The release of XenApp/XenDesktop version 7.12 introduced couple of new FMA services (primarily used by LHC) — time for an update. As you might be aware, I have written multiple articles on the FlexCast Management Architecture in the past (including my book) talking about its core services, their responsibilities, capabilities, communication channels/interfaces and so on. Throughout the past two years I also came up with a nice graphical overview (at least I like to think so) representing a Delivery Controller including all main FMA services. This article/post is meant to provide you with a continues update on the FMA and its primary core services, graphical overview included. Each time something changes you’ll read about it here – as soon as NDA has been lifted of course.
I can’t remember the last time I wrote about one of the new XA and/or XD releases, I think it was version 7.5. However, with version 7.12 comes the new and improved LHC, which is something a lot of ‘us’ have been waiting for. Or at least were/are curious about. Go here to find out more about the LHC, now part of the FlexCast Management Architecture, I covered it in detail. And while writing I thought I’d cover some of the other (new) 7.12 features as well.
Finally, it’s here, with XenApp and XenDesktop version 7.12 Citrix has re-introduced the Local Host Cache functionality. A long awaited feature by many Citrix admins globally. Though many of us are familiar with the LHC feature within 6.5, LHC as part of the FlexCast Management Architecture, which is basically what we are talking about here, is architected differently, or built from the ground up even. This has resulted in a more robust solution, immune to corruption (at least that’s the general idea) also needing less maintenance. Let’s have a look and see what it is about.
Throughout the years there have been countless discussions about the potential added value of the Citrix XenApp and/or XenDesktop Platinum license, and rightfully so since you roughly pay about 1/3 more when compared to an Enterprise license, at least as far as XenApp goes.
With the introduction of Microsoft Windows 10 also came a couple of new ways to deploy and maintain Windows installations, this is what Microsoft refers to a Windows as a Service, or WaaS. Meant to make the life of the IT professional a little easier. As you might know, Windows 10 is supposed to be the final version of Windows, and thus new functionalities and features will be delivered in smaller incremental updates, two to three times per year as opposed to every 3 to 5 years prior to Windows 10, when a new version of Windows was released. This also introduces a couple of challenges when it comes to upgrading, updating and maintaining new and current installations. For this they came up with WaaS as mentioned earlier. Let’s have a look at what this means from a servicing and update perspective.
About two weeks ago Citrix announced part of their new support portfolio for 2017 and beyond, a.k.a. Citrix Customer Success Services. Starting January 1st 2017 customers will be able to purchase, or better said subscribe to (annually) a new support package named ‘Select’ (as part of the Customer Success Services umbrella) with two more packages following mid-2017 (June / July) referred to as ‘Priority’ and ‘Priority Plus’, although for now there is no detailed information available regarding these two additional packages. Let’s have a look at what we do know.
Citrix Call Home according to the e-docs pages “Call Home collects diagnostic data and then periodically uploads telemetry packages containing that data directly to Citrix Insight Services for analysis and troubleshooting”. A nice summary, but of course there is a bit more to it. Below I have put together a brief ‘did you know that’ overview, a somewhat different format then what you are used here on basvankaam.com — let me know what you think.
A couple of weeks ago I launched the first ever ‘The state of public cloud services – the 2016 community edition’ online survey. It included a short textual introduction followed by 35 questions in total and a few fun ‘quotes’ in between. While it turned out to be a bit more work then I anticipated beforehand, I am very satisfied with the final outcome. Below you will find the final report in a .PDF format, free for everyone to download.
I have always been a fan of two factor authentication, or 2FA in short. Almost all companies and customers I have worked for and with used it in some shape or form. Especially SMS based 2FA — from an administrative perspective it is easy to set up, configure and maintain (if it isn’t you might want to consider switching vendors) and next to that it is also extremely user friendly and secure, when properly implemented that is. And of course, there is no need for any additional (expensive) third party tokens.
Earlier this month I published a post named ’13 reasons that might prevent companies from successfully leveraging public cloud services’. Again, this post wasn’t meant to negatively position the cloud, not at all. I just wanted to point out some possible downsides and highlight a couple of, potentially important factors that need to be taken into consideration when ‘the cloud’ comes into play. With this in mind I thought it might be useful to put together a survey specifically aimed at public cloud computing services – consider this post a warm-up.