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 🙂

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. 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 the Active Directory Domain Services Documentation 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

HPE m710x & Citrix – Next generation engineer workstation

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, Desktop Virtualization, Edgeline, End User Computing, GRID, HDX 3D Pro, HPE, Intel, M510, M710X, Microsoft, Moonshot, NVIDIA, Provisioning Services, Receiver, SCCM, Server 2012R2, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2016, XenDesktop, XenServer

 

hpe_m710x_specs

 

 

HPE m710x & Citrix – Next gen engineer workstation

What is the m710x?

 

Which HPE appliance can you add the m710x in

Now HPE has a new server catridges available and a new appliance that targets a new business opportunity for SMB/medium customers. Previously you needed to buy a Moonshot 1500 solution that was a 4.3 U chassis, where you could add up to 45 server cartridges. This have changed and new offerings are now available from HPE. These include Edgeline. HPE Edgeline EL1000 Converged IoT System support one HPE Proliant server cartridge and HPE Edgeline EL4000 Converged IoT System, which support up to four HPE Proliant server cartridges. This is great for business that would like CPU/GPU/Fast storage and IO in small capacity but require fast performance. These appliances are also built for IoT systems. This means that HPE Edgeline is a more accessible solution for companies no matter their size or demand.

Testing Methology

I have been testing the m710x with Citrix XenDesktop 7.9 HDX 3D Pro and Windows 10 anniversary edition. I tested several applications from Autodesk, PTC, Siemens and Rheino.

The goal was to show the user experience how it is compared to NVIDIA GRID, which is industry standard of GPU enabled desktop/apps. This is not a benchmark measuring time to load, its simply testing the user responsiveness of one connection which is m710x (2GB video memory) vs NVIDIA GRID K2 K260Q profile (2GB video memory).

Test Setup

To the left the HPE m710x and to the right HPE DL 380Gen9 with NVIDIA GRID K2

m710xvsk240q_01

Latest OS + GPU driver + VDA at that current time was installed on HPE m710x

Latest Hypervisor + OS + vGPU driver + VDA at that current time was installed on HPE DL 380Gen9

m710xvsk240q_02

The GPU driver what is seen inside GPU-Z.

m710xvsk240q_03

Use case and user profiling CAD applications

Latest CAD applications from Autodesk was used such as AutoCAD, Revit, 3DSMax, VRED, Showcase, Fusion360 and Siemens FeMap, Rheino and PTC Creo.

m710xvsk240q_04

Methodology

This is the methodology I use. I am not using any automated scripts or software to simulate mouse moment, I am using a manual process so the human eye can judge the user experience.

m710xvsk240q_05

Below video shows the user experience on the left the m710x and on the right the NVIDIA GRID k260Q profile.

m710xvsk240q_06

User experience with Autodesk AutoCAD 2017 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Fusion 360 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Fusion 360 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Revit 2017 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Revit 2017 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Inventor 2017 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Inventor 2017 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Showcase 2016 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Autodesk Showcase 2016 on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Siemens FeMap on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with Rheino on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

User experience with PTC Creo on m710x vs NVIDIA GRID K2 – K260Q

Summary of keyfindings with m710x for mainstream CAD requirements.

  • m710x works great and reduces the complexity of having virtualising with a hypervisor and having to virtualise a GPU, plus  it reduces the cost and you get bare metal performance. The advantage with intel is that the GPU instructions are send directly in the chip as CPU/GPU is 1 chip and GPU is not going through a PCIexpress board.
  • To install OS, Apps for persistent its recommended using Microsoft SCCM or RES Automation Manager, and if you would like to have a simplified image strategy Citrix Provisioning is the preferred option for HPE Moonshot, which also can do caching in memory and fallback to storage this could potentially speed up the IOPS even more than M.2.
  • Its recommend doing an assessment to see if you are below 2GB frame buffer to take advantage of the m710x, many companies that uses CAD is below this as of now, but if you required more GPU memory then NVIDIA/AMD is a better choice as they have Quadro/GRID that can give 3GB+ and above video memory+ lots of compute. The m710x can open 4Gb models but then it will put 1GB in CPU/GPU and 1GB in memory and 2GB in pagefile, where NVIDIA would put all in their GPU memory. This is why its recommended using assessment software such as UberAgent to understand how much GPU you are currently using.
  • User experience is king with HPE m710x, the cartridge with Windows 10 anniversary update and Citrix XenDesktop 7.9 HDX 3D Pro is ready for CAD vendors such as Siemens, PTC and Autodesk.
  • Applications performance is great, fast and no graphics elements are lost. Graphics are smooth, responsive and acceptable.
  • The performance of the CAD applications in these test are equal with Intel P580 vs GRID K2 K260Q.
  • Elements such as loading large files, zoom-in, rotating, working in layers and rendering works great with HPE m710x.
  • The new HPE m710x catridge is ready for mainstream CAD requirements.

I highly recommend you test your own models as above is samples I have found and customer data is always different, some samples are smaller others are larger.

How to get Involved – HPE Global Innovation Labs

hpelabs

Partner and customer engagement, interaction, assessment and colloboration on solution development and applications.

HPE can help with

  • Build, testing and pre-validation of Edgeline systems and end-to-end solutions
  • Integrated real-life “Edge Experience Zones“ to interact with and highlight industry applications
  • On-site access or secure remote access
  • Datacenter connectivity and testing

Try here https://www.hpe.com/us/en/servers/global-innovation-lab.html

Poppelgaard.com – Professional Services

Above article is written myself as an independent blogger/consultant and the results of the testing of the CAD applications was accomplished by Thomas Poppelgaard and sponsored by HPE. The methodology are as is and samples can be required if the readers would like the material to reproduce the same results.

if you are interested in testing your applications on the ProLiant Server Catridges – please dont hesitate to contact me a thomas@poppelgaard.com
I can also help with above value added tasks plus much more 🙂

Source

recommended articles to read about the new Moonshot/Edgeline productline

HPE Proliant server cartridge m510 and m710x building blocks for Citrix

HPE Moonshot Reinvented

Citrix XenDesktop 7.11 and XenApp 7.11

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, Apple, Azure, Citrix, Cloud, Datacenter and Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, Director, End User Computing, FirePro, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, HTML5, iOS, Linux, Microsoft, NVENC, NVIDIA, OS X, Profile Management, Provisioning, Provisioning Services, Reciever, StoreFront, vGPU, Virtualization Ready, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, XenApp, XenDesktop

7-11-logo

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.11 and XenApp 7.11 and is now available for download.

Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release of following technologies

  • Virtual Delivery Agents 7.11 for ServerOS and ClientOS
  • AppDNA 7.11
  • Storefront 3.7
  • Provisioning Services 7.11
  • Profile Management 5.5
  • License Server 11.14
  • Citrix Receiver 15.0 for Windows
  • HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.1.1 for Microsoft Skype® for Busines
  • Citrix SCOM Management Bundle for XenApp and XenDesktop (2016_08_24)
  • Linux Virtual Delivery Agent 1.4
  • Tech preview for HTML5 redirection

This release is an important release no matter if you are working daily with Office application such as Excel, Word or Browsers and even highend applications such as CAD. The features in 7.11 have important improved user experience from the VDA to the Receiver that improves dramtically the user experience. NVIDIA NVENC technology is now part of VDA and supports even multiple monitors. The admin can now monitor RTT within Director this feature have been something I have asked for very long time and now finally its in the product, customer will love this new feature so its fast to see where the issue is in a infrastructure with which users that have latency issues. Version 7.11 is the release that fully supports Microsoft Windows Server 2016 that is soon GA, this means you can install Delivery components on Windows Server 2016, VDA on Server 2016, use Azure N-series with support for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Discrete Device Assignment (DDA) or you can use it onpremises with Hyper-V. Support for UWP is HUGE and I am very excited about this technology and this also used in Microsoft Hololens so cant wait to a Receiver for hololens so you can publish UWP apps to Hololens 😉 Imagine that. I can keep going on with all these new features lets dig in below and learn whats new, its incredible that Citrix raises the bar and comes with huge improvements and they this each 3 months 🙂 yes each 3months, you read it correct. If you dont have a plan for this in your company I highly recommend you build a strategy on how you upgrade you Citrix environment frequently to get these awesome new features.

Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, AppDNA, Apple, Citrix, Datacenter and Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, DirectX 12, End User Computing, FrameHawk, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, Intel, Linux, Linux Virtual Desktop, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OS X, Provisioning, Provisioning Services, Receiver, vGPU, Virtualization Ready, VMware, vSphere, Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, XenApp, XenDesktop

citrixxendesktopandxenapp78

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and XenApp 7.8 and is now available for download.

Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release for Storefront 3.5, Provisioning Services 7.8, Citrix Receiver 12.1.10 for Mac (OSX), License Server 11.13.1.2 for Windows, XenApp Secure Browser Deployment Kit, AppDNA 7.8, Session Recording 7.8.

This is WILD Citrix released 7.7 in 30th December 2015 with so many features and already two months after we got a major release out.. If you havent upgraded your 7.x environment 7.8 is worth a try.

HINT! – Remember first thing you do is downloading the new version of Citrix License Server 11.13.1.2 cause this is a requirement for below products to work.

Lets look at the build Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8

The product release includes the following new and enhanced features.

  • AppDisks For more information, see the AppDisks article.
  • Enhanced support for Microsoft Application Virtualization  (App-V) App-V article.
  • Applications node in Studio For more information, see the Manage applications and Create Delivery Groups articles.
  • Updated Create Delivery Group wizard and Edit Delivery Group interface  For more information, see the Create Delivery Groups and Manage applications articles.
  • Improved tag interface in Studio For more information, see the Tags article.
  • Requirements, installation, and configuration updates
  • Call Home Citrix Call Home  performs periodic collections of your system and product configuration, plus performance, error, and other information. This information is sent to Citrix Insight Services for proactive analysis and resolution For details, see the Citrix Insight Services article.
  • Citrix Insight Services link available from within Director You can access Citrix Insight Services (CIS) from the User drop-down in Director to access additional diagnostic insights. The data available in CIS comes from sources including Call Home and Citrix Scout.
  • VMware SSL thumbprint The VMware SSL thumbprint feature addresses a frequently-reported error when creating a host connection to a VMware vSphere hypervisor. Previously, administrators had to manually create a trust relationship between the Delivery Controllers in the Site and the hypervisor’s certificate before creating a connection. The VMware SSL thumbprint feature removes that manual requirement: the untrusted certificate’s thumbprint is stored on the Site database so that the hypervisor can be continuously identified as trusted by XenApp and XenDesktop, even if not by the Controllers. When creating a vSphere host connection in Studio, a dialog box allows you to view the certificate of the machine you are connecting to. You can then choose whether to trust it.

Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 7.8

Version 7.8 of the VDA for Server OS and the VDA for Desktop OS include the following enhancements:

  • App-V and Framehawk installer options. The VDA installers offer two additional items you can select on the Features page in the graphical interface or specify on the command line.

Framehawk. Opens UDP ports 3224-3324. Framehawk uses a bidirectional UDP port range (default is 3224-3324) to exchange Framehawk display channel data with Citrix Receiver. For more information, see Framehawk virtual channel.

Citrix App-V Publishing Components. Installs components required if you will use applications from Microsoft App-V packages. For more information, see App-V.

  • HDX 3D Pro product edition availability. HDX 3D Pro is now available in the VDA for Windows Desktop OS in all XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 product editions. In earlier releases, only certain product editions supported the 3D Pro VDA. HDX 3D Pro is not currently supported on Windows 10.
  • KACD .MSI file included in VDA packages. This file is included to support future customization of authentication. This file was not included with earlier releases.

HDX technologies

The following new and enhanced HDX technologies features are included in the VDAs:

  • Framehawk support for HDX 3D Pro VDI. HDX 3D Pro support for the Framehawk virtual channel is extended from XenApp to XenDesktop VDI. This gives users greater flexibility to view large CAD models while on the move on a corporate or public wireless network, or working from an offshore location over a high latency connection. For more information on Framehawk, see Framehawk virtual channel.
  • Framehawk server scalability improvements. Over 40% average reduction in memory footprint. Up to 20% increase in CPU efficiency.
  • Framehawk touch scrolling improvements. Over 50% improvement in bandwidth efficiency when scrolling via touch input. Significantly increased frame rate resulting in a smoother user experience.
  • GPU acceleration for DirectX windowed applications on Windows 10 VDAs. This release adds support for GPU acceleration for DirectX 10, 11 and 12 windowed applications on Windows 10 VDAs.
  • Thinwire Build to lossless enhancements. The Build to lossless visual quality for Thinwire has been updated to sharpen fuzzy imagery at a faster rate than delivered in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 FP3, and to improve lossy or lossless frame detection. For the main Thinwire article, see Thinwire Compatibility Mode.
  • Reduced VDA memory footprint in Thinwire. The graphics encoder processing pipeline now eliminates the use of an intermediate frame buffer when running Thinwire without video codec compression.
  • Clientname passthrough in double-hop sessions. Applications can use the updated WFAPI SDK to query the client endpoint name and pass this information from any Citrix Receiver to published desktops (XenApp/XenDesktop) and through to a XenApp application (a “double-hop”). This clientname awareness in the XenApp session means that users can seamlessly roam from location to location, and the “double-hop” application will be notified of the change in clientname without having to disconnect or reconnect the session. For more information on how to write conforming applications, see the WFAPI SDK documentation or defer to your application SI/ISV.

Session Recording 7.8

Session Recording 7.8.0 includes support for Platinum XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8.  This support includes:
  • Session recording support from a Desktop OS VDA. Record on-screen activity of a user session hosted from a Desktop OS VDA over any type of connection, subject to corporate policy and regulatory compliance.
  • Record sessions on remote PC. Support for recording sessions in Remote PC Access.
  • Delivery Group rules.
  • Keyword filtering during rule configuration.
  • Special handling for unsupported graphics modes.
  • Windows 10 support.
  • Thinwire Compatibility Mode support.

AppDNA 7.8

AppDNA 7.8 includes the following enhancements:

Provisioning 7.8

The folllowing new features are available with Provisioning Services 7.8:

Generation 2 Virtual Machines

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Generation 2 VMs can be provisioned through Provisioning Services. Generation 2 VMs are optimized for modern workloads, that is, the operating system does not carry the overhead of legacy drivers, devices and x86 architectures.

How does it work?

Virtual machine (VM) generation determines the virtual hardware and functionality available to the VM. Within a Hyper-V environment, there are two types of supported VMs: generation 1 and generation 2. Generation 2 VMs possess a simplified virtual hardware model, and support Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware rather than BIOS-based firmware.

In previous versions of Hyper-V, only Generation 1 VMs were supported. With the introduction of Windows Server 2012 R2, there are two generations of VMs to choose from when you create a VM. With Generation 2 VMs,the following functionality was introduced:

  • PXE boot by using a standard network adapter
  • Boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk
  • Boot from a SCSI virtual DVD
  • Secure boot
  • UEFI firmware support

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) enhancements

This release of Provisioning Services provides continued hardening for UEFI support. UEFI represents a standard firmware interface for PCs, and is designed to replace BIOS (basic input/output system). With these enhancements, Citirx Provisioning Services provides:

  • improved security by helping to protect the pre-boot process against bootkit attacks.
  • support for larger disk drives (greater than 2.2 terabytes).
  • support for modern, 64-bit firmware device drivers which can be used to leverage large amounts of memory during startup.
  • the capability to use BIOS with modern UEFI hardware.

StoreFront 3.5

What’s new in the StoreFront 3.5

StoreFront includes the following new features and enhancements.

Updated StoreFront management console – The StoreFront management console contains a significant number of changes, which enable:

  • Store-centric console architecture – Authentication and Citrix Receiver for Web settings are organized around stores to simplify navigation for multi-store deployment.
  • Different authentication settings for different stores.
  • Configuring delegation of authentication to XenApp or XenDesktop farms or sites.
  • Configuring multi-site high availability.
  • Configuring optimal NetScaler Gateway routing.
  • Setting a Receiver for Web site as the default site in IIS.
  • Configuring many other settings previously done with web.config.

New administration PowerShell SDK:

  • Cmdlets in the new SDK are prefixed with STF and focus on administration tasks grouped around StoreFront deployment-wide configuration, stores, authentication, and Citrix Receiver for Web.
  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 provides high-level example scripts to enable you to script and automate StoreFront deployments quickly and easily.

The existing cmdlets prefixed with DS are deprecated. They are still available and supported in StoreFront 3.5 to enable a gradual transition to the new SDK.

Configuration export and import:

You can export the entire configuration of a StoreFront deployment. You can import the exported configuration to a deployment with the same StoreFront version for restoration or replication.

Self-service password reset (SSPR):

Users can unlock their Active Directory accounts or reset their passwords using StoreFront. This requires XenApp 6.5.

Zone-based optimal gateway routing:

XenApp 7.7 and 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.7 and 7.8 support applications or desktops from different zones in a single site. You can configure a different NetScaler Gateway for HDX connections to applications or desktops from a different zone.

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) powered zone preference:

You can configure GSLB in NetScaler 11.0-65.x and above to supply zone preference information to StoreFront. Along with this feature, you can configure StoreFront to direct the startrequests to the most preferred XenApp or XenDesktop farms or sites for the user location.

Background Server Health Check:

StoreFront runs periodic health checks on each Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 broker to reduce the impact of intermittent server availability. You can control the frequency of the health check.

TLS 1.2 support

This StoreFront release supports TLS 1.2.

Source

Download Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 here and all the above medias included in the product release. (requires MyCitrix ID)

Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and Citrix XenApp 7.7

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, Datacenter and Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, Director, End User Computing, FrameHawk, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, Hyper-V, Local App, Lync, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Personal vDisk, Profile Management, Provisioning Services, Receiver, SQL, StoreFront, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

xd77

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and XenApp 7.7

My first impressions of this release is, this is the release you should update to if you are running Citrix XenDesktop 7.x, the speed improvements in the GUI is incredible, its snappy realiable and makes you work without waiting it for loading when you click around the catalogs and the delivery groups. The 7.7 release is an important release from Citrix where Citrix is now fully supporting Microsoft Azure, so you can provisioning VDI or XenApp machines on Microsoft Azure with MCS technology. Another long waited feature is “Zones” this feature will be loved by customers that have branch offices where there is a requirement to install local Citrix infrastructure components such as Studio, Director, Site database, Zones was very common used in IMA architecture and now its finally implemented in FMA, great job Citrix. These are just some of the all the new huge improvements and this is the best release of XenApp/XenDesktop. Other new product release that is included in the XenDesktop/XenApp 7.7 media is HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0, License Server 11.13.1, Profile Management 5.4, Citrix Provisioning 7.7, Citrix Receiver 4.4 is not in the iso, but you have to download this seperated, which i highly recommends.

What a great year to finish with and happy updating and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 & Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 contains following software updates and new features and enhancements, this blog post covers all whats new in the architecture and components. Citrix Provisioning 7.7 is covered in a seperated article here.

Whats new in release 7.7 FMA

This product release includes the following new and enhanced features.

  • Zones

citrix xa xd 7.7

Deployments that span widely-dispersed locations connected by a WAN can face challenges due to network latency and reliability. Configuring zones can help users in remote regions connect to local resources without forcing connections to traverse large segments of the WAN. Using zones allows effective Site management from a single Citrix Studio console, Citrix Director, and the Site database. This saves the costs of deploying, staffing, licensing, and maintaining additional Sites containing separate databases in remote locations.

Zones can be helpful in deployments of all sizes. You can use zones to keep applications and desktops closer to end users, which improves performance.

For more information, see the Zones article.

  • Improved database flow and configuration

When you configure the databases during Site creation, you can now specify separate locations for the Site, Logging, and Monitoring databases. Later, you can specify different locations for all three databases. In previous releases, all three databases were created at the same address, and you could not specify a different address for the Site database later.

You can now add more Delivery Controllers when you create a Site, as well as later. In previous releases, you could add more Controllers only after you created the Site.

For more information, see the Databases and Controllers articles.

  • Application limits

Configure application limits to help manage application use. For example, you can use application limits to manage the number of users accessing an application simultaneously. Similarly, application limits can be used to manage the number of simultaneous instances of resource-intensive applications, this can help maintain server performance and prevent deterioration in service.

For more information, see the Manage applications article.

  • Multiple notifications before machine updates or scheduled restarts

You can now choose to repeat a notification message that is sent to affected machines before the following types of actions begin:

Updating machines in a Machine Catalog using a new master image

Restarting machines in a Delivery Group according to a configured schedule

If you indicate that the first message should be sent to each affected machine 15 minutes before the update or restart begins, you can also specify that the message be repeated every five minutes until the update/restart begins.

For more information, see the Manage Machine Catalogs and Manage machines in Delivery Groups articles.

  • API support for managing session roaming

By default, sessions roam between client devices with the user. When the user launches a session and then moves to another device, the same session is used and applications are available on both devices. The applications follow, regardless of the device or whether current sessions exist. Similarly, printers and other resources assigned to the application follow.

You can now use the PowerShell SDK to tailor session roaming. This was an experimental feature in the previous release.

For more information, see the Sessions article.

  • API support for provisioning VMs from hypervisor templates

When using the PowerShell SDK to create or update a Machine Catalog, you can now select a template from other hypervisor connections. This is in addition to the currently-available choices of VM images and snapshots.

  • Support for new and additional platforms

See the System requirements article for full support information. Information about support for third-party product versions is updated periodically.

By default, SQL Server 2012 Express SP2 is installed when you install the Delivery Controller. SP1 is no longer installed.

The component installers now automatically deploy 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 runtimes, as well as 2008 and 2010 runtimes. Visual C++ 2005 is no longer deployed.

You can install Studio or VDAs for Windows Desktop OS on machines running Windows 10.

You can create connections to Microsoft Azure virtualization resources.

The product ISO no longer includes versions of the Citrix Receiver for Mac and the Citrix Receiver for Linux. You (or your users) can download and install the Citrix Receivers from the Citrix website. Alternatively, you can make those Citrix Receivers available from your StoreFront server (see the Make Citrix Receiver installation files available on the server section in the StoreFront 3.0.x documentation, or the equivalent documentation for the StoreFront version you are using).

Whats new in Citrix Director 7.7

The Citrix Director version provided with this release contains the following new and enhanced features:

  • Proactive monitoring and alerting

You can now configure proactive alerting and notifications when thresholds are reached. This enables quicker responses even when you are not viewing the monitoring console.

For more information, see Alerts and notifications.

  • SCOM integration

Deployments that use Microsoft System Center 2012 – Operations Manager to monitor deployments can now view alerts provided by the Operations Manager on the Dashboard and in other high level views in Citrix Director. For example, if connections to supported hypervisors fail, the administrator can check Citrix Director for Operations Manager alerts. After reviewing alert details in Citrix Director, the administrator can then switch to the Operations Manager console for additional troubleshooting, if needed.

For more information, see SCOM alerts.

  • Windows Authentication

Citrix Director now supports Integrated Windows Authentication. For single sign-on, a user’s Windows credentials are automatically used to access Citrix Director. This support allows users to log on to their machines using any credential provider and supporting hardware, and use that logged-on identity to access Citrix Director.

For  more information, see Use Citrix Director with Integrated Windows Authentication.

  • Desktop and Server OS usage

The Trends view now shows the usage of Desktop OS by Site and by Delivery group, and it shows the usage of Server OS by site, by Delivery group, and by Machine. This gives you a real-time view of your OS usage, enabling you to quickly assess your site’s capacity needs.

For more information, see Monitor historical trends across a Site.

  • Application limits in Citrix Director

Application limits configured in Studio are shown in existing views and counts in Citrix Director. For example, the User Connection Failures on the Dashboard will indicate when a connection attempt fails because it would exceed an application limit.

For more information, see Application limits.

What’s new in HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.0

Citrix Licensing Manager – Enables downloading and allocation of license files from the License Server on which the Citrix Licensing Manager is installed. You can specify a date range for the historical usage and export it to a CSV file.  The CSV file provides daily usage information including the number of licenses in overdraft. License Server VPX does not support the Citrix Licensing Manager.

  • Simple License Service is replaced – The Citrix Licensing Manager replaces the Simple License Service web UI.
  • Partial allocation of licenses – When using the Citrix Licensing Manager to download your licenses, you can specify how many licenses to download for a product. Previously, the Simple License Service allowed only a complete download of licenses for a product.
  • Citrix Licensing Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and Call Home support for License Server VPX  – Voluntary data collection programs in which Citrix products gather anonymous or identified configuration, performance, error, and usage data from your deployment and automatically send the data to Citrix. For more information, see “Citrix Licensing Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and Call Home” in Technical overview.
  • License Administration Console defaults to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure  – When the License Administration Console installs, it defaults to https

What’s New in Profile Management 5.4

When upgrading Profile management, the installer removes the old version along with the WMI Provider, and then installs the new version. If you perform the upgrade after separating the two components, the WMI Provider is not upgraded. In this case, install it separately to ensure the two components remain compatible with each other and your VDAs.  You must provide the standalone WMI MSI file or installer for Versions 7.5 and 7.6 of the VDA so that the correct version of the WMI Provider installs after upgrading Profile management.

If you upgrade to Profile management 5.4 on a VDA earlier than version 7.7, use profilemgt_x64/x86.msi to do so. If you upgrade on a Version 7.7 VDA, Profile management 5.4 and WMI Provider 5.4 are automatically installed (by profilemgt_x64/x86.msi and UpmVDAPlugin_x64/x86.msi).

Source

Download Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 here (Require MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix XenApp 7.7 here (Require MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix Profile Management 5.4 here

Download Citrix HDX Optimization Pack 2.0 here

Download Citrix License Server 11.13.1 here (For Windows or VPX appliance)

Download Citrix Windows Receiver 4.4 here

Recent Comments

Thomas Poppelgaard

|

Thanks Jose, I have corrected the map plus updated the map so 29 datacenters are now alive.

Jose Brenes

|

Your map of Australia is wrong. You have put the state of Victoria inside the West Australian state.

Tobias K

|

Note that on XenServer 7.1, installing VDA 7.13 also works to enable vGPUs running XenDesktop 7.11 even using the newer “NvFBCEnable.exe -enable -noreset” command. Tested with an M60 using various profiles.

Alex

|

So how come version 3.11 doesn’t work for application switching?

John

|

Hello, how to allow SR-IOV for the Intel P580 in a m710x? (unable to find any settings in BIOS)

I get the following error: Dismount-VmHostAssignableDevice : The operation failed.
The device cannot be assigned to a virtual machine as the firmware (BIOS or UEFI) on this host computer system indicates that the device must remain in
contact with the firmware running in the host. The device can only be used in the management operating system. You should contact your OEM to determ
ine if a firmware upgrade is available, or if the PCI Express device can be reconfigured to be independent of the host firmware.