Citrix Policy Migration Tool

It took a little while longer than I had expected due to some bugs, but I am glad to be able to finally release the third of the set of tools that myself and Paul showed during SYN209 ay Synergy this year, the Citrix Policy Migration Tool. The tool allows you to export your Citrix policies from an On-Prem or Citrix Cloud farm. This export can then be used to recreate your policies in another farm. The great advantage here is that the tool doesn’t care where the policies were export from. So you can take the policy set from any farm, be it On-Prem or Citrix Cloud, and import that in to any farm, anywhere.

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XenDesktop Farm Migration Utility Update – Version 1.3

Following on from our SYN209 session at Synergy this year, I have been releasing a series tools that can assist with migrating to Citrix Cloud. Today, I am releasing version 1.3.0 of the XenDesktop Farm Migration Tool which now has support for Citrix Cloud. The migration functionality of the tool can now migrate a VM from a On-Prem farm to Citrix Cloud. The disaster functionality of the tool now also support Citrix Cloud for both the backup and restore capabilities. Continue reading »

Citrix Cloud Migration Tool

As part of SYN209, I talked about migrating to Citrix Cloud and how Citrix really don’t provide any tools to assist customers will moving their farms from on prem to Citrix Cloud. As a result of my own work with Citrix Cloud, I went about creating a number of tools that would help with this process and here is the first one…

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Disabling Rearm of OS and Office on MCS in Citrix Cloud

Many of you are probably aware of the problem that occasionally seems to plague MCS where, when you try to create a new Catalog, the process fails when it tries to rearm the OS or Office and it kicks out at the Domain Join because of it. Carl Stalhood and Citrix have posted the PowerShell workaround commands to execute. The commands are:

  • Set-ProvServiceConfigurationData -Name ImageManagementPrep_Excluded_Steps -Value EnableDHCP
  • Set-ProvServiceConfigurationData -Name ImageManagementPrep_Excluded_Steps -Value OsRearm
  • Set-ProvServiceConfigurationData -Name ImageManagementPrep_Excluded_Steps -Value OfficeRearm
  • Set-ProvServiceConfigurationData -Name ImageManagementPrep_Excluded_Steps -Value "OsRearm,OfficeRearm"
  • Set-ProvServiceConfigurationData -Name ImageManagementPrep_DoImagePreparation -Value $false

The problem is that these commands cannot be issued in a Citrix Cloud account. They tend to result in this:

cmdlet Set-ProvServi ceConfigurationData at convnand pipeline position I 
Supply values for the following parameters: 
Name: ImageNanagementPrep_ExcI uded_Steps 
alue: OsRearm 
: permissic,n the 
tens eh. 
+ Categorylnfc 
+ Fun IR,uaIifiedErrorId 
Permissionoeniet: , LnauzhorizedÃ?ccessExceptfcn 
. Citrix. . Status. Conf 
. Commands . ceConfi gun 

The reasons have to do with the permissions at the actual Azure tenant account. Even as an Administrator on your Citrix Cloud account, you lack certain permissions on the tenant… and no I don’t have any idea what else you lack the rights to do. Citrix doesn’t exactly tell anyone what they are missing. Why would you need to do this? In our case it was to use Citrix App Layering, where we wanted the Platform Layer to contain the Domain Join and not the MCS process itself.

So what’s the fix? In this case, you have to open a support case with Citrix and have them execute the PoSh with their account to have enough rights on the tenant. Otherwise you will be out of luck. Hope this helps keep someone else from many many hours of troubleshooting.


Manage Citrix Cloud and On Prem with a single PowerShell SDK

At Synergy recently, Paul and I gave a demo of the updated XenDesktop Farm Migration tool which now supports migrating VM’s from on prem to Citrix Cloud. Leading up to our session, we heard some conversations where people stated that you cannot install the XenApp and XenDesktop Remote PowerShell SDK and the regular PowerShell SDK’s on the same machine as it will break them. And yes, this is the case, there will be a conflict between them and you will get errors when you try to run commands.

But what I think a lot of people don’t realize is that you can actually manage both your on prem and your Citrix Cloud resources using just the single SDK, the XenApp and XenDesktop Remote PowerShell SDK, so you shouldn’t need to install both SDK’s.

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SYN209 Final Deck and Video

So it’s something of a running joke that the final version is never really final, but this is what we actually presented last week at Citrix Synergy for our SYN209 session. The presenter notes may or may not match what I actually said ;). When I get on a roll I veer off script from time to time! Shane will be posting the tools throughout this week with instructions.

SYN209 – Final

Additionally, Citrix did an AWESOME job this year of getting sessions recorded and posted ASAP.

My Geek108 slide deck

Thanks to everyone who was able to come to my sessions! As promised here is my slide deck.

Geek108-For the Web

XenDesktop Farm Migration Utility Update – Version 1.2

This feature enhancement has been on the cards for a while now, I have had several people ask for it but it is amazing how much having a new baby in the house can really eat up all your spare time! I finally got around to getting the code finalized and posted…

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Changing App Icons in Citrix Cloud Services

If you’ve done any work with Citrix Cloud, you might have realized by now you can’t change the app icons once you have published them in the cloud console. This came up in our CNX350 class this week and curious to find a workaround, we tested out a theory.  First, an explanation of the problem… in on prem Studio you can use PoSH to change an application icon once published by uploading the new icon and assigning it. You do not have direct PoSH access to the Cloud Studio however (you do have access through the API but it is limited). When you publish an application the Studio pulls the icon file over through SMB.

Since you can’t use the PoSH commands to change the icon you are kind of stuck when you publish apps in the Cloud Services. So what I found was a workaround that gets the icon changed but it has to be performed BEFORE the app import. Very simply, on the image you are pulling you app icons from change the default icons for the programs you intend to import to whatever you want the end result to be. Then when you run the app publishing it will default to that icon instead. You can’t change an already-published application, so you would need to republish it for the icon to change. Simple, but ultimately a pain to have to remember to do!

XenDesktop Essentials Sounds Great But Can You Use It?

Finally cleared to post this again 😉

So if you haven’t seen the latest, Citrix has finally publicly released their XenDesktop Essentials product! It’s exciting stuff – CITRIX BLOG COMING BACK SOON!

That said there are some serious caveats that you need to be aware of before you rush out to enjoy! The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the target audience.  If you are thinking XD Essentials sounds awesome for a small shop you are right, its does. Unfortunately you can’t get it as a small shop.  XD Essentials can only be used by customers with an EA license from Microsoft with Win10 entitlements. And you only qualify for an EA license if you are (I believe) 250 seats or higher.

So, that small business of 40-50 seats that seems like it would be an ideal candidate for this service can’t qualify.  And that, to me, is the major weakness of this product. Let’s be clear, this is a Microsoft limitation and not Citrix.  But larger customers who have EA are the ones who would look at Azure and Citrix Cloud primarily from an IaaS perspective.  They aren’t going to use the Azure Store to provision new VMs, they are going to handle it themselves (or have partners handle it for them).  I am not sure why Microsoft made this decision other than they would rather focus on the bigger $$$ right now.  To me, it’s a real shame.  This could have been a great way to go for the SMB space but they are immediately eliminated.

There are other design weaknesses… for example there is no NetScaler included with the XDE license which means another cost and more manual configuration that you have to do.  And the wizard also doesn’t create the Cloud Connectors, Network, AD, etc; All things required for this service to actually work.  So even as an EA customer be ready for a lot of manual setup!