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 :

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…

Receiver Storefront – adding a server to a server group 3 Comments

As I'm going through high availability architecture design for some customer with CloudGateway features, Receiver Storefront, I wanted to try in my XenServer @ home lab the "Join existing server group" option build in Receiver Storefront when you launch it for the first time. My first server already setup is SUOMIWEB02 and I want to install Receiver Storefront on the server SUOMIWEB01 which actually host my WebInterface 5.4. Since Receiver Storefront 1.1 you can install it on the same server as the WebInterface (for migration purpose). You can find bellow a brief description about what's new in the 1.1 version. What's New in Receiver Storefront 1.1 Pass-through authentication to AppController. Once logged on to Citrix Receiver or Access Gateway, users can access Web and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications through AppController without needing to authenticate again. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Default support for legacy clients. When you create a new store, access for older clients that support Web Interface XenApp Services sites is enabled by default. For more information, see Configuring Stores. Installation alongside Web Interface. Receiver Storefront can be hosted on the same Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) instance as Web Interface. For more information, see Installing and Setting Up Receiver Storefront. Other Features High availability. You can group your Receiver Storefront servers for increased scalability and fault tolerance. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Application synchronization. Subscribed desktops and applications follow users from device to device so that they do not need to subscribe to the same resources each time they use a different device. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Automatically provisioned applications. You can automatically subscribe all users to a core set of applications. For more information, see Integrating Receiver Storefront into Your Environment. One-click client configuration. You can configure Citrix Receiver for your users by making provisioning files available. For more information, see Configuring Stores. I won't explain the installation process again, it's very simple and you can still check it here if you need it : http://www.archy.net/2011/12/31/web-interface-moving-forward-to-receiver-strorefront/ Let's focus on the server I want to add to my existing setup, 1 server hosting Storefront Receiver with an external SQL database. This is the step by step how to you need to follow to do so : On the new Receiver Strorefront (SUOMIWEB01) server : On the existing Receiver Strorefront (SUOMIWEB02) server : On the new…

This is a new step in application and desktop delivery access point process but Citrix again made it very messy to understand (at least for me...) This is very important to know and understand every component of this new products, but between, Receiver Storefront, CloudGateway Express, CloudGateway Enterprise, AppController and all the past names, some of us can be lost, and our customer are even more lost... (nFuse, Web Interface  2 3 4 5 etc... and Receiver Storefront) If I remember well, at Synergy in Barcelona last October, CloudGateway had been introduce by Citrix CEO with this slide : Now when I read documentation about CloudGateway Express and Enterprise release, I think we lost something : The data "square" (ShareFile & RingCube (?)) is gone for now... Anyway, with the previous picture you can have a clear view about each component present in Citrix CloudGateway. First let's check what is the difference between CloudGateway Express and CloudGateway Enterprise : The difference is mostly around features, but what's not shown in Citrix edition and features matrix is a row with the price. CloudGateway Express is free because this product is here to replace the actual Web Interface and Program Neighborhood to give access to Windows App and Desktops. The enterprise edition is here to centralize access between Desktops, Windows Apps, SaaS and web applications. The upgrade from Express edition to Enterprise edition should be simple and painless, just need to try it out to check how simple it is :) Regarding the architecture, the big picture is simple, we had Web Interface, now we have Receiver Storefront and it should be it... But that's not :) To simplify user's life and give a centralized access to apps, again we need to build an architecture more complex than our good old Web Interface. In the previous image above, there is not that much difference if we consider Storefront is here to replace Web Interface and AppController as a new component to build a bridge between Desktops / Windows Apps and SaaS / Web Apps. The external access is still secured using an Access Gateway, I mean NetScaler Access Gateway (same product, new name), but if we look further, it more complicated than that : Same as Web Interface, high availability is possible with an external load balancing mechanism (ie NetScaler or MS NLB) Now an external database is required to host users…

Installing Citrix CloudGateway Express (Citrix Receiver StoreFront) was the easy part, setting it up wasn't that hard. But being able to use it was a bit more tricky. I tried to install it at first with a remote database, I encounter several issue and I've never been able to add application to the dashboard. I got this message every time : The fact I tried to use and external database didn't allow my Receiver Web dashboard to be saved, this is the reason why I got this error. I didn't had time to troubleshot this issue, this is clearly a right issue between the server I chose to install Citrix CloudGateway Express and The server where my SQL database is hosted. So I installed Citrix ClouGateway Express with a local SQL database and everything went fine. When I tried to add the store I just created on my workstation, I haven't been able to do it unless I had a https URL, I got this pop-up message : To be able to add http store URL, you need to change or create the following registry key (old Dazzle trick)

Citrix WebInterface is dead (soon), welcome CloudGateway ! CloudGateway Express exactly, Citrix Receiver StoreFront precisely... Ok it's a bit complicated :) I suggest you to read this excellent blog about difference between WebInterface and Citrix new Cloud products : Web Interface replaced by Citrix Cloud Gateway written by Thomas Koetzing You can download the Technical Preview here : Citrix CloudGateway Express (MyCitrix account required) The installation process is very easy and smooth, as usual now the installation is taking care of all the roles and features your Windows 2008 R2 will need before beginning the installation of this product. Here are the screenshot of the very simple installation (I continue to post screenshots because many of you don't have time to install everything, at least you'll see it without need to have a VM etc...) This is it, very fast and everything is now install, when you'll click on finish the console to setup Citrix Receiver StroreFront will open. You need to have a database created on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Express or Enterprise. Here is the list of requirement Citrix Server Requirements Receiver Storefront can be used in conjunction with the following product versions. Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Citrix XenDesktop 5.0 Citrix XenDesktop 4.0 Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Citrix XenApp 6.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 1, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 1, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 4.0, with Feature Pack 2, for…

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…

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