Hotfixes Update 5 released for XenDesktop 5.6 Controller

Citrix has released update 5 for the XenDesktop 5.6 Controller software.

Fixed with this update:

  • This update is intended to be applied only by customers who require Federal Information Processing Standards compliant encryption. This update supports end-to-end TLS encryption of HDX communications in a XenDesktop 5.6 environment.

    [From XD560BrokerSvcWX86005]<cat_security_issues>[#LA3873]

Download:

You can download and read more about installing and uninstalling this update at the following locations.

Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 controller hotfix update 3

xendesktopCitrix has released hotfix update 3 for XenDesktop 5.6 Controller (32 and 64 bit). These hotfixes address several issues with the XenDesktop 5.6 Controller. In order to address all issues in their entirety, you must install all hotfixes included in this download package. Installing just a partial set of these hotfixes will fail to address the issues and might lead to system instabilities.

Fixed issues:

Server/Site Administration

  1. Desktop groups cannot be created or deleted if their names exceed 63 characters in length or contain underscores (“_”).

    [From XD560BrokerSvcWX64003]<cat_server_farm_administration>[#LA0978]

  2. With VMware vSphere 5, when deleting a dedicated virtual machine (VM) from Desktop Studio, the delta disk of the dedicated VM might be left behind. Continue reading “Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 controller hotfix update 3”

Personal vDisk 5.6.7 released

Personal vDisk v5.6.7 provides a redesigned filter driver that improves overall application compatibility. This release also removes the need for an assigned drive letter for the app space (currently the V: drive) and offers dynamic free space balance between the apps and profile space on the user’s personal vDisk. This release reduces the PvD generated CPU overhead by 44%.

You can download Personal vDisk v5.6.7 here from the Citrix download center. A valid My Citrix ID is required to download the software.

You can read or download the administrator’s guide here.

Personal vDisk catalog stuck in preparing state

Symptoms

Customer might notice that the “Pooled with Personal vDisk” type catalogs might be created but these catalogs remain in a “Preparing state”.

Cause

When the master image is cloned at the hypervisor, only core settings such as storage, CPU, and networking are duplicated for the newly created machines and all other settings maintain their default values from the hypervisor. Customers that have made changes related to disabling drives, ports, and other hardware loose these changes and the newly created hardware add these devices back and are unable to update the drives as the base image kernel is in a read only state

Resolution

When configuring the master image, before you take the snapshot that will be used to create your catalog, start the machine into the BIOS of the Virtual Machine and reset all settings to default. This allows you to deploy your new images without them being blocked by newly found hardware. If your security requirements require these devices disabled, then you can remove them from the target devices.

The original article on the Citrix knowledgebase can be found here.

Personal vDisk 5.6.5 release

What’s New in Personal vDisk 5.6.5

Citrix personal vDisk 5.6.5 includes a new registry and file-system architecture for
personal vDisks, which ensures better usability and application compatibility.
In previous releases, the part of a personal vDisk that stores applications, the .vhd file,
was mapped by default to the V: drive. In personal vDisk 5.6.5, the .vhd file no longer
requires a drive letter, so only one drive letter is used. By default, this is still P: and
stores the profile and other user data.
In addition, a new algorithm automatically adjusts the relative sizes of the two parts of
the vDisk (the space for applications and the space on P:) depending on how the vDisk
is used. For example, if a user installs several big applications on the personal vDisk so
space becomes limited, the application space is increased relative to the space on P:.
The overall size of the personal vDisk does not change. You can configure this feature.

For the complete administrator’s guide please click here.

Click here to download the update (requires a valid MyCitrix ID)

Monitor blanking does not consistently occur in XenDesktop 5.5 and 5.6

Symptoms

Monitor Blanking does not consistently occur on XenDesktop 5.5 and 5.6 when connecting to a physical computer using HDX 3D Pro. This would result in the user sitting at the console of the VDA being able to see what is being done inside the ICA session.

Cause

This is a limitation in XenDesktop 5.5 and 5.6 and is a known issue.

Resolution

Upgrade to XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1 and use the Remote PC feature, which has been tested with consistent monitor blanking.

Read the original post here.

Hotfix for Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 broker service

New Fixes in This Release

  1. When using Concurrent User (CCU) licensing, the licenses might fail to check-in, eventually resulting in a shortage of licenses. The administrator is required to restart the Desktop Delivery Controller or the license server to return it to the original state. The issue occurs when there is a mismatch in the search result while using the case-sensitive string comparator. As a result, the record of the licenses might not be found while releasing the license.

    [From XD560BrokerSvcWX86002][#LA0971]

  2. Administrators with “Machine administrator” privileges cannot view or create personal vDisk resources (“Pooled with personal vDisk” and “Streamed with personal vDisk”) in Desktop Studio.

    [From XD560BrokerSvcWX86002][#LA1722]

Fixes from Replaced Hotfixes

  1. Note: This is a feature enhancement that requires you to install both a Broker Service and a Broker Service PowerShell Snap-in hotfix that contains Fix #LA0754.

    Description: Failure of a hypervisor or a loss of connectivity between the hypervisor and the Broker renders an active session inaccessible, and attempts to reconnect to the session fail. For shared desktops, and in the common case where a user is entitled only to a single desktop from a group, the user effectively loses all access to that desktop group, even if other machines in the same group (but on a different hypervisor) are available for use. For large hypervisors in a data center, such loss of a hypervisor can cause a large scale reduction of availability of XenDesktop that requires significant operator intervention to remedy.

    With this feature enhancement:

    • a new session can be brokered from the existing infrastructure
    • sessions orphaned as a result of hypervisor failure or of a loss of connectivity can be enumerated and terminated from the console

    Background: This feature enhancement adds a new “hidden” attribute to every session. With the “hidden” attribute set to “false” (default), XenDesktop behaves entirely as in earlier releases. To avoid a loss of desktop availability in the event of hypervisor failure, the Broker automatically marks a session as hidden (“hidden” = “true”) the moment a user attempts to reconnect to that session. With the session marked hidden this way, the Broker continues with the session launch as if no session was found to which to reconnect. Provided sufficient desktops are available, a new session is created on a different desktop – even if the user’s entitlement to that resource would ordinarily be exhausted.

    • To enumerate orphaned sessions, use the PowerShell command “Get-BrokerSession -Hidden $true”
    • To revert all hidden sessions to their visible state, use the PowerShell command “Get-BrokerSession -Hidden $true | Set-BrokerSession -Hidden $false”

    [From XD560BrokerSvcWX86001][#LA0754]

Installing and Uninstalling this Release

Notes:

  • This release is packaged as a .zip file containing the replacement Broker_Service_X86.msi file. For more information about deploying msi files, see Microsoft article 884016 or visit the Microsoft Web siteand search on keyword msiexec.
  • To install this hotfix successfully, servers must not have registry modification restrictions in place.
  • This hotfix might or might not prompt you to restart the server when the installation or uninstallation is complete. You must restart the server for the installation to complete.
  • If the need arises to restore the original settings and functionality provided by this hotfix, you must uninstall the hotfix before reinstalling it according to the installation instructions below.

To install this hotfix:

  1. Copy the file to a shared folder on the network.
  2. Extract the compressed file and save the Broker_Service_X86.msi file on the computer you want to update.
  3. Run the .msi file.
  4. Restart the computer.

To uninstall this hotfix:

  1. From the Start menu, select Settings > Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click Programs and Features .
  3. Highlight the hotfix you want to remove and click Uninstall.
  4. Follow the directions on-screen.

You can download the hotfix on the following pages:

Citrix Feature Pack 1 for XenApp 6.5/XenDesktop 5.6 is available now

It’s has been a while since Citrix has released the news that Feature Pack 01 would be available late June. Well here it is.

You can download the Feature Pack 01 at these locations at the downloads section (with a valid My Citrix ID):

XenApp

XenDesktop

More information about the Feature Pack 01 is to come later today.

Technical Support of Microsoft Lync on XenDesktop

As stated in Client Virtualization in Microsoft Lync 2010 (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=21129), 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.

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

Symptoms

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”