On the 16th of November the second DuCUG of 2018: 2018-2 was held. In this blog my experiences of the DuCUG 2018-2. 


The opening of the event was done again by Niek Boevink. Besides thanking the sponsors and mentioning the agenda of today he also announced the date for the first 2019 event: 15 March 2019 in Den Ouden Duikenburg in Echteld.

First session was by James Rankin with a session labeled Old dogs and new tricks – how to change the way we manage our Citrix environment.  I jumped in a bit later as I needed to check in the attendees and there were some traffic jams unfortunate. I jumped in James mentioning the available monitoring tools like Systrack, ControlUP, eg Innovations, Citrix Director/Analystics and so on. James continued with explaining the difference phases of the Citrix Logon Process (session initialization, authentication, group policy, userinit, shell). James discussed topics which has consequences on the logon time like storage, logon scripts (with printer mappings, drive mappings), group policy optimization with filtering, Active Directory optimization, profiles customization, UWP apps (removing them speeds up), folder redirection (use it at a minimal), active setup, pre-boot, auto logon, Windows firewall rules, Schedules tasks and anti-virus. At last James mentioned the optimization tools of Citrix, VMware and Login Consultants and showed the difference of logon time without and with all modifications made.

Next session was Citrix SD-WAN what is that actually (translated into English) by Rody Kossen and Anton van Pelt. They stated where SD-WAN came from (WANScaler, Branch Repeater, CloudBridge) followed by the current state (types, formfactor, virtual appliances). Rody continued with describing the infrastructure typology. Rody explains the impact of latency on the TCP protocol. Anton described the functionalities/features of SD-Wan like automatically fail over, priorization of lines based on quality, active/active set-up, detecting best path. Last topic discussed were two use cases: International Company and Hybrid Cloud including the characteristics, actual usage and advantages.

After the first break David Wilkonson continued with the session Office365 in non-persistent environment a product comparison. David started off with describing the traditional on-premises Exchange, followed by the challenges of using Office365 Exchange. David described the 3 main challenges: Outlook Cache, Outlook Searching/Indexing and OneDrive for Business with Office365. David started describing Citrix App Layering – Office 365 User Layer characteristics/challenges as the first possible solution, followed by Citrix User Profile Manager, FSLogix, Ivanti Cache Roaming for Virtual Sessions, RES Workspace One, Liquidware Profile Unity, VMware App Volumes and MS User Profile Disk. David also explains what happens when do you do nothing (cache limitations, online mode with express route). Next topic was the actual comparison matrix of the products on the main challenges. David also provided his top 5 from 1 to 5 starting with FSlogix, Ivanti User Workspace Manager, Liquidware ProfileUnity, VMware App Volumes and  Citrix App Layer/User Profile Management.

Bob Jansen of Ivanti provided the first sponsor session with the title Innovation Preview of Invanti Pulse by Ivanti Labs. Ivanti Pulse is real-time operational awareness concept, which will become an actual product. Bob explained their design philosophy, followed by a live demo of the product showing the capabilities. Product will become available beginning of next year.

After lunch Dave Brett was on stage with multisite scenarios best practices. After introducing the guys behind the presentation (Jarian, Shane, Kees and Dave off course) Dave started with the multi-site definition and types of multi sites. Dave showed how many technologies need to be taken into account when using multi sites, which not only included Citrix technologies. Next Dave discussed the multi-site possibilities into more detail. Dave showed a multisite decision flow. Next topic was about the number of sites and zones for setting up a multi-site. Dave also discusses SQL within the multi-site configuration in combination with Local Host Cache, followed by Citrix Licensing. Within StoreFront the subscription profiles should be taken into account, you should also consider traffic management with the Citrix ADC (NetScaler). User Persona and image management considerations were shared by Dave as well. Also the multi-site designs for Citrix Files (aka ShareFile) and Citrix endpoint management (XenMobile) were discussed. The last topic was describing what happens at a failure.

Data Monitoring in Citrix Cloud by Eltjo van Gulik was the next session. Eltjo started off with the challenges of Citrix Director in Citrix Cloud (90 days and default reports only). Nowadays you can use the data within the database using Odata. This session was the Bring Your Own Demo so Eltjo start demoing it by setting up the configuration and the way the data can be retrieved and can be used.

After that it was time for the second sponsor session of the day provided by Ruud Hunt of KPN with the session Citrix SD-Wan in the Field. Ruud started explaining which issues Citrix SD-WAN can solve. Ruud described how SD-WAN transports TCP within UDP. Ruud continued with describing the issues of the customer used in this case and how Ruud (KPN) embedded the SD-WAN into their infrastructure, followed by the PoC results and lesson learned.

After the break Chris Twiest continued with the session Automation of Citrix Images. Chris started explaining why you should automate images. Chris showed the steps of the automation in a runbook in the RES Automation Manager based on PowerShell scripts. Chris has the same part for MCS in Azure. Chris explained his vision of continues delivery as a last topic.

Last session of the day was Without data you are just another person with an opinion by Ryan Ververs-Bijkerk. Ryan started with a new community project ICT-R, followed by the used infrastructure for their current tests and the testing methodology. Ryan continued with explaining the data used (LoginVSI data, Hypervisor data - ESXtop, Perform endpoint data and protocol data with Remote Desktop Analyzer). The first test Ryan talked about is the Citrix Visual Quality test where they tested several visual settings. There was no impact on LoginVSI max, FPS is also similar however there is a difference in the Round Trip Time, bandwidth usage and CPU usage on the endpoint. The second test was about NVIDIA grid and user density. Within LoginVSI baseline shows that more CPU’s was the most efficient, CPU wise there were less spikes with vGPU, but average CPU was higher when using vGPUs.

After this last session it was time for drinks and refreshments before a large group of the attendees had the possibility to show their speed and drive skills on the karting track of the Fabrique.