Tag Archives: Windows 10

I’ll be presenting at UCDay 2017 and why you should consider attending yourself!

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.

This year I am honoured to be presenting at UCDay 2017 (founded by MVP Andrew J. Price) which is described as being the UK’s Premier Microsoft Community Conference (check out the speakers for a starters!) which is to be held on 9th October at National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, UK with this years sessions key focus on Microsoft Azure, Skype for Business, Office365, Exchange & Cloud. Personally I’ll be delivering the following community session entitled “Deploying Citrix (Cloud) Workloads in Azure and Beyond ARA” details about my session are available at – http://www.ucday.co.uk/timetable/event/deploying-citrix-cloud-workloads-in-azure-and-beyond-ara/ and if you have any asks vs. requests for me to cover during my session please feel free to DM on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/lyndonjonmartin or LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndonjonmartin.

On a personal note I am seriously keen myself to take the opportunity to learn, network, connect with my peers and attend some of the other knock out sessions (when its NOT my session), so be sure to check out all the sessions at – http://www.ucday.co.uk/schedule/#not-set:all delivered by community IT Pro’s focused on EUC, UEM, Workspaces, Public Cloud (Azure), UC & Collaboration and more and then get registered for a ticket at – http://www.ucday.co.uk. For me attending UCDay is an absolutely MUST weather you’re a customer vs. partner vs. consultant vs. vendor (think Microsoft eco-system) and it will enable you to gain invaluable insights from industry experts focused on the above topics and more from around the globe YES thats right not just the UK! Check out the speakers bios at – http://www.ucday.co.uk/ourspeakers/.

As I published this blog post it got me thinking as this is my very first UCDay I’d like to understand the origins of UCDay, how as a presenter vs. attendee on the day I can benefit from attending this great event. So I posed the following questions to the Founder of UC and Cloud Day Andrew J. Price http://lyncme.co.uk (Personal Site) whom is also an Office Servers and Services MVP.

1. How has UCDay changed vs. evolved since you first founded it and delivered that first opening keynote?

UC Day has evolved from a dedicated Microsoft UC Event into a leading Community Conference focusing on all the whole Microsoft 365 stack. When I originally started this journey I never expected it to grow as much as its done over the past 3 years. There is a lot of work happening in the background to continue the growth of this event to becoming a leading EMEA region conference that is free for all to attend.

2. What can attendees expect from the day based upon your experience?

Attendees can expect an action pack day full of networking with sponsors, peers and industry leaders in all things Microsoft Cloud related. UC and Cloud Day is a perfect platform for like minded invidiuduals to learn and grow as IT Professional and create new partnerships with our sponsors.

3. What are the key takeaways for attendees about the day vs. sessions?

Attendees will be able to take away knowledge from real world scenarios that our speakers encounter during their engagements with customers, as well new professional contacts that may assist with existing or future projects.

4. You are a MVP for Office Servers and Services what is it and how many other MVP’s will be at UCDay?

MVP Status is given to community leaders who go above and beyond the call of duty to share their experience with the Microsoft Community. I am recognised as Office Servers and Service MVP for my work within the Office 365 and Skype for Business communities. This year we will have over 20 MVPS across multiple award categories from around the global.

5. Any hints for what you’ll be discussing in your keynote at UCDay this year?

I will be talking about the “evolution” of UC Day and handing over to Microsoft who will be delivering the latest message about the “evolving” marketspace.

I hope to see you at UCDay this year.

All the best,

2017 UKI #CitrixPartnerLove Challenge #7 Stop the Difference

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.

You can download the image at https://t.co/nqooPlWElw to print.

My New Secure Workspace Ready in less than 15 min the #CitrixLife

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.

Today I received my new Mac, yes I’ve decided to move from a PC to a Mac for various reasons (those whom know me are probably going really!?) but I still have a Windows 10 tablet PC which I use regually at home, but most importantly my Windows 10 Citrix issued virtual desktop powered by XenDesktop (Citrix on Citrix) follows me anywhere with Citrix Receiver or the HTML5 Citrix Receiver!

I didn’t even turn on my old PC I just started working within less than 15 min from my new MacBook connected to my Win10 VD via Receiver and i’ll just sort out what I need locally like Reflector, NAMP e.t.c over the weekend as its a busy week post our local partner event Citrix Partner Accelerator.

What Did I Do?
1. Unboxed my new Macbook
2. Plugged in the power and pushed the power button its been a while since I’ve heard that CHIME 🙂
3. Completed Apples on-boarding process including setting up iCloud including connecting to the Citrix employee Wi-Fi from our London, Paddington offices check it out at – https://twitter.com/CitrixUK/status/834742107055259650
4. Next I opened Safari and navigated to http://receiver.citrix.com and it auto detected for me that I am connecting from a Mac and presented me with a download link to Receiver for Mac 12.4.
5. Once downloaded I installed it simple!
6. Opened Citrix Receiver and i entered in my addr which then prompted me for my Citrix employee username, passwd and 2FA Token
7. BOOM Receiver synced all my virtual apps & desktops that I had previously selected on other device(s) within a few moments of signing in
8. I clicked on my Windows 10 Virtual Desktop powered by XenDesktop and my new mobile #SecureWorkspace is ready to go within less than 15 minutes!

What’s New and Understanding Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop 7.11 (Seven 11)

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test delivering virtual apps and desktops powered by XenApp & XenDesktop 7.11 (Seven 11) 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 necessarily conform to industry descriptions or best practises.

Shortened Names
THINWIRE COMPATIBLE MODE – tcm also known as ecm or thinwire+

What’s New
1. XAD 7.11 infrastructure support on Windows Server 2016 for the Controller, StoreFront, Studio, Director, Server VDA, Session Recording Server & Agent, Universal Print Server.
2. Self-Service Password Reset 1.0 (SSPR) is now part of the StoreFront 3.7 & XAD 7.11 (Platinum feature) release and can be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2 and 2016* and allows users to unlock or reset their AD passwords through a series of questions. For a detailed overview please read the CTX blog entitled “StoreFront 3.7 has been released!“- https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/09/14/storefront-3-7-has-been-released/

3. SQL Server 2014 Express is still installed by default when installing the XAD Controller which became the default in XAD 7.9 release ref – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-9/whats-new.html#par_anchortitle_ddbe so be aware of the installation behavioural changes for SQL and SQL Server 2016 is now supported ref –http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/system-requirements.html#par_anchortitle_384a and for a full list of the supported databases for XAD please refer to http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX114501 which contains and up to date tablised view of XAD versions vs. SQL versions and which are and are’nt supported! Finally DB sizing can be found by referring to the LTSR release of XAD 7.6 at – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/categories/solution_content/implementation_guides/database-sizing-guidance-for-xendesktop-7-6.html which has great guidance on database sizing for XAD 7.6+.

4. Publish URL’s, documents and media files from network shares (WAHOO!) is now available on as part of the XAD 7.11 release. It currently only supports publishing of content via PoSH cmdlets and all the examples can be found and a detaied overview of the feature is avaiable at – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/install-configure/publish-content.html*.

Example Publishing a Word Document from Citrix eDoc’s*
New-BrokerApplication -Name ReadMe -PublishedName”ReadMe Document” -ApplicationType PublishedContent -CommandLineExecutable \\MyFolderShare\Documents\ReadMe.doc -DesktopGroup Content

5. Use of System Center Virtual Machine Manager to provision VMs used to create AppDisks. If you are unfamiliar with AppDisks the following YouTube video from the Citrix channel demonstrates how’s setup, create and assign your AppDisks to users virtual desktops. There is also a fantastic AppDisks FAQ avaiable at – http://docs.citrix.com/content/dam/docs/en-us/xenapp-xendesktop/xenapp-xendesktop-7-8/downloads/AppDisk%20FAQ.pdf

6. Installation behavioural changes for CIS programs entitled “Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)” and “Citrix Call Home“. For more information please refer to and read – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/manage-deployment/cis.html.
7. New HDX enhancements include:

– A new HDX policy setting combining Thinwire Compatible Mode (ECM) and H.264 can be enabled by selecting the following policy Use video codec for compression and select For actively changing regions. If you do not then the default HDX graphics mode is used which is Use video codec for compression Use video codec when preferred. For a more detailed overview please check out – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/policies/reference/ica-policy-settings/graphics-policy-settings.html.
– Up to 5% bandwidth reduction with the new behavioural enhancements for video content with Thinwire and requires XAD 7.11 with either Windows Receiver 4.5 or Linux 13.4.
– Support for USB generic mass storage devices for XenApp
TWAIN 2.0 scanning protocol support with Windows Receiver 4.5+
– New behavioural changes for the optimisation of client USB devices – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/policies/reference/ica-policy-settings/usb-devices-policy-settings.html
– Support for publishing universal apps for Windows 10, Server 2016 using the Microsoft Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
– Support for H.264 hardware encoding with supported nVidia GPU cards (NVENC hardware encoding – https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-video-codec-sdk) and also to read the following entitled “Better Together: Citrix XenDesktop 7.11 + NVIDIA GRID” from – https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/09/14/citrix-xendesktop-nvidia-grid/!
Default VDA policy settings for XAD 7.11 – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/policies/policies-default-settings.html

8. StoreFront 3.7 includes SSRP 1.0 as mentioned above in point 2., UI support for small form factor devices improving the user’s overall experience when you configur the unified Citrix Receiver experience on StoreFront against your Store(s) which can be configured by reffering to – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/storefront/3-7/manage-citrix-receiver-for-web-site/unified-receiver-experience.html so when connecting to from e.g Safari on an iPhone your end-users experience is way better try for yourself! Finally a great new addition or rather enhancement to Zones in StoreFront 3.7 & XAD 7.11 is that now client location based zone preference passes the zone information to the controller (required configuration – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/manage-deployment/zones.html#par_anchortitle_1db7) which in turn utilises this information to select the more appropriate workstation/server VDA’s that are closest in proximity to the user so when connecting to virtual apps & desktops there receive the best rich HD experience possible.
9. Windows Server 2016 analysis and reporting including Expanded security analysis with AppDNA 7.11 – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/dna/7-11/whats-new.html.
10. Automate Director notifications with Citrix Octoblu – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/director/alerts-notifications.html#par_anchortitle_1d19. For a detailed overview and look at this integration be sure to read the blog post – http://horacegoesskiing.com/index.php/2016/09/16/using-xenappxendesktop-7-11-alert-policies-with-octoblu/.
11. Support for Windows Server 2016 as a server and a target platform for PVS 7.11 including an enhanced diagnostic model so much more so be sure to review the PVS 7.11 online documentation at – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/provisioning/7-11.html.
12. Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 FIPS 140-2 Sample Deployments (Technically NOT new but very useful for Citrix customers and partners alike) – http://docs.citrix.com/content/dam/docs/en-us/categories/public-sector/downloads/Citrix%20XenApp%207.6%20and%20XenDesktop%207.6%20FIPS%20140-2%20Sample%20Deployments.pdf
13. Provisioning Citrix workloads in Microsoft Azure using ARM is now available. For a detailed how-to read – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/install-configure/install-prepare/azure-rm.html but before deploying your VM’s be sure to read the following whitepaper entitled “The scalability and economics of delivering Citrix XenApp services from Microsoft Azure” available from – https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/white-paper/xa711-scalability-azure-rm.pdf. To get started with deploying and using XenApp 7.x in Azure take a look at deploying the XenApp Trial in the Azure Marketplace at – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/marketplace/partners/citrix/citrix-xacitrix-xa-trial/ which will be you a complete XA 7.x enviromnent in Azure along with StoreFront, NetScaler and 2x VM’s to deliver a server virtual desktop and the other for delivery of just virtual apps.
14. Citrix Receiver 7.1 is ready for iOS 10 – https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2016/09/15/citrix-receiver-ready-for-ios-10/.
15. Finally be sure to check out and be aware of the list of known issues with XAD 7.11 release at – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/whats-new/known-issues.html

* Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is currently still in TP and is not officially released as of writing this blog post.

For a completely detailed summary of what is avaiable in XAD 7.11 (Seven 11) check out – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/whats-new.html.

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x.n (As of this blog post its 7.11) Features

Quick upgrade guide to XenApp 7.11 and XenDesktop 7.11 by #Citrix #CTP @ervik

Upgrading My Azure XAD 7.9 environment to XAD 7.11

Installing a XAD 7.11 PoC environment on Azure
I have testing installing XAD 7.11 (Seven 11) onto Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 or TP5 on Azure via the Azure Market Place – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/?term=Windows+Server+2016+TP5. The CLEAN installation that I performed did not have any issues or errors however the when creating the machine catalog for Windows Server 2016 TP5 even installing the Server DVA 7.11 it will revert to recommended VDA release of 7.8 only so you have been warned!

Once Microsoft releases Windows Server 2016 officially I will follow-up with an overview of setting up and configuring XAD 7.11 on Windows Server 2016 hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Scheduled & Coming…

HDX Broadcast now with Thinwire Compatible Mode

The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test HDX Broadcast now with Thinwire Compatible Mode with XAD 7.3 FP3+ 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

My Own View/Opinion
ThinWire Compatible Mode can be implemented to replace the Citrix SuperCodec (H.264) in my personal opinion for numerous use cases hOwEvEr based upon your organisations end-user use cases and or scenario’s by department and role you should always test which graphics mode/encoder(s) are most suitable within your environment by department or role to meet your end-user’s X1 UX expectations on a daily basis.

What is Thinwire Compatible Mode?
If your new to Citrix I’d suggest that before reading any further to get a better understanding of what Thinwire Compatible Mode (TCM) is and does i’d suggest that you read the following entitled “HDX technologies for optimizing application and desktop delivery” available at – http://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/citrix-hdx-technologies.pdf. Its the latest graphics encoder/mode available within Citrix XAD 7.6 FP3 supported on the following OSes Windows 8.x, 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Use Cases for TCM
1. Lower powered endpoint devices that can support Receiver but do not support Citrix’s SuperCodec which requires an H.264 decoder
2. Delivery of virtual apps and desktops over low bandwidth networks e.g remote branch offices that have limited internet uplink capacity based upon there geographic location i.e. ISDN, 3/4G or low capacity ADSL.
3. Delivery of 3D apps over LAN networks offers a great X1 UX which a fuzzy-first approach as described at – http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-6/xad-hdx-landing/thinwire-compatibility-mode.html search for “Build to lossless” on that web page. You should always thoroughly test between both TCM/H.264 graphics modes to ensure that your end-users X1 UX meets there expectations and requirements day to day.
4: Greater user density on Windows Server 2012 R2 for XenApp based workloads.

TCM Key Features
The following is just a short snippet into some of the features part of TCM below so be sure to check out and read the following CTX Blog article –
https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/10/09/a-big-leap-in-ica-protocol-innovation-for-citrix/ for a full list of all the details and more.

– Intelligent bitmap matching for a bitmap-only provider. As much as possible, previously sent bitmaps are reused resulting in lower bandwidth.
– Emulated 16-bit mode, further reducing bandwidth for typical workloads.
– Ultra-low server CPU usage, improving scalability.
– Designed for port to Linux (already used by the Citrix Linux VDA)
– …

Demonstration of Thinwire Compatible Mode

Pre-requisites & System Requirements for Deploying a Basic/Intro Thinwire Compatible Mode policy (Draft + The Basic’s Only)
1: Download and install the latest component’s for XAD 7.6 FP3 within a test/poc environment and not in a PROD environment!
2: Currently the XAD 7.6 FP3 VDA’s provide support for TCM with the following Windows OSes Windows 8.x, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 OSes.
3: Citrix Receiver You can utilise the latest or older Citrix Receiver’s including the HTML5 Receiver with Thinwire Compatible Mode encoder.
4: Create the following policy in Studio below to enable TCM within a ICA/HDX session:

– Create a new policy
– Search for the following policy entitled “Use video codec for compression” select it and set the following value – “Do not use Video codec” which will force the ICA/HDX session to utilise Thinwire Compatibility Mode.
– Assign the policy to your test “Delivery Group” with either a virtual desktop (Win 8.x, 10 or Server 2012 R2) and save the new policy.
– Login to ReceiverforWeb or Citrix Receiver and launch your virtual desktop ensure that your test user was assigned to the test delivery group which you assigned the TCM policy to/against.

Tuning Thinwire Compatible Mode
You can easily tune TCM to utilise less bandwidth with a single policy entitled “Preferred colour depth for simple graphics” but still delivery a really good eXperience 1st User eXperience for your end-users. Simply modify the TCM policy that your created earlier in this blog article and search for and add “Preferred colour depth for simple graphics” and select either “16 bits per pixel” or “24 bits per pixel” then click next and next again saving the policy. Now disconnect from your existing ICA/HDX session to your test virtual desktop and re-launch it and if you’ve opted for 16 bits per pixel in the policy above you’ll notice a difference straight away BUT the UX is still acceptable graphically for knowledge/task workers and more importantly its still as responsive and usable.

There are obviously many other policies that can be applied to make even more efficiencies so for a full list including detailed notes of what to configure please refer to and check out the following CTX article entitled “HDX Graphics Modes – Which Policies Apply to DCR/Thinwire/H.264 – An Overview for XenDesktop/XenApp 7.6 FP3” available at – http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX202687. I have embedded the basics into a simple HTML table below with how to explicitly enable ECM for testing purposes.

Policy Name Default Value Comment
Display memory limit 65536 KB http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX201696 – Support for Monitors Including 4K Resolution and Multi-Monitors
Dynamic window preview Enabled
Extra color compression Disabled Legacy Mode *
Moving image compression Enabled Legacy Mode
Preferred color depth for simple graphics 24 bits per pixel Legacy Mode **
Target frame rate 30 fps Legacy Mode
Target minimum framerate 10 fps
Visual quality Medium Legacy Mode
OPTIONAL Adjusted Policy Comments
Use video codec for compression Do not use Video codec Force ECM on explicitly by turning H.264 off (Testing)

Example of Tuning between 8 (red), 16(amber) and 24(green) Bit Modes of Thinwire Compatible Mode below but please note that the image is not in a high resolution JPEG format!

Useful Resources
A Big Leap in ICA Protocol Innovation for Citrix – https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/10/09/a-big-leap-in-ica-protocol-innovation-for-citrix/.
Thinwire Compatibility Tuning: Lowering Your Bandwidth Even Further – https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/10/23/thinwire-compatibility-tuning-lowering-your-bandwidth-even-further/.
Read Blog articles by this author Muhammad Dawood –

Supported Citrix Receivers
1: You can download either Receiver by visiting your OSes app store or navigating to – http://receiver.citrix.com for help download the correct Receiver for your platform.
2: The HTML5 Receiver is also supported.
3: The Citrix Receiver feature matrix is available at – https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/citrix-receiver-feature-matrix.pdf.