From the Nuts&Bolts Dept. November 2014 saw the release of Workspace Manager 2014 Service Release 2. You may have read the initial post over at RES, but as always here at RESguru.com we like to kick the tires and take it for a spin around the block. There’s several items in this release that are important to know about and I’m going to highlight some and give you my view on them.
Posts tagged: Service Release 2
From the There-We-Fixed-It Dept. Once again it’s that time of year where we get the extra presents that didn’t quite make it under the tree. Today RES Software released the long awaited Service Release 2 for RES Workspace Manager. As always due to that I’m on Pacific time, I’m more or less the last RES guy on the planet to know – but hey – at least I can share the nitty-gritty details with you. This time around you’re in for a treat, as the the update contains a massive overhaul on the Citrix publishing subsystems, among other things. As per usual the Service Release is available to our subscribed customers and partners at the RES Support portal. Now, let’s have a quick look at the most interesting things in SR2:
- Ability to remote publish XenApp published apps ! Yay – this was a personal thorn in my side, as up to now the only way to publish was to run the RES WM console on top of one of the XenApp boxes, as we previously could only communicate with the old MFCOM objects directly underneath. You still need a WM Agent installed on the target publishing XenApp server, as it’s the one doing the handywork. The difference is that now you can publish even from an admin workstation running the WM console.
- Support for XenApp 6.5 WorkerGroups: Another big enhancement on my wishlist. Even though that Workspace Manager has had servergroups for many years providing this functionality back from the early Citrix Presentation Server days, when Citrix finally added a group object in XAS6.5, we of course had to support it, so customers do not have to do double work.
- Cross-Farm publishing: RES Workspace Manager SR2 allows you to publish an XA app across multiple farms. Note that if you’re using Relay Servers, they must be upgraded to SR2 as well for this to work.
There is a few other items that relate to Citrix, which you can read more about in the release notes. Other than that, some other noteworthy items:
- A slew of new registry tweaks to Workspace Manager. The Registry Guide to Workspace Manager has been updated accordingly. See fixes 073 to 066
- Various performance enhancements on Database Connectivity, User Settings and Logon time. Note: There is a specific reghack to boost logon time when offline.
- A new setting under Setup|Advanced Settings: The option is to quote the release notes; “set delay for network refreshes when network connectivity changes”. This works well where a laptop may change network connectivity within a short period of time, possibly causing unnecessary Workspace Composer refreshes. Also, by configuring a delay, you can ensure that the ‘new’ network connection is fully established before the refresh takes place, preventing long refresh actions. Default value is 0 (zero) seconds, meaning it’s business as usual unless you change it.
- Hiding apps in the startmenu when using merge-mode is now possible when managing the startmenu. Something I’m personally quite happy about, as I got egg on my face during my last training class due to just that :-)
- Several labels and default views have changed as part of decluttering the console. Nothing crucial, but you might just want to glance over the releasenotes to for a heads-up on all items.
- New Zone rule for computer’s AD group membership. This has been a long standing wish of mine since we could check on the site and OU of the computer, so now this part of the big picture is complete.
- New commandline option to export the Network Security log as XML. See this section of the updated WM CommandLine reference for further info.
- Exception tab on Agents: I believe this is a very important piece to understand for designers and architects (which is why it probably deserves it’s own article at some point): The short story about SR2, quoting from the releasenotes, is that Agent-related zone rules set on the Workspace Container are now taken into account when determining the applicability of an exception tab for the node Administration | Agents. This makes it possible, for example, to define different Datastore or Relay Server connections on exception tabs based on Agent-specific properties such as IP address. Note that the following zone rules are not Agent-specific and are therefore not evaluated when defining the Workspace Containers on which to base an exception tab for the Agents node:
- Citrix Receiver client type
- Session Type
- (Partial) terminal server listener name
- User property
- VDX / Workspace Extender
The Workspace Container’s Access Control/Identity is still ignored for exception tabs on the node Administration > Agents; and the evaluation of Workspace Container applicability for an exception tab remains unchanged for all other features and nodes.
- Last but not least is the question on everybody’s lips: Does SR2 support Windows 8? The answer is yes and no. Yes, the software is supported running on Windows 8. Yes, it can now recognize Windows 8 as there’s now OS Zone rules for Win8 and Server 2012. This makes the temporary hack I created in article RG04C obsolete. However SR2 does NOT include management of the Metro/Modern tiles. Aparently there are some things we are working on together with Microsoft in order to make that a reality. Hopefully we’ll see this in the next Service Release.
From the There-we-fixed-it Dept. I guess this is one of the few downsides of living on the California coastline – the bloody 9 hour time diff to Europe! So while I certainly can't be the first to tell you about breaking RES news, I can at least fill in the blanks. Just think of me as Wolf Blitzer in his pyjamas :-) Aaaanyway, today RES Software released the Service Release 2 of Automation Manager 2012. This update and full installers can be downloaded from the RES Support Portal as usual. So what's in the box then? Well, besides the usual staple of fixes there's a handful of interesting enhancements:
- Conditions in AM now support for Windows 8 and Server 2012.
- Just like Worksspace Manager which can fill in it's tables into a pre-existing, empty database, AM can now do the same. This is great for situations where you are fresh out of bullets and the onsite DBA won't let you create a datastore for your pilot.
- Finally AM now also has uppercase and lowercase functions. These are now known as @UPPER[(
)] and @LOWER[( )]
- A new global setting has been created to disable/enable the existing RunbookWho functionality. This setitng and associated $[runbookwho] parameter was created earlier to allow you to specify at scheduling what agent(s) should execute the runbook. See the releasenotes for further details.
- The exchange mailbox task has been updated to support creating alternative email addresses on Exchange 2010 which stores these on the Exchange server and not in Active Directory as previously.
From the Community Hero dept. My good friend Sylvester de Koster over at CDG in England has taken the time to go through the new SR2 release of the RES Workspace Manager in a new article on the CDG blog. He covers the new additions to the console interface, the new Configuration Wizards, and the new embedded online tutorial videos. Go have a look at the article here.