December 5, 2018

Citrix Receiver - Azure Servers - TCP Resets Client Side

Purpose:

This post explains an issue that occurred to me when trying to establish connections to Citrix VDAs (Server 2016) in Azure. Within our environment we have a VPN tunnel to connect our primary datacenter to our Azure tenant. The VPN tunnel is a very important piece to this puzzle.

Symptom:

Once the VDA is built, they are registering to the Delivery Controllers and apps/desktops are published you are attempt to establish a connection via published app or desktop the client has issues keeping the connection. Specifically once the application/desktop is launched, Citrix receiver/workspace launches and tries to establish a connection and gets stuck at "Connection in progress...."



Reviewing network trace logs through firewalls and wireshark you will notice TCP Resets on the client side.


Resolution:

The easiest option here is to disable Enlightened Data Transport aka HDX Adaptive Transport within the Citrix Studio policies for the delivery group(s) that are hosted on Azure.



Cause:
This article details it best but the primary reason is because of IP fragmentation isn't handled correctly over the VPN tunnel. Disabling EDT addresses this issue.

https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX231821

As of right now I don't have a way to get this to work correctly if you want EDT turned on.


SageLike Post ID: SL0021

Applies to:

Citrix VDA's hosted within Azure that has a VPN tunnel connecting Azure to the on-premise infrastructure.

References:
https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX231821

November 15, 2018

Getting Things Done

Synopsis:
For many, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is the handbook on being organized and accomplishing tasks and projects.  For others, it is a life philosophy.  I am probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  David Allen (@gtdguy) has spent his life focusing on the belief that your brain is a powerful tool that should be used for complex and creative purposes.  Too often, people track mundane details like grocery lists in their head.  Piling big ideas like your life's purpose on top of trivial items like, "do not forget to pick up milk" works fine until one day it all becomes too much.

Getting Things Done or GTD for short is about getting the minutia out of your head and into a "trusted system" thus freeing up your brain for worthy activities like being creative.  It is also about reducing the unconscious worry that is inevitable when you have more work than you can accomplish in an eight hour day.  In the book, David walks you through the steps to devise a trusted system, load it up, and start getting things done.



This is my personal copy of the audiobook that I ripped from CD back in the day.



Who will like this book:
A common misconception is that stress comes from having too much work to do and not enough time.  A real source of stress is that you are overwhelmed with work and fear important things are slipping through the cracks.  This is a compounding problem that gets worse each and every day.  If this sounds at all familiar then you may want to check out this book.

My take:
In 2003, I found myself in a Tampa Bay hotel room.  I could not sleep because I was stressed, overwhelmed, and stuck.  It felt like there was so much work to do yet I could not figure out where to start.  I came across an audio interview online (I do not think podcasts were invented yet) with David where he gave the broad strokes of GTD.  He also went into why many feel so stressed out and stuck in the face of a lot of work.  This was a major lightbulb moment for me.  At the time, I was juggling around twenty projects.  All involving travel to a different city, hence Tampa Bay, and I was basically tracking everything in my head.

It sounds obvious now but you really need a trusted system to track twenty projects.  The audio interview turned into listening to the whole audiobook (3 CDs) which turned into a simple Word document per project that tracked the actions and status of the project.  Getting all of this stuff out of my head was a huge relief and to my surprise, I was making great progress on the projects.

The idea of a trusted system being anything that works for the individual fascinated me.  Mr. Allen had clearly spent a lot of time thinking about productivity and teaching techniques to executives.  Hell, he had turned the whole thing into a consulting business--his primary job.  With all that time and effort, why not put the best notebook, binder, piece of software into the book and solve it for everyone?  The keyword is trusted and since trust is a very individual feeling, it makes sense the individual would have to choose the solution.

What do I use?  That could and should be another post for another day although I will point out that I wrote about tools back in 2014 with an aptly named title, "Getting Things Done".

While there are times I really slip on GTD habits, I keep coming back.  It is hard to say if GTD has made me more productive but I am confident that it has reduced the stress in my life and allowed me to focus on more creative aspects of both my professional and personal life.   And for that, I'm grateful.


Score:
4.5 out of 5

Available:
Amazon Kindle and Audible (reviewed) and others

Bonus:
Still not convinced?  Hear a much better description of Getting Things Done right from David.


November 2, 2018

Citrix PVS - Automate PVS Target Device and VM Creation

Purpose:
This post is to share a Citrix PVS / VMware PowerShell script I created over the last year or so to automate the creation of additional VM's in VMware and create the PVS devices, assign them a PVS image, a PVS site, add them to the domain and then add the vDisk to the new devices. I have transitioned jobs since I first wrote this script so I haven't updated it in a few months but figured it would be helpful to some out there

SageLike-PVS-VMware-Script


SageLike Post ID: SL0020

Applies to:
Citrix Provisioning Server
Citrix XenApp
Citrix XenDesktop
VMware ESXi

October 2, 2018

Updating Your Citrix Account

Having a Citrix account is essential to working with Citrix technologies.  You will need one if you want to download software, open a ticket, participate in the forums.  Over the years, these accounts have gone by a few different names: Citrix.com account, MyCitrix account, or Citrix support account.



Your Citrix account can also be used as point of authentication into Citrix Cloud services like Workspace.  These accounts are tied to an organization and should be managed during staffing changes.

Managing Accounts:
  • Accounts can have different levels of privilege (not all accounts have the same access)
  • Your sales account team can not change levels of privilege as they are not a part of your organization
  • To modify security access on individual accounts see CTX130127 for details
  • If there has been a lot of staffing changes in your organization, often the easiest thing to do is to call Customer Service (1-800-424-8749) and have them help you figure out who in the organization has the permissions to elevate new accounts.
  • Manage your account at www.citrix.com/account

TL;DR version:
       

1. Go to www.citrix.com/account
2. Under Dashboard, click on Administer Company User Access
3. Go to Contact restrictions tab.
4. Select the contacts who should have administrator access and click submit.
5. The portal will take time to reflect the changes, allow up to 2 hours minimum to see the changes.
       
 


September 7, 2018

What is Citrix Workspace

In May of 2018, the Citrix Workspace was announced.  There has been a lot of discussion about what is a digital workspace and what does it mean for the modern employee.  Twenty years ago when I joined the workforce, a workspace meant a desktop in a cube probably running Windows 95.  If you were not in that cube, no work was getting done--it was cut and dry.  Flash forward to 2018, and work happens on a desktop, on a phone, on a tablet and it could be almost anywhere.  All of these things make up the modern digital workspace.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Citrix VP Steve Wilson (@virtualsteve) to talk about the new Citrix Workspace this week.  Steve was in Denver to talk to customers and I was delighted to get a few moments of his time.

Photo credit @virtualsteve

Steve is one of the big names you see on the keynote stage at events like Citrix Synergy or Citrix Summit.  Below is his section from Synergy 2018 in Anaheim.


 


As the Citrix VP for Cloud and IoT, Steve has an interesting focus on where these two technologies meet. We compared notes on IoT devices we have in our homes and also discussed how this is going to creep into the business world more and more. This is no secret with big names focusing their efforts on IoT like Amazon with their Alexa for Business line and Microsoft's investment into Azure IoT Hub.  While Citrix is no stranger to IoT, it was exciting to hear about some of the things Steve and team are working on. Cool stuff, that I definitely can not talk about in a public blog post.  All I can say is I can not wait for my next trip to Orlando.

Quickly the topic changed to the Citrix Workspace.  Big promises were made during the Synergy keynote in May that the Workspace would be available to customers 90 days.  Those promises have been met and we are already seeing customers leverage the platform.  In my mind, it really is a platform that can be built upon.  I have been excited about the Citrix Workspace for some time now but Steve pointed out a few exciting ways the Workspace could grow to make it easier for employees to get work done.

Today you can leverage it to access Windows apps and desktops, Linux apps and desktops, software as service applications (SaaS) like Workday and Salesforce.com.  Possibly more important than the apps is it can also aggregate your files.  Check out what this looks like with the 8-minute video below.




If you are new to the idea of a digital workspace.  Here is a short video series titled #WorkspaceUnplugged by Steve and Joe (@joevaccaro) where they get into the why, how, and what this is all about.  Each video is only a couple of minutes and they are listed in order.









I hope that this has been a good overview of Citrix Workspace.  I am excited about what has been delivered in the first couple of months but I am very excited about what is coming.

Brian @sagelikebrian