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XenApp PowerShell Command Pack CTP3

Paul Lowther - Fri, 03/19/2010 - 09:09

I’ve recently started looking at PowerShell 2.o and bought the “for dummies” book to get me started.  My immediate need for usage of PowerShell was to automate some XenApp farm configurations.  This is where the XenApp Command Pack CTP3 comes into the picture.

Installation:

A pre-requisite, in addition to installing the following two components, is to install .Net Framework 3.5SP1 – this is specific to the XenApp Command Pack and use of CTP3 functionality.

NOTE: Anywhere a  is shown, this is not intended as line break merely a line continuation to overcome the shortcomings in WordPress!

ECHO+ ECHO Installing Windows Management Framework Core (including PowerShell 2.0).. start /wait WindowsServer2003-KB968930-x86-ENG.exe ♦ /quiet /log:c:\setup\log\WMF-PS.log /norestart ECHO Installing XenApp PowerShell Commands.. cd /d "%INSTALLDIR%\Citrix Presentation Server" start /wait msiexec /i Citrix.XenApp.Commands.Install_x86.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\Citrix\XenApp Commands" ♦ /norestart /qb /l*v c:\setup\log\xa-cmds.log

Now I have the Commands installed, it’s relatively simple for me to manipulate the farm in any way I want! As far as I can see, anything that is configurable within the AMC (XenApp 5.0 FP2) can be manipulated with a PowerShell command. This includes both farm settings and server settings. I’ve also been able to set Server Groups, Server Console published icons, Administrator Access, Lesser-mortal-being Access (defined access rights) and more besides.

I would have added some of my code here but there are some sensitive items in it and would have to rewrite a lot just to display it.  It’s quite simple to get some quick results, believe me!

It’s a given that Citrix will increase their use of PowerShell in versions to come, such as FP3 and XenApp 6 for W2K8-R2. This for me can only be seen as a positive move!

I can’t recommend this one highly enough.  Check it out.

Leave a comment and thanks for reading.

PL


Categories: Citrix

AppSense 8.0 SP3 Unattended Installation

Paul Lowther - Fri, 03/19/2010 - 08:18

It’s been a long time in coming but I finally got round to getting some progress with AppSense 8.0 @ work.

I don’t do anything unless I can automate it, so here’s my take on the unattended method for AppSense v8.0, in this case the files I used were SP3.  There is some great information in the documentation for the pre-requisites needed to get the software installed.  This is the condensed and automated sequence.  I recommend you read the documentation too!  One thing that is missing is how to do an unattended installation, which is where I felt it necessary to share my knowledge with you!

A word of warning, this isn’t as end-to-end as I’d hoped.  The pre-requisites and MSI installations are all you need to get the product running on your server but you still have to configure the product with the relevant databases for Management Server, Statistics Server and Personalisation Server, if you are using them.  I did manage to do a lot more with AppSense 7, like defining the database schema to use and setting the admin account to use etc, but I’ve since lost my snippets for v7 (an over zealous colleague being “tidy” on our code file server) and couldn’t find any settings within the MSI that looked like they would be relevant, so it’s install-then-configure this time!

My script here starts off with a server that already has IIS installed, but didn’t have BITS installed, so SYSOCMGR was used to add BITS.  If you’re installing IIS from scratch, ensure you add this component!

The IIS-BITS.inf file is simply:

[Components] BITSServerExtensionsISAPI = ON NOTE:  Anywhere I added the  symbol, it’s not intended as a line break!  I’m just overcoming the shortcomings in WordPress for long lines of continuous text. @echo off REM *** SETTING UP THE ENVIRONMENT NET USE M: "\\server\share\folder" /pers:no IF NOT EXIST M:\ GOTO FAULT SET INSTALLDIR=M:\ REM ** Enable BITS for IIS ECHO Enabling BITS for IIS START /WAIT sysocmgr.exe /i:%systemroot%\inf\sysoc.inf /u: ♦ "%INSTALLDIR%\AppSense\32-bit\IIS-BITS.inf" /r /x REM *** Installing Dot Net 3.5 ECHO .Net Framework 3.5.. cd /d "%INSTALLDIR%\32bit.kit\DotNet35" START /WAIT dotNetFx35sp1.exe /Q /PASSIVE /NORESTART REM *** Installing Visual C++ Runtime 2005 SP1 (needed for hotfixes etc) ECHO Visual C++ Runtime 2005 SP1.. cd /d "%INSTALLDIR%\32bit.kit\vcredist.2005.sp1" START /WAIT vcredist_x86.exe /q:a /c:"VCREDI~3.EXE ♦ /q:a /c:""msiexec /i vcredist.msi /qn"" " REM *** Install MS XML6 Runtime ECHO MSXML6.. cd /d "%INSTALLDIR%\AppSense\32-bit" START /WAIT msiexec /i msxml6.msi REBOOT=ReallySuppress ♦ /qb- /l*v "c:\setup\log\msxml6.log" REM *** Installing AppSense Components cd /d "%INSTALLDIR%\AppSense\32-bit" ECHO Installing 32-bit AppSense Management Server component.. START /WAIT MSIEXEC /i ManagementServer32.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\AppSense\Management Center" ♦ ALLUSERS=TRUE REBOOT=ReallySuppress ♦ /l*v "c:\setup\log\AS-ManagementServer.log" ECHO Installing 32-bit AppSense Management Console.. START /WAIT MSIEXEC /i ManagementConsole32.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\AppSense\Management Center" ♦ ALLUSERS=TRUE REBOOT=ReallySuppress ♦ /l*v "c:\setup\log\AS-ManagementConsole.log" /QB- ECHO Installing 32-bit AppSense Application Manager Console.. START /WAIT MSIEXEC /i ApplicationManagerConsole32.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\AppSense\Application Manager" ♦ ALLUSERS=TRUE REBOOT=ReallySuppress ♦ /l*v "c:\setup\log\AMConsole.log" /QB- ECHO Installing 32-bit AppSense Environment Manager Console.. START /WAIT MSIEXEC /i EnvironmentManagerConsole32.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\AppSense\Environment Manager" ♦ ALLUSERS=TRUE REBOOT=ReallySuppress ♦ /l*v "c:\setup\log\EMConsole.log" /QB- ECHO Installing 32-bit AppSense Performance Manager Console.. START /WAIT MSIEXEC /i PerformanceManagerConsole32.msi ♦ INSTALLDIR="D:\Program Files\AppSense\Performance Manager" ♦ ALLUSERS=TRUE REBOOT=ReallySuppress  ♦/l*v "c:\setup\log\PMConsole.log" /QB-

For the .Net Framework file, don’t go looking for dotNetFx35sp1.exe, since this is merely the download of 3.5SP1 renamed so it doesn’t look like standard 3.5, and was done for my own future sanity if nothing more.

.Net Framework 3.0 is the minimum requirement but I’m aligning all my current work on 3.5SP1 since I may wish to use PowerShell 2.0 as and when possible.  I certainly did for XenApp with favourable results (will post about that later).

Post Installation work:

Once the software is installed, you need to connect to or create the databases you’ll need for your choice of functionality you’re going to make active.

Click Start -> All Programs -> AppSense -> Management Center -> AppSense Management Server Configuration

Go through the GUI, tell it where your blank (but already created) schema resides, present it with some credentials and you’re set!

The only other step you *may* be faced with is that the configuration tool analyses the installation to see if there any anomalies.  These are termed as variances in the GUI.  For me, since I’m logged in as an Administrator anyway, I ask the GUI to repair all variances, in all locations.  Once done, the installation is complete.  The steps are very similar for the Statistics Server and Personalisation Server.  It is recommended (for larger installations) that you put Personalisation on it’s own server instance, but Management Server and Statistics Server can occupy the same instance.

I’m planning on installing the CCA with the XenApp base build, so I will likely post that unattended install next.

Leave a comment, thanks for reading.

PL


Categories: Citrix

Citrix Merchandising Server 1.2

Paul Lowther - Fri, 03/19/2010 - 06:53

I’ve been experimenting with Merchandising Server recently.  Primary objective: To see what all the fuss is about.  How will this make my life (or at least the support team @ work)’s life easier?

Well on first look, it’s all looking rather good!  Here’s why:

  • Delivery of the Receiver software to any compatible device (Windows & Mac)
  • Delivery of Plugins (ICA aka Online/Offline Plugin, EdgeSight, Dazzle, EasyCall, etc)
  • Seamless Updating of new plugin versions (all fully customisable with rules for when to do or when to not do an action)

I can see our rather large user base (35k ICA installs and counting) being quite taken by the fact that they don’t have to seek out a “scripted” install to replace what they already have, we can do the “hard work” for them – and roll it back if a new version sucks (you know it happens occasionally!)

So what’s the catch:

Well since I am bound by the rules that *essentially* we are a VMWare shop at my place of employment, the Merchandising Server is a VM Appliance that is only available for those running XenServer.  This is a big disappointment.  Do you guys realise how many hoops I’d have to jump through to get a XenServer (or two) installed in Production.  Not only that but I’d have to write the documentation to support it, in addition to documenting the Merchandising Server, not a prospect I relish.

Look Citrix we know XenServer is a good product – and it’s free for simple implementations – but it’s not really “enterprise” thinking when you limit the use of a product like this.

But “WAIT”, I hear you say…breaking news…

The good folks at Citrix, in their infinite (albeit slightly tardy) wisdom have done the “enterprise” thing!  Whilst browsing around myCitrix.com today, I noticed that they have just released a VMWare instance!  Now that is good news.

I do have a slight challenge though, my subscription level seems to be limiting my ability to acquire said item.  Fear not, I tell myself, I have an email sat in my Citrix Account Manager’s inbox, asking for assistance of the intervention kind!  If/when I get it, I’ll post about it.  If the step-by-step documentation sucks, I may even write that up too.

If you have client sprawl in your Citrix jurisdiction, I really do recommend you check out the Merchandising Server, it could pave the way for an integrated solution for the future!

PL


Categories: Citrix

Google…Sesame Street

Paul Lowther - Tue, 11/10/2009 - 13:41

Today’s entry is brought to you by the letters J, P and G.

Sesame Street is 40 today and Google is paying homage by changing it’s image to commemorate this momentus day!

I know I spent many an hour clocked in front of the TV watching big bird and the gang…

Google's Image of the day...10th November 2009


Categories: Citrix

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