My lab at home is dead, my XenServer motherboard is down and I don't have spare one to continue to run my tests. As I'm in a new mission (Work) and I'll be off one week at Citrix HQ in Florida (from 20th to 24th of June 2011) I must pospone some of my blogs : Citrix XenApp “Iron Cove” 6.5 Tech. Preview (Part.3) PowerShell : Active Directory Citrix WebInterface 5.x automation Microsoft RDS – Thoughts and walkthrough (Part.3)

VDI is overrated! This is what I thought during several sessions at Citrix Synergy event last week in San Francisco. Of course the desktop, Microsoft Windows most of the time, is very important for companies but I think the battle around VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) takes place at the marketing level... Addressing desktop virtualization is one option in the desktop management options. We (architects) need to be able to bring desktop virtualization to the companies who want to deliver virtual desktops, for specific cases most of the time. We will continue to deliver "classic" desktops (you know the "fat" one) because companies simply won't go for 100% VDI as they won't be needing it... Yet... Using VDI (Citrix XenDesktop, vmware View etc..) is part of the well known Flexcast model from Citrix. I like this marketing term because my customers understand that we will design an architecture which is able to deliver all types of desktops (except the "fat" ones in the traditional way). Using VDI among the other technologies is fine. Sometimes I need to address a situation where a specific group of user need to access a full dedicated private environment (resources), and here is one question : Why the user needs a desktop ? This is a question I keep asking to myself for some time now... As a CTO in my company (Activlan) I need to understand which path VDI is taking and digest the information to share it with our consultants and engineers by asking them : Users, you and me, why do we use a desktop ? We use a desktop to access our applications, that's why ! When you access your application with a web browser, you don't need to have a desktop, right ? When you're using your Android phone, your iPhone or your iPad, you don't want to access a desktop, you just want to access your applications, don't you ? I'm not a Google  fan but I think they are visionary with their ChromeBooks. This is just a web browser, without any underlying operating system, working with wifi and 3g/4g booting in 8 seconds and without a hard drive...  I think the real battle is more on the endpoint side than in the VDI product you choose to deliver a desktop you might not need... If you have a ChromeBook, I don't think you want to access a Microsoft Windows…

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) Cool title right ? If you click on it then this title was just perfect :) Within my desktop industrialization and virtualization project, I had of course the first layer to analyze : Hypervizors. What is installed, what can be challenge, why bringing a change to this existing layer ? And which product I should push against the one already present ? This is the announce war, if there is some Hyper-V or Vmware I should try to push XenServer (I'm a Citrix preacher guy) and on any case, I should change everything to show I've been here and mark the path of changes.... Nope I didn't, this is 100% vSphere deployed full packed with a very good team handling the infrastructure and a lot of processes and work-flow already running, so I don't see any advantage for my customer (and for me) to change what's working and in place. Changing an installed hypervizor on a large deployment would mean : Changing / adapting processes Industrialization rebuilding Engineer and administrators teams training Heavy and long migration (V2V..) Lost of focus regarding what bring me first on this "Desktop" project Maybe reduction of administrators / engineer As I mentioned in the part 1 & 2 of this blog, in fact I didn't had to test anything because the choice have already be made. I would have like to make my own benchmark test and comparison but limited time and specific politics in this project were in the game. If you want to go further on this subject then I encourage you to read Project VRC - Phase II version 2.0 white paper full of very interesting information. Now I need to keep in mind this architecture piece I would have to address, I don't know bunch of thing about vmware vSphere, I will use some help on that subject by some other expert. The announce war didn't happen and I'm very disappointed about that, I would have like to make my own test and publish result I got from an extreme VDI benchmark. I will do it, sooner or later !

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) In this blog, I will cover the new features, some are visual, some are not, I would like to go deeper on those change but I cannot find a lot of detailed information about Multi-Stream technology for example, I think I need to catch up with he product designer to know everything about everything. There are a lot of cool stuff and you need to think what it can bring you regarding your production, real life, experience. First, when you're done with the installation, when you check what's in the start menu, you will find some new items : Citrix Receiver is installed by default Application Definition Tool is installed by default as well The new migration tool Citrix XenApp Migration Center And Citrix AppCenter, the new name for the Citrix Delivery Service Console The new management console name is now Citrix AppCenter, it's shorter than Citrix Delivery Service Console but it remain the same look and feel, by using it, I think it's a faster than the previous one : A number of PowerShell scripts are installed by default but not run to make the published desktop look like a Windows 7 desktop. You can find the script here : "C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\App Delivery Setup Tools\New-CtxManagedDesktopGPO.ps1" Ensure to follow the next step if you want to try it : Run the New-CtxManagedDesktopGPO.ps1 script at the PowerShell command line. This script creates the following GPOs: CtxStartMenuTaskbarUser enables the Windows 7 look and feel for published desktops. It also changes the pinned shortcuts on the Taskbar and configures the user's Start menu to match the Windows 7 environment. This GPO includes a script that executes when a user logs on to the server for the first time. To ensure the script executes correctly, the PowerShell execution policy on the server must be set to AllSigned. CtxPersonalizableUser configures the user account that is accessing the XenApp server. It configures Windows policies to limit the available Control Panel applets and restricts users from installing programs, viewing properties, scheduling tasks, or shutting down the server. CtxRestrictedUser includes most of the policies from the CtxPersonalizableUser GPO. Additionally, this GPO configures the Desktop wallpaper policy to prevent users from personalizing their desktops and prevents users from modifying settings for the Start menu…