Citrix XenDesktop 7 – Installation 14 Comments

XenDesktop 7 is now available with different features and entitlements (link) and yes there is a lot to read on this webpage but most of everything is already known features. So I will just write now what I read between the line : No more Citrix Streaming Application (RIP) in favor of Microsoft APP-V XenServer is now version 6.2 and Open Source ! http://www.xenserver.org/ Seamless Local Apps is now official and build-in. PVS is version 7 now and MCS continue its evolution. (I'll come back later on a blog post about that) Edgesight is included in XenDesktop 7 (Another blog post subject) Storefront is now version 2 Receiver for Windows is v4 Windows 8 and Windows 2012 supported Many other changes I need to cover later on Several editions are available today : Now this is time to show you how the installation process, pretty straight forward as I already mention and this is for those who are curious about this new version and don't have tie to POC it or try it right away.   To download Citrix XenDesktop 7, this is the way -> [link] XenDesktop 7 Edocs : [link] XenDesktop 7 Admin Guide : [link] XenDesktop 7 Upgrade Guide : [link] XenDesktop 7 Install Guide : [link]

Citrix Storefront 2 (Preview) vs WebInterface 50 Comments

A new version of Strorefront is coming along with XenDesktop 7. There are a lot of change in this version comparing to the previous one but first here is a quick internal architecture of Storefront Services : What have changed with Storefront ? No more external database HTML5 Client improved Desktop Appliance Site Session pre-launch (for XenApp 6.5) International language support IPV6 Integrated smart card authentication Auth SDK Integrated with XenDesktop 7 Installer Management from Desktop Studio And after few week of test, I must admit this version is much faster then the 1.x versions. The fact Storefront doesn't need a SQL database is a major point on the architecture point, high availability and management side. Here is the installation step screenshots :         And an updated side by side comparison with Citrix WebInterface 5.4 :

Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 – MDX 5 Comments

What about MDX ? I think this is smart move from Citrix who push toward managing Apps and native Apps deployed to the mobile devices instead of trying to fully manage the device itself. Now this technology is not mature yet and needs some time and improvement and each version is a giant step forward. I'm really looking forward what's coming and soon be announced by Citrix. Overview Full support for both personal and corporate usage (BYOD) Corporate apps and data secure even on employee-owned devices New consumer-driven devices supported immediately No risk of corporate data loss or compliance exceptions when: Device is lost or stolen or employee leaves organization Collaboration / file sharing apps used on the device Governance is built-in Policies can be updated on hundreds of apps with no requirement to change source code No requirement for developers to change the way they develop apps or learn mobile security standards What is the meaning of MDX ? Mobile Device eXperience. There are 3 key MDX technologies :   Application wrapping tool Mobile App Wrap tool runs on Mac OS X Mobile App Wrap tool for Android Beta Available Takes a pre-compiled iOS native application bundle (.IPA) as input Produces repackaged iOS application bundle with Citrix app wrapper logic inserted (.MDX) Recertifies the repacked app with using a customer provided enterprise distribution profile TIP : Where are stored IPA files on your MAC OS ? Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/ Mac OS X 10.6: ~/Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications/ Windows 7: C:\Users\Username\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications\ App Preparation Tool for iOS Applications (iOS only) installation The application can be launch from the Applications within the Citrix folder Using Citrix App Preparation Tool :   And then the application is asking for an iOS Distribution Provisioning Profile and iOS Distribution Certificate If you're like me and wondering how to get this two things, here you are : iOS Distribution Provisioning Profile [link] and [link] iOS Distribution Certificate [link] This is where it hurts... to get the iOS Distribution Provisioning Profile a subscription to the iOS Developer Program is required and this is about 99$ per year. Then the deployment can be done with the AppController   and voilà ! Since there are still a lot of NDA topics about this subject and since I won't pay 99$ to Apple to write a bit more about that, that's it for now but it gives a…

Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 – Configuration 14 Comments

One more time for those who won't have time to try another release here is a short and simple blog about Citrix CloudGateway 2.5, you'll be able to read and see accross this blog post different steps and screens to setup the AppControler. New version are coming along with every time as much new features as fixes from the previous releases. This new release, CloudGateway 2.5 is in fact an update of only one component, the AppController (from v2.0 to v2.5). The StoreFront Service remains the same version with v1.2, App Preparation Tool (MDX), Mobile App Management and ShareFile Sync for Receiver have been added to the CloudGateway package. And CloudGateway is now CloudGateway Enterprise. What's new : Administration Enhancements Email Provisioning file Basic Workflow Management AppController w/ShareFile Storage Zones Policies for Web/SaaS/Mobile apps Me@Work mobile apps (@WorkMail and @WorkWeb) Mobile Device Management Receiver for Windows VPN Integration AGEE UI Customization To read the full list of all the new features go here : [link] Initial Configuration After importing the application (Esx or XenServer), through the console or remote ssh access (if you enabled it) you can : Check System Date Check System Disk Usage Current used space Displays space available Toggle SSH Access To access same console menu via SSH No root access to the file system Reset Certificate Generates a self-signed certificate and becomes active Restart / Shutdown AppController The default and password are administrator/password, a prompt will appear when connecting the web ui for the first time to change it. Once the network configuration is done, the UI can be accessed with a browser : https://AppControlleripaddress:4443/ControlPoint/ Using the default login and password, a wizard appear to configure the appliance : Once you login again with the new password you define for the administrator, the brand new web UI looks very neat Then we can add role using the Role tab:   Now we can add/create applications and applications categories by using the Apps & Docs tab, to create new categories :   And to add Applications :   Adding Web Link Apps is as simple as that :   ShareFile configuration : Using a browser to navigate the AppController url will now present all the Apps configured above :   The blog serie : Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 - Configuration Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 - MDX Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 - ShareFile Citrix CloudGateway 2.5 - Access Gateway (Netscaler) Citrix CloudGateway…

Citrix Excalibur Tech Preview 6 Comments

As many of you might know Citrix are kind of melting all there product in one, a Cloud product. The project name is Avalon, with two releases until next year named Excalibur (what we will speak about in this blog post) and Merlin coming later next year. First, I spoke with many customers and other partner, and Citrix one more time did confuse everyone with all those names... Avalon, Excalibur, Merlin, Thor etc etc Almost 90% of the people I spoke with though Avalon, Excalibur and Merlin are three different products. Maybe I'm wrong but as far s I can see thing, Avalon is the code name for the final project then Excalibur and Merlin are just timeline version release until the final release and then a final product name. I must admit this one is a bit confusing everyone... This is like Citrix wants to show the big picture but just give a tiny pieces of the puzzle. Citrix Avalon Excalibur Tech Preview is available for download here : [link] Project Avalon Excalibur Technology Preview is our next-generation, unified desktop and app virtualization technology that is reinventing the delivery of Windows apps and desktops for mobility in the cloud-era.  The availability of this tech preview will allow Citrix customers and partners to have a first-hand look at a new unified FlexCast infrastructure combining VDI and Hosted Shared desktops and apps from a single platform. New features include: Simplified, unified, and expanded FlexCast 2.0 architecture New unified FlexCast 2.0 architecture combines simplified and integrated provisioning and personalization tools for both desktops and apps, delivered from either a desktop-based or server-based operating system. Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Host Windows 8 VDI desktops or VM hosted applications in addition to Windows Server 2012 server-based desktops and applications. This tech preview also supports Windows 2008R2/SP1 and Windows 7. SuperCodec for Optimized Graphics New enhancements to HDX using Deep Compression Codec technology double the visual performance of desktops and apps to mobile devices dynamically adapting for device type, form factor and network connection while still leveraging the processing power of modern tablets and smartphones Storefront for apps & data Create centralized enterprise app stores to deliver desktops, applications, and other resources to users on any device, anywhere with the Citrix StoreFront. Intelligent configuration tools New intelligent configuration tools for deploying desktops and apps that proactively check configuration errors in real time while streamlining the…

myCitrix Synergy Barcelona 2012 4 Comments
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This year wasn't as surprising as it has been in the past years on the innovation and "really new stuff". Perhaps this is is because since I'm a CTP I know a lot more on Citrix plan before the announce it but I think the evolution Citrix brings into their product now will still take a year to go and be released and ready to go. Some announces are old already, many things have been announced at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco and many announces made were about products already available since couple of months. Anyway, here is my wrap up so far : ByteMobile is now part of Citrix, acquisition in july (Official Announcement here) over 6 billion mobile devices growing 50%+ mobile data is video & multimedia growth - 25x over the next 5 years This acquisition brings Citrix cloud networking convergence with mobile data a bit further. XenServer The general availability of the 6.1 released has been made one month ago (Official Announcement here) and the major features are : live storage migration batch conversion of vmware vms Citrix Cloudplatform integration XenClient XenClient Enterprise 4.5 is available now for ultrabook and after Citrix other acquisition this year (Virtual Computer) advanced set of features are coming along with this new realease : Broader hardware compatibility XenClient Enterprise is now localized VLAN tagging support External network access to Synchronizer via Citrix NetScaler SSL bridging SSL offload Windows 8 guest OS Native Windows experience A new display architecture Dual external monitors in a docking station 30% improvement in hypervisor boot time VM export support A Citrix community blog post detail every new feature released here : [click] Partnership with Microsoft is going the same weird way as it has always been :) Some numbers and information have been given during the keynote : 80% growth XenDesktop on Hyper-v Windows server 2012 with Hyper-v Improved vm density with hyper-v Windows 8 support native UI design & platform support + GoToMeeting GoToMypc ShareFile and AppDNA are supporting the new Microsoft Operating System as well Citrix Receiver for Windows 8 early release on Windows Store Here is some screenshot :   GoToMeeting HD faces now on iPad With this new release it's now possible to present with an iPad. You can also create meeting direclty from the iPad   Podio Updates and improvement to extend the work between meeting (team and customers) integration…

Microsoft NLB with CloudGateway (Receiver Storefront) 4 Comments

Many time at many of my customer place I had to install WebInterface and bring high availability  for this front web. The first thing coming in my mind every time and the first question I have is : "Ok, do you have an appliance (F5, NetScaler) to enable the load balancing ?" Most of the time it's yes, but we cannot use it to load balance WebInterface... So if you cannot use an application to load balance the WebInterface, the solution was to use what was build-in Microsoft Windows, the Network Load Balancing. Of course this is a dummy load balancing but it's better than nothing. The Micrsoft NLB runs as a Windows networking driver. Its operations are transparent to the TCP/IP networking stack. So basically, this is what I'm doing for WebInterface and it should work as well for Receiver Storefront (CloudGateway). Here a simple how to enable Microsoft NLB for 2 Receiver Storefront servers (at least) Information : Receiver Storefront server 1 : suomiweb01.suomi.inc, 192.158.0.103 Receiver Storefront server 2 : suomiweb02.suomi.inc, 192.168.0.109 nlb details : nlbstorefront.suomi.inc, 192.168.0.121 Network Load Balancing feature in Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 To enable NLB feature on Windows 2008 R2 there are two ways, the Server Manager GUI and with a PowerShell script (to make an unattended installation) Using the Server Manager GUI Using PowerShell with the following command : That's it for the installation of the NLB feature. Setting up the NLB This is quite easy as well, just log on one of the two Receiver Storefront server and follow the next screenshots :   And then add the second Receiver Storefront server : and here you are, your Receiver Storefront is available through the address we define during the setup and you can test the high availability but powering of one server. This is cheap this is easy and if you need a fast and reliable solution I will recommend this one. Be aware ! Remember with Receiver Storefront now, there is also another component you need to make high available, this is the database which store apps subscription for users. If you don't have an appliance to load balance your Receiver Storefront servers, if your servers are virtual, you can use the hypervisor high availability instead of using the Microsoft NLB, your choice ! Sources : Overview of the Network Load Balancing : [link]

WebInterface vs Receiver Storefront (CloudGateway) 23 Comments

CloudGateway is here to replace the good old WebInterface (end of support 2015) as WebInterface is one product, CloudGateway is a marketing name for several products : CloudGateway Express (Free) = Receiver Storefront + Access Gateway VPX CloudGateway Enterprise ($$$) = Receiver Storefront + Access Gateway + AppController If we want to compare the WebInterface to one of this component, that will be Receiver Storefront. This blog idea originally comes from Thomas Koetzing (CTP) blog post last year : Web Interface replaced by Citrix Cloud Gateway and I made several presentation about CloudGateway based on the table he build. I tried to maintain this table up to date with the new releases of Receiver Storefront. What is CloudGateway Citrix definition : Citrix CloudGateway is an enterprise mobility management solution that aggregates, controls and delivers Windows, web, SaaS and mobile apps, and data, to any device, anywhere. CloudGateway provides end-users with a unified single point of access and self-service to all of their business apps on any device anywhere. It also provides IT with a comprehensive single point of aggregation and control for all apps, data, devices and identities. CloudGateway helps IT and users Deliver all apps. Go beyond Windows apps to aggregate, control and deliver all apps including web, SaaS, mobile apps and data. Unified—not siloed. IT no longer needs to create and manage individual/soloed processes and tools to add new devices, user types and apps. Regain control and eliminate chaos. IT can manage and secure corporate IP, apps and data by unifying and automating controls for apps, devices and identities. Empower users by giving them every app they need in a unified, self-service app catalog that is available from any device, anywhere. My point of view is CloudGateway came too early on the market and WebInterface death have been announced too fast. With the lake of feature integrated in Receiver Storefront, the adoption by IT and companies will be slow. Citrix should have introduce a more feature complete product, of course Citrix needs to move fast and evolve as fast as possible to lead the market but simple fast make me think Citrix is big, way too big to move as fast as they were use to : New NetScaler 10 still include WebInterface instead of Receiver Storefront Citrix App Studio allow to provision WebInterface, no Receiver Storefront yet... Why's that ? Because Receiver Storefront is not mature for all our existing customer…

Citrix Synergy San Francisco 2012 highlights 7 Comments

Every year I cross half of the planet to go over the United States in San Francisco to attend Citrix Synergy event. This is every time very exciting, meeting new people, friends, geeks and of course doing some business. This year was different as I didn't had time to go to all the session I planned to attend due to an heavy but very pleasant schedule with CTPs. I had time to attend the keynotes and see what Citrix was ready to unleash for this major virtualization event, I will sum up everything that I think are the key points for the future of our job. The main topic of keynote since two years ago is the Cloud, Personal, Private or Public, the Cloud is everywhere; look I even put an upper case when I write Cloud :) GoTo products : GoToAssist have reach 50M sessions, translated to 15 languages with a  fastest time to service. GoToAssist for iPad and now for Android are available for free. You can download the Android app here :  [here] The mobile workstyle with GoToMeeting to work with anyone anywhere across any device gets HD faces available on iPad today. Wyse : After Wyse Xenith (zero client ) Wyse announced Xentih 2 [link] which is (supposed) to be  40% faster, more secure, true 720P with multi-monitor support. Of course no one missed the fact Wyse has been acquired by Dell [link] HP : HP announce one of the coolest hardware during this Synergy, the HP t410 All-in-one, System on a chip, HDX ready and PoE (Power over Ethernet) consuming only 13watt, this is cool for a 18,5 inch screen. If you don't use PoE, you can still use a regular power cord. This is not a revolution but an evolution, this zero client screen have a price, 429$ Specifications : [link] Citrix VDI-in-a-Box Now with a full HDX experience, and scale like lego block. What's really new is you can upgrade from VDI-in-a-Box to XenDesktop licenses. Citrix VDI-in-a-Box won the best of Interrop Award 2012 in cloud computing and virtualization category [link] Dell DVS simplified powered by VDI-in-a-Box appear to be a good solution for SMB who need fast deployment [link]   AppDNA AppDNA introduce new features / module like physical to virtual transition,  Windows OS and browser upgrades with a new version released v6.1 [link]   Citrix XenClient, acquisition of Virtual Computer Virtual…