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Citrix Provisioning 7.7 with Support for Windows 10

Citrix Provisioning 7.7 - Poppelgaard - blog about Remote Graphics
Citrix Provisioning 7.7 – Poppelgaard – blog about Remote Graphics

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix Provisioning 7.7 which contains a lot of new improvements including support for Microsoft Windows 10, Yeah!.

The community have also embrased PVS 7.7 and Carl Webster have updated his PVS 7.7 Documentor Script and Sacha Thomet have developed a PVS 7.7 Health Check script that is also GA same day as PVS 7.7

New features in Citrix Provisioning service – PVS 7.7

The folllowing new features are available with Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7:

  • Support for Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional editions.
  • In-place upgrade of target device software. Rather than reverse-imaging, you can install a new version of the target device software without having to manually uninstall the previous version. To do an in-place upgrade from version 7.6 to version 7.7 you must first install version 7.6.1.
  • Support for UEFI pre-boot environments. This enables you to stream at startup time using gigabit network speeds, so users experience faster startups, and to use disks over 2 TB.
  • The licensing grace period for Provisioning Services has changed from 96 hours to 30 days, for consistency with XenApp and XenDesktop.
  • The Citrix Provisioning Services API has been enhanced to provide a standard object-oriented PowerShell interface that enables you to integrate your products and tools easily with Citrix Provisioning Services.
  • vGPU-enabled XenDesktop machines can be provisioned using the  Provisioning Services XenDesktop Setup Wizard, rather than manually or by  using the Provisioning Services Streamed Virtual Machine Setup Wizard. You can provision machines on VMware vSphere 6.0 as well as on XenServer 6.2.
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager Generation 2 VMs can be provisioned through Citrix Provisioning Services. Generation 2 VMs are optimized for modern workloads: the operating system does not carry the overhead of legacy drivers, devices and x86 architectures.

Note: This feature has received limited testing, may not be present in future product releases and must not be enabled on production systems. Citrix may not respond to support requests regarding this feature.

  • FIPS support. Citrix Provisioning Services uses a new algorithm that is compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).
  • XenApp Session Recording is automatically available by default on all machines: you do not need to use a manual workaround.
  • Streaming VHDX formatted disks. This feature adds flexibility and efficiency to image and merging operations by letting you stream VHDX files as well as VHD files. Citrix Provisioning Services recognizes and uses the file format .vhdx as the extension for base disks and .avhdx for differencing disks (also known as versions). No configuration of this feature is necessary. You perform all image manipulation functions, such as deleting or merging vDisks, or creating new versions, in the Citrix Provisioning Services console the same way for both formats.

You must use the most recent version of the Citrix License server to get the latest features. When upgrading from an existing version of Provisioning Services to the newest version of Provisioning Services, the most recent version of the license server is usually available with the product software. If you do not upgrade to the latest version of the license server, the product license will enter the 30 day grace period.

Upgrading a Citrix Provisioning Services farm to 7.7

Provisioning Services supports upgrading to the latest product version from versions starting with 5.1 SP1.

Before attempting to upgrade a Citrix Provisioning Services farm:

  • Select a maintenance window that has the least amount of traffic
  • Back up the Provisioning Services database
  • Back up all vDisks
Remember: Mirror if you are in a high-availability scenario; for more information, see Database Mirroring. No special action is required during the upgrade once mirroring is set up.

To upgrade from a previous Citrix Provisioning Services farm, complete the following procedures:

  1. Upgrade the first Citrix Provisioning Server, which upgrades the Citrix Provisioning Services database.
  2. Upgrade Consoles. The Console is a separate executable that can be installed on upgraded servers (PVS_Console.exe or PVS_Console_64.exe). Citrix recommends upgrading Provisioning Services server and console software at the same time for each Provisioning Server system in the farm. Remote Consoles can be upgraded at any time.
  3. Upgrade the remaining Citrix Provisioning Servers within the farm.
  4. Upgrade vDisks.
    Caution: If you are upgrading a Provisioning Services vDisk within a XenDesktop deployment, upgrade the Provisioning Services master target device software before upgrading the XenDesktop VDA software.

Upgrade Utilities

The Upgrade Wizard includes the following utilities:

  • The UpgradeAgent.exe runs on the target device to upgrade previously installed product software.
  • The UpgradeManager.exe runs on the Citrix Provisioning Server to control the upgrade process on the target device.

Source

Download Citrix PVS 7.7 here (Require MyCitrix ID)

Download Citrix PVS 7.7 Documentor here

Download Citrix PVS 7.7 health healthcheck script here

Other PVS 7.7 Guides

Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 MCLI Programmer’s Guide

Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 SOAP Server Programmer’s Guide

Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 PowerShell with Objects Programmer’s Guide

Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 Transition to PowerShell with Objects from PowerShell (Deprecated) Programmer’s Guide

Professional Services

Citrix technology professional – 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

 

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 TP4

Windows Server 2016 -
Windows Server 2016 Released

Microsoft have released Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

I am really excited about this release cause now Microsoft RemoteFX have added support for OpenGL and OpenCL with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) previously Microsoft RemoteFX only supported DirectX.

RemoteFX technology works with GPU vendors such as NVIDIA, INTEL and AMD

 

Whats new in Windows Server 2016 TP4

What’s New in Microsoft Nano Server.  Microsoft Nano Server now supports the DNS Server and IIS server roles, as well as MPIO, VMM, SCOM, DSC push mode, DCB, Windows Server Installer, and the WMI provider for Windows Update. Its Recovery Console supports editing and repairing the network configuration. A Windows PowerShell module is now available to simplify building Microsoft Nano Server images.

  • Windows Containers: Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview now includes containers, which allow many isolated applications to run on one computer system. They build fast and are highly scalable and portable. Two different types of container runtime are included with the feature, each with a different degree of application isolation. Windows Server Containers achieve isolation through namespace and process isolation. Hyper-V Containers encapsulates each container in a light weight virtual machine. For some additional information on containers, see Containers: Docker, Windows and Trends.
  • What’s new in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server Technical Preview. Active Directory Domain Services includes improvements to help organizations secure Active Directory environments and provide better identity management experiences for both corporate and personal devices.
  • What’s New in Active Directory Federation Services. Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview includes new features that enable you to configure AD FS to authenticate users stored in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories. For more information, see Active Directory Federation Services Overview [Role/Tech Overview].
  • What’s New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Failover Clustering. A Hyper-V or Scale-out File Server failover cluster can now easily be upgraded without any downtime or need to build a new cluster with nodes that are running Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview.
  • What’s new in Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, Client Hyper-V running on Windows 10, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview.
  • Windows Defender Overview for Windows Server Technical Preview. Windows Server Antimalware is installed and enabled by default in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, but the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware is not installed. However, Windows Server Antimalware will update antimalware definitions and protect the computer without the user interface. If you need the user interface for Windows Server Antimalware, you can install it after the operating system installation by using the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
  • What’s New in Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2016. For the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, the Remote Desktop Services team focused on improvements based on customer requests. We added support for OpenGL and OpenCL applications, and added MultiPoint Services as a new role in Windows Server.
  • What’s New in File and Storage Services in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. This topic explains the new and changed functionality of Storage Services. An update in storage quality of service now enables you to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage Replica is a new feature that enables synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability..
  • What’s New in Web Application Proxy in Windows Server Technical Preview. The latest version of Web Application Proxy focuses on new features that enable publishing and preauthentication for more applications and improved user experience. Check out the full list of new features that includes preauthentication for rich client apps such as Exchange ActiveSync and wildcard domains for easier publishing of SharePoint apps.
  • What’s new in the Windows console. The underlying console host (Conhost.exe) has been updated in several ways, adding new and different functionality to the Windows command prompt, the Windows PowerShell prompt, and any other character-mode applications. For details, see What’s New in the Windows Console in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview and Console Improvements in the Windows 10 Technical Preview , but you should take note of these important changes:
    • The new console functionality is enabled by default. If an existing application doesn’t work properly with the new console, you can select Use legacy console on the Options tab and then restart your application. You can also control individual aspects of the new functionality with registry keys; see details at the linked topics.
    • Console windows can be resized dynamically with the mouse. This could cause issues with some console applications.
    • Quick Edit mode is enabled by default. If this conflicts with your application, you can disable it on the Options tab.
    • There are new keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste, and history navigation. If these conflict with your application, you can disable them on the Options tab (look for Enable CTRL key shortcuts and Extended test selection keys).
    • The default font type for new console windows is TrueType. You can still use raster fonts, but they won’t scale properly on some displays.
    • Text wraps and reflows by default when you resize a window. If necessary, you can disable this on the Layouts tab.
    • In some cases, after upgrade installation, fonts in the console window might be very small. To adjust this, use the Fonts tab.
  • What’s New in Windows PowerShell 5.0. Windows PowerShell 5.0 includes significant new features—including support for developing with classes, and new security features—that extend its use, improve its usability, and allow you to control and manage Windows-based environments more easily and comprehensively. Multiple new features in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) are also described in this topic.
  • What’s New in Networking in Windows Server Technical Preview. The majority of what you’ll find for networking is new in TP3. We bring a scalable network controller for programming policies, an L4 load balancer for high availability and performance, enhanced gateways for hybrid connectivity, and an underlying network fabric that converges RDMA traffic together with tenant traffic, DNS policies that control how your DNS servers respond to incoming requests, and better integration of DNS and IPAM.

 

Source

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn765472.aspx

Download Microsoft Windows Server 2016 TP4

Professional Services:

Citrix technology professional – 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

AutoCAD mouse pointer issues with Citrix XenApp 7.6

Citrix have released a limited hotfix for Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 and XenApp 7.6 that fixes an issue with Autodesk AutoCAD & AutoCAD Civil 3D where the  mouse pointer permanently displays as an hour glass. By applying this hotfix this fixes the issue for AutoCAD.

Source

Download the ICATS760WX64039 – For VDA Core Services 7.6 for Windows Server OS (64-bit) for Citrix XenApp 7.6 here

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

NVIDIA GRID 2.0

Nvidia grid 2.0 2x

NVIDIA GRID 2.0

NVIDIA have released the next generation of GRID 2.0. GRID 2.0 is based on the Maxwell architecture and the GRID 1.0 (K1/K2) was based on the Kepler architecture. I have been working with the GRID 1.0 technology since 2012 and it have matured alot in its 2 years of history. When the K1/K2 was released they was first working with GPU pass-through and then vGPU got introduced and you could virtualize the GPUs and increase density, which people wanted. Citrix was with their hypervisor the first company that supported NVIDIA GRID 1.0 and they was also the first company integrating vGPU into their Citrix Studio, so companies could easier provisioning machines with either MCS technology or PVS technology. VMware supported GRID 1.0 vGPU technology in 2015 in their hypervisor VMware vSphere 6.0 and fully integrated with their EUC stack VMware View, so companies can fully provisioning machines. The great thing about GRID 2.0 is that there is no need for a conversation when to choose either a K1 or a K2, if you required GPU compute or GPU framebuffer, M60 are being added to the tope end of the range  and bringing 2x the performance, and if you have bladeserver’s, you can add the powerfull vGPU technology into the bladeserver’s with the M6.

Please notice that M6 will 0nly be supporting newer architecture of vendors not old platforms.

Maxwell architecture

Maxwell architecture is the new architecture of GPUs and a powerful GPU you might know is the Titan X

New GPUs GRID 2.0 and specifications

In GRID 2.0 NVIDIA now have a GPU for blade servers a MXM single socket, High-end GPU called M6

In GRID 2.0 NVIDIA replaces K1/K2 with the new PCIe 3.0 Dual Socket, Dual High-end GPU called M60
The M60 delivers 4096 CUDA or compute and 16GB GDDR5 memory/framebuffer

The M60 has 6x the h.264 encoders of the K2, and also Maxwell supports 4:4:4 chroma sub sampling, which is great news for encoders.

maxwell_grid

Certified GRID 2.0 servers

Click the link to see which servers are certified for M60 and M6
http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-certified-servers.html

M6 have following servers supported:

m6 certifiedM60 have following servers supported:

m60 certificed

vGPU software editions and license

nvidiagrid20licensemodel

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 software is available in three editions that deliver accelerated virtual desktops to support the needs of your users. These editions include Virtual PC, Virtual Workstation, and Virtual Workstation Extended. GRID perpetual licenses are sold by Concurrent User (CCU).

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 (CCU) stands for ConCurrent User. So basically, per running VM as regardless of whether the user is connected to the VM or not, the VM is connected to the GPU and so consumes a license

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 software is much more than a “driver”. While the software package does include a guest driver for Windows and Linux, it also includes the NVIDIA GRID vGPU manager for VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer, as well as the license server and M6/M60 mode switching utility.

NVIDIA Tesla M6 and M60 profiles are specific to the M6 and M60. There will be similar profiles as to what NVIDIA had on K1 and K2 (512 MB through 4 GB), all with twice the number of users on M6/ M60 compared to K1/K2. Plus, there is an additional 8 GB profile on M6/M60 which also adds support for CUDA, which wasn’t available on K1/K2.

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 is Maxwell only. If you are an existing customer K1/K2 are unchanged and will remain as a parallel option.

nvidiagrid20licensemodel 2

 

nvidiagrid20licensemodel 3

The NVIDIA GRID 2.0 solution

nvidiagrid20

Summary

GA of NVIDIA GRID 2.0 (M60 and M6) will be 15 September 2015.

To get NVIDIA GRID 2.0 if you are a Citrix customer you need:
Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 +NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6 + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp License (XenServer is included in XD/XA licenses)

To get NVIDIA GRID 2.0 if you are a VMware customer you need:
Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 +NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6  + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + VMware Horizon license (Horizon includes vSphere for Desktop)

If you are a Citrix customer that wants to run on VMware vSphere you need:

Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 + NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6 + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp License + VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus license or vSphere for Desktop license

Source

NVIDIA GRID Test Drive

NVIDIA GRID Website

NVIDIA GRID News

NVIDIA GRID YouTube Channel

Questions? Ask on our Forums

NVIDIA GRID on LinkedIn

Follow NVIDIAGRID on Twitter

Citrix License FAQ regarding vGPU 

Vmware License FAQ regarding vGPU