Provisioning XenApp 6 Servers is very easy and make everything very simple but using third party Citrix products like EdgeSight or Power and Capacity Management can be tricky in order to make it work properly with provisioned services. The last issue I had was with Power and Capacity Management but before explaining everything, a quick remind : 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, while providing sufficient capacity to handle load while minimizing unnecessary power consumption. As users log on to the system and reduce the idle capacity (how much capacity is available for additional sessions), other servers in the workload are powered up. As users log off and idle capacity increases, idle servers are shut down. This helps optimize capacity for XenApp workloads. When installing PCM on the PVS master virtual machine to update the vDisk, everything ran smoothly, no problem at at, service was set to automatic. The service name is "Citrix XenApp Power and Capacity Management Agent" (PCMAgent) and have dependency toward "Citrix Independent Management Architecture (IMA)" and "Remote Procedure Call (RPC)". I assumed the service will wait XenApp is done launching IMA Service and then PCM Service would be able to launch. That was an error, I suppose XenAppPrepTool was taking too much time to launch IMA Service and a timeout occur for PCMAgent Service so the service was in auto but an error showed up in system event logs : Solution ? I choose the simple way, first try was to try to delay the PCMAgent service to wait for IMA Service startup. To do so, just switch from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed Start) in the service properties / Startup type : As I use a login script for the XenApp servers, a very good example can be find here : http://jariangibson.com/2010/03/17/using-edgesight-with-provisioned-xenapp-servers/ I just add a line to start the PCMAgent service : If you want to script the service startup type, you can inject registry using this value : in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\PCMAgent Then, update your vhd image and boot your provisoned XenApp servers, they should appear in PCM console. Sources: http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp6-w2k8/ps-power-capacity-mgt-wrapper-v1.html http://jariangibson.com/2010/03/17/using-edgesight-with-provisioned-xenapp-servers/

Worker Groups and Policies are some of the feaures included in Citrix XenApp 6. I know this version isn't deployed wildly and tehre are many reasons I won't speak about here; you can still read a blog and very interresting comments about that here : http://www.archy.net/2010/09/21/citrix-xenapp-6-why-it-doesnt-spread/ I work with Citrix Education to build exams for XenApp 6 Basic Administration and Advanced Administation and in order to do it, I needed to know every XenApp 6 new features. I tried everything with the Technical Preview release when XenApp 6 was still XenApp for Windows 2008 R2. Now I want to share and blog about two major features, Worker Groups and Policies because I think it can dramatically improve your productivity and accelerate your deployments. What are Worker Groups ? Worker groups are collections of XenApp servers, residing in the same farm, that are managed as a single unit. Using worker groups, you can: Streamline application publishing to multiple farm servers Load balance access to published resources Filter policies so that settings are applied only to sessions hosted on a specific set of farm servers When using worker groups, consider the following: A farm server can belong to multiple worker groups A worker group can include any number of XenApp servers or none at all Only servers that belong to the same XenApp farm are included in a worker group Above writting is the Citrix definition, I made a shorter version bellow : Manage XenApp servers collectively as “worker groups” Assign published applications and policies to worker groups Worker groups contain farm servers or domain OUs Servers added to a worker groups inherit settings, policies, applications  and Load Balancing Policies Using Worker Group to publish applications The "old" way to publish application is : adding a new XenApp server then opening each published application properties to add the new server. The new server is on the right and multiple actions need to be taken before making the server available to users with the same published application as the other XenApp serveurs. You can still publish your applications this way with XenApp 6. The "new" way using Worker Groups is much more simple. Instead of publishing your application to XenApp servers, you choose a Worker Group. The Worker Group I created is based on Active Directory OU, so every time a XenApp server is move in to the correct OU, as published applications are…

There are many post around to tune Citrix XenApp in many ways and there are even more to tune Microsoft Windows 2008 R2. I want to begin a new document as we had with Citrix Metaframe 1.8 tuning tips on Microsoft Windows NT4 TSE. This was a great document and very helpfull in many way. If you have any ideas, agree on what I will write or disagree, I take everything to form a big document available online for everyone. First I would like to know if we should create a wiki-like to let everyone working on the document and add/change at will, what do you think ? If you choose other please add a comment bellow !

Update 2 is already here and is double size vompare to the first one, here is some more informations : This update resolves the network connectivity issues that affected customers with both IPv4 and IPv6 network interfaces enabled who installed Update 1. This issue is described in XenServer 5.5 Update 1 Upgrade Causes Virtual Machines to Lose Network Connectivity. Additional Changes in Update 2 Addressed an issue where the system was falsely reporting lost access to the HA metadata disk. Fixed issues upgrading from XenServer 5.0 to the roll-up ISO for XenServer 5.5. In addition, the XenServer 5.5 documentation was rereleased to coincide with Update 2. While the changes in the documentation are not significant, there are some differences between XenServer 5.5 and XenServer 5.5, Update 2. You can download it here : http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX124027 You can download the updated ISO files here : http://downloadns.citrix.com.edgesuite.net/4701/XenServer-5.5.0-Update2-install-cd.iso

Citrix release today the first update for XenServer 5.5 : Changes included in this update LVHD Snapshots When LVHD snapshots are deleted, disk space is reclaimed by freeing unused snapshot data. This is provided automatically by XenServer while VMs continue to run. However, there is a known limitation in the 5.5 implementation of this feature: when all snapshots are deleted for a given VM?s disks, some disk space allocated to these snapshots may remain. To address this limitation, Update 1 includes an 'Off-line Coalesce' tool that can reclaim all disk space previously allocated to deleted snapshots while the VM is temporarily set offline. The Off-line Coalesce tool and its use are described in full in an associated KB article: CTX123400. XenCenter Improvements CA-30569, CA-32164, CA-30200 Fixed various 'Application Errors' in XenCenter.   CA-32241 XenCenter saved searches are now visible under 'Apply Saved search' and 'Delete saved search' options.   CA-33918 Big improvements to XenCenter performance when connecting to multiple pools.     Storage CA-30577 Snapshot errors after upgrade from 5.0 to 5.5. Previously released as hotfix XS55E001 and documented in KB article CTX122142.   CA-24607 When multipathing is disabled, then this information is now correctly displayed in XenCenter.   CA-31159 The XenCenter New Storage Wizard now works as expected when multipath is enabled.   CA-30475 Legacy LVM VDIs (created on versions of XenServer prior to 5.5) greater than 2TB in size now work after upgrade to 5.5 as expected.   CA-33256 The multipath path-checker has been improved for Pillar Data arrays to make it more resilient to transient path failures.   CA-30549 Importing VMs preserves sparseness where possible.   CA-30049 When taking a snapshot of a legacy LVM VDI (created with a previous version of XenCenter) and then deleting this snapshot, then the deleted snapshot is now coalesced into the LVM VDI to reclaim space as expected.   CA-30757 SR.scan on NetApp SRs inadvertently caused snapshots created externally to XenServer (e.g. those created using a utility like SnapMirror) to be deleted. This caused utilities such as SnapMirror to fail when used with the NetApp SR. This issue is now fixed: SR.scan will only remove snapshots created by XenServer. As a result utilities such as SnapMirror will work as expected.   CA-29367 SRs with non-ASCII characters in their names now work as expected.   Active Directory Improvements CA-32857 Memory leak in dom0 components used to manage Active Directory integration fixed.  …

Here it is ! We were waiting for this one since few month now and Citrix just release the Technical Preview for XenApp on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2, XenApp 6. Few things you need to know before beggining to test : Windows 2008 R2 is and will remain only 64bit OS. XenApp 6 can be install only on Windows 2008 R2. I begin this insallation on a clean naked Windows 2008 R2 without any update. You can check teh system requirements here : http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp6-w2k8-tp/ps-system-requirements-w2k8-xa6.html First, few screenshots of the new installation interface to describe the installation process. DotNet 3.5 Sp1 is updated as soon as the installation beggins, after a new white interface very easy to understand popup and you can choose between reading some more information about what you're going to install or adding roles to your server. The installation kinda stop at this point, the Remote Desktop role required a reboot and the installation is unable to continue. A manual reboot needs to be done and the installation wizzard needs to be launch again. If one Citrix guy is reading that, these steps should be automatic, reboot + launch after reboot to continue the installion. So we do it again : Because the kernel-mode drivers installed with this pre-release version of XenApp are not WHQL-certified, Windows displays a prompt before installing each driver, unless you do one of the following: Before installing XenApp, add the Citrix VeriSign certificate to the trusted root store of the computer on which you are installing XenApp. You can copy the Citrix VeriSign certificate by viewing the properties of any XenApp binary file signed by the Citrix XenApp Server Certificate (for example, the autorun.exe file). This bypasses all WHQL-related prompts and enables you to perform an unattended installation. While performing a wizard-based installation, select “Always trust software from Citrix Systems” when first prompted. This bypasses further WHQL-related prompts for the installation. [#224449] Source : http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp6-w2k8-tp/xenapp6-tp-readme.html The installation of XenApp6 is done, now the wizzard to configure everything is ready. a bit laggy, you just have to wait a bit. Informations to fill are 'classic' for a XenApp installation, then the Datastore part, the is no more Local Access Database, now this is a least SQL Express database which is install during the installation process without any interraction on your Citrix XenApp6 server. The following databases are supported for the data store: SQL Server 2005 Express…