It’s time, I’m moving hosts!

Hi everybody, not to long from now I will move basvankaam.com from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Why you ask? Well, although WordPress.com is very stable, secure and ‘easy’ platform, it’s limited as well. Plug-ins for example, where there are potential thousands for WordPress.org there are none for WordPress.com. (sure, there is a default set that you can use, but if it’s not in there you’re out of luck) .org is just a lot more flexible when it comes to site design and overall functionality. However, using .org also means you’ll have to take care of back-ups and site security yourself, fortunately there are multiple excellent toolsets that can assist you with this. Ok, back to the move, what will change?

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Citrix XenMobile MDM… To DMZ or not to DMZ? I might need your help one this one!

About four months ago I wrote an article on SSL offloading for the Citrix XenMobile MDM server and talked about how this new feature helps us in placing the MDM server on our more secure corporate LAN as apposed to the DMZ. And although I still feel that this is a valid, robust and decent set up, I must admit that the idea of placing the MDM server in the DMZ doesn’t sound that bad after all, considering all that comes into play. During my last article on XenMobile I gave it a bit more thought and just recently I discussed it with a few community members as well. Let’s just say that, for now, I’m in doubt. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the matter, I might need your help on this one!

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XenMobile prerequisits, what do we need and how does it all fit together? Technical overview included!

Don’t underestimate the power of prerequisites! No really, although this may seem like a straightforward topic, there’s a lot to think about, for example, we have to deal with firewall ports and protocols, IP numbers, DNS, AD, certificates, authentication, hard and software, licensing and more. By pre inspecting the prerequisites section, and thinking things through, not only will it tell you if you got what it takes, so to speak, it will also save you a lot of time once you start building and deploying your XenMobile infrastructure. And since I’ve been on the subject for the past few weeks, I thought I’d summarize some of the more important sections and subjects to focus on during the prerequisites and deployment phase, and ultimately show you how it all fits together (Visio included)  from an architectural point of view.

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Citrix Synergy 2014 Keynote wrap-up, here’s what’s new!

Finally, Synergy Keynote time! All eyes were on Mark Templeton as he took the Synergy stage for, what is supposed to be, the last time, since he’s resigning as Citrix CEO later this year. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to experience the buzz myself, but SynergyTV turned out to be a good alternative. At least it was warm where I was sitting :-) With around 5000 people, spread over 66 countries and over 2000 companies, attending Synergy in person and another 5000 following the Keynote live stream you good say that the event was a success before it even started, but to be honest, I didn’t expect anything less, especially with Mark resigning.

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How to integrate StoreFront into XenMobile… And than what?!

As most of you probably know, one of the main components that makes up Citrix XenMobile App edition is the App Controller. It provides us with our Mobile, Web and SaaS applications including any HTML5 based applications and web links. Applications first need to be signed, than wrapped, adding in the MDX binaries, before being uploaded to App Controller and assigned to your users. A process I’ll describe in more detail in one of my upcoming articles. During this blog I’d like to zoom in on the integration of StoreFront and highlight some of the options we have when it comes to using Worx Home and/or Citrix Receiver in contacting either StoreFront, App Controller or both. I’ll show you how we can launch, not only our Mobile, Web and SaaS apps, but Windows based desktops and applications as well, without using both platforms individually.

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Introducing Nutanix OS (NOS) 4.0… What’s new?!

Nutanix, founded in 2009, quickly became one of the rising startups to look out for. They were among the first to introduce a simple (converged) compute and storage infrastructure, combining resources, without the need for complex and expensive Storage Area Networks, or Network Attached Storage. They deliver the power of so called Web-Scale technology, which we all know from companies like Google, Amazon and facebook, to name a few, as a turnkey solution directly into your datacenter, basically reinventing the way in which IT services can be delivered. With being awarded the Best of VMworld Gold award and named on Gigaom’s Top 50 Cloud Innovators list, I think it’s safe to say that Nutanix is here to stay!

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It’s been a while!

Hi everybody, it’s been a while, I know. I posted my last article on March the 16th, and believe me, for someone who is sued to posting once a week and sometimes even more, it feels like an eternity! But it won’t be long now, there is some good stuff coming, I promise :-) I’ve been invited to some sneak preview sessions, been busy with organizing some stuff at work, talked to a few guys and gals at Citrix and I’ve been really busy working on my own (first) book, which is a lot of work! But also very rewarding and fun to do! The book will take me another few months but I’m sure I can find some time in between to share some of my thoughts with you guys. See you all soon!

Regards, Bas.

Book review! Citrix® XenMobile™ Mobile Device Management, published by Packt.

As some of you might have noticed, Packt Publishing was randomly requesting (on Linked-In and facebook) IT professionals to review their, relatively, new book on Citrix XenMobile. Since Citrix study material (I really mean books here) can be hard to come by, I thought I’d give it a go as well. It’s my first book review, but that doesn’t stop me from being honest. I’ll try to judge from a professional, as well as a ‘beginners’, point of view. What kind of information am I presented with and does it really teach me something new?

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Apple MacBooks in the (Windows) Enterprise, do they mix and match?!

Just over three months ago I purchased my first Apple computer, a MacBook Air 13.3 Inch to be exact, and to go short, I love it! Sure, after working with Windows for over 14 years, I needed a few weeks to adjust, who wouldn’t. Although I now use it on a daily basis I haven’t really dug that deep into OS X, I mean, it all just works, so why would I? Lately I’ve been spending some more time on how Apple, and OS X in particular, actually works, what’s the magic behind it all? Closely related, enterprise readiness is another subject that drew my attention. During my visit at Citrix Summit in January I also attended a session named ‘Bring Your Own Mac’ a way to allow MacBook’s onto your private (Active Directory) domain, without compromising security, centralised management and.. the ability to use Windows applications!

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Planning your next XenDesktop deployment? Have a look at Citrix Project Accelerator

Have you ever used the Citrix project Accelerator? No? You should! At least have a look and see what you make of it, so did I. Currently there are over 12.500 projects (active and closed) known by Project Accelerator, I’ll get to the how and why in a minute. According to the release notes it has been online and available in beta since December 2012, but I assume they’re only referring to the (upgraded) XenDesktop 7.1 version, right?! For those of you unknown with the concept, I’ll try and explain what it’s about and how it’s done.

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Last week Nutanix opened their Dutch HQ and I was there, here are my thoughts.

Last week, Wednesday the 19th of February 2014 to be exact, I was invited for the ‘grand’ opening of the new Dutch Nutanix headquarters in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam. Before the partner reception took off and everybody arrived we had a private get together which lasted around an hour and a half or so. Of course I wasn’t alone, a group of 10 to 12 technicians, bloggers and pre-sales engineers (Nutanix employees excluded) gathered to hear what Dheeraj Pandey (founder and CEO), Howard Ting (Vice President of product and marketing) and Mark Fisher (senior director, demand generation marketing) had to say. It turned out to be a very interesting and informative conversation.

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16 random reasons to (at least) consider Citrix XenMobile

Ever since Citrix acquired Zenprise and officially launched Citrix XenMobile it has been under constant development. Not to long ago Citrix announced version 8.6.1 (adding in PIN based authentication, multi domain and Site support, single join functionality and more) and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’ll see another version increment. BYOD has always been a hard concept to ‘get’ and manage and over the pas few years (it’s still relatively new) we’ve seen multiple vendors offer their ‘solution’ to take on the challenge. Since Citrix XenMobile is still considered as one of the leading parties, and probably will be for years to come, I though it would be a good idea to sum up some of its most important features.

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Google Chromebooks, where do they fit in?

Google Chromebooks are beyond new, but although they’ve been on the market for a few years, it seems that 2013 has finally been the year of their ‘big’ breakthrough. The everlasting cloud hype combined with their low pricing and simplicity, make that Chromebooks are now being adopted faster than ever, and with good reason if you ask me. They just needed some time to warm up I guess. I agree, they’re not for everyone, and if we look at them from a business perspective use cases are still limited. So where do they fit in?

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Citrix XenDesktop 7.5… What’s new?!

You know what’s funny? Last weekend (Saturday the 25th of January 2014 to be exact) when Citrix leaked its introduction video, with regards to the new Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 releases, it was all XenApp from there on, not a word, with a small exception here and there, on the new XenDesktop 7.5 release. I guess we were all just flabbergasted (what a cool word) with the re-introduction of XenApp, most of us anyway. Also, due to the rise of mobile computing, and mobility in general, It’s (and going to be) more and more about the applications then anything else, which, when you think about it, makes sense. I found some spare time and I’d like to spend a minute or two looking at some of the new features and functionality introduced with the release of Xendesktop 7.5.

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Citrix XenApp 7.5… What’s (really) new?!

Perhaps a bit premature (although they do have an excellent marketing department, I’m just saying) but last Saturday Citrix announced the release, and return, of XenApp version 7.5! When I, accidently, found out I Tweeted: ‘Criticise, be sceptical, surprised, annoyed, amazed, happy or sad but Citrix XenApp 7.5 is, according to Citrix, ‘back by popular demand’ Well, during the past few day’s I’ve seen a lot of sceptical, annoyed, amazed and sad Tweets appearing on my timeline. That’s right, happy is missing! I guess most of us are still in shock! Last updated on 28-01-2014, scroll down.

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NetScaler SSL Offloading for XenMobile MDM… Finally!

Well over a month ago Citrix released the XenMobile Device Manager SSL Offload Server Patch for NetScaler. And although this has been something we’ve been waiting for, although ‘we’ is probably still a relatively small group, for some reason I haven’t read or heard a thing about it. Perhaps XenMobile isn’t as popular as I thought or people just don’t mind putting their MDM machines in their DMZ’s, I know I would. Whichever the case may be, from now on you can securely place your MDM machine on your internal network without having to worry about potential unsecure connections, SSL only! Although I do highlight the XenMobile MDM server patch, the below is applicable to other sorts of (web) services as well.

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Citrix Summit 2014… What a ride!

When I first heard that my request to go Citrix Summit in Orlando Florida, about three and a half months ago, got approved I couldn’t be happier. I mean going to a three day conference with non stop, back to back high quality, technical and pre-sales / partner orientated sessions is awesome on its own (it really is). But when it’s organized by Citrix, celebrating their 25th anniversary, you know you’re in for something special! As the event date got closer my expectations began to rise, and when the time finally came I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I can honestly say that looking back the whole experience was even better than I hoped it would be!

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XenDesktop Single User Server VDI

Using the Server VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) feature in XenDesktop 7 allows you to deliver a desktop from a server Operating System for a single user on a one to one basis. Now if you’re not quite sure what to make of this think back to Amazon’s big DaaS announcement just a few weeks ago. Remember how they got away with true one on one VDI based machines in the cloud? We all know that client based Operating System VDI’s aren’t allowed due to Microsoft’s, still limited, licensing structure, so how did they manage to get around this? Well, using the Server VDI feature is one way of doing it. I’ll try and provide you with, not only information on the Server VDI feature itself, but some general background information as well.

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2013 was awesome… A big thank you to all!

First and foremost I’d like to wish everybody a very successful and happy 2014! Just over 12 months ago I started this Blog with the idea to build up some sort of personal ‘online’ knowledge base and to perhaps share some of my knowledge with those who might be interested. And although I promoted (and still do) my writing using the various social media channels to try and attract new readers, I never imagined it would turn out the way it did. I mean, having a couple of readers every now and again is awesome on it’s own, but having a constant stream of hundreds or thousands of unique and returning readers is beyond words!

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What to do at Citrix Summit 2014?! Here’s my agenda.

Citrix Summit 2014 in Orlando Florida is approaching fast. Just a few more weeks before the Welcome Reception, including the Solutions Expo, at the Hyatt Regency (Regency Ballroom) officially kicks off next years Summit event. Since I don’t like last minute arrangements I took some time to figure out what I need to take with me, MacBook, paper notebook, clothing (I’m counting on 80F, around 26 celsius, average :-) hotel voucher, tickets, passport etc… stuff like that. About a month ago I also figured out my conference schedule, the opening key-note, multiple break-out sessions, the Expo, perhaps a walk-in hands-on session and I also scheduled the 1Y0-400 exam to, hopefully, earn my CCE-AD certification. See my full schedule further on, I fine tuned it last week.

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