September 17, 2019

Citrix MCS - Automate Master Image vCenter Update

Purpose:
This post is to share a Citrix MCS / VMware PowerShell script I created over the last year or so to automate the process of renaming a master image (Win2K16 or W10), converting it to a template, cloning the template and creating a snapshot of the clone in preparation for MCS updates.

You can use this script if you have a single datacenter or if you have multiple. It's relatively easy to modify it so the master image is copied to multiple vCenter datacenters/clusters and follows the same process.

I currently have 9 different datacenters/clusters running the same master image. I just maintain the core master image in the primary datacenter, perform updates, shutdown, run this script and once the process is done I can update each machine catalog one by one from the same master image.

Download the script from Citrix ShareFile

SageLike Post ID: SL0023

July 31, 2019

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16

Released November 28, 2017 - End of Life May 28, 2018

Citrix Docs and Product Lifecycle Matrix




User eXperience:
  • High Definition webcam support.
  • Expanded tablet mode in Windows 10 using Windows Continuum.
  • Adaptive transport enhancement. By default, adaptive transport is enabled (Preferred), and EDT is used when possible, with fallback to TCP.
  • Browser content redirection. Redirects the contents of a web browser to a client device with a corresponding browser embedded within the Citrix Receiver. See (Citrix Docs) for more information.
  • "H.265 Encoding Now Available for XenDesktop Using NVIDIA GPUs" (Citrix Blogs). Requires Receiver for Windows 4.10 and must be enabled.  If the GPU at the endpoint does not support H.265 decoding using the DXVA interface, the Citrix Receiver for Windows H.265 Decoding for graphics policy setting is ignored and the session falls back to using the H.264 video codec.  Requires a Platinum license. See Receiver 4.10 for more information (Citrix Docs).
  • Unicode keyboard mapping. Without the registry setting, if a user changes the local and the server keyboard layouts, the keyboards might not be in sync and character output is wrong.
Admin eXperience:
  • HDX 3D Pro is detected automatically during VDA setup.
  • MCS support for on-demand provisioning with Azure Resource Manager.
  • Support for App-V 5.0 deployment configuration files in single admin method and support for shortcuts in App-V packages.
  • Access Monitor Service data uses version 4 of the OData API.
  • Shadow Linux user sessions running RHEL 7.3 or Ubuntu 16.04. Director connects via noVNC.
  • HDX Insight improvement.  Integration of the new NSAP virtual channel. Nick, from Citrix Consulting, is calling this, "HDX Insight 2.0" (Citrix Blogs) but 7.17 recommended (CTX239748).
  • Applications analytics in Director. It provides a consolidated view of the health and usage of all published applications. It shows metrics like the number of instances per application and faults and errors associated with the applications. Requires Delivery Controller version 7.16 or later and VDA version 7.15 or newer.
Deprecation and Platform Support:
  • VDA desktop OS support: Windows 10 1607 or newer. For support of older operating systems (Windows 7, Windows 8) use the 7.15 VDA.
  • VDA server OS support: Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 (also supports server VDI). For support of older operating systems (Winddows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012) use the 7.15 VDA.

June 11, 2019

Citrix Posters and Diagrams

My Citrix journey started about a decade ago.  I was lucky enough to work with some really great people to get me started.  These mentors helped me with the "what".  Building a farm and publishing applications were great but I really wanted to understand the "how".  Where did NetScaler end and Web Interface begin?  What really happened after a user put in their credentials and click, "Log On".  I eventually figured it out using a combination of Citrix Docs, Google, late nights and fixing broken environments.

If I had to learn this all over again in 2019, I would start with an Instructor-Led Training class or eLearning (training.citrix.com).  Spending hundreds of hours learning on the job could have been shortcutted with a class.  Both of these options will probably cost you or your organization money.  Money that in hindsight would have been worth it in my opinion. Maybe the money or the time is not in the cards right now, so let's move on to a great alternative with a lower price point 😏.




Citrix is making posters and diagrams for a variety of solutions.  Allen (Twitter) announced the roadmap for these reference architectures in, "What's ahead for Citrix reference architectures" (Citrix Blogs).  I use the Virtual Apps and Desktops on-prem poster each and every week when talking to customers.  It helps guide me through any of the following:

  • Virtual desktop models
  • 5 layers of a VAD deployment
  • User authentication and resource enumeration*
  • HDX technologies
  • ICA protocol
  • Networking traffic and ports
  • Session launch*

Last week I sent a customer a link to the posters on techzone.citrix.com and he replied back with the image below.  It got a lot of attention when I posted it on Twitter.  Anyone have a plotter so I can get one for my office?



Brian @sagelikebrian


See also:
Brian's monthly article on important things in the world of apps, applications, and micro apps that we call TheAppFactory. Use the widgets at the left to have this site delivered to your RSS feed reader or by email.


May 31, 2019

TheAppFactory 1903

This is my monthly update on important things in the world of apps, applications, and micro apps. For me, it has always been all about the apps.



Additional Resources


News Last year Citrix underwent a project to unify the product portfolio. Yes, this means that names have changed. Check out our cheat sheet to learn the new names.
Virtual Apps and Desktops Citrix Tech Zone has a great article on choosing the provisioning model for image management (PVS or MCS?). Check it out if you are curious about the other method or still managing individual VDAs.
SD-WAN A new article, "SD-WAN in 2019: The move continues, faster!" on Citrix Blogs
Virtual Apps and Desktops Let's talk about the Q1 release--1903. Key features IMO:
  • Support for copy and paste files between a session and local endpoint
  • MCS Storage Optimization
  • Surface pen support
  • DPI matching on Windows Server 2016 and 2019
For more details check out:
  • Citrix eDocs
  • Spring into the latest features of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (Citrix Blogs)
  • Session recording 1903 available for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (Citrix Blogs)
  • Linux VDA 1903: Ubuntu 18.04 support, enhanced monitoring, and more (Citrix Blogs)
Citrix Files I have conversations all the time about the need for ShareFile if you already own OneDrive. It is true there is some overlap but it doesn't mean they are mutually exclusive. "How Citrix and Microsoft Can Help Secure Your Data" (Citrix Blogs) digs into how they can work together.
Cool SAML. Have you heard the acronym but do not know much about it? The world of user identity has become more complicated recently. We used to have Microsoft AD and that was the end of it. If you want to integrate SaaS offerings like Office 365, Salesforce, or ShareFile then you will want to get more familiar. Our friends at Duo put it into terms that really helped me out: "The beer drinkers guide to SAML" (Duo Blog). Let me know if you would like to learn more about SAML and how Citrix can make it easy.
Previous Issues TheAppFactory 1902
TheAppFactory 1901
TheAppFactory 1811

May 14, 2019

Citrix Product Editions 2019

In the summer of 2018, Citrix set out on the most ambitious rebranding of products arguably since changing Presentation Server into XenApp. You can read more about it in a previous SageLike.com article, "Citrix Product Names 2019".

At the same time this happened, product editions also were changed.  On one hand, if old editions are engrained in your memory (like me) then it could cause confusion. On the other hand, the new editions have also been unified across solutions so all teams will be speaking the same language.

There is also the reality that the old editions will live on as they are hardcoded into software created pre-summer 2018.  It would be most noticeable in an old license server version but keep this into consideration if you are doing an upgrade.




Here is the breakdown for the old and new edition names.  Please note, the edition names are the same for both virtualization and networking solutions.


Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
Standard
Advanced
Premium
Standard
Enterprise
Platinum


For the newest information,
always check out (Citrix.com)



Citrix ADC
Standard
500 universal licenses*
Advanced
1000 universal licenses*
Premium
unlimited universal licenses*
Standard
5 univeral licenses
Enterprise
5 universal licenses
Platinum
100 universal licenses
* requires firmware 11.1 build 49.16 released September 2016 (FAQs)

For the newest information,
always check out (Citrix.com)


2018 also saw the creation of new bundles that combine brand new solutions with existing offerings.  Today, there are three Workspace editions that combine some of the solutions above with new offerings like Access Control and Analytics.


Citrix Workspace
Standard
Premium
Premium Plus


For the newest information,
always check out (Citrix.com)


Brian @sagelikebrian


See also:
"Citrix Product Names 2019" (SageLike.com)

April 23, 2019

TheAppFactory 1902

This is my monthly update on important things in the world of apps, applications, and micro apps. For me, it has always been all about the apps.



Resources


Event May 21 Save the date for Citrix Synergy 2019 in Atlanta, GA. I promise that we'll be unveiling some really cool stuff. Find out more at www.citrixsynergy.com
General Last year Citrix started a project to unify the product portfolio. Yes, this means that names have changed. For example, XenApp is now Citrix Virtual Apps. I wrote an article you can use as a cheat sheet to learn the new names and has some of the background on why. If the product name columns to the left look foreign, then this is your guide.
Virtual Apps and Desktops My teammate in the West, Ben, wrote about toggling between a windowed and full-screen mode in your virtual desktop. He also explains how Citrix hotkeys work in a virtual app or desktop (Citrix Blogs)
SD-WAN Nearly every Citrix solution requires a decent network connection. Because of that, Citrix SD-WAN is possibly the fastest growing product in the portfolio. Check out this case study on why fishermen in Denmark decided to change the way they deployed their network (ebook).
Virtual Apps and Desktops There are three options for keeping your environment on supported versions today: Long Term Service Release, Current Release, or Citrix hosted management plane. The current LTSR came out 6 CRs ago and the list of new features is piling up. How do you decide? Nick Rintalan, Citrix Consulting architect, discusses how to make the decision. Spoiler alert: it is not a technical decision. (Citrix Blogs)
Endpoint Management Apple is changed the way iOS manual enrollment works on their devices. This change had an effect on our Endpoint Management (and all other MDM platforms). Read more about this (Citrix Docs). The same page also has information on TLS 1.0 and 1.1 deprecations that also happened on March 15, 2019.
ShareFile Did you know that the Cloud Success Center has prerequisite lists, implementation checklists, step-by-step configuration guides, webinars? Read (Citrix Blogs) or jump right into the Cloud Success Center (login required). By the way, ShareFile will be known as Content Collaboration going forward.
Cool Federik Brattstig has an insane article on his site (Virtual Brat) describing how he built a rig to combine NVIDIA GRID + VR + Citrix + 90 fps to create what he is calling RemoteVR.
Previous Issues TheAppFactory 1901
TheAppFactory 1811


Brian @sagelikebrian

April 16, 2019

Citrix VDA Install Error - Unable to start Setup

Purpose:
 
This post is to explain how to fix the "Unable to start Setup. Please check your installation media and try again" error when installing the Server VDA with Desktop Flag.


Symptom:

During the installation of the VDA the below error comes up


Check the VDA install log (xendesktop installation.log) in this location
C:\Users\username\appdata\local\temp\citrix\xendesktop installer

You'll see the below error in the log "Server VDI cannot be installed if Windows Remote Desktop Service Roles are installed"





Resolution:

Remove the Remote Desktop Session Host Role and reboot the VM.
Once the VM is rebooted attempt the installation again


Cause:

The Remote Desktop Session Host role is installed and it can't be present for a Server VDI VDA installation.

SageLike Post ID: SL0022

Applies to:

Windows Server VDA's and installing the VDI VDA that previously had the Server VDA installed.   

March 30, 2019

TheAppFactory 1901

This is my monthly update on important things in the world of apps, applications, and micro apps. For me, it has always been all about the apps.


Additional Resources


Technical Somewhere between Citrix Docs and Blogs lies a new area for technical info, Citrix Tech Zone. A lot went into this new area to get you better technical content faster. Read "Welcome to the World, Citrix Tech Zone (Citrix Blog) to see what makes this area different or just jump right to Citrix Tech Zone @ techzone.citrix.com.
General It is hard to do a lot of things in the Citrix world without an account. I wrote a quick post on (SageLike.com) discussing how to do some basic things. I am trying to make things easier but can only experience the Citrix portal as an employee. I would appreciate any feedback on if this helps or what else I could add.
ADC Have you heard of the Citrix Gateway service? Think of it as an alternative to running your own NetScaler Citrix Gateway. Check out this deep dive on how it works (Citrix Tech Zone).
Virtual Apps and Desktops Check out the new Virtual Apps and Desktops posters.  I use them almost daily to explain architecture or data flow.

Virtual Apps and Desktops poster (virtualfeller.com).

Virtual Apps and Desktops subscription poster (virtualfeller.com).

Workspace poster (virtualfeller.com)
Cool Vector uses Citrix to launch a business in space (Bloomberg).  Check out their infrastructure stack (galacticsky.net).


Brian @sagelikebrian