Tag: Citrix

Citrix Synergy 2019

I år är det jag och Robert Skyllberg som fått åka till Citrix Synergy 2019 i Atlanta. Det är en hel del nyheter och jag tänkte försöka skapa en kortare sammanfattning av de olika delarna.

Bild från Synergy

Citrix VD, David Henshall, inledde med att beskriva vad som som levererats sedan Synergy 2018:

  • Citrix Worskpace App
  • Citrix Mobile Apps
  • Citrix Casting
  • Citrix Workspace Self-Service with ServiceNow
  • Citrix Analytics
  • Citrix SD-WAN Service for Managed Service Providers
  • Citrix SD-WAN + Azure
  • Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management
  • New Citrix Endpoint Management Capabilities
  • Citrix Cloud App Control
  • Cloud Portability
  • Autoscale for Google Cloud
  • Microsoft Azure Government Support
  • Windows Server 2019 Day 1 Support

Utöver ovan gick de ut med en lång lista andra funktioner och produkter som blivit tillgängliga sedan dess:

Citrix ADC for Azure DNS Private Zones, Citrix Workspace with Citrix Cloud Control Plane, Citrix SD-WAN for Microsoft Network Performance, Citrix MDM/MAM with EMS/Intune Enlightened, Citrix Analytics with Microsoft Security Graph, Citrix WOrkspace App on Google Android, Citrix ADC VPX on Google Cloud, Power Management Support for Google Cloud on Citrix Cloud, Citrix SD-WAN on GCP Marketplace, Citrix AD on GCP Marketplace, Citrix ADC integration with Google Kubernetes, Launch partner for Google Anthos, Citrix Workspace AutoScaling integration for AWS, AWS Quick Start for Citrix Resource Locations, Citrix support for AWS Dedicated Hosts, Citrix support for AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop integration with NVIDIA QUadro Virtual WOrkstation for Microsoft Azure, Citrix Virtual App and Desktop integration with NVIDIA Quadro Virtual WOrkstation for Google Cloud, Cisco HyperFlex for Citrix Cloud, HPE SimpliVity integration for Citrix Cloud, Citrix Workspace App for Samsung DeX (Galaxy S10, Note9 and Tab S4 devices), Citrix Workspace App enabling Dual Screen on Samsung tablets (Samsung Tab + monitor), Citrix Endpoint Management support for Samsung Knox (KPE/KPS), EFOTA and other APIs

Efter vad som gjorts presenterats så gick de in på hur Citrix i framtiden kommer göra livet enklare för de anställda – både verksamhet och IT. Visade hur det kan se ut idag med multi tasking, context switching och tiden anställda behöver lägga på arbete som egentligen inte skapar värde utan istället bara driver tid. De kallar det “employee disengagement” och trycker hårt på hur många anställda inte får eller kan fokusera på vad de är bäst på utan blir väldigt lätt mycket annat.

Citrix vision är att skapa en brygga mellan de anställda och tekniken, skala bort det överflödiga och göra det möjligt att utföra så mycket som möjligt från samma plats.

I och med detta annonserade Citrix sin nästa del i arbetet för att ge verksamheten möjlighet att fokusera på vad som är viktigt och minimera tiden som behöver läggas på det som inte spelar så stor roll: Citrix Intelligent Workspace

Kortfattat har Citrix integrerat uppköpet av Sapho för att själva skapa micro-appar direkt i Citrix Workspace (tidigare Citrix Receiver) och ge kunderna möjligheter att skapa dessa micro appar själva. Citrix kommer från början ha stöd för micro-appar kopplat till ett antal stora företag:

Micro Apps

Utöver att kunna koppla ihop Citrix Workspace med ovan “out-of-the-box” för att utföra vardagliga uppgifter kommer en micro-app builder släppas som gör det möjligt att enkelt bygga egna integrationer antingen helt utan kod (men även mer avancerat för dem som behöver det).

Det kommer även i framtiden vara möjligt att starta lokala applikationer från Workspace, vilket skall göra det möjligt att från en enda plats komma åt det som behövs så snabbt som möjligt. Tanken är att Workspace skall bli den ytan allt arbete utgår ifrån och verksamheten skall inte behöva leta på olika ställen efter de system som behövs – samt förenkla arbetsflödena för så många system som möjligt.

Intelligent Workspace

Det släpps även stöd för att blocka keyloggers för applikationer i Citrix Workspace samt stöd för att censurera skärmbilder (screenshots).

Anti keylogger

De annonseringar som gjordes kring Workspace:

  • Citrix Workspace intelligent experience
    • Mobile productivity
    • Out-of-the-box micro-apps
    • Micro-app builder
  • Local application support in Citrix Workspace
  • Citrix Managed Desktops on Azure
  • Access Control Service for hybrid deployments
  • Expanded security capabilities for Citrix WOrkspace
  • Flexible identity support in Citrix Workspace including Google Identity
  • G Suite integration in Citrix Workspace
  • Citrix support for INtune Conditional Access APIs
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops for VMware cloud
  • Machine Creation Services for Google Cloud

Annonseringar kring Analytics:

  • Citrix Analytics for Performance
  • Citrix Analytics partner integrations
  • Citrix Analytics availability in Europe and Asia-Pacific

Annonseringar kring Networking:

  • Citrix support for Windows Virtual Desktops on Azure
  • HDX Optimization for Microsoft Teams
  • Office 365 optimization for Citrix SD-WAN
  • CItrix SD-WAN for Citrix Managed Desktops and Windows Virtual Desktops
  • Citrix ADC High Availability for Google Cloud
  • Citrix ADC BLX

Redan nu har vi gått inte på väldigt många olika funktioner och annonseringar och förhoppningsvis intressant för en del att känna till vad det är som är här, släpptes eller skall släppas.

Rent presonligen är jag väldigt exalterad över Citrix ADC BLX som nu ger oss NetScaler på Linux. I och med detta börjar fler och fler möjligheter öppna upp sig och jag tror – utan att skriva för mycket – att detta är framtiden. Helt klart något alla intresserade av ADC / NetScaler skall hålla ögonen på.

Det finns en hel del mer, men för allas skull tror jag detta räcker.



Citrix Hypervisor 8.0

25th of April Citrix published new major release 8.0 of XenServer, which now officially becomes Citrix Hypervisor. The release is added to the Current Release (CR) track and comes in handy to upcoming End of Life for formerly latest Current Release, Xenserver 7.6.

Below I will shortly cover the most exciting news.

Name change

As quickly touched on initially, with this release XenServer officially changes name to Hypervisor. Along with Citrix changing name for most of the products in their portfolio, the naming for different editions has also gotten an update. Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 is released in below three editions:

  • Premium Edition (previously Enterprise Edition)
  • Standard Edition
  • Express Edition (previously Free Edition)

New features

  • “Platform refresh” – Version updates for Kernel, Xen hypervisor and control domain OS.
  • Full support for Windows Server 2019 VMs.
  • Web-based help – XenCenter and Conversion Manager
    • When pressing F1 the relevant article opens in your default browser
  • Disk and memory snapshots on vGPU enabled VMs now maintains the state of vGPU and is restored when the snapshot is applied.
    • Note: This requires Premium edition of Citrix Hypervisor
  • Ability to create Virtual Disk images larger than 2TB on GFS2 storage repositories
    • Note: This requires Premium edition of Citrix Hypervisor

Experimental features

Citrix also included an experimental feature in the boot mode section, UEFI boot mode for guest VMs. This to provide a richer interface for guest operating systems, limited support to Windows 10, Server 2016 and 2019.

As this is an experimental feature, Citrix added a lot of disclaimers for support regarding virtualization technologies such as MCS and PVS with guest UEFI boot mode.

Read more

For a full walk-through of changes, requirements and support, read more about Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 here:

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/04/25/citrix-hypervisor-8-0-is-here/

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-hypervisor.html

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2018/10/03/major-platform-changes-to-xenserver-what-you-need-to-know/



Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1903

Citrix announced their new release Virtual Apps and Desktops 1903 on 28th of March and it contains a lot of interesting changes in all categories along with a long list of fixed issues. I will cover two of the changes in this blog-post which I found extra interesting, and that I would recommend you looking into as well!

Director

Citrix Director has been given some love and has received a few changes in the user interface. It has also been announced that similar changes to improve the user experience, are to be expected in the coming releases.

Also a profile processing duration counter has been added on the logon duration chart. This for making troubleshooting easier on profile related matters.

Virtual Delivery Agent

DPI matching on Windows Server 2016/2019, which allows your session to match your clients DPI. Requires minimum Citrix Workspace App on your client.

Pen functionality support with Windows Ink-based applications on Microsoft Surface products. Requires Windows 10 and Citrix Workspace App 1902 for a minimum.

Deprecation and removal

With change comes deprecation, and Virtual Apps and Desktops release 1903 is not an exception. In this release Citrix announced and removed the following components:

  • Announced in 1903 – To be removed
    • Smart Check for Virtual Apps and Desktops
  • Removed in 1903
    • Linux VDA – Support on Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS 7.5
    • Citrix Receiver for Web classic experience
    • Support for Framehawk – Also removed option to enable from VDA installation
    • Delivery Controller options for end-of-life products (VDI-in-a-Box, and XenMobile < 9.0)

A full list of changes can be found here:
https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/whats-new.html

If you have any questions regarding Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, feel free to email me at robert.skyllberg@xenit.se or comment down below.



Printix – The Secure Cloud Print Management Solution

Are you looking for a new print solution that will work for a modern workplace? A solution that will let you get rid of those nasty on-premise print servers? A solution that will make print management more easy and fun? Look no further, you just found one!

With Printix solution you will get a serverless, simple, cloud service that integrates with Microsoft or Google which gives you a single sign-on experience. Printix will provide a centralized management portal with support for all USB and network printers, mobile and secure printing, high document security and Print Anywhere at any time. The setup is easy and you will be able to use it almost instantly.

So how does this work? 

Instead of dedicated print servers, you will leverage the Printix Cloud together with the Printix client from a device of your choice (Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Andriod, iOS). Once you installed the Printix Client it will detect your existing printers on your network and automatically configure these in the Printix Cloud and even upload the current drivers(!). You can also manually add printers from the Printix dashboard if you want. Once your printers are configured in the Printix Cloud you don’t need your on-premise servers anymore since the document will be (re)directed to the printer either directly to the printer on your network or via the Printix Cloud through the installed Printix Clients on your computers.

There is a number of ways to print your documents.

From the Printix dashboard, which you will be provided, you can configure everything related to your printing environment, like print queues, user settings, network settings, cloud storage, analytics, downloading the Printix client and much more.

The license method is per user-based which can be setup on a monthly or annual year subscription. An active user is any user that logged into Printix (client and admin interface) at least once during the monthly billing cycle.

Please note that this solution also works with Citrix and RDS environments.


Does this sound interesting for your organisation? Maybe you want to try it out and feel how easy it is to setup and get going? If so, please let me know at tobias.sandberg@xenit.se and I will get you a trial right away since Xenit is a partner of Printix.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at tobias.sandberg@xenit.se or comment down below. I will try to answer you as soon as possible.



What is FSLogix Cloud Cache?

Background

Last year FSLogix released its award winning (at Citrix Synergy) technology Cloud Cache, and I for one was very curious about what this meant and what I could use it for. The fact that is was included in the license for Office 365 Container and Profile Container was a really nice surprise, but I was somewhat confused about what it actually does, I mean, have FSLogix developed their own cloud service? It sure sounds like it, that was however not the case. First off, this is a technology that will make your profiles or Outlook cache easily available cross-platform and a kind of built in High Availability so you don’t have load or create a fail-over file-cluster. But there are some things you should take in consideration before implementing this to your environment, but first let me explain what Cloud Cache really is and what the target benefits are!

What is Cloud Cache, really?

As I mentioned you might think that is has something to do with the cloud, or the cloud services, that’s wrong, or at least regarding the technology. Cloud Cache contains primarily 3 features:

  1. Automatic Replication
  2. Cache of “hot” data from your container
  3. Use of Azure blob storage as VHD location

Automatic Replication

Before Cloud Cache you could in FSLogix set multiple paths for the VHD-files and it would automatically check the second path specified if the first was unavailable, the problem was that you needed to set up the replication between the two file locations yourself, and that was complicated since the VHD-disks will be locked during use, and it was hard to do an incremental copy since the changes in data resides within the VHD file, the replication would potentially take a lot of time and load the network considerably.

With Cloud Cache they solved that issue, it is now built in to the product. It will automatically copy the data between the two locations. The pretty neat part of their solution is that the replication begins when the user logs on to their environment and copies the incremental part of the container since its now open and happens automatically. As you can figure out, this is also a great way of migrating your containers to a new location. Just add a new location, wait a couple of days and then remove the old path, really smooth, no hassle, no downtime, no late night service-windows.

Cache of hot data from your container

It’s known that FSLogix will solve the high CPU (on the file-server) issue you normally would see if you would redirect the ost-file to a file share, but it will still demand quite fast disks and some network-load. With FSLogix Cloud Cache you will now be able to place your containers in Microsoft Azure, which is cool but there are two fundamental issues with this approach 1. Azure bills in consumption and 2. high latency to access the data. FSLogix has solved this by caching the hottest data from the containers to the actual Server/Client you reside on, this will minimize the cost in Azure and the load of the network, this is ideal if you use your FSLogix container on different platforms (On your client and a VDI-solution) or on a VDI-environment where the cache will be saved and not downloaded again.

Client profile management

Before Cloud Cache, if you want to manage the profiles of a clients with FSlogix you would have some issues, since it will require you to have the client online all the time. Fortunately with Cloud Cache, you will now not be affected by offline sessions, it will continue with the cached data and as soon its online again it will update the original VHD with the new changes that happen offline.

 

What to consider before using Cloud Cache

Now when you know what Cloud Cache is and what’s makes it good you should also know what to consider in some scenarios. First thing to consider is the cached data, how much will it cache? That is a good question, a question I have not yet received an answer to, from what I gathered this cannot be specified, meaning you cannot control the amount of data it cached, therefor you cannot control the size of the cached data on the potential Citrix server, this can in some environment be a really risky approach. I have some examples below when you really need to assess the value against the risk regarding Cloud Cache:

Citrix Provisioning Services with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop

When using Cloud Cache in this setup you will have issues, the cache is suppose to be persistent on the location where you are, which it will not be when using PVS and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop. Within this setup your cache will download every time you logon to Citrix, if you also are using “Cache on RAM with overflow on disk” you will also potentially fill your page file-disk.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop

You need to be sure how to set it up, the C-drive must be large, to handle the amount of cached data every user will download, and you must set “Delete Cache on logoff” otherwise one user can potentially download his/hers cache to multiple Citrix server during logoff and logon, and that also means your user will download the cached data every time they logon. Wtich might not be the best experience you had in mind when implementing the solution. There is however a solution to this, you can redirect the cached data to another server, but if you do that, it is highly recommended to place it on fast disks and in a High availability-mode.

 

Summary

All in all this is a really nice feature and will add a lot to the product. But you need to assess it before activating Cloud Cache to see if it’s suitable to you and your environment. In the right scenario this could really improve the experience of your users and your IT-department. If you are curious about the product please don’t hesitate to contact me at jonas.agblad@xenit.se, or leave a comment below!

 

You can also find more information about FSLogix with my previous posts here:

Convert Citrix UPM to FSLogix Profile Containers

Teams in your mulit-user environment done right!

Outlook Search index with FSLogix – Swedish

FSLogix Profile Container – Easy and fast Profile management – Swedish

Office 365 with FSLogix in a Multi-user environment – Swedish

 

 



Text-based session watermarks

Citrix recently introduced a new feature to track data theft by giving administrators the ability to enable watermarks in their user sessions. This feature is supported for both Server and Desktop OS and requires a minimum of Virtual Delivery Agent version 7.17.

Citrix also offers the possibility to customize your sessions watermarks. The following parameters can be included or configured in the watermark:

  • Client IP Address
  • Connection Time
  • Logon user name
  • VDA host name
  • VDA IP Address
  • Style (Single or multiple)
  • Custom text
  • Transparency

    Sessions watermark with a custom text, connection time and a transparency of 10

And I bet you’re now wondering, just as I did, whether there are any exceptions. There is and they cover a few, great scenarios!

  • When using Session Recording, the recorded session does not present the watermark.
  • When using Windows remote assistance, the watermark does not present the watermark to the remote user.
  • When pressing Print Screen key to capture the screen, the screen captured at the VDA side does not include the watermark. This also works with third party applications that triggers by pressing the Print Screen button, for an example, Greenshot.

More information regarding session watermarking and its limitations can be found on the link below:
https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/graphics/session-watermark.html

If you have any questions regarding session watermarks, feel free to email me at robert.skyllberg@xenit.se or comment down below.



Citrix replaces Smart Scale with Autoscale

A while ago Citrix announced the deprecation of Smart Scale but its replacement has been in the dark, and has finally been uncovered.

Smart Scale will reach end of life on May 31, 2019 and Autoscale will be the replacement for Cloud platforms. Autoscale is considered a new feature but it delivers all the functionality that are currently available in Smart Scale, such as:

  • Load based scaling
  • Schedule based scaling
  • Cost saving statistics

Note: Autoscale will only be available for customers with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop service. This means that customers with on-premise platforms are advised to use the Studio power management feature (Which earlier had the possibility to use Smart Scale).

Autoscale can be enabled and configured per Delivery Group in Studio and will replace the current Power management tab.

One of the new functionalities delivered with Autoscale is its integration with Director where savings and machine usage will be presented.

For a quick walk through of Autoscale, see this link.

If you have any questions regarding Autoscale, feel free to email me at robert.skyllberg@xenit.se or comment down below.



Citrix brings back Local Text Echo

Have you ever experienced the frustration of working on a bad connection resulting in tremendous amount of latency when typing?

Past releases of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (Formerly XenApp & XenDesktop) have included many interesting news and functions, especially regarding HDX innovations and ICA improvements. One of the “new” features that caught my eye in the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1811 release notes is Local text echo, which I will shortly cover in this post.



Why does Teams not install for my users?

Microsoft released in October last year a MSI-installation package of Teams, making it easy to deploy Teams to computers in your organization. As you know Teams (for some unknown reason) installs directly into your profile. I suspect they have designed it this way to make sure everyone can install the application, even if you’re not an local administrator on your computer, you do have sufficient rights to your profile to perform a installation of Microsoft Teams.

Since I work primarily with Citrix, and could see the that Microsoft Teams is growing in popularity, I started to investigate if I could make it to work in a Citrix environment. But that is another story, you can read my blog post on how I installed Teams in our Citrix environment here!

Teams is supposed to install when a user logs on to the server, it will automatically install the latest Teams available to your profile and then start it. But in some cases I have seen an issue after installing the Teams wide Installer, the users simply does not get anything installed. A function this installer has is that it checks your profile for traces of Teams, if it detects part of Teams it will not try to install it again (if it’s not an update that is), and if the user uninstalled Teams it will still detect some left-overs and will therefore not install Teams again. With that said, you need to make sure your profile is clean from Teams. Unfortunately this was not the case here. It simply did not install!

To understand why this might happened you need to know how some multi-user environments are designed, from a security perspective!

If you are like us, security oriented, you might have disabled Run and Run Once witch is used by some applications to auto-start, or to continue a installation after a restart, and is unfortunately very popular place to auto-start viruses and other malware. It is then common to disable this.

This is exactly the place Microsoft Teams specify the value that starts the Teams installation for a user, if its disabled, nothing will ever happened!

There is however a really easy way around this:

You probably already thought about this by now but there is a tiny detail that will make it work exactly as it was supposed to:

  1. Create a Shortcut – Name it Install Teams (or something else if you like)
  2. Target the Teams.exe file with this specific argument: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Teams Installer\Teams.exe” –checkInstall –source=default
  3. Save it, and place it in the Startup folder in the Start Menu.

The last argument in the Target path (–CheckInstall –source=default) is the reason Teams knows if you have it installed and keeps it updated.

I hope this easy little trick has been helpful, please make a comment if you feel like it or have some questions!



How to manually crash your VM on a XenServer

Sometimes you need to simulate or provoke a crash on a Virtual Machine to either verify a problem or get a Memory Dump to have a closer look at whats is happening with the Virtual Machine. The thing is, its quite tricky to do that manually. Lucky for you there is a quite simple way to achieve this on a XenServer and I will show every step of the way.

When your Virtual Machine (VM) is at the desired state you should do the following steps:

  1. Find out the VM ID the XenServer has provided the VM, this changes when rebooted so you need to make sure every time you do this, you cannot use the same ID again. First make note of the Virtual Machine UUID, you can find it under “General” for the specific VM.

2. Now we need to find out the ID the XenServer provided for this specific VM. Go the the XenServer Console (the host of the VM) and type the following: list_domains 

As you can see it lists all the VM on this XenServer, and you will also see the ID provided correlated to the UUID. Make sure you have the correct ID and type the following: xen-hvmcrash <ID> (without the brackets). 

Congratulations, You have now successfully crashed the Virtual Machine!