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So far Matt Kidder has created 3 blog entries.

Coretek Services Reboot Manager, Pt. 2

2017-07-27T00:00:59+00:00 July 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Please see this link for Part 1. 

For Part 2, let’s examine the Coretek Virtual Desktop Enhancement Suite (VDES) Reboot Manager Console in more detail. 

The VDES Management Console, shown in the screenshot below, is a simple interface which is broken down into 3 core areas: License Manager, VDES Farm, and Reboot Manager. 

  • The License Manager is simply where the license code for the components is managed.
  • The VDES Farm section allows the servers to be broken down into functional server types, which is useful to manage one of the other core functionalities of VDES, called XAppNow.  This is a feature which speeds up the reconnect times by 4-5 seconds for double hop published applications running inside a Virtual Desktop.
  • The Reboot manager section allows us to define multiple reboot schedules for the target servers.

Figure 3 - VDES Management Console

Under the VDES Farm node, a server can be configured with the appropriate settings to allow reboot manager to function correctly and enable logging.  The Drain Mode Command(s) can be customized, but are predefined for XenApp workloads.  Logging can be enabled via the Logging Enabled and Log File command for debug logging.  The SMTP configurations can be defined to enable mail notifications to administrators to notify when the servers state changes (for example, drain mode enabled, server reboot started).

Figure 4- VDES Server Settings

When right-clicking on the Reboot Manager node, it is possible to add Reboot Schedules.

Figure 5 - Right Click on Reboot Manager Node

The Reboot Schedule window allows the selection of the day(s) on which to reboot the server, the time at which we would like to start the drain mode, the time of day to force a reboot of the server, and the customized Warning Message to be displayed to the users.

Figure 6 - New Reboot Schedule Window

On the Notifications tab, Email and Event Log notifications can be enabled to give the administrator peace of mind that the server(s) have been properly rebooted.

Figure 7 - Reboot Manager Notifications Tab

After the schedule and notification have been defined, the highlighted schedule under Reboot Manager allows servers to be included or excluded from the selected schedules.  Servers can be added to multiple reboot schedules without issues.

Figure 8 - Reboot Manager Adding Servers

And that’s all there is to it.  Powerful control with simplicity and peace of mind! 

Drop us a line if you are interested in a trial of our Reboot Manager or other compnents of the VDES toolset – we look forward to hearing from you!

Coretek Services Reboot Manager, Pt. 1

2017-07-27T00:01:00+00:00 June 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|

At Coretek Services, we have been successfully implementing Virtual Desktop environments since 2008.

A continuous request we receive from our customers is the ability to require a more granular approach to managing reboots and end-user and administrative notifications for reboots.  We originally attempted to script reboot management via PowerShell and had varying levels of success.  We ultimately decided to go our own way; and the end result was the Coretek Services Reboot Manager – now part of the Virtual Desktop Enhancement Suite (VDES).

When working with Virtual Desktop infrastructures – be it VMware Horizon, XenDesktop, or using XenApp to presented desktops or applications – one of the major challenges is the ability to reboot the operating systems with minimal impact to the end-users.  But in environments which have a 24×7 user load, XenApp presented desktops are particularly difficult to drain users and schedule reboots without impacting the users or manual intervention by the administrator. 

Typically, in XenDesktop infrastructures, the DHCP lease times are relatively low.  With a PVS delivered XenDesktop image, this can create a problem with the DHCP conflict detections attempts if this not enabled (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX135938), since the PVS delivered image will not request a DHCP lease extension.   

Let’s take a look at the XenApp 6.5 Reboot Behavior policies:

The Reboot logon disable time policy provides a maximum of a 60 minute window before a server reboots.  In an environment with users on the servers 24×7, this is inconvenient for the users and disrupts their workflow.  Ideally, you would want to put the server into drain mode to cover an entire shift as to not disrupt the users.

The Reboot warning interval policy can trigger a warning to the users every 1, 3, 5, 10 or 15 minutes.  If the maximum amount of time the server remains in drain mode is 60 minutes, this may not be an issue.  However, if you want to allow the server to persist in drain mode for a longer period of time, a notification every 15 minutes would be quite annoying for the users.

Coretek Services has developed our Reboot Manager tool, a part of our Virtual Desktop Enhancement Suite (VDES), to offer the optimal flexibility for creating and managing the reboot processes for your XenApp and Virtual Desktop environments.  We have designed the Reboot Manager to allow administrators to put servers into a drain mode for up to a 24 hour window. 

Additionally, we allow for notifications to begin at a manually specified time before the servers reboot.  This enables users in a 24×7 environment to reconnect to their existing session for an entire shift and allows the disconnect timers to log users off a server gracefully prior to a reboot.  Users will be drained from the server via attrition as opposed to be forced to log off manually.

In our next post: We dive into the Coretek VDES Reboot Manager Console, and walk through some of the powerful scheduling settings.  See you then!

Useful Periodic Citrix EdgeSight Reporting

2017-07-27T00:01:08+00:00 October 27th, 2011|Uncategorized|

I am often asked by customers, “With EdgeSight, what reports should we monitor on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis?”

EdgeSight is a powerful, but sometimes complex tool.  Based upon my experiences, there are several reports you can schedule to run on a daily basis that will give you a good snapshot of the health of your environment. 

Here is the list of daily reports which I recommend to my customers in order to monitor the health of their XenApp environment:

  • XenApp Summary: XenApp performance data (login time, active sessions, ICA session latency, and CPU and memory usage).
  • XenApp Server Utilization: Average CPU, average memory, and peak concurrent sessions for XenApp servers.  This report contains information about the most heavily loaded servers.
  • Session Client and Server Startup Duration: Average Session client startup duration (CSD) and server startup duration (SSD).  Displays login duration.

By monitoring these three reports, a XenApp administrator will be able to quickly identify if any one of the servers or users has experienced issues over the past 24 hours.  In one instance, the Session Client and Server Startup Duration report was useful in identifying a delay at login that only occurred for the first login after a reboot. 

While you will not necessarily be able to identify a root cause with these summary reports, you will have enough data to begin the troubleshooting process.