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Citrix Solution Day 2017

One the events Citrix Benelux is organizing is Citrix Solution Day. The 2017 edition took place on t [ ... ]

Failover (im)possibilities of XenDesktop 7.x Part ...

In the earlier article series Failover (im)possibilities I wrote about the failover/load balanc [ ... ]

Controlup Logon Simulator

Controlup Logon Simulator One the companies that really get the strength of the community are the g [ ... ]

E2EVC Barcelona 2017

On Friday the 17th of November E2EVC Barcelona 2017 started. The unique event by and for the communi [ ... ]

XTS Activity Tracking Manager

Many organizations that are using Citrix have the Enterprise (or the new Platinum) Edition installed. Within these editions the Resource Manager component is available. In an earlier article I already described how you can configure this component, mainly based on the monitor part. Resource Manager also adds all this information in a database for reporting. From Citrix Presentation Server 3 and newer Citrix finally added some report templates that are useful to use. But still much valuable information is still in the database but can not be viewed easily. To get this information out you can create your report by yourself with (for example) Crystal Reports, but this is difficult and time consuming process. The company XTS jumped into this space and created the Activity Tracking Manager (ATM).

Read more: XTS Activity Tracking Manager

ControlUp

While Citrix Resource Manager was not perfect in earlier version of Citrix Presentation Server, many Citrix administrators are missing its functionality in the latest releases. From XenApp 5 for Windows 2008 Citrix removed Resource Manager and embedded its functionality in EdgeSight, their more advanced monitoring product. Although EdgeSight is a good product, it has a high learning curve and needs more configurations than Resource Manager. In large enterprises (where the default monitoring tools gives too much information) as well as in small companies (where Resource Manager was the only monitoring tool available), Resource Manager was used a lot. In both situations, EdgeSight is quite often not implemented because it needs additional hardware and software to be installed.

It is exactly this monitoring gap that Smart-X is aiming to fill with its product called ControlUp. Monitoring, however, is not the only feature the product offers. Much more functionality is available in the product, which fits perfectly in RDS/Citrix infrastructures, but can also be applied to any Windows server or VDI farm.

In this review we will take a look at some of Control-Up features.

Read more: ControlUp

Gourami FASe

Many freeware utilities are developed because the creator needs additional functionality while working at the customer or within his company. In such way also Dennis Smith started creating useful utilities. After a while Dennis combined the utilities in one application set called FASe (Farm Administration Suite), which is offered for on a per farm level as a commercial product. In this review we will look to the components in this suite.

Read more: Gourami FASe

Tricerat Simplify Suite V5

Introduction

Currently one of the latest trends in the IT infrastructure arena is to look for a central management tool to help with all of the different platform choices out there like, Terminal Services, Workstations, Laptops and VDI. Besides the central management from the IT perspective there is big user demand to have the same configuration independent on which platform the users is connected to. For example the user would like to have the same setting in his Word application as configured on his fat client, while working at home at the SBC infrastructure. For Terminal Services such management tools are already available for some years and these products are appearing nowadays for other platforms such as VDI and workstations. I always call such products Desktop Management Products, because they are managing mainly the desktop user environment. The products which can be labeled into this category are all comparable with each other, but all have their own unique features, and characteristics. The Tricerat Simplify Suite is a good example of such a product, and really stands out with features that are pretty unique for this category.

According triCerat their uniqueness is how they determine their feature set. triCerat first and foremost is in close touch with their primary users, the System Administrators and end users who are the users of the various in application delivery strategies. By listening and paying attention to their clients, they have learned there was a need for products that not only prevent known system limitations but maintain and improve the end users experience.  In targeting everyday problems that exist within any application delivery strategy, triCerat has been able to develop software that eradicates these problems. Now in its fifth version, triCerat calls this software the Simplify Suite V5.

Read more: Tricerat Simplify Suite V5

ObserveIT

One of the most awaited features in Server Based Computing products was session recording. Because of legal regulations or in high confidential departments, all actions carried out by end users should be recorded so they can be reviewed at a later time. Another major advantage of session recording is its usage as a root cause analysis and troubleshooting mechanism. Imagine the ability to reply any action performed by privileged users or external vendors, and imagine the power you will gain by just looking at who did what on the servers. 

A product that offers both functionalities is ObserveIT. ObserveIT is a visual auditing tool that enables the administrator to get a visual audit trail of what has been done on the servers, who did it, and where else the same action was performed.  Since the product is agnostic to protocol and software, it captures and records ALL methods of remote access to the server, including RDP, VNC, TS, Citrix, Netop, Damware and others. In this review I'm going to take a look at this product from both perspectives.  

Read more: ObserveIT

RES PowerFuse 8

It has been almost three years since RES Software released RES PowerFuse version 7.03 (also called RES PowerFuse 2005). In November 2007 RES finally released the new version:  RES PowerFuse Series 8.

For this version RES Software completely rebuilt the code of the product and changed the infrastructure. Earlier versions of RES PowerFuse used a file share (combined with a database) where configuration settings were stored. In RES PowerFuse Series 8, they changed to a completely different model using a database to store all configuration settings. Clients will cache the complete configuration set locally, so that clients can operate normally even if the database is down. After the initial caching of the full configuration set, the database and the local caches will only exchange new or changed data. It is now also possible to replicate the database to other sites using SQL techniques (and to connect devices to this replicated database logically). With the new infrastructure it is now possible to manage Terminal Servers, workstations and laptops using one configuration database. Besides this complete redesign of the RES PowerFuse back-end behind RES PowerFuse they also added about 200 enhancements in the product.

Read more: RES PowerFuse 8

Appsense 6

A few months ago Appsense released their latest version of their Management Suite. In comparison with the previous version Appsense has redesigned the performance suite and added a lot of new features. Beside the improvements and additions to the already well-know CPU, Memory and Application parts, Appsense introduced in this version Environment Manager. With Environment Manager the computer and user configuration can be made, controlled and managed. This part of the suite moves Appsense also in the market of managing the desktop environment. More then enough changes and additions in this suite to take a look to this product again.

Read more: Appsense 6

Relevos 2.0

WMSoftware delivers several product, which some are especially developed for SBC environments. One of these products is Relevos which controls CPU and Memory usage on your Terminal Services. Relevos can be compared with Appsense Performance Manager and Threadmaster.

Read more: Relevos 2.0

Threadmaster

Threadmaster is a tool which is a CPU clamping tool (just like Appsense Performance Manager) developed by Soren M. Pedersen. The main difference is that this tool is freeware. This advantage is also a big advantage, because there is no official support and usage of this tool is at own risk. The experiences we heard out of the field are very positive, but it's always the big question that  you or the customer want this kind of tool on a production environment.

Read more: Threadmaster

iShadow 2.0

Working in large infrastructures with more Citrix Farms and/or lots of Terminal Servers, you would like to have some kind of delegation of control to the different IT roles within the department, preferably to give these roles one tool, where they can do al their day by day tasks.

Or you working in a environment with just a few administrators and you are getting nuts of the day by day tasks. You would like to give some key-users some options to do those tasks for you, but do not want to give them additional permissions on your system.

Within above described scenario's the standard tools could me limit the administration and manageability of the environment. Teknica Software developed iShadow to get rid of the limitations of the standard tooling.

With iShadow you can manage multiple Citrix farms and Windows Terminal Servers from one single console. The best options within iShadow are:
-
Multi-Windowed shadowing
- Process monitoring
- Reporting
- Printer Audit
- Server and Session Management
Also iShadow is build up modular, so you can configure a dedicated  specific console for separate roles within the company.

Read more: iShadow 2.0

Provision Framework 5.4 Standard

Provision have developed lots of add-ons products for Terminal Server and Citrix servers.
These add-on products can be purchased per product or in two complete packages, called Management Framework.
There are two flavors:
- the standard edition, which includes all products except the Provision-IT, Web-IT, Secure-IT and Proxy-IT packages.
- the enterprise edition, which includes all products (including Provision-IT, Web-IT, Secure-IT and Proxy-IT packages).
The Standard edition is developed for Microsoft Terminal  servers or Citrix servers (actually these are add-on which can be used with every dedicated SBC product) which extend these products which addition or improved functionality.

In this article we are reviewing the standard edition and having a look how these components add and/or improve the functionality. In a other review we take a look at the enterprise edition.

Read more: Provision Framework 5.4 Standard