Tag: citrix

Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 / 2017 critical hotfix for Citrix customers using NVIDIA or INTEL GPUs

Earlier this year I have seen several customers having issues with AutoCAD in Citrix not defaulting to the primary display adapter, so the GPU wouldn be fully functioning and Autodesk AutoCAD 2016/2017 would turn off hardware acceleration. This issue have been seen on NVIDIA Gpus such as GRID, NVIDIA also have a official KB on this http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4092/ and issue is also seen with INTEL gpu such as Iris Pro Graphics more specific on solutions with HPE Moonshot 710p and 710x.

Issue is identified on both Citrix XenApp 7.x (Windows Server OSs) and Citrix XenDesktop 7.x (Workstation OSs)

“The primary display adapter is not shown as the default in a Citrix environment.”

autocad_issue

I am happy to share that Autodesk have finally fixed this “bug” with Citrix and now the GPUs will work correctly with Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 and Autodesk AutoCAD 2017 when you apply below hot fix for the product you have.

Accumulated hotfix 4 for AutoCAD 2016 based applies to:

This hotfix for citrix applies to the following releases with the AutoCAD 2016 Service Pack 1 already installed:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Mechanical 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD MEP 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD P&ID 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Plant 3D 2016
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design 2016

Issues Resolved by This Hotfix for citrix

  • There is a security vulnerability with ATIL image files within a drawing.
  • The primary display adapter is not shown as the default in a Citrix environment.
  • Opening an Excel hyperlink resizes the AutoCAD application window to match the Excel sheet size.
  • Locked objects can be edited by Matchprop command.
  • Publish borders are cut off with certain sheet sizes.
  • Background masks are not ignoring the Xrefoverride setting.
  • Can crash when panning transparently in multiple viewports.
  • Performance problem opening files containing specific objects in AutoCAD 2016 may appear as if files cannot be opened.
  • Use of the LISP (command) function within the (mapcar) function results in VVC Internal Error.
  • Grip stretch doesn’t work correctly when DYNMODE equals value other than 2 or 3.
  • acedCallBackOnCancel is not detected for Lispcallable Functions.
  • Certain VBA Macros throw an execution error.
  • DWG file fails to insert into another DWG file.
  • Can crash when Copy/Paste a block by Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.
  • Can crash when opening AutoCAD in Windows 10.
  • AcSettingSync.exe launched when running OPTIONS command.
  • Annotations in Architectural units format are changing to Decimal format.

Accumulated hotfix 4 for AutoCAD LT 2016 applies to:

this hotfix for citrix applies to the following release:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2016 with the AutoCAD LT Service Pack 1 already installed

Issues Resolved by This Hotfix for citrix

  • There is a security vulnerability with ATIL image files within a drawing.
  • The primary display adapter is not shown as the default in a Citrix environment.
  • Opening an Excel hyperlink resizes the AutoCAD LT application window to match the Excel sheet size.
  • Locked objects can be edited by Matchprop command.
  • Publish borders are cut off with certain sheet sizes.
  • Background masks are not ignoring the Xrefoverride setting.
  • May crash when panning transparently in multiple viewports.
  • Performance problem opening files containing specific objects in AutoCAD LT 2016 may appear as if files cannot be opened.
  • Grip stretch doesn’t work correctly when DYNMODE equals value other than 2 or 3.
  • DWG file fails to insert into another DWG file.
  • Can crash when Copy/Paste a block by Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.
  • Can crash when opening AutoCAD LT in Windows 10.
  • AcSettingSync.exe launched when running OPTIONS command.
  • Annotations in Architectural units format are changing to Decimal format.

Apply this Service Pack to the following Autodesk products running on all supported operating systems and languages. Be sure to install the correct Service Pack.

This Service Pack can be applied to AutoCAD 2017 installed as a standalone application, AutoCAD-based Vertical products, and the Autodesk Design Suites listed below.

AutoCAD and Verticals Products:

  • AutoCAD 2017
  • AutoCAD LT 2017
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2017
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2017
  • AutoCAD Map 3D 2017
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2017
  • AutoCAD MEP 2017
  • AutoCAD P&ID 2017
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D 2017
  • AutoCAD Utility Design 2017

Autodesk Design Suites:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite 2017
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Revit LT Suite 2017
  • Autodesk AutoCAD with Advance Steel 2017
  • Autodesk Building Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk Product Design Suite 2017
  • Autodesk Revit Collaboration Suite 2017

Display

 

Open and Save

  • Opening a drawing file using an Excel hyperlink was repositioning the AutoCAD application window.

PDF Import

  • Importing a PDF Underlay that was attached with relative path could fail.

Xref

  • The Xref status incorrectly displays the “Needs reloading” message when the dataset is opened from a UNC path to a shared folder.

General

  • When opening drawings created with AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD might crash if the drawing was saved again.
  • Plotting with certain visual styles might produce incorrect results.
  • Migrating custom settings might fail.

 

Source

Download the Autodesk AutoCAD 2017 Service Pack 1 here

Download Accumulated hotfix 4 for AutoCAD 2016 based products here

Download Accumulated hot fix 4 for AutoCAD 2016 here

NVIDIA GRID – AppGuide (REVIT)

Hi All.

I want to share this with you all, Luke Wignall and his team from NVIDIA have created some great AppGuides, that helps with understanding how many users can you put on a NVIDIA GRID system with either K1/K2 in a VMware environment. These guides are made together with vendors such as Autodesk. The guides focus on following apps Autodesk Revit.

In this blogpost my goal is to highlight the great work NVIDIA have done creating the scalability app guides and these guides helps you if you want to virtualize Autodesk Revit with NVIDIA GRID and VMware Horizon. The guides are great – cause they give an idea what you would require in a virtualized environment and these can be reused for other virtualized platforms such as Citrix and Microsoft – keep in mind that results might be different. If you would like to get more informations about how the setup is configured and which methodology i recommend you read the AppGuide, you can download it in under source in the end of this article.

The appguides gives a great idea to understand the impact of CPU and how the GPU are giving value.

Autodesk-Logo-2013

revit2015

About Autodesk Revit 2015

Autodesk Revit is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software with features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction.  Revit requires a GPU as you rotate, zoom, and interact with drawings. It also creates heavy CPU load as it manages all the elements of a drawing via a database, which means we need high performance storage as well.  The heaviest Revit CPU usage occurs during data-rich operations like file open/save and model updates. As a result both CPU and GPU need to be considered in architecting your vGPU solution.  The size of your drawing file, the concurrency of your users, and the level of interaction with 3D data need to be factored into defining your user groups.

Results Appguide for Autodesk Revit 2015

autodesk-nvidia-vmware

The following are results of our testing, looking for the greatest scalability while still within performance expectations.  Its important to note that your users, your data, and your hardware, will impact these results and you may decide a different level of performance or scalability is required to meet your individual business needs. As the RFO Benchmark does not currently exercise some of Revit’s newest GPU capabilities, and was built to push the limits of dedicated hardware versus the shared resources of VDI, the decision was made to stop testing once the host’s CPU was approaching 100% utilized and test times had climbed past twice what we were finding on the a single physical workstation with dedicated resources.  We then met with the Autodesk Revit team, discussed the results, reviewed the tests in action, and determined with eyes on that this was still within what a typical user would deem acceptable and usable. It’s been well documented that storage performance is key to providing high performance graphics workloads, especially with many users and ever-growing file or model sizes.

FYI – Lower scores are better, representing less time to perform the activity in below tables.

results with Intel Ivy Bridge processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K220Q GPU Profile)

revit2015_01

results with Intel Ivy Bridge processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K240Q GPU profile)

revit2015_03

results with Haswell processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K240Q GPU profile)

revit2015_04

Here are the results when we push for more scalability, bringing the maximum number of VDI guests to 20 and 24.  We have added a 15 second staggered start to emulate synthetic human behavior.

revit2015_05

Revit 2015 users per server

Based on our findings, NVIDIA GRID provides the following performance and scalability metrics for Autodesk Revit 2015; using the lab equipment shown below, using the RFO benchmark, and in working with Autodesk and their emphasis on usability.  Of course, your usage will depend on your models but this is guidance to help guide your implementation.
revit2015-users-pr-server

 

Source

Download the NVIDIA GRID vGPU APPLICATION GUIDE FOR AUTODESK REVIT 2015 ON VMWARE HORIZON here

 

NVIDIA GRID – AppGuide (ArcGIS Pro)

Hi All.

I want to share this with you all, Luke Wignall and his team from NVIDIA have created some great AppGuides, that helps with understanding how many users can you put on a NVIDIA GRID system with a K2 in a VMware environment. These guides are made together with vendors such as ESRI. The guides focus on following apps ESRI ArcGIS Pro.

In this blogpost my goal is to highlight the great work NVIDIA have done creating the scalability app guides and these guides helps you if you want to virtualize ESRI Pro with NVIDIA GRID and VMware Horizon. The guides are great – cause they give an idea what you would require in a virtualized environment and these can be reused for other virtualized platforms such as Citrix and Microsoft – keep in mind that results might be different. If you would like to get more informations about how the setup is configured and which methodology i recommend you read the AppGuide, you can download it in under source in the end of this article.

The appguides gives a great idea to understand the impact of CPU and how the GPU are giving value.

esri

arcgis

About ESRI ArcGIS Pro

ESRI ArcGIS Pro 1.0 is a  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application for mapping, visualizing, editing, and analyzing spatial data.  Esri recommends a GPU for best end user experience, but as ArcGIS Pro 1.0 also generates heavy CPU load, this also needs to be considered in architecting your vGPU solution.  The size of your map data, the concurrency of your users, and the level of interaction with 3D data all need to be considered when defining your user groups.

Results NVIDIA Appguide for ESRI ArcGis Pro

esri-nvidia-vmware

The following are the full results of our testing.  The baseline was the 45 second draw time sum – anything greater than that value represented a worsening UX while less would be a better UX.  Looking for both performance and scalability, we tested looking for the greatest number of virtual desktops, and therefore the greatest scalability, while still within performance expectations and the threshold of 45 seconds.  It’s important to note that your users, your data, and your hardware will impact these results and you may decide a different level of performance or scalability is required to meet your individual business needs.   Tests were also run to look for potential NUMA issues that can negatively impact performance.  This is where the physical GPU and its PCI-e channels are tied to one physical CPU, while the virtual desktop is running on the other physical CPU, so communication with the physical GPU has to move over the QPI between the two physical CPUs.  This creates a bottleneck and can cause performance issues.  However, in our testing, the application is sufficiently CPU bound that NUMA affinity made little difference. The results in the table below show the decrease in performance as we increased vCPU counts, and then the increase in scalability with synthetic human behavior (think time):

esri-arcgis-users-pr-server-2

ArcGIS – users per server

Based on NVIDIA Performance Engineering Lab findings, NVIDIA GRID provides the following performance and scalability metrics for Esri ArcGIS 3D Pro 1.0. These metrics are based on tests with the lab equipment shown in the graphic below, using the Esri API based “heavy 3D” benchmark and in working with Esri to determine acceptable performance.  Of course, your usage will depend on your models, but this is guidance to help guide your implementation.

esri-arcgis-users-pr-server

Source

Download the NVIDIA GRID vGPU APPLICATION GUIDE FOR ESRI ARCGIS PRO 1.0 – 3D ON VMWARE HORIZON here

 

HPE Discover London 2015

HPdiscover-independentInflucerprogram

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.

HPdiscoverLondon2015-3

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..

poppelgaard_twitter01

HPdiscoverLondon2015

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.

poppelgaard_twitter02

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 🙂

IMG_5255IMG_5258

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

HPDiscoverLondon2015-NVIDIAnvidia-tesla-m6

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.

grid-license

 

Moonshot and beyond

IMG_5275IMG_5276IMG_5278

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..

moonshot-buildingblocks

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

brianmadden_moonshot

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”.

citrix-moonshot

citrix-moonshot-02

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.

moonshot-m710p-nextgentraderworkstation

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

IMG_5246 IMG_5245

HPE-nextgentraderworkstation

 

M710P catridge – hardware specifications

m710p front m710p back

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

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

MEMORY 32GiB of ECC-protected memory, dual-memory channels

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

NETWORK Integrated NIC: dual port 10GbE Mellanox CX3 PRO

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

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

m.2 (2280) form factor

POWER Cartridge: 83W peak, 50W typical
OS Ubuntu 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

 

Citrix XenServer (next release) Tech Preview 2

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