12 jun 2015

E2EVC Virtualization Conference Berlin 2015

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E2EVC Virtualization Conference is a non-commercial, virtualization community event from engineers to engineers. The main goal is to bring the best virtualization experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. B-Critical is attending E2EVC in juni 2015 in Berlin with quite an amount of consultants: Igor van der Burgh (@Igor_vd_burgh), Ronald Grobben (@rgrobben1) and Nico van der Stok (@NicovanderStok).

Thursday June 11, 2015
On Thursday, June 11 2015, we traveled by ICE train from The Netherlands to Berlin Hauptbahnhof and checked-in to the Novotel Berlin Mitte hotel. This hotel is also the venue location for E2EVC. After some touristic travel in the city (Unter den Linden, Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz) and some beer in the afternoon, the E2EVC kicks off in the morning of Friday, June 12.

01 E2EVC Novotel

04 E2EVC B-Critical

FRIDAY JUNE 12, DAY ONE
At 10 AM after some delay, a welcome note by Alex Juschin (“don’t call me Justin”), one of 7 Microsoft MVP, Citrix CTP and VMware vExpert worldwide. The name “E2EVC” seems to be just an alias for the original name “PubForum”, just to fool the wives back home. Off course some great gadgets were waiting for us, as Alex announced, “Please presenters, do not bring USB sticks smaller than 8 GB for the attendees, because you will be laughed upon”:

02 E2EVC gadgets

First session: “All things new and cool from ControlUp”. A must-see for Virtualization Experts presented by Eugene Kalayev from ControlUp. A traditional conference kick-off with features for monitoring and management of XenApp, XenDesktop, VMware View, Microsoft RDS, and more. Newly unveiled functionality like live Registry Hives comparison between users and alerting on slow user logons. And no, they are not using PowerShell Remoting.

03 E2EVC ControlUP

Next session key news from Citrix Synergy 2015! Presented by Mick Glover (@XDtipster), Citrix and couple of Citrix CTP’s. We learned all the latest, most important news from Citrix Synergy 2015 Orlando. Stuff like Workspace Cloud, AppDisks, We-Love-XenApp, XenApp 6.5 FR3, XenDesktop 7.6 FP2 with Linux VDA, HDX FrameHawk Integration, Session Recording, Director Update, HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Lync 1.8 (ready for download on June 30, 2015). StoreFront 3.0 with Receiver X1 and unification of Receiver and WorxHome client is finally the real reason to migrate from Web Interface (@virtuEs_IT).

What’s new in Windows Server 2016. An update on what is coming in Windows Server 2016 presented by Aidan Finn (@joe_elway), Microsoft MVP and Benedict Berger (@Benedict_Berger), Microsoft MVP. Windows Server 2016 will be known as “Nano server for the Cloud” without a UI for headless installation and only Remote Administration. WS2016 focuses on Hyper-V, SOFS and Born-in-the-Cloud services like Containers. Containers are developed in partnership with Docker. Windows Server Containers give service isolation, Hyper-V Containers give secure service isolation. Hyper-V Containers can run in VM’s, giving nested Hyper-V virtualization! Microsoft Azure Stack is Microsoft’s 4th attempt to create Cloud Management, it’s not Azure Pack v.2, but Azure Stack is right on top of Windows. Better security for VM’s in Hyper-V: shielded VM’s, Virtual TPM for virtual BitLocker in the VM OS. Storage: Hyper-V Replica’s support hot-add of VHDX, Distributed storage QoS for maximum and minimum IOPS, Storage Spaces Direct uses internal SAS, SATA, NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interfaces) as a RAID across 4+ servers (aka Nutanix NOS). Agility: Rolling Cluster Upgrade and mixed-mode clustering. Better administration with PowerShell Direct, execute PowerShell directly in the VM without network connection.

Nutanix, What’s now, what’s new, what’s next. Presenter: David Gaunt (@davidjgaunt), Nutanix Superninja. Nutanix opens the doors on new announcements along with live demos of the new products. Nutanix is ushering in the next phase of the company and brings Web-Scale Converged Infrastructure to the datacenter. The demo is called “The Journey to the Invisible Infrastructure” and focuses on the new products “Acropolis” and “Prism”, the next-generation Xtreme Computing Platform (XCP) to deliver invisible infrastructure. Acropolis includes a native hypervisor based on the Linux KVM hypervisor. With enhanced security, self-healing capabilities based on SaltStack and enterprise-grade VM management, Acropolis Hypervisor will be the first hypervisor to plug into the App Mobility Fabric. Prism features One-Click technology that streamlines IT tasks, and includes one-click software upgrades for more efficient maintenance, one-click insight for detailed capacity trend analysis and planning and one-click troubleshooting for rapid issue identification and resolution. And for all E2EVC attendees Nutanix announces the Community Edition, a 100% software solution enabling technology enthusiasts to easily evaluate the latest hyperconvergence technology at zero cost.

First of all, in the session after lunch, we off course thanked The Mighty Helge Klein in a standing ovation for sponsoring Beer and Wurst. Helge explained all about uberAgent working as a Splunk 6.2 Agent for Windows. Great new performance and duration breakdown of all processes running at the logon phase. uberAgent now even shows performance counters of GPU Acceleration, great in combination with XenServer or vSphere 6 with Nvidia GPU Acceleration. Looking forward to the next uberAgent session “Dissecting the XenApp/XenDesktop Logon Process” on Sunday, June 14th at 1:20 PM.

AppSense thanks for the cake during lunch:
05 E2EVC AppSense cake

AppSense session, “The Next Generation of User Environment Management”. Presented by Gary McAllister (@GMac_UV). Lots of new versions of all products in the DesktopNow Plus Suite. Infrastructure reduction for Environment Manager for 50.000 users from 14 to 7 4-core servers and half the size of its SQL database. With Template Creator and Import Data its more easy to migrate to Environment Manager. Application Manager now supports Control Panel integration, “On Demand” change requests, Windows 8 support, Customized Branding and restrict or allow Windows Store apps. The product Insight is a new reporting and analytics tool. Insight Server is running as a virtual appliance. Absolutely brand new is version 10.x, to be released the end of 2015. DesktopNow v10 will be the first 100% cloud ready User Environment Management. RES Software was surprised by Gary by handing over an AppSense gift to the Dutch RES guys.

Next session by the RES Software guys, presenters Dennis van Dam (@dennis_van_dam) and Dennis van de Peppel (@CleverinIT), “How to efficiently manage all your Cloud Products”. RES IT Store will be used to synchronize information using an ODBC connection to an online HR database, RES Automation Manager will create an User Account in local Active Directory by using the synchronized information. ADFS will be used to create the Azure Active Directory user account and Office 365 configuration. The end-user will then receive the login information over a Text Message / E-mail / Tweet. Again the IT Store is the central location from where PowerShell scripts are triggered to order Azure VM’s and SQL queries are used to order devices. Too bad this session is under Non-Disclosure:

06 E2EVC RES IT Store

Why would you choose RDS over VDI – a Microsoft, Citrix and VMware solution overview presented by Sinisa Sokolic (@sinisasokolic), a 1st time speaker at E2EVC and Benny Tritsch (@drtritsch), Microsoft MVP, Citrix CTP and VMware vExpert. With different companies offering a similar solution it might be hard to choose one right for you. Choose RDSH because of: Standardization of Environment, Fewer OS instances to manage, Datacenter Hosted Apps and Desktops, Higher user density, Higher availability of services, Cheaper and less complex, Multi device usage, Known technology, Cheaper licenses. But RDS vs. VDI also depends on: manual vs. automated processes, application virtualization, simplify technology components, latency on the networks, data classification, don’t forget printing, user’s multimedia requirements and change cycles. LEGO-fy your infrastructure!

SMB Direct, RDMA & DCB… The Secret Decode Ring. Presenter: Didier Van Hoye (@WorkingHardInIT). I don’t know about you guys, but Didier got me totally lost in network-space. Therefore, here is his blog on the subject, so you can read it again, and again: https://blog.workinghardinit.work/2015/05/08/hyper-v-amigos-showcast-episode-9-rdma-roce-pfc-and-ets/ and https://blog.workinghardinit.work/2013/08/28/adventures-in-rdma-the-roce-path-to-windows-server-2012-r2-smb-3-0-glory/

VMware – Overview on What’s New with VMware Horizon. By Shawn Bass (@shawnbass), ex Citrix CTP, ex Microsoft MVP, now VMware. All the updates on VMware products as well as VMware Horizon 6.1 update. It’s now Fed-ready with CAC, IPv6 and FIPS. Shared graphics are now supported in vSphere 6 with Nvidia Grid vGPU, even for Linux desktops. Increased scaling for vSAN and VDI workloads. HTML5 access for RDSH applications. Great new feature: Serial port redirection: who still cares? View now brings Horizon App Remoting to Google Chromebooks, released with Horizon 6.1.1. Who has heard of Project Enzo? The Marketing Slide: Simplified Desktop Setup, Unbelievably Fast Scaling (0 to 2.000 desktops in under 20 minutes), Zero Downtime Upgrades, Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud Flexibility, Desktops that cost less (less than the cost of a cup of coffee). It’s build on EVO:Rail, the trick is to automate all that’s running on EVO:Rail Just-In-Time (JIT) within a Workspace Portal, and address CAPEX and OPEX costs (OPEX costs can be up to 10x the CAPEX costs). The components are 100% Linux Tech, all SmartNode software is downloaded automatically.

Finally: David Hald (@DavidHald), the man who always covers the beers, from SMS Passcode, stop hugging! Session topic with Gunnar Hermansen (@Gundaris) and Andrew Morgan (@andyjmorgan): SMS Passcode – introducing a new, revolutionary product! Forget SMS authentication, forget keyfob’s, forget one time passwords, forget everything! You are the authentication! SecureID tokens being hacked and duplicate tokens showing up are a good reason to use SMS Passcode. Easy installation in combination with Citrix NetScaler, Self Service Password Reset with built-in https, secure with NetScaler. And not just two-factor authentication, but multi-factor authentication like the country the logon is coming from. Visualize your attacks by integrating SMS Passcode 8 (New!) in Splunk. More new stuff: ADFS3.0 and RD-Web Protection, enhanced modem support, etc.

Let’s go to the sponsored Beers and Networking Night (#HelgeUeberParty) @ LöwenBräu am Gendarmenmarkt!

SATURDAY JUNE 13, DAY TWO
Yesterday evening we had a great time at LöwenBräu am Gendarmenmarkt, thanks to #HelgeUeberParty!

07 E2EVC Beer 01

08 E2EVC Beer 02

On day two the sessions were split in two, divided across two rooms in the hotel.

Server Automation with Open Source tools. Presented by Hendricus Kramer, 1st time presenter & Esther Barthel, Citrix CTP. The presentation introduces some open source deployment tools like Puppet and Foreman for Server Automation and explains how these tools can help with Windows Server deployments. Puppet does not have a web interface, Foreman uses WDS for PXE boot, and besides Foreman the open source tool Razor is used. Puppet is a client/server infrastructure, therefor Razor allows bare metal installation without the need for a Puppet client already installed. Puppet uses scripting custom classes, Foreman is the GUI that configures Smart variables to deploy the OS. Puppet Community is located at http://forge.puppetlabs.com and yesterday they released a NetScaler module.

09 E2EVC Esther and Hendricus

Large scale load testing in Citrix environments. Presented by Samuel Legrand. A very crowded and warm room 2:

10 E2EVC Crowded room 2

Samuel Legrand starts with telling he did a load test in the North of France on an environment for 10.000 users using LoginVSI. Some tips in advance: use incremental names, the same password and AutoLogon (Microsoft KB310584). Common mistakes: do not test on one server and expect it to scale for all users; do not test on a system that is not identical to production; do not mix load tests with production; do not use too many applications, start with a basic test; test the complete infrastructure, from client to server. Involve users in the scenarios build process and do not listen to “this application is not used a lot”. If possible use a recording solution like SmartAuditor. Part 0: What are the users doing? Part 1: Load test the load testing environment. Part 2: Create a scenario. Part 3: Run. Part 4: Analyze. Things to look at: don’t forget to monitor SAN, NAS, Active Directory, File- and Printservers, Provisioning Servers, etc. Also monitor the load testing environment itself, focus on queues and latencies. LoginVSI is easy to use, able to perform a test in a couple of hours.

Next session back in room 1: NVIDIA – Technology Deep Dive into all things GPU from NVIDIA, all things GPU Passthrough etc. Presenter Erik Bohnhorst (@ErikBoh) from NVidia, he starts off with announcing a special price for a SuperMicro SYS-1017R-WR Bundle 1U pizza-box for $ 3.000,- + tax including a NVidia Grid K2 Ultra portable card with GPU. A GPU is build for graphics and parallel tasks. Citrix now supports XenDesktop on vSphere 6 with GPU Accelerated Encode. More and more applications, even browsers, Office or medical databases, need GPU for high-end graphics. The vGPU Virtual GPU Manager has high responsiveness, high app performance, density depends on the number of Virtual vGPU’s in the host, but still there is no VM portability (XenMotion or vMotion is not possible and probably will not in the future). Common mistakes: not optimal CPU chosen (focus on CPU frequency, not cores); not enough vCPU; power profile not set to Maximum Performance; not enough memory; insufficient IOPS.

11 E2EVC NVidia 01

12 E2EVC NVidia 02

Next presenter in room 1 Mike Resseler (@MikeResseler), Veeam, EMEA Microsoft Evangelist, Microsoft MVP. The data protection 3-2-1 rule and the cloud… The cloud, the cloud, the cloud… we have heard that word more than enough by now. Economics of scale, pay as you go, from CAPEX to OPEX… It all sounds nice, but what can you really do with the cloud today when it comes to data protection? What happens with your data? What about download speeds to restore your data? RTO might be slow. Tape is still the cheapest per GB, no power needed to keep data stored. Focus on a tiered approach, first defense starts in the application (e.g. SharePoint deleted items and versioning), archive data that is not opened a lot, in the cloud.

After lunch session FMA Internals Power Management. Presented by Bas van Kaam (@BasvanKaam; http://www.basvankaam.com ), Community Superstar & Mick Glover (@XDtipster), Citrix. Some of the finer points and advanced configurations of the FMA’s Power Management feature. Announcing today Bas van Kaam and Mick Glover are proud to present the FMA Internals Co-op (#FMACoOp). A co-operation between a seasoned Citrix veteran and an established community blogger and Citrix enthusiast. http://www.basvankaam.com/2015/06/13/introducing-the-fma-internals-co-op/. One of the reasons because a reboot schedule for VDI or RDSH can be a PITA (Pain In The Ass). FMA Power Management features are only there for VDI, does not work for RDSH because it does not take the logged on users in account. New in XenDesktop 7.6, compared to 7.5, are settings for maximum simultaneous actions the Desktop Controller can make on the hosting environment. Configuration of Power Management can be set as Number of Machines or Percentage of Machines. Percentages should be used when the pool will be expanded by machines. If the pool gets expanded, and the Power Management is set to Number of Machines, the risk exists you forget to expand the Number of Machines to pre-boot. During peak hours 10% is on by default. Right now Partly Management cannot be set in the GUI, use PowerShell. Extended disconnections settings are hidden in PowerShell (Get-BrokerPowerTimeScheme). Extra info on Shaun Ritchies “XenDesktop 7 Rolling Reboot Script” http://www.shaunritchie.co.uk/xendesktop-7-rolling-reboot-script.

The Next Event Announcement is for Lisbon, Portugal, November 13-15, 2015.

Next topic: Monitoring XenMobile Infrastructure and its components. Presented by Carsten Bruns (@carstenbruns) and Jens Trendelkamp (@jtrendelkamp). These guys are from Sepago Germany. Sepago has earned broad international recognition with the introduction of sepagoPROFILE. In the year 2008, sepagoPROFILE was acquired by Citrix Systems, market leader in terminal server system software products, and integrated into the Citrix product range as “User Profile Manager” (UPM). Monitoring of XenMobile components like Device Manager, AppController and NetScaler are needed: “I have never seen HA for AppController work flawlessly, there are always problems after failover”. Use SNMP, Syslog, Insight Center and Citrix Command Center to monitor NetScaler. Public services to monitor: Apple Push Notification Service (APNS); SMS Gateway (Nexmo); all App Stores (Windows Store, Apple App Store/iTunes, Google Play); ShareFile Control Plane; Citrix Push Service for AWS. Back-end systems to monitor: SQL; AD, DNS, DHCP; SharePoint and/or CIFS when used with ShareFile; Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, StoreFront when used with Citrix Receiver or Receiver X1; e-mail systems; Firewall; Storage. Do the XenMobile admins get the alerts from these back-end systems? Don’t forget renewal of Certificates: SSL Server, APNS, Microsoft/Symantec. Monitoring tools: SNMP (eHealth, Spectrum), Syslog Server (Kiwi), complete systems (PRTG, Nagios, SCOM, eG Innovations). Enrollment testing: https://xmdiag.cgm.citrix.com (still in Beta). In XenMobile 10 and AppController 9 there is no SNMP available, only Syslog. In XenMobile 9 Apache/Tomcat monitoring tools often not support them.

Back in room 2 for Dissecting the XenApp/XenDesktop Logon Process by uberAgent Helge Klein, Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert. Helge starts off rapidly with some nice comments. “Anyone who tells you logon processes are easy they don’t know shit”, says Helge. Great stuff about ICA connections and API Hooking. App.exe calls Windows to “Do something”, Citrix Hook DLL says “I have my own agenda”: powerfull explanation! “mfaphook64.dll” Citrix MetaFrame is still visible! Long (10 sec.) black screen on XenApp logon where StoreFront icon just keeps spinning. Cause: infinite timeout in Statui.dll, limited fix release CTX142036. The same problem on XenDesktop is a 60 sec. black screen. Cause: different keyboard layout between user device and VDA, fix release CTX142300. Tests during logon of different scripts: Batch is fastest, VBscript a little bit slower, PowerShell very slow. Also PowerShell has the highest CPU, memory usage and IOPS, used as a logon script.

Anatomy of an IAM project, presented by Max Ranzau (@RESguru, http://www.RESguru.com). So you want to kick off or manage an Identity Access Management project, pulling user info from a source, creating things in the production environment and provide services to the users and managers? Great, but you better come prepared as IAM projects are a completely different animal than what we usually deal with in IT. In this session Max brings valuable experience from the real world, as what snafu’s, pitfalls and potential issues IAM projects can run into. By courtesy of Bob Janssen CTO @RESsoftware, Max was able to present an E2EVC exclusive preview of the RES IT Store 2015. This is NDA material, so that’s it for today!

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp Benchmarking. Presented by Benny Tritsch, Microsoft MVP, Citrix CTP and VMware vExpert. Azure RemoteApp is a published seamless application that is delivered from the cloud, since there isn’t an official classification for ‘Published seamless application as a Service’ this solution mostly considered to be one of the competing solutions in the world of DaaS (Desktop as a Service) solutions. There are two ways to access your Azure RemoteApp, the cloud method by starting it directly from the public cloud (where dirsync with your on-premises domain is optional) and the hybrid cloud method, by leveraging Azure VPN (this obviously requires you to set up dirsync between your on-premises domain and the Azure Active directory). To measure the performance the Cloud method was used, Microsoft has set a fixed limit of 16 users per RDSH virtual machine, for each 17th user another VM is spun up. Microsoft has a massive amount of capacity in Azure so to spin up hundreds of VM’s is really not an issue if needed. The application is started from a refreshed version of the remote desktop services client, using the RDP 8.1 protocol. So how does it perform? Currently GPU utilization is still on the to-do list, so the benchmarking was done without real 3D performance measuring, amongst the measures workloads is Flash video, Windows Media, HTML5 video and off course normal office application user workloads. What it shows is that when there is only a single user, the performance of an office workload is quite ok as you would expect it, the performance of any moving video or animation also performs reasonably well when there is only 1 user, however you’ll notice that the CPU usage quickly becomes very high; so high that the VM doesn’t have much capacity left to deal with another user session, and that shows; office user workloads on the same VM are heavily impacted by the resource consumption of the user with the demanding graphics streams. You would probably get better results from your own properly sized RDSH serves when dealing with multi user workloads. When the flash redirection is used the CPU usage is almost nothing even though the bandwidth usage is quite high, which is obviously because the video stream is downloaded and then rendered on the endpoint. The performance of the video stream on the endpoint is almost as good as watching the flash video on a local internet browser, very nice. When your 16 users are logging on at the same time, half of them are presented with a warning that there aren’t enough resources and they should try again later, several minutes later they will be able to logon to a newly spinned up VM. Microsoft now knows that this is not the user experience we can offer our users and Microsoft is already working on making their systems cope with logon storms. Conclusion: The Azure RemoteApp solution works and is easy to use, and Microsoft really takes feedback from their feedback platform seriously and updates and improves the solution it every month. At the moment this solution is not yet ready for the enterprise demands as it cannot yet handle some of the more intensive workloads whilst maintaining a good user experience and several important features such as GPU optimizations are still missing. But they are on the right track to provide organizations with a simple application from the cloud services where you can upload your own RDSH server images with your custom installed business applications which can integrate well with other ‘as a service’ products your company may already use from the Microsoft Azure portfolio.

Managing all your infrastructure from a single tool (Hydra). Presented by Christian Troll and Markus Zierer of Move-IT. Move IT’s Hydra is a powerful PowerShell based management GUI which can be used to manage many platforms (which can be managed by PowerShell). It can manage ESXi Hosts, Hyper-V Hosts (not SCVMM), XenServers Hosts, Microsoft Azure, MDT, SCCM, DSM, Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp, Microsoft RDS and VMware, and many more to come. All source code is PowerShell based and completely visible, so it can be modified and you can copy lines of code for your own use, there are no secrets in Hydra. All configuration is stored in INI files, so it is portable and there are no database requirements. By clicking an object, you can see and modify its properties very easily. You can use predefined tasks or create your own tasks, when a task is executed a progress bar is shown as the task is executed. You can not only manage your products, but also manage your application delivery assignments, such as assigning a published application to an active directory group, across multiple platforms such as XenApp or Microsoft RDS. Essentially it is an extensible GUI which executes PowerShell scripts and stores all its configurations in INI file and you can extend with your own PowerShell scripts. This is a great way to expose functions in a GUI that are normally only available via PowerShell, such as advanced power management functions for FMA, enabling single sign-on for a legacy StoreFront store or filtering published desktops.

Web-Scale XenDesktop with PowerShell DSC. Presented by Iain Brighton. We can use Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) to generate a .mof document which lists the desired state like a standardized parameter sheet. The local configuration manager service (LMC) which is part of the Windows Management Framework will check on a schedule if the server it runs on matches the configuration as desired as documented in the .mof file. In a desired state configuration resource, which is essential a set of 4 functions (query, test, set or unset) PowerShell scripting is used to check if the state is met, fix it if it isn’t or undo it when it should be undone. While that may sound like more trouble than it is; there is some clear advantages. You can drop a documented onto as many servers are you like and they will configure themselves, you’ll have a document about how they are configured and they will do self-healing through a mechanism that doesn’t have any external dependencies such as Active Directory, DNS or a Database. (Unless the individual resources needs them to do its job). So how easy is it then to make a self-configuring XenDesktop farm? Well, if there was a fully functional DSC Resource to use, maybe not so hard. But if there isn’t you’ll have to create one yourself, and how hard can that be? The answer to that question is, a lot harder than you’d think. All of the hundreds of XenDesktop Cmdlets require to be executed as a domain user and they do not support a credential parameters. At the same time the local machine configuration manager (LCM) runs as the system account, which for security reasons cannot impersonate a domain user, leaving the only option to use PowerShell remoting to remote to itself, the local host, the only supported target from DSC. But that introduces another problem, any TCP communication to a database, the AD or a file share will now become a second hop, so we run into the second hop problem, CredSSP to the rescue. The good news, after much effort we now have a working DSC Resource for everything except for StoreFront, that one is one the to-do list until 3.0 goes GA.

How to survive E2EVC:
13 E2EVC Survive

SUNDAY JUNE 14, DAY THREE

Yesterday evening the bus tour in Berlin was a great success!

E2EVC Berlin tour

P1220523

Have a look at all my PHOTOS here: https://goo.gl/QA6u1q

First session on Sunday morning “Deploy Citrix XenApp in 15min with Chocolatey & Boxstarter”. Presented by Romain Gros (@Romain_gros_IT). No more SCCM and equivalents. Repeatable deployments, dependency management, works for servers and desktops, apps and infrastructure as a self-service. A system-level package management tool, somewhat like “app-get”, but with Windows in mind. Repeatable, reboot-resilient, remote, Windows environment installations. Looks like a great tool, lots of scripting though. Couldn’t make much of it thanks to the high resolution screen and small characters. It couldn’t convince me this is better than SCCM or RES Automation Manager.

The Art of Finding Undocumented Reg keys, reversing .Net applications and exposing hidden functions. Presented by Andrew Morgan (@andyjmorgan), Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert and Remko Weijnen (@RemkoWeijnen), Citrix CTP. The difference between a consultant and a Great Consultant is bridging the last 5% gap. Pressing the vendor to close that gap takes time, and is one of the things a Great Consultant does. Under NDA is the way Andrew and Remko do reverse engineering. Understanding the anatomy of Windows applications is important: Registry, Config files, Command Line, Libraries, Log files, API, Communication medium and Source Code. Managed applications are: Visual Basic .Net, C#, .Net Framework; unmanaged applications are: C, C++, Delphi, etc. Great tools from Microsoft Sysinternals, like ProcessMonitor, are still very valuable. Andrew and Remko did some demo’s on ProcessMonitor to find Registry keys, find code in Config files, Dependency Walker to find a match between .EXE and .DLL’s, Fiddler to find data in the network communication and JetBrains dotPeek to have a look at .Net applications source code. Very informative session that rocks!

Next session in the same room 2 has the topic: Atlantis USX, the lazy way. Jim Moyle (@JimMoyle, Citrix CTP) and Remko Weijnen (@RemkoWeijnen, Citrix CTP), both known to be very lazy. No marketing BS in this session (actually there’re two slides on HyperScale because they were forced to). They took us through deploying a complete environment with the least effort possible. Complete as in really complete: not only the hyperfast storage but also the Citrix Stack. They talked about Citrix Lifecycle Management, part of Citrix Workspace Cloud and a new Atlantis PowerShell module with their REST API. Great demo and thanks to Jim and Remko we can all be a lazy Berliner!

Last session at E2EVC Berlin is VDM Virtual Display Manager, presented by Alex Danilychev (@Teknica, http://www.iShadow.com). Multi-monitor setup for local or remote sessions is indispensable when working with either large number of windows or addressing limitations in resolution of individual monitors. Ultra high resolutions of 4K and UHD monitors create a different challenge – traditional applications might not play well at such high pixel count. At the same time number of monitors can be limited by hardware or intrinsic 16-monitor limit imposed by Windows. This is where VDM comes in by offering up to 16 virtual displays per physical monitor that can be dynamically configured for the task at hand. Useful not only for those that are limited with their current multi-monitor setup, companies like insurance and casino’s, but for high resolution laptop users as well. Also available for Windows 10.

Last topic at E2EVC Berlin is Citrix Geek Speak with Perrine Crampton in direct transmission from California! Sponsored Pizza’s and Beer by Shawn Bass (@shawnbass) and VMware (duh)!

E2EVC Geek Speek

The End. Thanks to Alex Juschin (@E2EVC), Órla and Clare Cooper for making a great event possible!

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