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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Citrix NetScaler 10.x java applet hangs while starting

Citrix NetScaler 10.x java applet hangs while starting

I’m verry happy to announce that since the 10.1 build 122.11 all is fine again and there is no need to change Java settings. If you are not able to upgrade right now please continue reading.

Normally I’m not all that in to short articles about fixing bugs but this one is nagging so many people I couldn’t resist in jumping in.

Some time ago I started running into issues with the Citrix NetScaler Java applets build in to the GUI. I ignored it for a while because I’d always had my own laptop with me that worked every single time . So here I was thinking I was so smart because I had the only working system in the world……. But then one day it just stopped working, it would load the applet up to 1% and then froze.

Continue reading

Citrix XenDesktop 7 Advanced Image Management

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.

Continue reading

Citrix XenDesktop 7 is all about simplicity!

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.

Continue reading

Citrix NetScaler sizing guide

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

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.

Continue reading