Category Archives: OpenGL

HDX 3D Pro Master Class from July 2014

XenDesktop Master Class July 2014 – HDX 3D Pro with NVIDIA GRID
Although this was recorded in July 2014 there is a lot of useful knowledge and fundamentals in relation to HDX 3D Pro.

XenApp 7.5 XenDesktop 7.5

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test XenApp 7.5, XenDesktop 7.5 prior to deploying in a PoC, Pilot or Production environment by the author of this entry. The views, opinions and concepts expressed are those by the author of this entry only and do not necessary conform to industry descriptions or best practises.

Shortened Names

XenApp 7.5 XenDesktop 7.5 Announcement
Citrix have recently announced XenApp 7.5 which is built upon Flexcast Management Architecture (FMA) and has been available within XenDesktop 7.0, 7.1 within the App Edition license tier. The least releases also brings with it XA hybrid cloud provisioning meaning that SysAdmins now are able to extend there private cloud to IaaS hosted cloud providers (ISP’s) provided they leverage Citrix CloudPlatform which will enable quick scalability and elasticity and without having to learn the ISP’s chosen design, build, provision and management consoles to provision your environment as it’s all integrated into Studio. The announcement can be found at – and it’s also worth reading up on about the benefits and features of Flexcast technology for XA at –

What’s New & Different in XenApp 7.5 from XenApp 6.5?
0: Check out –

What’s New & Highlights of XenApp/XenDesktop (XAD) 7.5
1: The platform architecture is now powered by FMA and not Independent Management Architecture (IMA) anymore thus providing enhanced scalability and ease of management through two consoles Studio which is used for deign, building, assigning polices and resources to users and Director which is used for management of user support & troubleshooting.
2: StoreFront 2.5 is included within XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 app binaries and includes a number of new enhancements including an updated HTML5 Receiver, SDK to apply organisational logic if required and much more.
3: Support for Web Interface (WiF) 5.4 on supported Windows Server OSes.
4: AppDNA is included in Platinum edition.
5: Virtual Graphical Processing Unit (vGPU) and GPU support for supported Windows Desktop & Server OSes.
6: Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 in addition to current supported OSes in XenDesktop 7.0, 7.1.
7: The Citrix Profile management 5.0 is installed silently by default on master images when the Virtual Delivery Agent is installed (Note: You do not have to use Citrix profile management solution).
8: Support for IPv4, IPv6 or dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) environments from clients to core components.
9: MCS support for Microsoft Key Management System (KMS) activation.
10: For a complete list please check out – and also review the XA 7.5 data sheet at –

Synergy SYN405: Best Practices for Implementing Administering and Troubleshooting Xendesktop 7.5

Pre-requisites, Understanding & How-to Install XenApp 7.5 and enable R/A for your PoC or Custer Demo Environment (DRAFT & MAY CONTAIN ERROR(S))
Coming soon!

XenDesktop 7.1

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test XenDesktop 7.1 prior to deploying in a PoC, Pilot or Production environment by the author of this entry.

Shortened Names

Coming Soon!
In the interim I have selected a few links from Citrix eDocs which you may find to be useful relating to this new version of XenDesktop 7.1.

Deploy XenDesktop in a multiple forest Active Directory environment

XenDesktop 7.1 VDA, Controller Platform Supportability

Enable High Availability If Delivery Controller Fails
Firstly you need to adjust two registry entries within either the Windows Server or Desktop OSes to enable the VDA to be in high availability mode – thereafter you will need to create custom *.ica file – to connect to VDA(s) installed on a Windows Server or Desktop OS to access your resources e.g Hosted Shared Desktop.

nVidia & Citrix Announcement at Synergy 2013
If you did not watch the LiVE announcement here is the 20 minute discussion and demonstration on stage streamed LiVE across the internet of the very latest in virtual Graphics Processing Unit (vGPU) technology delivered using a nVidia GRID K2 card, XenServer 6.2 + hot-fixes on XenDesktop 7.1 < a href="">

How to setup and configure nVidia Virtual GPU (vGPU) in XenDesktop 7.1 DRAFT & MAY CONTAIN ERROR(S)
1: Check out – which explains the technology and provides a table of the maximum capable screen resolution, virtual GPU profile, number of supported monitors and users per nVidia GRID K1 or K2 card.
2: It is also worth reading this newly published HDX Technology white paper – if your new to delivering hosted shared desktops (XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 7.x), VDI desktops (XenDesktop 7.x) or just a generalised refresh surrounding HDX which is built on the strength of Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol –
3: What server hardware is supported for nVidia GRID K1, K2 cards – and here is where you can find the current specifications for the card themselves –
4: Review and understand the system requirements for HDX 3D Pro which is required in order to deliver the whole solution –
5: Explore, understand and review the GPU Acceleration for Windows Desktop OS’s in eDocs – and it is also worth reading through GPU Acceleration for Windows Server OS’s as well at –
6:Assuming you have not acquired a nVidia GRID K1, K2 card you should ensure that you download the latest possible and stable driver(s) – and if you require assistance also make use of nVidia’s support – I would also recommend reviewing or contacting manufacture to ensure that you have the latest and or best supported BIOS to support the whole solution end to end.
7: Download print out the following Reviewers guide to getting started – If your new to Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 and what to get started quickly follow on with this great Reviewers guide – which is referenced from –
8: Install the K1 or K2 GPU cards into your chooses server h/w platform, download the XenServer 6.2 ISO burn it to CD and also download the required hot-fixes and service packs (SP) if required to enable vGPU. Insert the CD into the host and power and install XenServer 6.2 and install the latest version of XenCenter on your desktop and connect it to your successful installed XenServer 6.2 host. Note you should always ensure when setting a PoC or pilot that you keep in-line with your organisations best practises and polices.
9: Complete hot-fixes packing process and also install the nVidia GRID Manager into Domain0 (Dom0) as instructed in the reviewers guide.
10: Create your VM in XS and remember to add the vGPU, then power on the VM to install and configure the OS -> once the installation is completed install and enable the nVidia GRID drivers – and then reboot the VM -> install Xen tools and reboot -> login install and configure as required your intensive 3D, graphical intensive applications -> join to your organisations domain and change the host name if required and reboot -> mount the XenDesktop 7.1 ISO to the VM and install the VDA (Decisions make a master images or enable R/A) and reboot -> Open Studio for XenDesktop 7.1 on your desktop and create machine catalogue and delivery group following the best practises of the reviewers guides mentioned above -> Open Citrix Receiver which can be downloaded at – and login and search for your newly created VDI desktop with vGPU and launch the resource and access one of your installed 3D or graphical intensive applications and begin testing and playing with different policies in XenDesktop 7.1 and tweaking your h/w as required to gain the maximin possible performance.
11: You can/could also test and try using – although I have not tested this utility with a VDI desktop which is vGPU ready and enabled.

nVidia GRID Technologies
Shared GPU for bare metal Windows Server running XenApp 6.5 for delivering RDS Workloads –
Dedicated GPU for Virtual Machines on either a VMWare ESXi or XenServer 6.2 (hotfixes) hosts –
vGPU for Virtual Machines on a XenServer 6.2 (hotfixes) host –

Infrastructure Considerations & Planning
Often individuals ask themselves how do I use my current or planned network, h/w infrastructure requirements to ensure support XenDesktop 7.0, 7.1 for VDI, RDS workloads?

1: Always refer to eDocs, CTX articles or white papers published by Citrix for the correct system requirements and best practises.
2: Citrix’s Project Accelerator
3: Sizing XenDesktop 7 App Edition VMs –
4: Go SuperSonic with XenDesktop 7.x Bandwidth SuperCodecs –
5: Storage and IOPS guidance for App delivery with XenDesktop 7 –

XenApp 6.5

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test XenApp 6.5 prior to deploying in a PoC, Pilot or Production environment by the author of this entry. The views, opinions and concepts expressed are those by the author of this entry only and do not necessary conform to industry descriptions or best practises.

Shortened Names

nVidia Shared GPU

XenDesktop 7

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test XenDesktop 7 prior to deploying in a PoC, Pilot or Production environment by the author of this entry. The views, opinions and concepts expressed are those by the author of this entry only and do not necessary conform to industry descriptions or best practises.

Shortened Names

What is and does it do?
Citrix XenDesktop 7 allows you to deliver Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) workloads and secure remote access to an existing PC estate by installing the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) into those existing PC’s. All this capability is enabled from one single common architecture – FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). If you are a Citrix XenApp 5.0, 6.5 Administrator I would encourage you to read through the following Citrix eDoc article – and follow on with this free Citrix 2 hour long course covering XenDesktop 7 weather your sales, pre-sales, sysadmin or engineer its useful in getting your mindset ready for XenDesktop 7 –

Citrix TV & YouTube Videos To Watch
SYN320: XenDesktop 7: What You Should Know About FlexCast Management and XenApp Migration
Citrix XenDesktop 7 3D Pro Demonstration –
XenDesktop 7 Masterclass –

XenDesktop 7 Handbook
Check out the blog article announcement – You download the XenDesktop 7 Handbook directly at – and the XenDesktop 5.x Handbook at –

Components of XenDesktop 7 Explained
1: Studio is allows you to design and build your RDS, VDI workloads.
2: Director allows you to support and monitor your organisations XenDesktop 7 virtual machines, user sessions via MS RemoteAssistance, historical trending & metrics, network analytic’s if you have a NetScaler.
3: Delivery Controller is responsible for brokering the connections to your servers (ICA/RDS), virtual machines (VDI) or existing workstation PC’s.
4: Citrix Licensing Server is responsible for checking in/out of your FlexCast licenses. XenDesktop 7 requires CLS 11.11.
5: StoreFront provides users with a self-serve AppStore to tab to click to add your Windows hosted apps, hosted shared desktops (Windows Server 2008 R2) or VDI desktops (Windows 7,8).
6: Machine Creation Services (MCS) is built into XenDesktop 7 which enables as allows you to provision virtual machines from your master VM images. All you need to do to configure it is to input either XenServer, Hyper-V (Requires SCVMM) or ESX (Remember to trust the root certificate) hypervisor FQDN and the access details.
7: Provisioning Services (PVS)
8: User Profile Manager 5 (UPM) is built into XenDesktop 7 and provide Citrix’s profile management solution.
9: MS SQL is required to store configuration information and details about your XenDesktop 7 site. MS SQL express, standard, enterprise and data center* editions are supported and for H/A configuration options please visit this eDocs article at – *
10: Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) is responsible for delivering a hosted shared desktop, windows hosted app and VDI desktop to users brokered via the Delivery Controller.

What Editions Are Available? VDI, App (XenApp capabilities e.g delivery of RDS workloads) , Enterprise and Platinum. To compare the feature sets of edition please check out – At the time of writing this post you are required to login to with your access details.

Setup & Configure nVidia GRID VIRTUAL GPU (vGPU) on Citrix XenDesktop 7.1
To learn how-to setup and configure a test demo or PoC environment to leverage the vGPU capabilities of XenServer 6.2 and XenDesktop 7.1 Tech Preview check out – You can download the XenDesktop 7.1 Tech Preview at – and the system requirements can be found at – and the HDX system requirements please check out –

NVidia Resources
XenApp 6.5 GPU Sharing –
XenDesktop vGPU –

Multi-Site Configurations & High Availability
Coming soon! I will cover multiple data centres and sites and how-to enable and ensure H/A access to your published resources if you lost/lose communication with your XenDesktop 7 delivery controller(s) and the pitfalls. I would strongly recommend your environment is N+1 and with VM’s common these days setting and configuring an N+1 environment should be best practise for H/A, business continuity and DR.

How-to Enable Local App Access
Coming soon! However in the mean time please refer to

XenDesktop Introduction Training Course CXD-102
Citrix training offers a 2 hour introduction course to XenDesktop 7 for free. The course is available at –

Howto Configure Email Based Discovery& Why It’s Important
Configuration of email based discovery using SRV records is simple and greatly enhances the users login experiences as they all know there email addr and domain password much like logging into Facebook, Twitter e.t.c so offering the same login user experience weather users are in or outside or the organisation means they don’t need to remember logging in with the following format domain\username and domain password they can simple use there corporate email addr and domain password.

There is a great Citrix blog article that covers covers configuration of e-mail based discovery in and outside of your organisation leveraging a NetScaler Gateway check out –

The process below is for configuration of SRV records within a trusted corporate environment. If you would like to know more about what else you can configure in terms of SRV records check out –, (A Windows 2000 article but will get you thinking if your new to SRV records) and howto add other resources records into your organisations DNS –

1: Launch your Microsoft DNS management console
2: Right click on your organisations Forward Lookup Zone that contains the StoreFront FQDN
3: Click “Other New Records”
4: Scroll down and select “Service Locaiton (SRV)” and click “Create Record”
5: Your organisations domain should already be pre-populated e.g citrix.lab or
6: Type in “_citrixreceiver” in the Service feild
7: Type in “_tcp” in the Protocol field
8: Type in “443” in the Port number field or 80 if you don’t use 443 internally
9: Type in “storefront.domain” in the Hosting offering this service e.g or storefront.axendc.local
10: Save/Commit the changes and close the current active window in DNS
11: Navigate to physical or virtual machine install and launch Citrix Receiver when prompted enter in your email addr and password when prompted.

Open up a Windows Command prompt and execute these two commands below and for more information in validating your SRV records check out –

1: Type in “ipconfig /flushdns”
2: Type in “nslookup”
3: Type in “set type=srv”
4: Type in “_citrixreceiver._tcp.domain” e.g

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8 Support

More coming soon!
In the mean time check out and Design Guide: Mobilising Windows Apps (Requires Form Input From Citrix)