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DUCUG 2012 Event 2

On the 21nd of September 2012 we hold our second DUCUG event. We had a good crowd and good sessions. Good to see talking the guys with eachother and discussing. Logically I wrote down my experiences of this day.

Ingmar and Edwin kicked off with an introduction. The first session was by Danny van Dam about Windows 2012, what's new on RDSH & RDVH. He started with the enhancements of RemoteFX (RFX Adaptive Graphics, RFX for LAN, RFX Media Touch, RFX USB Redirection, Windows Store Remote Desktop App, RFX physical GPU). Danny continued with requirments of the vGPU (directX11, WDDM 1.2, SLAT, NTP/ETP -> can be checked with coreinfo.exe by Microsoft). RFX Adaptive Graphics working is explained (text, image content, video/animations). New in RDS: Remote Desktop Management Services, Fair Share (CPU, MEM, DISK, NIC, Active/Active connection Broker config, user profile disk, image management (RDVH), pooled/personal VM patching (RDVH). Remote Desktop Experience has moved to another location within the features list, this adds media player, enable flash and enables App Store. Danny showed some print screens about this new features and continued with demos on RemoteFX providing a good overview of the capabilities. All options are available for both RDS as VDI. After demos Danny mentioned Citrix Jasper and possible new features combined xenapp/xendesktop, end of IMA, server 2012, MSC for XenApp. Danny mentioned which new features in 2012 are interesting for Jasper like improved USB support, multi-touch (on other non Windows devices), Office 2013 Lync and RFX vGPU (with Hyper-V). Danny hopes Citrix embraces the simplicity of the installation possibilties of RDS. Next Danny mentioned that HDX is still a bit better, MS lacks endpoint support (Win 7/8 only) and Citrix Management features are still better.
Second session was by Pierre Marnignon about VUEM (Virtual User Environment Manager). He started introducing how he came to VUEM and the vision of thier new company Norskale. VUEM key points are performance focus, cost of implementation, license cost, easy to manage, reversibility and user experience. After Olivier Pierre continued showing the VUEM product based on XenApp 6.5. He started with the Agent Self-service options for example showing applications and printer options, continued with the managent console showing the features available. VUEM includes libraby folder management, cool. VUEM did not have a profile management, it uses current techniques like Citrix or Microsoft. Pierre is also mentioning the requirements, like SQL 2005 and .Net Framework 4 for the agent. It's tested on 2012, but currently not certified yet. The session ended with a Q&A, where some very good questions are asked by the audiance.
Third session by Arno Kreek about 200+ Policies: Where, when and how to use them. Arno started with a quick introduction of policies both Active Directory (Software Settings, Local Settings, Administrative Templates, Preferences) and Citrix Policies (Policy Engine/plugin, ADMs). Arno mentions the MSI necessary to add the GPO plug-in for Citrix policies. A Citrix policy out of AD will result in policies.gpf file in the GPO directory. Arno mentions the differences between the possbile Citrix policies console (XenDesktop Studio, AppCenter and GPMC) and differences between the policies in those consoles. Next topic is how the policies are applied -> Local Group Policy object, Citrix IMA policy object (policies out of the AD console), Site GPOs, Domain GPOs, Organizational units) on machine level. Arno continued with User Policies where Microsoft / Citrix Client Side Extensions are used. Machine policies are applied after GPUpdate of 90 minutes (by default), Desktopstudio/AppCenter -> directly, after gpupdate or restart IMA servers (most a gpupdate or restart IMA is required). Citrix is using the default policies node in the registry. Arno dived into the policies like Multistream policies, Universal Print Server and Reboot Schedule on machine level. On user level he discusses USB devices rules, HDX Flash Redirection and Mobile Device support. Last topic was about using the GPO or App Center. Advantages for GPO: all policies in one console, extend filters, all policies available, complete overview, automatic replication of policies   according to Arno. Arno advises to use Machine Policies in GPO, User Policies depends (but Arno prefers GPO).
After the lunch Jits Langendijk started with his presentation called Personal vDisk: Deep Dive. He started with a short view back of XenDesktop and the Personal vDisk in the product. Jits continued with the describing the Personal vDisk on a functional level. Clear story how the Personal vDisk works seen from a users perspective. Next he dived into the technical part starting with Single Image Management, Storage Reducer, Pooled (Static) for all. The several Desktop Machine Types are described and the advantages/disadvantages are discussed. The  types where pVD is in place are discussed into detail including used drive letters, deviation of the personal vDisk between user and application data. Thin provisioning of PVD is supported when split base VM. PvD can be resized  using a PowerShell script (before PvD 5.6.7). When resetting a PvD only the application part will be flushed, the profile part will not be deleted. Jits mentioned several registry keys to tweak and tune the PvD. Ask Jits for the slides for all the details. The decision made to write to the PvD is based on the Resource Catalog available C:\ProgramData\Citrix\Personal vDisk. Jits mentions that PvD is not based on multiple layers and it is not a user environment management. Jits ended with a good summary including the overhead (14% nowadays on Win 7) and that base image alwasy wins.
After Jits I gave my session of a Customer Case called Everything on Top. Hope the audiance enjoyed the session. After my sesion Helge Klein was on stage with his presentation a scientific approach to XenApp Farm Sizing. A real good presentation which I already have seen during Citrix Synergy 2012 US. Therefore I did some work and did not wrote down any notes. Check my notes of Citrix Synergy US 2012 Day 1.
After the session of Helge we started a Geak Speak Live session. Actually we discussed the whole our on one topic, which was actually great. The day ended with one more thing, where Stefan Pieters updated us on the current status of the HDX on a chip project. Personally I was again really satisfied over the whole day, the energizing and ethousiastic crowd. Already looking forward to organize a new event somewhere in the 1st half of 2013.