Friday, 9 June 2017

How to deploy Citrix XenApp Essentials on Azure

Citrix have recently released a new edition to the XenApp family called XenApp Essentials.
But what is the new flavour of XenApp and why has it been created?

So, a brief history lesson.
Microsoft have had for a number of years an Azure services called Azure RemoteApp. This was essentially Remote Desktop Services "as a service" from the the Azure cloud.
It was cost effective, simple to deploy and had many of the great capabilities that only the cloud provides, such as auto scaling, usage based pricing, minimal management etc.

It allowed organisations to publish applications (no desktops) directly to the users, without the need to manage an estate of virtual machines, and the need to build these out to meet the peak user load.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Using PowerShell to create a Windows VM Hosted AD and join VM's to that Domain - in Windows Azure

There seem to be numerous PowerShell snippits of scripts out there to create an AD and to join VM's to that domain. However this Microsoft article (bit.ly/LEOSocseems to suggest that people are still having difficulties doing so, myself included and it took hours of trial and error to get the scripts correct.

So I thought that I would document exactly what I have got that now works every time (for me at least). My intention is that there would be nothing missing to get this to work.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Installing XenDesktop 7 in 31 steps

Citrix have finally released the much anticipated XenDesktop 7, the co-joined XenDesktop and XenApp products into the one combined solution.
Below are the generic installation instructions and yes it can be done in 20 minutes if you already have spent the time lining up all your ducks in terms of information and pre-requisites

Here is a list of some of the top new features in XenDesktop 7.

Installing your Site on your first XenDesktop 7 Controller


1. Run AutoSelect.exe and install any pre-requisites that are not yet installed to enable the installer to start.

2. Click on Start


Saturday, 8 June 2013

XenDesktop 7 Top New Features

Citrix’s next version of XenApp and XenDesktop codenamed Avalon Excalibur has been in Tech Preview for a number of months now. Recently at Synergy it has been finally announced that XenDesktop 7 will be released in June or July 2013.

Here is a brief summary of some of the changes I have noticed by being part of the Citrix High Engagement Beta program, between previous versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, and new features you can expect to see. This is by no means an exhaustive list just some of the items that stood out to me - feel free to comment on any you think should be added.

·         No longer is there a separate XenDesktop site and XenApp farm and thus two sets of controllers, now there is just one site, one set of controllers for VDI, SBC desktops and Applications, and only one set of controllers managing it all.

·         There is no traditional XenApp Install for Worker Group Servers. This has been replaced with just a simple VDA install. There are two types of VDA, Desktop and Server OS. But essentially the same install (There are some differences in the type of ICA stack that gets installed single for desktop OS' and multi-user for server OS's - naturally) . but the installs are nearly identical and both are Version 7.

Monday, 4 March 2013

DesktopNow 8 FR4 - When to layer when to merge?

AppSense have recently released the rebranded Management suite as AppSense Desktop now version 8 Feature release 4.
There are a number of great new features a couple of which are discussed here. They are Configuration Layering and Configuration Merging. So what are they and what are the differences and for that matter similarities or are they mutually exclusive? Some of this will be based on only what your use case is, so feel free to disagree but often times functionality gets used in different ways than the use cases it was specifically designed for.
So let’s start with configuration layering.
Layering is done at the console side, and as the name suggests layers one or more configuration over the other. Why would you layer configs?
Say you have multiple sets of administrators, infrastructure admins for server based config and desktop config, and application admins for the application deployment and config. Each of these teams may well develop, test and deploy their own parts of a production config. This can lead to issues about multi concurrent editing of the one configuration, i.e. who has made what changes to it and where, when is it ready to deploy whose changes are in it etc. etc.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Windows 7 VDI and Windows 2008 R2 XenApp 6.5 Optimisation Settings delivered by AppSense

There are myriad articles, blogs, best practice guides abounding on the internet that discuss optimisation settings for Windows 7 VDI and Windows 2008 XenApp sessions. It takes significant time (most don't have) to test them all and then develop a method of deploying them to multiple machines within the enterprise.

Here is a compiled list of some of these optimisation settings delivered by an AppSense Environment Manager Policy.The settings included are by no means exhaustive or are they a complete list, however include many of the best practice settings from vendors such as Microsoft, Citrix and AppSense as well as many industry best practices, and settings from the field.

The purpose of the configuration is to reduce the time required in creating one of your own. It does not however eliminate your need to test these ALL thoroughly in a test environment before letting them out into the wild and as such come with no warranty.

Download the Configuration File: Optimisation Config  (EM Ver 8.3 Console)
Download the Word Document: Word document

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

How to configure REAL Windows 7 themes in XenApp 6.5

We have seen many tweets on articles such as http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX133429 on how to configure Windows 7 themes in a shared hosted desktop scenario such as XenApp 6.5

However the issue with this article is it doesn't configure real "Windows 7" Windows 7 Themes. What this article describes is how to enable some Windows 7 like themes. This difference can be illustrated in the following two pictures taken from the Personalize applet from firstly a Windows 7 Machine and secondly a Windows 2008 XenApp 6.5 published desktop after completing the steps in the above Citrix Article.