Roberto Alves

Scripting and server based computing

Different procedure to rename Citrix XenApp 5 Servers

Rename a Citrix XenApp Server (Presentation Server/Metaframe) Is a very common administrative task, but many administrators ignore that Citrix has recommendations to be followed. And this recommendations are different from XenApp 4.0/4.5 than XenApp 5.

Basically, there is only one item that was included by Citrix on the procedure to rename servers. But is very important, and you can have serious problems if you don’t follow the instructions below to set in Registry to IMA service force a Localhost replication with datastore.
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Building quickly a XenApp 4.5 server for demonstration

Sometimes we need install a simple XenApp environment for some porprouse like training, pre-sales, show some funcionality, test something before put in production, test an application to see if is compatible, etc. and depending of the propourse, you might spend some hours doing this boring task.

But for XenApp 4.5, you can use a freeware called VisionApp Experience 2007 that does all (or almost) work for you. Is quite simple, and you need just inform the path of XenApp 4.5 installation files and Windows 2003 installation files. Also, is recommended to you run a Windows Update before start the installation and run the tool locally.
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White Web Interface for Citrix XenApp 5

Citrix brought some benefits launching XenApp 5, and the majors were support to Windows 2008 and a reformulated Web Interface. The new Web Interface 5 is very cool, using the most new CSS techniques and is more smart, recognizing the browser capabilities that each user is using (including mobiles).

Also, the new Web Interface 5 brings the pass-through built-in functionality from the previous version 4.6. Almost administrators didn’t had enough time to upgrade to WI 4.6, and now they can update direct to 5 and get the most updated version. But (there is always a but), Citrix include a black background on WI 5 and this background is not easy modified by console.

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Considerations about Link consumption for XenApp/TS

To measure the Citrix XenApp (Presentation Server/Metaframe) or Terminal Services link consumption for an application the best is: publish to users and watch. Yes! Users are totally unpredictable and is very difficult to know every thing that they can do in some scenarios.

But, you always need know how much bandwidth an applications needs to be workable or how many users you can fit in a specific link. To do this you can simulate a user working in your workstation through XenApp or Terminal Services and watch the link traffic in your network card with any link analysis tool that show results in charts. Doing this, you can get some estimate results that can be useful on starter projects.

If you intend give internet access through XenApp or Terminal Services to your users, forget the analysis because anything that you write you will be designated to the near litter available, when an user open a web site with animations or high definition graphs.
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.ADM with Regional Settings using United Kingdom as default

Is very common find applications that works only with a specific configuration on Control Panel / Regional Settings.  And change this configuration on all users profile can be very big headache, then save these lines below as a .adm file and include on your policy.

Default settings are configured to British standard but you can change the values as you wish. To be easier, you can set all configurations on your Regional Settings and compare the values on HKEY_Current_UserControl PanelInternational on your Registry.

CLASS USER
CATEGORY “Control Panel”
POLICY International
KEYNAME “Control PanelInternational”

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.VBS to compare applications version on all servers

This is a very, very and very simple inventory tool. But can be very useful on sbc environments. This script checks the list of applications on Add/Remove Programs of each server, and writes a result in a table inside a html file.  Then, you can compare if all servers has same software installed or same updates!

To have a reliable Citrix or Terminal Services environment, you need ensure that all servers on each silo are equal, to all users get same applications, updates, etc.

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