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!
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!
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.
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.
StoreFront Multi-Site configurations are still fairly unknown. I guess this has something to do with XenDesktop 7 still being relatively new (I know, it’s actually a StoreFront 2.0 feature) and with this I mean, the addition of the XenApp functionality. Since zones are no longer part of XenDesktop 7, or the Flex Management Architecture (they’ve disappeared together with the Local Host cache) you’ll have to, in most cases, create separate Sites to achieve similar results. Especially if Sites are geographically separated. When using StoreFront Multi-Site configurations we can still add in load balance and failover capabilities, even when using geographically ‘Dispersed’ Sites, just like we are (or were) used to with zones. No NetScaler required, although it’s probably a good idea to implement one anyway.
This article was originally written as a guest blogger for intense School IT educational services. Now I wouldn’t directly call this part three of my VDI series, although it’s probably not that far off. Rather think of it as the ‘hidden bonus track’ an extra addition if you will. During some of my previous articles I already talked about VDI, storage, IOPS and more. I also highlighted some of the newly introduced Windows Server 2012 R2 features offering us divers methods in building and managing our public and private cloud infrastructures including technologies like Domain join, Work Folders and a few more. For this article I’d like to combine two worlds and technologies; Citrix’s VDI-in-a-Box, yes, another way to do VDI, this might just be what you’ve been looking for all those years, and Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 R2, focussing on (VDI) data deduplication in particular.
With XD7 lots of new features and capabilities are announced including some major infrastructural changes as well, especially when it comes to the integration of Citrix XenApp (FMA replaces IMA) more than just one step forward. But what about the different editions available, what does one get with the XD7 App edition for example or Enterprise edition for that matter? What’s in it for Subscription Advantage customers? How about the Trade-up program? XenDesktop 7 also offers some cool new monitor and analysis tools including the EdgeSight network analysis feature as part of Director which leverages the Citrix NetScaler HDX insight technology, but how do we get it?! For a full overview on all editions and features per edition scroll down.
Or FMA in short. Did you hear? Citrix officially launched XenDesktop 7 just a few weeks ago. One of the biggest releases in years! Of-course I’m just kidding, who could have missed that?! Citrix also announced XenApp 6.5 FP 2 which will be released in June, once again enhancing and extending XenApp’s life, a good thing if you ask me. Although it seems that the Independent Management Architecture (IMA) will probably be around for many more years to come, it’s all FMA from now on when it comes to future developments. I thought it might be a good idea (and time) to have a closer look at FMA. Is it new technology? No. Is it improved? Definitely! Detailed overview? Scroll down!
With all the Summit & Synergy madness going on you might have overlooked or missed the latest education / training news from Citrix (www.citrix.com/tv). Yesterday Citrix revealed their new Excalibur training roadmap or the ‘Excalibur Learning Journey’ as they like to call it, see below. It includes two introduction level courses (among others) of two hours each. The first one explains what Excalibur is all about and walks you through some of its new and improved features, the other one points out some useful tips and tricks to work with right from the get go. Both are here to help you decide to go with Excalibur right away or to wait another month or two :-) There might be a small fee to pay, not a 100% sure yet.
VDI-in-a-Box, VIAB from now on, has been around for a few years and has not gone unnoticed. It’s still growing in popularity and new fans are added daily. Understandable, it’s easy to install and manage. Although it’s not for everyone, given the proper Business Case (and there are plenty) it just feels right. With this new release, which is still in Beta and not supported in production environments, some exiting new and improved features are introduced, like full Windows 8 / Server 2012 integration and the HDX protocol to name a few, perhaps making it an even more robust and likeable platform than it already was. Let’s first have a look on what it is about and highlight some of the main differences between VIAB and XenDesktop.
Updated! Download it now! Go to: http://www.citrix.com/downloads/vdi-in-a-box/betas-and-tech-previews/vdi-in-a-box-tech-preview.html login with your My Citrix account, start your download of choice and have fun!
What if you want to merge four separate XenApp 6.0 Farms into one and upgrade to 6.5 along the way? Just one of many challenges at work :-) This made me think about some of the possible migration and upgrade scenario’s out there. With Excalibur on the horizon and multiple ‘End of Life’ dates passed (can be found on the Citrix Product Matrix, give it a Google) I guess there won’t be many admins migrating their 4.5 / 5.0 Farms to 6.0. I mean, why would they? 6.0 isn’t that different from 6.5 and we all know an even newer version will be released shortly. I know… there are some distinct differences between the two and I can also think of several reasons on why not to migrate, but you get my point right?!
When I finished ‘Part two’ on Excalibur my Blog got viewed over 700 times in just the first three days, although that may not sound like a lot to some of you, to me it’s huge! I also received multiple kind and friendly messages complementing me on my writing and encouraging me to keep up the good work… unbelievable! A big thank you to everybody! One reader left a comment mentioning that although he liked Excalibur and the idea of XenApp and XenDesktop as combined products, he also found that it was primarily XenDesktop being referenced, steeling XenApp’s thunder, so to speak.
It took me a few weeks but I finally got my test lab up and running. For the past three months I’ve been part of a study group in which we prepared for the new MCSE Desktop Infrastructure exams. During that period one of our MCT’s Jasper Kraak (www.kraak.com) organized two study sessions of three day’s each, one for each exam. Because we were using the official Microsoft curriculum one of the prerequisites was that we had to set up our own virtual test environment for lab practice. You guessed it…When we were finished I took it home with me.
It was only about a month ago when I was writing my Blog about the CloudGateway that I wondered which route Citrix would take now that they acquired Zenprise, well… here it is… XenMobile, another Xen sibling sees the light! Lets jump right in… I had the opportunity to make use of one of Citrix’s demo environments to have a closer look at MDM, which is an awesome way to explore new and existing products by the way, if your company is a Citrix partner and has access I definitely recommend having a look. Besides that I used the Citrix E-Docs website as well as Citrix.com to find as much information as possible.
Again, lots of new and exciting stuff going on with Citrix! Since I’m still in the researching phase and building up my demo environment I will try and split this Blog into two parts, part one being mostly textual giving you an idea on what it’s about, explain some new and improved technologies being used and getting you into an XenDesktop state of mind (you’ll understand in a minute, keep reading) before moving on to the actual installation and configuration phase being part two, which will be more of an product review. I must say, it looks impressive so far :-)
I’m currently working on a new Blog in which I will discuss Citrix Project Avalon including the first two releases know as: Excalibur and Merlin. I’m still in the research phase to get my facts straight, give me a week or two, maybe three and I’ll report back.
During the past few weeks I’ve collected a set of tools which assist in troubleshooting XenApp and XenDesktop orientated architectures. Before you continue make sure you have a look at the Citrix Brief Troubleshooting Guide: support.citrix.com/article/CTX106727 and the Citrix Logon Optimization Guide: support.citrix.com/article/CTX128277. Both are a MUST read with lots of tips and tricks, what and when to ask, and dozens of knowledge base articles including explanations on the logon processes etc…