Tag: Windows Server

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.



“Outlook cannot perform your search” on Windows Server 2016 running Remote Desktop Services

INTRODUCTION

Speaking on behalf of all IT technicians, it is with no doubt that we all have had our hand in cases related to Outlook. Oftentimes I experience them to be quite understandable in order to be resolved. However, that was until I encountered a particularly obscure issue with Outlook’s search engine, nonetheless its very same obscure resolution.



Mapped network printers unavailable due to SMB1 being obsolete

INTRODUCTION

As we all might be familiar with, printers are one of those little peculiar matters within IT. Implementing these in an IT-environment is self-explanatory oftentimes, but when they do not cooperate the issue itself can stem from one single obscure root cause, if not a string of these having to be checked upon.

Recently, I encountered a particular printer issue which I found interesting enough to share. The root cause here, in summary, was due to the network protocol SMB1 (Server Message Block) being obsolete in recent Windows releases.



Azure AD Connect and .NET Framework 4.7.2

Introduction

Last week a discussion erupted on Microsoft forums regarding Azure AD Connect due to it’s Monitoring Agent using all free resources of CPU on the servers. These issues were caused by a .NET Framework update and a lot of administrators spent time uninstalling and blocking these patches to resolve the CPU usage issues on their servers. On Saturday Microsoft released an update (KB4340558) which contains a collection of several patches where one of the earlier mentioned .NET Framework updates were included. For more information, see this link.

Microsoft has recently published an article regarding this issue. In addition, Microsoft also published a new version of the health agent where they state that the issue is resolved, it can be downloaded from here. The new health agent version is set to be included in the next version of Azure AD Connect, which will be published for Automatic Upgrade (Auto Upgrade). The following patches have been identified with issues causing Azure AD Connect’s monitoring agent using huge amounts of CPU:

Auto Upgrade

In version 1.1.105.0 of Azure AD Connect, Microsoft introduced Auto Upgrade. Although, not all updates are published for Automatic Upgrade. Whether a version is eligible for automatic download and installation will be announced on Microsofts version-history website for Azure AD Connect.

You can verify whether your Azure AD Connect installation have Auto Upgrade enabled by either using Powershell or viewing your configuration in It’s GUI.


Graphical User Interface of Azure AD Connect
PowerShell-command for determining whether Auto Upgrade is enabled or not.

This command will return either Enabled, Disabled or Suspended, where as the Suspended state only can be set by the system itself. Newer installations of Azure AD Connect enables Auto Upgrade by default, in case your installation applies to Microsoft’s recommendations. For more information, see this link.

Enabling Auto Upgrade

In case you have an installation of Azure AD Connect older than 1.1.105.0 (February 2016), Auto Upgrade will be disabled, if you’ve not enabled it manually. Enabling this function can be done with below PowerShell-command if so wanted.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at robert.skyllberg@xenit.se



Automate tasks with use of XenServer Powershell Module

Working with backups of your virtual machines is obviously essential. Working with exports in XenServer can some times be time consuming, particularly with bigger virtual disks attached to your virtual machine. In this scenario I will show you an alternative to manually export via XenCenter, by doing it with Powershell to an remote server using XenServer Powershell module.



Windows Server 2019 Preview is now available

It’s finally here – the preview of Windows Server 2019!

Windows has release the first preview of the completely new Windows Server 2019. In this article I will summarize the main news and tell you a little about them. The final version of Windows Server 2019 are planned to be released in the second half of the calendar year 2018.

 

Hybrid cloud scenarios

  • Windows Server 2019 will come with the previously announced Project Honolulu (which is a modern server management interface). This will help you to more easily integrate Azure services (like Azure Backup, Azure File Sync disaster recovery) so you can use these services in a more convenient way.

Security

  • Shielded VMs was first introduced in Windows Server 2016 and was only available for Windows Server. In Windows Server 2019, support are added for Shielded VMs for Linux. VMConnect will be improved for troubleshooting of Shielded VMs for both Windows Server and Linux. Another new feature is called Encrypted Networks which will let admins encrypt network segments to protect the network layer between servers. Microsoft is also embedding Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) feature in the operating system which provides preventative protection, detects attacks and zero-day exploits.

Application Platform

  • Microsofts Goal is to reduce the Server Core base container image to a third if its current size of 5 GB. That will reduce the download time for an image by up to 72 % which will be a significant performance boost. Also, in Windows Server 2019 the choices available when it comes to orchestrating Windows Server container deployments are event better. Another new feature is the ability to run Linux containers side-by-side with Windows containers on a Windows Server.

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)

  • Windows Server 2019 are adding adding scale, performance and reliability to HCI environments. With Project Honolulu (mentioned above) you will have the ability to manage HCI deployments which are a great new feature. This will help you simplify the management and day-to-day activities on HCI environments.

 

Read more about the preview here.

(if you want to compare this release with the previous release of Windows Server 2016, read this article)



HOW-TO IMPORT DHCP-LEASES TO WINDOWS SERVER FROM PALO ALTO

In some cases you will come across DHCP-scopes that are configured on the edge-device or similar and wanting to move it to your dedicated Windows Server instead.
Below is an example where you can export DHCP-leases from your Palo Alto Networks device and add them to your dedicated Windows Server.

In this example I will be using Putty.

Step 1.
Start Putty and connect to your Palo Alto Networks firewall. Then go to the Putty Reconfiguration page, Session > Logging and select “All Session output”.
Choose your filename and where to save it. Select Apply.

Step 2.
Log in to your Palo Alto Networks firewall and issue one of the below commands. Choose the second one if you need to specify an interface. For example if you have several DHCP-scopes configured on your firewall.

Close your session when the output has been printed.

Step 3.
Inactivate the DHCP-scope on your Palo Alto Netoworks firewall so there are no new leases being added.

Step 4.

Open the file where the output has been pasted and remove any unnecessary information.

Import the values to Excel and it should look something like this: (We are only importing IP, MAC and Hostname in this example)

Step 5.
Now we need to add the information to the command that we will be using in Powershell on the new DHCP-server.

Go to a new column on the same sheet and add the below:

This will get the information for the IP on column A and row 2, MAC-adress on column B and row 2 and the Hostname on column C and row 2.

Go the new cell and hover to the right corner. Drag down to fill in the rest of the rows.

Step 6.
If you have not already created the new DHCP-scope this is the time to do it.

Step 7.
Start Powershell on your DHCP-server and paste the below commands.

Step 8.
Activate the new scope and remember to configure DHCP-relay on your Palo Alto Networks firewall if needed.



Flytta Hyper-V VM till Azure

Det finns många sätt att flytta Hyper-V VM till Azure, i detta fallet beskriver jag hur det kan göras till ett befintligt virtual network (classic / Azure Service Management – ASM).

Kortfattat är det följande som behöver hanteras: (denna guide utgår från att VM:et kört sysprep innan det importeras)

Innan ett VM flyttas från Hyper-V till Azure behöver det bekräftas att Remote Desktop är aktiverat samt att det är tillåtet i brandväggen för Domain, Public och Private networks.

Mer info om hur powershell för Azure installeras och används finn här: How to install and configure Azure PowerShell

Kortfattat, vad som behöver göras för att koppla upp sig innan ovan kan utföras:

När väl den virtuella maskinen är igång finns det några saker som är rekommenderade att utföra (enligt Windows IT Pro: Use a Non-SYSPREP VHD in Azure):

KMS Client Keys finns här: Technet – Appendix A: KMS Client Setup Keys

Jag valde även att installera Azure Windows VM agent, vilket även kräver .NET 4.5 om det inte redan är installerat. Mer information om detta finns här: About the virtual machine agent and extensions

Jag valde även att ta bort så kallade “Ghost NICs” från den virtuella maskinen, då jag sett att det ibland kan ställa till problem:

Har du något mer du gör när du flyttar VM till Azure? Lämna gärna en kommentar!