Why You Shouldn’t Redirect Favorites to Home Folder

During Citrix Synergy 2012 in San Francisco it was argued numerous times by Shawn Bass that redirecting Favorites to the home folder is a very bad idea. Shawn mentioned that Internet Explorer causes an extensive number of calls on your file server when browsing so I wanted to dig a little bit deeper into this topic.

Folder redirection to home folder is the rule of thumb to improve logon speed and create a better user experience across platforms. That being said, redirecting AppData should be avoided at all costs.

To redirect or not is a sensible topic and I think it would be a great Geek Speak Session with CTP Shawn Bass and Aaron Parker vs Citrix Consulting Services.

What happens under the hood :

To illustrate this I’ve been using Internet Explorer 9 and Process Monitor on my Windows 7 laptop. The filter beeing used is Path IS C:\Users\Administrator\Favorites.

When opening Internet Explorer you’ll see 13 calls in Process Monitor.

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Ericom AccessNow and Secure Gateway

Ericom AccessNow is a software that allow HTML5 Browser-based RDP Access to any Remote Desktop enabled computer or server using just a web browser. The software provide instant access to Windows desktops and application from almost any device. The exception is Internet Explorer users which has a Desktop Market Share of 53% January 2012 according to NetMarketShare. Internet Explorer doesn’t natively support HTML5 WebSockets so these few users need to install Google Chrome Frame.

The installation of Ericom AccessNow Server and WebComponent is straight forward and you’ll be up and running in a couple of minutes. Brian Madden has already posted a great article : A deeper look at Ericom’s “AccessNow” HTML5 client. Why wait for Citrix & VMware? This thing is out now & works with View and vWorkspace. In this post I will focus on how to install and configure Ericom Secure Gateway (ESG) instead. This is a SSL Gateway that’s free of charge with Ericom AccessToGo, Blaze, PowerTerm WebConnect and AccessNow.

First of I need to said that I was disappointed of the setup wizard that didn’t check for pre-requirements which made the installation fail with “Error 1920. Service Ericom Secure Gateway (EricomSecureGateway) failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services”.

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Adding Printer Drivers from Print Server using PowerShell

This is a follow up post to last week Replicating Print Drivers in Citrix XenApp 6.5. There’s indeed many smart people out there so today I wanted to share a similar script created by a friend of mine Microsoft PowerShell MVP Jan Egil Ring. This blog post is just a summary of his awesome work so please visit the original blog post and give Jan Egil some creds in the comments on his blog.

As I described in the last post the easiest way to install printer drivers is to manually or automatically connect to your print server(s) to install the drivers. This is normally not a problem in small environments with only 1 print server and <50 printer objects, but can definitely create some headaches in enterprise environments.

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Virtual User Environment Manager – A Sneak Peak

Back in July I had an interview with Pierre Marmignon about his next project Virtual User Environment Manager (VUEM). Finally I’ve been able to install and take a look at the early Alpha version of the new tool. And I must say it looks really nice.

To test this I spun up a Rackspace Cloud Virtual Machine from my iPad with Windows 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. The Database Creation Wizard that Pierre have developed was straight forward and easy to understand. The power of hosting this standalone machine in the Cloud was that he could log on with RDP at any time without me worrying about domain security, firewall, RSA token and so on.

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Why Internet Explorer will kill your memory – Part II

This is a follow up post for Why Internet Explorer will kill your memory – Part I that I published in March this year. A lot of people have been requesting this and I’m sorry for keeping you waiting so long. I think the reason why this post have been delayed is that I’ve been putting to much into it. I wanted it to cover everything; Internet Explorer 8 tuning, Citrix HDX MediaStream for Flash and so on. Well I just figured out let’s take the IE8 tuning in Part II and then the rest of the stuff can come in some other series.

The setting I’m about to reveal for you will save you a big chunk of memory and money, in both XenApp and XenDesktop environments. By default,  IE8 will start with two instances of iexplore.exe (one for the Frame, one for the tab) and grows the number of tab processes as needed based on the amount of available RAM, the number of tabs, the integrity levels for tabs, and the number of distinct IE sessions. Let’s take a look at some examples :

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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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