Roberto Alves

Scripting and server based computing

.vbs script to restrict access only from internet to Citrix XenApp or TS servers

This vbs script consist into two verifications to restrict access of users from internet in Citrix XenApp (Presentation Server/Metaframe) servers or Terminal Services, to be included in the session initialization. The idea of this script allow access from users from Internet just if they are in a specific Active Directory group.

In the first verification, the script checks if the current user belongs to a group called “Remote Workers. If yes, the script jumps to the end. If no, the script goes to the second verification.
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Simple and better solution to redirect local drives in XenApp sessions

ICA or RDP are not the best protocols to copy files between DataCentres and remote workstations. But, some times is very difficult to implement a different solution to provide access to users local files from Citrix XenApp or Terminal Services, and even if the idea was rejected in the design of your environment, one day you will be faced with this problem and may be your easiest and better option will be enable redirection from local drives to remote sessions.

Well, you can select if you want map/redirect floppy disks, cd roms, remote drives or local drives. If you are worried with the impact of this configuration in the logon time of your users, probably you will enable just the redirection for local drives and unfortunatelly you will consider that many users can have more than one local drive and this can affect their logon.
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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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.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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PDF Reader with Acrobat Writer on the same machine

FoxIt Reader: This free PDF reader is faster than Adobe Reader and a great solution for a common issue ignored or unknown by many Citrix/Terminal Servers administrators.

Issue: Adobe doesn’t recommend use Acrobat Reader and Writer on the same machine, and when you have this scenario, all users open PDF’s on Acrobat Writer, because Acrobat Writer override the file associations of .pdf extension.
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