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 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 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…

Citrix Receiver 3.2 adding http account 7 Comments

I post this short blog I find it annoying to always have to change this setting which should remain the default installation option. Adding http account to Citrix Receiver should be native, the native option is https to browse a store with Citrix Receiver. When you made a default installation of Citrix Receiver, the first prompt you get is this one, asking you to add an account : Then you try to add your http url and you get this message : The account URL must use the https:// prefix. This prefix assure a secure connection. There is a simple way to allow use of http back again, youjust to modifiy a registry key : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Dazzle set "AllowAddStore" value to "A" Then close the Receiver and launch it again, you'll be able to add a http store ! Funny we need to tweek a Dazzle registry key :)

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…

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)

VDI is overrated! This is what I thought during several sessions at Citrix Synergy event last week in San Francisco. Of course the desktop, Microsoft Windows most of the time, is very important for companies but I think the battle around VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) takes place at the marketing level... Addressing desktop virtualization is one option in the desktop management options. We (architects) need to be able to bring desktop virtualization to the companies who want to deliver virtual desktops, for specific cases most of the time. We will continue to deliver "classic" desktops (you know the "fat" one) because companies simply won't go for 100% VDI as they won't be needing it... Yet... Using VDI (Citrix XenDesktop, vmware View etc..) is part of the well known Flexcast model from Citrix. I like this marketing term because my customers understand that we will design an architecture which is able to deliver all types of desktops (except the "fat" ones in the traditional way). Using VDI among the other technologies is fine. Sometimes I need to address a situation where a specific group of user need to access a full dedicated private environment (resources), and here is one question : Why the user needs a desktop ? This is a question I keep asking to myself for some time now... As a CTO in my company (Activlan) I need to understand which path VDI is taking and digest the information to share it with our consultants and engineers by asking them : Users, you and me, why do we use a desktop ? We use a desktop to access our applications, that's why ! When you access your application with a web browser, you don't need to have a desktop, right ? When you're using your Android phone, your iPhone or your iPad, you don't want to access a desktop, you just want to access your applications, don't you ? I'm not a Google  fan but I think they are visionary with their ChromeBooks. This is just a web browser, without any underlying operating system, working with wifi and 3g/4g booting in 8 seconds and without a hard drive...  I think the real battle is more on the endpoint side than in the VDI product you choose to deliver a desktop you might not need... If you have a ChromeBook, I don't think you want to access a Microsoft Windows…