by – Jesse Boehm

V1.0

Facts:

  • Windows 10 – 1607 Enterprise
  • vSphere 6
  • Tune VM in vSphere
  • Windows 10 – Get Going Fast – Customizing
  • VMware Tools – Typical Install
  • Removing Windows 10 Built-in Apps/Bloatware – Except for Calculator
  • Disable Cortana – Registry via GPO Preference
  • Show Search Icon – Registry via GPO Preference
  • Hide Task View Button – Registry via GPO Preference
  • Disable Show Windows Ink Workspace Button – Registry via GPO Preference
  • Set Power Plan
  • Optimizing OS using BPAnalyzer
  • Optimizing OS using VMware Optimization Tool
  • Disable Windows Defender – Registry via GPO Preference
  • Disable TCP Ipv6
  • Customize Start Menu & Taskbar

Create the VM

Facts:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 4 vRAM
  • 60GB Hard Disk
  • Video Card: 128MB (4 Displays)
  • 1 NIC (VMXNET 3)
  • devices.hotplug = false
  • Disable: Enable Logging
  • Enable Numlock

by – Jesse Boehm

Citrix StoreFront X1 Receiver. X1 StoreFront 2.7. Do we have a Web Interface 5.3 to Web Interface 5.4 on our hand? I am not sure, but let’s take a tour and check it out.

I look at this from two sides.

My Techstur.com Interface Branding Side is going to have my customers who have finally gotten comfortable with StoreFront over a long time of instability and lack of features and now have spent money on Branding there Interfaces. With the assumption that now they branded and did Advanced Customization of Citrix StoreFront where it would be easier to move from version to version unlike with Web Interface where moving from Customized Versions was pretty much redoing an Interface over from scratch over each time. With the last versions of StoreFront with some minor caveats we have been able to port customizations done in 2.50, to 2.5.2 to 2.6.0.5031. Now with X1 StoreFront 2.7 everything my customers have spent money on in the 2.6 series and back to 2.1 will now be obsolete. Which from a business perspective is how Techstur.com stays in business and how I have built a business around the changed world of Citrix Interfaces.

My Jesse Boehm Consulting side I think a unified Receiver is fantastic. Supporting so many different devices and polices to get those devices to work can be difficult. If you have setup a NetScaler and have made everything work perfectly on a PC and MAC and then tried to configure a Droid Tablet or an iPad and ran into issues with Mobile Devices and the Citrix Receiver Client. The Idea of a Universal Receiver is a great idea. I also think being able to have the “Branding” from the Server (Will be interested to see how much Branding is actually possible to see in the HTML5 Client version on Mobile Devices). But we won’t know that in the Technology Preview since it is not Mobile Friendly. It circles back to my Techstur.com side where Customers are always asking me about Branding of the Receiver Client and I have to tell them we can’t touch the client.

My entire thoughts on the path Citrix has taken moving away from Citrix Secure Gateway, Web Interface and the old XenApp format is that everything has gotten more complicated at an initial look. If you were used to CSG/WI/XenApp and are just looking to move to NetScaler/SF/XD&XA it can look frightening. But I think though it may have gotten more complicated at first look ultimately it has gotten more Administrator/Backend Friendly. It also has from a stability standpoint jumped light years into the future. When I talk with clients about the “New” Citrix I explain it to them in that way. Citrix has always been a complicated technology. It is just that at the base administration level and infrastructure it has not changed in a decade. Now it has drastically changed and become more complex but as an Administrator I find it easier to support.

So to sum up my feelings, I think I will have angry customers mad at me that the Branding and Customization they did in 2.6 and below will not work in 2.7 and then will have to engage in a new product. We will have a lull for a period where companies will not be quick to adopt this new technology while the initial versions are released and tested. We will have the cutting edge folks who will run full speed ahead and jump right in. But what I saw from an Interface standpoint with StoreFront it was a very slow transition from Web Interface to StoreFront. Now with the big switch from StoreFront as we know it to X1 StoreFront 2.7 we may have a similar situation on our hand.

I know day 1 Techstur.com will have our Demo Live and we will be ready for Branding. I am intrigued on how we can offer a total branding solution to our customers and provide a unified branding solution on PC/MAC/iPad/iPhone/Droid/Windows Phone and whatever Device I am missing. That would be heaven to me. Also sounds like I am going to need to invest in a lot more devices to do testing with.

—-

by – Jesse Boehm

V1.1 – Addendum

Changes in this Version

Addendum V1.1 is in thanks to: Carl Webster (@CarlWebster), Joe Shonk (@joeshonk) & Cláudio Rodrigues (@crod)

A PDF Version of this Article is available for $5.00







Changes Made:

  • Change SCSI Controller
  • Changed Write Cache Type
  • Booted Server and Checked Write Cache Partition
  • Updated my Master Template with the new Hardware Settings

Change the SCSI LSI Logic SAS Controller to a VMware Paravirtual Controller

Changed Write Cache from “Cache on Device Hard Drive” to “Cache in Device Ram with Overflow on Hard Disk”

Set Maximum Ram Size to 2 Gig (2048 MBs)

Added an Additional 2 Gig of Ram to my Base VM Image to cover that 2 Gig of Ram added in the Cache to Device Ram with Overflow on Hard Disk Write Cache Setting.

For the purposes of this article I have left my CACHE Hard Drive at 16 Gig but Hard Drive sizing is based on what you want to persist. App-V Cache, Logs, AV Files, Etc. anything you wish to persist.

—-

After making these Hardware changes and booting the Master Target Device I had to reinitialize the D:\ Partitiion and the E:\ Partition and then shutdown the server. Changed the vDisk to “Cache in Device Ram with Overflow on Hard Disk” with “2 Gig of Ram” to test everything.

This Is what the boot screen looks like

by – Jesse Boehm

v1.1.0

INTRODUCTION

Load Balancing Microsoft Exchange 2013 on Citrix NetScaler 10.5

I have read a lot of information on the internet about Load Balancing Exchange 2013 on Citrix NetScaler including the document from Citrix on how to Load Balance Exchange on NetScaler, which doesn’t work at all. Now there is a world of information out there and if you search you may compile many web pages that will help you each step of the way till you configure Exchange 2013 on NetScaler. I think I used 30+ sources some totally unrelated NetScaler or Exchange 2013 to compile my information and put this Article together.

So my idea with this article is to create a single source point of reference on how to do this setup from start to finish.

I caveat that there is many ways to do things. I am not an Exchange 2013 Expert. But I learned a lot through this process.

I found this method with NetScaler was the best approach. I did not find the Content Switching Method used in Exchange 2010 with NetScaler Valid. This was also the way the Citrix eDocs suggested this to be done. I could find absolutely no value in this method so I did not use it. Almost everything in Exchange runs on port 443 so to separate the Services like the Citrix eDocs seemed not required. That being said, this document is an absolute work in progress and I welcome any feedback to improve this document. So if the GURUs in the world have suggestions for Addendums to this Article I welcome the feedback.

There are many articles out there for Exchange 2010 with NetScaler. Replacing TMG 2010 with NetScaler. All of which I find do not really apply with Exchange 2013.

My goal in this document is to do the following

  • Configure the Exchange Components so they are ready for the NetScaler Load Balancing
  • Add Exchange Servers to the NetScaler for Load Balancing
  • Create and SSL_BRIDGE Service Group
  • Load Balance all SSL Traffic, including OWA through an SSL Load Balanced VIP
  • Redirect HTTP to HTTPS
  • Create a Managed Availability Monitor for Exchange SSL Traffic
  • Pass the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests
  • Test our setup with Auto Config of Outlook with and Exchange Account

This will take us through Outlook Anywhere for Exchange 2013 and Part 1 of my Exchange 2013 Deployment Guide for NetScaler

I plan to be covering all mail protocols in this series not just Outlook Anywhere. I will be looking at Load Balancing SMTP, POP and IMAP but non-secure and secure in this series and creating a total guide to document this procedure for NetScaler Load Balancing all of these Services for Exchange 2013.

This is my attempt at creating a document that the entire world can use for one source of information to setup Microsoft Exchange 2013 on NetScaler10.5 for Load Balancing with a Step by Step Guide.

Additional Protocols covered in Part 2 of this series will be:

  • SMTP (25/465)
  • POP (110/995)
  • IMAP (143/993)

I hope you find this article useful and helpful with deploying NetScaler as your Frontend Load Balancer for Exchange 2013. A lot of research and a lot of hours went into creating this document. This is by far the largest Article I have written and the biggest Lab Environment I have setup.





by – Jesse Boehm

A PDF version of this article is available the cost is $5.00





Citrix Provisioning Services High Availability Objectives:

  • SQL Database Mirror using Witness Server
  • DHCP High Availability
  • DFS Replication of vDisk Files using Full Mess Topology
  • Enable Provisioning Services Database Failover Partner
  • Enable Offline Database Support
  • Convert Full Mesh to Hub and Spoke Topology

Section 1
SQL Database Mirror using Witness Server

My Lab Setup

2 x 2012 R2 Server running SQL 2014 Standard 1 x 2012 R2 Server Running SQL 2014 Express (Witness Server)

Provisioning Services Database: LABPVS

Backup Directory: C:\mirror

Windows AD SQL Service User: JESSEBOEHMLABS\sqlsrv

Task 1 – Backup Database

by – Jesse Boehm

INTRODUCTION

Load Balancing Microsoft Exchange 2016 on Citrix NetScaler 11

This article takes a look at setting up Outlook Web App, ActiveSync and Autodiscover.

I didn’t use any External Sources for this Document having set this up for Exchange 2013 there were some things I knew going in which I will show in this Preface.

So my idea with this article is to create a single source point of how to do this from start to finish.

I caveat that by there is many ways to do things.

I am no Exchange Expert, but I found this method with NetScaler was the best approach as I DO NOT WANT TO USE CONTENT SWITCHTCHING on the NetScaler. Almost everything in Exchange runs on port 443 so to separate the Services like the Citrix eDocs seemed pointless. Also if you set it up that way it does not work at least the way the document from Citrix tells you to do it.

There are many articles out there for Exchange 2010 with NetScaler. Replacing TMG 2010 with NetScaler. All of which I find do not really apply with Exchange 2016.

My goal in this document is to do the following

  • Configure the Exchange Components so they are ready for the NetScaler Load Balancing
  • Add Exchange Servers to the NetScaler for Load Balancing
  • Create and SSL_BRIDGE Service Group
  • Load Balance all SSL Traffic, including OWA through an SSL Load Balanced VIP
  • Redirect HTTP to HTTPS
  • Create a Managed Availability Monitor for Exchange SSL Traffic
  • Create an HTTP to HTTPS Redirect for Autodiscover
  • Pass the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests
  • Test our setup with Auto Config of Outlook with and Exchange Account

This will take us through Outlook Anywhere for Exchange 2016 and Part 1 of my Exchange 2016 Deployment Guide for NetScaler 11

I plan to be covering all mail protocols in this series not just Outlook Anywhere. I will be looking at Load Balancing SMTP, POP and IMAP but non-secure and secure in this series and creating a total guide to document this procedure for NetScaler 11 Load Balancing all of these Services for Exchange 2016.

This is my attempt at creating a document that the entire world can use for one source of information to setup Microsoft Exchange 2016 on NetScaler 11 for Load Balancing with a Step by Step Guide.

Additional Protocols covered in Part 2 of this series will be:

  • SMTP (25/465)
  • POP (110/995)
  • IMAP (143/993)

I hope you find this article useful and helpful with deploying NetScaler 11 as your Frontend Load Balancer for Exchange 2016.

This article is available in PDF Format for $5.00. Please use the button below.