Citrix NetScaler Powershell documentation script v3

Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 3.0

Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway MPX

Citrix NetScaler

 

With great pleasure I can finally share the release of the Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 3.0.

The latest version, 2.5, was released at the end of 2014, yes 2014! It has been a while and there are many reasons for that, mostly joyful and some unfortunate.

 

In total the Citrix NetScaler Documentation Script has been downloaded at least 13.000 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. This release is a major update and will help us to release new versions faster.

The main reason it took this long is that we have literally changed everything, and I mean everything. Except for the output which all looks quite familiar aside from new information we are now able to document.

With the release of version 3.0 we moved from parsing the ns.conf configuration file to utilising the NetScaler Nitro API. Although this makes perfect sense it proved to be quite the project.

The project started with replacing the functions, were we read and analyse the configuration file, Iain Brighton created by functions that are able to utilise the Nitro API. This took some time to get right because every time we though we had it we needed something more specific.
All the Powershell Nitro functions have been created by Iain Brighton specifically for the NetScaler documentation script. The functions have been shared via Github…..

When we got the functions right it was time to find all the information we need for documentation in the NetScaler script. This part of the project proved to be very time consuming but in the process a lot more information was found which has all been added to the documentation script.

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.

What’s new

  • Uses Nitro API to connect to NetScaler instead of ns.conf
  • Microsoft Office 2016 support
  • NetScaler 11.0 support

For the complete release notes click here

The Citrix NetScaler documentation script version 3.0 can be downloaded here.

Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 HDX Display performance improvements

This week Citrix released Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 For a complete overview of all that is new in version 7.8 check out the following great articles:
Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 by Citrix CTP Thomas Poppelgard
Installation and Configuration of Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop 7.8 AppDisks and AppDNA by Citrix CTP Dane Young
Citrix XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 released by Alexander Ervik Johnsen

In this article I’ll focus on the enhancements that have been made to the Citrix HDX Display protocol stack. The what’s new guide for Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 states the following enhancements:

  • Framehawk server scalability improvements. Over 40% average reduction in memory footprint. Up to 20% increase in CPU efficiency.
  • Reduced VDA memory footprint in Thinwire. The graphics encoder processing pipeline now eliminates the use of an intermediate frame buffer when running Thinwire without video codec compression.

These statements are screaming to be independently measured and that’s what this article is all about.

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Announcing Remote Display Analyzer

Remote Display Analyzer

Today Bram Wolfs and I are announcing the general availability of Remote Display Analyzer.

The Remote Display Analyzer project started about 9 months ago when we were working on a presentation called “Citrix HDX Display Codec Deepdive”. The goal for this presentation was to explain the available display codecs and show the impact of each of these codecs on both user experience and resource utilisation.

We quickly found that it wasn’t as easy to configure the HDX policies and just assume for the result to be as configured. We found that often times the resulting configuration was different then what we expected based on the configuration. This has to do with OS versions on the virtual desktop and endpoint as well as the endpoint capabilities.

Analysing the resulting configuration and resource utilisation was both time consuming and complex because this requires several consoles like HDX Monitor, Director, Microsoft Task Manager et cetera. Especially HDX Monitor is very confusing when it comes to viewing the active Display encoder.

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CPU scheduling and memory optimizations solutions compared Part 1 of 2 CPU

Updated: September 22nd 2015

Although it has been a while since I’ve written this article there’s still  a lot of interest in the subject. Pretty much nothing has changed since I released it so it’s was also still valid,  until yesterday. Community hero Andrew Morgan released a long awaited update for ThreadLocker. I’ve updated the Threadlocker part of this article and the conclusion.

If you are reading this you might also be interested in part 2 of the CPU scheduling and memory optimization solutions series.

For a while now customers and colleagues are asking me which tool to use when it comes to CPU scheduling and memory optimizations. We use several management products and end up with more than one product utilizing these tasks. Choice is good but do we just enable them all and if not what’s the best way to configure this?

When you look a little bit deeper then plain and simple marketing you’ll notice that the way the different products handle CPU scheduling is totally different and combining some of them will degrade system performance or simply don’t work for example Citrix CPU management does not start when Microsoft DFSS is enabled.

Before we start I’d like to thank Andrew Morgan for allowing me to re-use some information from his ThreadLocker topic.

To start off I will first try to explain how each product works and will then summarize and see if we can work through them and work to a proper advice.

Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Dynamic Fair Share Scheduling (DFSS)

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Citrix HDX 3D Pro and Nvidia Grid Browser experience

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working closely with Rachel Berry (Citrix) and Jason Southern (Nvidia) on some unexpected web browser behavior with web browsers on Nvidia grid enhanced VDI and RDS virtual machines running Citrix HDX 3D Pro. This work has resulted in a new support article from Citrix CTX202065.

In this article I’ll go a bit more in depth to explain our findings and hopefully help you to get better performance from web browsers but also give you some technical detail for situations where other applications may not perform as well as one would expect.

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How to Raspberry Pi, Johnny five and Octoblu

Citrix Synergy 2015 was the first time I looked in to a product called Octoblu which has been part of the Citrix family since december 2014. Octoblu is best explained as an Internet of Things integration platform or as they say it

Our original mission was to connect everything to everything (people, systems, and things)

Of course we have seen other IoT workflow platforms like IFTTT(If This Then That) but all these platform have a consumer focus and lack context. What we need is a platform that can do If This And This Or This and et cetera then that, that and that et cetera.

After playing around with some basic workflows on Octoblu I decided it was time to start a project including the Raspberry Pi and some sensors. Although not that hard in the end I found it challenging to get it all running. This guide will show you how to spin up a new Raspberry Pi, create your first led on and led off Johnny Five script and connect the Raspberry Pi to Octoblu as an Octoblu Gateway.

Starter kit

There are multiple starter kits available online for the Raspberry Pi, I ordered one from Kiwi Electronics in the Netherlands. As shown below it includes a breadboard, some leds and switches. I also ordered a Temperature/Humidity sensor, although there are some cheaper ones available I decided to order a digital pre soldered DHT22 model.

Raspberry Pi 2 Octoblu Starter Kit

 

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