From the TechNote Dept: A new article by Patrick Kaak has been posted in the TechLibrary. This time around Patrick shows us the advantages of incorporating existing scripts into RES Automation Manager, illustrating by example how an otherwise semi-static script can be converted into a reusable runbook, which requires no editing what so ever. The example at hand utilizes Thomas Koetzing’s excellent Citrix Hotfix downloader script. By embedding it into an AM runbook you don’t have to ever edit it again. As usual for your convenience, an example buildingblock is included
From the Mayday-We’re-Syncing Dept. On the last day of 2011, the Service Release 3 for the RES Workspace Manager 2011 was released. Among a bunch of new cool enhancements, there is one that I especially would like to elaborate on. Workspace Manager supports Microsoft Sync Center, a part of Windows 7. Specifically the support consists of that network drive-mappings, created in Workspace Manager will continue to work nicely, when Sync Center is used to bring stuff offline. This means you don’t have to worry about scripts to map the network drive when you’re offline. A new technote RG044 has been added to the Technote Library describing how this works. A helpful buildingblock has been included.
‘Twas a month before Xmas and through the hotel, nothing was stirring… well maybe, except for the 450+ geeks and guru’s who assembled at the Hilton Universal City, Los Angeles for the first major Citrix Technology Exchange event on Dec 2nd 2012. RES Software had been invited as a platinum sponsor of the event. Besides showing our products at the vendor’s tables, we also had a couple of presentation slots. I want to take a moment to specially thank my friend Rick Eilenberger at Citrix for putting this great event together. Be sure to check out his follow-up article here.
During one of the RES Software presentations, I had the pleasure of once again demonstrating the unparalleled awesomeness of the RES Automation Manager. This time I had the good Mr. Luca Lo Castro with me on stage, as he is indeed the evil mastermind behind this latest creation. What we have here is nothing less than one of the most awesome Run Books created for RES Automation Manager yet. Read more »
From the So-Ein-Ding-Muss-Ich-Auch-Haben Department. Here the other day I came across a nice article by Michel Stevelmans, where he’s taken the time to dig out some really useful explorer registry keys. These are the settings one needs to pick up from the users registry in order to serve up a consistent desktop experience, when moving across a computing estate. While the article was written with a competing vendor in mind, I have the luxury of really not having to care about that. This article will show you how to to put this knowledge into practice with RES Workspace Manager – and yes, you guessed it: BuildingBlock Included!
From the Gold-Brick-Through-Your-Window Dept. A while back you may have read about the work that was initiated at the Citrix Servtech event in Santa Clara, CA. As it turns out RES Software and Citrix Systems found a lot of common ground in leveraging the power of the RES Automation Manager to speed up Citrix XenApp 6.5 deployments.
IMPORTANT: The buildingblock has been updated Dec 5th. See below.
There is good reason to look into automating XA6.5 installations: You may not have noticed it, but the end-of-life date for XenApp 6.0 was recently updated. In other words, within the coming year you may need to start thinking about upgrading your XenApp farms. To ease this transition, it is my pleasure already now to be able to share with you the fruits of the collaboration between Citrix and RES. You can download the building block for Automation Manager at the end of this post.
A few words about the building block: It contains a Run Book which will schedule several Modules, necessary to install and configure XenApp 6.5 – including it’s prerequisites. To try it out, you need to download and install the RES Automation Manager. You can pull down a fully functional 45-day eval copy here. Getting-Started guide is available here. Out of the box there will be enough licenses to install a handful of XenApp servers. You will also need your XenApp 6.5 ISO image handy. You will either mount the image somewhere or extract the contents to a folder. Either way, the buildingblock requires the contents of the ISO to be accessible via a share. This is important. Once you schedule the Run Book, you will be prompted to enter some information such as paths, passwords, etc. See the screenshot on the right for an example.
Those of you who are savy AM hackers may wonder what’s up with the share. As it turns out, it’s really the most efficient way to access the Citrix distribution media, simply because of it’s size, it’s not feasible to upload as a AM Resource. Second, bear in mind that the ISO contents may be updated by Citrix in the future.
I wish to personally thank the following people for their contributions to this project: Rick Eilenberger, Josh Fleming, Alex Danilychev and Brian Mirrotto @ Citrix Systems. And last but not least my fearless Sicilian friend Luca Lo Castro here at RES, who put the pieces together into a working building block. Credit also goes to Musa Cakar and Arno Vos, who took the time to expand the datastore capabilities. See below:
As mentioned, the buildingblock was updated December 5th 2011. The update consists of support of MS SQL Datastores. While the original buildingblock only supported SQLserver 2008, it now supports creating the XenApp Datastore on MSSQL 2005 and 2012 (Release Candidate 0).
From the BuildingBlock dept. I’ve posted a new buildingblock in the Automation Manager section. This BB is based on some original work by Jeroen Speetjens who shared it with us a while back (Cheers mate!). This building block contains one single module, which can both disable or enable mouse and keyboard on a target computer. This is great for situations where you want users to keep their hands completely off the computers until you’re done with them. Read more »
From the RES Community Hero dept. My good friend Iain Brighton over at Virtual Engine in the UK has for quite some time offered a pretty amazing toolkit which will help you in your daily work with RES Workspace Manager. It’s about time I gave it a proper review. The VEToolkit is to the RES Workspace Manager what Robin is to Batman! It’s a great sidekick as it picks up where WM leaves off by offering multiple functions, which are all triggered by the green button in the lower right of the app.
This application is in continued development (beta 3) at the time of writing. In this article I’ll give you a detailed introduction to it’s capabilities along with usecases and show you where to download. I should probably also mention the VEToolkit is free! Interested? Read more »
From the we-work-harder-so-you-don’t-have-to dept. My esteemed co-authors Patrick Kaak and Sascha Maier have produced a couple of new articles, which you may find interesting. Patrick has reworked another blog article he found, which compares different profile manager technologies, while Sacha has created an article that describes how you can first-time set up the correct initial keyboard for users in an international organization. This article also includes a buildingblock. Have a look at the articles in the Technote Library below:
From the Lego-R-Us dept. Today, May 8th I’ve posted a bunch of small Wisdom buildingblocks for your convenience. There’s one to install the Desktop Sampler, theres modules for some generic mucking-about with SQL databases (size query and shrink operations) and I’ve also thrown in one to help shut down an exchange server nicely. As always, if you feel like contributing some cool stuff you’ve made yourself, feel free to poste it over in the forum.
In the meantime go have a look at the new stuff in the Wisdom BuildingBlock Library
From the spring cleaning dept. Ever got frustrated with having a Global Authorized File list which is a mile long? Been wanting to break down your appguard and read-only blanketing security into more manageable chunks? Then this article is for you. It will show you a very slick way of organizing security authorizations using blank/empty applications as placeholders and how you can easily move security settings inbetween them. Note the moving is a PowerFuse 2010 feature.
The article contains a nice buildingblock for you to try out also.