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DuCUG 2016-1

On Friday 18 March we organized already our ninth event. This time the event was hosted by Global Knowledge Utrecht. Traditionally our chairman Jon opened the event. He started thanking the sponsors, followed by explaining the agenda.


The first session was a new concept we tried: What’s New at Citrix. In 45 minutes three presenters showed new features or releases in the Citrix stack. Timco Hazelaar started off with StoreFront 3.5. He mentioned the new enhancements, followed by a quick walkthrough to the administration console including the customization possibilities. The second session was about Citrix Zones presented by me. I talked through the history of zones in Presentation Server and XenApp to the current implementation of the zones in XenDesktop 7.7/7.8 including the Optimal HDX routing option in StoreFront 3.5. Kees Baggerman was the last one about AppDisks. Kees started explaining what AppDisks offers, followed by sharing his experiences and showed a demo of the process of creating the Appdisk.

Because Andrew Morgan was delayed at customs, Andrew Wood was next about Citrix Lifecycle Management. After a funny introduction, as always, Andrew started of Life Cycle Management within Citrix Workspace Cloud and the industry pain points of on-premises infrastructures. Andrew continued with the key components of CLM (resource location, lifecycle management agent, Citrix lifecycle management connector, blueprints). The high level architecture was the next topic, followed by the available blue prints and components (where also partners and community can add blueprints). Andrew also demoed the technology. Andrew also discussed the license costs, which are pretty high.

After the break we continued with the first CYOS by Patrick Kaak and Gerjon Kunst about ICA versus RDP. Patrick kicked of the session why they proposed the session. Gerjon continued with what’s new in RDP for Windows Server 2016 (personal session desktops, remoteFX Improvements, RDP10) including the possibilities to manage user experience (within the client and a few policies). Also the XenDesktop 7.7/7.8 enhancements were quickly touched and the manageability. Patrick discussed four sets of configuration settings for both RDP as ICA. Gerjon and Patrick decribed how they executed the test in two phases (multimedia versus knowledge workers), followed by discussing the (interesting) results.

Next was Andrew Morgan with Application Layering 101. Andrew started with explaining the industry terms (application isolation, application cloaking, writable volumes, appstacks, layering altitude, single image management). Andrew continued with the challenges of App-V 5. Next Andrew started explaining application layering, followed how it works (intercepts IO via a disk mini-filter driver, upper filter, captures registry and disk tasks, redirects them to the attached disk). Next Andrew touched the available dis format and bind (hypervisor based disk, in VM VHD(x) and Attachment time (boot and logon) including pro an cons. Andrew continued with mentioning the current vendors in this market (UniDesk, VMware AppVolumes, Liquidware Labs, Citrix AppDisk, FSLogix ) including the charasteristics. Andrew ended the session with the roadmap in this market space: VMware Project A2, AppVolumes 3 (app toggle, app scaling), UniDesk 4 (pvs support, azure support, intersession isolation) and his final conclusion of application virtualization (easier to install, support drivers with bind on boot, architectural challenges, layer altitude is a real pain, physical is tricky or not possible, amount of layers supported, missing true isolation, missing granular application control).

After the lunch we continued with the second CYSO by Barry Schiffer and Bram Wolfs with Citrix HDX Display Codec Deepdive. Barry started with the HDX display modes (legacy graphics mode, desktop composition redirection, HDX ThinWire, H2.64, Compatability mode, Framehawk), followed by the HDX templates. Bram continued with Visual Display policies, followed by the tool developed by Bram Remote Display Analyzer. Next Bram and Barry showed some demos of the Remote Display Analyzer, showing the differences between the codecs on resources usages. After the demos Bram continued with the roadmap of the Remote Display Analyzer.

Next session was the customer case provided by Sander v/d Hoek en Ment v/d Plas called Remote Engineering Worksplace. Ment started with introducing ASML and the customer case where the presentation is all about. Sander continued with describing the two groups of end users for the POC and the hardware and software layers used. They used much time on testing and executed several kind of tests. They shared the test results. After the PoC Ment discussed the business case, where the financial drivers were not that important. The session ended with best practices (business involvement is key, measure brings knowledge, choose the best stack for the workload, technology stack is mature).

After another break Ingmar Verheij and Kees Baggerman continued with the session IoT in the Enterprise. Kees and Ingmar started off explaining why IoT is interesting for the Enterprise. They continued with Octublu and a translator (meshblu). Ingmar and Kees described some examples they see as IoT usability in the Enterprise.

The last session of the day was by Jarian Gibson Citrix Stack Monitoring Enhancements. Jarian started with the history of monitoring within Citrix (Resource Manager, EdgeSight, Director, Director + HDX Insight). Than Jarian continued with the current possibilities Citrix Insight Services including wihich products are available in this tool. Jarian mentioned the new enhancements in Director 7.8 (proactive notification & alerting, SCOM integration, plugin model, custom reports plugin, session recording of desktops). End to End monitoring was the next topic via HDX Insight and SCOM Management Packs for Citrix Full Stack Monitoring. Jarian also touched other products like Command Center, Syslog, SNMP, Session Recording, Workload Balancing, RRD Tools, Performance Alerts and PowerShell. Next topic was troubleshooting Citrix environment. Jarian mentioned a large list of utilities which can be used for troubleshooting (scout, CDF Trace, HDX Monitor, XDPing, XDDBDiag, UPMConfigCheck, UPS Driver cert tool). Jarian also touched the newer tools like Citrix Health Assistant, Call Home and AOD trace. Next Generation Citrix Stack Monitoring according to Jarian can be Octoblu and Lifecycle Management. The session ended with a wishlist of Jarian for Citrix monitoring: integration, licensing changes, additional alerting, single pane, additional metrics and expand call home.

After the session of Jarian Jon closed the event and was there some time to have some drinks and foods.