App-V 5 and Provisioning Services

App-V 5

In my last blog 7 Reasons Why You Need to Learn App-V 5 I talked about how important it is for you to start playing around with App-V 5.

Since all Citrix XenApp / XenDesktop and RDS should be running App-V 5 with Shared Content Store it’s important to leverage Windows 2012 and SMB 3.0 as I wrote about in this post Make your network 10x faster.

With App-V 5 you can easily publish all packages from a folder. This is the PowerShell script I’m running at startup for my XenApp 6.5 VM’s streamed with Provisioning Services.

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Best Practices Preparing a Provisioning Services vDisk

In this blog post I will show you my Prepare for PVS script that contains Best Practices obtained after years of experience with Provisioning Services.

Let’s say you’re going to run Windows Updates. Well since you’ve already launched the Target Optimizer tool, that services is disabled and you need to head into services, enable and start it. Run Windows update and all good. When the update is finished you shutdown the machine and switch from Private to Standard Mode.

What you didn’t remember was to reboot the server for Windows Update to complete it’s updates. What happens now, is that every time your servers reboot, Windows Update will kick in and finish it’s things.

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Troubleshoot Citrix XenServer Network Performance

Last week I was troubleshooting extremely slow network performance on Citrix XenServer 6.02 installed on HP Proliant BL460C G7. The solution was based upon Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 and Citrix XenApp 6.5 with all hotfixes.

You might ask why not run XenServer 6.1? The customer did a Citrix XenServer Rolling Upgrade to 6.1 and a Provisioning Services Target Device software upgrade.

After the upgrade was completed they where experiencing problems and who would even think that Citrix XenServer 6.1 does NOT support Provisioning Services or XenDesktop. The XenServer Tools Workaround for XenServer 6.1.0 did not work in this environment.

Today Citrix acknowledges that some customers are experiencing intermittent Windows issues with XenTools in the XenServer 6.1 release. Hotfix (XS61E005) for all XenServer 6.1 installations will be released in early January 2013 and support PVS 6.1 (but what about XenDesktop?).

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Using Group Policy to hide and map specified drives

Do you remember the old days when we used the hide drives.adm template to hide specified drives along with some kind of hide drives calculator to get the proper value ? So if we wanted to hide drives for Domain Users but not the Domain Admins, we had to create another policy to lock it up again. Those days are long gone thanks to Group Policy Preferences, for me it’s the life before and after. Get rid of all your adm templates and 30+ page vbs logon scripts once for all. This will speed up the logon time and make your administration much easier.

To leverage Group Policy Preferences (GPP) you’ll need to administrate Group Policy’s from a Windows 2008 server (just member server) or Windows 7 with RSAT. On Windows XP and Windows 2003 machines you’ll need Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions to properly read GPP settings.

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Citrix Provisioning Services 5.6 – What’s New

Citrix Provisioning Services 5.6 is out and I have finally had time to play around with it in my lab. There are a lot of bug fixes and great improvements when it comes to Simplicity. In this post I will show you some new GUI screenshots and in my next blog post about Provisioning Services I will show you how to successfully upgrade to Provisioning Services 5.6 from previous versions.

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