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DuCUG 2017-2

On the 3rd of November the DuCUG 2017-2 event took place with around 160 attendees and sponsors. In this blogpost you will find my experiences and my notes from the presentations. 


Logically Niek Boevink started the day with an official opening. Logically Niek thanked the sponsors again for their support. With their support we can keep the event for free. Last event we raised money for the charity organization Dream4Kids and we could announce that we raid a total of 1600 Euro (with big help of PQR).

After the opening the first technical session started provided by Martjin Bosschaart and Kees Baggerman. They started with explaining the characteristics of both MCS and PVS. Kees discusses the 25-provisioning options Citrix is offering within PVS and MCS together. Next topic was that a decision tree is not workable anymore. Martijn continued with the technical fundamentals of MCS, while Kees discussed this for PVS. Next topic was RAM in cache, which is more difficult to use as memory requirements are getting higher and higher. The write cache is the most important decision topic currently according to Martijn, where he also discusses where to place the write cache in which situation for MCS. Logically Kees continued with this part for PVS. Next topic was optimization and troubleshooting, Kees started with myths and facts about PVS (PVS server virtualization, PVS stream traffic isolation, write cache placement, if/then decision matrix). Other suggestions were Citrix Supportability Pack (PXE boot check, Citrix Health Assistant). Martijn suggest to use the latest available version as both are still being developed. They ended with a nice sheet with consideration about deciding to use for MCS or PVS.

Second session was provided by Carsten Bruns with the title Citrix XenApp Disaster Recovery with NetScaler GSLB & MS Azure Site Recovery. Carsten started with the current challenges in a datacenter and continued with describing the Azure Sites and the components required for Azure Site Recovery. Carsten continued with scenarios for using Azure Site Recovery.  Next topic were the supported Hypervisors and supported operating systems within Azure. Carsten continued with the technical insights and requirements, followed by the automation in recovery plans and the prices. Also some tips were shared (like the Recovery Capacity Planner, Change internal DNS zone TTL, base disks vs dynamic disks, test the failover multiple times). Citrix XenApp on Azure was next. Only working with MCS currently. No replication supported (standby environment in IaaS or replicate master image). NetScaler on Azure is nothing more than a VPX running on Azure, there are different versions and editions are available. Carsten dived into technical details like multiple network interfaces vs multiple public addresses. NetScaler GSLB components (ADNS, GSLB Site/Subnet IP, Virtual Servers) and methods were described by Carsten and showed the workflow using GSLB with an on-prem datacenter and an Azure Site Recovery.

After the first break with delicious Bossche Bollen Geert Braakhekke and Remko Weijnen were on stage with the session Security for Citrix Admins and Consultants 2.1. With a nice introduction of the current situation and a nice video what can be done with information online. Remko and Geert discussed some of recent issues/malware/vulnerabilities (Equifax / Krack vulnerability, RSA vulnerability, Wannacry). Remko mentions that IoT does not care about security and will probably never be updated. Geert showed that currently Android and Linux have the most vulnerabilities currently. Remko continued with showing a tool which can be used to do scans on network and find available vulnerabilities and how it can be used to get into someone system. Geert continued with issues with password and how to solve the issues (MFA password, Password/ SSO Solution, don’t make password complex but make them multiple words or sentence, no need to change password every 90 days). Geert also touched the GDPR/AVG and picked the most important articles for IT). Employee awareness is the most important (and management should support and adopt it also). BitDefender within XenServer was touched, which logically Remko tested if it works (and it did). Last topic was hacking on RDP sessions.

Just before lunch it was time for the first sponsor session provided by Michel Roth of FSLogix. Michel started with the people within and around FSLogix and what the company is doing. Next Michel quickly discussed the solutions FSLogix are offering including a small demo of application masking.

After a wonderful lunch Delivering XenApp and XenDesktop Essentials in Azure was the next session by Christiaan Brinkhoff. Christiaan started off with a quick overview of MS Azure and some history of Citrix Cloud and MS Azure. Next topic was the Digital Workspace available (XenApp Essentials, XenDesktop Essentials, XenApp and XenDesktop Service, NetScaler GW as a Service). Christiaan also showed a feature comparison of the digital workspaces). Christiaan continued with the Citrix Cloud Connector and the Azure Availability Set (which needs to be done at creation). Christiaan also showed the Azure Cost Calculator, followed by Smart Scale and the NetScaler Gateway-as-a-Service (which has some limitations: no own URL, no customization, no secondary authentication, smart access does not work). NetScaler in Azure IaaS is a better method according to Christiaan. Christiaan also showed the steps for setting up the infrastructure for the available Digital Workspaces (with slides and recorded demo). After the demo Christiaan discussed some (upcoming) improvements, followed by best practices and some tips and tricks.

The BYOD session was given by Rick Roetenberg about XenMobile, ShareFile and integration with EMS.  Rick started with discussing EMS/Intune and why the XenMobile EMS connector is developed for and how it is actually working and which combinations can be made (currently Tech Preview all). Rick discusses the possibilities and features offered with the different combinations and the added value of XenMobile with EMS/Intune and some examples of this added value. Rick also mentioned the license method and the requirements for the solution. Rick also described the steps to configure the XenMobile Connector. The product will probably be available next month (but is dependent on Microsoft). The session ended by demoing the functionality.

Next session was the sponsor slot of Nutanix which was presented by Matthijs v/d Berg. Matthijs started with challenges of EUC adoption and the message that Nutanix want to simplify the platform and make it easy/quickly to deploy. Matthijs discussed the option to use all hypervisors, followed by the options to use the Citrix Cloud together with Nutanix. Matthijs also touched the Acropolis File Services features.

Last session of the day was provided by Douglas Brown with the session One Foot in and One Out. As usual the session started with some jokes and entertaining stories. The message of Douglas was to watch thing that will become available and see what’s in it for you. Douglas showed what happened in history (80s hardware, 90s software, 00 Web/Search, 10 Cloud, followed by the start and history of Citrix). The next big thing takes about 10 years to come up. Currently the next big thing is Mobile (with Apps). Next topic was what Douglas called Software-Defined everything. Rise of things: machines will know more than us than we do, 3D Printing, Screen will less prevalent, roboman and robotics.

Niek closed the day with a quick recap so it was time for some drinks and chat talks.