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File Vault and Mountain Lion


I recently tried to use File Vault which keep getting stuck at random points… I would roll back and try again, I did this about six times before I finally found the issue… What keep happen, it would be encrypting and my MacBook Pro would go into power save, or I would close the lid to move locations.  What I found to final work and got my disk fully encrypted was every time power management would kick in, I would simply reboot, this would then show an actual estimated time instead of just Estimating time… Anyways hope this helps some of you that are having this issue like I did.

 

Thanks for Reading.

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Why is a VDI Assessment a Good Idea?


I am going to start this off with a bit of a disclaimer.  I really am not trying to sell anything!  Just want to get the information out there, I highly recommend talking to your trusted advisor(s) before starting a PoC/Pilot just my two cents worth.

So you have most likely heard of a “VDI Assessment”, and may have even pondered the thought of having one done.  Well here are a few reasons to take the next step and get that Assessment.

Some of the main things I hear:

1. I want to go VDI but don’t have the resources…

2. I want to go VDI but it’s not “good” or doesn’t work well

3. I want to go VDI but it is to much over head NO ROI

I will just start right in…

1. Most likely you are half right about the resources. You most likely have the infrastrucure to support a VDI Environment, and you may even have the resources you just don’t know it, or you can “Exchange” one type of resource for another… I have seen many cases where we were able to get rid of OLD style VDI (RDP to Desktops) & (RDP one to one Servers) and move to a slimmer Thin Provisioned Style VDI Deployment. For example: Say you have 100 Desktop’s you want to Virtualize.  Windows 7 recommends you go no less then 24GB for a disk I recommend 30-50GB Depending on Application(s) needed. 2GB of RAM, and 2 vCPU’s (avg. config for win7). In theory, you would need 30GB x 100 Desktops in disc space alone!  This is not the case. You will only need 4GB x 100 Desktops as you will only need to account for the delta files (Cache Disk). Note: If you are running ESX you will also need to account for a SWAP file which is the same size as your machines RAM. In this example you would need 2GB x 100 extra disk space.

2. This is a common misconception, which in fact, is what most people see in self-deployed PoC’s and Pilots.  There are a number of tweaks your friendly Partner/VAR should know that will help improve performance and usability.  This is because “this is what we do”. We have ALOT of tricks up our sleeves. I have been involved with several Citrix Projects where “Citrix” was considered such a bad word that the Citrix team could hardly walk down the hall without getting mauled. In less then 6 months we had users asking to be moved to XenDesktop. Talk about a culture shift! Remote workers suddenly jumped by a good 15-20% because they could actually function while working remotely.  Everything roamed with them. (as advertised)  No more working in one environment while at work and a completely different environment while working remotely… Another common issue I see is a lot of people think going VDI also means going with some sort of application streaming, or thin-app.  This is not always the best solution, as it doesn’t necessarily save you all that much disk space in the long run. Using the example in Statement 1, the only thing you really need to be concerned about is your Delta (cache disks). So, in some cases, streamed or thin-apps can cause double the overhead.

3. Well this one is a fine line. Really, you can make VDI as simple or as complicated as you want :).  Most of the time I hear “My users won’t buy off on VDI.” Again, this is a false statement burnt into you from the Beginning of Statement 2.  With the proper configuration there is no reason users would complain and in most cases once the users logon they are hooked.  ROI really should be Return On Individual, if we can make our users (which in fact are our customers) happy and more Productive we have succeeded.  I have seen the cost estimation on the Individual’s time and that was staggering… We are talking 100’s of thousands of dollars a year in regained work and help desk calls.  I saw a customer where their computers would take roughly 10 minutes just to login, this was on top of the 10 minute boot time if you abide corporate policy and shutdown your machine which took 10 minutes… as you can see time was adding up in the NOT working area extremely fast. So for pretty much every HelpDesk call workers and the company where out about a half hour of actual work…  Now for the ROI part if you go with thin clients, and high capacity servers you can really start saving money just in power, then looking at the management of a VDI deployment this again saves money as everything is the Same! No guessing if a patch, update, or user screwed up the machine simply have them reboot and back to the Golden Desktop.

With all this being said, NOT every application, or use case is a “Good Fit” for VDI.  And this is one of the key discussion in having a VDI Assessment done, we can tell you whether or not going VDI is a good fit.

Thanks for reading.

Citrix Synergy 2012


I am going to start with what I think are going to be some key Partners to be keeping an eye on this year.

First VMTurbo

Second ExtraHop

Third AppSense

Now for the reasoning behind my top 4 mentions VMTurbo is your single pane of glass into your data center, ESX, XenServer, Hyper-V all in one, plus services.  No more do you have to monitor and manage each product separately, you simply point it at all the Products you want, it runs a discovery that is it.  If you want it to manage the resources you simply to it on otherwise it will just warn you about workload balancing, also Simply give it some domain Credentials and have it monitor Windows Server resources… IIS, SQL, XenApp, XenDesktop.  As well as NetScalers.

ExtraHop is a great looking product that is a “One of a Kind” as it is more of a Network Sniffer that can actually completely look into the ICA Stack and tell you everything you wished EdgeSight could!

AppSense, well if you follow me on twitter then you most likely have heard me “pimping” it.  It really is an amazing software suite, You can use it to Dynamically apply GPO’s and GPO like controls as well as Lock Down your environment without killing your user experience.  If you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend you check it and have them give you the “Dog and Pony” Show!

More to come as I have time to Update the Blog.

Thanks for reading, Lawrence

Citrix Provisioning Service 6.1 and ESX


So after a few hours of beating my head against the desk, and reading a few dozen articles, this is what I have found.

Well First I was going to go on how you had to down grade your Target agent to 5.6 Sp2 to make things work and how you would have to piss off your ESX guys by having to use the E1000 driver, but all that has changed.  Earlier this month, Citrix released a “Hot Fix” CPVS61E001 for PVS 6.1 basically it is PVS 6.2 from what I can tell 🙂  anyways it is about 700Mb and you have to completely remove the existing install and re-install the core software, you will be asked to upgrade the Database so make sure you have a good backup.  Then install the New target Agent.  Now for the wrinkle this is all fine if you are Running ESX5 if you are still on 4.1 like a lot of people, you will need to apply Hot fix CPVS56SP1E011 (Don’t ask)  Now you can use ESX4.1 and the VMXNET3 Driver.

 

Hope this helps, thanks for reading.

MDS and MDSworker


Hi all I recently ran into an issue with my Mac. My battery life went from the original 6-7 Hours down to 1.5 Hours, as you can imagine this was not ideal, I noticed my CPU was being used at 100+ percent, and MDS and MDSWorker Process just burning it up… So after a lot of Googling I found that it was Spotlight Search causing the issues Anytime I disabled Spotlight Indexing CPU went to 0% reenabled jump back to 100+% even after letting it sit for a few days.  So I started playing around… It appeared according to forums and blogs that Spotlight was stuck on something, and most of the time people said it was time machine, so I disabled local snapshots, nothing.  Disabled Time Machine entirely, still high CPU.  So then I set the privacy settings in Spotlight to exclude /library/Backblaze and what do you know, CPU dropped to 0%.  SO the point of this post is, most likely you have some application installed that has a Locked file that is causing the MDS & MDSworker process to go nuts, in my case it was BackBlaze’s Database… So every case maybe different but cause will most likely be the same.  A locked file… Anyways hopes this helps.

 

Thanks

Sluggish iPhone 4 (fixed)


So I have had my iPhone 4 for almost a year, throughout the year I have installed and uninstalled many app’s as well as tested beta IOS releases and always update app’s and IOS versions as they come out.  For the last two or three weeks I have noticed my phone getting extremely slow…  So I started rebooting everyday, but this only fixed the problem for a few hours.  I removed any app that I thought might be “running” all the time… Still nothing. Reset all settings again still nothing. As I was just about to reset my entire phone and start over I decided to take a look a few things such as HOLY Crap I have how many text message Oh maybe that is why it takes several seconds to open messages. Oh and maybe the 40+ voicemail’s will help the phone open a bit quicker. So needless to say I removed 2000+ text messages, 40+ voicemail’s, and 1400+ Photo’s/Video’s from the camera roll, and WOW this thing is like brand new!  On a side note now I don’t really have an excuse to get a new iPhone 4s 😦

Blog layout Feedback


I am looking for some feedback, please vote below.  Thanks

Leostream First Look


My first look at Leostream. So far it is a pretty sweet deal, I am going to try and get some more info on the CloudDesktop but from my initial testing, you have a fully persistant Windows 2008 R2 Desktop.  You can install applications, but it does come with Chrome!  Speed is good, flash playback is slow, and tends to “Freeze” the session (well at least via the browser).  Other then that $20/month you supply the rest of the Licensing and you don’t have a bad Cloud based desktop.  I am trying to get a demo on the Cloud Management console, it sounds pretty nice, you can manage multiple customers from it.  From the Trail Console it shows you can create a “base” image and make that the one you deploy out.  That I believe was under the premium account which I believe is $60/month.

 

The Connection Broker wasn’t as cool as I thought it was going to be.  Not to say it isn’t a pretty straight forward Broker Server, but I was hoping it would be able to tie into their CloudDesktop’s and provision that way which it can not :(.  Anyways stay tune for more info on this and a lot more on Cloud based strategies.

 

I am planning on having a call with them this week so if you have any questions you want to ask please comment or email me.

Thanks for reading.

Lawrence

XenApp 6.5


Just a few notes about XenApp 6.5:

First if you where a custom to using Load Evaluators for managing Servers Maintenance Windows or taking servers offline you better start getting use to Worker Groups.  The Reason is they have moved Load Evaluators to Machine Policies so you can’t change them on the fly, with this being said I highly recommend using Worker Groups based on Farm Servers instead of OU.  This is so you can easily add and remove servers this taking them out of the published application.

 

Second, Licensing is a Must, but again this is done through Machine Policies.  You have to select the right Version (Adv, Ent, or Plat) Also a new feature is you have to select your licensing model (XD or XA, Concurrent or Named).  Note: if you run the following command qfarm /load and get a load of 20,000 you don’t have licensing set correctly.

 

That is mostly it for now, just wanted let you all know of the few changes.  More to come…

 

Thanks for reading

NetScaler VPX Install and Web Interface


VPX Install

First you will need to download the latest VPX Appilance from http://www.citrix.com (a mycitrix is required)



You will also need to download the Web Interface components

You will need a VM with at least 4GB of RAM to support more than 3 Sites

Once you have imported the machine, Open the console to setup, you will prompt for the following:

IP Address

Subnet

Default Gateway

Once you have configured the IP Address, enter that into a browser. (Java Required)

You will get a login page simply type nsroot and nsroot, username and password

It is highly recommended to change the Default password

Install Citrix License

You will need to find the Interface on the NetScaler with the lowest MAC Address

Under the Network Folder, > Interfaces


Copy the lowest MAC address

Now go back to your mycitrix account and allocate a NetScaler License

Note if you want to use an Express License


Click on NetScaler VPX Express

About half way through the page you should find a link to Get License


It should be right in-between the Appliances and the Builds/Upgrade packages.

Run through the Allocation Wizard and download the new License file.


Expand the System Folder, and then select Licenses

At the Bottom left of the Frame you should see Manage Licenses…

Click Add… Select the license file you just created and Downloaded, Click Select

Click OK

The device will reboot for the license to take affect

Once it has rebooted, log back in


Expand System and Select Settings


Click on Configure modes


Make sure all the options from the above Screen shot are all checked.


Click Yes to the warning

Click Configure basic features

Make sure all the options from the above Screen shot are all checked.

Click Yes to the warning

Select Web Interface folder

Click On Web Interface

Click Install Web Interface

Click the Dropdown arrow to the right of “Browse (Appliance)” and select Local


Select nswi-1.3.tgz, and click Open


Select diablo-latte-freebsd6-amd64-1.6.0_07-b02.tar.bz2, and Click Open


Click Install,

(Note: if default to 25 sites you will have to have at least 4GB of RAM installed for the VPX otherwise this will error out.)


Web Interface Configuration

Login to the NetScaler and Expand the Web Interface Folder


Select Sites


    Click Add.. at the bottom of the Frame


Click Next


Enter the IP address of the Web Interface Server VIP. Check the Box Enable access through mobile receiver, Click Next


Enter in the XenApp servers here, Just the Data Collectors


    Click next, after you have entered all the Data Collectors






    Highlight the Web Interface Site you just created


    Click on the WebInterface.conf… link at the bottom of the Frame


    Remove the # from the beginning of the Line, and add your Domain Name removing everything else… Click Save


    You will receive a warning, Click Yes


    Click the Add Button at the Bottom of the Frame


    Click Next


    Select XenApp Service Site, Click the Dropdown for Virtual Server, and Select the previously Created Server, Note should be listening on port 80, Click Next


    Click the Add, and add all Data Collectors, Click Next


    Click Finish


    Click Exit

Select the PNA Site (XenApp Service Site)


    Click the config.xml… Button at the bottom of the Frame


    Change the <LogonMethod> from Prompt to Pass-Through, Click Save


    Click Yes to the Warning Message


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