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Automatic Citrix VDA Upgrade

In May a blog article was posted on the Citrix website announcing a new feature VDA upgrade. With th [ ... ]

News of 12 September 2022

Horizon Network Label Assignment Tool and Citrix ADC for Always on Tunnel VPN

News of 30 September 2022

CVAD 2209 released and how Citrix dropped the Xen ball.

DuCUG 2022-2

On the 28th of September we organized our second event of the year. The event was held again at our  [ ... ]

Systancia AppliDis

Several years ago there were numerous products on the market offering a Server Based Computing (SBC) solution. VDI was introduced and even more products became available. However, in the last years many of these products are not here anymore. In the current landscape the big three dominating this market are: Microsoft RDS, VMware Horizon View and Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop. However, now another player is coming to the stage; Systancia. They have already been in the market for years, but were working in a kind of stealth mode in their home country France.

Systancia, an application and desktop virtualization software vendor, is a French corporation recognized for its AppliDis solution. AppliDis has grown rapidly over the past few years and was elected Best VDI Solution by experts in the field in 2014 among the industry's historical players. Now also including France's leading offer in terms of security of access following its acquisition of IPdiva, Systancia expertise has gained international presence since the French Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) - now BPI (Banque publique d'investissement) - alongside A plus Finance, became a shareholder of the company.

In this review I’m going to be taking a look at their flagship product, AppliDis. Let’s start with a quick infrastructure overview of the product, before we are going to start the installation.

Read more: Systancia AppliDis

VMware View 6.x (from a Citrix XenApp administrator perspective) Part 2

In this article series I’m installing and configuring VMware View 6.2 (with a XenApp administrator perspective). In Part 1 I discussed the global view infrastructure, followed by the installation of the basic components: Connection Server, Agent and Client. In this second part I will continue with describing the basic configuration of the RDS hosts.

Read more: VMware View 6.x (from a Citrix XenApp administrator perspective) Part 2

VMware View 6.x (from a Citrix XenApp administrator perspective) Part 1

As most of you know I work primarily as a Citrix architect implementing XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructures. However I also like to work with other similar product, so in the past I also deployed RDS only infrastructures. Besides it is always good to know how similar products work, to advice your customers between the differences and unique points of the product. Therefore it was time to install VMware View in my lab environment. In this article I will go through the infrastructure, installation, and configuration and user experience of the product. Logically I will compare it the current version of XenDesktop 7.x to show the differences and similarities.

Read more: VMware View 6.x (from a Citrix XenApp administrator perspective) Part 1

XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x from a XenApp Adminstrator view Part 2

In the first part article I started trying to explain XenDesktop from a XenApp view. We discussed the installation, the requirement to create machine catalog and the way to set-up Published Applications or a Published Desktop creating a Delivery Group. In this second part we will continue with other components available in XenApp and how they are available (if available) in XenDesktop.

Read more: XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x from a XenApp Adminstrator view Part 2

XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x from a XenApp Adminstrator view Part 1

XenDesktop 7.x is already available for a while and Citrix really tried to push the message that the framework where XenApp (IMA: Independent Management Architecture) is built on will be replace with the XenDesktop (FMA) architecture. In other words the XenApp functionality will be embedded within the FMA/XenDesktop product. The first big step is set with XenDesktop 7, this version even has a specific XenDesktop App edition, that should provide the functionality of XenApp. However other versions of XenDesktop offer the XenApp functionality. Actually I noticing that many XenApp customers have difficulties to understand how XenApp is integrated within XenDesktop 7. In this article I will try to explain XenDesktop with a XenApp view in mind, trying to explain how the XenApp functionality can be found within XenDesktop.

Read more: XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x from a XenApp Adminstrator view Part 1

What’s changed in Windows 2012 R2 on RDS

Microsoft just released (18th of October 2013) R2 of Windows 2012. In this review I’m going to describe which changes are available in this release compared to the first Windows 2012 release for the Remote Desktop Services (RDS)/Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

Read more: What’s changed in Windows 2012 R2 on RDS

Window Server 2012 RDS

Microsoft has just released Windows 2012. Microsoft has made a lot of improvements to both the RDS as VDI components. Several articles are already published describing those enhancements, but I did not see a complete overview of the whole suite. In this review I will go through all steps for the Session Host (SBC) component. I will start with the installation.


Microsoft improved the whole installation procedure a lot. It’s now possible to add roles and features via Server Manager to remote servers. This enables a much easier deployment of RDS infrastructures. This can already been seen when starting the add roles and features component. Besides the Role based or Feature based option a new option is displayed called Remote Desktop Services Installation. RDS can still be installed and configured via the Role based option; this will show the same set-up as Windows 2008R2 for example. The specific RDS option makes it easier to set-up a RDS infrastructure, because it is based on scenarios (and therefore adding the necessary components).

Read more: Window Server 2012 RDS

Citrix XenApp 6

On the 24th of March 2010 Citrix releases XenApp 6 also known as XenApp for Windows 2008 R2. In this article I will review this first Citrix version available for Windows 2008 R2. Notice that this XenApp 6 also will only run on Windows 2008 R2 (so no Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 R1 support). (Logically) I will focus on the most interesting new features and how already existing features have changed. For more information on other non changed features check the reviews of earlier reviews of Citrix XenApp/Presentation Server on this website.

Read more: Citrix XenApp 6

Windows 2008 R2 RDS

I already wrote this article earlier in which I describe the new features and enhancements in the Windows 2008R2 release. If you have wrote the article you have noticed that Microsoft changed a lot to the Terminal Services infrastructure. One of the major changes is the addition of a VDI solution into the previous Terminal Services architecture. This addition is causing the first change, which is not technical: the name change from Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services. In addition all the roles have been renamed to reflect the new name. It is import to know and understand these new roles names for the rest of this review. Therefore I will display the changed names again.

Previous name

Name in Windows Server 2008 R2

Terminal Services

Remote Desktop Services

Terminal Server

Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host)

Terminal Services Licensing (TS Licensing)

Remote Desktop Licensing (RD Licensing)

Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway)

Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway)

Terminal Services Session Broker (TS Session Broker)

Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RD Connection Broker)

Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access)

Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access)

Terminal Services Manager

Remote Desktop Services Manager

Terminal Services Configuration

Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration

TS Gateway Manager

Remote Desktop Gateway Manager

TS Licensing Manager

Remote Desktop Licensing Manager

TS RemoteApp Manager

RemoteApp Manager

In this review I will focus on the RD Session Host (previously known as Terminal Server, so I will not go into detail about the VDI component. However most parts described in this review are applicable to the VDI component like the RD Web Access and RD Connection Broker, but I won't describe the RD Virtualization Host component and corresponding configuration in this article (probably I will make a separate article about is later on). Because I already mentioned the new enhancements and features in the previous article I will concentrate in describing the configuration of these new features and enhancements.

Read more: Windows 2008 R2 RDS

Netman Desktop Manager

When I was searching for User Management Product I stumbled to Netman Desktop Manager. But when I read actually the homepage of the manufacturer they were presenting as a Server Based Computing product (but it could be used with Citrix Presentation Server/XenApp), but it is offering also some kind of application management. This combination made me curious so I decided to download the product and evaluate the product. In this review the results are written down.

Read more: Netman Desktop Manager

Citrix XenApp 5

With the acquisition of XenServer Citrix again changed most of the product names again. Most people just became used to Citrix Presentation Server (instead of Metaframe), but the product has already another name called XenApp. Version 5 is the new version of Citrix Presentation Server, which is fully labeled XenApp.

Just like the previous Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 review I will go through the features already available in previous versions and the new versions.

Read more: Citrix XenApp 5

Windows 2008 Terminal Services

In February 2008 Microsoft launched the long awaited Windows Server 2008. From the start it was already known that the Terminal Services functionality would be extended and through the time those new functionalities were introduced in the several beta versions which were launched and even some functionalities even disappeared again. Finally the following new features are available in the final version:

  • Terminal Services RemoteApp
  • Terminal Services Web Access
  • Terminal Services Gateway
  • Terminal Services User Based Session Broker
  • Terminal Services Easy Print
  • Plug and Play redirection for Media Players and Digital Camera's
  • Single SignOn for Terminal Services
  • Display Enhancements

In this review of Windows 2008 Terminal Services I first would show you the installation process of these components, followed by a brief overview of the new features and other changes to components that were already available within Windows 2003 Terminal Services.

Read more: Windows 2008 Terminal Services

Jetro COCKPIT 3.6 SR1

Jetro COCKPIT 3.6 SR1

Jetro Platforms, with their R&D centre based in Israel, delivers with Jetro COCKPIT a complete Server Based Computing product based on Microsoft Terminal Services and the RDP protocol.

What does offer Jetro in this market space where still more and more players are attending?

- Published Applications and application access management;
- Scaleable Load Balancing;
- Printing solution;
- Software license metering;
- Monitoring and reporting facilities;
- Secure access via the Internet;
- Virtual Desktops;
- And more.

Read more: Jetro COCKPIT 3.6 SR1

Citrix Presentation Server 4.5

Probably the release of the newest version of Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 created the most post and blog entries on the community websites. I never saw so much previews and quick looks of CPS45 in comparison with earlier releases. There were so much pre(reviews) I even doubted to write my own review of this product. On the other hand a website were most of the content is about reviews it would be a little bit silly that a review of the market leader in SBC product would be absent.

In comparison with Citrix Presentation Server 4 Citrix introduced the following new features: Health Monitoring & recovery, Configuration Changes logging, ADFS support, enhanced product security, management enhancements, graphics improvements and the biggest application streaming.

In this review I will go quickly through the current and new features.

Read more: Citrix Presentation Server 4.5

Propalms V5

The history of this product goes back to the time that there were just a few players on the SBC market. One of these products was called Canaveral. Canaveral was bought by Tarantella. This company already had an equivalent for this kind of products for the UNIX environment and renamed the product to Tarantella Global Desktop.  Not long after this acquisition of Canaveral Tarantella it selves was bought by Sun. Sun did not do bought Tarantella for the Windows Terminal Server product and sold it after a few months to Propalms.

Propalms TSE is now at version 5. Because of all these items it is time to review the product and compare the product with the previous Tarantella Global Desktop release.

Read more: Propalms V5

2X Application Server

2X is already known for its thin client solution called 2X ThinClientServer. Almost a year ago the company released 2X LoadBalancer, which made it possible to balance a Terminal Server based on resource usage. Now 2X has launched 2X ApplicationServer version 4.

2X ApplicationServer is a full SBC product offering Published Application, Seamless Integration, Load Balancing, SSL support and clients for several platforms.

Are you already curious about this product? Ok, let's not waste any more time and let's take a look at this product.

Read more: 2X Application Server

Thinworx 2.8

In the SBC market Citrix is still the best known and most used product to extend Microsoft Terminal Servers. In the time competive products are announced and sometimes products (quietly) disappears. One of the newer products is Thinworx of Genuit. This Canadian company released version 2.8 in January.

Thinworx just like product uses Microsoft Terminal Server as platform, so the RDP protocol is used. The users connects to the applications using a portal server bases on Internet Information Server. One of the biggest  improvements within this version Genuit is Secure Router component. This component has the same function as the Citrix Secure Gateway, but it is now rebuild to a full SSL VPN solution including with a VPN component in the Thinworx client.

The Thinworx implementation exists of the following components:
- Controller. This is the main component of the product. is responsible for managing communications between all
Application Servers and Portals within a farm. Only one Controller can be implemented within a single farm. The THINWORX Controller is also the primary point of administration. Some tasks are monitoring the health, load balancing, session establishment, catalogs available applications and so on.
- Application servers. This component is add-on on the Terminal Servers to provide the Thinworx functionality providing the applications to the end-users.
- Portal. This component provided by the website is the central location for the client to connect to and launch the applications.
- AdServer. This component makes it possible to add predefined banners for advertisement spaces.
- Secure Router. This component makes is possible to connect to the Thinworx environment using secure channels using SSL VPN.
- Client. This component is needed on the client to use the Thinworx environment.

Read more: Thinworx 2.8

Provision Networks Enterprise 5.4

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 can be used on Microsoft Terminal  servers or Citrix servers (actually these are add-on which can be used with every dedicated SBC product). The Enterprise includes additional products. These product extends Microsoft Terminal Server with Application Publishing, Seamless Windows, Intelligent Load Balancing, credentials pass-through, web-enabled access and SSL-enabled  access.

In this article we are reviewing the extensions which are only available in the Enterprise version. The standard edition tools, which are also available in this enterprise version are reviewed in another article.

Read more: Provision Networks Enterprise 5.4

HOBLink with Enhanced Terminal Services

Hob had lots of product for all kinds of connectivity to several systems. With HOBlink JWT you can make a connection with Windows Terminal Servers. It's actually just a java client using RDP to connect to Terminal Server servers from different platforms. Yes, indeed, there are other freeware client available so we can not imagine that a company just buys JWT only even the HOB client adds some extra functionality like printer mapping. Normally the customer will also buy HOBLink Enhanced Terminal Services (ETS), which need to be installed on the Terminal Servers and where this review will focus on.

Read more: HOBLink with Enhanced Terminal Services

GrapOn GoGlobal 3.0

Unlike most SBC Product Go Global does not use Microsoft Terminal Services for their product, but a webserver. Graphon just release version 3 with the following new features: session shadowing, session reconnect, load balancing and pass-through authentication. Features you really want to have in your SBC product. With this version time has come to review Go Global in depth.

Read more: GrapOn GoGlobal 3.0

Tarantella/Propalms Global Desktop 4.0

A while ago Tarantella acquired NewMoon. After acquiring they released Global Desktop for Windows, which actually was still Canaveral iQ renamed to Tarantella. Tarantella now has version 4 available where almost no more referrals to NewMoon or Canaveral and also some improved options.

Read more: Tarantella/Propalms Global Desktop 4.0

Microsoft Terminal Services 2003

All other SBC products uses the Microsoft Terminal Server as their basis functionality. Even Citrix Metaframe requires the installation of Microsoft Terminal Server. So their's no doubt about that you use MS Terminal Server in a Windows Server Based Computing. Why would you write a complete article if you need to use this product whatever SBC product you want to implement?

The answer is actually very simple. Do you need the extra functionality the other SBC offers, in other words: Is the standard Microsoft Terminal Service functionality enough for the organisation? In this article we will try to describe the functionality of MS Terminal Server including the installation and configuration of this product.

Read more: Microsoft Terminal Services 2003

Citrix Presentation Server 4

A while ago the facto standard SBC manufacturer Citrix released their latest version of their Access Suite, included the newest version of their Presentation Server (now without the Metaframe name in the product name). With this new version Citrix again is pushing their competitors to the limit. In comparison with Metaframe Presentation Server 3.0 the product is really extended with lot of new cool features.

An enumeration of the best new features: Application Isolation Environments, Virtual IP addresses, new Printer subsystem including EMF-based universal printing, The Citrix  licensing service now supports Microsoft Clustering, CPU workload management, Virtual memory optimization management, USB synchronization for PDAs, TWAIN imaging devices virtual channel and Windows key combinations can be transparently passed through to the remote server.

Citrix did add a lot of very long awaited options in this release, so let's go to take a look quickly.

Read more: Citrix Presentation Server 4