Netscaler Gateway X1 theme 46 Comments

What I like when I access my virtual desktops and applications is consistency thought different systems, front web and UI... Citrix have try with the green bubble theme to bring this but that wasn't really a success due to this "not very good looking" theme :)

Netscaler 10.5 and Storefront 2.5.2 Configuration 13 Comments

Citrix Netscaler 10.5 is out since a couple of weeks now, and if you want to read what's new about this new release just click on the [link] because there are so many things I won't list everything here. I will use this blog to refresh the "how to" I already did about Netscaler and I will go through the basic setup, certificate request, import and Access Gateway configuration to plug my XenDesktop 7.5 lab. First, you need to download your Netscaler (download if you're using a VPX appliance). You can find the appliance corresponding to your hypervizor : vmware ESX Microsoft Hyper-V Citrix XenServer KVM You can download it here : [link] - myCitrix account is required One you boot up the appliance, after give the basic information like IP address, subnet and getway, you can fireup the GUI through your favorite browser. You need to logon and follow the step by step screenshots : The basic configuration is done. now time to add a certificate for the Access Gateway, creating a private key, a CSR and finally importing the pem certificate.   Don't forget to change the nsroot password. Now the certificate part is done (thanks to Digicert for my lab) you can go ahead to the next step and configure your Strorefront server to create a new store ready to connect with the Netscaler Access Gateway. Storefront part is easy and quick to do, you can now continue by creating the Access Gateway using the new wizard and following these steps : Here you go, just a reboot to have the Access Gateway up and running. I had few issue in the end with Application Firewall with Google Chrome and Safari from a Mac OSx computer, you need to enable the learning mode to check what need to be change in Application Firewall rules and allow connexion to you Access Gateway. You can customize the Netscaler Access Gateway logon page and your Storefront very easily, Eric one of my CTP friends did a very short and nice blog about that [link] and a very detailed blog written by Feng Huang Citrite here [link] This blog will give you a good overview on what needs to be done to set up an Access Gateway with Storefront, for those who don't have time to make test, now you know !

Citrix Storefront 2.1 vs WebInterface 37 Comments

The 2.1 version of Strorefront came along with XenDesktop 7.1. There are few changes in this version comparing to the previous one and on the internal architecture of Storefront Services nothing new (reminder) : So with Storefront 2.1 out since few weeks not, many people requested an updated version of my side by side comparison between the WebInterface and StoreFront, so here it is. As always, comments are welcome and sharing your experience might be useful for the others !  

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 – 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…

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…