Finally its here, Citrix Provisioning Services 6.0 many people have been waiting for this “Big” release.
Key new features in Citrix Provisioning Services 6.0
Integrated vDisk Versioning Automated vDisk Updating Support for Replicated vDisk Storage XenDesktop and Streamed VM Setup Wizards
Integrated vDisk Version Management: Allows you to create and manage versions directly within the Provisioning Services Console. Versions can be targeted specific groups of devices facilitating the image lifecycle flow through maintenance, test, and production. In addition, versions are maintained as difference files, conserving storage space.
Automated vDisk Updates: Allows you to define recurring scheduled tasks that automate the process of vDisk patching using tools like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
Support for vDisk Replication: Allows you to safely use replication solutions like Microsoft DFS Replication to distribute vDisks across multiple servers or geographic locations. Provisioning Servers will maintain an inventory of available vDisks and versions and adjust load balancing as needed to ensure sessions are only assigned to servers that have access to the required vDisk/version.
On August 24th, 2011, Citrix released XenApp 6.5, which serves as a comprehensive update to the previous XenApp 6 release. In addition to improved core application virtualization functionality, this release includes enhancements to numerous Platinum Edition component features. For the purposes of this document, XenApp Platinum Edition is assumed; however, the XenApp feature set is licensed based on specific editions, as well as the Enterprise and Platinum editions of XenDesktop.
XenApp 6.5 further refines the installation and configuration process. Migrating to this new XenApp version is necessary due to architectural changes. Mixed farms and direct in-place upgrades from previous versions are not supported; however, Citrix provides the XenApp Migration Center and a PowerShell upgrade script to assist with ensuring a smooth transition. These tools allow migrating farm settings from a source farm as well as automating the XenApp 6 uninstall and XenApp 6.5 install process for member servers, respectively. The Migration Center is explained later in this document.
Some of the XenApp features, such as Web Interface, Provisioning services, and Application Streaming, can be upgraded to their respective XenApp 6.5 versions. Details of how to upgrade these components are discussed within this document.
This technical guide addresses the installation steps associated with the XenApp 6.5 Platinum feature set. Detailed information regarding planning and installation is available through Citrix eDocs (http://www.citrix.com/edocs).
To facilitate the implementation of XenApp 6.5, this document contains the following sections:
What’s included with XenApp 6.5?
Upgrade versus Migration
Within this document, there is a distinction between the terms upgrade and migration as defined below:
Upgrade: Installing a newer version of a feature or release item over an existing version.
Migration: A clean, new installation of that feature or release item
Migrations are typically preferred from a technical standpoint to avoid potential software conflicts.
This document discusses each of the new features and the associated installation steps; however, in all cases, active Subscription Advantage as of July 27, 2011, is required.
XenApp Feature Set by Edition
XenApp features can only be implemented based on availability by edition. XenApp is offered in four editions and feature set entitlement is based on the specific edition licensed. This document discusses new and updated items incorporated into the Platinum feature set. For more information regarding the complete feature set, please see the XenApp Features by Edition matrix at http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=2300381. Note that this matrix is always based on the latest version of XenApp.
In addition, XenApp is included with the Enterprise and Platinum Editions of XenDesktop. For example, an organization licensed for the XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum Edition may choose to present applications hosted on XenApp through XenDesktop virtual desktops. For more information regarding the XenDesktop feature set, please see the XenDesktop Features by Edition matrix at http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=2300383. Note that this matrix is always based on the latest version of XenDesktop.
Which Features Should be Implemented?
Because there are numerous new features and related components that have been released as part of or in conjunction with XenApp 6.5, administrators and architects should review the functionality of each one in order to determine which ones to implement.
To assist you with learning about XenApp 6.5 and the new feature set, Citrix offers evaluation options that can be accessed free of charge from http://www.citrix.com/tryxenapp:
A pre-configured virtual machine to evaluate XenApp in your own data center
Download software and evaluation licenses to create your own XenApp environment
Once the appropriate features have been identified, use the steps or references from this guide to implement them. It’s that easy!
Citrix have released XenServer 6.0 to web. I have been waiting long time for this great release from Citrix. I have been using and testing the GPU pass-through technology thats is now supported in XenServer 6.0, i tested the technology with XenServer 5.6.x it was not stable in XenServer 6TP it worked like a charm and now its official supported. XenServer 6.0 raise the bar again within Server Virtualization and improve areas like performance, scalability, cloud ready, XenDesktop enhancements.
Lets dig in.
XenServer 6.0 includes a number of new features and ongoing improvements, including:
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. For more information refer to the Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager page.
Distributed Virtual Switch Improvements. New fail safe mode allows Cross-Server Private Networks, ACLs, QoS, RSPAN and NetFlow settings to continue to be applied to a running VM in the event of vSwitch Controller failure.
Increased Performance and Scale. Supported limits have been increased to 1 TB memory for XenServer hosts, and up to16 virtual processors and 128 GB virtual memory for VMs. Improved XenServer Tools with smaller footprint.
Networking Improvements. Open vSwitch is now the default networking stack in XenServer 6.0 and now provides formal support for Active-Backup NIC bonding.
VM Import & Export Improvements. Full support for VM disk and OVF appliance imports directly from XenCenter with the ability to change VM
parameters (virtual processor, virtual memory, virtual interfaces, and target storage repository) with the Import wizard. Full OVF import support for
XenServer, XenConvert and VMware.
SR-IOV Improvements. Improved scalability and certification with the SR-IOV Test Kit. Experimental SR-IOV with XenMotion support with Solarflare
Simplified Installer. Host installations only require a single ISO.
Enhanced Guest OS Support. Support for Ubuntu 10.04 (32/64-bit). Updated support for Debian Squeeze 6.0 64-bit, Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.0
(32/64-bit) and SLES 10 SP4 (32/64-bit). Experimental VM templates for CentOS 6.0 (32/64-bit), Ubuntu 10.10 (32/64-bit) and Solaris 10.
Workload Balancing Improvements. New, ready-to-use Linux-based virtual appliance with a smaller footprint replaces the Windows-based virtual appliance and eliminates the Windows licensing dependency.
XenDesktop Enhancements.HDX enhancements for optimized user experience with virtual desktops, GPU Pass-Through, and increased VM and XenServer host limits.
VM Protection & Recovery. Now available for Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum Edition customers.
NFS Support for High Availability. HA Heartbeat disk can now reside on a NFS storage repository.
XenCenter Improvements. XenCenter operations now run in parallel, and XenCenter will be available in Japanese and Simplified Chinese (ETA Q4
Host Architectural Improvements. XenServer 6.0 now runs on the Xen 4.1 hypervisor, provides GPT support and a smaller, more scalable Dom0.
Upgrade to XenServer 6.0 is possible from any version of XenServer 5.6 including 5.6 (base), 5.6 Feature Pack 1, and 5.6 Service Pack 2.
Customers upgrading from XenServer 5.6 and later should follow the instructions below. These instructions apply to customers using the XenCenter
Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard to upgrade XenServer hosts or pools. For details on upgrading XenServer using the xe CLI, please refer to the XenServer 6.0
Note: For information on upgrading the vSwitch Controller Virtual Appliance, see the XenServer 6.0 vSwitch Controller User Guide.
Before You Upgrade
Download the 6.0 version of XenCenter.
Citrix strongly recommends that you take a backup of the state of your existing pool using the pool-dumpdatabase xe CLI command (see the XenServer 6.0 Administrator’s Guide).
Consider suspending any non-critical VMs to ensure that hosts have sufficient memory to carry out the upgrade.
To Upgrade XenServer Using the XenCenter Rolling Pool Upgrade Wizard:
Open the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard: on the Tools menu, select Rolling Pool Upgrade.
Read the Before You Start information, and then click Next to continue.
Select the pool(s) and/or individual hosts that you wish to upgrade, and then click Next.
Choose Automatic Mode or Manual Mode, depending on whether you are planning an automated upgrade from network installation files located on an HTTP, NFS or FTP server, or a manual upgrade from either a CD/DVD or via PXE boot (using already existing infrastructure).Note: If you choose Manual Mode, you must run the XenServer installer on each XenServer host in turn and follow the on-screen instructions
on the serial console of the host. Once the upgrade begins, XenCenter prompts you to insert the XenServer installation media or to specify a PXE boot server for each host that you upgrade.
Once you have selected your Upgrade Mode, click Run Prechecks.
Follow the recommendations to resolve any upgrade prechecks that have failed. If you would like XenCenter to attempt to automatically resolve all failed prechecks, click Resolve All.Once all prechecks have been resolved, click Next to continue.
Prepare the XenServer installation media.
If you chose Automatic Mode, enter the installation media details. Choose HTTP, NFS or FTP and then specify the path, username
and password, as appropriate.Note: Enter the username and password associated with your HTTP, NFS
or FTP server, if you have configured security credentials for this server. Do
not enter the username and password associated with your XenServer pool.
If you chose Manual Mode, note the upgrade plan and instructions.
Click Start Upgrade.
Once the upgrade begins, the Rolling Pool Upgrade wizard guides you through any actions you need to take to upgrade each host. Follow the instructions until you have upgraded all hosts in the pool(s).Once the upgrade completes, the wizard prints a summary. Click Finish to close the wizard.
Fresh Installation of XenServer 6.0
To perform a fresh installation of XenServer 6.0, please refer to the instructions in the XenServer 6.0 Installation Guide.
John Evans have wroten a great article that explains what AutoDesk Cloud Computing is and what it means and what it offers.. here we go
Autodesk has just announced their first official full cloud initiative, including two cloud computing features. They call it Autodesk Cloud. Included in this feature set are:
Cloud Document Storage
Cloud based and mobile DWF viewing
Mobile AutoCAD WS
Multi-user real time editing of dwg files
Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Green Building Studio
What I want to talk about is the cloud computing options, but first a few points on the rest of the collection
Industry Breakdown and Subscription
Unfortunately, these features are not completely available to everyone. Firstly, some features (the cool stuff) are a subscription only package, and only available to those who are on an existing Autodesk subscription license. Secondly, availability depends on which license you possess. If you are a Revit user, you can have just about anything you like, but the rest of us have some limitations.
AEC gets the lion’s share of this mid-cycle release. The products are broken down by software, and therefore which suite you subscribe to. Oddly enough, Infrastructure Design Suite did not get included. Here’s a summary.
Autodesk Design Suite (Premium and Ultimate) – Cloud Rendering
Autodesk Factory design Suite (all) – Green Building Studio
Autodesk Product Design Suite (Premium or Ultimate) – Inventor Optimization
Autodesk Building Design Suite (Premium and Ultimate) – Green Building Studio, Cloud Rendering, and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis, (Education) – Revit Energy Analysis, (Standard) – Green Building Studio
AutoCAD Architecture – Green Building Studio
Autodesk Revit Architecture & Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Autodesk Revit MEP & Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
AutoCAD MEP – Green Building Studio
Autodesk Ecotect Analysis – Green Building Studio
T1 Enterprise Multi-Flex – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Autodesk Design Academy – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Autodesk Education Master Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite FOR EDUCATION – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
Autodesk Vault Collaboration AEC – Buzzsaw That’s it in a nutshell. If you are a Civil 3D user, well……at least you get Autodesk Cloud Documents.
Revit Conceptual Energy is built into Revit 2012, and is available through the “Analyze Mass Model” button. Users of previous versions can download Revit Conceptual Energy at the Autodesk Subscription Center:
You can view, share, and edit your files with the cloud DWF viewing/editing, PDF and AutoCAD WS capabilities. Autodesk is extending the cloud and 1 gig of storage as well, to all users with an Autodesk account. (That’s the thing you signed up for with AutoCAD WS and Publisher Mobile). Users on product subscriptions receive 3 Gigs of storage space to store their design files on. Another added benefit is the luxury of not having to install software, which was a past deterrent for may to adopt the DWF format. Now that it is all cloud based, anyone, including the non-design types, can view and edit DWF files with an internet connection.
More information will be forthcoming as well as the official website.
They’re back, but with a few more twists. First Inventor Suite subscribers will get a new Optimization button on their ribbon’s Environments Panel. This will kick off my beloved Optimization tool, allowing you to use Autodesk’s servers to perform your stress analysis calculations.
There is however a catch: You will receive 100 ‘Cloud Units’ per year. Each time you post a new Optimization package to their server, you get an unknown quantity of these units deducted from your available allotment. These are calculated based on just how much processing you use, the algorithm for which is still not disclosed by Autodesk. When they are gone, who knows. Perhaps once the fan-fare is over, we can find out.
Cloud Rendering for Revit
Rendering, while limited to those Revit people, has some really slick features. I was kind of impressed, almost to the point of being jealous. (I said almost). The service stores you model on the server, and lets you view the results online. Furthermore, you can then select different settings such as increased quality of render, and have the server re-run the render from anywhere in the world.
The application can also render a full 360° panorama.
All you Cloud Rendering people out there are still giggling about the Inventor Cloud Optimization ‘cloud units’. Yeah, well don’t laugh. You got the same cloud unit allotment. :-p
The rendering plug-in for Autodesk Revit is available for download after logging in at:
http://rendering.cloud.autodesk.com Cloud rendering is not available to the hardcore rendering tools. What? That’s right, Revit and AutoCAD Architectural types only ! Showcase and 3DS Max peeps, maybe next time.Autodesk works with multiple partners, including Amazon and Citrix, to provide a scalable cloud computing infrastructure to meet customer needs. Autodesk has been working with Amazon Web Services for more than three years in order to securely host high-demand, scalable applications such as Autodesk Homestyler software and Autodesk Seek web service.
Amazon Web Services provides Autodesk with the flexibility to scale computing around the world with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and resilient storage capacity with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Store (EBS), as well as the ability to more efficiently deliver applications and content to customers. Autodesk also teams with Citrix to provide customers with greater efficiency in their use of Autodesk applications. Delivering solutions to end users with Citrix XenApp can help customers reduce workstation costs while still providing the software performance they need