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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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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VIAB and Windows Server 2012 R2’s Data Deduplication

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.

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XenDesktop 7 editions explained

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.

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Citrix Provisioning Services 7… A sneak preview

With the approaching release of XenDesktop 7 also comes Provisioning Services 7 (PVS from now on) I’m not sure if both products will be released at the same time but it won’t be a surprise, let’s just leave it at that. Although the basic functionality and underlying architecture haven’t changed over the past few years, at least not significantly, it has become a very popular platform and continues to grow each day. With Machine Creation Services (MCS in short) on its heels, especially with the introduction of XenDesktop 7 in which MCS has again been improved and the EOL of Windows XP nearing, PVS will have to dig deep to keep up. I guess it’s up to Citrix which one will come out on top eventually.

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FlexCast Management Architecture

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!

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VDI-in-a-Box Project Curacao

Updated! Download it now! Go to: login with your My Citrix account, start your download of choice and have fun!

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Post Excalibur remarks

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.

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Project Avalon… Excalibur! Part two

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 ( 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.

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Project Avalon… Excalibur! Part one

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 :-)

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The Citrix CloudGateway

Cloud computing… A bunch of computing resources delivering some kind of service over the network, typically being the Internet. It includes, or should include, on demand self-service capabilities like: requesting access to certain applications and data, automated account provisioning or perhaps the ability to manage your own VM’s. It’s hot and everybody wants a piece! Services like Google Apps, Amazon cloud drive and Microsoft’s Azure, to name a few, are examples that do just that. These are the cloud solutions often referred to when the Cloud hype gets mentioned. But what about an on-premises solution, building your own private cloud which can be safely accessed from anywhere?!

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Troubleshooting one on one

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: and the Citrix Logon Optimization Guide: 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…

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