Windows 2012 and SMB 3.0 – all you need to know

As part of my endeavours to cultivate an optimized windows 2012 RDS/XenDesktop 7 Published Desktop get the feeling SMB 3.0 is going to play a big part – found the below as a useful starting point in my research

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Getting rid of that pesky your virtual desktop is attempting to use your microsoft or webcam message for ALL :)

Or for that matter:
“your virtual desktop is attempting to access your local files”

Just released by citrix:

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VSphere HA Clustering – best practices – nice and simple does it :)

Must say from day 1 with working with VMware have been a big fan of the clustering technology that comes with vSphere/vCenter, in comparison to the even the likes of MSCS its a sinch’ – suppose the one thing i would say certainly with the recent iterations (eg from 5.0 onwards) its worth going through their best practices as there is some additional pieces of functionality that comes with them.

The same best practices do still apply.
In particular the 2 that stand out:
Move to using Virtual Port ID, and set the Failback to No.

From vSphere HA best practice guide:
“Each port group has a VLAN ID assigned and runs dedicated on its own physical network adaptor. Only in the case of a failure is it switched over to the standby network adaptor. Failback is set to no because in the case of physical switch failure and restart, ESXi might falsely determine that the switch is back online when its ports first come online. However, the switch itself might not be forwarding any packets until it is fully online. Therefore, when failback is set to no and an issue arises, both the management network and vMotion network will be running on the same network adaptor and will continue running until the user manually intervenes.”
Other important piece is to set the active traffic if using 2 distinct port groups at the management level.

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When your vSphere VM’s need CPU cycles NOW!

We had an interesting performance issue which reared its head recently.
Xenapp 6.5 environment.
Hypervisor: ESXi 5.0 u2.

Noticed consistent latencies on applications across the board, these latencies would in play no matter how “close” the users’ were to the application. Of course, latencies come in various forms, network, storage etc but with the help of a few tools, perfmon, bluestripe and edgesight got a picture that the should-we-say “needless” latency insofar the stuff we didn’t think was needed was indeed coming from the hypervisor layer.
Now with the make-up of your environment. Running a 1:1 vCPU:pCPU make-up, no oversubscription/overcommittment on either memory or CPU this latency was interesting.
In the end took me to this excellent article:

In particular:
“If you want to ensure that the VMkernel does not deschedule your VM when the vCPU is idle (ALL systems generally have brief periods of idle time, unless you’re running an application which has a tight loop executing CPU instructions without taking a break or yielding the CPU), you can add the following configuration option. Go to VM Settings  Options tab  Advanced General  Configuration Parameters and add monitor_control.halt_desched with the value of false.
Note that this option should be considered carefully, because effectively this option will force the vCPU to consume all of its allocated pCPU time, such that when that vCPU in the VM idles, the VM Monitor will spin on the CPU without yielding the CPU to the VMkernel scheduler, until the vCPU needs to run in the VM again. However, for extremely latency-sensitive VMs which cannot tolerate the latency of being descheduled and scheduled, this option has been seen to help.”

Once the changes were made – voila – that piece of latency disappeared! Worth mentioning though is worth invoking for that very specific use case in mind

Posted in VMware, VSphere 5.x | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow access to your citrix web interface page?

Running Web interface 5.4 – on first launch close to v.slow i’d gauge it launching the logon page.

Did a bit of digging around and found this:

Worked a charm, nice, fast and the natives are now happier 🙂

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How to publish and deploy Xenapp Applications from the SCCM 2012 Console

Hi all,
So after overcoming the pain of a duplicate GUID issue everything has worked swimmingly regards publishing and deploying Xenapp applications from SCCM. The environment we have running here
is Xenapp 6.5 HRP01 (+recommended post HRP01 hotfixes), using PVS 6.1 target devices and utilizing App-v’s shared content store feature.

How to publish XenApp application on SCCM 2012 Console
1. Logon to SCCM console

2. Click Application Management

3. Click Applications

4. Click into the Applications folder and click Create Application

5. For application type choose Microsoft Application Virtualization 5 from the drop-down list and enter the location of your app-v package (.appv file) and click Next to continue

6. Should see screen similar to the following – click Next if you see a green tick

7. The completion of the wizard screen should then appear. Click close to continue

8. Next we need to create a deployment type so that the application can be deployed/published to the xenapp server. To do right-click on the application you just created and choose Create Deployment Type

9. On the drop-down list choose for type Xenapp 6.5

10. For the next screen choose a name for your deployment type and click next to continue

11. In the publishings screen click New to continue

12. In the next screen click Next to continue if you are happy with the defaults (notice the Configmgr2012 folder – this is auto-created by the connector and will see this on the xenapp farm appcenter console – default area for SCCM-XenApp published applications to appear)

13. In the next screen choose App-v 5 virtual application and click Next to continue

14. In the next screen you should see your application appear created from steps 2 -8 – if so click Next to continue

15. In the shortcut presentation screen set your presentation accordingly

16. Next screen leave as defaults and click Finish

17. Next screen is the summary screen – click next to continue

18. Click Next to continue

19. Next screen you should see a green tick appear indicating successful completion of the deployment type. Click close to continue

20. Next we need to deploy the application to our xenapp server master image machine– depending on which machine golden image is being updated. Also very important that i) the server in question is powered on ii) server is pointing to its golden image in read/write mode) – to do right-click the created application and choose deploy

21. In the general screen click browse next to collection: area

22. In the collections screen click the drop-down tab and click Citrix Xenapp Farms | Worker Groups |

23. For the next screen click add to continue

24. Choose your appropriate DP points and click Next to continue

25. For deployment settings set as enclosed and click next to continue

26. For the schedule for deployment set to a time before the present time to ensure immediate installation and click next to continue

27. Next screen leave as default and click Next to continue

28. Next screen leave as default and click Next to continue

29. Again click next to continue on the next screen

30. At the the Deploy Software Wizard…screen click close

31. After completion edit the app-v DT and click on the content tab – change the deployment options to the below and ok to continue

32. Either wait a few moments or in order to hasten the roll-out you can go to the worker groups section under device collections | citrix xenapp | and pick your client -> right-click and choose Software Inventory Cycle & Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle

33. After a few moments should see the application appear on the client – to check logon to machine | all programs | SCCM 2012 | Software Center

34. Should shortly install or can kick off the installation by clicking the Install button, upon completion will see the status set to installed

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Error -2147221164 during Desktop Director install? here’s how to fix

Will see the above pop-up generally near the end of the DD install sometimes relating to metabase compatibility
To fix need to enable the metabase compatibility pieces of your IIS installation – sounds obvious but believe me on a slow day took me longer to figure than i thought it would!

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Traffic shaping and Powercli

In my dealings with PowerCLI i haven’t had to go much further than to find what i need.
Have an interesting use case for traffic shaping in our environment as we utilize Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) and were looking to segment our traffic from our usual LAN-based traffic.
Lucd came up trumps again with an excellent Powercli script for this

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VMotion and it’s port

Interestingly in all the years using VMware’s products i’ve never come across the following error:
Migration [-1408237366:1279683851917265] failed to connect to remote host : Connection refused

Quick google and voila

What happened?
Port 8000 need to be opened – had a DMZ cluster and the ESXi hosts were that bit more “hardened” than the internal so 8000 was blocked

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Useful post-installation ESXi installation tip – check your cables :)

Worth running the following as a post install step – particularly
for those multiple 1gb hosts you’ll still have lying about 🙂

# watch -n l ‘esxcli network nic list’

A good way of verifying each of your cables is plumbed to the correct vmnic.

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