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

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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)

HPE Discover London 2015

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Augmented Reality, Citrix, Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, End User Computing, Envy, Events, FrameHawk, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, HPE, HPE Discover, M710P, Moonshot, NVIDIA, Oculus Rift, Provisioning Services, Quadro, Sprout, Tesla, Virtual Reality, VMware, XenDesktop, XenServer

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Last year I was invited by HPE to go to their EMEA event HPE Discover in London, which took place the first week of December. I was invited there as part of their Hewlett Packard Enterprise Independent Influencer Program, and I was super proud of being part of this well organized program, which Kristen Reyes manages. HUGE kudos to Kristen Reyes and her team for putting together one of the most organized events I have ever attended as a blogger. Last time I attended HPE Discover was some years ago at their big US HPE Discover which took place at Las Vegas. I remember it was HUGE with lots of people – an epic experience that my previously employer, Arrow ECS managed the trip for. I had pretty high expectations going to the HPE Discover and I knew it was going to be good, but not as good as it REALLY was.

HPE Independent Influencer Program:

I am proud of being part of this program – let me tell you which profiles are part of the program including myself.

The team behind HPE took care of us from the time I flew all the way from Denmark to London. They made sure we got the right hotel and then once at the venue, we got a special VIP room where we got introduce each other. Team had a plan for what happend exclusively for the group. This reminds me of the Citrix CTP program I am humble to be part of where we also meet 2 times a year and are taken especially care of.

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If you want to read more about the individuals tech bloggers, that are in the program, click here.

I highly recommend you follow above persons, as they are awesome people. This is the first time I have been with such a wide  range of technology bloggers in my life and it was a huge difference – so thank you to HPE for daring to put so many different profiles together.

 

Let’s talk about HPE Discover in London 2015

There was 13.000 attendees. YES! That is INSANE and it felt like being in United States but I was in London. London can also have huge venues and they succeeded with cherry top on the beautiful cake. Yes HPE pulled it off! Please other big vendors – start making EMEA events because London is a perfect spot for this! Citrix, VMware, Microsoft… EMEA salutes you..

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I was in for a surprise the first day of the keynote when Meg Whitman kicked off HPE Discover, and Satya Nadella Microsoft CEO talked even thought it was via a conf call (but still pretty cool) and Microsoft showed the flag. I would have loved if Satya could have come in person since that would have been my first time seeing Mr. Nadella in person.

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After a great keynotes learning about where HPE is taking the company, it was time to walk around the expo to see what innovative technologies were hidden and what others I was allowed to blog about.

Next gen consumer products for engineers & designers

HP ENVY 34

HP envy 4k IMG_5222

This device is so beautiful the brand new HP Envy 34, its the widest screen I have ever seen on a professional computer and its powered by Intel HD530 GPU and NVIDIA GTX 960A GPU. The speakers are B&O (Danish design brand).

Price for this device is approx 1700 USD – that’s pretty cheap for an All-in-one machine.

Another beautiful Augmented Reality device I tried was the HP Sprout. This device makes it possible to quickly edit 3D models in real time by taking objects from reality and scanning them directly in to the device. Then you can manipulate with the object and then print it out on a 3Dprinter. This process increases  the speed of making a design. Right now, the device is only available for consumers but we might see that change soon for enterprises since the unit was displayed at the HPE Discover 🙂  – so watch out for this space. I also saw AMD had setup several Oculus Rift DK2 units running some great demos. Great to see that VR was at HPE Discover.

HP sprout HPdiscoverLondon2015-VR

Deep Learning & The Machine

IMG_5231  the machine

I meet many of the brains behind the Deep Learning “things” HPE are doing, and its VERY impressive where they are, and how HPE differs to their competitors. I can’t talk much about it now – and will leave it up to how things are evolving later this year – and then blog more about it when the information is available to the public. But if you are fascinated by the future and AI / Deep learning you should look at what HPE is doing with the concept, “The Machine”. If you look at what they are trying to accomplish and put the puzzle together yourself, you might see for yourself how HPE will make a difference in how next generation datacenters will be built – that’s a fact.

Learn more about the HPE “The Machine” here

Citrix Octoblu & HPE – The Cube
(The ultimate iOT automated conference room)

The Cube

HPE Smart Digital Collaboration Space (1107), a.k.a. “The Cube.” . That was the name of this cool concept.

This was mind-blowing – and one of the most innovative things I saw at HPE Discover with IoT using Citrix Octoblu.

HPE, together with Aruba and Octoblu have teamed together to create a beautiful workflow that automates a conference room with iOT.

All visitors could try this at the event. HPE allowed 3-4 people to enter the cube as a group. We were asked our name and then were given an iPhone to bring into “The Cube”. The system then welcomed use by name and the room went from “green” to “red” (which was Philips Hue that did this), so the people outside could clearly see that the room was occupied and a meeting was taking place. An HP tablet on the door outside also showed the room was occupied and listed the attendees by name. Inside, the HP surface PCs connected to Skype for Business, Samsung TV started and a business session went live. At the end,  “The Cube” took a selfie and put on twitter and sent the photo to our emails and after we left the room. Upon exiting, it reset all the workflows and the room was lit green again – ready for next group. Amazing 🙂

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Below is the workflow that was created in Octoblu

Octoblue Workflow HPE

Try out octoblu here if you havent tried it yet. Its still beta and “FREE” https://octoblu.com/

Read the official blog post from Citrix about the solution

 

HPE & NVIDIA GRID offerings

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It was great to see all the new NVIDIA GRID 2.0 solutions. Two gentlemen proudly showed the HPE ProLiant WS460C Gen9 that now supports NVIDIA Tesla M60 and NVIDIA Tesla M6. This means higher density and more performance. So great to see that HPE is a pioneer, offering the entire solution from NVIDIA. There is soon NVIDIA GTC – and I expect we will see some data on customers running on HPE solution with M60/M6 and we get some data on how many users can run on these new offerings. It’s actually my first time seeing on-hands the M6 GPU from NVIDIA and it looks beautiful and green. These GPUs are made for low end GPU workloads all the way up to high end GPU workloads. The performance of the M60 is 2x the performance compared to K2 (GRID 1.0)

Please keep in mind that NVIDIA has changed GRID 2.0 so when you buy the GPUs, you also have to buy a “software” license.
Your NPN (NVIDIA preferred partner) should be able to help you with providing you the correct information. This license is required both for Pass-through and vGPU of the M60 and M6.

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Moonshot and beyond

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HPE Moonshot has been a subject I have been following for a while now. It all started when one of my great friends (and fellow CTP) Dane Young talked about HP Moonshot and why it differs to the market. HPE liked Young’s view – and his face is now on the wall at the Houston research facility. So if you are a client or a partner, you might know Dane Young – or you will if you are in Houston to see what HPE is doing with HPE Moonshot.

Citrix had a booth at the HPE Discover and they showed how Citrix is working and offered on a HPE Moonshot stack.

The HPE Moonshot team had several sessions talking about the next generation “trader workstation” which opens my eyes on how users use a computer. Traders are actually some of the most “difficult” users to satisfy – and they have a very short lifetime as an employee because its so hard what they do is so stressful. The amount of monitors and amount of data they look at is shocking and the high availability for this is nothing like you have never seen before. If these people cant work, the moneyflow stops moving – something you don’t want in the financial world. Designers are one thing, but I would definitely call traders the most difficult users. So what´s so amazing about the HPE Moonshot offering? HPE has a new catridge called the M710P, which was released in the Summer 2015. It has a high amount of CPU/GPU (or as others call it APU which is a CPU/GPU processor in 1 unit). Lots of memory and high speed disks. This is all build in a super small server which we call a cartridge. This cartridge can be put in a system and an OS can be installed and now you can have many users connecting to the catridge and using multiple sessions from Microsoft Remote Desktop Services combine this with Citrix super power “XenApp” and you now have an amazing flagship for having high amount of users with low cost. Nothing is virtualized and everything is running on bare metal. The beauty about the moonshot is that in 1 chassis you can put in 45 catridges of the M710P.

Moonshot cartridge building blocks for Citrix workloads

These are the offering that HPE have with Moonshot and Citrix and you can build amazing workloads. Personally, I would look at the M710p because I think this is the cartridge that is mature for the workload. I normally design Citrix solutions with.. wait are you talking about GPU? Yes I am..

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If you remember some time ago, Brian Madden, said “Imagine if you could put 20.000 users in a single rack? Let’s see what has happended since then. Things have evolved – and with the new cartridge M710p, its much more powerful than the first cartridges that were built for Citrix

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Citrix is using Moonshot internally

At HPE Discover, Citrix had a session with Bob Thompson from Citrix and together with the HPE Moonshot team EMEA telling how Citrix is using HPE Moonshot.

I had never heard about Citrix is using it at this scale – and big surprise their demo cloud is also running on Moonshot.

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Insights what Citrix IT are doing with HPE Moonshot

  • “Citrix on Citrix” – team responsible for deploying Citrix products internally
  • Upgrading to latest version of XenApp
  • Seamless app access from Windows 10 devices
  • Superior user experience
  • Improved security (e.g. both FIPS Compliant and Common Criteria certified)
  • Migrating to Moonshot (m710) for XenApp from HP Blades
  • Designed and optimized for XenApp
  • Less: power consumption, space and cabling
  • 8,500 sessions, across the globe in (4) data centers

“WOW so why arent more people using Moonshot, if this is so good and Citrix is doing this, it is mature”.

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M710P & Citrix – Next gen trader workstation

I am very impressed about this new machine and HPE is having HUGE success with this machine for the financial buisness. In fact, some of the biggest banks in the world are running on this. Surprised ? IT’S TRUE

Let’s look at the details of what it is.

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Here is a typical trader running with 4 monitors connecting to 1 catridge M710p and only 47% of the GPU is utilized. AMAZING!

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M710P catridge – hardware specifications

m710p front m710p back

WORKLOADsVideo transcoding , Application Delivery
CPU+GPUIntel Xeon E3-1284Lv4 with on-die GPU (GT3e: Iris Pro P6300)

4 core, 8 thread, 2.9 GHz (3.8GHz Turbo), GPU, 128MB DRAM

MEMORY32GiB of ECC-protected memory, dual-memory channels

4 x 8GB LV SO-DIMMs at 1600MT/s

NETWORKIntegrated NIC: dual port 10GbE Mellanox CX3 PRO

Supported Switch(s): 45 port 10GbE Downlinks, 4 x 40GbE QSFP uplinks

STORAGELocal SSD boot and data: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB or 960GB

m.2 (2280) form factor

POWERCartridge: 83W peak, 50W typical
OSUbuntu 15.05 w/KVM, RHEL 6.5,7.0 w/KVM, SLES 11.4/12,

Windows Server 2012 R2, 2008R2, CentOS 6.7, 7.2

What you get in a 4.5U chassis?

  • 1.44TB RAM
  • 90 10Gb NICs (internal)
  • 8 x 40Gb QSFP+ uplinks (320Gb/s total bandwidth)
  • 2 independent L2/3 switches with 450Gb throughput
  • 45 GPUs
  • 45 CPUs
  • 180 Cores (360 with HyperThreading)
  • 5.4TB, 10.8Tb, 21.6TB or 43TB iSSD Storage
  • 1800 users (conservative @ 40 per server)

Moonshot – what can you get in a rack

  • 10 x 4.3U Chassis
  • 14.4TB RAM
  • 20 independent L2/3 switches with 4.5Tb throughput
  • 450 GPUs
  • 450 CPUs
  • 1180 Cores (3600 with HyperThreading)
  • 54TB – 430TB iSSD Storage
  • 18,000 XenApp users (@40 users per server)

I hope the above gives you a pretty good idea on where Moonshot is going – and this is just for Citrix. HPE Moonshot is much more though -it’s a huge eco system build for enterprises and cloud providers, so check it out https://www.hpe.com/us/en/servers/moonshot.html

More informations about HPE Moonshot M710p – The Trader Workstation:

Bringing the Benefits of a Hosted Desktop Solution to Traders

Where can I try this

Book at demo and try HP Moonshot M700/M710/M710p here –  http://discoverylab-hpe.com/book-a-demo/

 

Summary

HPE Discover 2015 blew my mind – and it looks like we are going to have an amazing year in 2016.

I would like to say thank you to Kristen Reyes from HPE for making this happen. Each time I didn’t know what to do, she and her team took great care of me and made sure I meet the correct people at HPE – and there was always “open doors” (which isn’t always the case when techies sees a guy with a “blogger” sign around his neck).

Kristen Reyes

 

DEVELOP3D LIVE, Warwick, 31March 2016

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, Augmented Reality, Autodesk, Azure, Citrix, Datacenter and Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, DEVELOP3DLive, DirectX 12, End User Computing, Events, FrameHawk, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, HP, Hyper-V, Intel, Leap Motion, Linux, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oculus Rift, Quadro, RemoteFX, vGPU, Virtual Reality, VMware, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2016, XenApp, XenDesktop

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Hi all, if you are looking for an event that is all about CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, Rendering, 3D technologies, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 3D printing then is FREE!! then DEVELOP3D LIVE is the event to  join. Rachel Berry opened my eyes going there last year 2015 and she made me come all the way from Denmark to Warwick and it was worth the long trip 🙂 If you are looking for travel advice Hotels and such I recommend you read Rachel Berry blogpost, I use myself Kayak.com 🙂 that always saves my life when i am traveling around the world and if you want it cheap use Airbnb.com.

My things learned from DEVELOP3D LIVE 2015

I went there and had high expectations and I was in for a surprise. It was all about above and much more  I saw for the first time Carl Bass the CEO of Autodesk, Gian Paolo Bassi the CEO of SolidWorks, Jon Hirschtick the CEO of Onshore and the founder of SolidWorks, Nikola Bozinovic the Founder and CEO of FRAME, and many many more.

I got my hands on the HP Zvr for the second time, I saw the unit for the first time at NVIDIA GTC in 2013 and HP have acquired the company. I also saw another favorite Augmented Device the HP Sprout, which is an amazing unit. 3Dconnexion was off course also there so all my favorite CAD peripherals and next gen tools.

Below is the picture of Carl Bass CEO of Autodesk talking at DEVELOP3D LIVE last year and Rachel Berry trying Fra.me solution

Carl Bass CEO AutodeskRachel Berry trying out Fra.me

Meet the Speakers of DEVELOP3D LIVE 2016

I am looking very much forward meeting a good friend of mine Adam Jull from IMSCAD Global.
Adam and his team have been early adapters of HDX 3D Pro like myself, so its great to see a pioneer talking at Develop3DLive.

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d3dlivespeakers

I am also looking very much forward meeting the NVIDIA team + my favorite CAD genius Rachel Berry and also see if AMD have something interesting to show like the Multiuser gpu if its ready for that time.

 

Get your ticket for free here for joining the awesome CAD event in beautiful Warwick. If you never been to UK well this is your reason to go, learn from the best and brightest people on CAD and see the beautiful country side of England. Two awesome things.

Citrix XenServer (next release) Tech Preview 2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, Intel, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Citrix have release Tech Preview 2 of Citrix XenServer (next release). Great news for customers, partners, cloud providers using Citrix XenServer. The XenServer team have improved again the Dom0 and made the hypervisor even faster, this will be interesting to see if XenServer will be faster than the competitor VMware vSphere. Intel GPU virtualisation is now part of the hypervisor and again Citrix is leading the GPU virtualisation space as nr 1 compared to Microsoft and VMware. If you have a server with Intel Iris Pro graphics on Broadwell and Haswell processors equipped with the C226 chipset you can now virtualise the GPU to a VDI/XenApp. Software thin provisioning for SAN is now available in this release so XenServer better can utilise storage and not consume lots of space with “block based” as previously releases, a lot of customers is going to love this feature + a lot of new awesome features…

Important information before testing this release.

Known Issues and Advisories in this Tech Preview 

 NVIDIA vGPU cannot be used in conjunction with this Tech Preview. GPU Pass Through is supported. So if you have NVIDIA GRID vGPU running in your environment and you upgrade with this technical preview, I advise you not to do this.

Why Citrix XenServer Tech Preview 2

As a core component of the Citrix portfolio of products, Citrix continually strive to ensure that XenServer remains the best possible platform for hosting Citrix solutions, and for fulfilling the needs of server virtualization and Cloud customers.

This Technical Preview 2 offers enhanced features and functionality for application, desktop and server virtualization use cases. In addition to improved support for large-scale Microsoft Active Directory infrastructures and enhancements to XenServer control domain responsiveness, the Tech Preview includes:

  • Improved heterogeneous pool support
  • Support for software-boot-from-iSCSI for Cisco UCS
  • Support for hardware-accelerated graphics processing
  • Enhanced block and file based storage features
  • Increased scalability

Terms of access and use

  • The Tech Preview 2 is only available to existing customers, and requires a Tech Preview license key. The license key is available from this page and needs to be installed on a Citrix License Server.
  • This preview is intended only for existing Citrix XenServer, XenApp or XenDesktop customers.
  • The previewed features and enhancements are being considered for inclusion in future versions of XenServer.  They have not yet been fully integrated or productized, and there may be debugging code in place.
  • This is not a fully featured release, is not intended for use in any environment other than test or development, and should not be used for production workloads. Citrix does not guarantee that any preview features or functionality described here or within the downloadable product will be made available in a future releases.

Providing feedback and reporting bugs

To help us produce the best quality product and improve future releases, please report any issues you encounter at https://tracker.citrix.com/projects/XSB/

Whats next in Tech Preview 2

Simplified Heterogeneous Pool Support 

Enables new hosts to be added to existing resource pools, irrespective of the underlying CPU type (as long as the CPU is from the same vendor family).

VMs can now freely migrate within and across pools, irrespective of the particular CPU features the VM may be using.

These enhanced agilities are delivered without recourse to any command line expressions and do not require any hosts to be rebooted. Page 2 Copyright © 2016 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix XenServer Tech Preview TP2: Release Notes v2.0 January 2016

Software-boot-from-iSCSI for Cisco UCS 

 Enables XenServer to boot from SAN via iSCSI, complimenting existing FC boot capabilities.

 XenServer can be installed to, booted from, and run from a LUN provided by an iSCSI target, which is specified in the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT).

 Helps reduce infrastructure costs by removing the need for expensive Fibre Channel HBAs.

To use this feature, see Enabling Software-boot-from-iSCSI later in this document.

Intel GVT-g virtual GPU for Windows 

We continue to collaborate with our partners, in driving innovation in the virtualized-graphics domain. Within this Tech Preview, we showcase Intel’s virtual GPU; a graphics acceleration solution that requires no additional hardware:

 Uses the Intel Iris Pro functionality on Broadwell and Haswell processors equipped with the C226 chipset

 Utilizes a standard Intel GPU driver, installed within the VM

 Experience the benefit; simply RDP into a Windows 10 or a Windows 8.1 VM and run a graphically demanding application

Software Thin Provisioning for SAN 

With thin provisioning, a small amount of space is allocated initially to VDIs, which grows on demand, leading to far more efficient utilization of storage space. This will enable a significant reduction in the cost of ownership for the storage component of a SAN-based (LVMoiSCSI and LVMoHBA) XenServer environment.

This contrasts with previous versions of XenServer which only supported fully provisioned storage for block storage.

Support for SMB Storage 

XenServer is now able to use SMB1 storage as an SR type.

1 SMB is sometimes referred to as CIFS.

2 Press F10 when the installer boots to enable boot-from-SAN and to configure Open-FCoE settings.

Customers with existing SMB storage (ubiquitous in many Microsoft environments) can now utilize SMB as their XenServer SR, and therefore may need no additional storage for their XenServer environment, enabling significant potential cost savings.

Support for Offline Storage Migration 

Enables storage migrations to be undertaken with the VM in a stopped or suspended state. Currently customers are only able to migrate the storage of a VM, if the VM is actually running.

Support for NFSv4 

Adds support for the current version of the NFS standard and complements the existing NFSv3 support, delivering additional performance improvements.

Support for Open-FCoE 

Supports software FCoE, which can be configured easily using the XenServer installation program. Software-based FCoE delivers the same benefits as hardware-based FCoE. It alleviates the need for using expensive HBAs, but does so using less-expensive network adapters, in an entirely software-defined manner.

This Tech Preview also supports boot-from-SAN from Open-FCoE and includes an updated installer2 to assist with the configuration of Open-FCoE.

Improved Performance & Scale 

We continue to deliver ever greater performance and scale, enabling customers to realize economies of scale and processing efficiencies.

Increased Host Memory 

Support for up to 5 TB of system memory, accommodating even the largest workloads.

Support for up to 1.5 TB of Memory per VM 

For memory-hungry VMs3, such as those running databases, we now support up to 1.5 TB of memory.

Improved Dom0 Responsiveness 

The responsiveness of Dom0 has been significantly improved when subjected to heavy VM load.

Support for 256 CPUs 

Support for up to 256 physical CPUs, accommodating even the most powerful servers.

Increased number of VBDs 

Maximum number of VBDs per VM has increased to 255

Increased number of VBDs 

Maximum number of VBDs per host has increased to 4096

Enhanced Active Directory Support 

Delivering improvements for customers with large numbers of objects within their Active Directory, including improved login times.

Increased Size of Dom0 Disk Partitions 

By moving log files to a larger, separate partition, we enable more detailed logs to be held, over a longer period of time, improving the ability to diagnose issues. Simultaneously, this alleviates demands on Dom0’s root disk, which can sometimes lead to out of space issues, due to log file disk space consumption.

Single-threaded Storage IO 

Customers should notice significant improvements when using high performance/low latency storage.

Networking and Storage IO 

Higher throughput for Networking and Storage IO in aggregate usage scenarios.

Support for New Guests 

Introduction of the following new guests:

 SLED 11.3

 SLED 12

 Debian Jessie 8.0

Platform Improvements 

This Tech Preview also incorporates the following platform improvements:

 Latest Xen hypervisor v4.6

 Dom0 now uses Centos v7.1 for user space

 Support for booting hosts using UEFI, anticipating the eventual retirement of BIOS configured servers

XenCenter Improvements 

Customers are now able to initiate SSH console sessions direct from XenCenter.

Citrix Health Check 

Customers are now able to automate the process of uploading Server Status Reports to Citrix Insight Services and receive notifications in XenCenter, regarding the health of their systems, based on CIS-generated reports.

Source

Download Tech Preview 2 here

Poppelgaard 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

thomas poppelgaard CTP & MVP

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

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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

Server 2016 Support

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Wonderful website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

Server 2016 Support

Thomas Poppelgaard

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

Jose Brenes

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

Tobias K

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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

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