IP address or FQDN

There are times when configuring some Citrix products (Secure Gateway, Access Gateway, Web Interface) where you are presented with the option of using an IP address or FQDN for the Secure Ticket Authority. Most of us will pause for a moment and think about the ramifications, pros and cons, of using either of those options. Citrix’s view on this is straight forward and as a best practice recommend using the IP address. You can see why this would be the case if you spend a fair amount of your time troubleshooting issues on a daily basis regardless of whether or not you are working on a Citrix, Microsoft or an application issue. The key word is variable. When going through your normal troubleshooting process you try to remove as many variables as possible from the equation. When you use the IP address you eliminate the name resolution aspect from the process.

Now I know you FQDN evangelists are out there and I prefer to use names where ever possible myself, but if you properly document your network, systems and their interactions with each other, then you don’t have anything to worry about. When it comes time to make an IP address change, with the proper documentation you will  be able to make a detailed work plan which will incorporate all of the systems and the changes needing to be completed.

As a side note I am a consultant and what I find out in the field is a mixture of both IP addresses and FQDNs being used for the STAs. Either way there are a number of times I find where previous admins/engineers/consultants are not maintaining the STA lists, regardless if they used the IP address or FQDN. If you don’t maintain these lists they will cause issues relating to logins or erratic behavior when launching Published Apps.

– CG3

Comments Off on IP address or FQDN Posted in General

Renaming a Provisioned VM

The other day a client asked me if we could rename one of the provisioned Citrix servers.  I had to think for a minute.  Could you?  Do you just rename the VM?  Do you just rename it in the PSC? I asked a couple co-workers and none of them had done it either.  I had my hunches but it just wasn’t something I’d done before.  So rather than experiment on a production system, I thought this would be a good test in my lab.  What do you think?  Nothing to it?

Well, as it turns out there isn’t really anything to it.  I just renamed the device in the device collection under the properties menu of the device and then selected the Active Directory option after right clicking on the device and had PVS create a new machine account.  I rebooted the machine and sure enough, it booted up with the new name.  Simple stuff.

You’ll probably want to go into AD and delete the old machine account and clean things up.  Your VM will also still retain the old name so you might consider renaming that in your hypervisor.   In this case I was using vSphere.  Renaming the VM in vCenter will make things a little easier to keep track of but remember, that won’t rename the associated files.  They will still retain the old name.  The easiest way to correct that issue is to do a storage vmotion or a cold migration.  The storage vmotion will rename the vmdk’s and other files associated with that VM to match the name of the VM in vCenter.  However – not in vSphere 5.  For some reason it seems that little feature was removed from vSphere 5.  Why?  Something to do with disk numbering.  I don’t know, but I’m hoping that functionality will return.  I guess you’ll have to go to a VMwareGeeks site for that.

-CG2

Comments Off on Renaming a Provisioned VM Posted in PVS

Citrix product lifecycle

I don’t know about you but it seems like Citrix has been accelerating the lifecycles for their products over the past couple of years. Maybe as I get older time is just going by that much faster which makes the product lifecycles seem shorter 🙂

At any rate if you have not been paying attention in a little less than a year from now Citrix will EOL all XenApp products running on Windows Server 2003. Then 3 1/2  months later they will EOL XenApp 6.0 and below on Windows Server 2008 leaving only XenApp 6.5 on WS 2008R2. This applies to XenApp Fundamentals as well. Citrix is maintaining a nice easy to read page covering their products here http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_2317305.asp

If you are not up to date with your XenApp product version, then I would start the planning phase in short order and make sure you are ahead of the curve. Especially if you have not even moved up to a Windows Server 2008R2 based OS because you might have your work cut out for you depending on the applications you are running in your environment.

Cheers

– CG3

Printing help?

In case you haven’t seen, Microsoft released a “Printer Rollup Pack” last month specifically to address printing pronblems in Win7/Server 2008R2. 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2647753

It can’t make things any worse, right?

 

-CG1

Disable Power Management for a Desktop Group

I was doing some testing with various settings and catalogs in XD 5.6.  After assigning myself a machine for my testing, I would notice it would shut down after I logged off.  Since I was using this desktop on a fairly regular basis, I didn’t want to have it shut down, then have to wait for it to power back up before using it again.  But how do I disable the power management for just that group?

With assigned machines, XD wants to have all the machines available for peak hours.  During off peak hours however, machines without logged in users will be turned off.  Most of my testing was being done during off peak hours, so as soon as I logged off, the machine was shut down.  Unless I tried to connect again during peak hours, my desktop was turned off and I would have to wait for it to power on before I could connect.   Of course I could extend the time of peak hours in the power settings of the Desktop Group, but I wanted to disable the setting completely.  In other words, I didn’t want any power management at all for the group.

A little digging in PowerShell was helpful.  Running the ‘Get-BrokerDesktopGroup’ command returns several variables, one of which is ‘AutomaticPowerOnForAssigned’ object.  Setting that object to False fixed the issue.

  • Set-BrokerDesktopGroup “groupname” -AutomaticPowerOnForAssigned $False

By the way, XenDesktop includes several powershell commands.  All the required snapins may not be loaded even though they are installed on the server.  You can see which snapins are loaded or ‘registered’ on the server by running the ‘Get-Pssnapin -Registered’ command.  My server returns the following:

  • Name        : Citrix.ADIdentity.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Manages Active Directory Computer Accounts

    Name        : Citrix.Broker.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : This PowerShell snap-in contains cmdlets used to manage the Citrix Broker.

    Name        : Citrix.Common.Commands
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Citrix Common Commands

    Name        : Citrix.Common.GroupPolicy
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Citrix Group Policy Provider

    Name        : Citrix.Configuration.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Stores Service configuration information

    Name        : Citrix.Host.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Manages Hosts, and Hypervisor Connections

    Name        : Citrix.LicensingConfig.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Licensing Config PowerShell SnapIn

    Name        : Citrix.MachineCreation.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Creates new Virtual Machines

    Name        : Citrix.MachineIdentity.Admin.V1
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : Manages Virtual Machine Storage

    Name        : PvsPsSnapIn
    PSVersion   : 2.0
    Description : This is a PowerShell snap-in that includes cmdlets.

You will most likely have to load these snapins before running the ‘Get-BrokerDesktopGroup‘ command above.  Running ‘Get-Pssnapin -Registered | Add-Pssnapin‘ should get the required snapins loaded.

-CG2