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E2EVC VIRTUALIZATION CONFERENCE DUBLIN 2016 “EPIC”

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 jun 2016 in Dublin  with quite an amount of consultants: Igor van der Burgh (@Igor_vd_burgh), Ronald Grobben (@rgrobben1)  Nico van der Stok (@NicovanderStok) and Peter Driessen (@PeterDriesen43). This year there is something special. Because it has been 30 times that E2EVC has been organised. That’s why this one is called “EPIC”

 

Wednesday 8th of June. 

On Wednesday we travelled from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) wit Ryanair to Dublin Airport. We arrived around 11:00 in the morning. And checked in the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown. This is also the venue place for E2EVC conference.

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After checking in the Hotel. We went with the metro to the City Centre to spent a little time as  a tourist. And off course enjoying some drinks.

Thursday 9th of June

After enjoying a nice breakfast in the hotel we started the E2EVC Epic editon at 10:00 in the morning.

First we had a “Welcome Note” by Alex Cooper. He tried to give the audience some numbers of the 30 events he hosted the last 13 Years. E2EVC Started out as PubForum and became E2EVC during the last past years. Some number during those years. (30 Events, 600 Presenters, dozen of locations) just to name a few.

And also he give some insights in the amount of people attending from different countries. With off course “The Dutch” attending with the most people the last couple of years.

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First session was ControlUp by Eugene Kalayev and Andrew Morgan explaining and showing us some nice insights of the new version 6.0. new ways of monitoring virtualization infrastructure, managing virtualization user workloads and monitor user experience.

Nice detail about this session, regarding the technical content. All good questions from the audience where rewarded with some small morning refreshments.

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Second session of the day. What’s new from the Citrix Synergy 2016 Las Vegas. A moderated Citrix CTP Panel. This is sort of a game show “Spin that Geek” where a panel of CTP’s Alex Cooper, Andrew Morgan, Andrew Wood, Anton van Pelt, Bas van Kaam, Bernhard Tritsch, Claudio Rodrigues Esther Barther, Helge Klein, Jarian Gibson, Jim Moyle, Stephan Thirion, THomas Poppelgaard needed to answer a question by spinning the wheel. And who comes up needs to answer this question in approx 3 minutes. First was Andrew Morgan answering the first question regarding “Citrix Raspberry Pi”, and this was no problem for him because he is famous of speaking really f*..&* fast…..

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Conclusion of this session was, that Warren Simondson, can always be a standup comedian. He was awesome hosting this session, and made some fantastic jokes.

 

Third session, Powerful GUI for your Powershell script collection. This session was presented by Christian Troll. Session was all about Translating the parameters of your script into an easy to use application und run it.  Short overview of Unified VM management with Hydra. Manage Vmware, Hyper-V, XenServer, Azure and EC2 from one app. Build your own PowerShell workflows using Hydra cookbooks and separate the commands from the logic..

After enjoying a nice Thai Lunch in a restaurant just across the street, we continued with the session.

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Fourth session, “When machine data isn’t enough”. During this session Todd Shell presented how to get user insight into the user experience. This session was not so much technical as expected. It was more an explanation abouts OctoInsight Layer8 technology. Layer8’s combination of capabilities allows IT to view an entire system in real time and forensically to examine anomalous events and users’ access to applications in general.  This enables IT managers to deploy analytics tools more efficiently when and where they can be most effective.  Layer8 vividly illustrates the advantage of seeing actual data – right from the human interface, as distinct from APM solutions that cannot fully address the blind spot because they rely on machine data. The distinction can mean large financial and security benefits.

Fifth session. “Self-service application whitelisting, is that even possible?” This session was presented by Rob de Korte. The session started of with Rob introducing the RES Software company. And talking about all of there products within the suite. As we all know RES One Automation, RES One IT Store, RES One Workspace, and RES VDX. One of the greatest barriers to successfully deploying application whitelisting, which is one of the most secure ways to ward of cyber-attacks, is that it can be perceived as restricting workers access and ability to work. Whitelisting blocks unauthorized software, including malware, from being installed and executed. However, one of the top concerns is how can workers easily get new applications approved and added to the whitelist.With RES ONE Service Store, workers can now easily go into a self-service portal and submit a request for an executable to be reviewed and added directly to the security team. Through automation, the submission of a new file can be reviewed automatically alerting a security expert if the file is safe or not. If deemed safe, a security expert can easily approve the application directly on their mobile device when alerted that the request came in and tests were passed. This whole process can streamline a manual process which in some organization takes days to minutes depending on the time it takes to scan the file.

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Six Session   The UEM platform from AppSense, now part of LANDesk, has just been updated to v10. This session by Paul Whalley (Twitter @whalio_p) tells us all about what’s new in v10 of DesktopNow Plus. How to migrate data is easier than ever, new features like in location sync, drive map emulation and Microsoft OneDrive support. New policy features are Microsoft Outlook Setup, configuration and simplify Outlook PST file migration (something like MAPI Configuration in RES One Workspace they already had for years). It enables control of users’ web browser and SaaS application policies so users can work securely from anywhere. New management of Pinned items, enhanced Drive & Print Mapping with support for IP-based printers. For Windows 10 and Office 2016 there are new out-of-the-box enhancements with Office 2016/365 Application Group & Windows Settings Personalization Template and support for Windows 10 Credential Guard and Start Menu customizations. With a new server configuration portal, which is PowerShell driven, v10 centralizes management of local DTN server instances. Since AppSense is being integrated with LANDesk, the Xtraction and WorkSpaces real time Dashboard offers Management for Personalization Server. Being critical at B-Critical and also familiar on working with RES Software solutions, this gave us a bit of a déjà vu feeling seeing this dashboard with workspace management.

DesktopNow Plus v10 includes these new versions:

  • AppSense Application Manager 10.0
  • AppSense Environment Manager 10.0
  • AppSense Performance Manager 10.0
  • AppSense Insight 10.0
  • AppSense DataNow 4.0

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Seventh Session,  How Happy is a Happy User: Practical Tips On Quantifying User Experience. Jim Moyle and Andrew Wood (and special appearance of Pink Monkey)  talking about how to satisfy  your users and the key to any application or desktop delivery projects. So this session is all about the practical tips quantifying user experience. Some nice comparison is made with Maslow Pyramid. So it is al about measuring computational performance vs perceived performance. Jim and Andrew took a look some different vendors like  LoginVSI, EGinovations, AppenSure, LakeSide Systrack, ControlUp, UberAgent

“Conclusion, no one tool gives you all the answers

Eight SessionExtreme Makeover – Turning Desktop Computers into Managed Thin Clients. This session was presented by Ian Anderson. Talking about the benefits of virtualizing the desktop are well documented, but projects stall unless there is a valid business case, which in every case involves financial justification.  IGEL Technology makes virtualization projects viable by providing the means to manage existing assets as thin clients using IGEL’s industry-leading and extremely cost effective workstation management tools. In this session, you will learn that being thin is not about hardware.  We will discuss leading options for turning existing personal computers, laptops, etc. into managed thin client workstations.  You will also see how easily a desktop or laptop computer can be turned into a workspace managed thin client using the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter and Universal Management Suite. Each attendee will walk away with a certificate for three IGEL Technology UDC2 Thin Clients, complete with IGEL’s workspace management system.

Ninth Session.  SMS PASSCODE and CensorNet, This session was presented by Gunnar Hermann and Kennet Johansen, and was al about the latest annouchement of Censornet acquiring SMS Passcode. Some new enhancements where shown. And Kennet explained to what Censornet was all about because nobody in the audience has ever heard of them.

 

After this session everybody rushed outside to the bus waiting for our Network Night Out, sponsored by SMS Passcode & CensorNet.. With a lot of food and beer. This was a blast…..

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The party was in good hands with Alex arranging everything, even guiding the bus into the parking place…

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Friday 10th of June

Today we are slitting up the sessions. There are 2 rooms available so the sessions are given at the same time

First Session (Room 1)Desktops & Desktop Management from the Cloud with Horizon Air & Horizon Air Hybrid, Presented by Sebastian Brand and Peter Schraml, It started with a few slides explaining the architecture of Horizon Air and explaining all of the functionality.

Cloud-hosted virtual desktops and apps reduce costs, enhance productivity and minimize downtime for some of your most important use cases. New users are productive immediately. Any user can be provisioned with virtual desktops and apps that are highly secure, mobile-ready, reliable and fully functional for any workload.

  • Higher education: Provide students with anytime, anywhere computing access on and off campus, with 24-hour support for all of their devices.
  • Mobile users: Give your mobile workforce the flexibility to securely access critical apps and data from any device, anywhere.
  • Contract/temporary workers: Quickly and easily get new employees up and running while controlling access to vital company information.
  • Disaster recovery: Protect your business and ensure workforce continuity in the event of a disaster.

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Horizon Air helps IT save time and money without sacrificing enterprise requirements for security and control. The service provides:

  • Unified desktop and application access from the cloud on any device, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, PCs, thin clients, and zero clients.
  • Fully managed enterprise service. VMware manages the operations of the underlying infrastructure, while providing best-in-class service, support, and SLAs.
  • Built-in security capabilities such as secure point-to-point network connectivity, dedicated compute, and network isolation.
  • To help customers comply with HIPAA, VMware offers a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to all interested customers using our US-based data center

Furthermore it is also good to know that VMware uses LakeSide Systrack when migrating from customers local environment.

First Session Room 2, XenServer 7.0 whats new,  with a Deep Dive into Intel GVT-g. Presented by David Cottingham and Paul Durrant from Citrix Cambridge. David starts with showing some statistics about the install-base in the world for XenServer. Pretty amazing, XenServer has a larger install-base than VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. The latest release of XenServer is out with again unique features to XenServer, like XenServer Tools in Windows Update (thanks to the cooperation with Citrix and Microsoft, but only available for XenApp/XenDesktop Enterprise licenses).

Citrix Insight Services (formerly known as TaaS) is now integrated in XenServer as Health Check. Using tokens, the health of XenServer is uploaded through the XenCenter VM to the Internet (never attach XenServer hosts to the Internet!).

Dom0 disk partitions have been increased and is now x64. An upgrade of XenServer 6.x will still use 4+4 GB partitions instead of one 8 GB partition. A rolling upgrade with XenCenter will install a hotfix to check partition free space.

A whole section of 20 minutes is dedicated to Intel GPU virtualisation (GVT-g), given that XenServer is the only commercial hypervisor that this is available on. It’s not just AutoCAD or Photoshop that will use GPU, it’s also HTML5, Flash, SilverLight that can use GPU, when it’s available.

GPU possibilities:

  • GPU sharing, 100 sessions per host, Office only;
  • GPU pass through, every VM has its own GPU, for heavy use;
  • vGPU for middleware use, a paravirtualized driver parses GPU to the VM with a driver in the VM.

AMD, Nvidia and now Intel GVT-g all use a slightly different approach:

  • AMD, guest driver is actually talking to the GPU hardware;
  • Intel GVT-g, a virtual GPU in the VM is emulating GPU to a i915 driver in the Dom0 Linux kernel; only available on C226 chipset and Xeon E3. The GPU uses 65 Watt in a CPU of a total of 95 Watt;
  • Nvidia is in between AMD and Intel GVT-g. It’s using its own driver in the Dom0 Linux kernel, up to 128 vGPU’s per host.

Great GPU comparison video: http://www.ervik.as/citrix/xendesktop/xendesktop-7-9-windows-10-and-office-2016-vdi-comparison

Now XenServer supports SMB/CIFS not only for ISO’s, but also for VM storage.

The Direct Inspect APIs is a unique security feature (and yes, XenServer 7 is again the first!) to help prevent zero days attacks on guest VMs. No agent runs in the VM, particular types of memory activity are blocked when security issues are detected in memory.

vCPU’s for Dom0 can add up to 16 vCPU’s en even makes XenServer 7 faster, while more vCPU’s in XenServer 6.x made it slower! Take away from David Cottingham: XenServer 7 is better in everything!

Better Active Directory integration for group enumeration.

Goodbye SSLv3, welcome TLS 1.2 for communication between clients (XenCenter, CloudStack) and Dom0 in the XenServer host. SSLv3 is still available in Legacy Mode.

Awesome session, good questions and think more will come.

Second Session (Room 1), Azure RemoteApp past, present & future, session presented bij Benny Tritsch and Freek Berson. In this session Benny and Freek gave us a good explanation in how Azure Remote App now stands. With all the features no available in the solution. Fortunately they also gave us there unbiased opinion regarding Azure Remote App. Al lot of question where asked from the audience, so this is interesting that a lot of consultants now are looking into this.

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During the slide deck some comparison was made with different use cases. Conclusion at the end of the session, Azure Remote App, is a viable solution for small companies with less then 500 users. But not for company who exceed that user number. Azure Remote App is still not Enterprise ready, yet.!!!!!!!

 

Session Three (Room 2The ShareFile End User Experience. This session was presented by George Christophi and Dean O’Gorman for a full end-to-end demo on ShareFile as an Enterprise grade EFSS solution. ShareFile Drive Mapper allows Employee users to connect their account as a mapped drive on the Windows file system, without performing a full sync of account content. With this installation, a small cache of data is maintained on the local hard drive. This app supports company credentials. Drive Mapper is a great tool for VDI desktops with an Outlook Plug-in included, unique to ShareFile in the EFSS solutions in the world.

Lots of features from the web interface have been integrated in de ShareFile Desktop and ShareFile Mobile app. With even access to Network Folders, File Versions and encryption of the data on the desktop.

Information Rights Management (IRM) for ShareFile is powered by Seclore. IRM protects the file even when leaving the ShareFile environment, the security follows the file. Protected files are encrypted such that only the authenticated, authorized ShareFile user is allowed to open the file and its prescribed permissions are enforced.

ShareFile FileSecure provides unmatched breadth of support for file formats, endpoint devices and document capabilities when working with protected files:

  • Protected file viewers for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and an online web viewer;
  • Support for more than 60 file types, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, text files, image files, AutoCAD and Visio;
  • Protected Microsoft Office files open in their native Office application on Windows;
  • Support for secure editing of protected files, with action controls and a “sandboxed” clipboard;
  • Secure, watermarked printing permission can be allowed;
  • Grace period for offline access to protected files.

Optimized for simplicity

  • No additional servers to deploy;
  • No dependency on Microsoft Rights Management services;
  • No need to add external users to your company directory;
  • Protected files can be opened by authorized employees or external (client) users;
  • ShareFile enforces permissions and authentication uniformly: permission to download a file from ShareFile = permission to open any downloaded copies of the file.

ShareFile FileSecure even shows options like a Watermark across the downloaded document.

More information: https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/05/24/irm-sharefile/

Session 4 (Room 2). Citrix Cloud. This session was presented by James O’Regan is a Citrix CCE-V, RES RCP and Microsoft MCSA. He works as an EUC Solutions Architect at Zinopy, an Irish Platinum Citrix partner where he assists customers with projects based around End User Computing. James has just lead a team that has completed the largest RES project in Ireland for a large financial institution. This project also used Citrix (formerly Workspace) Cloud, hosted by Citrix for the control plane of XenApp/XenDesktop, comparable to ShareFile as it uses a control plane for authentication. Locally on-premises all you have to run is a Cloud Connector, your Server and/or Desktop VDA’s, NetScaler Gateway and your Active Directory. As James mentioned: “Thank you, no SQL Server anymore!”

All communication between Cloud and on-premises is encrypted and there are no incoming connections.

Licensing is for a minimum of 100 named users, per user yearly subscription (not concurrent), all on-premises (except VDA) is corporate license, ShareFile is part of the deal. Citrix Cloud is hosted on Microsoft Azure, except your own Server and/or Desktop VDA’s and applications as a Hybrid deployment. Of course Cloud native is also possible by running all your apps and desktops on Azure or AMS.

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According to James, Citrix Cloud is more expensive than hosting the complete environment on-premises. Citrix Lifecycle Manager offers Citrix created Blueprints to deploy the Cloud components quick and easy. Lifecycle Manager makes sure you only have to upgrade your on-premises components, all Cloud components are upgraded by Citrix Cloud.

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New features on Citrix Cloud are Secure Browser, as a replacement for managing browsers in your own on-premises environment. It delivers web and SaaS applications to any modern browser with zero end point configuration. Internal Web App Access has been simplified by using NetScaler Gateway as a service to access on-premises hosted web applications.

Session 5 (Room1The best of Windows Server 2016, this session was presented by Thomas Maurer and Michael Rueefli. The session is al about overview of Windows 2016 Improvements.CkmIA-8UUAEe1Wk

Improvements are made on the following

  • Compute
  • Networking
  • Storage
  • Security.

Nano Server , Nano server will solve some problems we now have in our datacenters, Look at reboot for example. Reboots impact the business. Another thing is that server images are to big. Large images take a long time to install and configure. Transferring images consumes too much network bandwidths. It also requires too  many resources.

What is Nano Server. Nano Server is basically the Next Step.

  • An New headless, 64-bit only deployment for windows
  • Deep refactoring focus (Cloud Infrastructure)
  • Follow the Server Core Pattern
  • Zero Foot Print model
  • Key Roles & features are taking off
  • Full Windows Server Driver Support
  • Ant-imalware built-in
  • Full SCCM support.

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Hyper-V Improvements

  • Operational
    • Hot Add / Remove Network Adapters
    • Online Memory Resize
    • PowerShell Direct
    • Cluster Rolling Upgrades
  • Software Defines Networking Stack
  • Backup and Checkpoints

Storage, Storage Spaces Direct Logical View, which enables building highly available and scalable storage systems with local storage. This is a significant step forward in Microsoft Windows Server software-defined storage (SDS) as it simplifies the deployment and management of SDS systems and also unlocks use of new classes of disk devices, such as SATA and NVMe disk devices, that were previously not possible with clustered Storage Spaces with shared disks. The disaggregated deployment scenario has the Hyper-V servers (compute component) in a separate cluster from the Storage Spaces Direct servers (storage component). Virtual machines are configured to store their files on the Scale-Out File Server which is accessed through the network using the SMB3 protocol. This allows for scaling Hyper-V clusters (compute) and Scale Out File Server cluster (storage) independently. For example, the compute nodes are nearing capacity for the number of VMs that they can host but the storage has excess capacity (both disk and IOPS), more compute nodes can be added without adding additional storage nodes. Figure 4 illustrates the disaggregated deployment scenario.The hyper-converged deployment scenario has the Hyper-V (compute) and Storage Spaces Direct (storage) components on the same cluster. Virtual machine’s files are stored on the local CSVs and does not implement a Scale-Out File Server. This allows for scaling Hyper-V compute clusters and storage together and removes requirement of configuring file server access and permissions. Once Storage Spaces Direct is configured and the CSV volumes are available, configuring and provisioning Hyper-V is the same process and uses the same tools that you would use with any other Hyper-V deployment on a failover cluster. For step-by-step instructions about building a hyper-converged solution with Storage Spaces Direct.

Session 5 (Room 2) XenMobile, Anton van Pelt from PQR in The Netherlands talks about a deployment of Citrix XenMobile in an Enterprise Environment. Citrix XenMobile allowed a hospital to offer both Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management to 700 iPads for patients. In this session Anton explained how to setup Citrix XenMobile in an enterprise environment to allow a smooth and secure deployment of Apple devices via the Apple Device Enrollment Program and Volume Purchase Program.

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This will give you a zero-touch installation without the need for individual iTunes accounts. It requires automatic enrollment into MDM, new devices only, Apple Authorized Resellers only, Apple Deployment Account required, 2-factor authentication for portal and last-but-not-least Removed = Removed. See for further information on this: https://www.antonvanpelt.com/zero-touch-installation-ios-xenmobile/

Session 6 (Room 1) Using Cloud IaaS resources to improve your day-to-day work: use-cases and benefits. This session was presented by Mike Reseller. Using Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for your production workloads isn’t something that many IT Professionals are considering today… However, there are quite a few use-cases that allow you to take great advantage from these resources in your day-to-day work. In this session we will look at a few, describe the pain points that we have today and solve them by putting ‘the cloud’ to work.

Session 7 (Room 1) VMware End User Computing in 2016 and Beyond,In this session Shawn Bass, VP & CTO at VMware for EUC, is sharing the latest updates that VMware EUC has brought to the market recently and provides updates on where the industry is headed. Shawn kicks off by explaining what he means with Digital Workspace. Key takeaways of Digital Workspace are consolidation of all apps on any device with one identity, enable self-service and automation, one platform that’s able to provide amazing performance. People are getting tired of having too many management consoles. There is more and more consumerization, app expansion and convergence of devices. One of the biggest advantages of Windows 10 is the full Enterprise Mobility Management to manage Windows 10 devices from the cloud. Windows 10 will be a catalyst for End User Computing change. Tip from Shawn, have a look at Boxer: http://www.getboxer.com/

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After all the sessions where finished. The day ended with a bus tour down to Dublin Center. Although the rain was pouring down the Girls from E2EVC where excited about the tour.

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Saturday 11th of June,

First Session (Room1) NVIDIA GRID for the Masses, This session was hosted by Luke Wignall, Luke is highly successful technology evangelist with a passion for driving ground breaking solutions that will change the way businesses operate. He has extensive technical and business background with roles in sales, engineering, operations and management.  Luke is currently managing NVIDIA GRID Performance engineering lab. His task is to measure, influence, and evangelize NVIDIA datacenter solutions and demonstrate clear value to NVidias customers. . During this session he was talking about the adoption of GPU needs in IT overall. It is not all about the CAD/CAM workplaces. Also office workers using sales apps for example are needing more graphic performance. Even Office 2016 does vGPU offloading nowadays.

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The new Tesla M10 is the highest CPU available today. Up to 64 cpu per board, Grid software for every use case (Virtal Apps,Virtual PC etc) so that comes at 10$ per CCU, Thats is a fair price for this kind of performance. http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia-grid-buy.html

 

Second Session (Room1) Hardware Encoding with NVENC on Citrix XenDesktopThis session was presented by Simon Schaber,, Simon has more than 10 years of IT experience. Before he joined Nvidia as GRID Solution Architect,he worked more than 5 years for Citrix as TRM and Systems Engineer with main focus on HDX3D Pro.

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During this session the top was NVENC, this is Nvidia hardware chip on a graphics card. So the GPU chip can perform other tasks. This was introduced with the Kepler GPU’s and improved with the Maxwell GPU’s. Citrix currently doesn’t support NVENC yet but this will change soon. What is NVENC and what are the benefits for a Citrix deployment using NVENC? This session explains what’s behind NVENC and why we should use it in the future.

 

Third Session (Room 2) Parallels Remote Application Server: Everything you didn’t ask., This session for more an commercial session in which Jack Zubarev, did some short briefing in the history of Parallels Desktop.

  • Parallels for MAC (Virtualisation of Windows OS’s for MAC)
  • Parallels Acces (Running Windows Apps on Mobile devices)
  • Paroles Remote Applications Server (All in one solution for application publishing desktop delivery)

Parallels Remote Application Server is based on 2X which they bought last year. Parallels Remote Application Server is a market leader for virtual Windows application publishing on any device, anywhere. It works with major hypervisors and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, providing mobile users with a seamless experience while increasing security and reducing IT costs. It’s simple and empowers mobile workers with the freedom and flexibility to work how they want. Remote Application Server works using either a Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Microsoft Remote Desktop Services to deliver Windows desktop and applications to any device, Cross platform delivery occurs via a locally-installed client, or an HTML5 client that has been redesigned to be more user friendly. Users can copy and paste between applications, and print locally, even when connected to remote applications and servers. A new Chrome OS client now supports Microsoft RemoteFX for high-end graphics applications.n addition, new configuration wizards allow administrators to quick and easily deploy applications and servers. Servers themselves now offer fast setup with automated Windows Server configuration with configurable default settings automatically assigned for both application and server setup, making multiple server installs simpler.

On the security front, there is now built-in support for SafeNet, DeepNet and RADIUS authentication in addition to native client configuration policy security.

The Parallels Client, which used to be called Parallels 2X RDP, supports Windows, Mac and Linux and is now available in 11 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese Traditional and Chinese Simplified. Other devices are supported using an HTML5 browser client.

Pricing for Parallels Remote Application Server is based on a concurrent user license currently priced at £66.66 per year, or approximately $97.35 per year.

So maybe this is good alternative for the cap which Dell vWorkspace left behind. I am going to give it a try when i have some time free for testing.

 

Fourth Session, (Room 1), The ultimate GPU smackdown. This session was presented by Thomas Poppelgaard and Dr Benny Tritsch.

Benny started this session introducing himself, and meanwhile when he was talking Thomas was trying to attach a big screen for his Demo’s. Interesting thing is which we heard in other presentation is GPU is not only a case anymore for cad/cam gis applications. But now also Browsers , Adobe Suite and even Office 2016 uses GPU offloading. This can increase the users experience.

The most importend vendors at this moment are;

  • Nvidia (Tesla M6/M60/M10 Maxwell) –> Software Stack
  • AMD (Multiuser GPU based on SR-IOV –> Pure Hardware
  • Intel (Xeon E3-1200 v4 + Iris Pro D6300) –> Skylake

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Benny did some testing with the new M series Tesla cards, and amazingly they where 10 times better then de K2 cards. Funny thing is event Nvidia Marketing didn’t give those results.

One of the hey takeaways during this session is that no GPU solution can tackle packet loss or networks latency. At this point this is still a problem for all vendors. An other thing in which GPU vendors doen’t help is that when using Lossles compression. For example with hospitals using x-ray pictures. And uses more bandwith.

Next up was Thomas. First Thomas was telling us that Browsers on RDS and XA don’t recognise the GPU default. He made some blog articles how to enable this. A tip from Benny was to really understand the difference between OpenGL and Direct X, before you test graphics within Browsers.

Some nice tools for testing :

  • WebGL
  • Shadertoy (You need to be careful with this, it really takes everything out of your GPU)
  • ArcGIS
  • Blender
  • 3DSMAX
  • AutoDesk Autocad

 

Fifth Session Azure Backup Server, This session was presented by Aidan Finn, He started asking the audience, if anyone still uses Tape-Backup. Off-Site Backup. So the commonly known 3-2-1 Backup solutions.This is old school backup. We need to modernise the backup according to Aidan. So moving from tape to online backup. And off course thinking about this he is right.

Microsoft has something which the call “Azure Backup”.  Looking at the competitors (MozyPro, Carbonite, Ashay)

So what is positive about Microsoft according to Aidin

  • Rapid rate of improvement
  • Price competitive
  • completely supported

Microsoft Azure Backup comes in 3 different solutions

  1. Mars Agent (Installing an agent, files and folders only, No Tape Support, No Backup Traffice Window, Free)
  2. System Center DPM (DPM Server, Files & Folders, SQL Server, Sharepoint,Exchange, Tape Support, You need an SCCM physical machine)
  3. Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MARS, Files & Folders etc, Free) This is the secret MS doesn’t want people to know. Maybe because the want to sell more SCCM.

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Fifth Session (Room2) An Introduction to Turbo Containers. 

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An Introduction to Turbo Containers, not by Kenji Obata but by Cláudio Rodrigues. So he’s skipping all the bullshit regarding who and what he is, all we know now he’s a standup comedian and a presenter at E2EVC. And he only has 20 min. by command of Alex Cooper because we have to attend lunch at Baan Thai.

 

What is Turbo Containers, how different is it to App-V or App-Disks and much more with Demo’s! Turbo allows you to package applications and their dependencies into a lightweight, isolated virtual environment called a “container.” Containerized applications can then be run on any Windows machine that has Turbo installed, no matter the underlying infrastructure. This eliminates installs, conflicts, breaks, and missing dependencies. Turbo containers are built on top of the Spoon Virtual Machine, an application virtualization engine that provides lightweight namespace isolation of core operating system objects such as the filesystem, registry, process, networking, and threading subsystems.

Turbo Containers, you can remember as Spoon, does not require Windows Server 2016 as Docker does. It has small footprint and Transient Layers, it allows you to use something on the package that is not in the package. Turbo Containers has URL redirectors to use the right browser for the right application. Scripts etc. are all on GitHub.

Turbo Containers can be used as a replacement for App-V, for all the silo-ing issues and to have all your apps always with you.

Real world scenario’s:

  • Get rid of pain-in-the-ass App-v sequencing;
  • Dealing with stupid NetScaler firmware requirements;
  • Proper Java/Browser combo’s;
  • Web apps, even IE;
  • Base build simplification;
  • Network blocking.

All you need to now are 300 commands, have a look at https://turbo.net/docs/getting-started

How is Turbo different from App-V or ThinApp?

Turbo provides an app virtualization engine and associated tooling, as do App-V and ThinApp. However, the underlying implementations between the three systems are very different. For example, App-V uses device drivers (and therefore requires administrative privileges on the desktop) and requires additional backend infrastructure such as Active Directory and SQL Server. ThinApp is a user mode implementation but differs in many details impacting compatibility coverage and available delivery modes. Both App-V and ThinApp require “sequencing” or “capture” of setups on a clean machine in order to create virtual environment packages. Neither App-V nor ThinApp offer a containerization system supporting essential container primitives such as image storage, versioning, rollback, network virtualization, or container linking. While app virtualization engines share some characteristics in common with containers, such as the ability to run software in an isolated namespace from the host device, containerization requires additional components such as the container storage system, command processor, scripting engine, and hub, as well as additional core app virtualization engine capabilities to support dynamic configuration of application packages. Critically, neither App-V nor ThinApp support the ability to install software within a container without requiring a “sequencing” or “capture” process on an external operating system instance.

Some examples:

  • turbo run firefox,block-social-routes (blocks all social media)
  • turbo new firefox –route-add=ip://www.e2evc.com (only goes to E2EVC, even more useless)

The most important question to Cláudio by Dr.Tritsch: “How big is your lab?”

Thanks Cláudio for one of the most valuable sessions this E2EVC!

Sixth Session (Room 2) Automating MCS with PowerShell & Automation Manager. Zero-Touch from VMTemplate to Production.  Presented by Nico van der Stok he is a Senior Consultant at B-Critical Consultancy Services. He is a Virtualization Architect and Automation specialist focused on SBC/VDI application delivery infrastructures. He is an expert in tuning the finer details of the user workspace, enterprise mobility management, Citrix NetScaler’s, scripting and developing custom tailored solutions to sometimes crazy requirements, fluent speaker of the Japanese language and getting the hang of writing about himself in the 3rd person to create his own E2E profile.
Website: http://www.nicovanderstok.com
Twitter: @NicovanderStok

Based on a real-world use case where Nico was the lead architect for building a brand new experience center, in this session he’ll go through all the steps  and challenges involved in creating a fully automated deployment for XenApp/XenDesktop VDA Machines, by automating the installation of all the software components in a modular layered fashion (using RES ONE Automation properly) and then automating the Machine Creation Services bits (using PowerShell) effectively creating a zero-touch solution (not using MDT or SCCM) from a vanilla VMTemplate (on VMware) to a fully working published desktop that is registered and ready to accept user logons without ever needing to go into Citrix Studio. This session will contain some valuable tips for creating your own automated solution.

 

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After the last session Alex Cooper arranged a pretty nice tour to the Guinness Factory.

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Just an small picture of all the “Grandfathers” and some other people you may or may not know.

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Sunday 12th of June.

First Session (Room 1).Preventing Possible PVS Performance Pain Points.  Presented by Jim Moyle and Andrew Wood.

Preventing Possible PVS Performance Pain Points

Citrix PVS has been invigorated with new storage optimizations. Every storage company that got into business providing a solution to I/O problems may have to think twice – but does that mean that creating a viable PVS service has become a breeze? In “Preventing Possible PVS Performance Pain Points” Andrew Wood and Jim Moyle look at the performance of PVS server including networking, host configuration, the importance of being earnest about memory, the good, bad and ugly of RAM + HDD, the impact of Melio, Windows Storage or hyperconverged environments, migration and availability.

When using PVS with write cache to RAM with overflow to disk, what can overflow? In RAM the PVS Non Paged memory pool keeps the write cache. The hard drive associated with the target VM keeps the Overflow File, Page File, Space for Crash Dumps, Anti-virus definitions and Event Log files.

pvs

Use Windows Performance Toolkit with Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) to really look into the PVS Overflow file. Citrix blog: https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/08/19/digging-into-pvs-with-poolmon-and-wpa/

Iometer can have a look at the IOPS on the hard drive associated with the target VM.

Definitely set Write Cache to RAM on 8 GB for Server OS VM’s. Even when the Overflow File is on SSD, you will not get the IOPS you would expect. IOPS is oké when Write Cache to RAM is set to 0.

There is an impressive increase for PVS 7.8 compared to 7.1, and 7.9 even got better.

Good article on Advanced Memory and Storage Considerations for Provisioning Services http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX125126

Melio now available: https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/05/06/citrix-melio-is-now-available/

 

Second Session (Room 1) Windows Containers 2016. Windows 2016 Containers: What Good Are They? Brought to us by Ton de Vreede. There are native applications. There are App-V applications. There are hypervisors with tiny server distributions like Nano Server. Do we have any need for Windows Server 2016 Containers at all? We as Citrix/Microsoft guys/girls are the only ones who have no idea about containers. In the Linux world containers are there for years. This should change, we are late. Container users are: Groupon, Uber, etc.

The Windows Server 2016 Containers are compatible with Docker, but containers made on Docker cannot be managed by PowerShell on Windows 2016 (yet). You could compare containers as App-V for server applications. It’s not a full virtual machine. It’s a way of running server applications in their own ‘user’ space. They are sharing the host OS kernel, which is a bit dangerous, in this case user Hyper-V Containers. Containers use images instead of installations. The container is exactly the same as the environment the developer created it in.

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Pink Monkey and Gunnar are showing us the way Containers work. Containers can be changed and layering makes some every change, and only the change is saved and run on top of the base-image container.

Software developers can distribute their software in containers instead of as an installation. So everybody is using the same version. It’s amazing how fast the containers start-up.

All Citrix components for XenApp/XenDesktop will be available as containers in the next few years, the moment Windows Server 2016 settles. So we can start configuring the environment, instead of doing the boring installation stuff.

 

Third Session (Room1) Application layering technologies, Andrew Morgan, taling about, the who, what and why. Andrew took us in the world of Application Virtualisation taking about the terms used and the techniques. After this little historie gave insight in the Application Layering technologies Vendor oriented. So he was giving us a nice roadmap around this subject

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