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Basic Administration for Citrix XenApp 6 – Additional content

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of delivering the first XenApp 6 class in Denmark. Even though we experienced some technical issues in the labs, due to the extremely high hardware requirements for the lab computers (A problem that was solved late in the evening on day two), it was a great experience. I had the pleasure of teaching a great team of students and I think we all had a good time learning what’s new in XenApp 6.

I promised one of the student to post links to some of the information, that I mentioned as part of the class. Some of this content I used as part of my preparation for the class and some was actually shown as part of the class.

Documents and pdf’s:

Client Feature Matrix: http://www.citrix.com/clientfeaturematrix

A great comparison of different Citrix client features for different Operating Systems. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated with version 12.x, hopefully that will happen soon.

Citrix-TV and YouTube:

TechTalk Webinar: XenApp 6 Migration Tool

Simple and fast migration from XenApp 5 farms to XenApp 6.

TechTalk Webinar: Microsoft App-V integration with Citrix XenAppp 6

Introduces integration with Microsoft® App-V, delivering App-V virtualized applications to users.

Whiteboard introduction to the Citrix HDX technologies by Michael Harris:

I love the simplicity by which Michael Harris introduces the HDX technologies. I normally use this short presentation as part of my classes, either by playing the video, or by doing it myself at the whiteboard. I actually meet Michael in San Francisco, at Synergy, but forgot thank him for the great presentation.

Knowledgebase articles:

Unattended XenApp 6 installation:

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX124295

Installing XenApp from the Command Line:

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/index.jsp?topic=/xenapp6-w2k8-install/ps-install-command-line.html

Preparing for XenApp 6 Imaging and Provisioning:

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/index.jsp?topic=/xenapp6-w2k8-install/ps-image-prep.html

I’m pretty sure I forgot some of the stuff I referenced, but I hope this is a good start. If you know of something that would be good reference material, feel free to post additional links in the comments area below.

Jacob Berg

XenApp 6 to be released Marts 24th

Last week Citrix announced the release of XenApp 6 on Marts 24th. With less than 10 days to go I want to summarize some of the great new features in the upcoming release.

The last months I have had the opportunity to play around with the tech preview of XenApp 6 in my lab. I’m surprised how many great new features will be added in XenApp 6. Now we just ned to see the stability and scaling in real-life.

First of all XenApp 6 will support Windows Server 2008 R2. Citrix has rewritten the code-base to fully support Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 architecture.

I have made a list highlighting most of the new features:

  • Citrix Receiver architecture for Windows, Mac and Linux
    • New Citrix Receiver for Windows, Mac and Linux.
    • Single auto-updating client using plug-ins.
  • App-V integration
    • Stream and publish App-V packages.
    • Subscribe to App-V packages using Dazzle.
    • Manage App-V client using the Citrix Receiver.
  • HDX RealTime audio
    • Enhanced audio codec reduces bandwidth by 90%.
    • Preserving CD quality sound.
    • New “Optimized for speech” codec.
    • Clear audio quality to softphone and voice chat (less than 20 Kbps).
    • Echo cancellation for VoIP softphone.
  • HDX RealTime collaboration
    • Support for Microsoft Office Communicator video and audio conference.
    • WebCam support.
    • HDX Plug-n-Play enhanced color and monitor support
    • HDX Plug-n-Play 32-bit graphics support.
    • Alpha-channel graphics enabled.
    • Uses same bandwidth as 24-bit session.
    • Enhanced application compatibility.
    • DirectX/Direct3D hardware acceleration.
  • Simplified installation
    • Role-based installation wizard.
    • Automated pre-requisite installation.
    • Configuration performed after installation.
    • Auto-configuration using group policies.
  • Single management console
    • Redesigned based on MMC 3.0.
    • Still called Citrix Delivery Services Console
  • Active Directory Group Policy integration
    • Policy-based management of XenApp.
    • Group Policy templates and integration. Rapid server, application and user access configuration.
  • PowerShell 2.0
    • PowerShell replaces MFCOM.
    • Automate XenApp management tasks. XenApp SDK using PowerShell.
  • Server Groups/Worker Groups
    • Simplified application workload/silo management.
    • Publish application to server groups
    • Assign policies to server groups
    • Group preference and fail-over (instead of zone)
  • New enhanced License Management
    • New License Management Console.
    • License reporting in EdgeSight.
  • User profile streaming
    • Load individual profile settings on-demand or download in the background
    • Updated on the fly, no need to logoff for update.
    • Reduces logon time.
  • Application Isolation for Windows services
    • Windows services can now be profiled and streamed.
  • Dazzle v1.1
    • Subscribe App-V packages.
  • User mobility
    • Back to the old “Any, any, any” concept.
    • Universal SmartPhone support.
    • New Citrix receiver for iPhone.
    • Receiver for Windows mobile.
    • Receiver for Android.

This is properly not a complete list and some of the features may be subject to change in the final release.

For a detailed comparison to older versions check out the Comparative Feature Matrix (http://www.citrix.com/site/resources/dynamic/salesdocs/Citrix-XenApp-Comparative-Feature-Matrix.pdf).

Jacob Berg

EdgeSight 5.0 and 5.1 will stop functioning

As of 2010-03-25 (March 25th, 2010), EdgeSight 5.0 and 5.1 (all service packs) will stop functioning!

I recently was involved in upgrading an EdgeSight solution to version 5.2. During this process I did some research to be on top of things if problems should arise. The upgrade went very well, but I did find a very interesting CTX-article, about the upcoming expiration of the certificate used by earlier releases of EdgeSight.

The EdgeSight software is digitally signed with a trusted certificate, and it turns out that EdgeSight version 5.0  and 5.1 have a known issue, where the trusted certificate will expire on March 25, 2010. After that date payloads will not be uploaded and many of the EdgeSight components will not work properly resulting in different errors.

Customers will receive the following error message for payload uploads:

“Archive load error: The archive ‘/edgesight/app/suser/ZRemoteLib.zpd#12!lsync.htm’ is not appropriately signed.  The system cannot find the file specified.”

Customers running EdgeSight 5.0 and 5.1 must update both server and agent components to EdgeSight 5.2 or later. Customers running EdgeSight 5.2 do not need to take action.

Install the server component first, then apply the agent installation to all devices. Older agents can report successfully to a newer EdgeSight server.

Please be aware that the 5.2 agents cannot report to older versions of EdgeSight.

For more information check out CTX124013: http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx124013

Jacob Berg

XenApp tuning document re-born

For what seems to be a life-time ago, Rick Dehlinger was the editor on the ”Citrix MetaFrame for Windows Servers – Installation and Tuning Tips” guide.

This great pdf-document featured tips and tricks for the Citrix administrator. I remember both me and my colleges, had great use of the document and every release was closely examined.

I don’t recall when Rick published the last version, but a quick search in my old documents returned the version from April 2000.

I had a quick look at it and to my surprise there’s still a lot of great tips in the guide.

For the fun of it I have included the document here.

Now the project has been reopened and will be updated on a voluntary basis through the Danish Citrix User Group. The editor of this new edition is Christian Fenneberg from Arrow ECS in Denmark, a long time friend and college of mine. The first release of the document is a ”beta” release, this release is lacking some sections, but there is still a lot of useful information. If we all help, this document have the potential to get as good as its predecessor.

Even though it’s a Danish initiative, the document is in english, for all the world to enjoy. I know for a fact that everybody welcome to participate.

You can download the new document from the Danish Citrix User Group’s site.

Jacob Berg

Official Citrix training at Arrow ECS

As some of you might know, I’m an independent consultant and trainer (Citrix Certified Instructor – CCI). These recent years as an independent consultant, haven’t left as much time to teach classes. But I’m quite often asked if and when I’m teaching my next class.

I have a great arrangement with Arrow ECS in Denmark, where I continuing in 2010 will teach classes in Citrix XenApp.

At the moment the following dates is planned:

  • CXA-201-2I: Implementing Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Windows Server 2008
    • Januar 18-22. in Copenhagen (the class is delivered in danish)

I will update this post when new dates are scheduled.

If you are interested in attending one of my classes please let me know.

Jacob Berg