Load Balancing TFTP with Netscaler 10.5 30 Comments

Implementing Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) is very common nowaday when it's about deploying Shared Desktops (XenApp) or Pooled, Private or Personal Desktops (XenDesktop). If there are still some debate around about using TFTP+PXE vs using BDM (Boot Device Manager) I still observe a large number of deployment made using TFTP+PXE rather than BDM. Both of these two solution have Pro and Cons (Check Wilco's website here) and this is an architectural choice you need to plan ahead the project. Using TFTP and PXE bring several spof along the line and need to be consider and design as the most resilient as the high availability require. TFTP is not redundant by design, using the DHCP 66 options (Boot Server Host Name) allow the use of only one IP address. and there is no redundance behind that. With Citrix Netscaler, Citrix gave us the ability to bring high availability to this spof and address this issue. With Netscaler previous version (prior 10.x) that wasn't that easy to setup and the understanding of Netscaler feature like Layer 2 Mode, DSR etc... And if you didn't understand exactly everything what you were doing, all the PVS traffic was going through the Netscaler and believe me, that was really pain in the ass... I saw that kind of mistake a number of time... With Netscaler 10.1 then 10.5 things are a lot more easy... So I just jump on the occasion I had at one customer's place to load balance 4 Citrix PVS servers (TFTP + PVS) to deliver this simple and fast how to. Information you need to gather : IP Adresses and name of all PVS servers (with TFTP) One IP Adress for the Virtual Server (VIP) One or more Netscaler 10.5 (I made this configuration with 10.5.51.10.nc) Here is a basic architecture overview of component we are impacting : Netscaler #1 and #2 : This is were the configuration will take place PVS Servers #1, #2, #3 and #4 : All the PVS / PXE / TFTP servers we will use in this example DHCP Servers #1 and #2 : This is where we will configure the 66 option by using the Load Balanced IP Address (VIP) VMs : All these Virtual Machines will use PXE to boot get the Load Balanced TFTP address to launch the ARDBP32.bin file.   Let's got for the Netscaler configuration, first you need to login, if you're using a multi Netscaler architecture you…

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]

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…