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!”

Fix: Google Chrome Enterprise 58.0.3029.96 breaks on XenApp 6.5 / Windows Server 2008 R2 – UPDATE

Fast published to help everyone else, so sorry for any typos or grammatical errors! ty

On Tuesday the 2nd May 2107 Google published a new update for Google Chrome Enterprise 58.0.3029.96. After this update, nearly all of our XenApp 6.5 customers informed us, that Google Chrome stopped working for them. The browser itself opens, but it never displays any content:

Continue reading “Fix: Google Chrome Enterprise 58.0.3029.96 breaks on XenApp 6.5 / Windows Server 2008 R2 – UPDATE”

Silent uninstall Office 365

I had to bulk repair a few Office 365 Fat Client Installations. With the Office 365 Click-to-Run deployment EXE and two XML files this is a quick task.

First download the Office 2016 Deployment Tool:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49117

Continue reading “Silent uninstall Office 365”

HowTo fix Windows Update on a fresh Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installation

A common problem on fresh Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installations is, that the Windows Update Agent is way to old to contact Microsoft for updates. After quite a bit research and help from my twitter colleague René Bigler I found the necessary updates to fix this issue.
Continue reading “HowTo fix Windows Update on a fresh Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installation”