Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Videos Won't Play With XenDesktop 7

Hi Friends,

This one was a painful issue!  One of the tests Login VSI runs is video and when I'd get to this part of the test the video would just freeze!

The script calls an HTML file which forwards the webpage to an mp4 file.  To make matters worse when I wasn't running through the Citrix Receiver it would work just fine!  So I started creating policies like crazy in XenDesktop.  I enabled Legacy Graphics, adjusted audio, this, that, and those, but still my video just froze.  Sorry, started channeling Dr. Seuss.  :-)

I was using Internet Explorer 10 and downgraded it to 9 and that didn't work either.  Dennis from Login VSI saved the day!  Under Tools/Internet Options/Advanced, we selected the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering*.

I'm sure there's a registry setting to fix this or a Policy in XenDesktop to fix this, but I have NO idea which one it is.  So if you're rolling out XenDesktop 7 and your users start complaining their videos won't play, maybe this will work for you!

Until Next Time!

Brain & Wendel Episode 10 - Cloud Technology and You!

Hi Friends,

Have you heard buzz around products like OpenStack and CloudStack?  Or heard of Cloud acronyms things like SaaS, IaaS?  Is it all foggy and hazy?  Tune into our latest podcast and hear Wen give an outstanding explanation of what the different "As A Service" acronyms are, what are the key software products for Cloud technologies and some predictions from The Brain.  All this and more in the latest episode of the Brain and Wendel Show!!


For our non-iTunes fans:
Episode 10: Cloud Storage

Monday, November 25, 2013

Simple Power Shell Script To Log Off Remote Desktop Users

Hi Friends,

As I've mentioned I'm running automation using Login VSI to test multiple VDI user logins and the problem is clean up.  Isn't clean up ALWAYS a nightmare!?  Well, I've pieced together a small Power Shell script that I've taken from 3 or 4 sources around the Net that I'd like to share with you.  Don't forget to save the file as a .ps1 for Power Shell.

So here's what it does. 

1.  You create a text file called servers.txt, or whatever you'd like and populate it with the names of the machines you want users logged off from.  If your machines are numbered sequentially and easy way to populate the file is using Excel.

2.  For the $cred variable you put in your domain and user who will be logging folks out.

3.  You kick off the script and a dialog box will pop up asking for your password.  This will be the only time it needs the password for that run.

So if you're cleaning up 4 or 40,000, this is a simple script to help you out.  I wish I could remember which sites I pieced the script together from, but I  can't remember.  So I'll send out a blanket thanks for all the sites that helped me!

Until Next Time!

$cred = get-credential domain\user

foreach ($_ in get-content servers.txt)

{(gwmi win32_operatingsystem -credential $cred -ComputerName $_).Win32Shutdown(4)}

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Neil versus PVS - Part III - More Fun Then Should Be Allowed!

Hi Friends,

Still fighting with PVS, I think I might have it under control now, but it was touch and go for a few days there!  More errors and possible solutions for you if you're tackling a large roll out.  All I can say is working with a large number of desktops on PVS, I have a new respect for people who work with this product every day!  It's a powerful product, but man is it particular!

I've created a CIFS share through Microsoft file sharing and put my vDisk on the share.  Everyone is happy, I'm able to create multiple desktops without a problem.  Now it's time to add a second PVS server to share the load, the plot thickens....  I add the new PVS server using the PVS Provisioning Wizard, it adds great, shows up, the store path validates, but when I look at the vDisk Pool or vDisks in my store it shows up as No Server.  No Server what the heck does that mean?!  You're there, you have the path, people like you, how can you be No Server?  So off to Google!

I look around and find a couple of articles on the Citrix forums, but not a 1:1 condition or concrete answer.  While reading there are a number of folks that talk about permission issues.  Now in the vDisk store you've got essentially three files, the vDisk itself which is the VHD, a LOK file and a PVP file.  Some advice, MAKE A BACKUP of the files before you start messing with or deleting them!!  I decided to start checking the permissions and I noticed that "Users" only had read, read/execute, so I added full control and the vDisk showed up as useable on my second server!!  The only problem is it kept acting weird.  It would pause a lot when I would click on the vDisk, sometimes get hung up, so I knew something else was still wrong.  To top it off when I tried to access the vDisk on boot from a desktop I would get vdisk is locked 0xffff800c.  If I tried using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard I got this error, A required PVS server in the selected site is offline or there is no server assigned to a required store.  I don't know about Denmark, but something was definitely rotten in San Jose!

The weird thing is the first server kept behaving fine, so what's the deal?  I deleted the vDisk and reimported it and now BOTH, yes BOTH showed No Server.  Hey, at least I'm getting somewhere, where that is, I have NO idea!  But I knew it wasn't some place I wanted to stay for long.

Off to the Microsoft share server!  I removed the share and noticed I couldn't add it back!  So I copied over the vDisk contents to a share that was behaving and guess what?  Both servers are now serving the vDisk!

So what's this teach us?  If you're getting weird access errors like this, check your shares.  I think by changing the permissions on the PVP file I was able to sort of fool PVS into sort of working, but the problem was at a higher level.  Why the first server was working, until I removed and re-added the vDisk, NO IDEA!  But if this can help just one person avoid some of the pain I encountered, my job is done!  :-)

Until Next Time

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Neil versus PVS - Part II - Receive This!

Hi Friends,

So I've been working on a big project and haven't had a ton of time to write, but wanted to share this with anyone who might be struggling with this.  I'm using XenDesktop 7 with PVS to create the desktops and logging into the desktops with Login VSI through a script, which communicates to the desktops through the Citrix Receiver.  Much more on the architecture later, and I have to say Login VSI is a VERY cool tool!

I begin my script run and no matter how many desktops I kick off, about 20% get this error message:

The network connection to your application was interrupted.  Try to access your application later, or contact your help desk.

The frustrating thing is it was different desktops at different times!  I did a bunch of searching around and found a number of people that have had this error and it was fixed by, things like DNS, AD, Firewall, Receiver version, etc.  So the only common thing about it is there's some sort of connection issue from the launcher to the receiver and than to the desktop.

My DNS, AD, Firewall stuff was all sorted out, so I decided to download the latest version of the Citrix Receiver and it seems to have cured the problem!!

So if you're getting this error, give it a try, it might be a quick fix to a VERY frustrating issue.

Until Next Time!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Brain & Wendel Show - Live! - Scale Out

Hi Friends,

Some exciting news, Wen and I performed our first live Brain & Wendel Show yesterday.  We discuss our new Scale Out architecture, plus Wen does a great demo showing how efficient and simple the Nimble Connection Manager software works.  This software helps keep IO going to the right place when you start scaling out your arrays.  Sorry I've been a little behind blogs lately, been working on a project that's eating all of my time!  Hopefully I'll have more time to write soon.

Link to the live show:


Friday, November 1, 2013

Brain & Wendel Show Episode 9: Scale-Out Storage Architecture

Hi Friends,

Yes, the wait is over, this week’s Brain and Wendel show is now available for download!  Too much ego?  :-)  This week we talk about Scale-Out and have Sean Roth and Jeff Feierfeil as our resident experts to help explain what it’s all about, how is it different then 1.x and what’s great about it!

iTunes Link:

and for our non-iTunes fans:

Until Next Time!