Citrix NetScaler Gateway: NPS Extension for Azure MFA fails after introducing the Microsoft Domain Controller security baseline

Microsoft offers a nice set of security baseline GPOs, for direct use in your Active Directory environment. If you make use of the “MSFT Windows Server 2022 – Domain Controller” policy, your NPS installation might start to fail.

Introduction

Many of you probably have a Citrix NetScaler Gateway installation based on the following concept:

Manuel Winkel (deyda):

Microsoft Azure MFA Cloud Service in Citrix ADC

Thomas Preischl:

Citrix ADC / Netscaler Azure MFA Authentication

Those articles describe, how someone can implement Azure MFA with Microsoft Authenticator App pushOTP and an on-premises Microsoft NPS server, without making use of SAML, which is necessary, if you use the ICAProxy Gateway only license for Citrix NetScaler Gateway.
Continue reading “Citrix NetScaler Gateway: NPS Extension for Azure MFA fails after introducing the Microsoft Domain Controller security baseline”

Transition from BIS-F version 6.1.3 to 7.1912.x

With the release of the Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F) version 7.1912.x a few minor changes in the ADMX template files occurred.

We are going to outline the changes necessary to your current deployment.

Continue reading “Transition from BIS-F version 6.1.3 to 7.1912.x”

My first time: Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)

After years of MCS virginity I decided it’s finally time to ditch the little farms and try out good ol’ Citrix Machine Creation Services.

Introduction

So today is my very first time: After years of MCS virginity I decided it’s finally time to ditch the little farms and try out good ol’ Citrix Machine Creation Services. In the last ten years I almost exclusively installed small deployments. The big ones have about 150 concurrent user. All are build upon XenApp 6.5 or XenApp 7.6+ with static persistent virtual machines. I always told myself, that static persistent virtual machines, together with a fully automated patch management (for example: PDQ) are enough. And this is still true, because the maintenance effort is virtually not existent. But it really bugs me, that I’m not equally familiar with at least one of the provisioning methods. You might ask, why I don’t try to learn PVS instead. Well, the simple reason is that my stomach tells me not to. The more valid reason is that MCS is included in every XenApp license and doesn’t require additional infrastructure. And additional infrastructure is always a really big topic for the customer.

This blog post won’t be a real classical Blog HowTo Guide, but more of a report of my journey to help me keep track about what I do. Maybe others suffer the same knowledge gap and are interested in my findings and the path I take. Continue reading “My first time: Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)”

Group Policy: Show only specified Control Panel items for Outlook 2016 via Office 365

Quick Tip Blog article: HowTo whitelist the Outlook 2016/Office 365 control panel item correctly.

I just stumbled over something at a customers environment. We had a Outlook 2016 / Office 365 problem in a XenApp session. We tried to access the Outlook control panel item, but it was missing. This was no surprise, as we have the GPO…

Show only specified Control Panel items

…enabled in every environment. This acts as a whitelisting for the control panel items, so the user only has access to those items, that matter to him. Continue reading “Group Policy: Show only specified Control Panel items for Outlook 2016 via Office 365”

Taking back control of Windows Update: Install Updates when you want to!

For years we were more than unsatisfied with the options we had to choose from to patch our Microsoft Windows Servers. Without additional utility you are restricted to the few options Group Policy offers. So as I am always searching for a simple but efficient solution to such a painful problem, I combined two fantastic tools, to a powerful Windows Update Scheduler: PDQ Deploy and ABC Update.

tl;dr: If you choose option “3 – Auto download and notify for install” for your WSUS Group Policy, you can take any advanced Task Scheduler like PDQ Deploy in combination with ABC-Update to install Windows Updates¬†scheduled the way YOU want it to be!

Prologue, where is my problem?

First let’s take a look at the options Microsoft offers us and why I refuse to rely on those. If I’m not completely mistaken the only Policy to choose when to patch Windows Updates has been “Configure Automatic Updates” since ever: Continue reading “Taking back control of Windows Update: Install Updates when you want to!”