Today as promised, Citrix released XenApp & XenDesktop 7.5!
Which can be downloaded from mycitrix here – – –> http://bit.ly/1gXdots
This new release contains alot of new interesting features such as integration with SCCM for WoL and integration with Amazon for cloud provisioning (Azure will come later)
It also contains a new release of Storefront 2.5 which allows for SSO to web (Finally!)
You can take a closer look at the admin guide to read more about the new changes here –> http://citrix.edocspdf.com/media/output/en.xenapp-xendesktop.cds-xenapp-xendesktop-75-landing.pdf
I just received a email from Dell that I was awarded with their community title Dell Rockstar for 2014! For those who are not aware of what Dell Rockstar is, you can read more about it here –> http://en.community.dell.com/p/dcf-rockstars.aspx
This is indeed a huge honor and I personally hope that I can contribute to enhance the community even further!
A long time since I’ve written about certifications. A lot has happend since last time I wrote one of these blog post and this one will be more an internal note for my part but it’s always nice to plan ahead and get things written down, or it will never get done
For my part I’m working alot with virtualization and data center solutions (and of course cloud solutions) therefore I’ve decided to pursue a couple of certifications to validate my skills there. Now this year I’ve decided to start with these exams for cloud and virtulization.
CCNA Data Center (This exam covers alot of different network topics such as LACP, TRILL, implementing Nexus V1000 and such and gives a solid understanding of networking in a datacenter layer, this is recommended for people that already has a CCNA)
Amazon Web Services Certified (The cloud isn’t going away, neither is Amazon. They have already created a certification which covers how to use their own services like cloudformation, EC2 and such and gives you a good understanding of the services that amazon has in their public cloud)
Comptia Storage+ (Comptia is a neutral vendor certification company, Storage+ is an certifiaction that is made in cooperation with SNIA which covers all the basics regarding Storage)
Comptia Server+ (Server+ is much like Storage+ but goes into server hardware aspect)
Comptia Cloud+ (Covers all the different scenarois around cloud computing, like the different ways to deliver cloud solutions, what you need to think about before moving services to the cloud and such. Not a very technical exam but more about strategy and general knowledge
Now these exams aren’t very hard, but it is always good to have the validation that you poccess the knowledge needed
This is something I’ve been meaning to write for some time, since I see new tools and extensions added to System Center every day. Many of these extensions are powerful and free which many use in their day to day job. So therefore I decided to write down a list of those tools I know free or otherwise(cost money) for the System Center portofolia. This list shows the whole ecosystems around System Center and the possibilities it has! Im guessing that many here might be new to someone. Hopefully some of these tools are of use to you
And if someone knows of an extension or tool that is not on the list please leave a comment and ill add it to the list ASAP.
|http://www.silect.com/mp-author||MPAuthor, allows you to create custom management packs|
|http://bit.ly/1cRID8M||Visio stensils Operations Manager|
|http://bit.ly/1lXBBrx||MPViewer (shows embedded resources in bundles (such as images or scripts), loads MPs asynchronously, and has the ability to Unseal and Unpack MP Bundles.)|
|https://www.nice.de/index.html||NICE management packs|
|http://bit.ly/1nOiLBx||Maintance Mode tool|
|http://bit.ly/1i7tSTQ||Microosft Management Packs Wiki|
|http://www.ozsoft-consulting.com/mp4sap/||SAP Management Packs|
|http://bit.ly/1i7tViA||Management Packs for Veeam|
|http://bit.ly/Onrhe4||Management Pack for SolarWinds|
|http://bit.ly/1gqJ2A1||Infront Advanced Server Management PAck|
|http://bit.ly/1gqJ4aU||Brocade Managemement Pack|
|http://dell.to/1kjzAmv||Dell Management PAcks|
|http://bit.ly/1nOjDGm||HP management packs|
|http://ibm.co/1fvSMN2||IBM management paks|
|http://bit.ly/1iex297||Managment Packs for Citrix|
|http://nt-ap.com/PuDSgs||Management Packs for NetApp|
|http://communities.quest.com/community/management-extensions/scom||Management Packs extensions from Quest|
|http://www.opslogix.com/products||Management Packs from opslogix|
|https://devcentral.f5.com/mpack||Management packs from F5|
|https://bridgeways.com/products||Management packs from Bridgeway|
|https://aws.amazon.com/windows/system-center/||Management Pack for Amazon|
|http://bit.ly/1fUpCsl||Visual studio authoring extensions|
|http://bit.ly/1nl4Beo||Management Packs for A10|
|http://hypervmpe2012.codeplex.com/||Management Pack extensions for Hyper-V|
|http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/04/solutions/dcsm-microsoft-system-center||Dell Update tools|
|http://bit.ly/1oNtLNX||Configuration Manager support center|
|http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36213||Configuration Manager tookit|
|http://blog.coretech.dk/kea/coretech-application-e-mail-approval-tool/||CoreTek Application e-mail approval tool|
|http://blog.coretech.dk/jgs/coretech-package-source-changer/||CoreTek package source changer|
|http://bit.ly/1i7tTqM||Secunia Update manager|
|http://patchmypc.net/scup||Enterprise Update Catalog|
|http://www.1e.com/it-efficiency/software/shopping-software-deployment/||1E App store|
Virtual Machine Manager
|http://www.savision.com/products||Savision Cloud Repoter|
|http://www.brocade.com/partnerships/technology-alliance-partners/partner-details/microsoft/microsoft-systems-center/index.page||Brocade Load balancer extension|
|http://www.citrix.com/go/products/xenserver/microsoft-beta.html||Citrix integration pack|
|http://bit.ly/1iCazW0||Cisco integration for Virtual Machine Manager|
|http://msandbu.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/netscaler-10-1-and-system-center-virtual-machine-manager-provider/||Citrix Netscaler and Virtual Machine manager|
|http://devcentral.f5.com/LinkClick.aspx?link=http%3a%2f%2fdevcentral.f5.com%2fdownloads%2fplugins%2fF5LoadBalancerPowerShellSetup-214-x64.zip&tabid=73&mid=3221||F5 BIG-IP load balancer extension|
|http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx%2F4AA4-8089ENW.pdf||HP Storage add-on|
|http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29309||Virtual Machine Manager component add-ons and exteions|
|http://www.provance.com/products/provance-it-asset-management-pack/overview||Provate IT Asset Management|
|http://www.signatureconsultancy.com/scsm-dashboard.html||Singature SCSM dashboard|
|http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SCSM-Console-Extensions-ff8a1026||Impacted buisness services|
|http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38791||Exchange connector 3.0|
|http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36214||Service Manager authoring tool|
|http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=232378||Sizing Tool Service Manager|
Having been involved in a case for a long time now where a partner wanted to use SCVMM with XenApp 6.5 and PVS 7.1 for a customer and it has not been quite as successfull.
Now I wanted to share some notes with PVS and Hyper-V and what the limitations are there at the moment.
- First of it is important to note that PVS 7.1 is the only version of provisioning that supports SCVMM 2012 R2, as the support matrix lists.
- Using PVS with Hyper-V is now functional with PVS 7.1 this requires Legacy adapters in Hyper-V since Legacy adapters are the only NICs in Hyper-V that support PXE boot
- Citrix has implemented a failover mechanism between Legacy and Synthetic which means that the streaming traffic can start from the Legacy adapter and then switch to the synthetic.
- Hyper-V 2012 R2 does support PXE with Sythentic devices with Generation 2 Virtual Machines, but THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY CITRIX YET.
- If we for instance are using a VM with two Legacy adapters, Hyper-V will always boot from the last legacy NIC added to the virtual machine, if we are using “Stream VM wizard” in PXE it will add the first NIC in the virtual machine meaning that we get the wrong MAC address in the PVS database
- Hyper-V creates a new NIC GUID when creating a machine from a tempalte unlike Vmware or XenServer which does not.
- Stream VM wizard in PVS creates virtual machines from templates which means that NIC’s on the PVS virtual machines get reinitialized when booting and therefore service stop responding since it delays the network start.
- The only solution to this is to clone machines and then add them manually to PVS like in this CTX article –> http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX128750
- XenDestkop setup wizard in PVS DOES NOT create virtual machines from template, but clones the virtual machine using a set of PowerShell cmdlets.
Hopefully 7.5 has support for Generation 2 Virtual Machines!
While working on a Hyper-V project I was noticing that the virtual machines had very sluggish network performance. This was a brand new enviroment with a good bandwidth so therefore I was a bit stumped on why the Network was acting so sluggish.
After doing some testing we saw that the hyper-v host had about 100mbit access to the internet and low latency on the link. The virtual machine that was running on it with a shared network card has about 1/3 of the speed and was getting quite high latency when accessing the internet.
After playing around with the Network driver I tried disabling VMQ on the card and voila! everything worked perfectly. When I saw it was a Broadcom driver and did a quick google search I found that there is a known issue with Broadcom network adapter drivers and VMQ
You can read more about it here –> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2902166
So if you are having trouble with virtual machines and sluggish network performance with Broadcom drivers, try disabling VMQ
NOTE: I had added the latest Broadcom drivers to the hyper-v host but they did not fix the issue, I contacted Broadcom which gave me a hotfix which I used in this instance.
So I see more and more questions regarding Office365, and therefore I suggest looking on this exam , Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses 74-325 https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-74-325.aspx
I have taken the exam so therefore I wanted to create a study guide to make it easier to study for this exam. First of I suggest looking at the jumpstart on Microsoft Virtual Academy which covers most of the topics. (This requires a MVA account) http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/administering-office-365-for-small-business-jump-start
Important to note that this exam is purely multiple choice and remember to read the questions carefully.
Also remember to take note of the different PLANs and the amount of users and what it includes in data storage.
I have also added technet articles under each topic. So this is what the exam covers:
Provision and manage users, groups, and domains
Create users; configure user and group properties and settings; manage user licenses and subscriptions; Bulk Add Users Wizard (CSV import); use Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronization Tool to provision and manage users and groups; recover identities and users; add and verify domains; Microsoft Online Services module for Windows PowerShell
User administration –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-365-user-account-management.aspx
Add and verify domains –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-365-domains.aspx
PowerShell module –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj151815.aspx
Office 365 administrator roles; delegated administration; Exchange role-based access control (RBAC) roles, including management role assignment policies for users
Assigning users and roles –> http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/ff637584.aspx
Prepare the client computer and configure remote connectivity
Prepare the client computer (prerequisites, desktop integration, Group Policy settings, manage desktop shortcuts, Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant); troubleshoot remote connectivity issues (Windows Firewall and network firewall for Lync, Exchange, and SharePoint); autodiscover and service location, trusted zones; configure remote administration (enable administrator for remote Windows PowerShell, Exchange Management Console), Office Professional Plus 2010
Client Support –> http://technet.microsoft.com/library/office-365-system-requirements.aspx
Ports and protocols users by Office365 –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh852522.aspx
Deployment Office365 Proplus –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg998766(v=office.15).aspx
Manage mailboxes, contacts, and groups
Single item recovery; recover mailboxes; migrate mailboxes; Email Migration Wizard; configure global policy settings, including Outlook Web App mailbox policy and Exchange ActiveSync policies; security and distribution groups (moderated, restricted, dynamic, and self-service)
Manage devices in ActiveSync –> http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ms.exch.ecp.activesyncaccess.aspx
Item recovery Office365 –> http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/hh125820.aspx
Migrate options office365 from Exchange –> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2798131
Manage messaging security and compliance
Antivirus/antispam (Exchange Online Protection); Exchange Data Loss Prevention; S/MIME; Information Rights Management (IRM); journal rules; certificates; Mutual TLS (MTLS); create and manage retention policies and retention tags; administrator audit logging; mailtips; litigation hold; archive mailbox (personal and online) –>
Mailtips Offic365 –> http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ff872400.aspx
Manage Lync in an Office 365 environment
Configure Lync services; configure federation and public IM connectivity (PIC); configure user settings (audio/video, file transfer, dial-in audio conferencing settings) –>
Lync Administraton –> http://technet.microsoft.com/library/lync-online-administration-and-management.aspx
Enabling features in Lync Online –> http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/hh416768.aspx
Manage site collections
Create site collections; manage site collection properties (quotas, owners, administrators, and external user policies); create and configure the public website
Creating site collection and defining quotas –> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-sharepoint-services-it/configuring-site-collection-quotas-and-locks-HA001160794.aspx
Setting public website Office365 –> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-sharepoint-online-enterprise-help/set-up-a-public-website-HA102476205.aspx
Manage user profiles
Configure user and organization properties and policies; manage social tags and notes; configure MySite properties; manage audiences
Manage team site; external user permissions; send external invites; create permission sets; define roles and groups; site templates; solution and feature framework (activating, deactivating, sandbox solutions); mobile device support; Recovery and Recycle Bin
Mobile Device support –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-365-mobile-devices.aspx
External user permissions and invitations –> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-sharepoint-online-small-business-help/manage-sharing-with-external-users-HA102849862.aspx
Manage public-facing website
Create a public website with the default domain; create a public website with a custom domain name; change the domain name of your existing public website; view the public website DNS information
Configuring pulblic website and domain –> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-sharepoint-online-enterprise-help/set-up-a-public-website-HA102476205.aspx
Now been encoutering some cases lately regarding use of App-V and Shared Content Store deployed from Configuration Manager. There are a couple of things that are worth taking note of here.
* Shared Content Store is an client configuration!
This can be enabled either during deployment of the App-V client by using this command.
appv_client_setup.exe /SHAREDCONTENTSTOREMODE=1 /q
Or using PowerShell
Set-AppvClientConfiguration -SharedContentStoreMode 1
The shared content store is very usefull in RSDH / XenApp and VDI implementations since it does not store app-v packages in the local cache. So instead of caching frequest access packages it uses NTFS points to point to a network share instead.
And when using App-V with Citrix PVS is the way to go!
Problem is when using Configuration Manager to deliver the packages to the App-V clients. You have two ways to deliver App-V packages. Either will streaming the content from the distribution point into the cache. Or by downloading the packages from the distribution point and then running the packages.
Important thing to note here is that the deployment type must be stream content from distribution point and not Download content from distribution point! since the Configuration Agent handles the App-V delivery it will ignore the SCS setting in the App-V client.
So worked with a issue with Internet Explorer 10 and its webcache and roaming profiles. The trouble is that with IE10 is that it stores its cache in the local appdata folder. (Same goes for IE11) With IE9 we do not have this issue.
This folder –> %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache
Here it stores the frequently access sites, password and so on.
The problem with using regular roaming users is that that %LocalAppData% folder is not part of the roaming profile user and will always stay on the server a user accessed. So the problem occurs when a user accesses a new server and again needs to build up their resources in IE10.
One solution is to create a group policy which alters the default behaviour of if Localappdata to allow to be part of the roaming profile.
This allows the local appdata folder to syncronized with romaing profiles as well. Now this has its advantages since it is easy to setup and easy to change with Group Policy, but it takes everything inside the folder to sync so you might need to look at the size of the romaing profiles. You can also use deduplication feature in Windows Server 2012 to save some space.
Another solution is to create a symlink here we can do it for a particular folder in order to reduze the roaming profile folder.
mklink C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Internet Explorer \\roamingprofilefolder /D
This needs to be run as administrator in order to take effect, so if you have RES for instance you can run this at logon to setup the link.
Microsoft recetly published an blogpost with how we can use data deduplication with Configuration Manager. http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2014/02/18/configuration-manager-distribution-points-and-windows-server-2012-data-deduplication.aspx
Now the reason why you would use Data deduplication is to save space, since this works on a file level it allows us to remove redudant chunks on files within a volume.
So instead of having file with a chuch of A B C D E F F F we would just have A B C D E F, im simple terms . I have written about how to use data deduplication within one of m y previous posts here, this shows how to trigger a schedule and setting it up using PowerShell http://msandbu.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/windows-server-2012-storage-redefined-part-1/
Now in terms of using it with Configuration Manager, there are some couple of things you might want to note.It is supported using data deduplication on a distribution point, but not on the source files. Meaning that we can use deduplication on volumes where the content library is located. This on the other hand, allows us to reduce a good amount of storage on our distribution point, but again it requires that the server is running Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2.