May 9, 2012

Citrix Synergy 2012 Live

Walking into the keynote
I could not be more excited to be sitting in the Moscone Center in sunny San Francisco right now.  The room is packed and techno music is pumping.

 I'm going to try and live blog the event as long as my battery and Internet hold out.

Mark T is on the stage.

Quick Updates:

  •  GoToAssist - free on Android and iPad now
  • VIAB - best of Interop Award yesterday, upgrade to XenDesktop supported
  • AppDNA -  launch of 6.1 today.  Simplified. Deeper insight.
  • Virtual Computer - now a part of Citrix, re-branded as XenClient Enterprise Edition, get it this quarter
  • Microsoft - Citrix still likes them, SCCM integration
  • Cisco - 5 year alliance to exchange IP
  • GoToMeeting - HD faces now on iPad
"Life Slice" I believe Mark T just coined the term "life slice".  The concept reflects how we used to go to work and then come home.  Work life was isolated.  Home life was isolated.  The graphical representation looks like a pizza missing two pieces.  The reality is that work is now around the clock and the pizza slices are many and sometimes very, very small.

Life Slice Graph

Podio on stage discussing their product. It is a workspace collaboration tool that integrates with tens of cloud file providers (e.g. ShareFile, Google Docs...).  Now integrates with GoToMeeting.  Appeals to my GTD nature.  They are working on Receiver integration.  Mark is calling it a platform.  Hmm, Windows is a platform.  I can see a future using more of the former and less of the later.  Free for teams up to five people now.

ShareFile has a new feature called StorageZones.  Choose where your data is stored.  GM coming on stage to do a demo of the Outlook plug-in.  ShareFile Sync is Dropbox easy.

Brad Peterson is on stage with Mark now demoing the Citrix stack.
  • Receiver now has a native to the device browser (think iPad) to give you an Intranet browser any time
  •  Receiver can now deliver native apps from the enterprise
  • Receiver on Android has parity with mobile apps
  • Brad had at least 4 devices sewed into his suit coat.  Kept pulling them out and demoing integration.
Remote PC utilizes "distributed VDI" to broker to physical desktops.  I'm really excited about this because it lowers the barrier to entry while delivering a familiar experience.

Deep Compression CODEC is a HDX 3D Pro component new today

Windows 8 will be fully supported on the server and client.

Brad coming back up for device demos.
  • Brad showing Series 7 laptop with new Intel chipset using HDX 3D Pro to a CAD app.  
  • Connecting into Windows 8 using a Xenith 2.  Touch display works great with Windows 8 metro interface.  
  • Samsung tablet using Windows 8.  Noticed that the metro interface has live tiles which I haven't noticed playing with the betas.
HDX on a chip is getting cheaper.  Six months ago prices $250 now they are getting to the sub-$100 range.

PoE device HP has a HDX on a chip all-in-one device that runs on only 13 watts.  That means that it can be run over PoE and includes the monitor.  Brad ran out into the audience with the all-in-one device running Google Earth.  One cable...awesome.

CloudBridge 2 announced and shipping in June.

battery just hit 10%--should have charged it last night

NetScaler 10 considered #1 Internet delivery platform (not sure by who).  Tri-scale architecture new marketing mantra.  Available today.

I guess One More Thing is re-branded as 

I almost forgot...

Project Avalon migrate, drain, and burst across any public or private cloud.  Open cloud-style APIs built on top of CloudStack. Compatible with XA 6+, XD 5+.  Going to Beta in the second half of 2012.  Big direction going into the future.

Thanks for hanging with me.

April 1, 2012

Google Maps 8-bit

I could kick myself for having that garage sale in 2003.

February 19, 2012

Microsoft Windows Profiles, Folder Redirection, GPO

This post contains two videos explaining Microsoft Windows user profiles, folder redirection, and Group Policy.

SageLike Post ID: SL0002

A big piece of the Windows user experience is stored in the profile of the user.  Microsoft Windows user profiles can be a complex topic because of the variety of ways applications use them to store files and registry settings.  Microsoft revamped user profiles starting with Windows Vista and made them incompatible with the prior versions (Citrix blog) which only adds to the confusion. Incorrectly configured profiles can result in a variety of application errors and a poor user experience.

Example of a V2 profile on Windows 2008 R2

The only way to solve problems that involve a Windows profile is to understand how they work and the options Microsoft provides to deploy and manage them.  Third party profile management solutions (AppSense Environment Manager, Citrix Profile Manager, VMware Persona...) are not the focus of this post.

The following video from blogger, Gabe Knuth (@gabeknuth), covers Windows profiles, folder redirection, and group policy best practices.  It is a great starting point for people new to group policy and only familiar with local profiles.  Keep in mind it predates Windows 2008 but a majority of concepts still apply.

The second video is a technical introduction into Windows profiles types with a focus on Microsoft Terminal Services and Citrix XenApp.  These same concepts also apply to virtual desktop products like Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View.

Applies to:
Citrix XenApp
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 2008
Microsoft Windows 2008 R2
Maybe others


February 14, 2012

Windows File Copy Guy

Check out more great webcomics at

February 7, 2012

Dude, where's my admin?

My standard joke for a long time has been that I get paid to click “Next” for a living.  2011 will go down as the year that I stopped getting paid to click “Next” and started getting paid to read admin guides.  I am certainly not alone.  Guys and girls around the world are taking this work home with them.  The process usually goes like this: I check my morning tweets and find out that virtualization company X has released a new version of their product (this typically happens at a conference).  The next step is to go to their site and download the install and administration guides.  Then, curl up next to the fireplace with a hot beverage and be amazed by how much easier my job will become.  OK, that’s not exactly how it typically happens.  Replace fireplace with seat-back tray and hot beverage with nothing and you get the idea.  Personally, I would rather be reading about “Steve Jobs” (barnes and noble, kindle) then another product update novel but this is my life. 

This got me thinking, “how many virtualization products have been released in the last twelve months?”  Let’s see, Citrix released new versions of XenDesktop and XenApp.  Oh, VMware also released a new version of vSphere.  It didn’t take long to realize I would need help counting.  I reached out to my go-to VMware guy, Rene (@vrenenelson), to help me fill in gaps in the VMware product set.  Very quickly, we realized that nearly every major virtualization product has had a revolutionary (as opposed to evolutionary) revamp.

We collaborated to bring you this list.  You may be thinking, “but what about AppSense or Unidesk or [insert your product here]?”  We stuck with the virtualization big three:



That is only the tip of the iceberg. We tried to stick to the major products that administrators have to install. If it is some kind of cloud offering or tech preview we left it off the list. August 2011 should be considered a hallmark month for virtualization due to the perfect storm of major products released.

If you are still looking for your administrator, there’s a good chance they are holed up somewhere going through another admin guide.  Studying like it was the night before the SATs.  Pat your virtualization girl or guy on the back because they are fighting to keep up with an incredibly quick moving industry.

Drop us a line in the comments about what product we scandalously forgot to chart.

January 15, 2012

XenServer 6 Hotfix XS60E001 Won’t Install

This post explains what to do when your XenServer 6.0 will not install hotfix XS60E001. This is important because hotfix XS60E001 is required for other hotfixes.

SageLike Post ID: SL0001

When upgrading XenServer to XS60E001, XenCenter applies the fix and reboots the host only to have the hotfix status be either “not applied” or “partially applied”.  Repeating the process yields the same results.

Instead of running the upgrade using the default settings, automatic, when installing this update, do a manual update.  The manual update means you will need to reboot the XenServer after the update finishes.

Unknown at this time.  Check the comments below for updates.

Applies to:
XenServer 6.0
Maybe others


January 8, 2012

Introduction to XenServer

This 20 minute video is a great introduction to Citrix XenServer.

Topics include:
  • “Ten minutes to Xen”
  • Installing XenServer
  • Installing XenCenter
  • Licensing XenServer
  • Managing XenServer with XenCenter
  • Creating an ISO library
  • Creating a resource pool
  • Connecting to shared storage
  • Creating a virtual machine (VM)
  • Importing a VM
  • Migrating a running VM with XenMotion

SageLike Post ID: SL0000

Applies to:
XenServer 5.0
XenServer 5.5
XenServer 5.6
XenServer 5.6 FP1
XenServer 5.6 SP2
XenServer 6.0
Maybe others