Netscaler 10.5 and Storefront 2.5.2 Configuration 13 Comments

Citrix Netscaler 10.5 is out since a couple of weeks now, and if you want to read what's new about this new release just click on the [link] because there are so many things I won't list everything here. I will use this blog to refresh the "how to" I already did about Netscaler and I will go through the basic setup, certificate request, import and Access Gateway configuration to plug my XenDesktop 7.5 lab. First, you need to download your Netscaler (download if you're using a VPX appliance). You can find the appliance corresponding to your hypervizor : vmware ESX Microsoft Hyper-V Citrix XenServer KVM You can download it here : [link] - myCitrix account is required One you boot up the appliance, after give the basic information like IP address, subnet and getway, you can fireup the GUI through your favorite browser. You need to logon and follow the step by step screenshots : The basic configuration is done. now time to add a certificate for the Access Gateway, creating a private key, a CSR and finally importing the pem certificate.   Don't forget to change the nsroot password. Now the certificate part is done (thanks to Digicert for my lab) you can go ahead to the next step and configure your Strorefront server to create a new store ready to connect with the Netscaler Access Gateway. Storefront part is easy and quick to do, you can now continue by creating the Access Gateway using the new wizard and following these steps : Here you go, just a reboot to have the Access Gateway up and running. I had few issue in the end with Application Firewall with Google Chrome and Safari from a Mac OSx computer, you need to enable the learning mode to check what need to be change in Application Firewall rules and allow connexion to you Access Gateway. You can customize the Netscaler Access Gateway logon page and your Storefront very easily, Eric one of my CTP friends did a very short and nice blog about that [link] and a very detailed blog written by Feng Huang Citrite here [link] This blog will give you a good overview on what needs to be done to set up an Access Gateway with Storefront, for those who don't have time to make test, now you know !

Citrix XenDesktop 7 – Create Persistent Hypervisor Connection and Hosting Unit, Unattended 13 Comments

I blogged about how to automate Citrix XenDesktop 7 deployment and database creation, and how to join and existing XenDesktop 7 site unattended, but now to continue and go a bit further in the automation process, I needed and wanted to know how to automate Hosting Configuration by Adding Connection and Resources to the DDC in an unattended way. This blog will cover creation process for XenServer 6.x and vCenter (vSphere) 5.1 since I don't have access to a Hyper-V (yet), I went over Citrix eDoc to check how I could do this and I found here : [link] Thanks to Livio for some PowerShell help :) It helps to understand whet need to be setup and after few tests I ended up writing this script to automate this part :   This script have been tested with Citrix XenDesktop7 and XenServer 6.2 and vSphere 5.1

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 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…

My XenServer lab has been updated / upgraded, XenDesktop is now 5.6, XenServer 6.0.2 and Provisioning Services is 6.1 now. I had one issue with this last one, I wasn't able to create a new golden image for my brand new XenDesktop 5.6 setup... I was able to create the new VHD through the PVS Wizard but once the VM rebooted the connection to the VHD wasn't initialized... I knew it was a network issue but I had to remember a very old issue I had with PVS 4 or early 5... First you need to uninstall XenTools and the PVS Target Device agent. Reboot and install XenTools. After you have installed the XenTools and rebooted your Windows VM you need to do the following: Type in a command prompt Then type Start DEVMGMT.MSC,  click in the View menu, and then chose Show Hidden Devices. Expand the Network Adapters tree and right-click the dimmed network adapter, to uninstall it

I've been contacted by this software vendor to try out their product and make a review, I've been interested because I'm always looking for new software, tools to bring to our customer's offer and complete the option available to backup virtual infrastructures. I know PHD Virtual systems company and what they do but I never had a chance and time to check out their stuff. In an upcoming blog I will try their Citrix XenDesktop monitoring solution and check what this product can bring to a XenDesktop infrastructure. For this backup software I won't be able to go very deep and test everything I would like because my lab is not that big and I don't have access right now to a biggest environment but as soon as it's possible I will deep dive into this backup solution. Few month ago I wrote a blog about backing up your VMs using OpenFiler and I will do the same kind of blog to check if using PHD Virtual Backup for Citrix XenServer is a good solution if you have XenServer platinum licenses or if you don't. FIrst let's check what you got with different XenServer editions : You can click on the image to make it bigger (in fact you can click on any pic on www.archy.net to make it bigger :) ) and as you can see, the "Automated VM protection and recovery" is now available from the Enterprise edition (needed to be platinum with XenServer 5.6) And Citrix mention that bellow this edition frame : [1] Automated VM protection and recovery is only available for the Advanced and Enterprise editions in the 6.0 release and later. You can check the XenServer edition page at Citrix website here : link What is Automated VM Protection and Recovery ? Utilizing an easy set-up wizard, administrators can create snapshot and archival policies. Regularly scheduled snapshots help to protect against data loss in case of a VM failure. The policies established are based on snapshot type, frequency, amount of historical data that is retained, and an archive location. Recovering a VM is completed by simply choosing the last good known archive. This is very easy to use and does it's job integrated in XenCenter administration console. I use this feature to backup all my VMs on my lab but I must admit this is a very basic solution for a basic need and it…

Today I needed to enable SNMP on my XenServer lab at home, I was looking for an efficient way to monitor my XenServer. I found a Linux distribution very handy for a Cacti box, EZCacti, you can download it here : http://cactiez.cactiusers.org/download/ So to enable SNMP on XenServer 6, you need to follow the following guide. Please keep in memory you shouldn't do that on your XenServer in a production environment, Citrix won't be able to bring support if you modify the dom0. First step, you need to allow SMTP to be able to collect and allow Cacti to get information from SNMP on the port 161/UDP : Edit the file /etc/sysconfig/iptables with vi and add the following line : and then restart the iptables service using the following command line : service iptables restart Now you need to configure your SNMP settings (community etc...) by editing the following file with vi : /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf Make the change on your smtpd.conf file on the two line (in red) you can find in the example above, of course you'll need to change the IP range to match your network subnet. Now you need to start the SNMP service using the following command line : service snmpd start Finally, to enable the automatic start of the SNMP service at your XenServer startup, type : chkconfig snmpd on Now I can begin to work on Cacti and try to monitor the host and the VMs (Next blog to come)

Citrix just released XenServer 6 with a lot of new features. After few month using the beta (Boston Project) and playing with it on my XenServer @ Home the final release is here and keeps all the very cool features announced with the beta version. Upgrading my XenServer @ home Burning the new iso file was the longest action tonight, I booted my XenServer @ home (Beta Project Boston) and the upgrade has been fast without issue, within 5 minutes I've been able to launch my fist Vms and check everything. Microsoft Windows 8 In a recent blog post about Installing Microsoft Windows 8 on Citrix XenServer 6 beta Project Boston, I explain how to do it because Windows 8 wasn't supported yet and it was a bit tricky to host a Windows 8 virtual machine. With the final release of XenServer 6, Microsoft Windows 8 is installing and running very fine without any specific action, you just need to use a Windows 7 template or a Windows 2008 R2 template, install XenTools and you're good. New Features Integrated Site Recovery (Disaster Recovery). Remote data replication between storage arrays with fast recovery and failback capabilities. Integrated Site Recovery replaces StorageLink Gateway Site Recovery used in previous versions, removes the Windows VM requirement, and works with any iSCSI or Hardware HBA storage repository. Integrated StorageLink. Access to use existing storage array-based features such as data replication, de-duplication, snapshot and cloning. Replaces the StorageLink Gateway technology used in previous editions and removes requirement to run a Windows VM with the StorageLink components. GPU Pass-Through. Enables a physical GPU to be assigned to a VM providing high-end graphics. Allows applications to leverage GPU instructions in XenDesktop VDI deployments with HDX 3D Pro. Virtual Appliance Support (vApp). Ability to create multi-VM and boot sequenced virtual appliances (vApps) that integrate with Integrated Site Recovery and High Availability. vApps can be easily imported and exported using the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard. Rolling Pool Upgrade Wizard. Simplify upgrades (automated or semi-automated) to XenServer 6.0 with a wizard that performs pre-checks with a step-by-step process that blocks unsupported upgrades. Microsoft SCVMM & SCOM Support. Manage XenServer hosts and VMs with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 will also be able to manage and monitor XenServer hosts and VMs. System Center integration is available with a special supplemental pack from Citrix.…

When I first downloaded Windows 8 Developer Edition and Windows Server 8 Developer Edition, I haven't been able to boot the iso and install these new OS. I needed to install it on a physical machine, or vmware fusion and tyhen P2V to my XenServer 6 Beta Project Boston Then I found a very cool tip on Thomas Koetzing blog : You must create a VM with a Win7 template and copy the virtual machine UUID from the general tab in XenCenter or use xe vm-list in the CLI.  Next you need to run the command xe vm-param-set uuid=<VMUUID> platform:viridian=false Once you've done this modification, you'll be able to install Windows 8 all edition. And then if you want to install the Xentools, you can do it simply by mounting the xentools iso and right click the xensetup.exe file and chose properties. On the Compatibility tab, change the compatibility mode to Windows 7. Everything ran smoothly for me and Xentools works on my two Windows 8 vms