Citrix Whitepaper – Operations Guide: Support and Maintenance

Citrix Worldwide Consulting Solutions have created this awesome whitepaper that i recommend you read if you are using Citrix in your organisation and want to optimize your support levels with better support methodes, tools and tier levels. This is one of the best whitepapers i have seen from Citrix Consulting and i recommend that you read the entire whitepaper and then try to build your own Operations Guide for your company where you use this whitepaper as a guide, wiki.

This whitepaper applies to XenApp, XenDesktop, Provisioning.

/Poppelgaard

Summary

When implementing Citrix environments, support and maintenance aspects for new farms often get overlooked. Effectively maintaining a Citrix environment necessitates reliable systems be in place to ensure smooth day to day operations. This document covers main duties involved in maintaining of Citrix infrastructures.

This white paper covers the following 3 sections:

  • Support – When problems arise, technical support often is the first point of contact for issue resolution.  This section addresses the proper staffing, organization,  training, and tools utilized in effective support organizations.
  • Testing and Change Control – Regular upgrades are required to ensure a farm environment is up to date. Change management processes are critical to ensure improvements are properly approved, tested, and validated by appropriate parties.  This section covers the proper processes that ensure changes in production environments are deliberate, proven, and accountable.
  • Ongoing Operations – Maintenance, issue prevention and resolution are core responsibilities in running a Citrix infrastructure. When the responsibilities and assignments are structured properly, friction is kept to a minimum, reducing issues and their resolution times. This section discusses routine operations that Citrix environments require for optimal performance.

Source

Read the full Citrix whitepaper – Operations Guide : Support and Maintenance here.

 

Optimize Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp delivery to Remote Users

Citrix have released this Performance Benchmark Report  where Citrix demonstrates how powerfull Citrix Branch Repeater is combined with XenDesktop / XenDesktop.

** Note that the results is made with Branch Repeater v. 5.7 and the current version thats out is v 6.0.5 so with latest Branch Repeater + XenDesktop 5.6 and Receiver 3.2 you should get even better results.
Enjoy /Poppelgaard

Executive Summary

Desktop virtualization has grabbed the attention of the global IT community like never before. Server and desktop virtualization let IT simultaneously offer lower costs and greater access to the employees. The Bring Your Own PC (BYOC) movement, along with technologies such as XenDesktop and XenClient provide an opportunity to use any device – even computers owned by the employee – and work on the corporate desktop from anywhere, anytime.

The convenience and cost benefits of “work-shifting”come with its own set of challenges for corporate IT—two of those being security and user-experience. A significant number of remote users access virtual services from insecure locations, such as coffee-shops, airports, hotels and homes. These internet connections often have lower speeds, higher latency, and packet loss. Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp use the HDX™ technology to ensure high definition user-experience, no matter where the user works.

HDX WAN Optimization powered by Citrix Branch Repeater and HDX SmartAccesspowered by Citrix Access Gateway are integrated into the XenDesktop solution. Using the Repeater plug-in together with the Access Gateway plug-in, mobile users enjoy accelerated, secure remoteaccess to XenDesktop and XenApp. This paper describes the enhanced experience enjoyed with this “turbocharged Citrix” environment.

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Best Practise – Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp

Citrix Consulting have released this awesome whitepaper that is a most read if you are an consultant, architect, administrator or you would like to learn how to design, implement XenApp / XenDesktop with the best practise advise from citrix consulting.

Overview

The foundation of any good XenDesktop or XenApp enterprise design should be adherence to a collection of best practices which are based upon knowledge gathered from previous enterprise deployments, lab validations, and lessons learned in the field. Such best practices are just a starting point for a design, as an organization’s specific design requirements will often necessitate deviation from the recommended path. By using the following recommendations as a starting point, the foundation of the design will be robust enough to support many different deployment scenarios.

This document consolidates and summarizes the best practices for XenApp and XenDesktop environments. As products evolve, best practices also change, which is why each best practice discussed in this document is associated with a specific product and version, which includes the
following:

  • XenDesktop 5.0, 5.5, 5.6
  • XenApp 6.0, 6.5

Additional best practices are provided for those products which provide complimentary functionality to both XenDesktop and XenApp, including:

  • Citrix Provisioning Services
  • Citrix XenServer
  • Citrix Profile Manager
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • VMware vSphere

For further guidance and more detailed information, please refer to the XenDesktop Design Handbook.
The recommendations provided within this document may not be appropriate for every environment. Therefore, all best practices within this document should be evaluated in an isolated test environment prior to being implemented in production.

Caution: Some of the best practices in this document will require you to edit the registry. Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that might require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Be sure to back up the registry before you edit it

Source

Download Best practise whitepaper on XenDesktop / XenApp here

XenApp 6.5 Enterprise Scalable XenApp Deployments

Citrix have created this great whitepaper on designing and scalability considerations for enterprise XenApp deployments.

Its a great whitepaper, one of the best whitepapers on XenApp i have read in years. So i recommend that you read it and get more skilled when you design XenApp 6.5 solutions.

Introduction

Citrix XenApp 6.5 provides advanced management and scalability, a rich multimedia experience over any network, and self-service applications with universal device support from PC to Mac to smartphone. With full support for Windows Server® 2008 R2 and seamless integration with Microsoft® App-V, XenApp 6.5 provides session and application virtualization technologies that make it easy for customers to centrally manage applications using any combination of local and hosted delivery to best fit their unique requirements.

XenApp 6.5 introduces significant enhancements that simplify application management and bring unprecedented levels of scalability to increase cost savings and datacenter efficiency. XenApp gives corporations the ability to centrally manage heterogeneous applications and deliver Software as a Service (SaaS) to their workforce.

This report documents the Citrix solution to maximize the business requirements to provide a scalable and high availability infrastructure while delivering on-demand access to applications and information for the enterprise. The requirements and associated solutions are consistent with the business needs and challenges that are common to most large scale organizations.

Conclusion of whitepaper

In an era when teams are increasingly virtual, mobile and remote workforces are on the rise, and users have moved further and further away from their data, a proven remote access strategy is a must have for any organization. XenApp 6.5 addresses remote office connectivity, application deployment, workforce mobility, and business continuity requirements to lead to a seamless, end-to-end solution for the largest most demanding business environments.

XenApp can scale to meet the most demanding and complex business environments. With core architectural improvements made to XenApp from release to release, XenApp 6.5 is the most scalable, high-performing release to date. XenApp provides the foundation for aggregating more than 1,000 servers into a farm, each hosting as many users as the server hardware will permit.

Download and read whitepaper – XenApp 6.5 Enterprise Scalable XenApp Deployments here

It might be the time to upgrade your XenApp/Presentation Server/Metaframe/Winframe farm to XenApp 6.5 =O) its the best Citrix XenApp product to this date because of scalability and high-performance. Interesting what 7.0 will give in 201x.. =O)

/Poppelgaard

Technical Guide for Upgrading/Migrating to XenApp 6.5

Introduction

On August 24th, 2011, Citrix released XenApp 6.5, which serves as a comprehensive update to the previous XenApp 6 release. In addition to improved core application virtualization functionality, this release includes enhancements to numerous Platinum Edition component features. For the purposes of this document, XenApp Platinum Edition is assumed; however, the XenApp feature set is licensed based on specific editions, as well as the Enterprise and Platinum editions of XenDesktop.

XenApp 6.5 further refines the installation and configuration process. Migrating to this new XenApp version is necessary due to architectural changes. Mixed farms and direct in-place upgrades from previous versions are not supported; however, Citrix provides the XenApp Migration Center and a PowerShell upgrade script to assist with ensuring a smooth transition. These tools allow migrating farm settings from a source farm as well as automating the XenApp 6 uninstall and XenApp 6.5 install process for member servers, respectively. The Migration Center is explained later in this document.

Some of the XenApp features, such as Web Interface, Provisioning services, and Application Streaming, can be upgraded to their respective XenApp 6.5 versions. Details of how to upgrade these components are discussed within this document.

This technical guide addresses the installation steps associated with the XenApp 6.5 Platinum feature set. Detailed information regarding planning and installation is available through Citrix eDocs (http://www.citrix.com/edocs).

To facilitate the implementation of XenApp 6.5, this document contains the following sections:

  • What’s included with XenApp 6.5?
  • Upgrade/Migration Steps

Upgrade versus Migration

Within this document, there is a distinction between the terms upgrade and migration as defined below:

  • Upgrade: Installing a newer version of a feature or release item over an existing version.
  • Migration: A clean, new installation of that feature or release item

Migrations are typically preferred from a technical standpoint to avoid potential software conflicts.

This document discusses each of the new features and the associated installation steps; however, in all cases, active Subscription Advantage as of July 27, 2011, is required.

XenApp Feature Set by Edition

XenApp features can only be implemented based on availability by edition. XenApp is offered in four editions and feature set entitlement is based on the specific edition licensed. This document discusses new and updated items incorporated into the Platinum feature set. For more information regarding the complete feature set, please see the XenApp Features by Edition matrix at http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=2300381. Note that this matrix is always based on the latest version of XenApp.

In addition, XenApp is included with the Enterprise and Platinum Editions of XenDesktop. For example, an organization licensed for the XenDesktop Enterprise or Platinum Edition may choose to present applications hosted on XenApp through XenDesktop virtual desktops. For more information regarding the XenDesktop feature set, please see the XenDesktop Features by Edition matrix at http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=2300383. Note that this matrix is always based on the latest version of XenDesktop.

Which Features Should be Implemented?

Because there are numerous new features and related components that have been released as part of or in conjunction with XenApp 6.5, administrators and architects should review the functionality of each one in order to determine which ones to implement.

To assist you with learning about XenApp 6.5 and the new feature set, Citrix offers evaluation options that can be accessed free of charge from http://www.citrix.com/tryxenapp:

  • A pre-configured virtual machine to evaluate XenApp in your own data center
  • Download software and evaluation licenses to create your own XenApp environment

Once the appropriate features have been identified, use the steps or references from this guide to implement them. It’s that easy!

 

Download Technical Guide for Upgrading/Migrating to XenApp 6.5 here