Manager (part.5) Beginning a new project is every time a new challenge, new team, new processes and new environment. Each customer have its own past IT history and,  depend of the size, different IT, politics and complexity. This time I'm a desktop architect and I've been hired mostly for my Citrix skills. The challenge is the size of this new project, I will design for sure some Citrix architectures, XenDesktop, XenApp, PVS, maybe Access Gateway or Netscaler on a very large scale but I'm also responsible to design a complete workstation delivery service (automation / industrialization) and address all kind of endpoints, from the "classic" workstation to the well known iPad. This is my largest XenDesktop 5 project, I will use XenDesktop to bring flexibility and mobility to users. I will write some blogs along the project because I think this will be a great experience to share, technical and not technical. I can't wait to post some very technical stuff about IOPS with Citrix Provisioning Services, XenDesktop and Machine Creation Service related with storage. I will post every major subject for ex : The Software Framework, The Hypervisor War (these two blogs are almost finished) etc etc... I also want to share the non technical subjects because this is how a project live... Changing the way people are working in a company can be very painful, first you need to bring the idea of a change in their everyday life and then prove them they will have more time to work on more important project. Then you show they can save some money within 3 or 5 years. I can tell you this is the big part of a project and the less fun (for me) but this is a mandatory part of every project : Show the company board and managers how much they can save and explain to the IT staff they will be able to spend more time on larger scale issue and project, work more efficiently. This is a lot of work, first administrative / politics, then technical (POC) and very technical (Global Architecture) And I always I will learn so many thing, and I'm sure it will be a great…

What's nice when I'm here in United States, I can attend as many session as I want, i had yesterday a day full of session and today will be the same : Is it really time to embrace BYO in the workplace? (GSL!) VDI smackdown 2011 (GSL!) Using Provisioning Services vs. XenDesktop 5 Machine Creation Services (GSL!) Debating security in the cloud (GSL!) Citrix Consulting and the CTPs square off on desktop virtualization (GSL!) User environment smackdown 2011: workspace/environment/profile management and more (GSL!) How to lie with POCs and cost models (GSL!) Remoting protocols turned inside out: how graphics and media remoting really works (GSL!) Automating XenServer installation and maintenance (GSL!) MFCOM to PowerShell: how to make the transition (GSL!) This is always very interesting to exchange about this themes, and very important to know how things are though and felt by the others. Otherwise my overall impression on Citrix Synergy 2011 is foggy, I mean there wasn't really the whole new product line update and majore change announce, just everything about the cloud. I took a pic in the exposition hall, it shows what Synergy was about during 5 days : The announce around NetScaler (Cloud Products) have been the highlight of the whole event. Some XenServer here and there and some XenDesktop, a little bit of XenApp... On the networking side, I met a lot of very nice people, people I'm use to share tweets, emails and blogs, this has been a very nice to meet all of them and exchange ideas and beers :) See you all at the next event ! And a video from my dear friend David McGeough, you can follow his Synergy diary here : Blog for David McGeough

Citrix Summit is over, now Citrix Synergy takes place, I attended several very interesting sessions : Spotlight on the desktop virtualization startups (GSL!) with Simon Bramfitt Virtual Reality Check phase IV: best practices for virtualizing Terminal Server and desktop workloads (GSL!) with Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen van de Kamp Getting from "Wow to How", Part 1&2: Designing an architecture for desktop transformation that can adapt and scale with Daniel Feller, Florian Becker and Douglas Demskis. Terminal Server vs. VDI: 2011 edition (GSL!) with Brian Madden and of course the Keynote with many cloud-ouncement delivered by Mark T, many announcement, mostly around network products line I made a list of the essential point shown today : Kaviza is now a part of Citrix The partnership with Microsoft is stronger, with the full integration with App-V and System Center VMM, with HDX supporting remote FXand with Hyper-V SP1 supporting 40% more VMs. In Microsoft System Center, a new XenApp connector, updated management packs, SCOM : Monitor and manage XenApp, XenDesktop & NetScaler. XenServer management by managing both Hyper-V and XenServer VMs in a single console. And the v-alliance (Microsoft and Citrix) GoToMeeting HD Faces : Multistream HD 1920x960, 6 ways video and the public beta is available today HERE XenClient 2 is official now, is available today as well, Express Edition / Tech Preview and you can grab it HERE, XenClient 2 is : 3x expanded hardware compatibility, Expanded graphic support, Production scale Synchronizer, simplified user experience XenClient XT has been announce as well, this version is build to support, Extreme security / Extreme isolation / Extreme performance A new Receiver for iPad with the following specs : Simpler self-service user experience, Fast app switching (that's totally cool), Higher resolution desktop (1600x1200), Improved bluetooth keyboard support, Store configuration auto-discovery, faster graphics & 40% less bandwidth, Accelerated video performance, Double pass encryption of passwords, Jailbreak detection (WTF?) A new Receiver for the web, for all the web browsers. There is also a new Receiver for Windows Tech Preview available HERE GoToManage for iPad to support physical & virtual desktops from anywhere, Remotely manage networks and servers, Free for individual IT pros, easy upgrade path for expanded usages & features available soon... NetScaler Cloud Gateway to aggregate, orchestrate, deliver all Saas, web and Windows apps The Follow-me data across devices is a kind of Citrix DropBox attached to the receiver, the idea is to…

This blog is a reaction / answer to Daniel Feller blog post about The Future of the Desktop at Citrix Synergy GeekSpeak Live and on the Citrix Community Blog I agree with Daniel Feller and this is what I was thinking yesterday while listening to the guys. I though the question is not : "will Windows still be there as a desktop, entry point or kind of a portal ?" we already have the beginning of the answer since more than two years, with the diversity of devices (and OS) we want to access our application more than a desktop ! That why I think XenApp will remain an essential piece of the virtualization-consumerization puzzle. The v-companies (VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and others) gotta need to be careful on every move, and give the ability to user to access an application whatever is the device, the location and the time and not only focus on the Desktop (virtual or not) delivery About SaaS, Daniel, I'm sure you know it will slow down the business if not embraced but this is not that easy. Some applications are remaining difficult to move to the "Private Cloud" (I don't like the word...) and even with all the technology we have now, some apps will remains on the local workstation. And finally I don't think this is the future, I just think this is the industrialization-automation-virtualization process evolution on the past 5-6 years and some are going with it, some are not.

Here we are, first Summit day of two dedicated to partners. There will be some big announcement and this is the time I can enjoy technical hand on labs, networking 200% and exchange about technology and concepts. I went to two sessions today, the first one was about the new XenApp (Code Name IronCove) migration tool and I'm glad to see everything I've been doing with Powershell scripts is now incorporated in a nice GUI and shipped with the upcoming XenApp 6.5 version. I make a short description list bellow and I will download and try it as soon as it's available to public. Migrate all the settings from a farm to another Need to create Configuration Logging Database after the migration process Citrix WebInterface 5.4 leverage the application flow migration WorkerGroups Mapping System path problem (32/64bit program files and program files (x86) supported during the migration And more stuff but I didn't have wifi during the session :) The Configuration Management has been re-branded as well with some more option, which make more sense. The second session was Reference Architecture and design principles for large scale hosting, it was interesting to learn how Citrix is sharing this information and I was very surprise to see I used the same way on the last big architecture project I've been working on, even the architecture design schema look a bit like the one I did a month ago :) This kind of session give some ideas for the next project and even if I don't agree on everything, the overall Citrix products allow to distribute all kind of desktop with security and flexibility. Then it was time for the Keynote, I will make it short, the big announcement is : Citrix acquired Kaviza. The v-consultants, analysts or other member of the v-community saw it coming, I think this is a real strategic move from Citrix and it will definitly bring VDI on another dimension. VDI is becoming mainstream and Kaviza (part of Citrix System now) will help a lot. The second day of Citrix Summit has been a session day for me, running everywhere, grabbing something to eat and try to get as much information as possible before the party night

This is the first service pack for XenDesktop 5, you can download it from here : XenDesktop 5 SP1 (MyCitrix logon required) Here is the list of improvement : Licensing enhancements. Version 11.9 of the License Server supports user/device licensing, manages license checkout information, and provides information that enables you to check out the least number of licenses. For further details, including any changes to system requirements, see Licensing Your Product. You can use Desktop Studio to track and manage license usage and license models, and also to access the License Administration Console; for further details see Managing Licensing. Support for XenServer 5.6 Service Pack 2. This includes support for IntelliCache. For further details see Using IntelliCache with XenDesktop. Blade power management. Support is provided for third party plug-ins for blade servers. You can add machines to an Existing catalog by using the Import List option to specify a .csv file in which machines are specified by unique ID instead of by name. The set of power management options available in Desktop Studio is based on the capabilities reported by the plug-in. Support for Microsoft SCVMM R2 Service Pack 1 and Hyper-V 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. Support for VMware VSphere 4.1 Update 1. And some bug fixed : Adding, deleting, or editing a policy while a session printer in another policy is unavailable causes an error message to appear, stating that the paper size is not supported. XenDesktop 5 does not work with Secure Gateway 3.2 when the Secure Gateway points to a XenDesktop 5 STA. This fix provides an improved licensing check. Right-clicking and selecting the Group Policy Management Settings tab can cause the Delivery Services Console to exit unexpectedly. Machine creation fails if the master image is located on a VMware ESX DVS(DistributedVirtualSwitch) port group. Attempts to configure a XenDesktop site fail unless the Active Directory domain name and the DNS domain name are identical. User authentication fails and sessions fail to launch when the authentication is done at the Web Interface in Gateway Direct mode. This fix prevents certain unnecessary error messages from being written to the Event log. Remote Assistance fails if the Virtual Desktop Agent VDA has more than 1 network interface card enabled. I deployed this update on my lab and the installation was very smooth : The upgrade takes place in two stage, the first one during the upgrade wizard, the second…