Monthly Archives: October 2013

XenDesktop 7.1 available!

As Citrix promised, XenDesktop 7.1 is now available for downloading requires mycitrix –>  http://bit.ly/H1i0of but with this release they include support for Microsoft R2 plattforms and Windows 8.1

For those that wish to update from XenDesktop 7 can look at the information at eDocs here –> http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-71/cds-xd-upgrade-xd7-to-7-1.html

ill post my experience regarding the update later on today Smilefjes

Trouble with Netscaler Java GUI with the latest update

So something happend with the latest Netscaler GUI after the last Java Updates. When we tried to open any config changes in the GUI the java applet just wouldn’t load.

Then I discovered that something has changed in the java version, since it containes new parameters. In order to allow the netscaler to load the applet from the browser we have to do some changes to the java gui applet in the control panel.

So we have to remove the keep temporary files on my computer and then restart the browser and voila! Smilefjes

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Microsoft launched RDS RemoteFX clients today for iOS and Android

So big day today Microsoft released System Center 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 and just today they release RemoteFX clients for iOS and Android which are now available at their respective stores.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id714464092?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.rdc.android&hl=en

So I haven’t given it a try yet, but if you have get around to try it give me some feedback! Smilefjes

XenDesktop 7 Monitoring from System Center Operations Manager

So a year ago I wrote a blog post regarding Comtrade and monitoring of XenApp enviroments in Operations Manager. This was possible due to a partner called Comtrade which creates management packs and connections to Citrix (Actually most of Citrix products)

* XenDesktop
* Netscaler
* Cloudportal Service Manager
* XenApp
* PVS
* WebInterface
And more are coming in the future that are announced.

Now I wanted to try this feature for monitoring of my XenDesktop 7 enviroment, so I got a evaluation package from ComTrade.

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The installation of the package was much more simplified than it was before, it also allowed to automatically import the management packs into SCOM. (If you have any error messages appear or not having adequate rights, go into SCOM console and administration –> Management Packs and import them there.

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So basically you have these 3 management packs that need to be imported.
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After the management packs are imported you also need to make sure that all the DCC that you are going to monitor are setup with agent proxy, this can be done pr agent under administration.

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If we now go into Monitoring pane we can now see all the different views and alterts from the management pack. I didn’t check the reporting feature ill get back to this.

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Now after the installation is complete of the management packs you should think that the setup is complete but not quite… Smilefjes
We have to install a specific Comtrade agent on each Citrix server roles.
And Attach a license (NOTE: Im not going to cover how to add the licese here)

But to install the agent you can to this by two ways, if you go into XenDesktop computers view in Monitoring pane in OpsMgr and locate one of the DCC that you want to monitor and on the right pane you have tasks –> Install Comtrade MPXD agent

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NOTE: Now we also need to created some dedicated Citrix Run As accounts before we can use this management pack

After you have installed the agent and installed the license it will start to generate information back to operations manager. So after the DCC server starts to publish data back to OpsMgr we will start getting alot of information.

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It will give the complete overvie of how the Xendesktop infrastructure is linked together.
It also gives you a good overview of how the state of the solution is at the moment.

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This solution also monitors Server OS machines remotely using WinRM. Now if I were to combine this with for instace StoreFront monitoring (When is comes) and Netscaler we can create a complete monitoring solution which covers our entire Citrix infrastructure.

ill get back to a more complete post when I get a hold of the other management packs. Smilefjes

Performance tuning Citrix Storefront

This is something I wanted to write about for some time now, after the release of XenDesktop 7 but there are only 24 hours in one day so therefore I didn’t have the time before now Smilefjes

But the purpose of this post is to really say that Storefront is slow…..
Don’t get me wrong it not about Citrix but the combination of Storefront and IIS that makes it a bit complex and therefore this makes it a bit slow.

Now there are a couple of tricks that can tune the perfomance.

Socket Pooling
In Web Interface you could enable it from the console, but in StoreFront we have to change it in the store config. By enabling socket pooling, Storefront maintaines a pool of sockets instead of creating a socket each time a new user connects, this will give a better performance for SSL based traffic.

You can enable this by opening the web.config file under C:inetpubwwwrootCitrixstorename

pooledSockets="off"

And Change this to “on” after that you have to do an IIS reset.

Application Initialization

(NOTE: Make sure you backup the config files before making alterations)

With Windows Server 2012 we have a new feature in IIS called always running on the application pools, this allowed for IIS to make everything ready after an application pool has restarted, before this the previous IIS was set to start loading after the first user tried to login after a restart. This caused the first user to login after an application pool has restarted to take loooong time to login. With Server 2012 IIS we can change the application pool to always running.

With 2008 R2 not so easy. But we can make it happen Smilefjes
First we need to download the application initialization feature from Microsoft
http://www.iis.net/downloads/microsoft/application-initialization

After that is done and installed do a restart on the storefront server.

Then we have to make som changes to the config. First we need to change the application pool to always running (we cannot do this via the gui in 2008 R2)

Open the C:WindowsSystem32inetsrvconfigapplicationHost.config on the storefront server. Locate the following setting /configuration/system.applicationHost/applicationPools

Then we have to add the always running paramter on each application pool for instance the authentication pane we need to add the startMode=”AlwaysRunning” on each ofthem.

<add name=”Citrix Delivery Services Authentication”
autoStart=”true” managedRuntimeVersion=”v2.0″
managedPipelineMode=”Integrated” startMode=”AlwaysRunning”>

And you might have the following application pools in the config that needs to have this paramter.

  • Citrix Delivery Services Authentication
  • Citrix Delivery Services Resources
  • Citrix Receiver for Web
  • Citrix Delivery Services

Now after we have done that in the same document we have to change under the /configuration/system.applicationHost/sites we need to add the preloadEnabled=”true” paramter. So for instance for the authentication application

<application path=”/Citrix/Authentication”
applicationPool=”Citrix Delivery Services Authentication”
preloadEnabled=”true”
>

This paramter needs to be added for all the Citrix Applications (Depending for instance if AG is setup)

  • /AGServices
  • /Citrix/Authentication
  • /Citrix/Roaming
  • /Citrix/<StoreName>
  • /Citrix/<StoreName>Web

After this is done save the config, do an IISreset and test the login to make sure that is it operational and that you don’t get any errors (check also under the web server event log)

Next we need to make changes to the following config files

  • C:inetpubwwwrootAGServicesweb.config
  • C:inetpubwwwrootCitrixAuthenticationweb.config
  • C:inetpubwwwrootCitrixRoamingweb.config
  • C:inetpubwwwrootCitrix<StoreName>web.config

Under the section /configuration/system.webServer we need to add

<applicationInitialization skipManagedModules=”true”>
<add initializationPage=”/endpoints/v1″ />
</applicationInitialization>

On each of the following config files.

After this is done we need to change the Store config file which is located under C:inetpubwwwrootCitrix<StoreName>Webweb.config
Under the same section as those above we need to add the following parameters.

<applicationInitialization skipManagedModules=”true”>
<add initializationPage=”/Home/Index” />
</applicationInitialization>

After that is done save the config, and do an IIS reset.

Now if you are having trouble with Storefront, it generates its own events in Event Viewer under Citrix Delivery Services.
Also it is important to note that if you are having to much issues with a slow StoreFront you should go with 2012 since it is out-of-the box optimized ASP/IIS setup.

And it is also important to remember that Storefront should be on a dedicated server with atleast 2 GB of ram and 2 cores.

If you are having trouble with Storefront you can enable trace logging *This requires alot more CPU on the server”

Add-PSSnapin Citrix.DeliveryServices.Framework.Commands

Set-DSTraceLevel -All -TraceLevel Verbose

To disable you just need to set –TraceLevel off.
All the information will ge placed in C:Program FilesCitrixReceiver StoreFrontadmintrace folder on the storefront server.

News from Citrix and Microsoft

Wow this has been a huge day for both Microsoft and Citrix.
First of Microsoft announced today publically that they are making RemoteFX clients for all mobile platforms (Maybe part of the Mohoro DaaS?) Which means that Microsoft VDI and with Storage dedup might make MIcrosoft a better alternative and gain some lost grounds there, because this has been one of Citrix’s best features broad platform support. So about time Microsoft came aboard as well!

Anyhow… Citrix also made an announcent today that they will release XenDesktop 7.1 as of 23th of October, this release will support all of the new platforms that Microsoft will release the 18th great news! That means VDA on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and that XenDesktop can leverage all of the SMB features and SCVMM 2012 R2 with MCS.

(Still eager to see the PVS features here)

So that means you can upgrade your infrastructure first and then Citrix later Smilefjes
Hopefully this means that we can use XenDesktop 7.1 against New gen VMs, and hopefully 7.1 also includes provisioning against Azure it might be….

Netscaler 10.1 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager provider

A New secret from Citrix Smilefjes
Citrix just recently released a new build of its Netscaler appliance and also included a provider to integrate with Virtual Machine Manager even thou it is very hidden from the naked eye.

Open up Netscaler GUI web-console and up in the right corner you have the downloads pane.

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under here you will find the Management Pack for SCOM and the provider for VMM.

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After you have installed in you need to restart the virtual machine manager service on the VMM Server, then it will appear under the Configuration Provider on SCVMM.

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this means that we can create VIP templates against Citrix Netscaler

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It has the same feature set as It did before. Was hoping for something new and exiting feature set but not yet.

MVP Enterprise Client Management + XenDesktop 7

A suberb day so far! earlier today I received information from the Education team from Citrix that I received my beta result from the XenDesktop 7 exams, and I passed them all! Smilefjes
Thats the 200, 300 and 400 exams!

Then later on today I just got a email from Microsoft which has honored me, by giving me an MVP title for Enterprise Client Management!
This is the first time I am reciving this title.

MVP_Horizontal_FullColor

Now finally alot of hardwork has paid off! Im humble and looking forward to further working closely with Microsoft and its products.

Next inline is CTP Smilefjes som blunker

another part today is that Citrix released a new version of XenDesktop 7, which allows support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Window 8.1
Which can be downloaded here –> https://www.citrix.com/downloads/xendesktop/betas-and-tech-previews/desktop-and-apps-tech-preview.html

As well they released the version of GPU-sharing Tech-preview for XenServer http://www.citrix.com/go/private/vgpu.html

Exiting times ahead! Smilefjes