Talk about a blog entry I never thought I’d be writing… “Training class canceled due to volcano”?
Benny Tritsch and I had to make a tough decision in canceling our Citrix Training class in Sweden next week due to the extremely difficult European travel situation because of the volcano in Iceland. We’re currently working out a plan of action with our training partners in Sweden to reschedule this class. Stay tuned for details on when that reschedule will happen.
If you’re available on Tuesday March 2, 2010 please join me and five vendors of virtual desktop technology (Citrix, Microsoft, Quest, Symantec, and VMware) for a webinar that’s sure to please VDI fans and opponents. The webinar will be held at 1:00 pm EST and will go until 2:30 pm EST. We’re planning on having about 60 minutes of panel discussion where I will ask all five vendors questions that I’ve created based upon real world challenges people are having with VDI. Then we’ll be opening the discussion up to audience questions for the remaining 30 minutes. If there’s something you want to know about VDI, this is the time to get your questions answered. For more information and to register for this great session please visit Laura Whalen’s blog entry that has all the details here.
With well over 1,000 attendees already registered, this is an event you don’t want to miss. Also, you have a chance of winning a free pass to Citrix Synergy!
Microsoft posted on their MDOP blog that App-V 4.6 RTM’d on Friday. Oh and there was something or other posted about Med-V. So back to App-V 😉 4.6 RTM includes support for 64-bit Windows platforms which means you can get a functional deployment of Windows 7 64-bit and more importantly you can begin your projects to rollout 2008 R2 with a supported 64-bit App-V client. Now all we need is a supported release of Citrix XenApp for 2008 R2 and we’re golden. Read more about the App-V 4.6 RTM here.
My Olso, Norway training class scheduled for March 22-26th is full. There are open seats in the Malmo, Sweden class that is running April 19th-23rd. If you want to get a chance to attend the Advanced Citrix class while it’s still in Europe then sign up for Malmo. Registration information for Malmo can be found here.
I’ve just posted up details on the schedule of classes for 2010. There are currently four scheduled classes next here in the following locations and dates:
Oslo, Norway Mar 22-26
Chicago, IL May 24-28
New York, NY Aug 9-13
San Diego, CA Nov 8-12
This class is a great opportunity for people who administer Citrix environments to get deep understanding of how Terminal Services and Citrix XenApp environments really work. We’ll also discuss server virtualization, Provisioning Server, XenDesktop, etc but the class is primarily focused on XenApp. This class is not made for people who are new to Citrix and we don’t spend time on pointless lab exercises that you can do without an instructor there. This is 5 days full of in depth technical lecture and best practices sharing. You don’t want to miss this.
The US based 5-day master class is $2895 USD and there’s a maximum class size of 16. The price of the Norway class as well as registration details will be posted shortly. Full details of what is covered in the class as well as details on how to secure a seat is located on the training page. The three US-based classes are open for registration now. Hope to see you there!
As I blogged about previously here there was a file system race condition in the MS App-V client when used on multiprocessor or even hyperthreading systems. I reported the issue to Microsoft after encountering it at a client site and proving it was related to multiprocessor systems. At that time, I had mentioned that Microsoft supplied me with a private fix and that they were working on including that fix into Hotfix Rollup Pack 6. Well that HRP went public today. Definitely a must have for App-V environments. Get the full info on what’s fixed in HRP6 along with a download link off the App-V Team Blog entry here.
This is some breaking news (literally) for some of you. It seems that there are some circumstances where a partially applied Server 2003 SP2 leaves a server with mismatched IIS DLLs (some SP1 and some SP2). When MS KB973917 is applied to that server, core IIS functions related to the application pools do not work properly and result in a failed startup of the app pool. The solution from MS is to re-install Server 2003 SP2 and reboot. More details at KB2009746.
Sumit Dhawan has posted a blog entry describing licensing changes that Citrix has made in response to direct customer feedback. While I assumed that Citrix would eventually breakdown and agree to support additional licensing models, this is more comprehensive than I expected they would do. The models are now:
- Per user licensing (this is still per user and not named user)
- Per device licensing (XD can be used by unlimited users on a given device) – New option that’s great for factories, healthcare, shift workers, etc.
- Campus-wide licensing program – New option that would be great for educational markets and mirrors the model of Microsoft’s Campus licensing program
- New Edition of XenDesktop (VDI Edition) – Essentially what the old XenDesktop Advanced Edition was before it was killed off. This will include Citrix Provisioning Server, StorageLink for XenServer, and User Profile Management. This edition is capable of being licensed per user/per device or on a CCU (concurrent user basis). The trick here is that the CCU model requires the $199/ccu sticker price. This effectively means that there is no longer a CCU option at $99/user (which is what the old Standard Edition was). Citrix claims this is due to not a lot of customer uptake of the Standard Edition product. While that may be the case, Standard Edition was perfect for those who wanted just the ICA protocol and weren’t interested in doing Provisioning Server, etc. If this is the worst of the licensing changes, I suppose customers will have to deal with this and just accept it. It certain puts customers in a much better place.
All of the above being said, it’ll be VERY interesting to see how the licensing happens for all of this. There’s already some licensing challenges and now that there’s multiple different license types available, it’ll be interesting to see how these licenses get deployed, allocated, revoked and troubleshot.
All in all a prettty good move by Citrix.
If you follow me via Twitter, you’re probably aware that I’ve been working on a bug in the Microsoft App-V 4.5 Client for the last few weeks. This particular bug has been occurring randomly at a client site of mine. User’s that have a particular App-V application will sporadically receive the following error message when trying to start the application:
The text of the error message is “This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix the problem. Error code: 4505CD-1F702639-000036B1”
At the same time as this launch failure, the following event log entry is logged in the System Event Log
The details of this event log entry are this:
Background on the error:
This issue would randomly occur with Office 2007 SP1 App-V package, but the issue was very rare. However, we had one sequenced application (BMC Control-M) that it would occur around 1 in 5 launches. At first we suspected some kind of software conflict. When you’re in an environment with 2000+ applications across 20k desktops, it’s not unheard of that some broken package might be overwriting some key DLLs, etc. This suspicion was raised because the launch failures were not occurring for all users of the application. More on why later. Anyway, we began with the typical things like re-installing the .NET Framework, re-installing the VC++ 2005 SP1 runtime and while we had limited success after doing so then problem was still there. After messing around re-instaling a few applications, we decided to take our desktop build down to the absolute minimums and try to repro the issue. Even with the build at the very basic OS components, we could still reproduce it. I decided to try an OS build straight from media to avoid any kind of customer OS modifications. To my delight, the problem did not recur on my fresh OS build from media. We later discovered that it had more to do with this system being a VM than it did with the system being a fresh OS install.
On to the problem discovery:
One of the guys that I work with at this cilent site (we’ll call him Bob) had an ancient laptop that was already lifecycled off the books, but he still had possession of it. When Bob ran the Control-M package on his ancient laptop, he couldn’t reproduce the issue once. When Bob informed me of this, we both started thinking “Is it because this machine is slower and therefore the client is taking longer seeking the hard drive and preventing the problem from occurring? Or is it because this system has a single CPU whereas everything else is running at least two CPUs due to Hyperthreading or Dual Core?”
Let’s test the multiple CPU theory:
The first test for the multiple CPU condition was an easy one. Simply add a second CPU to my VM that was consistently working and see what happens. I did just that and voila the problem began occuring on my VM (not as frequently as on the physical desktop hardware though so system speed appears to have something to do with it too).
The second test was to take one of our dual processor systems (in this case a hyperthreading machine not a true dual core) and alter the boot.ini to include the /onecpu switch which forces Windows to ignore the 2nd logical processor. To our excitement, this system began working 100% of the time despite having failed regularly before.
Now we’ve proven it, now what?
Before we give up and call Microsoft, I wanted to ensure this wasn’t fixed in CU1 or any post-CU1 hotfix rollups otherwise that would be a wasted premier support incident. I downloaded and installed CU1 and the July hotfix rollup. No difference in error frequency.
On to Microsoft support:
Now that we’ve confirmed this isn’t something that’s already fixed, we opened an incident with MS Premier support. We provided all the details on how to reproduce the issue and even sent our problem package off for testing at Microsoft. They were able to repro the issue in their labs. After about a week of back and forth and the issue going up through escalation, Microsoft confirmed the existence of a race condition bug in the App-V File System in three different places and that they would be working on a hotfix.
And the fix….
Microsoft created a fix for the three race condition bugs and they will be including it into the September 2009 Hotfix Rollup Pack which currently has KB974278 This KB is not currently public, but I would expect it to go public in a few weeks. If you desperately need this fix before then, you should contact Microsoft Support to obtain it as I will not hand out any non-public hotfixes.