Thursday, February 14, 2008

Paging Dr. Xen to Delivery

In one guy's humble opinion, the person that is responsible for coming up with marketing slogans at Citrix really needs to consider hitting a second cup of coffee in the morning. No doubt you've noticed the new splash when you visit the site. It takes up half the page to deliver the following message:

The Game has Changed.

Transform your Datacenter into a Delivery Center.

Introducing Citrix Delivery Center.

Now is it just me or does that sound like some kind of superbowl ad for a maternity ward? I mean seriously..the Citrix Delivery Center? That's all you guys could come up with? You need to hire someone with a pulse to do your marketing.

Oh but let not your heart be troubled, kids. I've come up with a few alternate suggestions. I know..I know. I'm a giver. It's just how I am.

How about:

The game has changed. We're combining all our suites into a new super-enterprise-platinum-mega-super-uber-suite that all runs on NetScaler.

The game has changed. Resource manager is another story. Say, have you checked out Edgesight?

The game hasn't actually changed...just the name of our products.

The game is up. Too bad your servers aren't.

The game has changed. We're actually considering writing our next software product instead of just buying it up.

Any other suggestions?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Edgesight Courseware - CTX-1800

Knowledge should be free. Share it. Here's the full courseware for Citrix / Xenapp, or whatever the hell their name is today course CTX-1800.

Note that I am not personally providing this download, just pointing you to it. I don't know who put it out there, but get while it's hot.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Endpoint Agent Hack

Hey folks,

I know.. I know.. the Edgesight hacking stuff is becoming a little tiresome. I'll try to sweeten the mix with some other topicality this month but for now.. here's yet another Edgesight hack.

This time we're talking about the agent.

Citrix has two main versions of the Edgesight agent. The one you and I are probably mostly concerned with is the Presentation Server agent (I guess that will soon be named the Xenapp agent or some crap like that in keeping with Citrix's curious habit of renaming their products every 7.5 minutes). Anyways, you have the PS agent, which is designed to monitor Presentation Servers, and you have the Endpoint Agent - which is designed to run on non-presentation servers. This includes standard server builds and workstations.

Now the irksome thing is that Citrix licenses these agents separately. Consequently, we get to keep track of how many PS agents versus EP agents are deployed, what they're running on, and whether or not we have enough licenses to support what's out there. What a pain in the ass.

In our environment we don't monitor our workstations through the EP agent using Edgsight, but we do have many servers that are non Presentation servers that we want to monitor. i.e. Web Interface, Secure Gateway, File / Profile Servers, etc.
I don't want to have to mess with the additional administrative burden of running two agents to essentially get me the same functionality. Wouldn't it be cool if you could run the PS agent on non-Presentation Servers?

You can.

How? Well it goes back to the way that the agent works and why there are two agents in the first place.

Both agents position themselves very close to the kernel and essentially function like a piece of zombie code.

The reason is that there are two agents is because the terminal server kernel is vastly different from that of a standard server, being that it has to accomodate multiple users and all that other cool stuff that allows people like me to keep a job.

So the endpoint agent just won't work with a terminal server, and vice versa - you can't install the PS agent on a non-terminal server. So it has nothing to do with licensing; it's a matter of compatibility. That's why there's two agents.

So if you want to only run the PS agent, it's a simple matter of making it so that it works with your non terminal servers. To do that it's as easy as making them application servers. You just install terminal server on them. That's it. Badda bing! They'll run perfectly fine in terminal server mode and you only have to manage one agent. Cake.

Of course there are some security aspects to address, but if you're messing around with this stuff I'm going to assume you're not a complete tool and can handle that stuff on your own.