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).

 

17 01, 2017

Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 8 Defender & BGinfo

By |January 17th, 2017|

Introduction
This article is part 8 in a series of articles on deploying RDS in Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON Templates. Here is a quick overview of previous articles on this topic.

1. Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager
2. RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 – demo at Microsoft Ignite!
3. Video of Ignite session showing RDS on Azure IaaS deployment using ARM/JSON
4. Windows Server 2016 GA available in Azure! – used it to deploy RDS on Azure IaaS!
5. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 5
6. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 6 RD
Gateway

7. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 7 RD Web Access customization

In this part of the series, we’ll add both Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines (Defender) and BGInfo to the deployment.

If you’re not familiar with one of these tools, here is a brief introduction.

What is Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines?
Microsoft Antimalware for Azure Virtual Machines is a real-time protection capability that […]

1 12, 2016

Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 7 RD Web Access customization

By |December 1st, 2016|

This article is part 7 in a series of articles on deploying RDS in Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON Templates. Here is a quick overview of previous articles on this topic.

1. Full HA RDS 2016 deployment in Azure IaaS in < 30 minutes, Azure Resource Manager
2. RDS on Azure IaaS using ARM & JSON part 2 – demo at Microsoft Ignite!
3. Video of Ignite session showing RDS on Azure IaaS deployment using ARM/JSON
4. Windows Server 2016 GA available in Azure! – used it to deploy RDS on Azure IaaS!
5. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 5
6. Azure Resource Manager and JSON templates to deploy RDS in Azure IaaS – Part 6 RD Gateway

In this part of the series, we’ll take a closer look at customizing and branding RD Web Access a bit further. If you’ve read previous articles you’ll know that part of this ARM deployment for RDS is, where we actually configure resources in Azure, based on constructing JSON templates. They allow you to configure a template that ARM can use to […]

18 11, 2016

Run Windows Server 2016 from external USB SSD

By |November 18th, 2016|

In my lab I want to be able to start different operating systems quickly – effectively use my hardware as more than one environment.   For me, the quickest way to do this is to get some large SSDs, and slap Windows Server 2016 on them, add some VMs in Hyper-V, and now I have a mini lab, contained on one SSD.

I also want to be mobile. I want to walk around with my lab on SSD, and be able to plug it in to any PC, boot from it, and be up and running.

I got a 1TB SSD, and a USB-C cable. I thought “I will install Windows Server 2016 to this external drive, add the VMs, and be on my way.

Not so fast….when I went to install the OS to an external USB, the external disk showed up in the disk list to choose from, but it was not selectable. Selecting this disk showed this message: “Windows Server 2016 cannot be installed to this disk…”(right….it can’t be installed to external USB. ARGH!)

What to do? I really don’t want to have to connect this drive internally – it prevents the mobility.

I had a Windows 10 machine, and on that […]

17 11, 2016

Microsoft ARM template to deploy scale-out file server for RDS User Profile Disks (UPD)

By |November 17th, 2016|

imageMicrosoft has recently released an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template to create a domain-joined scale-out file server (SOFS) in Azure using Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) with Windows Server 2016. You can use this template to create a Storage Spaces Direct scale-out file server to store User Profile Disks (UPD)!

”…Remote Desktop Services (RDS) requires a domain-joined file server for user profile disks (UPDs). To deploy a high availability domain-joined scale-out file server (SOFS) in Azure, use Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) with Windows Server 2016…”

Check out this link for guidance on how to set up the Storage Spaces Direct scale-out file server and how to configure UPD on it!
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/compute/remote-desktop-services/rds-storage-spaces-direct-deployment

16 11, 2016

Azure N-Series General Availability will be December 1st!

By |November 16th, 2016|

As RDSGurus we have had the privilege to test the N-series VM in Azure for a while now. Benny also showed the N-series on stage at Ignite during the session “Get an independent insider’s view of desktop virtualization and session remoting“.

Microsoft has recently announced that the Azure N-Series VM will reach General Availability on December 1st! Exciting news for our industry!

“…Azure N-Series virtual machines are powered by NVIDIA® GPUs and provide customers and developers access to industry-leading accelerated computing and visualization experiences. I am also excited to announce global access to the sizes, with N-series available in South Central US, East US, West Europe and South East Asia, all available on December 1st…”

Read the announcement here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-n-series-general-availability-on-december-1/

25 10, 2016

Hotfix for User Profile Disk (UPD) Dismount Issues:

By |October 25th, 2016|

Glad to say that the October 2016 Monthly Rollup contains a hotfix for the present User Profile Disk dismount issues some of us have been experiencing (and complaining about).
Addresses issue where the user profile disk (UPD) does not dismount when a user logs off.
Therefore, users get temporary profiles and are not able to work with their own profiles during their next logon.
The Event ID 20491 with a description of “Remote Desktop Services could not disconnect a user disk for the user account with a SID of <SID>. The error code is 0xAA.93” will be logged.