XenApp 6.5 Hotfix Rollup Pack 7 + all Hotfixes

I bet several XenApp Administrators around the world still have XenApp 6.5 Farms to manage and so do I. Here’s a table about all post-HRP07 Hotfixes.

Last month I had to manage a XenApp 6.5 Farm which was still on Hotfix Rollup Pack 3 without any further Hotfixes. This farm suffered from regular published Desktop session disconnects. When the users tried to reconnect to their disconnected sessions, they received a new sessions instead, leaving all their apps and documents opened and unreachable in the orphaned session. Continue reading “XenApp 6.5 Hotfix Rollup Pack 7 + all Hotfixes”

Download and install latest Tablacus Explorer

In all of my current EUC deployments, I install Tablacus Explorer as an alternative to explorer.exe for use as a published application. This is an evergreen PowerShell script, that downloads and installs the latest version.

In one of my past articles I presented Tablacus Explorer as an replacement for explorer.exe in Citrix Virtual Apps und Desktops (formerly XenApp) as a published application. With automation more and more being mandatory in IT projects, I needed a way to install Tablacus Explorer evergreen with PowerShell each and every time I deploy it to Windows Clients, RDSH, Citrix virtual apps or desktops or in MDT Task sequences. Once again I used one of Trond Eric Haavarstein example scripts and altered it to fit my needs. Here are the results. Continue reading “Download and install latest Tablacus Explorer”

Download and install latest Office 365 via Office Deployment Tool (ODT)

Inspired by Trond Eric Haavarstein’s evergreen PowerShell setup scripts, I created a download and install script for Office 365 Deployment Tool (ODT).

Microsoft Office 365 is the new standard in the EUC space right now. To honor this, we need a fast and reliable way to install it with our favorite deployment tools like MDT or PDQ,  for example when you rebuild your master images.

There are a few different ways to deploy Office 365, but they are all similar:

  • You need the Office 365 Click-to-run setup.exe (Office Deployment Tool (ODT))
  • You need a XML configuration file
  • You decide to deploy from a pre-build offline cache or the files are downloaded from Microsoft each and every time

And then you go: setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

Pretty straight forward you think, but non the less I had problems with this approach. And this is due to the fact, that the Office Deployment Tool itself gets updated pretty often. And this breaks your unattended deployments sooner or later, as the setup.exe stops working. Continue reading “Download and install latest Office 365 via Office Deployment Tool (ODT)”

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)”

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!”