VDI Project – Not only a XenDesktop project (part.1) VDI Project - The framework (part.2) VDI Project - Hypervisor war (part.3) VDI Project - Desktops and applications delivery (part.4) VDI Project - User Environment Manager (part.5) Beginning a new project is every time a new challenge, new team, new processes and new environment. Each customer have its own past IT history and,  depend of the size, different IT, politics and complexity. This time I'm a desktop architect and I've been hired mostly for my Citrix skills. The challenge is the size of this new project, I will design for sure some Citrix architectures, XenDesktop, XenApp, PVS, maybe Access Gateway or Netscaler on a very large scale but I'm also responsible to design a complete workstation delivery service (automation / industrialization) and address all kind of endpoints, from the "classic" workstation to the well known iPad. This is my largest XenDesktop 5 project, I will use XenDesktop to bring flexibility and mobility to users. I will write some blogs along the project because I think this will be a great experience to share, technical and not technical. I can't wait to post some very technical stuff about IOPS with Citrix Provisioning Services, XenDesktop and Machine Creation Service related with storage. I will post every major subject for ex : The Software Framework, The Hypervisor War (these two blogs are almost finished) etc etc... I also want to share the non technical subjects because this is how a project live... Changing the way people are working in a company can be very painful, first you need to bring the idea of a change in their everyday life and then prove them they will have more time to work on more important project. Then you show they can save some money within 3 or 5 years. I can tell you this is the big part of a project and the less fun (for me) but this is a mandatory part of every project : Show the company board and managers how much they can save and explain to the IT staff they will be able to spend more time on larger scale issue and project, work more efficiently. This is a lot of work, first administrative / politics, then technical (POC) and very technical (Global Architecture) And I always I will learn so many thing, and I'm sure it will be a great…

Citrix Summit is over, now Citrix Synergy takes place, I attended several very interesting sessions : Spotlight on the desktop virtualization startups (GSL!) with Simon Bramfitt Virtual Reality Check phase IV: best practices for virtualizing Terminal Server and desktop workloads (GSL!) with Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen van de Kamp Getting from "Wow to How", Part 1&2: Designing an architecture for desktop transformation that can adapt and scale with Daniel Feller, Florian Becker and Douglas Demskis. Terminal Server vs. VDI: 2011 edition (GSL!) with Brian Madden and of course the Keynote with many cloud-ouncement delivered by Mark T, many announcement, mostly around network products line I made a list of the essential point shown today : Kaviza is now a part of Citrix The partnership with Microsoft is stronger, with the full integration with App-V and System Center VMM, with HDX supporting remote FXand with Hyper-V SP1 supporting 40% more VMs. In Microsoft System Center, a new XenApp connector, updated management packs, SCOM : Monitor and manage XenApp, XenDesktop & NetScaler. XenServer management by managing both Hyper-V and XenServer VMs in a single console. And the v-alliance (Microsoft and Citrix) GoToMeeting HD Faces : Multistream HD 1920x960, 6 ways video and the public beta is available today HERE XenClient 2 is official now, is available today as well, Express Edition / Tech Preview and you can grab it HERE, XenClient 2 is : 3x expanded hardware compatibility, Expanded graphic support, Production scale Synchronizer, simplified user experience XenClient XT has been announce as well, this version is build to support, Extreme security / Extreme isolation / Extreme performance A new Receiver for iPad with the following specs : Simpler self-service user experience, Fast app switching (that's totally cool), Higher resolution desktop (1600x1200), Improved bluetooth keyboard support, Store configuration auto-discovery, faster graphics & 40% less bandwidth, Accelerated video performance, Double pass encryption of passwords, Jailbreak detection (WTF?) A new Receiver for the web, for all the web browsers. There is also a new Receiver for Windows Tech Preview available HERE GoToManage for iPad to support physical & virtual desktops from anywhere, Remotely manage networks and servers, Free for individual IT pros, easy upgrade path for expanded usages & features available soon... NetScaler Cloud Gateway to aggregate, orchestrate, deliver all Saas, web and Windows apps The Follow-me data across devices is a kind of Citrix DropBox attached to the receiver, the idea is to…

I needed to find a way to deploy XenDesktop 5 Desktop Delivery Controller on demand, and the best way to industrialize the auto insertion in a XenDesktop 5 existing site. Of course, as the environment will be very large, I have access to an automation software like Altiris, SCCM etc... You need to know, adding and removing XenDesktop controller from site require some privilege and rights on the database server. In large environment, this is not so easy to gain access to the database servers but at least you'll have the information and the script to send to the SQL DBA. First I install manually the first XenDesktop 5 server to configure database and have everything ready. This is a old XenApp habit and you'll see with the information bellow, you can even industrialize the installation and the site / database creation pretty easily. To do so, there is an executable XenDesktopServerSetup.exe on the DVD (x:\x64\XenDesktop Setup\XenDesktopServerSetup.exe) and if you type /? the information bellow appears : Here is the command line I used to deploy the DDC, without the Web Interface, database and license server, I also have disable the firewall with Active Directory GPOs so I don't use the /configure_firewall option. Don't forget the server where you chose to deploy XenDesktop 5 must be in an Active Directory Domain otherwise the installation will be fine but you won't be able to launch Desktop Studio (many error messages...) Now XenDesktop is installed but not configured. The next steps took me a while because there is no 1,2,3 manual to industrialize the integration of a new XenDesktop 5 server in a site, at least I didn't find any on the net... I wanted to download and install Citrix XenDesktop 5 SDK but it's already install by default with XD5, to check if you can use and access it, launch the PowerShell (Start/All Programs/Accessories/PowerShell) and type Asnp Citrix.* then Get-Command –Module Citrix.* to check if you're able to list all the command available to use. You should see the same list as bellow :   If you have some issue with the security in PowerShell, refer to the build-in help to set the proper level of execution security. To go further with all these Cmdlet, Citrix have online a webpage : CTX127254 where you can read and learn more about each Cmdlet. I made 3 scripts to get the information (1),…

If you're used to check the IMA service and verify if everything is running fine on your XenDesktop 4 or XenApp environment, you won't find any IMA in XenDesktop 5. This is one of the huge changes Citrix have done in the new XenDesktop, this is a major change because no more IMA means many things in term of architecture and product functionality. So as I just mention, no IMA in XenDesktop 5 Controller (DDC), which means there is no IMA data store or local host cache (!!!) No more XML Blob, there is no more Active Directory Configuration Wizard or Farm OU, XenDesktop 5 doesn't need Terminal Services any more, everything is stored in a brand new SQL database and there is no support for Oracle or Access. <-- Wow ! These are a big changes right ?  I will explain more the impact of these change regarding what we're used to and the consequences. First thing first, when you want to install XenDesktop 5, you have choice between the "Quick Deploy", "Join existing deployment",  "Desktop deployment" and "Application deployment". You can also notice the installer is simpler than the one in XenDesktop 4 "Quick deploy" option is the fastest way to deploy a fully functional XenDesktop installation. All in one box, Citrix License Server, the DDC, and Database. "Join existing deployment" add a XenDesktop Controller to an existing site. "Desktop deployment" advanced installation for large deployment, to use with Citrix Provisioning Services. Regarding the installation, on the server side, XenDesktop Controller supports Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 only, exit Windows 2003. If you want to use the “Quick Deploy” mode, then all components must be on same box, it also assumes SQL Express is installed on same machine. Microsoft PowerShell 2.0 is downloaded during the installation, you will need to manually install PowerShell 2.0 if you don't have internet access. You can use the same License Server as XenDesktop 4 (11.6.1) Desktop Controller – System Requirements Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Standard or Enterprise Edition, with Service Pack 2 Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Standard or Enterprise Edition Service Pack 1 will be supported Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 3.5, with Service Pack 1 Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and ASP.NET 2.0 IIS is required only if you are installing the Web Interface, the License Server, or Desktop Director Controller – Database Requirements Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Microsoft…

Citrix XenDesktop 5 is available for download since this morning, very early... I was about to go to sleep when it became available; and believe it or not, I went to sleep ;) So what's new in XenDesktop 5 ? Is it a "Production Ready" software or will we need to wait for a FP1 and some updates ? First let's go for an installation, the goal of this operation is to replace my actual XenDesktop 4. So here we go, autorun is launch : Everything went fine, the first part of the installation was very smooth. Now the second part is about choosing between the four Editions you want to use. Express. A free download to help IT professionals get started with VDI, which supports up to 10 users. Platinum. A comprehensive enterprise-class desktop virtualization solution with advanced management and security, in addition to the features of Enterprise edition. Enterprise. An enterprise-class desktop virtualization solution with on-demand applications and FlexCast delivery technology, in addition to the features of VDI edition. VDI. For scalable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) implementations with Citrix HDX technology. As you might have notice in the screen shots above, I chose not to install Citrix License Server and Web Interface, I already have these component in my lab at home. As I decide to not install all the component on one box, the "Quick Deploy" Option is not available. So I will continue with the "Desktop Deployment Option" I guess. Right after I chose this option, the database selection and configuration menu appears. Ok, I'm not a DBA, I hope everything will be fine ! I created previously my database on my SQL 2008 R2 server... So I click OK : Nice... Something tel me the installation won't last only 5 minutes... Hmmm... The database exists... ok I will generate information to manually create the database with the "Generate..." button : So this options generates two file, one script to create a database schema for a XenDesktop site and another script only required if database mirroring is enabled to execute on the mirrored SQL Server database instance. I did it, everything ran smoothly, un ran the script with SQLCMD on my DataBase server. Then I've been able to continue the installation : Of course, I created my XenDesktop database and a user dedicated to it, so I needed to authenticate with this user : Next, configuration…

I just had the time to blog about the new Web Interface release, I was complaining a bit about the fact we were waiting for XenDesktop for a long time, I just hit the post this blog button, and XenDesktop appear available for download ! So here are the links : Citrix XenDesktop 5 Platinum Edition download Citrix XenDesktop 5 VDI Edition Download Citrix XenDesktop 5 Enterprise Edition Citrix XenDesktop 5 Online Documentation Citrix XenDesktop Design HandBook Enjoy ! Tomorrow, full report :)