2 10, 2017

Recap of the session I presented at Microsoft Ignite 2017

By |October 2nd, 2017|

Last week I attended Microsoft Ignite in Orlando and on Tuesday I presented a session on hosting RDS and VDI in the Cloud. This blog post is a recap of the session including links to demos I showed.

I started my session with the question whether RDS or VDI would still be relevant today. I pointed out that the application landscape of an average organization today already contains a lot of SaaS and Web based applications. Also, Apps from App stores are becoming more common in the corporate world. These types of applications are already enabled for the modern workplace and can already be accessed from any device at any time. I continued by pointing out the traditional Windows Applications. How these types of applications are not enabled for the modern workplace, that they demand a Windows Desktop to run and that in many cases they rely heavily on an application backend. I talked about how many might argue that the Windows Application will disappear in the future. That the Windows Application will be transformed into other form factors like Web-Based and Apps. I agree with that statement but […]

18 09, 2017

OneDrive for Business Performance in Non-Persistent Environments Using FSLogix’s Office 365 Containers

By |September 18th, 2017|

An Independent Remote End-User Experience Performance Benchmark

Based on this Microsoft knowledge base article, “the OneDrive for Business sync app isn’t supported for client sessions that are hosted on Windows 2008 Terminal Services or Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS).“ This is also true for RDS running on Windows Server 2016. In order to gain access to OneDrive for Business files, Remote Desktop users have to utilize a web browser.

FSLogix Office 365 Containers however, does support roaming OneDrive for Business cache. So RDS Gurus decided to test the user experience of remote desktop users working with OneDrive for Business in an RDS environment configured to use FSLogix Office 365 Containers. Like our past Outlook testing, we did this by collecting performance metrics as well as video footage of a series of RDS user sessions designed to simulate users working in OneDrive for Business.

Benchmarking Setup

We used the same environment and lab for these test runs as we did for our previous Outlook testing, so refer to that article for the benchmarking setup. Our test steps were also the same, except that we created test sequences and Uber-exes that ran OneDrive for Business workloads. […]

3 09, 2017

RDP10 versus PCoIP on Hyper-V with DDA

By |September 3rd, 2017|

In August, Gabe Knuth published an article on BrianMadden.com describing Teradici’s new product announcements. An important aspect of Teradici’s product offering is their PC-over-IP protocol (PCoIP), an alternative to other remoting protocols. But how good is PCoIP and what are the ideal use cases? To answer this question, we compared the performance of Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and PCoIP in June and July 2017. This project was sponsored by Microsoft with input from Teradici.

Our primary focus was on benchmarking the performance of graphics workloads in Hyper-V virtual machines accelerated by NVIDIA M60 GPUs attached through Discrete Device Assignment (DDA). DDA allows you to pass through a physical GPU that is plugged into the PCI Express bus of the Hyper-V host machine straight to a guest VM.

Test Environment

For this project we used an on premises lab, but because this setup can be deployed on premises using a physical server with an M60 card or in Azure using an NV-series VM, test results are relevant for both on-premises and cloud environments.

We used a Dell R730 server with NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPU […]

11 08, 2017

Outlook Performance in Non-Persistent Environments Using FSLogix’s Office 365 Containers

By |August 11th, 2017|

An Independent Remote End-User Experience Performance Benchmark

RDS Gurus decided to run performance tests on Outlook in non-persistent environments using FSLogix’s Office 365 Containers solution. We wanted to illustrate the user experience of remote desktop users working in an RDS environment configured to use FSLogix Office 365 Containers relative to the typical user experience when using native RDS UPD technology. Our primary focus was to measure how performance degrades when multiple users are simultaneously working with Outlook (“noisy neighbor effect”).

We did this by collecting performance metrics as well as video footage of a series of test runs where users in remote sessions “worked” in Outlook 2016. All the work was automated. Users opened Outlook and conducted a series of searches that queried the local windows search service (queries against All Mailboxes, All Outlook Items or Subfolders) and queried the Office 365 server search service (queries against current folder and mailbox).

We recorded the on-screen user experience of a primary user, and also collected performance counter data during each test run. In some runs only the primary user taxed the system. In other runs, we introduced a number of secondary users who also “worked” in Outlook. We conducted our tests in an on-premises […]

13 07, 2017

Next Gen Architecture for RDS Announced at Inspire!

By |July 13th, 2017|

If you did not see the session at Microsoft Inspire, this is big news:

The new RDS “modern infrastructure” is announced, as well as the new HTML 5 web client.

Check out the announcement here: Today at Microsoft Inspire–Next generation architecture for RDS hosting and be sure to sign up for the technical preview! I went ahead and signed up through the survey form, and FYI:

Due to the limited number of slots available, we may not be able to provide opportunities to all interested customers at this time. We will let you know about the status of your request by end of August 2017.”

So if you want in, sign up now!

7 07, 2017

Real time logging your Microsoft RDS environment using PowerShell

By |July 7th, 2017|

All Remote Desktop Services events logs in a single pane? Every RDS event from machine A and B that has written an event in last 10 minutes? Listen to events from RDS event logs in real time from all RDS related servers in your deployment?

Jason Gilbertson, a Technical Advisor at Microsoft who works closely with the RDS Product team wrote a single PowerShell that does all of the above, and much more!!

Some of the features:

– Export logs locally or remotely to .csv format on local machine grouped by machine name

– Convert *.evt* files to .csv

– View and manage ‘debug and analytic’ event logs

– Listen to event logs real-time from local or remote machines displaying color coded messages in console

Although the script is very multifunctional, it has specific parameters for RDS to allow you to collect RDS related event log from all servers that are running RDS roles. So, for example, you can combine all event logs from your RD Connection Broker-, RD Web Access-, RD Gateway- and RD Session Host Servers in single view.

The script also exports to CSV which allows you to feed the exports into Excel Graphs or PowerBI environments for further analysis.

A couple of examples;

Query rds event […]

3 04, 2017

RDP Protocol Specifications and Other Helpful Documentation

By |April 3rd, 2017|

We have been asked more than once for documentation on the RDP protocol, UDP transport, RD Gateway protocol, etc. So we have put a list together of this kind of documentation. RDP Protocol Specifications are at MSDN. Go to the  MSDN Library > Open Specifications >. Then go to navigate to Protocols > Windows Protocols > Technical Documents>

The RDP specs are way down in that list under [MS-RDP…]

30 03, 2017

Test-Driving XenApp Essentials

By |March 30th, 2017|

By: Freek Berson & Kristin Griffin

Citrix XenApp Essentials is live! Here’s a little background on what XenApp Essentials is, and why you might want to use this service. As many of you may know, Microsoft made the decision to retire Azure RemoteApp (read more on that from Benny Tritsch’s blog post).  XenApp Essentials is its replacement. Simply put, Citrix Cloud builds and maintains the RemoteApp deployment. It builds the XenApp workload servers for you in your Azure subscription (based on your custom server image). It provides a secure web storefront for you from which users can access their remote apps from any device, and from anywhere.  You specify the users who get to access the apps and you are off to the races. In a nutshell, its a pretty sophisticated remote application deployment made easy for the consumer and maintained by Citrix Cloud.

Sound interesting?

We at RDS Gurus had the privilege of test driving XenApp Essentials (XA Essentials) during the private preview before General Availability. In this blog post we will walk you through the steps to setup and use it.

To setup XA Essentials you need:

  • An Azure Subscription
  • A Resource Group where the Cloud Connector Virtual Machines will be hosted
  • At least one DC […]
30 03, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure

By |March 30th, 2017|

By: Benny Tritsch & Kristin Griffin

Deploying Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop in Microsoft Azure is an interesting solution for everybody who wants to deliver Windows desktops or applications from the public cloud. Citrix and Microsoft are working closely together to develop this modern application delivery platform based on Azure Resource Manager (ARM). This article introduces the multiple variants of hosting XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure, allowing potential customers to make the right choices for their particular use cases and business models.

Before looking at the details of the different XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure options it is helpful to define some important terms used in this context. XenApp and XenDesktop Workers are Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 virtual machines, with the Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) and Windows applications installed. From an endpoint with the Citrix Receiver client software, users connect to a Worker’s remote session or virtual desktop and interact with the applications. Groups of Workers reside in one or multiple Resource Locations, for example in an Azure datacenter. The Citrix Control Plane contains all necessary XenApp and XenDesktop backend services, including network gateway (NetScaler), connection broker (Delivery Controller), Web frontend (StoreFront), configuration database, license server and management consoles. For […]

20 03, 2017

Cost Calculator for XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure

By |March 20th, 2017|

For those interested in learning how much it might cost you to move your Azure RemoteApp deployment or your on premises RDS deployment to XenApp and XenDesktop on Azure, here’s a cost calculator to get you started.

https://costcalculator.azurewebsites.net/costCalculator

This tool takes two paths: Extend your current Citrix deployment into Azure, or move to Azure and let the new Citrix Cloud Service do the heavy lifting (more on Citrix Cloud here).