Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 2

Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 2

Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway MPX

Citrix NetScaler

 

The Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 2 has been a huge success from the moment Carl announced during Citrix Synergy last may. The script has been downloaded over 1.500 times already and we still see a daily demand for it. I’ve also received a huge amount of response with new ideas or just a basic thank you, all of this gave me the energy to start working on a new release. This was supposed to be a release with some new requested functionality but in the end the script has been completely rewritten from start to end.

Before I start with explaining what has changed I want to point out that, although I started this script, this truly has been a team effort. The script wouldn’t have been this great if it wasn’t for Carl Webster and Iain Brighton. Webster developed an amazing PowerShell template to get started with documenting and outputting to Microsoft Word. Iain has written all of the functions I use in the script to make sure I’m getting all the values out in a way it’s readable.

Please have a look at the team page to see a list of everyone who helped me develop and test the script.

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Citrix Provisioning Services vs Machine Creation Services 2014 revision

Two years ago I started writing the Citrix Provisioning Services versus Machine Creation Services decision trees. A year and 12k visitors later it’s time for an updated version. The Provisioning Services vs Machine Creation Services decision tree has gotten a lot of attention over the last year. It’s used on Citrix blogs and more recently in one of the Citrix webinars by Atlantis Computing. This makes me proud and definitely works as an energizer to continue working on projects like this.

I’m writing this in such a way you won’t need to read the earlier articles but of course you are free to do so anyway.

The first article by Daniel Feller can be found here.
My article called Provisioning Services vs Machine Creation Services can be found here.
The 2013 revision of Provisioning Services vs Machine Creation Services can be found here.

After Daniel posted his decision tree over three years ago a lot has changed.

  • New Citrix features like XenServer Intellicache, MCS for “XenApp on XenDesktop 7″ and Citrix Provisioning Services in memory caching (with spill-over to disk)
  • In memory caching and deduplication by vendors like Atlantis Computing
  • Hardware vendors like FusionIO who are delivering local flash based storage with IO figures with over 200k IOPS
  • Local SSD storage prices have dropped massively and predictions are prices will continue to drop this year
  • The introduction of a new industry called Web-Scale technology with leading vendors like Nutanix. Bas van Kaam wrote an excellent article on WebScale technology.

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Citrix NetScaler Documentation script version 1

Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 1

The Citrix NetScaler platform offers a huge amount of features and a massive amount of configuration possibilities. The flexibility that this gives us also introduces complexity, especially since you configure a service on a Citrix NetScaler once and changes are made only every so often. The starting point for reducing complexity is having a complete and up to date configuration document.

In my experience with customers, especially in enterprise environments, is that documentation is never completely accurate. Even if it would be accurate, what is configured when no configuration is made? Is the default, non-configured setting Enabled or Disabled?

Announcement – Citrix NetScaler documentation script

Today, I’m proud to bring you the Citrix NetScaler documentation script. The script will be released in a joint venture with Carl Webster and is part of his already amazing collection of documentation scripts.

The Citrix NetScaler documentation script wouldn’t be as stable, readable and fast if it wasn’t for Iain Brighton. Iain has been of great help creating functions and performance enhancements in the last few weeks.

If you want to know more keep on reading and I’ll show what we’ve done and how to get the script.

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ThinScale ThinIO “at first glance”

ThinScale ThinIO

Today, may 5th 2014 Andy Morgan, Chief Coding Monkey of ThinScale technology, officially introduced a new software solution named ThinScale ThinIO. Over the last two years Andy has shown me several steps in the process eventually leading up to the release of ThinIO.

Without taking any credit for Andy’s work I’m proud to have witnessed and been part of the discussion that got Andy thinking and enthusiastic for this project.

At least every month vendors contact me and pitch their new solutions or a new version. It only happens once so often that I’m immediately intrigued by a product and that certainly happened when Andy showed me ThinIO. To be honest, in the last year this only happened when I was shown the Nutanix solution and the RES IT Store.

 So what is ThinScale ThinIO?

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Using a Synology Disk Station for Wake On Lan

For my work I need to be able to access my home lab “server” frequently but in no way it needs to be always-on. This leaves me with the struggle of leaving it on and, for most of the time, consuming unnecessary  electricity or accept the fact that I can’t use it without proper planning.

So I was thinking of a way to have the best of both worlds, no waste of electricity but being able to use it whenever I want.

I thought of a system where I would run a script each evening shutting down the system. The script will prompt for the shutdown so when I’m still using it I am able to cancel the shutdown. This is the easy part, but how to get it on again…… What about that legacy Wake-On-Lan (WOL) protocol?

I started with just a simple WOL program on my Windows 8 company laptop and I was able to turn on the “server”. That’s cool but that doesn’t help because when I’m not at home this just doesn’t work. After a lot of thinking I though about that cool Synology Diskstation I have on my desk.

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Citrix NetScaler Traffic Domains ins and outs

Citrix NetScaler Traffic Domains are a way of segmenting network traffic for different applications or even tenants. You are able to use a traffic domain to create fully isolated network environments on a single NetScaler instance. An instance is a single appliance or a HA setup of two appliances.

Citrix NetScaler Traffic Domains were introduced with NetScaler 10.0. At first NetScaler Traffic Domains started as a somewhat hidden feature which you could only configure by CLI. As of version 10.1 Traffic Domains are fully configurable in the NetScaler GUI which makes it a lot simpler to use.

In a way NetScaler Traffic Domains could compete with the NetScaler SDX platform. With Traffic Domains we segment networks on a single NetScaler instance instead of the SDX where we create a virtual appliance per network segment.

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