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Author: Created: Thursday, March 15, 2007 8:08:04 AM RssIcon
Anything related to server based computing, Citrix, Terminal Services, etc.
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:56:36 AM

RES Software and Overlap group reach mutual agreement that allows Overlap to continue distributing RES Products and RES ceases their lawsuit regarding VUEM.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:06:53 PM
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 2:30:34 AM
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:27:00 AM
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:25:41 AM
Live blogging Citrix Synergy Day 1 Keynote from San Francisco
By Shawn Bass on Friday, April 16, 2010 8:52:44 AM

 Talk about a blog entry I never thought I'd be writing... "Training class canceled due to volcano"?

Benny Tritsch and I had to make a tough decision in canceling our Citrix Training class in Sweden next week due to the extremely difficult European travel situation because of the volcano in Iceland.  We're currently working out a plan of action with our training partners in Sweden to reschedule this class.  Stay tuned for details on when that reschedule will happen.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:54:39 AM

My Olso, Norway training class scheduled for March 22-26th is full.  There are open seats in the Malmo, Sweden class that is running April 19th-23rd.  If you want to get a chance to attend the Advanced Citrix class while it's still in Europe then sign up for Malmo.  Registration information for Malmo can be found here.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 12:08:46 AM

 

I've just posted up details on the schedule of classes for 2010.  There are currently four scheduled classes next here in the following locations and dates:

Oslo, Norway Mar 22-26
Chicago, IL May 24-28
New York, NY Aug 9-13
San Diego, CA Nov 8-12

 

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 12:05:18 AM
Sumit Dhawan has posted a blog entry describing licensing changes that Citrix has made in response to direct customer feedback.  While I assumed that Citrix would eventually breakdown and agree to support additional licensing models, this is more comprehensive than I expected they would do.  The models are now:

Per user licensing (this is still per user and not named user) Per device licensing (XD can be used by unlimited users on a given device) - New option that's great for factories, healthcare, shift workers, etc....
By Shawn Bass on Saturday, August 29, 2009 9:49:03 PM

I previously blogged about a memory leak in Secure Gateway 3.1.1 and that you should avoid it.  Citrix has released Secure Gateway 3.1.2 that fixes the memory leak in 3.1.1.  Get it at CTX122212.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:34:34 PM
I'm pleased to announce that I'll be presenting three sessions at the Fall Citrix User Group Norway event in Geilo, Norway from October 7th to October 9th.  There will be plenty of great speakers coming including Simon Crosby, Rich Crusco, Rick Dehlinger, Benny Tritsch, Rene Vester and Alex Yushchenko.  The event is going to be held at the Dr. Holms Hotel in Geilo.  Very much looking forward to attending and thanks to the cug.no group for inviting me to speak there.  Details on the agenda of the event are not public yet, but I'm sure they'll be...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:26:37 PM

I've just posted up details on the November 2009 5-day Advanced Citrix training class that will be held in Las Vegas, NV.  This class is a great opportunity for people who administer Citrix environments to get deep understanding of how Terminal Services and Citrix XenApp environments really work.  We'll also discuss server virtualization, Provisioning Server, XenDesktop, etc but the class is primarily focused on XenApp.  This class is not made for people who are new to Citrix and we don't spend time on pointless lab exercises that you can do without an instructor there.  This is 5 days full of in depth technical lecture and best practices sharing.  You don't want to miss this.

The 5-day master class is $2895 USD and there's a maximum class size of 16.  Full details of what is covered in the class as well as details on how to secure a seat is located on the training page.  Hope to see you there!

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 12:02:14 PM
At a client of mine we're steadily rolling out 3k instances of XenDesktop.  One issue that surfaced early on is that Weblogic Workspace v10.2 crashed on launch after the deployment of the Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA).  The client had packaged/certified the 3.03.059 release of the VDA.  After deploying the VDA and rebooting, user's of Weblogic Workspace 10.2 were unable to launch the application.  The crash that would appear is this:



It turns out that this particular issue is caused by applications that attempt to acquire a large allocation of memory during startup.  Something about the XenDesktop VDA breaks this ability.  The good news is that Citrix has found this issue and corrected it in the new XenDesktop 3.0 Feature Pack 1 VDA (3.1.3236) which can be downloaded at CTX121590

...
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 9:41:52 AM
A client of mine experienced some slowness/freezing of XenDesktop 3.0 sessions when used from India.  The slowness is experienced during logon, but also during a minimize/maximize of the XenDesktop session or during an unlock of the local PC.  Here is the background of this issue and what was done to mitigate the issue.

Background: Client uses folder redirection of Application Data folder. That AppData folder is currently redirected across the WAN because of lack of infrastructure in India. Yes, I realize this is an extremely bad practice, but it's what they decided to do and it's what I currently have to deal with. Client PCs are in India. XenDesktop VMs are in Chicago. Circuit is 9MB bandwidth and approximately 270 ms of round trip latency.

Issue: Desktop Receiver takes approximately 90 seconds to complete the logon to a hosted desktop. However, this delay is a one time daily expense so was workable, however the bigger problem is that any time the hosted desktop was minimized and maximized...
By Shawn Bass on Friday, July 17, 2009 7:18:29 PM
After having just migrated a customer from Web Interface 3.0 + Secure Gateway 2.0 to Web Interface 5.1 / Secure Gateway 3.1.1 I had the unfortunate pleasure of finding a memory leak in Secure Gateway 3.1.1.  After some period of time (hours/days depending on how busy your SG environment is) the private bytes in use by the Secure Gateway service climbs to a point where it stops functioning.  When this happens you're down.  What's worse is that if you're using traditional port monitoring on a hardware load balancer, the SG Service still listens on 443 so your load balancer won't direct users away from the non-functional Secure Gateway host.  About three days ago Citrix pulled the Secure Gateway 3.1.1 download as visible on CTX121012  However that doesn't help me much since my customer was turned up a few days prior to it being pulled UGH!.  Anyway, I'm now in the process of uninstalling SG 3.1.1 and installing 3.1 in it's place (which sucks because 3.1 has a security vulnerability).  Hopefully Citrix will put out a fixed 3.1.1 release and more importantly hopefully they start communicating these types of things through their blog, etc.

...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, July 16, 2009 10:44:30 PM
Over the course of the last few years, I taught an Advanced Citrix training class that was originally developed by Brian Madden.  Over those few years, I took the material and updated it, rewrote large parts of it and made it my own.  At the same time, Dr. Benny Tritsch began contributing to the material and was teaching the class in Europe.  After BrianMadden.com was acquired by TechTarget, Brian (and myself and Benny Tritsch) effectively halted those training classes.  This is why the Training URL on Brian's site says "We're working on our 2009 schedule".  Anyway, I've arranged a relationship with a training facility and I intend on giving the training class anywhere from 2-4 times per year (no need to become a career trainer - there's plenty of those out there now).  If you're looking for a training class to really learn how Citrix works, then this is the class for you.  We don't do any of those pointless labs that are in most training cirriculum....
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, July 02, 2009 10:35:17 AM
So I've got a client that I've been rolling out HRP04 for XenApp 4.5 in order to resolve a nasty conflict between Microsoft App-V and Citrix's Client Drive provider cdm.sys that results in BSODs in certain circumstances when users of App-V applications try to perform I/O to their client drives.  The system BSODs with a Stop 8E.  I've been cautious about rolling out HRP04 because we've found re-introduction of some multimonitor glitches that were quite stable with HRP02 (as long as Post-HRP02 3040/3044 wasn't deployed - can't remember which of those two the seamless problem came from).  Anyway, I've got HRP04 rolled out to about 80% of the farm, but we have one app that was bombing in Seamless mode because the application didn't think that the session had an 800x600 sized display.  What's strange about this issue is that I ran...
By Shawn Bass on Saturday, May 09, 2009 8:11:57 PM

I'll be giving a session a Pubforum 2009 in Dublin, Ireland on June 5-7 (yes Friday through Sunday, this is a geek conference after all).  I'll be presenting on VDI and where the industry in general is at now that XenDesktop 3.0 has been released.  Stop by and say hello!

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 7:32:59 PM
My good friend Jeroen van de Kamp of Login Consultants mentioned that they've recently released the 0.5 Beta of their platform independent performance benchmarking tool for TS/Citrix and VDI environments.  What would a tool like VSI be used for?  Let's say you want to compare how many VDI sessions you can get on VMware ESX vs Citrix XenServer, or how many Terminal Server sessions you can squeeze out by tweaking your LanMan Parameters or Virus Scanner settings, etc.  This is the type of benchmarking that this tool was created for.  The best part, Login gives it to us for free!  That's free as in beer.

Some of the new features of the 0.5 release are:

True platform independence (both VDI & SBC) through a powerful custom command line option within the launcher, this includes the possibility to use a CSV file with advanced connection details for each individual session; Randomization of user data within each user load loop, this is the most important new feature of this beta as now optimizers (either at a memory or network level) cannot optimize/cache/compress/de-duplicate in an unrealistic fashion;...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, July 03, 2008 2:43:55 PM

Daniel Feller from the Citrix Worldwide Consulting Solutions group has posted a nice set of Visio Stencils for the new Citrix Delivery Center components.  This includes visio shapes for all the new XenApp branded components as well as XenDesktop, XenServer, Password Manager, Netscaler, WANscaler, Branch Repeater, etc.  I definitely recommend picking up a copy if you frequently do Visio diagrams of Citrix infrastructure components.  And thanks to Daniel for sharing this with the community.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 12:14:44 PM
I received an email yesterday that I was nominated and approved for a Microsoft MVP in Terminal Services.  What can I say other than I'm honored to be included in such a great group of people who contribute so much to the community at large.  Thanks to everyone for their support.  My MVP page can be found here.  One of these days (when I get free time) I'll actually update my profile to include all the relevant info.  Also, Congrats to the other new Terminal Server MVPs:  Seung Heun Noh: Terminal Server: Engineering, Greg Shields: Terminal Server: Author, and Joe Shonk: Terminal Server: Architecture.  

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, July 01, 2008 2:28:24 PM
The age old question of whether or not you should virtualize a Citrix server.  It use to be a diffcult question because the virtualization platforms were not very optimized for a Terminal Server workload.  Many things have changed in this regard, and now it's not such a crazy decision anymore.  There are certain use cases where it's a no brainer (license servers, web interface, secure gateway, etc).  However, for pure Presentation Servers it was always a bit of a toss up.  On one hand you have a situation where you know you're going to get less users than on physical hardware, versus the other side that says since 32-bit Windows is limited to 2 GB of kernel memory, then virtualizing some Citrix servers on a 16GB or 32GB server carved up into several Terminal Server VMs will scale more users than a single physical instance on th equivalent server hardware.  But that's comparing a physical install using 32-bit Windows, not 64-bit.  Still, it does make a lot of sense to at least consider virtualizing your Terminal...
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 10:09:41 PM
Vishal Ganeriwala from Citrix has recently posted a blog entry about a social networking contest that's being conducted at the Citrix Synergy event next week in Houston.  If you happen to be attending, here's how the process goes:

You comment on Vishal's blog entry stating that you'd like to borrow one of the FlipVideo cameras. You record some 5 minute video segment capturing your thoughts (or someone elses if you don't have any LOL) regarding the Citrix Synergy event. You turn the camera back into Vishal the following day. All the videos get uploaded to YouTube. The top 5 most viewed submissions will receive the FlipVideo camera for free....
By Shawn Bass on Friday, May 02, 2008 9:36:45 AM

Vishal Ganeriwala from Citrix sent me a tip that Dr. SDK (head Citrix MFCOM jockey) has updating his SDK Guide "Scripting MetaFrame".  The new guide can be found here and is a must read for anyone attempting to use MFCOM from VBScript/PowerShell, etc.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 01, 2008 2:39:24 PM
Gus Pinto has blogged recently about a utility developed by the internal IT organization at Citrix that was used to assist in minimizing the amount of time required to get people into their Citrix apps.  You can see a "veedio" [ LOL @Gus ;) ] of this in action here.  Gus also did a follow up interview with the creators of the utility here.

One thing to know up front about this utility is that it will be released to the web as an unsupported utility on CDN.  It won't be an "official" Citrix product.

Now before I comment on this, let me first state that I have no inside knowledge of how this thing was developed, nor am I an expert at the inner workings of it.  That being said, let me state some assumptions about how I *think* this thing is working and some potential shortcomings of it. ...
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:26:56 AM

With only three weeks to go before the Citrix Synergy event in Houston, TX Barry Flanagan has posted up a list of technical sessions from the Citrix Synergy conference.  While anything could happen, I'm getting the general feeling like this might just be the most technical Citrix iForum ever.  Even if not, I'm just happy that Citrix is actually publically recognizing the Citrix Technology Professional program as opposed to treating it like the ugly red-headed stepchild (no offense to ugly red-headed stepchildren).

View the list of technical sessions in Barry's blog entry.

By Shawn Bass on Sunday, April 27, 2008 12:31:51 PM
I have been a long time supporter of the Citrix Online GotoAssist product as an excellent way for organizations to provide remote support to their internal associates, but specifically for their remote office workers, work from home employees, and third party customers/partners.  Whenever I'm able
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:26:23 AM
Never in a million years did I ever expect to hear a reference to Brian Madden in a public video from Mark Templeton, but that day has come.  I was reading a blog item from Jeffrey Muir where he mentioned a video that Citrix was sending throughout the company as a commercial advertisement to re-enforce the reasons why people should attend Citrix Synergy.  Jeff posted a link to the video and I gave it a listen.  Surprisingly, Mark talks about the Geek Speak Live section of the conference that several of the Citrix Technology Professionals (including myself) will be speaking at.  This is a great thing as it's becoming clear that Citrix is really beginning to recognize the CTP program and evangelize it within the organization.  If you're going to Synergy, I recommend you stop in on the Geek Speak Live sessions.  I'm sure...
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 7:21:57 AM
I have a customer that is performing an upgrade to Presentation Server 4.5 right now.  The way I setup their deployment is that the server is built with 2003 SP2 and then an unattended build of PS 4.5.  Then after the server is joined to the farm, there's an Installation Manager package group of about 50 core components that are pushed to the server.  From a Citrix hotfix perspective, the following items are deployed:

PSE450W2K3R01.msp  - Hotfix Rollup Pack 1

PSE450R01W2K3003.msp PSE450R01W2K3004.msp PSE450R01W2K3007.msp PSE450R01W2K3008.msp PSE450R01W2K3009.msp PSE450R01W2K3010.msp PSE450R01W2K3029.msp PSE450R01W2K3033.msp PSE450R01W2K3036.msp PSE450R01W2K3042.msp

PSE450R01W2K3032.msp -  Limited Release hotfix

These hotfixes were generally deploying well to all servers, but I've noticed an odd situation that's sometimes occurring when I push the entire package group to a brand new server.  It seems that during the deployment of PSE450R01W2K3008.msp it sometimes stalls the installation of the IM Package Group (i.e. it does ever seem to finish).  Upon further investigation of the MSI log, I'm seeing where the problem is occurring.  Here's a snippet of the MSI log with the relevant MSI action that's hanging the install:

...
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 7:12:32 AM

Well sort of an answer anyway...

The Technical Marketing team (isn't that a oxymoron?) from Citrix and Microsoft recently got together and published a 14 page PDF (what no XPS?) where they've compared the technical features of a Server 2003 TS, Server 2008 TS, and Citrix implementation.  While I personally think that both teams have been biased in certain areas of the document, it is a good general comparison of the features between the two products.

Click here to read the Citrix blog entry that links to the pdf.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:18:06 AM
On April 1st, 2008  Brian Madden had posted up an April Fool's day joke in the form of a blog entry describing how some new Australian firm had developed technology that would allow you to suspend a session running on a Terminal Server and take it offline in the form of VDI on a laptop.  While some people initially commented that they wanted more info about this, etc.  it became clear in the comments that people eventually realized that this technology doesn't exist. Brian later confirmed that it was truly a joke, but then questions why some of this is not possible.  What I'm going to do in this blog entry is discuss the reasons behind why this technology isn't possible. Suspend TS session and resume on a desktop VM (VDI): This one is so ridiculuous...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, March 27, 2008 7:13:00 AM
It's no secret that Citrix is planning on moving large parts of the Citrix farm configuration into Group Policy.  One of the many reasons for doing this is that you could build a new server, drop it into an OU, and have it preconfigured for use.  While this group policy based farm configuration won't be coming for a year or two, there's some important things that Juliano has discussed in a blog entry with respect to how you get from IMA-based farm/server config to Group Policy based farm/server config.

Essentially what Citrix is planning on doing is creating a Migration Utility that would read the farm information from your current PS 4.5 environment, export the entire thing to an XML file (which you could then edit to make minor modifications and then import it into the new XenApp environment that is Group Policy based.  While I applaud Citrix's thoughts in this manner, I also feel like this type of utility is about 7 years overdue. If a farm migration Wizard existed back in MetaFrame XP, or 3.0, or 4.0,...
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 2:57:09 PM

I just noticed on Frameworkx.com that Gus and Rich have officially joined Citrix Systems as Technology Evangelists.  This isn't entirely surprising as both of them worked for Citrix in previous lives, but what is interesting is the timing.  Citrix has recently lost several of their Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) members.  One wonders if this isn't some tit for tat with Provision/Quest...  Of course with Gus gone, there goes another CTP.  Don't worry Gus, I'll hold down the fort for ya!

See this blog entry on Frameworkx for the details.

I know both Gus and Rich very well and I wish both of them the best of luck with Citrix.

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:01:04 AM
Citrix has posted my second technical video this time covering an Introduction to Citrix Streaming and Virtualization (or Isolation as Citrix loves to call it) As Brian Madden alluded to here and here, Citrix has begun to post more and more technical videos on the XenApp landing page. Within the last week they've posted up the video I created that describes what Citrix Streaming is all about and demonstrates a walk through of creating a streamed application for both a Presentation Server and an ICA Client.  The video is 33 minutes long and gives a good overview of how Streaming works as well as some best practices for streaming your applications.  If you like this video, please post a comment and let me know your thoughts.  I'm considering doing a more advanced streaming video in the future, so please...
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 4:31:02 PM
At a customer site I recently ran into an issue in their PS 4.5 farm (PS 4.5 with HRP1 and AMC 4.6 updates).  The issue manifests itself as certain icons appears a black squares.  The strange part is the icon doesn't look like a black square while you're adding the published app, but the minute you click Finish to save the published application, you see the AMC display it in all of it's blackness like so:



If you then go to view one of these icons in Web Interface, you'll see it show up like this:



Obviously this will result in confusion for the admin as well as frustrated users since they won't be able to easily identify their icons.  The root cause of this issue is an apparently conflict between the fact that the AMC can only...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:34:50 PM

Citrix finally put out a public hotfix to replace limited release hotfix PSE450R01W2K3021.  The new hotfix PSE450R01W2K3033 fixes several issues with Installation Manager including one that's existed since MetaFrame XP!

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:23:15 AM
Trying to play catch up on the industry as I've been extremely busy lately.  I've come across several blog items from other community guys that I thought were important to share.  All of these items have something to do with Terminal Server scale / performance.

First Michel Roth of ThinComputing.net pointed me to a new free utility from Warren Simondson of Ctrl-Alt-Del Consultancy called TSLoadStat.  This is a command line utililty that measures a few server performance stats and reports them on the command line.  While I don't personally find static measurement tools a good indication of server performance (especially because often these tools induce their own load that artificially makes the server look terribly busy when it's not, it's still worth mentioning here).  You can find the information on TSLoadStat here.

Next, Al Solorzano has a nice writeup on 32-bit vs 64-bit from...
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:14:58 AM

PubForum is a conference that is put on by Server Based Computing experts as a community gathering / learning experience.  I presented at PubForum 2005 in Nice, France and it was a great experience.  If you plan to be in Dublin during May 9th through 11th, or if you've ever wanted to go to Dublin, I highly recommend this conference.  The conference costs a nominal €175 so it's not very expensive.  Although with the current weak dollar, that's about 1 billion USD LOL.  It's actually around $260-275 US.

More details about the conference including scheduled presenters and topics can be found at the following link.

By Shawn Bass on Sunday, January 20, 2008 1:33:15 PM

Aaron has a great snippet about Adobe Flash 9e breaking Citrix's SpeedFlash acceleration as the ActiveX OCX that Citrix is looking for isn't present in this version.  You probably want to give this blog entry a read before upgrading your Flash components on your servers.

By Shawn Bass on Friday, January 18, 2008 8:02:02 AM

Citrix is beginning a series of webinars to talk about the various SDK components.  I personally think this is very valuable as there's always a need to script some component leveraging the Citrix SDKs.  What a great way to learn about it from the Citrix developers themselves.

The first webinar in the series will on the Virtual Channel SDK and will be held on Friday January 25th 2008.  The webinar will cover the following topics:

• Brief Introduction to ICA protocol
• What is ICA virtual channel?
• Possible uses of custom virtual channels
• Virtual channel components
• Client-Server data exchange
• Introduction to Virtual Channel SDK
• Sample virtual channel demo

Click here to view the information on the webinar and to find the registration link.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 10:20:41 AM

Problems installing Office XP on Terminal Server while trying to suppress the installation of Outlook.  This is a confirmed bug in the Office installation routine.

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 11:34:39 AM

What is Project S-Bend?  In it's simplest form, it's a mechanism of notifying a Citrix admin of audit related events that are occuring on your Presentation Server 4.5 farm.  Ok, so what is it really?  It's a Windows Service that Jason wrote that identifies changes to your Configuration Logging database (new in PS4.5) via a SQL Trigger.  When new events are written to the Config Logging database, Jason's windows service will dispatch an email to you letting you know what changed.  Here's a link to where you can read about S-Bend and download it.  And here's a link for basic setup instructions.  Awesome stuff.

By Shawn Bass on Monday, January 14, 2008 10:48:48 AM

I'm not sure how I missed this KB article in December, but Citrix released the tool to recreate the Citrix Print Service user account.  The tool can be downloaded from CTX113554.

Thanks to Thomas Koetzing for the link.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:24:08 AM

Al has a nice tip on improving the performance of RDP and ICA connections on Windows Vista.  Read the full details here.

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, January 03, 2008 4:41:38 PM

One of the Microsoft folks in Indonesia put a new spin on the otherwise boring TS Web Access in Server 2008 by putting a Siverlight front end to it.  While it may not be practical for business people to launch their apps this way, it does look pretty!

Check out the demo here.

Download and explanation of how you can set it up here.

And thanks to Thincomputing.net for the link.

By Shawn Bass on Friday, December 21, 2007 8:25:38 AM
Whether your company has started it or not, companies all over the world are investigating what it would take to become more green.  What does "more green" mean?  Well, it means finding ways to reduce your companies electrical power consumption when you're not needing it.  Many companies have done simple things like ensuring that all desktop PC monitors have a Power Saver timer after 20 minutes of inactivity.  However, many organizations still leave their desktops (and servers) powered on 24x7.

Citrix is attempting to do their part by releasing their Citrix PowerSmart Management Utility.  What is PowerSmart?  In essence, it's a utility that let's an administrator control which servers in a farm are able to be powered off when their session count drops, and then power those servers up on a schedule.  More detail about PowerSmart can be found in Ray Yang's original post announcing PowerSmart.  Some organizatons may not be willing to go down this path as it's a bit risky, but sooner or later all companies...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:25:45 PM

Ok, I'll admit it that it's not a business reason to use a software product, but it is ridiculously cool.  Derek Thorslund posted a video about a month ago that demos the features that Project Pictor brings for OpenGL acceleration.  While acceleration of Catia CAD software is really exciting stuff, it leaves a little to be desired for those folks who aren't familiar with how poorly CAD software runs on Terminal Services.  If you're in for a more true to life demonstration, then watch the end of the video when they play Quake 3 in OpenGL acceleration via Project Pictor.  That's some amazing stuff.

Thanks to Doug Brown for the heads up on the video.

 

By Shawn Bass on Thursday, December 20, 2007 9:58:37 PM
There is a bug in the installation routine for PS 4.5 HRP01 that in certain server configurations will cause MSI Self Healing to be triggered on systems where HRP01 has been installed. There are very specific conditions that cause this problem and there are several workarounds/fixes.
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:22:30 PM

Citrix has finally integrated an official blog site into their public presence.  I have to say I've been very happy with the content that has come out of Citrix in the previous Citrix Community and Citrite.org blog sites, and I'm hoping to see even more content coming out of the official site.  Go visit them and give them some feedback on the new site.  Between this site and the Knowledge Center updates, Citrix has really been investing heavily in overhauling their web presence.

By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:11:11 PM

Jason Conger has published a development road map for the amazing Web Interface for Resource Manager.  If you're not using this tool, I highly recommend that you download it (it's free) and start using it.  You need to have an RM Summary database as it uses that info, but it's one of the greatest free utilities for Citrix server environments.  Anyway, Jason recently published the roadmap which hints at some fantastic new features such as AJAX, MFCOM Real time performance data, and integrated Configuration Logging database reports, etc.  I can't wait for the new version.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 1:48:11 PM
For those who are using Citrix Installation Manager as a deployment strategy for MSI packages and hotfixes, etc. you should be aware that if you deploy HRP01 for PS4.5 and then attempt to deploy MSI packages that include transforms (MST files) the installation via IM will fail.  Citrix has a private hotfix named PSE450R01W2K3021.msp that resolves this issue.  However, there's still a number of issues which are:

1) The fact that this is still a private hotfix and it came out in August 2007.  Come on Citrix, where's the final public hotfix for this thing already?

2) The fact that it's private and most people don't know that it exists.

3) The fact that it seems to be invalidated by newer hotfixes.  I've done test deployments of hotfix numbers greater than 21, and it seems from my testing that if you don't deploy limited release hotfix 21 at the very end of your Citrix hotfixes, then you lose the ability to deploy further MSIs that include transforms.  So I've been putting limited release hotfix...
By Shawn Bass on Monday, November 26, 2007 10:16:28 AM

While this whitepaper is coming from a vendor and is partial to their profile management solution, it's still a very nice review of the Windows Profile Management headaches and provides info on how the sepagoProfile solution resolves this issues.  It's definitely a nice read.

By Shawn Bass on Monday, November 19, 2007 3:51:18 PM

Brian Madden has recommitted himself to completing the upcoming CPS 4.5 book.  Brian is approaching this book in a slightly different approach than previous books.  In the new CPS 4.5 book, Brian will be writing chapters and releasing them online immediately in a brand new content management system built by Brian's web developers.  This will allow for immediate release of new information, as well as corrections and community feedback.  To this end, Brian has released Chapter 3: Network architecture.

By Shawn Bass on Sunday, November 18, 2007 7:12:34 AM
A client of mine is just putting in Secure Gateway 3.0 with WI4.6 (and PNA).  I noticed that they didn't have Session Reliability enabled and I was going to set it up for them.  I noticed that they didn't have any hotfixes for Secure Gateway 3.0 (which is a no-no since you'll have problems connecting in with newer ICA Clients 9.2+ when using Session Reliability).  Citrix fixed the issue with the hotfix SGE300W003 (CTX110661), but that hotfix was later superceded by SGE300W008 - CTX114059.  So you go off and download CTX114059 and attempt to apply it to your Secure Gateway 3.0 setup.  During the installation the hotfix stops and tries to restart the Secure Gateway service.  However, you receive an Error 1920 from Windows Installer stating that it's unable to start the Secure Gateway Service.  The reason for this error is that the Secure Gateway hotfix is dependent upon a Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime...
By Shawn Bass on Saturday, November 03, 2007 3:34:03 PM

Ruben Spruijt from PQR posted a blog entry over at BrianMadden mentioning that Citrix support has released a video of their CSEIT session that covers troubleshooting tools for CPS environments.  I attended this session myself and it's a overall good session, though much of the tools covered are things I'm already using.  Still, a great review of the available tools.  Ruben is kindly hosting the video/PPT download on his site here.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:48:56 PM

I love the Idokorro Rove Mobile Citrix ICA Client for Blackberry.  Rove Mobile recently announced the release of version 2.0 of the Mobile Citrix client that adds support for Secure Gateway connections and an improved web interface.  Read the press release here.  View the FAQ here.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:08:03 PM

On a blog entry at CitrixCommunity Derek Thorslund has posted a link to a video clip showing some pretty advanced graphics acceleration that Citrix is working on for remoting things like Vista Aero to remote systems over ICA.  It's a pretty impressive video.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:25:50 PM

Michael Burke has put up part 4 of 4 of his Troubleshooting TS Licensing on MSTerminalServices.org.  This article deals with the following items:

  • An in-depth look at the MSLicensing registry key
  • Using the TSCTST resource kit utility for decoding client CALs
  • Popular event IDs and corrupt CAL issues
  • Transferring CALs from one client to another
  • Some notes on thin-client devices

Read the full article here.

By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 7:12:49 AM
Michael Burke has posted part 3 of 4 in his series on troubleshooting Terminal Server licensing.  This entire series is a great read and reference to hang on to.

This topic is on:
  • Corrupt license databases
  • Activation issues
  • Problems adding CALs
Read the full article here.
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:59:49 AM
Since server hangs is an often reported issue on Terminal Server environments due to high resource depletion, I thought it would be best to post this blog entry under the SBC blog even though it largely applies to all Windows Server environments.  The Windows Server Performance Team blogged about methods to troubleshoot server hangs today and it boils down to these steps:Is this a hard or soft hang?  If this is a hard hang, then the odds are that there is an underlying hardware issue, so contact your hardware vendor. Check the Event logs for any events in the System Log at the time of the hang.  In the case of Pool Depletion, you will see Event ID's 2019 or 2020 with the Event Source being SRV Launch Performance Monitor and check the starting value for Free System PTE's under the Memory object.  If a system is booting up with fewer Free System PTE's than is normal (around 15,000 or fewer), then that is not a good sign.  That means that...
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:54:22 AM
Michel Roth has written a nice article about tuning file server performance.  The Windows Performance Team has recently blogged about settings that can be tuned for Windows Explorer to reduce the amount of SMB traffic generated.  These would be great settings to apply to a Terminal Server environment since you have a lot of instances of Windows Explorer or File Open/Save dialogs running that could create a lot of SMB traffic.Some of the suggested optimizations would disable the following Windows Explorer behaviors:Searches for Desktop.ini files used for folder customization Periodic refreshes of folder contents Searches for supporting library (.dll) files Individual file details and attributes pulled for each file Thumbnail extractionAnd the settings to accomplish these changes are as follows:Windows...
By Shawn Bass on Friday, September 21, 2007 9:47:46 AM
Charles Aunger pointed me to a recently published KB article on Citrix's website that relates to best practices in profiling and delivering applications using their Streaming Server technology.  While much of the info in this article is common sense, it's a nice refresher.
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:38:54 PM
In a previous blog entry I linked to a blog entry from Helge Klein where he tested the bandwidth impact of enabling ClearType over RDP.  At the time, it appeared that ClearType was responsible for a double in bandwidth requirements.  In conducting further testing, it appears that 32-bit color depth with font smoothing enabled causes the greatest increase in bandwidth consumption (a factor of 6).  Read the updated article here.
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:25:25 PM
While Citrix stated they were moving away from Feature Packs, they've released Feature Pack 1 for Presentation Server 4.5.  Michel Roth of Thincomputing.net has a nice review of the primary features included.
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:06:59 PM
The Terminal Services Team Blog has a great blog entry published recently where they describe the support that has been added for dynamic virtual channel drivers within RDP.  Most of us are aware that virtual channels exist within Terminal Services and Citrix ICA to allow for the exchange of information between server and client such as clipboard contents, file transfer, etc.  Those virtual channels are statically defined by the protocol and are moderately difficult to implement.  The blog entry posted illustrates the process for creating a dynamic virtual channel driver that is implemented as a plugin server side that allows to a content menu to be added to send a file to the TS Client's Desktop.  Personally I think this feature would be HUGE as file transfer to the client network is one of the biggest complaints from a useability perspective.  Hopefully Citrix will get on the bandwagon and create similar functionality...
By Shawn Bass on Monday, September 03, 2007 12:12:42 PM
Wilco van Bragt has a fantastic whitepaper on his website that details the steps necessary to utilize Citrix Presentation Server within an Ardence OS Streaming environment.  I personally have not used Ardence at any customer sites, but it's definitely something in the queue of things to get up to speed on.  I highly recommend reading this whitepaper.
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 10:23:07 AM
Aaron Parker has two very interesting blog entries on automating the creation of Citrix Administrator accounts using VBScript.  The first part of the article focuses on using MFCOM to read the permissions of the admin accounts as well as walking the folder structure of the management console.  The second part of the article is the complete code for adding the new admin account and setting the necessary permissions at each folder within the management console.  I recommend  checking them out if you're into automating your Citrix management tasks.
By Shawn Bass on Monday, August 20, 2007 11:16:35 AM
Helge Klein (from sepago) has an interesting blog entry on the bandwidth usage of ClearType font smoothing and it's impact on RDP bandwidth consumed.  I'd recommend a read of the entire article, but to summarize it appears that enabling ClearType would impose upwards of a 300% increase in bandwidth utilization.  YUCK!
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:02:56 AM
Citrix announced today that they are acquiring XenSource for $500 million.  I don't personally understand such a high price for an acquisition where the existing company had less than $5 million in revenue last year.  Also, Citrix has stated that they expect this acquisition to result in $50 million in revenue for fiscal year 2008, but at an expense of $60-70 million in total cost of revenue and operating expenses.  Again, I don't get it, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed...considering I actually own shares in Citrix

There's additional commentary over at Brian Madden's site here.

Shawn

By Shawn Bass on Monday, August 06, 2007 12:49:32 PM
Jeff Muir has a blog entry on something that he's calling "Aggregate Computing" which is to say a merger of the client and server environment in such a way that the end user doesn't know the difference between them, but rather just has access to the resources to get their job done.  I agree with this thought process and I too think that server based computing really needs to improve the end-user seamless factor to increase the user acceptance factor.  To that end, Citrix is working on things to deal with some of these aspects, so it's certainly an exciting time to be in server-based computing.
By Shawn Bass on Monday, August 06, 2007 12:33:05 PM
I'm sure everyone has experienced problems searching the Citrix support site at one time or another.  Citrix has recently introduced a new search tool to search the Knowledge Center.  I personally have mixed feeling about it since it has already let me down on a few searches (though that's what a feedback form is for, eh?)  Anyway, check it out here and make sure you send them feedback so it gets improved.  I'm off to do that myself.
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, July 05, 2007 2:38:13 PM
While I'm not entirely sure why they call it brief at just over 70 pages, Citrix has released an update to their Brief Troubleshooting Guide which is IMHO one of the best docs that's come out of Citrix (ok, aside from Jay Tomlin's WI/CSG troubleshooting guides).  It's essentially a workflow guide that can be used when trying to troubleshoot problems in a Citrix environment.  There's also links to all of the admin/troubleshooting guides as well as important KB links for well known problems.  Yesterday's update to the guide adds in information on Netscaler, WANscaler, EdgeSight, and of course Presentation Server 4.5.

Get it here:  CTX106727

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:27:01 AM
Wilco van Bragt has a nice article in a series of articles describing alternative products to Citrix Presentation Server.  It's definitely worth reading.

MSTerminalServices.org - Alternatives to Citrix Presentation Server (Part 1)

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 7:50:41 AM
Michael Burke has a nice article up on MSTerminalServices.org on high availability and recovery strategies for TS Licensing Servers.  Hopefully most of you are aware that in the absense of a functional TS Licensing environment, your entire Citrix environment is useless.  To that end, Michael has some great info on how you should design your TS License servers for high availability.

Read the full MSTerminalServices.org article.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 7:10:41 AM
Citrix has posted information that their acquisition of ThinGenius's load testing product has been productized as Citrix EdgeSight for Load Testing and will be available beginning June 24th, 2007.  This announcement came with the official launch of EdgeSight 4.5.  Pricing for the load testing product is $7500US for 100 virtual users (approximately 1k more than previous pricing under ThinGenius).  Frankly I'm surprised this was launched as quickly as it was.  It seems Citrix is really getting this M&A thing down pat now.

Read the official press release for full details.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Saturday, June 02, 2007 10:07:35 AM
From this forum thread on the official Citrix Support site, I found a link to a published KB article about the effects of WAN optimization technology on Citrix ICA traffic.  View the whitepaper from Citrix Consulting at the following link:

CTX113505 - FAQ - Truths and Myths of Presentation Server and WAN Optimization

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 9:12:41 AM
Jason has done it again and released another tool that probably should have come from Citrix.  Project Mobius is a beta1 release that at the present time is capable of drag-n-drop of published applications from one farm to another.  (PS3 through PS4.5).  A future release will bring the same support for policy objects.  Read up on the Project Mobius Beta1 here.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Monday, May 21, 2007 2:18:54 PM
I thought I would share this issue with everyone as it's a pretty odd one.  At a client site of mine that is running Web Interface 3.0, the server group had deployed 2003 SP2 to the Web Interface servers over the weekend.  After this, two Web Interface servers hosting different sites both started displaying the typical "Error: An internal error occurred. Please contact your system administrator." messages.  After disabling the Custom Error handler messages per CTX111722 a more descriptive, but still largely useless error message appeared on these servers.  Here is the message that was displayed: Server Error in '/Citrix/MetaFrame/default' Application. Compilation Error Description: An error occurred during the compilation of a resource required to service this request. Please review the following specific error details and modify your source code appropriately. Compiler Error Message: CS0007: Unexpected common language runtime...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:00:03 AM
For those who have ever written an MFCOM script, you may find it's a daunting task once you start examining the MFCOM Class.  There's multiple different interfaces depending upon which platform and version of PS that's involved and it's generally confusing to know the relationships of all of the components.  Fred Liu (a.k.a. Dr. SDK) has posted a blog entry explaining why the MFCOM class is so complicated and what Citrix is doing with CPSCOM to make things better.  If you want to get a view at MFCOM, see this class diagram.  Otherwise, continue on here to Dr. SDK's blog entry on CitrixCommunity.com

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 10, 2007 8:42:38 AM
There are several threads on the official Citrix support forums of people who have noticed a variety of strange things in their environment (after migrating to PS 4.5) ranging from increased WAN utilization, to increased CPU utilization for the Winlogon process and XTE service.  The culprit is our old friend the Smart Card hook.  If anyone remembers the joys that smart card redirection caused for 2000 servers with the Update Rollup 1 Patch this will be a painful reminder.  Anyway, Citrix appears to be creating a private hotfix for this at the moment.  In the meanwhile you'll want to disable the smart card hook via the registry entry or via the Terminal Services group policy entry for smart card redirection.  See the following forum threads for more info:PS 4.5 and Wyse v30 winlogon.exe 3% - 8% CPU per connectionWAN usageShawn
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 3:11:29 PM
While viewing a blog entry over at baeke.info, I was directed to this fantastic document from Microsoft that lists the functionality differences between 2003 Server and Longhorn server.  While this covers many things above and beyond the Terminal Services changes, it does have lots of info explaining the new features of Terminal Services that I'm sure you've read about in hundreds of other blog posts (Easy Print, RemoteApp, TS Gateway, etc.)  In addition to the terminal services stuff, there's a wealth of information on the changes to Active Directory, info on the inclusion of Windows Firewall in Longhorn, and good stuff about Server Core (which I personally think is going to be an awesome feature of Longhorn server).  Anyway, download the entire 272 page doc over here and make a pot of coffee before you start on this one ;)Shawn...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:27:32 AM
Around June of 2006 I created a video for Citrix that explains how the UPDv3 printing engine works in Presentation Server 4.0.  That video is available on the Presentation Server landing page under Technology Videos.  Brian Madden has also done several videos on farm design, Speedscreen technologies, etc.  I personally think that some of these videos are a great way at getting a better understanding of how these technologies work in a quick 30 minute view versus spending tons of time reading documentation and white papers.  I highly recommend that you check them out.Here's a link to the Citrix Technology Videos for Presentation ServerAlso, I'd love to hear feedback on what other topics that you'd like to see in a Citrix Technology Video?  Would you like to see more information on Streaming Server/Tarpon, Web Interface/Secure Gateway, Health Monitoring in PS4.5?  Please post your thoughts below.Shawn...
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:22:02 AM
Al Solorzano has published an article that provides an overview on how to setup the Configuration Logging feature of Presentation Server 4.5.  Configuration Logging is the new feature that Citrix added that audits all farm changes made via MFCOM (i.e. it covers changes made via the CMC/PSC, ASC/AMC, as well as scripts that utilize MFCOM).  Anyway, Al's got a great article up that covers the step-by-step of how to set it up as well as the basics for creating a report of the Configuration Logging database.

Read the full article here.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, April 12, 2007 8:12:49 AM
Per the Terminal Service's team blog, Microsoft has enabled support for revokation of TS Device licensing in Longhorn Terminal Services.  This should come as great news for the 3 people who are actually running 2003 Terminal Services in Per Device mode

Read the complete blog entry here

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, April 05, 2007 3:33:07 PM
I've blogged previously about the release of the Idokorro Mobile Blackberry client, and at the time I mentioned that there were some instances where you would receive a Terminal Services error that you weren't part of the Remote Desktop users group.  I'm happy to say that Idokorro has released a beta client that fixes this issue.  I don't want to share the download URL that they sent me privately, but you can contact them for a beta URL link to test this.

I'm loving this new way of using Citrix.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Thursday, April 05, 2007 7:03:58 AM
The Terminal Services team at Microsoft have posted the first in a series of blog entries on what's happening with TS Licensing in the Longhorn timeframe.  Many people know that TS user licensing is not tracked in 2003 Server, and every is fully expecting that to change in Longhorn.  However, the startling piece of this article (for me anyway) was this line:

"Note that in Longhorn, per-user licenses are only tracked and not enforced."

I'm not sure if this is in reference only to the beta product, or if it's the plan for the actual product launch.  I'd be very surprised if per user licensing wasn't enforced, though I'd have to say I'd be very happy if that was the case.  Licensing enforcement sucks!

View the blog entry here.

Shawn
By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 7:21:45 AM
Citrix has been working on a project called Timpanogos which is the feature set to bring some of the Advanced Access control features from the regular Citrix Access Gateway with AAC into the Netscaler product line (the Enterprise Edition).  Jay announced availability of the 8.0 firmware that enables this feature set on the Netscaler hardware.  NOTE:  You will need Netscaler hardware to run this firmware.

Read Jay's blog entry for detailed information.

Shawn


By Shawn Bass on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 8:35:14 AM
This is beyond cool!  Idokorro (makers of two other very cool products Mobile Admin and Mobile Desktop) have just launched the first public Citrix Client for the Blackberry platform.  One could argue that a Citrix client on a Blackberry is not the ideal platform for getting work done, but I've been using it as I used the Mobile Desktop product - for on the go deperate troubleshooting (i.e. I don't have a laptop near me, but need to get in a reboot a system, etc).  Anyway,  checkout their website for a download link (they even have an OTA download available from mobile.idokorro.com

On one of my Presentation Server 4.0 boxes, I'm receiving the typical TS error message that you're not a member of the Remote Desktop Users group.  This is weird since this system works perfectly fine locally as well as via WI/CSG.  I've exchange emailed with the Idokorro folks who mentioned that they've seen this on about 4-5% of the downloaded installs.  They are currently researching a fix and expect it to take no longer than 1-2 weeks (how's that for support!). 

UPDATE: Idokorro has released a beta client that fixes the TS error message.  Contact them down a download URL.

Anyway, one of the REALLY cool things about this product is that it supports either connecting directly via TCP/IP through your carrier (for externally facing Citrix connections) or more appropriately you can tunnel through your existing BES/MDS service (which is awesome if you're trying to fix a problem with your WI/CSG config).  I just can't speak enough about how cool this product is.

...
By Shawn Bass on Monday, March 26, 2007 7:49:10 AM

Exchange 2007 Outlook Web Access includes a functionality called WebReady document viewing that functions much the same as the HTML Preview functionality in Citrix's Advanced Access Control.  Currently 2003 versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, as well as PDF document types are supported, but this this able to be customized/extended for additional document types as well.  I realize that AAC provides greater control over the documents than this feature within Exchange, however it's still a great feature to include out of the box in Exchange 2007.

Read more at the MS Exchange Team's blog entry about WebReady document viewing

Shawn

By Shawn Bass on Monday, March 19, 2007 9:23:32 PM
Citrix has acquired a load testing technology from thinGenius Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Hopefully this is one of those products that will be made available to channel partners because I personally am always looking for a good efficient way of scale testing Citrix environments.

Read the press release from Citrix here

Shawn