About Me

My photo
This blog has been created to share technical information, interesting innovations that I notice on daily basis and Architectural/Consulting overview of various technologies. My areas of interest, on which I would be blogging, are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Technologies. I hope you will enjoy this blog and share your experience with me.

Streaming Google Chrome using Citrix Profiler 6.0 and XenApp 6.5 –Step by Step guide

 

With the increasing popularity of Google Chrome browser and the capabilities it can bring with the usage of its Extensions I thought why not stream Chrome to the end-user devices using the Citrix Profiler 6.0  and XenApp 6.5.

How to Profile the Google Chrome setup?

The most important thing to note here is the normal Chrome setup is available in the online mode. Now the challenge is using the online mode you cannot create the profile for Chrome. The purpose of writing this blog is the older process in which flipping the registries and lengthy process was involved can all be avoided now.

Google Chrome recently introduced a special enterprise MSI  package in which there are no hassles of tweaking the registry. Simply double click on the installer and you can profile the application.

Download Link: http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?msi=true.

Google Chrome Enterprise Browser

Using Citrix Profiler how to create the profile?

I am going to attach a step by step guide at the end of this blog. However, I am highlighting some important screens here.

Citrix Profiler 6.0

 

How to Publish the application on Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Streaming?

I am going to attach a step by step guide at the end of this blog. However, I am highlighting some important screens here.

clip_image002[10]

Download Link for Step by Step guide Streaming Google Chrome using Citrix Profiler and XenApp

If you like this post please leave your comments below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Google Chrome Remote Desktop Extension – Free Solution for Screen Sharing and Accessing Multiple devices over Internet

Chrome Remote Desktop Extension from Google Chrome Browser is a fantastic solution with which one can access their remote desktop/laptops/servers and also perform user-2-user screen sharing all over the Internet. The best part is the complete package comes for free and the only requirement is Chrome Browser and the extension installed on the PC/MAC/Tablets/Mobile etc.

How to install the Chrome Remote Desktop?

Go the Chrome Web Store located under your browser and search for “Chrome Remote Desktop”. It’s a 21 MB file simply click on “Add to Chrome” to install the extension.

Chrome Web Store

What are the most important features of Chrome Remote Desktop?

There are two important features of this extension as follows. Make sure you have the Google Chrome Browser and Chrome Remote Desktop extension as a pre-requisite.

Remote Assistance: This feature provides the ability to perform user-2-user screen sharing just like other screen sharing software available in the market. Click on the “Share” option it will generate a code that you need to share with the person whom you want to share your screen with. It works like a charm without any latency issues.

My Computer: This feature provides the capability to access all you desktop/laptop/server* devices that has Google Chrome installed with the extension. All you have to do is enable “Enable Remote Connections” on all the devices that you own and now you can access your devices from anywhere on the Internet.

*Servers – I had issues accessing servers I assume it’s a firewall issue as the ports wouldn’t be open for Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop

What are the typical Use Cases for such a product?

  • The support organization can use Chrome Remote Desktop to help solving tickets by doing a Screen Share and help end-user in troubleshooting issues
  • End-users want to access their multiple devices over the internet. Now its simple without buying any paid software's one can access their devices on the Internet.
  • Helping your non-technical parents by viewing their screen and guiding them

My Verdict:
I have been using this extension since last 4 days and performed multiple screen sharing sessions with couple of my friends and accessed my desktop remotely. It was simply awesome, there was no latency issues or any screen refreshing problems. Being a free product I highly recommend trying out the extension.

If you like this post please leave your comments below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Insight into Windows Remote Desktop Services 2012

I managed to install and test the Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 2012 and I would like to share my experiences with the community. If you are looking for step by step installation please check RDS TechNet Lab Guides in this blog. I’m only covering new features, functionality and things I learnt.

RDS Installation

  • With the new Server Manager, installation of Roles & Features has over simplified. Sitting on one server, we could install all the RDS roles such as Connection Broker (CB), Licensing Server, Web Access (WA) and Session Host from one console to all the servers\VM in the environment.
  • All the pre-requisites (IIS, .Net) are installed by the Role & Features wizard automatically.
  • There are two explicit options under the new RDS Wizard - “Session Virtualization” and “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure”. See more details as below.

Session Virtualization

  • After you have installed all the roles such as RDS Licensing, RDS Session Host, RDS Web Access and RDS Licensing, you can see the complete Deployment\Server overview in a picture format of the RDS farm.

RDS Deployment Overview

  • In just one step you can configure the RD Session Host by simply clicking on the “Create a RD Session Collection wizard”. Collection is nothing but the wizard where you need to specify the Users, Applications, Profile and Servers participating in hosting this application.
  • There is a very interesting feature in this wizard such as “User Profile Disks” which can allow you to store the end-user Profile and selection of folders on a centralized file server that can either be clustered or DFS (Distributed File System).

User Profile Disks

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

  • There is a latest addition to the RDS 2012 which allows you to have two types of desktop such as “Pooled Desktop 1xMany” and “Dedicated Desktop 1x1”.
  • For Pooled Desktops, Microsoft uses their own snapshotting technology just like Citrix MCS (Machine Creation Services). There is no dependency on SCVMM, the RD Connection Broker does everything for you.
  • NOTE: My lab activities were stalled because there is a requirement for a dedicated Hyper-V server (RD Virtualization Host) which should be part of the same domain as the other RD components (CB, WA & Licensing). Will perform this test later on and share my learning with everyone.

My Verdict

RDS 2012 is a superb out of the box product which comes at no extra cost other than server infrastructure cost involved in setting up the environment. The much awaited and talked about integration of “User Profile Disk”, “VDI” and “Single Management Console” has brought the product on-par with other market vendors such as Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop, VMware ThinApp/View, Ericom etc. Though, I am not equipped to test the product against its over the WAN capabilities. The flip side that I see today with RDS 2012 is its functionality on non-windows devices and environment such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry & OpenSource. I doubt Microsoft will make a client like Receiver/View for non-windows platforms.

Business Case
The perfect business case is for Application Hosting + VDI for a complete Windows Platform which involves Windows Phone 8, Windows Tablet 8 and Windows PC 8/7. I would strongly recommend RDS 2012 as it is outstanding with no additional cost.

If you like this post please leave your comments below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

 

Documenting Citrix XenApp 6.5 Inventory Assessment Script - Windows PowerShell

Imagine yourself in a situation where you have to capture the entire XenApp 6.5 Farm information to understand what the customers have in their environment. The traditional way to understand the environment is  to sit down multiple times with the CTX Architects/Admins to understand the details of infrastructure and even then missing on important details. This script will document whatever you see under the Citrix AppCenter Console and the output can be copied to a txt or word document.

My Testing results

I ran the script in my environment and generated the output as per the figures mentioned below. I am listing down certain requirements and things I learnt during the execution:

Step 1:

  • Download the Citrix XenApp 6.5 PowerShell SDK and simply go through the typical installation
  • Downloaded the Citrix XenApp Group Policies and place the files under two folders
    • C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules, in a new folder named Citrix.GroupPolicy.Commands
    • C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules, in a new folder named Citrix.GroupPolicy.Commands
  • Make sure you open the File Properties of Citrix.GroupPolicy.Commands.psm1 file and click on Unblock and click Apply and OK. If you don’t go through this step you will get an error during importing of module

Step2:

  • Open Windows PowerShell console and type Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  • Open Windows PowerShell screen and type import-module Citrix.GroupPolicy.Commands

Step3:

  • Download the script from Script and place the script under the C:\XAInventory folder
  • Click Start – All Programs – Citrix – XenApp 6.5 Server SDK - Windows PowerShell with Citrix XenApp 6.5 Server SDK
  • Navigate to C:\XAInventory folder and type .\XA65_Inventory.ps1 |out-file .\XA65Farm.txt
  • Copy the output from C:\XA65Farm\XA65Farm.txt to a Word Document for better reading and formatting.

Step4:

  • Analyze the customer environment with complete detailed information for the XenApp 6.5 infrastructure

Inventory Output Results:

XenApp Inventory Output

A lot more is captured with respect to Server, Zones, Applications etc. Check it out yourself to experience the in depth details

Source: (Thanks)
Lets give some respect and thanks to the author of this script Carl Webster because of whom we all will be saving none less than 30-40 hours of efforts in capturing details of the XenApp Environment. He has written a 13 page blog on what all information is captured in the inventory script. Note if you check out his blog there are scripts for multiple versions of XenApp 6.5/6/5

If you like this post please leave your valuable comments

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Latest Citrix RemotePC feature with XenDesktop5.6 FP1–RemotePC VS RDP

With the recent launch of XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack (FP) 1 Citrix released a great feature known as the Remote PC. The Remote PC feature allows end-users to access their laptops/desktops on any device (Tablets, Mobile Phones or even other remote laptop and desktop) and anywhere (in the office, home and road). Citrix launched this feature for enterprises that are yet not ready to move into VDI mode and this solution allows end-users to continue using their desktop/laptop devices. The device that will be accessing the office desktop/laptop will require Citrix Receive to be installed beforehand.

Architecture for Remote PC to work:Citrix RemotePC (XenDesktop 5.6 FP1)

Many of you would ask what is the difference between RemotePC VS traditional RDP?

RDP

Remote PC

Works well on Microsoft platform. However, no standard or official applications are available on cross platforms such as iOS, Android and Blackberry You can access your desktop on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android and Blackberry with a single Citrix Receiver
No Standard apps available from Microsoft. All 3rd Party un-popular applications available at the App Stores for alternatives Official Citrix Receiver application integration that offers built-in Virtual Keyboard, ShareFile
No OS/Application Shell enhancement provision available with Microsoft RDP solution Citrix Mobility Pack enhancement to make Windows OS and Applications touch and type friendly

Typical Use Case Scenarios:
Use Case 1: The customer has a desktop at his desk and is leaving for a meeting and wants to access the desktop from his/her tablet.

Solution: Simply install the Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) on the desktop and the end-user can access their desktop on any device and from any where

Benefits:

  • The enterprise doesn’t have the CAPEX to invest in a full blown VDI infrastructure. Simply enable this feature and take advantage from your existing infrastructure and investments.
  • Access to the resources from their mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, Windows 8 RT, Android Phones, Android Tablets
  • There is no resource sharing hence no complaints from end-users regarding performance degradation
  • Whatever Access, Software, Storage end-user carries remain the same while accessing on mobile devices
  • Leverage existing Electronic Software Distribution software to deploy the VDA on Desktop/Laptops within the enterprise

Video of the RemotePC Installation:

Source: Ervik.as

If you like this post please leave your valuable comments at the bottom.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Building a XenApp 6.5 Farm inside your Lab Infrastructure – (Part 1)

Recently, I am setting up a poor man’s lab of Citrix XenApp 6.5 (64 bit). The reason to call it a poor man’s lab is because of the equipment in use. Though, I am complaining about the equipment I will tell you “my way” of efficiently setting up XenApp on a desktop class  Dell machine. My configuration is as follows:

Desktop Configuration:Dell Desktop Hardware Configuration

Preparatory Steps:

  • Install Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V as the choice of operating system on the Desktop.
  • Connect the desktop with internet to get all the Windows Updates
  • My next big thing was to create a Windows 2008 R2 EE template to create multiple VM’s and not waste time in creating individual virtual machines
  • Create a new Virtual Machine with Windows 2008 R2 EE SP1 and install all the Windows Updates
  • Install Features such as .Net 4 and Telnet Client from the “Add Features” as its reusable component on all VM’s 
  • Enable the ICMP inbound rule under the Windows Firewall port else you would be clueless during your troubleshooting
  • Sysprep the image Selection Option OOBE === Check Generalize === Shutdown. Your VM template is ready for use

Citrix Architecture for the lab

  • Plan to install Citrix XenApp 6.5 on 4 VM’s with the following server role breakup

Virtual Machine

Role

Memory

VM1 Active Directory/Citrix Licensing/Remote Desktop Licensing 400 – 700 MB
VM2 Citrix Web Server/SQL 2008 R2 Express/File Server 400 – 700 MB
VM3 Citrix XenApp1 (Application Streaming/Publishing) Static 700 MB
VM4 Citrix XenApp2 (Hosted Shared Desktop) Static 700 MB

Note: Clubbing up of roles like I have done is strictly for lab environments. Production environments should be sized and designed in a different way

Architecture Diagram

Citrix XenApp 6.5 Lab Infrastructure

List of my Best Practices:

  • Create a reusable Sysprep template to create multiple VM’s on the fly
  • Enable the ICMP inbound rule on all VM’s else you would be clueless during troubleshooting
  • Use Dynamic Memory for all your VM’s. Predefine the values for Startup and Maximum RAM options under VM Settings. I must say this feature is a savior when building labs with restrictive resources
  • Make sure the Citrix Licensing file (*.lic) carries the exact hostname of the virtual machine as it’s case sensitive. Simply type hostname under the command prompt and copy/paste the same while generating Citrix license file from www.mycitrix.com
  • In my case, the SQL Server Express is installed on the Web server. You will have to create a custom firewall rule to open the port number 1433 for all SQL related communication between the VM’s
  • During the Citrix installation make sure you select the “Install XenApp Server” option as this option brings in the convenience of installing all the prerequisite such as RDS, IIS components etc. automatically

Though, I am not sharing the step by step information on how to install each and every role because a lot of information is already available from Citrix & Microsoft and don’t want to make the blog lengthy.

I will be writing a series of blog on topics such as:

  • Application Publishing (Applications installed locally on Citrix XenApp Server)
  • Application Streaming (Application Streaming Server/Client Side)
  • User Profile Management (Separating the user profile using Citrix Profile Management)

If you like this blog please leave your comments

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Newly launched Lumia 920/820 phones running Windows Phone 8 –My thoughts straight from the Nokia NYC event

I finished watching the Nokia Lumia/Windows Phone 8 launch event. Two new phones hitting the market Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. My guess is the Lumia 920 will be for US/Europe region like the previous Lumia 900 and the Lumia 820 would be launched for the Asia Pacific region. Let me highlight some of the super-duper new features that Nokia has introduced in the new Lumia phones:
Lumia 820-920 on AskAresh
Super Sensitive Touch: A nice demo on the super sensitive touch showcasing the phone works with your fingers as well as with skiing gloves. Haven't seen other touch phones that understand anything other than the finger touch or stylus.
Wireless Charging: This the coolest thing I have seen in the last couple of years. Simply put your Lumia phone on a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors charging dock and the phone will start charging. Isn't this super KOOL? The important question to be asked is how long does Wireless Charging take VS traditional charging.
In-built Near Field Communication (NFC): This technology has been in previous Nokia phones and finally it has landed in Lumia series too. This piece of technology will soon replace Bluetooth. The Nokia demo showcased wireless music streaming into a JBL audio speaker + Wireless charging simultaneously.
Nokia Music: This application was out from the Beta to mainstream 2-3 months back. Application provides access to free music without sign-up.
Pure View Camera: Brings the Image stabilization allowing the Lumia to absorb more light by keeping the aperture open for a longer time. The Nokia demo showcased pictures taken from a Galaxy S3 VS Lumia 920. Interesting comparison would have been against the iPhone 4S.  However,  I must say the Pure View camera quality was exceptional compared to its previous predecessors.
Lens Enhancements: Couple of new introductions as follows:
Object Remover – The Nokia demo showcased the following - Imagine taking a picture in the mall and you have people all around you while taking the picture. This feature allows you to remove all the unwanted people from the picture. It detects unwanted objects and allows you to remove them.
Image Cinematography – Suppose you are capturing a memorable moment and you want the capture to be more than an ordinary picture. This feature allows you to capture some dynamic moments such as a waving flag in the background or a special expression such as shake hand or a kiss you were giving by taking the picture. All you appear moving in the picture.
Steve Ballmer mentioned by next year same time there would be 400 million Windows 8 devices (Phones, Tablets and Laptop/Desktop) used and it will be the single most lucrative opportunity for the Windows 8 Developers.
If you like this post please leave your comments.
Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

New Gadget Nokia Play 360 – Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

I recently purchased the Nokia Play 360 wireless/wired (3.5mm jack) Bluetooth speaker which produces enough sound to fill one room.

WP_000003

Blue Color Rs. 8300/- from Nokia Concept Store in IndiraNagar, Bangalore, India

My Review:

Superb quality of sound especially on the low frequencies which is surprising for such a portable device. During my research phase, I saw a lot of videos which compared the Logitech BoomBox (Price Rs. 3900/-), Jambox (NA in India) and Bose SoundLink (Price Rs. 20,000/-). As we all know Bose is a different animal with different pricing all together. I did hear the demo of it at the Bose store but I still feel the Nokia’s low frequency is superb. As far as Battery backup is concern Nokia states 21 hours however, in real-life its 15-16 hours only.

I tested the Nokia Play 360 against the following devices Bluetooth devices: Nokia Lumia 800, iPad 2, Funbook Pro, Old Nokia Phone and Sa,sung Galaxy S2 and all devices played beautiful music

The Bluetooth range is approx. 10 meters without any walls. The Nokia Play 360 comes along with a wall mount charger, 3.5 mm male-2-male jack and a super sexy cover black cover.

WP_000002

Conclusion:
All-in-all it’s a good portable audio speaker with nice sound quality which you can carry along anywhere you wish and play music in any room without worrying where the source is located physically.

If you like this review leave your comments in the comments sections.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Virtual Machine cannot start on a newly created Hyper-V server – “The Virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running”

 

On a vanilla Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter edition I was installing the Hyper-V role and the installation process went successful without any errors or warnings. Though, I am aware there is a pre-requisite of the Intel-Virtualization Technology (VT) and Data Execution Prevention  (DEP) assuming both were enable in the BIOS.

I started creating virtual machine in the Hyper-V Manager snap-in and went through the series of wizard. When I try to start the virtual machine I get the following error

Issue:

“The virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running”

Capture

Resolution:

After a lot of troubleshooting figured out that Data Execution Prevention option in the BIOS was not enable. Now I am slightly surprised why did the Hyper-V role installation completed successfully isn’t VT and DEP the pre-requisite of  the hyper-v role???

Anyways issue got resolved the moment DEP was enable in the BIOS.

If you like this post please leave your comments

Thanks,
Aresh

DNS Service doesn’t Start on Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition –Event ID: 3, 708 and 7023

 

After a long time I was actually doing some hands-on and damn the first problem that I encounter is a Microsoft  Windows 2008 Server R2 design constraint for DNS Service.

Issue:

When you try to install Active Directory (AD) with integrated DNS on a high-end server (64 Cores, 500 GB+ RAM etc.). After installing the AD and when you reboot the server the DNS service doesn’t start automatically. You keep on getting the following errors when you try to start the service manually it just wont START

Note: Active Directory works like a charm. However, the DNS service doesn’t start and we all know AD without DNS is like a big Disaster!

System Event Log: (Event id 7023)

Log Name:      System
Source:        Service Control Manager
Event ID:      7023
Level:         Error
Description:
The DNS Server service terminated with the following error:
A thread could not be created for the service.

DNS Server Log: (Event id 3 and 708)

Log Name:      DNS Server
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-DNS-Server-Service
Event ID:      3
Level:         Information
Description:
The DNS server has shut down.

Log Name:      DNS Server
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-DNS-Server-Service
Event ID:      708
Level:         Information
Description:
The DNS server did not detect any zones of either primary or secondary type during initialization. It will not be authoritative for any zones, and it will run as a caching-only server until a zone is loaded manually or by Active Directory replication. For more information, see the online Help.

Resolution:

After a lot of troubleshooting and researching on the web finally I figure out that its is a design constraint with DNS. The service doesn’t work on servers that have more than 32 cores on it. Being a lab environment my thoughts were to install the AD, DNS, SQL 2008, SCVMM and Hyper-V on the same host. But all my plans are shattered now!!

I know Microsoft Support will argue why do you have to install all the server roles onto the physical host? My answer would be being a lab environment and the only available server why not? (I am going to create a lot of VM’s on the host) Secondly to get maximum performance of the services. Last to avoid domain controller issues inside the VM and having the physical host joined to the same domain running inside a VM.

Statement from the Microsoft Support:

This is a by-design problem in DNS.exe in this scenario with a very large amount of CPU resources available. Inside the DNS Server service, there is a thread count limitation (maximal 120 threads). However, it does not limit processors (or cores).

On 64 cores server, DNS Dynamic update routines will create 64 Update threads, and UDP I/O and dispatch routine will create 64 UDP Listen threads. Besides that, the following threads will also be created for DNS operation,

"Recursion Timeout" thread
"Secondary Control" thread
"DsLoad_Thread" thread
"Timeout_Thread" thread

Therefore, the thread limitation will be reached: 64 *2 + 4 = 132 > 120, and ERROR_SERVICE_NO_THREAD error would occur.

On 32 cores server, the DNS service would be running fine as it only creates 32 * 2 + 4 = 68 threads.

This is a by-design behavior and it will not be fixed until Windows 8. Currently, the only solution is to use less than 32 cores.

If you like this post leave your comments

Best Regards,
Aresh

Source

New Stuff in Microsoft Windows Server 2012

I found this TechNet link that talks about all the latest Improvements in Windows Server 2012.

Link: http://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh831769

Short Summary of things that I like personally: (Direct Hyperlinks)

What's new in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server 2012 includes new features that make it simpler and faster to deploy domain controllers (both on-premises and in the cloud), more flexible and easier to both audit and authorize access to files, and easier to perform administrative tasks at scale, either locally or remotely, through consistent graphical and scripted management experiences.

What's New in Failover Clustering
Failover clusters provide high availability and scalability to many server workloads. These include file share storage for server applications such as Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server, and server applications that run on physical servers or virtual machines.

What’s New in Remote Desktop Services
The Remote Desktop Services server role in Windows Server 2012 provides technologies that enable users to connect to virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops. With Remote Desktop Services, users can access remote connections from within a corporate network or from the Internet.

What's New in Hyper-V
The Hyper-V role enables you to create and manage a virtualized computing environment by using virtualization technology that is built in to Windows Server 2012. Hyper-V virtualizes hardware to provide an environment in which you can run multiple operating systems at the same time on one physical computer, by running each operating system in its own virtual machine.

I am sure this will come handy in making decisions moving forward to Win 2012

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Free Training for Microsoft Certification 70-659 (Hyper-V)

Microsoft & BangaloreITPro jointly have come up with this initiative where group leader veterans would be delivering sessions on Microsoft Hyper-V which will help the community members to prepare themselves to take up the Microsoft Virtualization exam 70-659.

15 members would be selected during the session and will be given free examination vouchers for 70-659 Windows 2008 R2 Server Virtualization

Date: 2nd June 2012

Time: 9.30AM to 6.00PMVenue: Microsoft MTC, Signature Building, Bangalore

Agenda
Time Speaker Topics
9.30AM – 10.00AM Registrations
10.00AM – 11.45AM Aresh Sarkari, Technical Architect at Unisys. Windows Server 2008 Virtualization - Part 1
(Hyper-V Fundamentals, Planning, Configurations & Management)
11.45AM – 12.00PM Tea Break
12.00PM - 01.30PM Gaurav Anand, Microsoft MVP Windows Server 2008 Virtualization - Part II
(Hyper-V Architectures, Networking, Storage, Backup & Restore)
01.30PM - 02.15 PM Lunch Break
02.15PM - 04.00PM Precheta / MS Anand, Microsoft India Windows Server 2008 Virtualization - Part III
(Hyper-V Security, Best Practices)
04.00PM - 04.30PM Tea Break
04.30PM - 05.45PM Chalk Talk with Industry Expert to clear the Exam-70-659 Quiz, Q&A, Exam Tips & Tricks
05.45PM - 06.00PM UG Leads Closing Note

Be there as I will be taking up the stage for the Hyper-V Planning, Configuration & Management Topics + Live Demo

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

My learning's from Citrix Executive Briefing @ Bangalore, India

Recently, I attended a Citrix Executive Briefing at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore on 12th April 2012 and learnt a couple of new things over and above our normal XenApp & XenDesktop which I would like to share as follows:

XenApp Mobility Pack: This piece of software when installed on the XenApp server enhances the desktop or icons which are easy to touch and maneuver within the Windows 7 desktop. Like the traditional Windows Icons and menus it can really get difficult to click/touch on your tablet like devices that are 7” or 10” inches. See the below mentioned screenshot for the before and after experience.

Before: (Screenshot of a Shared Desktop)

clip_image001

After1: (With Mobility Pack)

clip_image002

After2: (With Mobility Pack)

clip_image003

Video:

Demo of XenApp 6.5 Mobility Pack

This mobility pack works in general for the Windows 7 OS and Office, Adobe applications etc. out of the box. It would be advisable to check, if it works on custom applications or/else developers would require to use the XenApp Mobility Pack SDK to further customize their applications.

ShareFile:

This company was recently bought by Citrix. It provides cloud based storage solution on all platform like Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. During the demo they showcased the capabilities like once you are logged into your VDI based desktop using the Citrix Receiver, whenever you create a file it can be directly saved onto your cloud storage drive. You can also retrieve the files from the internet (follow-me-data) that you had previously stored. It’s more like a mapped drive sitting in the cloud with all the necessary security measures.

This cloud storage integration with Citrix Receiver can help customers to follow-their-data wherever they go. It can be used as an additional storage on the go.

Don’t forget to leave your valuable comments.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Having best of both worlds Windows 7 and Android Apps and Games

Did you every imagine!! what if you could get the best of both the worlds Windows 7 Desktop and Android Apps & Games?? Yes guys its possible!! I know it’s a late discovery however, I got excited the moment I installed the app on my Windows 7 PC and the very first app I downloaded was “Angry Birds Space” works like a charm.

Big thanks to BlueStack App: www.bluestacks.com Simply Download the package and it will install the bits onto your computer.

BlueStack Download

You need to enter the following details:

- Language
- Cloud Connect Sync option if you have a Android based phone – (I don’t have one Smile)
- Enter your email address for all the correspondence

Screen Shot: (Downloading Angry Bird on my desktop )

AngryBirds Download

Beauty of the App:

Suppose if you have a Android based phone you can download the applications onto your desktop under the BlueStacks App Player for Windows (Beta-1). The Cloud Connect Sync options will automatically sync all the Apps & Games with your phone.

Memory Usage:

When I was playing games in the BlueStacks App I noticed the memory utilization is approx. 270 - 500 MB depending on the Game/App you are playing inside.

Alternates:

I know people will say we can install the Android Operating System into a Virtual Machine and then download the apps & games from the application store. However, I have noticed that doing so involves technical expertise & even after managing to run the Android OS into the VM’s still there are issues related to Sound and Mouse movement within the VM.

I bet this is the best application cum player I have ever seen for running the Android Apps & Games for Windows 7. I hope you will enjoy this post as much as I did after exploring this software.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Building a home lab a.k.a Monster Machine in Bangalore, India–Purpose Virtualization

The last time I spent Rs. 64,000/- on a laptop HP DV9830us was back in 2007 (Fry’s Store, in Texas) on which my original plan was to run virtual machine and utilize it for personal use (Gaming, movies, surfing etc.). Back in 2007, I got a very decent configuration of  Intel Duo Core 1.8 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 512 NVidia Dedicated Graphics, Blue-ray player and hi-definition 17” screen. The whole purpose of the laptop got defeated when I returned back to India and figured out that BIOS is locked down by HP and doesn’t have the feature of Intel-VT and Intel-XD and cannot utilize the potential of this machine. (It is definitely me to blame as I got carried away in the store and made the purchase without doing research)

Recently, I started getting this feeling of building a home machine, so that I can test all the latest products from Microsoft, Citrix and Quest and learn all the new stuff along with creating a lot of useful material for myself and other techies. Though our companies would invest a lot of money in buying machine for building POC however, it always involves a lot of complexity (multiple RDP sessions just to get into the server and mother of all latency issues) in accessing and utilizing the machines Sad smile.

What do I plan to build on this Machine?

I plan to install Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition for starters then later on move to Windows 8 Server Beta using Hyper-V 3.0 or even try Windows 8 Client with Hyper-V and then create a lot of VM’s of various technologies. At all point in time my setup would have at least 6-8 VM’s running so there is going to be a lot of CPU and Memory utilization on the machine.

How about going with a OEM Manufacturer?

I thought rather than investing my time in building the ideal configuration why not buy something out of the box like a Dell or HP Workstation but to my surprise all of the OEM are super expensive nothing less than 1.75 to 2 lacs. All the OEM in the Workstation series typically have the machines starting from the price range of Rs. 85,000/- however, the moment you start adding more RAM, better processor and HDD space the prices shoots up.

My Research & Aresh’s Configuration or Plan for 2012:

My quest begins to research on building a decent performance machine. Remember, I missed this step last time during my laptop purchase Smile. I shortlisted on certain brands and products as follows:

CPU: Undoubtedly the Intel CPU came to my mind just that I am very comfortable and implemented a lot of Intel based implementations

Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor  (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz) = Rs. 33,000/-

Intel® Core™ i7-2700K Processor (8M Cache, up to 3.90 GHz)

Note: I have to purchase the CPU fan extra as it doesn’t come along with the original Intel Processor Kit. My choice for the fan is CoolMaster - X6

Motherboard: The mother of all choke-ups, bottlenecks & F****-ups if not selected by doing proper research. I shortlisted on ASUS industry leader in building robust and non-failure prone motherboards

ASUS P9X79 DELUXE – Rs. 25,000/-

Memory: Now comes the turn of buying RAM and my choice was Corsair

Vengeance® — 24GB Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Kit (CMZ24GX3M6A1600C9) = Rs. 15000/- to 18,000/-

HDD: A lot of options in this space however, being budget handicapped I selected a single HDD. I am surely aware a single HDD means a single point of failure but I have a couple of portable drives that I might use to backup and keep information. I don’t care if the HDD dies and have to rebuilt the lab Smile 

Seagate Barracuda® XT Desktop Hard Drives (2 TB) = Rs. 10,000/-

Even  if I plan to create a RAID 1 mirror my cost is going to double. Which I don’t think I can afford at this point in time.

Cabinet: Best in the class CoolMaster cabinets however, haven't shortlisted the model yet.

S.No

Product

Price

1

Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz)

33.000

2

ASUS P9X79 DELUXE

25,000

3

Vengeance® — 24GB Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Kit

18,000

4

Seagate Barracuda® XT Desktop Hard Drives (2 TB)

10,000

5

Cool Master Cabinet

7,000

6

Cool Master X6 CPU Fan

4,000

Taxes Misc. On all products

5,000

Total

1,02,000

Now, when seeing the total cost of the entire Monster Machine I was thrown flat on my face to the ground after seeing the money that is involved in building this machine. I am open to all types of charity and hope soon I can afford this machine.

Best Regards,

Aresh Sarkari

Few of my all time favorite Future Innovation Videos

I wanted to publish few of my all time favorite innovation videos into a single blog post. I am sure you all will love these mind blowing innovations!!!

Corning A Day made of glass 1:

Corning Future on Glass based touch technologies (Original)

Corning A Day made of glass 2:

Corning Future on Glass based touch technologies (Latest Includes more of Mobile & Tablet Devices)

Future of you Car Glass Windows:

Future of Car Glass Window by General Motors

Future of Microsoft Office:

How the complete Business Productivity Suite will look like in the future

Future of Electricity Bloom Box 1: (Alternate Energy)

Future of Alternative Energy 1

Future of Electricity Bloom Box 2: (Alternate Energy)

Future of Alternative Energy 2

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Leave your Comments if you like them Smile

Windows 8 Consumer Preview VS iPad 2 iOS 5

With the release of Windows 8 it finally brings Microsoft into the Tablet Wars and a comparison video was inevitable. My 2 cents are it would be unfair to compare a product (iPad) that has been into the market for 3 years with a new launch of Windows 8. Though, I understand all eyes would be on Microsoft to beat Apple feature by feature. Looking at the video Windows 8 looks quite promising, I hope they get the Office Suite/Applications accustom to Metro UI where there are big buttons/icons/ribbon doing a lot of work in the background rather than small icons which are difficult to press and hover around.

 

Windows 8 Consumer Preview VS iPad 2 iOS 5

I am  noticing that a lot of Hardware Manufactures like Nokia, Acer, Dell, HP, Toshiba and HCL are building Tablets for Windows 8. By end of Q4 2012 markets are going to get flooded with Tablets devices and the War would be full on Smile

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

Source: Josh, from The Verge

Awesome Tool to compare Hyper-V with VMware - Private Cloud Economic Tool

Recently, I came across this Microsoft Private Cloud Economic Tool which comes in handy when you are responding to RFP and RFI and you want to sit back and compare the solution pricing on two best virtualization platforms available in the market

Assessment Tool

Enter the value into the above mentioned fields and get a detailed comparison of Hyper-V and VMware

I am sure there is a lot of stuff available on the internet however, I am sure this tool along with the below mentioned feature comparison will come in very handy

Feature Comparison between Hyper-V 3.0, Hyper-V 2.0, vSphere 5 Standard and vSphere 5 Enterprise: http://up2v.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/full-overview-vsphere5-versus-hyper-v3-0.jpg

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

My Blog List