I've been contacted by this software vendor to try out their product and make a review, I've been interested because I'm always looking for new software, tools to bring to our customer's offer and complete the option available to backup virtual infrastructures. I know PHD Virtual systems company and what they do but I never had a chance and time to check out their stuff. In an upcoming blog I will try their Citrix XenDesktop monitoring solution and check what this product can bring to a XenDesktop infrastructure. For this backup software I won't be able to go very deep and test everything I would like because my lab is not that big and I don't have access right now to a biggest environment but as soon as it's possible I will deep dive into this backup solution. Few month ago I wrote a blog about backing up your VMs using OpenFiler and I will do the same kind of blog to check if using PHD Virtual Backup for Citrix XenServer is a good solution if you have XenServer platinum licenses or if you don't. FIrst let's check what you got with different XenServer editions : You can click on the image to make it bigger (in fact you can click on any pic on www.archy.net to make it bigger :) ) and as you can see, the "Automated VM protection and recovery" is now available from the Enterprise edition (needed to be platinum with XenServer 5.6) And Citrix mention that bellow this edition frame : [1] Automated VM protection and recovery is only available for the Advanced and Enterprise editions in the 6.0 release and later. You can check the XenServer edition page at Citrix website here : link What is Automated VM Protection and Recovery ? Utilizing an easy set-up wizard, administrators can create snapshot and archival policies. Regularly scheduled snapshots help to protect against data loss in case of a VM failure. The policies established are based on snapshot type, frequency, amount of historical data that is retained, and an archive location. Recovering a VM is completed by simply choosing the last good known archive. This is very easy to use and does it's job integrated in XenCenter administration console. I use this feature to backup all my VMs on my lab but I must admit this is a very basic solution for a basic need and it…

Citrix released few days ago the first public technical preview for Citrix ShareFile part of the Follow me Data strategy announced by Citrix CEO during last Synergy in Barcelona. You can download Windows, Mac, Android and iOS clients and register here : link Citrix acquired ShareFile last year in October 2011 (link) less than six months later we have a Technical Preview to check out. What is Citrix ShareFile ? This is an "add-on / plugin" for Citrix Receiver (iOS, Mac, Windows, Android) and it allows you to access, share centralized data and request files from all your devices. This is a "Dropbox like" but design to be enterprise ready. Citrix likes to compare ShareFile to Apple iCloud but it's not so "iCloud" because you can control what you want to share, you can easily chose what needs to be "synchronized" across all your devices. With iCloud, I know all my music is in iMatch but I would have like to keep private some of it on my computer, now everything is somewhere in the Apple iCloud... Make common data services like search, share, sync, secure, authenticate, open and preview available to a wide range of applications, services and use cases through a set of open APIs. Extend secure data sharing services to new and existing apps stored in public and private clouds and accessed from millions of different business and consumer devices. Connect data seamlessly to the way people collaborate today, ensuring that the right documents and files are always accessible when needed, and always up to date. Where my data, personal and professional are stored ? With this Technical Preview, all your files are stored "in the Cloud" within the Citrix ShareFile infrastructure. I remember what I saw last October (2011) at Synergy in Barcelona we should be able to store data in our own datacenter. I don't know any detail yet but this is the feature that will kill DropBox (for the companies that use it) Local : Yes, the data is store on you devices, Windows and Mac in a dedicated folder but not for the iOS and Android devices which you need to download every time you want to look at a ShareFile document. Datacenter : Not yet (in the Tech. Prev.) Cloud : Yes, everything is already stored within the Citrix ShareFile infrastructure I also remember this slide i saw during Mark T (Citrix…

This blog is what you're looking for if : You are using SEP 11 with PVS and XenDesktop 4 / 5 / 5.5 If your VMs have a "Persona" drive (D: for ex) Windows XP VMs (it should work with Windows 7 as well) If you don't want or you cannot use PVS Personality Strings The SEP11 administrator is becoming crazy because all the XenDesktop VMs are creating new entries at every reboot. Using an antivirus software on a VDI plate form is a discussion often see here and there but this time the question wasn't if I needed to install an antivirus or not, Symantec Endpoint Protection was already installed and running on my customer Citrix XenDesktop 4 / PVS 5.6 sp1 infrastructure. SEP11 (Short name for Symantec EndPoint Protection) was installed and was running well on the PVS distributed pool VMs. Yesterday the SEP administrator came to me and complained about the fact XenDesktop VMs were generating new entry in the SEP11 administration console every time they were rebooted and every morning he was forced to move all the object in the VDI node and delete all the past entries... But everything was working... I guess this administrator might have fund that a bit boring, he just complained and continued to do this tack every day and when he wasn't here, no one was taking care of that manual task. XenDesktop VMs needed to be in the VDI node because the exclusion in place were important for VMs performances : PVS cache file Event logs EdgeSight firebird database etc etc... When no one was doing this task, the Vms were generating new object in the default node where no specific exclusion were done... It did bring some performance issue now and then. First though was to use personality string (PVS feature) but I didn't want to bring another feature in the game as people managing this infrastructure weren't really aware of this PVS feature. All the Symantec technotes (link) about their antivirus and PVS are based on personality string usage so I needed to figure out another way to personalize each VM with their own GUID. After many tests and many solutions found over the Internet, nothing was working well, every time a very was rebooted, a new entry appear in the SEP11 administration console. So decided to go all by myself and try to find out an…

Today I got an annoying issue when I was trying to edit settings from a Virtual Machine. It happens after I converted a template to a VM to make to change but every time I tried to edit the VM I got this error message : Error:The server fault 'SystemError' had no message. Error Stack Call "PropertyCollector.RetrieveContents" for object "propertyCollector" on vCenter Server "xxxxxxx.domain.local" failed. Not very nice message and not very "understandable" for me... Anyway, I needed to edit these settings and to do so, you can follow the next steps. Use it at your own risk ! First I removed the VM from the inventory, right click on the VM and chose "Remove from Inventory" Then, browse the datastore where VM files are stored and I right clicked on the .vmx file To add back into the inventory by following the regular wizard. At the end I've been able to edit the VM settings. Resources : VMDude (Frédéric Martin) made a Powercli module to resolve this issue : link vmware KB : link