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Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V !

Windows Server2012 Hyper-V Cookbook

It is a practical book for discovering the new Hyper-V v3.0 with all the features displayed and explained in a clean and understandable way. It’s a must have for everyone working with Microsoft virtualization.
You can buy it at PacktPub, click here for the link. ISBN 978-1-84968-442-2 .


now available: Citrix XenServer 6.0 Administration Essential Guide

A few months ago I was asked to review the book Citrix XenServer 6.0 Administration Essential Guide, which I did.
Now, the book Citrix XenServer 6.0 Administration Essential Guide is available!!
This book is the start for using XenServer 6 in a clear, practical way. The writer of the book is Daniele Tosatto, who is a Citrix specialist who works and lives in Italy.

Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 is ready for XenDesktop 5.6!

Citrix released Provisioning Services 6.1 to be prepared for XenDesktop 5.6.
It’s possible to use the XenDesktop 5.6 Personal vDisk functionality within Provisioning Services 6.1.
What’s New in This Release?

Starting with this release, see to view a list of fixed issues and hot fixes since the previous Provisioning Services release.

This release contains the following new enhancements:

  • Support for Personal vDisks — Citrix XenDesktop with personal vDisk technology is a high-performance enterprise desktop virtualization solution that makes VDI accessible to workers who require personalized desktops using pooled-static virtual machines. Target devices that use personal vDisks are created using the Citrix XenDesktop Setup Wizard. Within a Provisioning Services farm, the wizard creates and adds target devices with personal vDisks to an existing site’s collection and assigns an existing shared-mode vDisk to that device. The wizard also creates XenDesktop virtual machines to associate with each device. A new type of catalog exists in Citrix Desktop Studio that allows you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops; the same users are assigned the same desktop for later sessions. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created (before logon) for each user so they can store all personalization’s to that desktop. Personalizations include any changes to the vDisk image or desktop that are not made as a result of an image update, such as application settings, adds, deletes, modifications, documents, etc.
  • Support for Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) – The vDisk Update Management feature now supports SCCM 2012 environments.
  • Support for Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) – The XenDesktop Setup Wizard and Streamed VM Setup Wizard now support SCVMM 2012 for Hyper-V environments.
  • Provisioning Services support for KMS licensing no longer requires local administrator privileges. Provisioning Services SoapServer KMS licensing now requires the same VHD mount privileges as Microsoft Windows (SE_MANAGE_VOLUME_PRIVILEGE, which is included in Administrators group by default).
    Note: If upgrading from a past release, be sure to reset the privileges accordingly.
  • Hypervisor support for ESX 5.0.

Known Issues and Limitations

In this Provisioning Services release, the following known issues has been identified:

XenDesktop Setup Wizard
BUG0278019 — In a streamed XenDesktop environment, the preferred mechanism for creating streamed desktop catalogs is to use the XenDesktop Setup Wizard, which is available from the Provisioning Services Console. While the XenDesktop Desktop Studio console also provides a mechanism to create streamed catalogs by ‘importing’ information from Provisioning Services, it is not the preferred mechanism because using it can lead to duplicate desktops being created in multiple catalogs (an unsupported configuration). To avoid this, only create new catalogs using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard, and only use the streamed catalog creation mechanism in Desktop Studio if you are reconstructing a catalog from previously created VM’s.

Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 available now!

What’s New in XenDesktop 5.6

XenDesktop 5.6 includes the following new features and enhancements:

  • Personal vDisk – This feature is a personalization solution for virtual desktops. Two new types of catalog allow you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops even when the disk is cleaned at restart; the same user is assigned the same desktop for later sessions. The new catalogs are pooled with personal vDisk (for pooled-static virtual desktops) that you manage with Desktop Studio and streamed with personal vDisk that you manage with Provisioning Services. In addition, a dedicated storage disk is created, before logon, so users can store their data on the desktop, including any applications they install. For background information on this feature, see About Personal vDisks.New commands have also been added to the XenDesktop Software Development Kit (SDK) to support this feature.
  • System Center support – XenDesktop now supports Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.
  • Virtual Desktop Agent – A new version of the Virtual Desktop Agent fixes issues in the version included with XenDesktop 5.5.
  • Citrix Licensing – Citrix Licensing 11.10 lets you assign access to the License Administration Console using Active Directory Users and Groups.
  • Desktop Director – Desktop Director 2.1 supports personal vDisks and contains fixes since the last release. For more information, see the Desktop Director documentation.
  • Fixed issues – For information on the issues that have been fixed in this release, see CTX124164.


Citrix Ports

Since the portfolio of Citrix increases, the number of products increases which are brought under the Citrix umbrella.
For security purposes, it’s important to know which ports are needed to make a product function as promised and secure.
To help with this, Citrix has a made a document for the following products with their ports:

  • Citrix License Server
  • Cloudstack
  • Common Citrix Communication Ports
  • XenApp
  • XenDesktop
  • XenServer
  • LabManager
  • StageManager
  • StorageLink
  • NetScaler / Access Gateway Enterprise Edition
  • Access Gateway 5.0
  • Previous versions of Access Gateway Standard / Advance Edition
  • BranchRepeater
  • EdgeSight
  • EasyCall
  • Password Manager
  • Provisioning Services
  • SmartAuditor
  • Workflow Studio
  • Citrix Online Products

See the document at:

Important XenDesktop 5.5 update launched by Citrix

Citrix has launched the XenDesktop 5.5 update rollup for x64 and x86 agents.
Update name: Rollup XD550VDAWX64100 (Version 5.5.100) – For Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent Core Services x64 and Rollup XD550VDAWX86100 (Version 5.5.100) – For Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent Core Services x86

The update applies to the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later
  • Windows Vista (non-Aero) Service Pack 2 or later
  • Windows 7

This rollup introduces the following fixes that have not been previously released:

HDX 3D Pro Printing
HDX MediaStream Site Administration
HDX Plug and Play Session/Connection
Installing, Uninstalling, Upgrading Smart Cards
Logon/Authentication System Exceptions

See for more information: 

Citrix Synergy 2011!!

It was fun and interesting attending the Citrix Synergy 2011 at Barcelona! People from every corner of the world came to see Citrix Synergy.

See below the first picture of the Forum, where all the (breakout) sessions took place. The second picture is the Auditorium where Mark Templeton gave his keynote.

Forum                                                                                                                        Auditorium  – Forum

KeyNote Mark Templeton

Mark’s keynote at Wednesday was very energetic and gave the Citrix vision of the future. To watch the keynote, click this link:

My highlights:

Receiver:  a long time Citrix has used different terminology for PNagents, Online-plugins, Webl-plugins, Receivers, and so on. But from now, to make it easier for everyone, they use Receiver as the client software for client perspective.

Citrix Receiver Storefront:  The good old Webinterface will fade away and make place for the Citrix Receiver Storefront, which is part of the Citrix Cloud Gateway. The look and feel is changed dramatically, to enable one uniform layout to all types of devices, such as Iphone, Ipad, Android, Windows, Windows Phone 7, and so on.
The Citrix Cloud Gateway Express is free for use, to enable access to XenApp / XenDesktop from internal (LAN) of external access (Cloud/anytime, anywhere). It will be easier to set-up deployment, especially for BYO.
Keep in mind, SQL is needed for deployment.

RingCube:  By acquiring RingCube, XenDesktop 5.5 has a great new feature called Personal vDisk. This great feature enables a personal touch to a pooled Desktop by adding a layer at user level. Normally only a private vDisk could have this feature.

XenClient 2: XenClient 2 supports much more (chipsets) hardware, so not only Intel V-Pro are supported anymore. Although, Intel V-Pro gives better performance, especially on the Graphics (GPU).

XenServer 6: More optimized for XenDesktop integration, with the optimized Intelli Cache you will move the IO from shared storage to local storage, by using a great caching technology.
VDI HDX 3D PRo gives the possibility to enable CAD support for VDI desktops as needed by using GPU-passthrough from XenServer side.

XenApp 6.5: The biggest advantage for user experience is added to XenApp 6.5. It is called “session Pre-launch” which allows the session to start earlier, so the user doesn’t have to wait longer then before.
Also the HDX technology improved further, which optimizes WAN connections for usage of XenApp 6.5, enabling a high responsive session up to a network latency up to 300 ms.
Multi-Stream ICA adds more virtual ports to a session, so the user experience stays stable by separating file transfer, print traffic and other components to different streams. This will be notable when sending large printjobs or big file transfers throughout the session.
The Windows experience is enhanced by adding a Windows 7 look and feel for the user session in a Hosted Desktop Shared environment.

Branch Repeater 6.0 VPX: This version adds more performance, support and WAN optimization. The user experience keeps solid on low bandwidth locations by using traffic shaping techniques like ICA deduplication and adaptive protocol acceleration.