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 XenDesktop 7 – Create Persistent Hypervisor Connection and Hosting Unit, Unattended 13 Comments

I blogged about how to automate Citrix XenDesktop 7 deployment and database creation, and how to join and existing XenDesktop 7 site unattended, but now to continue and go a bit further in the automation process, I needed and wanted to know how to automate Hosting Configuration by Adding Connection and Resources to the DDC in an unattended way. This blog will cover creation process for XenServer 6.x and vCenter (vSphere) 5.1 since I don't have access to a Hyper-V (yet), I went over Citrix eDoc to check how I could do this and I found here : [link] Thanks to Livio for some PowerShell help :) It helps to understand whet need to be setup and after few tests I ended up writing this script to automate this part :   This script have been tested with Citrix XenDesktop7 and XenServer 6.2 and vSphere 5.1

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 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…

Power and Capacity Management, a bit further 2 Comments

Power and Capacity Management is a great feature for XenApp, I use it more and more for Activlan customers in new implementation we do. Last week I had to find how to automate a workload and server capacity reporting by email. To remind you what is Power and Capacity Management here is a short explanation : Citrix XenApp Power and Capacity Management can help reduce power consumption and manage XenApp server capacity by dynamically scaling up or scaling down the number of online XenApp servers. Consolidating sessions onto fewer online servers improves server utilization, helps minimize power consumption, and helps provide sufficient capacity to handle server loads. As users log on to the system and reduce the idle capacity (the amount of capacity available for additional sessions), other servers in the workload are powered up. As users log off and idle capacity increases, idle servers are powered down. This helps optimize capacity for XenApp workloads. Scheduling provides an automated approach. An administrator defines specific times for powering on and powering off workloads. For example, a schedule powers on servers at 8 in the morning and powers them down at 7 in the evening, from Monday through Friday. The administrator can manually override capacity and schedule settings to accommodate unexpected demand. Load consolidation and power management operate in unison; load consolidation ensures sessions are not spread across online servers, which provides a better opportunity to power off excess servers later, using power management. Use Power and Capacity Management to observe and record utilization and capacity levels. Console monitoring and report generation provide valuable information, even if you do not enable power management and load consolidation. Power and Capacity Management respects all configured XenApp server settings, farm settings, and policies. This is my lab console : I had to figure out how to generate report automatically with Citrix Power and Capacity Management, there is an option to generate report within the PCM console but nothing to send these report automatically by email. When you generate report through the console you can obtain pretty good graphs and table : These reports look good and this is exactly what I needed to generate. CPM is using SQL Reporting Services so it shouldn't be that hard to generate an email from these report. I'm not a SQL expert or whatever but I've done the following change to set two subscriptions. open a web browser and…

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…

I updated last week my lab at home : XenServer 6.0 to XenServer 6.0.2 Provisioning Services 6.0 to Provisioning Services 6.1 and XenDesktop 5.5 to XenDesktop 5.6 Everything went well for XenDesktop, update was smooth and VDA update was successful and simple as well. I did the setup of Personal vDisk successfully and it worked without doing anything specific. Then I wanted to built a new Windows 7 golden image to take a fresh start and install the less application possible, this is when I began to have an issue with Personal vDisk : Startup failed Personal vDisk failed to start because the snapshot inventory has not been updated. Update the inventory then try again. Status code: 15 Error code: 0x0 Alright, I had a freshWindows 7 VM updated to the last Microsoft patches with Acrobat Reader installed, PVS Target Device, Citrix Profile Management, EdgeSight and XenTools... Every time I was creating a new vDisk using Imaging Wizard, the operation was successful but all the VMs I tried to launch after had this issue... I got the log files to try to understand what was wrong by clicking on the collect logs button : I got a zip file containing PvDSvc.log.txt, PvDWMI.log.txt and SysVol-lvmSupervisor.log, I will just past an excerpt here : Clearly with the SysVol-lvmSupervisor.log file, something was wrong... It took me some time to figure out what could be wrong. I just noticed every time I wanted to use Imaging Wizard, when the VM needed to reboot to load the vDisk and boot, before restarting the Personal vDisk inventory manager was launch and requested to be updated... So I did the update but at every reboot the same pop-up came again and again... I went to read the "manual" : To update master images that use personal vDisks You enable the personal vDisk feature for use with a master image when you install the Virtual Desktop Agent. During the installation procedure and after any update to the image after installation, it is important that the disk's inventory is refreshed and a new snapshot is created. This procedure describes the required steps. Because administrators, not users, manage master images, if you install an application that places binary files in the administrator's user profile, the application is not available to users of shared virtual desktops (including those based on pooled catalogs and pooled with personal vDisk catalogs). Users must install…

My XenServer lab has been updated / upgraded, XenDesktop is now 5.6, XenServer 6.0.2 and Provisioning Services is 6.1 now. I had one issue with this last one, I wasn't able to create a new golden image for my brand new XenDesktop 5.6 setup... I was able to create the new VHD through the PVS Wizard but once the VM rebooted the connection to the VHD wasn't initialized... I knew it was a network issue but I had to remember a very old issue I had with PVS 4 or early 5... First you need to uninstall XenTools and the PVS Target Device agent. Reboot and install XenTools. After you have installed the XenTools and rebooted your Windows VM you need to do the following: Type in a command prompt Then type Start DEVMGMT.MSC,  click in the View menu, and then chose Show Hidden Devices. Expand the Network Adapters tree and right-click the dimmed network adapter, to uninstall it