Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Deploying AppSense DesktopNow within a Standard Desktop or Server Image

Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS) has changed the way Citrix Administrators deploy and manage their servers and desktops. Administrators can now build a single image and very easily deploy that to several hundred servers in no time but what does this mean for AppSense Administrators?

Note: Ensure you understand the AppSense DesktopNow components and how they work by reading my post on the components of DesktopNow before reading this post.

My assumption is that you're an AppSense Administrator and have come here because your organisation is in the process of deploying XenApp or XenDesktop using Citrix Provisioning Server and you're looking for tips and tricks that you need to take into account when building your standard images.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Detailed overview of AppSense DesktopNow Components

Several of my posts talk about various components within the AppSense DesktopNow Suite. In the interest of not having to re-type them each time this post will serve as a high level overview on the DesktopNow suite.

This post does go into a little more detail than most would need but it should serve as a good basis to pull all other posts together.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Questions not answered in Product Guides...

The answers to the questions that are never answered in AppSense Product Guides.

Now before you read this post is important to note that the opinions shared are my own and are not necessarily shared by AppSense nor its Professional Services team.

Should I scale my servers up or out? 

The answer to this as with most AppSense related questions is "It depends." The reason why the answer is this is purely because it depends on what your initial server specs are. If your servers have a single CPU, 1 GB RAM and a single 1 Gbps network interface cards the scaling up is probably a good idea. If your servers have 4 Quad core CPU's, 64 GB RAM and dual 10 Gbps network interface you will get more out of scaling out. 

I'd typically recommend no more than 8 CPU cores, 8 GB RAM and dual 1 Gbps network interface cards (10 Gbps if the option is available.) Any more cores than this and you'll most likely be wasting money. You can also drop the RAM down to 4 GB if RAM is an issue. 

AppSense Servers are typically CPU and Network constrained so make sure you monitor these closely and when they're stating to get to the 70% utilized i'd suggest adding an extra server. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Using AppSense Application Manager to enforce Device Based License Control

Before I start, I know Microsoft VDA licensing makes this a very complex topic so I'm not going to go into that right now and will instead focus on traditional implementation of AppSense Application Manager for Device Based License control.

To start with I will summarise my understanding is that certain Microsoft (and other vendors) enforce per-device licensing restrictions. This means that when my company purchases a copy of an application for use on my computer it is licensed to that computer and that computer only. Take for instance my company purchases Microsoft Office for my computer I cannot simply walk over to Jenny's computer in the corner and use Microsoft Office because that device is not licensed for Microsoft Office.

Now historically speaking desktops were fairly straightforward, if a user required an application they would call their service desk, log a support call, procurement would follow and IT would then deploy the software to the end point. Then came Remote Desktop Services and XenApp which really confused the matter. Administrators had to install applications into this environment for their users to work productively but they then had to license any device which could access the environment. In most instances this would require a license for every device within the corporate network. Perhaps only 10% of your workforce need a specific application. It unreasonable to think a company would purchase 1,000 licenses when only 100 people needed the application. So IT organisations started purchasing physical desktops for these people as the cost of 100 desktops could often be roughly the same as 900 un-needed licenses.

Enter AppSense Application Manager...