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DuCUG 2018-01

On the 19th of April we as the DuCUG organized our first day event of 2018. In this blog I'm writing down my experience of the day. 


The event started a bit later so more people could join from the beginning. Because of closed roads and traffic jams many could not make it on time. Barry opened the event thanking the sponsors, discussing the evaluations and explaining the agenda. He also touched that we missed the BYOS submissions. Hopefully next time we will have options to choose between BYOS sessions again.

The first actual session was by Shane O’Neill with the session Migrating to Citrix Cloud made easy. Shane started with explaining how the Cloud Connector works. He also touched the current limitations using the Cloud Connector (no assignment during outage, on-premises StoreFront). Next topic was the different way user assignments are working, followed by the PowerShell/API access (with the CSV there could be some security concerns, can use the same for on-premises management). The CSV usage is not showing up in the configuration logging. Their result was not that it is currently not good enough for his organization (security, reliable). He continued with the steps setting up the infrastructure: install a cloud connector (setup, cloud credentials, done), create your farm infrastructure (he showed the Citrix Cloud Migration Tool for this part), create the farm policies (also can be done with the Citrix Cloud Migration Tool), migrate VMs to Citrix Cloud (XenDesktop Farm Migration Utility). The used tools will become available in 3 weeks (during Synergy) on CitrixTips.com.

Because we had difficulties with the beamer and the laptop for the next session of me and Bram and Matthias Schlimm took over quickly with his session Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F). Matthias started off explaining what you should do for image preparation (he made a nice list of actions way too much to write down in this blog). Next Matthias explains what Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F). He also touched what BIS-F is not (install additional software and disable service). BIS-F is executed after final Base Image build and/or after update installation. He continued with the enhancements available in version 6.1.0 (also too much to write everything down). Next topic was showing how to use BIS-F including the personalization phase at start-up (based on a scheduled task). All steps are logged (on a location dependent on the used deployment technique). BIS-F also does a lot of optimizations (again a big list on the slides) for Microsoft, Citrix, VMware. Next topic was the upcoming release with the project name Bugs Bunny. He mentioned quickly the enhancements they are working on for this release including a Tech Preview of BIS-F GUI. The presentation ended with some useful links around BIS-F.

Third session was by me and Bram Wolfs with our session about RDmi (Remote Desktop Modern Infrastructure). We discussed why Micosoft started with RDmi and discussed the different components within RDmi. Bram showed the RDmi infrastructure live in action and we discussed about RDS and the future. As the session was NDA I cannot share much more information on this session in this blog.

Just before lunch Jim Moyle did the sponsor session of FSLogix. He started with explaining FSLogix Application Masking including the benefits of this product (reduce silos, allow multiple versions of the same app, light weight application licensing control). He continued with FSLogix Java Version Control. Third product he touched was FSLogix Office 365 containers (both for on-prem as Ofice 365, boost outlook performance/solve OST roaming/cached exchange mode). Jim ended with FSLogix Profile Containers (effortless fast, consistent and stable logins, eliminates folder redirection, support OneDrive on Citrix).

After lunch we continued with the session of Helge Klein with the session Web App Performance in a Virtual World. Helge kicked off explaining the Chrome architecture (one main browser process, one GPU process, each tab and extension is a dedicated process)  and the Chrome Task Manager. Helge also described the IE architecture (one frame process, zero or multiple tab processes, add-ons are Win32 DLLs). Helge dived into detail about the registry key TabProcGrowth. Next was the architecture of Firefox (single process for everything historically, are moving to multi-process currently slowly, one GPU process, one extensions process, 4 content processes). Edge was also discussed by Helge (one main process, many content processes). Next topic was web apps responsiveness: dependent of Network, Client logic, UI rendering, hardware resources). Helge discussed Javascript and HTML5 threads. Development Background tab throttling of Chrome was also mentioned by Helge. Helge went deeper into architecture variants (multi-page, single page). Helge shared his test results of web app performance. Interesting results to see the impact of web app performance on the hardware resources. Helge’s Conclusion: 2-4 vCPU is the sweet spot, do not overcommit CPU too much, rendering is the hard work for the browser, optimizations can only be made by app developer.

Next was Jim Moyle with Filter Drivers, the good, the bad and the ugly. Jim started off with good/usefull Filter Drivers applications (procmon, compression, encryption, copy protection and so on). New types of Filter Drivers load and unload on demand. Jim continued explain how filter drivers work. There is a public website showing the filter drivers altitude. The bad are the legacy drivers are running in kernel mode and the ones that do not goto Plug Fest (so do not care about altitude), failing to pass info. Can be checked with WPA and Xperf. Unfortunate system administrators cannot fix it, can only be fixed by the software vendor. Jim shared some tips detecting issues (change procmon altitude between the filter drivers, poolmon, driver verifier, software checking before purchasing).

After Jim we had our second sponsor session by Nutanix presented by Matthijs v/d Berg. Matthijs started met de Nutanix hypervisor AHV (free within the Nutanix suite, native virtualization). Matthijs was mentioning that Nutanix is working closely with Citrix, followed by the positioning of Nutanix. The enhancements within Nutanix with MCS were described as well. Currently also PVS is now supported on Nutanix. Matthijs ended the session with the enhancements with the Nutanix platform (Citrix Cloud, Acropolis File Services, Nutanix Flow, Nutanix Calm and vGPU on AHV).

The last session of the day was Citrix Workspace Hub in-depth exploration by Ingmar Verheij. Ingmar started off with a brief history of the Workspace Hub. Workspace Hub is based on Ncomputing/ViewSonic Raspberry Pi. Ingmar touched the stack of the product both Hardware (Case, Computer, Storage, Power Adapter) as Software (Linux, Stratodesk OS, Citrix Receiver, RTME, Citrix Casting [Screen Casting/Session Roaming Hub specific], Azure IOT SDK) which will become available for $ 99,00/€ 120,00. Ingmar showed/explained Session Roaming on the hub, followed by Screen Casting. Ingmar summarized the hub (no Citrix Receiver on device, limited to full H264, webserver on port 55555, default http). Ingmar explained BLE/IBaecons and RSSI to understand proximity functionality. He continued with Session Roaming with proximity in detail, followed by the configuration on the device (unfortunate you configure the device only for session roaming or session casting). Dual monitor is based on Secondary Display Adapter (based on Raspberry Pi Zero). USB is being used for the connection via the master/slave architecture (as explained by Ingmar how it works). Ingmar showed the dual monitor from a device level. Ingmar also shared the current characteristics/limitations. Next topic was Workspace Hub management (StratoDesk/SSH/Web Administration/Citrix Endpoint Management). Ingmar had too much info or too less time and the last part went pretty quick to show all information he had about the Workspace Hub, so I could not keep up typing all the information.

After the last session there was the traditionally drinks, however we added also a complementary dinner. I personally really enjoyed the dinner as it was a nice moment to talk to the attendees under a nice atmosphere and good food (and unbelievable wonderful weather for April).