Posts Tagged ‘Citrix’

Brian Madden purchased by TechTarget

November 19th, 2008

No, a human being was not purchased like a head of cattle (at least let’s hope not). Brian Madden has been a well known mogul in the Citrix community for quite a long time and has been making a splash lately in the virtualization arenas (primarily virtual desktop infrastructure where Citrix products XenApp and XenServer compete for market share along with VMware, Microsoft, and others).

Brian Madden uses his personal name as his product brand to become successful in many of his accomplishments including public speaking, industry analyst, technical author, blogger, knowledgebase website, creator of the impressive annual BriForum convention, book publisher, etc.

Brian is a wealth of knowledge first and foremost. I’ve read a few of his Citrix/Terminal Services books and he ranks right up there at the top among the most knowledgeable authorities when it comes to Citrix and Terminal Services. I also regard Brian as an interesting character with a unique and funny personality. Read some of his blogs about his adventures and you’ll understand. A year or two ago I followed Brian over the internet as he sold his house and most of his possessions and became a world traveler with no place to call home except for whatever hotel he was in at the time. When he sold his house ‘n’ things, he hired entertainment for the kids such as one of those big enclosed hot air trampolines you’d likely see at a carnival. I think he had a popcorn machine, food, hired clowns, etc. All at his expense. Nobody does it quite like Brian.

TechTarget is an IT media company founded in 1999 that has 600 employees and went public in 2007. TechTarget writes “The Brian Madden Company brings the largest community of IT professionals specializing in application delivery and desktop virtualization.” In one transaction, TechTarget purchases an already existing and established fountain of knowledge that it can in turn use to help its clients. However, I’m not sure about the accuracy of the last part of their statement if you consider the virtualization leader, VMware, has built a virtualization community of well over 100,000 people from around the globe.

I wish Brian and TechTarget much success now and into the future.

Read more about the official announcement from TechTarget here.

Update: Brian’s official announcement at brianmadden.com

VMware releases ESX 3.5 Update 3 and ESXi 3.5 Update 3

November 6th, 2008

On Thursday November 6, 2008, VMware rolled out an incremental update of its bare metal hypervisor and flagship product:

  • VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3 (build 123630)
    • vCPU per core limit raised from 8 (11 for VDI) to 20
    • Newly supported hardware
    • Newly supported guest OS
      • Solaris 10 U5
      • Ubuntu 8.04.1
      • RHEL 4.7
    • Interrupt Coalescing (IC) for Qlogic 4Gb FC HBAs
    • Experimental support for the VMDK Recovery Tool (a script that helps recover VMFS/VMDK from accidental deletion or corruption)
    • Updated Small Footprint CIM Broker to v1.3.0
    • IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) now supported with both Fixed and MRU fibre multipathing policies
  • VMware ESXi 3.5 Installable/Embedded Update 3 (build 123629)
    • vCPU per core limit raised from 8 (11 for VDI) to 20
    • Newly supported hardware
    • Newly supported guest OS
      • Solaris 10 U5
      • Ubuntu 8.04.1
      • RHEL 4.7
    • Interrupt Coalescing (IC) for Qlogic 4Gb FC HBAs
    • Updated Small Footprint CIM Broker to v1.3.0
    • IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) now supported with both Fixed and MRU fibre multipathing policies

VMware Infrastructure 3 Documentation is still referencing ESX as ESX Server which I don’t understand. VMware made it clear that the word “Server” was dropped from the bare metal hypervisor product many months ago. I guess name changes are easier said than done (except in the case of Citrix where Presentation Server customers might remember waking one morning and suddently everything on the website was called XenApp with no trace of Presentation Server left – talk about confusing.)

Head to VMware’s download site now

Tip for virtualizing Citrix servers involving user profiles

October 25th, 2008

I virtualize Citrix servers and have had great success since VI3 was released. One of the things I learned along the way was a conflict that was created when introducing VMware Tools to a Citrix server.

My Citrix users receive mandatory profiles when their first session is established with the Citrix server. Although the user is assigned a mandatory read only profile which lives in an isolated directory on each Citrix server, a profile bearing the user’s account name is still created under \Documents and Settings\<username>\. This is normal Windows Terminal Services behavior. Now, what’s supposed to happen is when the user logs off their Citrix session, the automatically created profile is supposed to be automatically deleted. However, the installation of VMware Tools will prevent the clean up and deletion of the profile. The next time that user logs on, a new profile folder is created with a .001 extension. Then .002.  Then .003.  And so on.  On a larger scale with many users logging on and logging off, many profile folders are created and then orphaned. Left undiscovered, several hundred orphan folders will be discovered within just a day or two depending on how many sessions the Citrix server handles.

The root cause is that a file named \Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\VMware\hgfs.dat cannot be deleted by Windows and thus the folder structure must remain in place. The VMware Tools installation is partly responsible for the conflict. When VMware Tools is installed, it appends a value in the Windows registry to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\

SYSTEM\

CurrentControlSet\

Control\

NetworkProvider\

Order\

ProviderOrder

The value of hgfs is appended.

The fix is simple. Right-click ProviderOrder and choose Modify. In the Edit String Value dialog box, edit the value data string and remove the characters ,hgfs (including the leading comma). For example, if the data string contains LanmanWorkstation,hgfs then change it to LanmanWorkstation. If the value data string contains only hgfs, then erase it and leave the value data string empty.

Problem solved. Unfortunately only for the time being. The next time you upgrade VMware Tools on the Citrix VM, hgfs will be appended back in the registry and once again an accumulation of folders under \Documents and Settings\ will begin.