With the release of Citrix XenDesktop 7 two provsioning methods are now available which fully support hosted shared (HDC) and hosted private (HDC). The first provisioning method is Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) and the second is Machine Creation Services (MCS).
There are a couple of important differences between the two provisioning methods which you need to know before choosing the right method for your design. In one of my earlier articles I showed a decision tree which helps choosing between both methods. I would recommend to read this great article about storage resource usage, by Nick Rantalan, as well.
This article focusses on a very important difference between Citrix Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services, Advanced Image Management.
Advanced Image Management
Advanced Image Management (AIM) is more than simply assigning an image to a specific machine or a group of machines. It’s about a proper way of upgrading and assigning images according to DTP principles in a simple and time efficient manner. Automation plays an important part of AIM as it saves time and more importantly leaves out the possibility of human errors. Andrew Morgan wrote an excellent article about why you want to prevent human errors by using automation.
PVS offers great image versioning functionality, automated DTP and even automated image updates with the integration of third party solutions like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. This Citrix article explains the functionality in fine detail.
Citrix XenDesktop 7 VDA
This will be a short article about an issue I ran into automating the Citrix XenDesktop 7 VDA installation.
As described on the Citrix edocs a silent install of the XenDesktop 7 VDA should be really straightforward. This is exactly what I was seeing when installing the VDA on Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
Citrix XenDesktop 7 is probably one of the biggest product releases by Citrix ever. The consolidation of two of the strongest products, XenApp and XenDesktop into one single product is a huge step forward on so many levels!
For those of you who worked with me or who I had the honor to discuss IT in general, know that I focus on simplicity. I can get really irritated about products with great functionality but are managed with terrible management tools and a lot of different consoles. This is why I love products like SMS Passcode and RES Software products.
For what I’ve seen in the latest announcements and while testing preview releases of XenDesktop 7 (also known as Excalibur), this really is a product that comes close to true simplicity. I’m really happy with the consolidation of products, features and consoles.
This article is not going to be a “what’s new and hip style” article, there are plenty of those out there. What I want to show you is how much simpler this release makes our lives on a product and architectural level. Not only on the implementation side but especially on the management side.
NetScaler Sizing Guide intro
About a year ago Citrix started with the NetScaler Tri-Scale method to scale up, in or out the Citrix NetScaler platform. Although this sounds great and gives you an option to pay-as-you-grow we all understand that we should take proper care for initial sizing. Doing so makes sure your users won’t be disappointed and plain simply pay less $$$.
Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway MPX
My focus for this article is small to midrange sized Citrix NetScaler platforms up to the MPX 8600 6 Mbit/s. My experience is based on projects within the Netherlands and unfortunately for me this is as big as it gets. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the information when sizing larger platforms. This is also the reason why you will not find any information about clustering in this article.
This article is a follow up on two earlier articles mainly focused on the performance and sizing of a virtual (VPX) Citrix NetScaler
Access Gateway, now called NetScaler Gateway.
How to maximize your virtual Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway performance
Citrix NetScaler Access Gateway VPX user scalability numbers explained
This leads to questions about why there is a difference in theoretical and practical numbers. I’m not Google and therefore can’t answer them all but I will try to answer some of them.
In the Enterprise Mobility Management playing field Citrix is betting big on Citrix XenMobile with new products, new editions and great integration. It’s clear that the EMM playing field is growing rapidly and according to Gartner it’s already on the nr 1 and 2 position of Strategic Technology trends for this year.
To understand the true value of the Citrix XenMobile Enterprise Mobility Management suite it’s important to know the definitions for the different kinds of Enterprise mobile solutions.
This article has been update with a 2014 revision. Click here to go to the PVS vs MCS 2014 revision.
Over one and a half year ago I wrote a follow up on an article by Citrix architect Daniel Feller. The original article by Daniel Feller needed an update and now mine is getting pretty outdated as well.
I’m writing this in such a way you won’t be needing 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.
After Daniel posted his decision tree over two years ago a lot has happened. New Citrix features like XenServer Intellicache and MCS for “XenApp on XenDesktop 7” have been released and are changing the whole decision making process.
On top of that vendors started to work on solving the whole storage IO issue.