Citrix XenApp Essentials – Microsoft Azure

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Azure, Citrix, Cloud, End User Computing, Essentials, HTML5, Microsoft, Netscaler, NetScaler Gateway, Receiver, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2016, XenApp

Citrix XenApp Essentials is now available on Microsoft Azure.

Citrix XenApp Essentials is replacing Microsoft Azure RemoteApp and customers can now benefit the technology from Citrix in a simplified portal on Azure to deliver published apps to any device from any Azure datacenter.

New offerings with XenApp (On-Premises, Cloud and Azure ONLY)

Below gives you an overview on how you can deploy Citrix XenApp Essentials On-Premises, in any Cloud and the new Microsoft/Citrix offering XenApp essentials in Azure ONLY.

Below gives you a visual understanding on the new offerings from Microsoft and Citrix with their new cloud offerings XenApp Essentials in Azure.

Prices for XenApp Essentials in Azure

Microsoft Azure

Citrix XenApp Essentials is today now available in all Azure datacenters around the world, this is amazing, and you can now build fast a solution, there is no wait time to buy servers, on Azure its ready to be used, you just need a creditcard šŸ™‚

How do I find Citrix XenApp Essentials on Azure

Goto https://portal.azure.com and login with your Azure ID/pwd, under ressources click add and search for Citrix, then you will see the XenApp essentials service offering.

How do I deploy XenApp Essentials

The following graphic shows the flow of deploying XenApp Essentials.

XenApp Essentials – System Requirements

The following are the requirements to install and configure XenApp Essentials Service after you purchase the service from the Azure Marketplace.

Microsoft Azure

To provision and deploy resources in Microsoft Azure correctly, you need the following:

  • An Azure account.
  • An Azure subscription.
  • An Azure Active Directory global administrator account in the directory associated with your subscription. The user account must have Owner permission for the Azure subscription to use for provisioning resources.

For more information about how to set up an Azure Active Directory tenant, see How to get an Azure Active Directory tenant on the Microsoft website.

  • Use the Azure Resource Manager to:
    • Deploy resources such as virtual machines, storage accounts, database, and virtual network.
    • Create and manage the resource group that is a container for resources you want to manage as a group.

Note

XenApp Essentials Service supports configuring machines by using Azure Resource Manager only.

Citrix Cloud

You must have a Citrix Cloud account to configure XenApp Essentials Service.

Important

XenApp Essentials Service creates Cloud Connector virtual machines automatically.

Compatibility

XenApp Essentials supports the following web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer

Users connect to their apps by logging on with Citrix Receiver. XenApp Essentials Service supports the current version of Citrix Receiver for each user device operating system.

You can download the latest version of Citrix Receiver from the Citrix website.

Deploying XenApp Essentials Service

Citrix Cloud hosts the XenApp Essentials Service. The XenApp Essentials offers secure access to virtual Windows apps. This service is based on XenApp and XenDesktop technology. The service includes StoreFront and the NetScaler Gateway Service along with core management services.

Your app workloads run in your Azure subscription.

The following diagram shows an architectural overview of a basic XenApp Essentials Service cloud deployment:

You can also allow users to connect to your on-premises data center. Connections between the Azure cloud and your on-premise data center occur through a VPN connection. Users connect through XenApp Essentials to your license server, file servers, or Active Directory over the VPN connection.

Known Issues

The XenApp Essentials Service has the following known issues:

  • Creating the machine catalog fails if the virtual machine size is not available for the selected region. To check the virtual machines that are available in your area, see the chart at Products available by region on the Microsoft website.
  • You cannot create and publish multiple instances of the same app from the Start menu at the same time.
    For example, from the Start menu you publish Internet Explorer. Then, you want to publish a second instance of Internet Explorer that opens a specific website on startup. To do so, publish the second app by using the path for the app instead of the Start menu.
  • XenApp Essentials Service supports linking a subscription by using an Azure Active Directory user account. XenApp Essentials does not support Live.com authenticated accounts.
  • Users cannot start an application if there is an existing Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) session on the VDA.Ƃ This behavior only happens if the RDP session starts when no other users are logged on to the VDA.
  • You cannot enter a license server address longer than server.domain.subdomain.
  • If you perform multiple sequential updates to capacity management, there is a possibility that the updated settings will not properly propagate to the VDAs.

Set up a Microsoft Azure Account

Perform the following tasks in Microsoft Azure before setting up the connection in Citrix Cloud:

  1. Create an Azure subscription.
  2. Create a user in Azure Active Directory who is a global administrator for the subscription.

NoteYou must create the global administrator account in Azure Active Directory.

After you create your Azure account, you can prepare your Azure subscription.

Prepare Your Azure Subscription

When you prepare your Azure subscription, you configure the following:

  • Create a resource group and provide the following details:
    • Resource Group name
    • Subscription name
    • Location
  • Create a virtual network in the resource group and provide a name for the network. You can leave all other default settings.
  • Create a when you create the master image.
    Note: A premium storage account is not supported.
  • Use an existing or create a domain controller. If you create a domain controller, do the following:
    • Use the A3 Standard or any other size Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual in the Resource Group and virtual network. This virtual machine becomes the domain controller. If you plan to create multiple domain controllers, create an availability set and put all the domain controllers in this set.
    • Assign a private static IP address to the network adapter of the virtual machine. You can assign the address in the Azure portal. For more information, see Configure private IP addresses for a virtual machine using the Azure portal on the Microsoft documentation website.
    • [Optional] Attach a new data disk to the virtual machine to store the Active Directory users and Groups and any Active Directory logs. For more information, see How to attach a data disk to a Windows virtual machine in the Azure portal. When you attach the disk, select all the default options to complete the wizard.
    • Add the domain controller virtual machines private IP address to the virtual network DNS server. For more information, see Manage DNS servers used by a virtual network (Classic) using the Azure portal (Classic).
    • Add a public DNS server in addition to the Microsoft DNS server. Use the IP address 168.63.129.16 for the second DNS server.
    • Add the Active Directory Domain Services role to the domain controller virtual machine. When this step is complete, promote the domain controller virtual machine to a domain controller and DNS.
    • Create a forest and add some Active Directory users. For more information, see Install a new Active Directory forest on an Azure virtual network.

If you prefer to use Azure Active Directory Domain Services instead of a domain controller, use the following guidelines. Citrix recommends reviewing theƂ Active Directory Domain Services DocumentationƂ on the Microsoft website.

  • Create an Azure Active Directory and give it a unique name.
  • Create a classic virtual network to enable Domain Services.
    When you create the classic virtual network, choose an IP address range that is different from the one you use with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service. You need two IP addresses and can use the /24 range.
  • Enable the Azure Active Directory Domain Services by switching to the classic portal. Navigate to the Active Directory node and open the new Azure Active Directory domain.
  • Enable the domain services for the directory.
    When you complete this step, the DNS name and virtual network appear automatically. Ensure that the values are correct.
    When you save the settings, it can take 30 minutes to an hour to set up Domain Services.
  • When provisioning Domain Services is complete, a new section titled IP ADDRESS appears. Refresh the page until you see two IP addresses.
  • Add a subnet IP address for the Azure virtual network.
  • Update the DNS settings for the Azure virtual network.
    Edit the properties on the virtual network. Ensure that you enter both IP addresses created in a previous step.
  • Create an administrative group in the new Azure Active Directory domain. Use the following guidelines:
    • Create the group with the name AAD DC Administrators. The group must have this name.
    • Configure the DNS settings before adding users and groups.
    • Add members after creating the group.
  • Create a Resource Manager virtual network. Ensure that the deployment model you use is set to Resource Manager. Locate the Resource Manager virtual network in the same region as the classic virtual network.
  • Peer the Resource Manager virtual network to the classic virtual network. Peering connects the two virtual networks to the same region in Azure. After peering the networks, the two networks appear as a single virtual network. When you peer the two networks, ensure that you select the classic virtual network.
  • Add DNS servers to the Resource Manager virtual network. When you configure the DNS servers, type the IP address of the Azure Active Directory Services. Ensure that you type both IP addresses that appear in the Domain Services section on the Configure tab of your directory.

Prepare Your Master Image

You can use one of the following two images in your deployment:

  • Your own master image with your applications installed.
  • A Citrix-prepared image.

Important

Citrix does not recommend using a Citrix-prepared image for production deployments.

When you prepare the master image, the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installs on the image automatically. The VDA software enables the following:

  • Registers the machine with the XenApp Essentials Service.
  • Establishes and manages the connection between the machine and the user device.
  • Verifies that a Citrix license is available for the user or session.
  • Applies any configured policies for the session.
  • Communicates session information to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service through the broker agent included in the VDA.

VDAs are available for Windows server and desktop operating systems. VDAs for Windows Server operating systems allow multiple users to connect to the server at one time.

For more information, see Configure VDAs.

Note

The VDA for Windows desktop operating systems is not supported in XenApp Essentials Service.

Prepare a Master Image

You create the master image by using the Azure Resource Manager. When you prepare your master image, the steps you must take in the Azure portal are:

  1. Log on to the Azure portal.
  2. Create a Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 2016 server virtual machine.
    You can also use existing server virtual machines. When you use existing machines, you can use the resource group, virtual network, and storage account associated with the machine. The storage account is where you create the virtual hard disk (VHD).
    Note: Create the VDA template with standard (non SSD) storage. Also, do not join the VDA to a domain.
  3. Connect to the virtual machine after you create it and when it is running.
    Important: Do not run Sysprep on the image.
  4. Install the applications on the virtual machine. The apps are available to your users when they log on with Citrix Receiver.
  5. Download the server OS VDA on the virtual machine from the XenApp and XenDesktop Service download page.
  6. Install the VDA on the virtual machine. When prompted for the Delivery Controller address, select Let MCS configure.
  7. Skip the installation of Citrix Receiver and App-V. Use the default settings for the remainder of the configuration steps.
  8. Restart the VDA and complete the VDA installation steps by following the instructions on the page.
  9. Test starting the applications to ensure that the configuration is correct.
  10. Shut down the virtual machine.

When you create the virtual machine, the VHD is created in the storage account you specified. When you upload the master image, you must specify the storage account location in the XenApp Essentials console.

Link Your Azure Subscription

In the Citrix Cloud, you link your XenApp Essentials Service to your Azure subscription.

To link your Azure subscription

  1. Log on to the Citrix Cloud for XenApp Essentials Service.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Subscriptions.
  3. Click +Add Subscription.
    The Azure portal opens.
  4. Log on to your Azure subscription by using your global administrator Azure credentials.
  5. Click Accept to allow XenApp Essentials Service to access your Azure account.
    XenApp Essentials service enumerates the subscriptions available in your account.
  6. Select the subscription you want to use and then click Link.
    Return to the XenApp Essentials Console to see the subscription in a linked state.

After you link your Azure subscription to XenApp Essentials, upload your master image.

To upload the master image

  1. Log on to the Citrix Cloud for the XenApp Essentials Service.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Master Images.
  3. Click Add Image.
    The Add an image page opens.
  4. Specify the location of the VHD by selecting the following:
    1. Subscription
    2. Resource group
    3. Storage account
    4. VHD location
    5. Region
    6. Name for the master image.
  5. Click Save.
    When you save the image, XenApp Essentials Service verifies the master image.
    After verification, the image appears on the Master Images > My Images page.

Create Catalogs

A catalog is similar to collections in Azure Remote App. A Citrix XenApp Essentials Service catalog lists apps and resources that you can share with users on any device.

XenApp Essentials Service catalog uses a simpler approach to the combination of a machine catalog and a Delivery Group.

Note

XenApp machine catalog and Delivery Group creation workflows are not available in XenApp Essentials Service.

When you add a catalog, you configure the following:

  • Create a name for the catalog.
  • Link your Azure subscription to the catalog.
  • Join the catalog to the domain.
  • Choose a master image.
  • Select the capacity and manage the cost of the apps.

Before you start creating your catalog, ensure that you have your Azure Active Directory credentials and your subscription ID available.

To create a catalog

  1. Log on to citrix.cloud.com.
  2. Select the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
  3. On the Manage tab, click Catalogs, and then click +Catalog.
  4. On the Add a Catalog page, in Pick a Name, type the name of the catalog, select Domain Joined, and then click Save.
  5. In Link your Azure subscription, provide your Azure subscription details. You can use a subscription you created previously or link a new Azure subscription. To use an existing subscription, do the following:
    1. In Subscription Name, select the subscription from the list.
    2. In Resource Group (Region), select the resource group to which the Azure subscription belongs. Use the resource group you created when you prepared your Azure subscription. XenApp Essentials Service creates Cloud Connectors in the resource group.
    3. In Virtual Network, select the virtual network to which the Azure subscription belongs.
      The virtual network is the same one you configured when you prepared your Azure subscription. Ensure that the virtual network can reach your domain controller by using the DNS entries
    4. In Subnet, select the subnet to which the Azure subscription belongs and then click Save.
  6. Under Join local domain, enter the following:
    1. In Fully Qualified Domain Name, type your organizations domain name.
    2. In Organizational Unit, type the OU to which users belong.
      For example, OU=Essentials,DC=citrix,DC=com.
      Note: Adding the OU is an optional step.
    3. In Service Account Name, type the account that by using permissions to join a machine to a domain and create machine accounts.
    4. In Password and Confirm Password, type the password and then click Save.
  7. In Choose master image, do one of the following:
    1. Select Link an existing image and then do the following:
      1. In Image Name, select the image.
      2. Click Save.
    2. Select Import a new image and then do the following:
      1. In Subscription, choose the subscription.
      2. In Resource Group, choose the group.
      3. In Storage Account, choose the account
      4. In VHD, choose the location of the virtual hard disk.
      5. In Image Name, provide a name for the master image and then click Save.
  8. In Select Capacity and Manage Cost, do the following:
    1. In Pick compute, select a worker role.
      The worker role defines the resources used. When you specify a worker role, XenApp Essentials Service determines the correct load per instance for you. You can use one of the options in the list or create your own custom option. The session count is used as a scale metric.
    2. In Select scale settings, do the following:
      1. Set the minimum number of running instances. XenApp Essentials Service ensures that the minimum of virtual machines are powered on all the time.
      2. Set the maximum number of running instances. XenApp Essentials Service does not go beyond this number of virtual machines.
      3. [Optional] If you want a different number of virtual machines running during peak times, select I want to set a schedule for peak time. Then, specify the following:
      • Days of the week for the peak time
      • Start and end times for each day
      • Time zone
      • Minimum number of running instances
  9. In Set idle or disconnected session time-out, set the time for when the session ends.
    User sessions end automatically if the session remains idle or is disconnected for the specified time period. Shorter time-out values allow unused VDAs to power off and save costs.
  10. Click Save.

After you configure your catalog, click Start Deployment to start catalog creation. This step can take 1-2 hours. If you specified many virtual machines, creating the catalog can take a longer time.

When the previous step is complete, you can publish apps and assign users and user groups. You need at least one published application and one user assigned to complete creating the catalog.

To update or add applications, update the virtual machine that you used to create the catalogs master image.

To update the master image

  1. Power on the master image virtual machine.
    Powering on the virtual machine does not affect the master image installed in Microsoft Azure.
  2. Install any updates or applications to the virtual machine.
  3. After installation, shut down the virtual machine.
  4. In the XenApp Essentials Service console, add the new image that includes the path to the virtual machines VHD image.

To update a catalog

  1. On the Manage tab, click Catalogs.
  2. Click the ellipsis in the catalog that you want to update, and then click Update Catalog Image.
  3. Select either Link an existing image or Import a new image. Enter the information that is appropriate for your choice.
  4. In Time until automatic log-off, choose the amount of time before the session ends.
    When you start the update of the master image, users can continue to work in XenApp Essentials until the processing is complete. Then, users receive a warning message to save their work and close applications. After closing all active sessions on the VDA, the update finishes on that VDA. Then, if users do not log off in the amount of time given, the session closes automatically.
  5. Click Update to start updating the master image.

Publish Apps

After configuring your catalog, you can publish apps for your users. The image you installed includes apps that you can publish.

To publish apps

  1. Log on to the Citrix Cloud for the XenApp Essentials Service.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Catalogs.
  3. Click the ellipsis in the catalog for which you want to publish apps.
  4. Click Manage Publishing.
  5. On the Apps tab, click Publish Apps.
  6. In the Publish Apps for <catalog name> page, select the apps for publishing.
  7. When done, click Publish.
    The Apps tab appears by using the list of published apps.

After you publish apps, you can add users and groups.

Add Users and User Groups

  1. Log on to the Citrix Cloud for XenApp Essentials Service.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Catalogs.
  3. Click the ellipsis in the catalog for which you want to add users.
  4. Click Manage Users.
  5. On the Users tab, click +Add Users.
  6. In the Assign Users for <catalog name> page, in Domain, choose the domain.
  7. In the search box, type the name of the user or user group.
  8. Repeat step 7 until you’ve added all users and groups.
  9. Click Assign Users.
    The Users tab appears by using the list of published apps.

StoreFront and NetScaler Gateway in XenApp Essentials Service

The XenApp Essentials Service in Citrix Cloud hosts a StoreFront site for each customer. After you create the catalog, the StoreFront site is created automatically. The StoreFront URL appears under the catalog details. Hosting StoreFront in the cloud means that you do not have to deploy or maintain StoreFront. Citrix keeps StoreFront current in the cloud.

To allow users secure access to their published apps, XenApp Essentials Service uses NetScaler Gateway Service. This service does not need any configuration by you. Each user is limited to 1-GB outbound data transfer per month. You can purchase a 25 GB add-on from the Azure Marketplace. The charge for the add-on is on a monthly basis.

Monitoring the XenApp Essentials Service

To monitor the overall performance of the Citrix XenApp Essentials Service for Azure, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
  2. Click the Monitor tab.
  3. Click the Catalog that you want to monitor.
    You can view information on sessions, logon duration, in addition to other information.
  4. You can choose a session and do the following tasks:
    1. Disconnect the session.
    2. Log off from the session.
    3. Send a message

You can click each session to view extra details about the session such as processes, applications running, and more.

Getting Help

If you have problems with XenApp Essentials Service, open a ticket by following instructions in How to Get Help and Support.

XenApp feature comparison



 

Source

Google Chrome 45.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in 8.1, Best Practise, Citrix, End User Computing, GRID, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, HowTo, Microsoft, Netscaler, NVIDIA, Receiver, Server 2012R2, vDGA, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Solution: Google Chrome 45.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

Google Chrome v. 45  have changed their behaviour of their web browser, so they are blacklisting GPUs, which means hardware acceleration is disabled by default in a Remote session this behaviour is seen in Microsoft RDS with RemoteFX, Citrix XenApp 6.5 -> 7.6 with vGPU/GPU pass-through. Behaviour is also seen on Linux environments with Google Chrome.

Issue highlightet in a Citrix XenApp 7.6 (2008R2/2012/2012R2) with GPU

Open Google Chrome and type in chrome://gpu and then you will see if your RDS/XenApp with a GPU is working or not.
With Google Chrome v 45 the default behaviour is now that Google choose to disabling the GPU.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue - graphics feature issue

Google Chrome experience with a GPU (Citrix XenDesktop vs Citrix XenApp)

browser - chrome xd vs xa gpu - 2008R2 vs Win7

above picture confirms the GPU is not enabled in Google Chrome with RDS/XenApp

interesting is that Multiple Raster Threads in Win7 with a GPU is disable… why lets find out.

This is properly because you haven’t configured the CPU correctly in the hypervisor for the virtual machine.
* hint I did on purpose so you can understand it can be complex to troubleshoot if you don’t configure your environment correctly.

browser - chrome win7 cpu issue fix
best practices with HDX 3D Pro is 4 vCPU and in XenServer 6.5 you configure it 2:2

Then Multiple Raster Threads works in Win7 after you changed the configuration of the CPU on the Win7 vm.

browser - chrome win7 cpu fix

browser - chrome win7 cpu issue fixed

below picture confirms the GPU is not enabled in Google Chrome with RDS/XenApp in Server 2012R2

browser - chrome xd vs xa gpu - 2012r2 vs win81

Now we have validated that the GPU is blacklisted in RDS/XA with a GPU, lets see if we can fix this.

Performance with a WebGL web app in Google Chrome

CPU is very high when the Google Chrome is running the WebGL application. This is because its using the CPU to do software rasterize of the GPU and this makes your user able to run a webgl application without a GPU, but wait. We actually have a GPU in our RDS/XA server now, why is this not offloading the CPU, thats because Google desided to turn off GPU and blacklist them.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue

Solution

  1. Edit Google Chrome link and after the chrome.exe add
    –ignore-gpu-blacklistgooglechrome
  2. Open Google Chrome and run chrome://gpu in the browser
  3. Check if Hardware acceleration is now working for all functions in Google Chrome

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue - graphics feature

GPU hardware acceleration is now working in RDS/XA with a GPU in Google Chrome and CPU is now offloaded to the GPU as you can see in the below picture.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue fixed

 

 

 

Citrix Netscaler Gateway 11

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, Netscaler, NetScaler Gateway

Citrix have released Netscaler Gateway 11

This is a major release and one thing I love about this release is that the entire GUI is again changed and now there is support for VPN access with Android, IOS, Linux.

NetScaler Gateway 11.0 adds the following new features and enhancements:

Citrix NetScaler Gateway 11 with Unified Gateway

This feature extends NetScaler Gateway connectivity with access to any web application through a single URL, along with seamless single sign-on and sign-off. Single URL access can be configured for:

  • Internal organizational web applications
  • Software as a Service applications, including SAML based single sign-on when available
  • Outlook Web Access and SharePoint as clientless applications
  • Load balanced applications served through NetScaler load balancing virtual servers
  • XenApp and XenDesktop published resources.

The feature can be configured and managed with the Unified Gateway wizard in the NetScaler configuration utility. [#00552862, #0438356, #0519875, #0519875]

SmartControl

SmartControl allows policy-based management decisions for ICA connections through the VPN. SmartControl policies can be applied at the session level to control userā€™s ICA environment and to further manage ICA connections with SmartGroup sorting decisions.

Portal Customization and EULA

The Portal Customization options have been expanded to allow end-to-end customization of the VPN user portal. Administrators can apply themes to their VPN portal design or use themes as a foundation for their own customization or branding. An option to present VPN users an End User License Agreement (EULA) has also been added to the portal design. Portal themes and EULAs can be bound to a VPN virtual server or specified as global VPN parameters.

New and Updated Gateway Clients

NetScaler Gateway release 11.0 adds new plug-in clients for the following operating systems:

  • Android 4.1 or later
  • iOS 7 or later
  • Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04)

Each of these clients provides full SSL VPN tunnel functionality through NetScaler Gateway and supports all authentication methods available in NetScaler Gateway 11.

Additionally, the Mac OS and Windows plug-ins have been refreshed and updated for the 11.0 release, including OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) support for the Mac OS X plug-in.

Plug-in Version Decoupling

The NetScaler Gateway client plug-ins are no longer coupled to the Citrix NetScaler Gateway 11 release versioning. Settings for version requirement per client OS type can be configured globally and within session policies.

Plug-in Icon Decoupling from Citrix Receiver

The desktop client plug-ins icons can now be configured to operate independently from Native Citrix Receiver clients. Settings to manage Receiver integration with the NetScaler Gateway Plug-ins can be configured globally and within session policies.

Disabling Automatic Update for the Windows Gateway Client and EPA Plug-ins

This enhancement adds an option in client Endpoint Analysis (EPA) to prevent automatic client updates by disabling the “EnableAutoUpdate” registry key.

Striped Cluster for Citrix NetScaler Gateway 11 in ICA Proxy Mode

This feature allows administrators to deploy NetScaler Gateway with XenApp and XenDesktop in a striped cluster configuration. Administrators can use existing Gateway configurations and scale seamlessly in a cluster deployment without having to restrict the VPN configuration to a single node.

Note that this feature is limited to ICA Proxy basic-mode virtual servers and does not support SmartAccess.

Clientless VPN support for Outlook Web Access 2013 and SharePoint 2013

NetScaler Gateway has improved support for access to Outlook Web Access 2013 and SharePoint 2013 through Clientless VPN (CVPN) sessions.

WebFront

WebFront is an alternative integration point for XenApp and XenDesktop deployments served by StoreFront. Resident on NetScaler, WebFront uses caching and packet flow optimization in the distribution of user stores. These techniques improve end user experience for Receiver for Web users and speed up single sign-on for native Receiver users. In the NetScaler configuration utility, the WebFront feature is on the Configuration tab at System > WebFront.

ICA Proxy Connection Termination after Session Time Out

Automatic session timeout can be enabled for ICA connections as a VPN parameter. Enabling this parameter forces active ICA connections to time out when a VPN session closes.

Support for Common Gateway Protocol (CGP) over WebSockets

NetScaler Gateway virtual servers have improved intelligence for handling CGP traļ¬ƒc destined for the common CGP port, 2598, over WebSockets. This enhancement allows Receiver for HTML5 user sessions through NetScaler Gateway to support Session Reliability.

SPNEGO Encapsulation for Kerberos Tickets

NetScaler now uses SPNEGO encapsulation on Kerberos tickets that are sent to back-end web applications and servers.

Cross Domain Kerberos Constrained Delegation 

This enhancement adds support for cross-domain Kerberos constrained delegation when both the user and the service realm have a two-way shortcut trust. That is, if the user and service belong to different domains/realms, constrained delegation fails. However, if a user logs on with a user name and password, Kerberos Single Sign-On works for cross-domain access, because the NetScaler Gateway appliance does Kerberos impersonation with the user password. NetScaler Gateway currently does not otherwise support cross-domain constrained delegation.

 

Source

Download Citrix Netscaler Gateway 11 build 55.20 here (requires MyCitrix ID)

Citrix technology professional ā€“ CTP, and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional MVP, Thomas Poppelgaard provides professional services. Write to me on my email thomas@poppelgaard.com or call on my cell +45 53540356

Citrix Receiver 13 for Linux

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, Linux, Netscaler, Receiver, StoreFront Services, VDI-in-a-box, XenDesktop

Citrix have released Receiver 13 for Linux. This release is an amazine Receiver from Citrix that features lots of new powerfull features. Thin client vendors like Dell Wyse is going to be very happy about this release cause the user experience is truely amazing with this new client.

Check out this cool video Vipin Borkar from Citrix have created, where you see the powerfull new features

http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/9555

Whats new in Receiver 13 for Linux

  • Support for XenDesktop 7 featuresĀ – Receiver supports many of the new features and enhancements in XenDesktop 7, including Windows Media client-side content fetching, HDX 3D Pro, HDX RealTime webcam compression, Server-rendered Rich Graphics, and IPv6 support.
    Note:Ā Link-local network addresses are not supported in IPv6 environments. You must have at least one global or unique-local address assigned to your network interface.
  • VDI-in-a-Box supportĀ – You can use Receiver to connect to virtual desktops created with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box.
  • Self-service UIĀ – A new graphical user interface (UI), like that in other Citrix Receivers, replaces the configuration manager, wfcmgr. After they are set up with an account, users can subscribe to desktops and applications, and then start them.
  • Deprecated and removed utilitiesĀ – The pnabrowse command-line utility is deprecated in favor of the new storebrowse command-line utility. The icabrowse and wfcmgr utilities have been removed.
  • StoreFront supportĀ – You can now connect to StoreFront stores as well as Citrix XenApp sites (also known as Program NeighborhoodĀ Agent sites).
  • UDP audio supportĀ – Most audio features are transported using the ICA stream and are secured in the same way as other ICA traffic. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Audio uses a separate, unsecured, transport mechanism, but is more consistent when the network is busy. UDP Audio is primarily designed for Voice over IP (VoIP) connections and requires that audio traffic is of medium quality (that is Speex wideband) and unencrypted.
  • PackagingĀ – An armhf (hard float) Debian package and tarball are now included in the download packages. In addition, the Debian package for Intel systems uses multiarch (a Debian feature) for installations on 32- and 64-bit systems. 32-bit binaries are also available in RPM packages.
  • System Flow ControlĀ – Video display has been enhanced on low-performance user devices that connect to high-performance servers. In such setups, System Flow Control prevents sessions becoming uncontrollable and unusable.
  • LocalizationĀ – Receiver is now available in German, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
  • Keyboard improvementsĀ – You can now specify which local key combination (Ctrl+Alt+End or Ctrl+Alt+Enter) generates the Ctrl+Alt+Delete combination on a remote Windows desktop. In addition, a new option supports Croatian keyboard layouts.
  • Deferred XSyncĀ – While one frame is still on screen, Receiver can now decode tiles for the next frame. This provides a performance improvement compared with previous releases, in which Receiver waited for a frame to finish being displayed before decoding the next frame.
  • Audio and webcam playback improvementsĀ – Various changes are implemented that conserve CPU cycles and reduce latency.
  • Audio settingsĀ – Several new audio settings are now available in module.ini.

Source

Download Citrix Receiver 13 for Linux here

Vipin Borkar CTX blogpost about Reciever 13 for Linux new features

Citrix VDI-in-a-box 5.4

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, HDX, HTML5, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Netscaler, Receiver, Server 2012R2, VDI-in-a-box, VMware, vSphere, Windows 8.1, XenServer

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix VDI-in-a-box 5.4

VDI-in-a-Box 5.4 provides support for Windows 8.1 virtual desktops and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. It also includes a range of enhancements that increase VDI-in-a-Box’s flexibility and a range of power tools for administrators. If you want to migrate your VDI-in-a-box platform to a XenDesktop 7 platform, there is now a wizard included in VDI-in-a-box 5.4, that lets you easy migrate your images, template configuration and user assignments.

Note !!! – Citrix VDI-in-a-Box does not support HDX3D Pro.

Whats new in Citrix VDI-in-a-box 5.4

  • Windows 8.1 virtual desktops
    Create Windows 8.1 desktops and run them on any supported hypervisor.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper V is now supported. You can also use Windows Server 2012 R2 desktops with HDX connections. Grids running on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper V and Windows Server 2012 Hyper V can use shared storage.
  • VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
    VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 Hypervisor is now supported.
  • Built-in HTML5 device support
    Use devices running HTML5-capable browsers to access VDI-in-a-Box desktops without StoreFront. This allows devices such as Chromebook to access VDI-in-a-Box desktops without additional server components.
  • Multiple computer domains
    If you use Active Directory as a user database, you can place the computer objects for VDI-in-a-Box desktops in more than one domain. This allows you to separate your users into different domains and meet regulatory or compliance requirements in your organization. For more information, seeĀ Use VDI-in-a-Box with Active Directory.
  • StoreFront smart card support
    Users can log on using smart cards when accessing desktops through StoreFront from non-domain-joined Windows devices.
  • SSL certificate multiple host names
    You can specify multiple host names on a single SSL certificate, which is more cost-effective than using a wildcard certificate. This enables you to specify the grid IP FQDN as the common name and add subject alternate names for the FQDNs of the individual vdiManagers. For more information, seeĀ Manage SSL certificates.
  • Install existing SSL certificates
    Install existing SSL certificates through the Manage SSL Certificate wizard. For more information, seeĀ Manage SSL certificates.
  • Follow-me desktops
    Time-share user devices among multiple user names where each user name is shared by a group of users: in a classroom or lab environment, for example. In previous releases of VDI-in-a-Box this was achieved through setting your entire grid to generic user mode. You now have the flexibility to support shared user accounts and dedicated user accounts in the same VDI-in-a-Box grid just by clearing a check box on an individual template. For more information, seeĀ Configure shared user accounts.
    Generic user mode is now reserved solely for avoiding user name verification after the user logs on to a desktop. For more information, seeĀ Configure generic user accounts.
  • Image save as
    You can save an existing image under a new name. This gives you the flexibility to easily create backups, or experiment with different image settings.
    If you need to pilot a new version of an image for a pooled desktop, you can update an existing image, save it with a different name, then edit an existing template to use this image. When testing is complete it’s easy to either continue using the updated image, move back to the previous version, or create subsequent versions if you need to continue testing.
    For more information, seeĀ Manage images.
  • Change images for pooled-desktop templates
    You can edit an existing template for pooled desktops and base it on a different image, provided the image is compatible with the template properties and existing desktops. This enables you to test new versions of images, as described above. For more information, seeĀ Manage templates.
  • Remote Assistance support
    Launch Windows Remote Assistance from the vdiManager console, enabling administrators or support staff to share users’ screens and shadow their sessions. For more information, seeĀ Manage user sessions.
  • Wizard-driven migration to Citrix XenDesktop
    If you need to move your entire VDI-in-a-Box deployment to XenDesktop, this easy-to-use wizard exports your images and generates PowerShell scripts that you can run to migrate all template configurations and user assignments to a XenDesktop deployment. For more information seeĀ http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX136081.

Source

Download Citrix VDI-in-a-box 5.4 here (Require MyCitrix ID)

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