Wilco van Bragt - LinkeIn Wilco van Bragt - Twitter rssa 

Citrix Synergy 2016 Day 3

The last day of Citrix Synergy already arrived. This third day is based on breakout sessions only. My experience of this day are again blogged in this article.

I started the day with the presentation Desktop Virtualization Round-up by Jarian Gibson and Eduardo Molina. They started of describing the architectures of Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS and VMware Horizon, followed by the database requirements for each solution. Next they described the installation procedures. After describing the installation procedures they were discussing the provisioning methods available in the product with their characteristics (PVS, MSC, Linked Clones, Instant Clones, Hyper-V). Next they were discussing User Environment Management (Citrix Profle Management, Roaming Profiles, MS User Profile Disk, UE-V, VMware Persona Management, VMware User Environment Management). Jarian continued with application management (Citrix AppDisks, MS App-V, VMware ThinApp and VMware App Volumes) including that there are also server third party solutions jumping into this market. Next topic was storage (underlying hypervisor, MS Storage Spaces Direct, VMware vSAN or third party products like Atlantis/NUtanix and so on). Also monitoring options are discussed (Director, SCOM packs, HDX Insight, RD Connection Manager, RD Gateway Manager, VMware Console monitoring parts), followed by the access methods (StoreFront, Gateway, HDX Proxy, Secure Gateway, RD Web Access, RD Gateway, Connection Broker, Security Server, Access Point). They ended with comparing the current cloud solutions the suppliers are offering.

Next session I attended was Getting Up close and personal with MCS and PVS by Kees Baggerman and Martijn Bosschaart. They started with the background of PVS and MCS (Ardence acquisition for PVS/ MCS tool for POC), followed by comparing the characteristics of PVS and MCS. Next topic were the delivery models available within PVS and MCS. Martijn continued describing MCS in much more detail like the required services, cloning process, difference disks, identity disk, image updates and much more, get the slidedeck for the excellent explanation) on the different hypervisor platforms. Kees continued with the same information for PVS including the write cache possibilities. Martijn is sharing some experiences with storing the MSC image on different storage systems, while Kees is discussing this on the PVS level. Kees was handing over the microphone to Jeff PinterParsons, PVS architect within Citrix showing some insights of the future of MCS/PVS: MSC storage movement, SecureBoot, enhanced PVS AppDisk support,PVS Streaming Linux, XenServer Proxy, PVS in the cloud (check the slidedeck for all the details).

The session CTO’s perspective on Workspace 2020 by Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen v/d Kamp was the next session I attended. Jeroen started with the different needs and wishes between the different generations and how devices are involving and new devices are popping up. Ruben continued with the Mobile Applications growth and SaaS applications versus Windows Appliations (in the Enterprise). Jeroen continued with the Workspace of a desktop to a portal with applications running from different infrastructures. According to Jeroen Operating Systems are not going away, only new Operating Systems will be added. Also the way OS will be updated is changing quickly, which enforces the way infrastructures are maintained and managed. Desktop virtualization was the next topic described by Ruben. With VDI 3 the earlier VDI issues are solved (graphics, performance, storage, costs). In 2020 according to Ruben APU common available, broker on-premises or cloud, infra on-premises/hybrid/cloud. DaaS (Desktop as a Service) and Security were also topics Jeroen explained his vision. Really like the vision about collaboration. Ownership of data will be a big discussion in 2020 according to Ruben. Jeroen and Ruben also discussed how the workspace will be managed and monitored. The session ended with an expectation of hypes in 2020 and a summarization of the wole session in one cool picture.

Helge Klein was the next presenter I attended with the session Improve your application troubleshooting skills. Helge started with a nice introduction of developers and what they are doing and about the evolution of programming language. Helge explained processes versus threads including how windows manages (UI) threads. Helge discussed topics as the scheduler, multi-threaded, what is DLL (including tools to “read” a DLL). Next topic was explaining the API Hooking followed by the Windows API and return codes. Helge continued how you can crash applications and API monitoring. Last topic was testing of applications and analyzing delays.

After lunch I went to Daniel Feller’s session XenApp and XenDesktop Tech update. Daniel started with AppDisk. He explained the technology really simple and understandable. Daniel walked on a cord with the remark that with AppDisk OS can be easily changed under the AppDisk layer. He continued with AppDNA integration with AppDisk. Daniel continued with Federation Authentication Services and Skype for Business. Please check the slide deck as Daniel used nice graphics to explain both options. Daniel showed also some test results of Skype for Business. Daniel also showed the NetScaler SD-WAN. After what’s new we went to What’s Better. He started with the improved Citrix App-V integration, enhanced App-V support within AppDNA, Machine Creation Service Write Cache (cache on hypervisor where for read XenServer also has Read Cache RAM). Daniel touches the Windows System Cache for PVS servers, followed by Write Cache for the PVS Target Devices. Daniel also shared the avg IOPS per user with and without MSC write cache and PVS cache. Impressing results for now, comparable with the IOPS PVS used. Next topic was the BDM Single Stage (no TFTP process anymore, must be done via the XenDesktop Setup Wizard) and the Boot Device Manager (centralized update). Also the PVS target device software update was mentioned as well as the Generation 2 VM support and the (positive) performance impact of using VHDX. Daniel compares MSC with PVS based on capabilities quickly. Next topic was XenServer cGgroups functionality preventing issues at bootstorm. Citrix Universal Printer Driver also support Linux and MAC endpoints and now has UPS Load Balancing (policy to set multiple UPS machines based on Round Robin technology). Daniel continued with best practices, The first one was application and back-end on the same low latency network including a configuration with using Exchange Online and CloudBased Apps). Secondly was accommodate resources properly. You have to align the threads with the amount of vCPU on the PVS server. Number of port the amount of PVS target devices divided by the amount of ports. Daniel also compared Windows 7 versus Windows 10 with or without OS optimization (check the slide decks for all details). Daniel also touched logon time improvements with optimizations, the optimizations were not described in detail but specified on a generic level. Daniel also talked about the right user experience based on HDX templates including performance test results. Daniel also explained the NUMA technology and sizing for XenApp workloads.

After the session of Daniel Bas van Kaam I were up for our session XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x High availability and load balancing cheat sheet. Although I’m not fully satisfied about my performance (had some trouble getting the right sentences out of my mouth). Although, those who attended I hope you enjoyed and satisfied your expectations of this session. At least thanks for attending.

Our session was last in the whole range of break out sessions. Only the final party is left. Up to next year.