Windows 8 and Server 2012 release candidate downloads

Microsoft has released the release candidates for Windows 8 (32 and 64 bits) and the server 2012 today.

You can download Windows 8 from here and Server 2012 from here.

Enjoy the download and I’ll post my first findings in a couple of days time.

Update June 1st 2012:

You can find the first ebook on Windows Server 2012 here.

Update Rollup 2 for SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1 now available

This article describes the installation instructions for Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and the issues that are fixed in this update rollup.

Update Rollup 2 for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 consists of two update packages. Follow the installation instructions to install the updates for the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) server and Self-Service Portal.

Issues that are fixed in Update Rollup 2

Virtual Machine Manager server update (KB2691812)
The VMM service leaks memory when you manage a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster that has HP Cluster Extension Software (CLX) installed.
This update package also includes the fixes that are documented in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2562466 ( ) Description of the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 hotfix rollup package: July 12, 2011

Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal update (KB2701207)

The Self-Service Portal may not always display all virtual machines if the self-service user has more than 50 virtual machines assigned to them.

For all the details and a download link please see the following:

2691812 – Description of the Update Rollup 2 for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1.

You can read the original post on the Microsoft blogs here.

Citrix CloudGateway Express 1.2 – Implementation Guide

If you want to setup a lab or you need a good guide to implement your CloudGateway from Citrix, then you can stop searching.

Here’s a good guide how to implement CloudGateway express. Good document on how to install and configure the Express version of Citrix CloudGateway product.

How to apply a XenServer Hotfix using the command line

This article provides a demonstration of the command line patch-upload and patch apply commands.


XenServer host and appropriate hotfix for the XenServer version


Use the following steps to complete the task:

  1. Copy the downloaded XenServer update to the XenServer host. If in a pool, apply the hotfix to the pool master. Tools such as WinSCP can allow for files to be copied from a Microsoft Windows system to a Linux system, as shown in the screen shot below:

Continue reading “How to apply a XenServer Hotfix using the command line”

How to Resize Personal vDisk

This article describes how to resize the Personal vDisk (PvD).


XenDesktop 5.6


The following points should be kept in mind while resizing the PvD:

  • A PowerShell script is included in this release that allows you to resize existing personal vDisks in a catalog. The script iterates through the machines in the catalog, changing the size where possible. Resizing takes effect the next time the machines are turned on.
  • You cannot resize Windows XP machines hosted on VMware ESX using the script.
  • Do not use the script to manage existing environments in other ways. Use Desktop Studio or Provisioning Services for other management operations.
  • Before following this procedure, determine the current size of the personal vDisks and choose a new size. In addition, the following PowerShell snapins must be installed on the computer running the script:

the following procedure to resize the PvD:

  1. Put the machines in the catalog into maintenance mode.
  2. Locate the script resize-personal-vdiskpool.ps1 in the SupportToolsScripts folder of the full or upgrade image.
  3. At a command prompt, run the script and select the catalog whose personal vDisks you want to resize. If a script error occurs, dismiss it by running Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned.

    Note: If you do not have full administrator rights in Desktop Studio and you are using a 64-bit system, run the script from a 32-bit PowerShell administrator command prompt.

  4. Accept the defaults for the storage location and, if displayed, the decision on thin provisioning.
  5. The script displays these properties, which you should not change.
  6. Enter the new size for the personal vDisks. The minimum is 3 gigabytes (GB). Additional space may be required for user applications and data.
  7. When prompted, confirm the selections you made.
  8. Enter the administrator’s user name and password.
  9. Wherever possible, the personal vDisks in the catalog are resized and the machines they are attached to is restarted. When disk preparation is complete, the machines shut down. This process might take several minutes to complete.

    Note: The script lists the machines whose vDisks cannot be resized. Check the power state of these machines, and rerun the script to complete the resizing operation on the entire catalog.

You can read the original KB article here.

Technical Support of Microsoft Lync on XenDesktop

As stated in Client Virtualization in Microsoft Lync 2010 (, republished by Microsoft in February 2012, delivery of the Lync 2010 client using XenDesktop and XenApp is “Supported” by Microsoft (see Table 2 on page 7). However, audio (voice chat) is not directly supported by Microsoft (see Table 3 on page 8) except through a desk phone using USB Redirection. Likewise, video chat is not directly supported by Microsoft. These statements are based on XenDesktop 4.0 and XenApp 6.0 (see Appendix A.1, page 12). As noted in the footnote on page 13, “XenDesktop 5 (which introduces webcam video compression as an alternative to USB redirection) was not tested.”

How do these statements impact Citrix customers who wish to deliver Microsoft Lync with voice and video chat functionality from XenDesktop 5.5/5.6 or XenApp 6.5?

In short, XenDesktop/XenApp delivery of Microsoft Lync, including voice chat and video chat, is fully supported by Citrix.

Microsoft does not directly support third-party products such as XenDesktop. In our experience, customers can expect “best effort” support from Microsoft but in some cases might be asked to duplicate a problem on a regular PC with no Citrix software installed.

Citrix supports the delivery of Microsoft Lync and other similar third-party Unified Communications clients and softphones from XenDesktop (including XenApp) to users of the Citrix Receiver through a variety of innovative technologies. These include the Optimization Pack for Microsoft Lync introduced with XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1 and XenApp 6.5 Feature Pack 1, and a set of generic HDX RealTime technologies which are compatible with Microsoft Lync and its predecessor, Office Communicator.

Highlights of the Optimization Pack for Microsoft Lync include:

  • Offload of all media processing from the Citrix server to the user device via the HDX RealTime Media Engine plug-in to the Citrix Receiver (initially available for Windows and Linux), thereby maximizing server scalability
  • Native support for Microsoft’s proprietary RTAudio and RTVideo codecs without transcoding
  • Up to 720p30 transmit and receive resolutions using H.264
  • Peer-to-peer media transport via RTP (only signaling goes over ICA)

Generic HDX RealTime technologies that are compatible with Microsoft Lync include:

  • Optimized-for-speech codec technology, featuring fast encode and low bandwidth utilization
  • Webcam Video Compression in the Citrix Receivers for Windows and Linux, offering excellent bandwidth efficiency and network latency tolerance
  • Jitter buffering in the Citrix Receiver for Windows to ensure smooth audio even when network latency is variable, and Echo Cancellation when using a microphone and speakers instead of a headset
  • Audio plug-n-play
  • Audio device routing (for example: ringtone can be directed to speakers but voice to a headset)
  • Multi-stream ICA transport for full QoS support
  • UDP/RTP audio option on XenDesktop VDI
  • DSCP packet tagging for RTP packets (Layer 3)
  • WMM tagging for Wi-Fi
  • Branch Repeater support for QoS and multi-stream ICA, including UDP

Furthermore, Citrix is committed to fully supporting the next release of Microsoft Lync, codenamed “Wave 15”.

Here’s the link to the original KB article.

Database Access and Permission Model for XenDesktop 5

This article describes the SQL Server database access and permission model used by XenDesktop 5.


All runtime access to the central XenDesktop site database is performed by the services running on each controller. These services gain access to the database through their Active Directory machine accounts. This database access is sufficient to allow full day-to-day operation of the site including use of Desktop Studio, Desktop Director, and the service-specific SDKs.

The controller machine accounts and users in the database are granted only the minimum access to the XenDesktop database required for the services to operate.

The use of machine accounts for database access removes the need to securely store SQL logon (SQL authentication) passwords on the controller. It also ensures that only machines that have been configured with appropriate database access at the database server can act as XenDesktop controllers for a particular site.

Use of machine accounts provides a simple and secure model for protecting the critical data in the XenDesktop database. However, the creation and manipulation of the machine account logons at the database server is an inherently privileged operation that falls outside the scope of the permissions granted within the XenDesktop database itself. For this reason, certain key actions on the site are considered privileged administrative operations that require additional database server level permissions not granted to the XenDesktop services themselves; these operations cannot be performed except by a database user with elevated privileges.

The database access performed is summarized in the diagram below: Continue reading “Database Access and Permission Model for XenDesktop 5”

Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) installation is partially successful in XenDesktop 5.6


Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) installation is partially successful in XenDesktop 5.6.

When you install the VDA agent software on the windows 7-client machine with windows firewall service in disabled state, the following Installation Successful message is displayed: Continue reading “Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) installation is partially successful in XenDesktop 5.6”

Virtual Desktop Agent Registration with Controllers in XenDesktop


Virtual Desktop Agent Registration with Controllers in XenDesktop

Event ID: 1022

Event ID: 1001

For successful installation, you must re-install Virtual Desktop 5.5.

Continue reading “Virtual Desktop Agent Registration with Controllers in XenDesktop”

Vulnerability in Citrix XenApp could result in denial of service

Severity: Low

Description of Problem

A vulnerability has been identified in Citrix XenApp that, when triggered, could result in a denial of service.

This vulnerability is present in all versions of Citrix XenApp, formerly known as Presentation Server, up to and including version 6.5.

Mitigating Factors

In order to trigger this vulnerability, an attacker would need to be able to directly access the XenApp server. When deployed according to established best practice, the XenApp server would not be directly exposed and an Internet-based attacker would not be able to trigger this vulnerability.

What Customers Should Do

A hotfix has been released to address this issue. Citrix recommends that affected customers install this hotfix, which can be downloaded from the following locations:

Continue reading “Vulnerability in Citrix XenApp could result in denial of service”