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…

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…

Citrix issued a maintenance release last week for the Access Gateway. This is an important release for what's coming next with StoreFront and CloudGateway. It gives the possibility to customize the logon point in a very easy way. I took some screenshot to show you how simple it is to customize your logon point. You have the ability to customize each logon point. You need to log on your Access Gateway : https://FQDN/lp/adminlogonpoint then click on the Management top menu and chose Logon Points One you have your Logon Points list, you need to edit the one you want to customize by clicking on the brand new Customization tab : You can either build your own template easily, chose the default grey Logon Point or the Green Receiver one. You can now switch from the default grey Logon Point : to the new Green Receiver one in just few clicks : New features coming with the 5.0.4 maintenance release : Adding Web Resources for a Basic Logon Point in Access Gateway When you create a basic logon point, you can add Web resources that users can access when they log on with Citrix Receiver. Web resources define the Web pages, sites, or applications that you want to secure in Access Gateway. For more information, see Adding Web Resources to a Basic Logon Point in the Citrix eDocs library. Customizing the Access Gateway Logon Page You can create a custom logon page by configuring the settings in either a basic or SmartAccess logon point. You can use the default Access Gateway logon page, use the Citrix Receiver design for your logon page, or create your own logon page with your graphics and logo. For more information, see Customizing the Access Gateway Logon Page in the eDocs library. New Version of the Access Gateway Plug-in for Access Gateway 5.0.4 Access Gateway 5.0.4 contains an updated version of the Access Gateway Plug-in. Changes made to the internal framework of the Access Gateway appliance prevent compatibility with earlier versions of the plug-in. Users must install Access Gateway Plug-in Version 5.0.4. Important: To install or upgrade to Version 5.0.4 of the plug-in, users must be an administrator or have administrator rights on the user device, unless you update the plug-in by using an Active Directory group policy. You can upgrade the plug-in by using one of the following methods: Push the Access Gateway Plug-in to…