Jason Conger Blog

Welcome to the Blog of Jason Conger. Here, we will focus on Server Based Computing environments including Microsoft Windows Terminal Services and Citrix Presentation Server, Application and Server virtualization, Application streaming and delivery technologies such as Microsoft Softricity, and many other server-centric topics. Also, I will point out tools and tips to help you with your Terminal Services environments.

Is Microsoft taking on Amazon EC2?

Virtualization.info is reporting that Microsoft may starting hosting virtual machines in it's Windows Azure platform as early as March 2010. Azure started out as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution encompassing things like SQL Server Data Service (SSDS) – now SQL Azure. Azure is growing beyond these initials offerings and is quickly becoming more of a full service cloud computing environment. A quick look at the Microsoft Azure website does, in fact, list "Windows Azure" as an option, but not a lot of details. Continue at source… Technorati : Amazon, Azure, Cloud Computing, EC2, Microsoft Del.icio.us : Amazon, Azure, Cloud Computing, EC2, Microsoft

Citrix XenDesktop Scalability – 5000 Virtual Desktops

Citrix recently released a white paper detailing findings of scaling XenDesktop to 5000 virtual desktops. What is interesting about this whitepaper is not only the results, but the methodology used. Citrix opted to use VMware ESX as the hypervisor in this testing. Also, NetApp was used for shared storage. Login VSI (Virtual Session Indexer) was used to simulate workloads. Testing was done in two phases – individual component scalability and full-system scalability. Central to both phases of testing is the use of a tool that simulates real-world workloads, as well as an internally built tool to measure session startup times (providing expected user logon times). This white paper is an interesting read for both small and large VDI deployments. Continue at source… Technorati : Citrix, VDI, VMware, XenDesktop Del.icio.us : Citrix, VDI, VMware, XenDesktop

Hyper-V and XenDesktop Integration

One of the cool features of Citrix XenDesktop is that XenDesktop is hypervisor agnostic – meaning XenDesktop doesn't care if you use XenServer, VMware ESX, or Hyper-V as the underlying hypervisor. Jarian Gibson put together a really nice step-by-step article with screen shots explaining how to use Hyper-V as the underlying hypervisor for XenDesktop. This is a must read if you are experimenting with using Hyper-V and XenDesktop together. Continue at source… Technorati : Citrix, Hyper-V, Microsoft, XenDesktop Del.icio.us : Citrix, Hyper-V, Microsoft, XenDesktop

VMware Storage Masking Explained

What is VMware Storage Masking and what are the best practices around Storage Masking? Duncan Epping tackles both these questions in a recent article on yellow-bricks.com. VMware has a best practice pertaining to masking LUNs on a per cluster basis. The best practice has been around for years and basically is there to reduce conflicts. More hosts accessing the same LUNs means more overhead, just to give you an example every 5 minutes a rescan of both HBAs takes place automatically to check for dead storage paths. You can imagine that there's a difference between 32+ hosts accessing your storage or limiting it to for instance 16 hosts. Masking helps performance, but has a potential to lessen flexibility. Duncan explains a way to use a so called "Transfer Volume" to regain the lost flexibility when using masking. Here's the process: Storage VMotion the VM from LUN on Array 1 to Transfer LUN VMotion VM from Cluster A to Cluster B Storage VMotion the VM from Transfer LUN to LUN on Array 2 Continue at source… Technorati : Storage Masking, VMware Del.icio.us : Storage Masking, VMware

Setting up a Microsoft VDI Environment on a Single Server

If you are interested in a proof of concept for Microsoft's VDI solution, all you need is a single physical server. People often ask how easy it is to install a complete MS VDI solution and how many servers does it take. George Zhu put together a quick video showcasing just how easy it is to setup all you need on a single physical Windows Server 2008 R2 box. The video uses Windows 7 for the guest. The video is short and to the point, unfortunately, it is a little hard to see at the broadcast resolution. Fortunately, George also posted links to step-by-step guides and scripts used. Continue at source… Technorati : Hyper-V, Microsoft, VDI Del.icio.us : Hyper-V, Microsoft, VDI

XenServer 6.0 “Midnight Ride” Features

Citrix has announced the next set of features slated for XenServer codename "Midnight Ride". The release is targeted for mid March. The announced features include: Granular Role-based access controls within XenCenter Dynamic Memory Control & Overcommit Enhanced snapshots, including full system state and one-click revert Administrative logging and audit reports Automation for Workload Balancing Host Power Management StorageLink Site Recovery for business continuity Enhanced CPU compatibility for XenMotion Streamlined XenCenter interface Support for "Supplementary Packs" for hardware vendor-specific features (i.e. Dell, HP) Citrix will be discussing these new features during a webinar on Wednesday, March 17, 2010. You can register from the link below. Continue at source… Technorati : Citrix, Midnight Ride, XenServer Del.icio.us : Citrix, Midnight Ride, XenServer

INGENICA’S UniPrint Host Edition Cures Printing Inflexibility Headaches For Mainframe, Midrange And All Other Host Systems

UniPrint Significantly Increases Convenience, Flexibility, and Productivity by Enabling LPR-Based Systems to Print to Windows-based Printers
Toronto,Ontario – INGENICA, the innovative leader in server-based printing solutions, today announced the launch of UniPrint Host Edition. Developed to cure printing inflexibility headaches in all mixed host systems (such as UNIX, AIX, AS/400, IBM Power Series, System z, and Linux) and Windows environments, UniPrint Host Edition enables all local and remote users on fat or thin clients working in a server-based (Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Server) or non server-based environment to benefit from enhanced printing flexibility.
The all-new UniPrint Host Edition enables organizations to build a de facto information bridge between their Line Printer Remote (LPR)-based systems and their Windows-based systems. The bridge makes it easy for users to access data stored on the host system, and print to a Windows-based printer. This innovative solution makes it simple to p rovide truly fast and flexible cross-platform printing.
UniPrint Host Edition further enhances printing flexibility in a mixed host-Windows environment by making it convenient for users to print, preview or archive print jobs. Taking advantage of the common, affordable, and easy-to-maintain Windows environment, UniPrint Host Edition converts print files into Portable Document Format (PDF) before transmitting them to a Windows desktop computer ready to print, preview, or save.
An easy-to-install and manage software-based solution, UniPrint Host Edition eliminates the need for o

Windows Server 2008 TS Webcast – Includes TS Easy Print, TS RemoteApp™, Tip and Tricks and more!

Microsoft has posted an archive or a recent TechNet Webcast titled "Windows Server 2008: Centralizing Application Access with Terminal Services (Level 300)". This webcast details how Windows Server 2008 delivers flexible ways to access centralized applications, enhances secure application delivery, and integrates server and local resources to enable greater productivity. The webcast covers the new ways that Terminal Services (TS) provides for better centralized application access than before, helping IT professionals become IT heroes.
The webcast can be viewed on-line at Microsoft.com.

Technorati : Seamless, TS Easy Print, TS RemoteApp, Universal Printer, Windows Server 2008 Del.icio.us : Seamless, TS Easy Print, TS RemoteApp, Universal Printer, Windows Server 2008 Ice Rocket : Seamless, TS Easy Print, TS RemoteApp, Universal Printer, Windows Server 2008

WorldExtend’s SecureIDA Makes It Simple For Magellan Hill Technologies To Install A Secure Remote Access System for a Fraction of the Cost of a VPN

SecureIDA's Software-based Platform Eliminates the Considerable Hardware Costs Traditionally Associated with Secure Remote Access Solutions
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2007 – WorldExtend, the remote access and network security specialist, today announced that its SecureIDA free managed VPN and remote access service has been selected by Magellan Hill Technologies, a telecommunications services provider, to provide its staff with flexible and secure remote network access for a fraction of the cost of a traditional VPN.
"We needed a simple and manageable solution that would make it more efficient for our team to collaborate and complete tasks, such as issuing repair trouble tickets which require digital certificates, from outside the office," said Tracy Gaffney, Vice President, Magellan Hill Technologies. "We looked at different options, including traditional hardware-based VPNs, but found them relatively complicated and expensive from a maintenance perspective," Gaffney continued. "SecureIDA's software-based solution has provided all the remote access functionality required at an unbeatable price, and their service has been great."
Downloadable in minutes from www.SecureIDA.com, and configured via an extremely-simple and intuitive wizard-driven process, SecureIDA enables any organization to set up secure access to data and applications from any location within minutes – providing the same business agility and related productivity gains previously available only to large enterprises. SecureIDA is the only service that includes free VPN and free remote desktop access as

ThinPrint announces Citrix® Ready™ Initiative Participation

[Press Release]
Print management expert joins new Citrix initiative that will increase visibility to the market and ensure maximum compatibility with Citrix products.
(Berlin, January 2007) ThinPrint, a global leader in producing print management solutions for server-based computing architectures and long standing Citrix Systems, Inc., technology partner, is proud to announce its participation in the Citrix® Ready™ initiative.
Citrix® Ready™ will highlight partner products, dramatically increasing their visibility to Citrix customers and channels as well as driving increased demand and revenue. Citrix® Ready™ makes it simple for customers to identify Global Alliance Partner products that add the greatest value to Citrix Application Delivery solutions. Key elements include Citrix Ready Branding, a Citrix® Ready™ Catalog on Citrix.com, product verification and a set of marketing and sales-related benefits. "We are happy to have ThinPrint join the Citrix Ready initiative as one of our first members. ThinPrint has offered a professional print management solution that provides value add to the Citrix Application Delivery Infrastructure and Citrix customers globally," said Robert Thompson, Sr. Director Alliance Programs & Marketing of Citrix Systems..
ThinPrint has a long history with Citrix Systems, and many Citrix Systems customers use ThinPrint's .print technology for professional print system management. "We are excited to see the Citrix® Ready™ logo on our .print product line," Carsten Mickeleit, Managing Director of ThinPrint GmbH. "We feel that being one of the first

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