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Step by Step – Configure Microsoft RDS Licensing on Windows Server 2016

Author: Sinisa Sokolic Kommentare: 0 Datum: 20 Mrz 2017

Hi and welcome everybody to the next blog post of a series about installing and configuring Citrix XenApp 7.13 on Windows Server 2016. After the sucessfull installation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDS) Licensing component we now need to configure it.

So today we will configure Microsoft RDS Licensing. The RD Licensing Manager can be started over a Start Menu link or through a link in the Servermanager. It is not necessary to add RDS Licenses if you are in a lab environment because the License Server will issue temporary licenses for 180 days and in most cases this should be sufficient for a few tests or demos.

The first thing you will notice is that the License Server is not activated. You can see that on the red mark left to the server name.


If you right click on the server name you can open the configuration of the server. You can see that the Discovery Scope of the License Server is configured to Domain.


To change the scope the user we use to reconfigure this option needs to have Enterprise Admin privileges in Active Directory. Click CONTINUE.


In the next screen you can choose The forest. Click OK.


Choosing Forest makes this Licensing Server available to multiple domains within the forest. Click OK again to finish the configuration for the scope.


In the next step we will add this License Server to the Terminal Server License group. Without this configuration the License Server won´t issue CALs to users and no reporting will be possible. Click ADD TO GROUP.


In the next screen click CONTINUE.


Click OK in the next screen to finish the configuration.


The next screen shows green checkmarks for all configuration items. Click OK.


Now right click on the server name again and start the Activate Server Wizard. Click NEXT.


There are a few options you can choose to activate the license server. I have internet access and therefor I will leave it on Automatic connection (recommended).


In the next screen type in your First name, last name, company and Country. Click NEXT.


Add further company information. Click NEXT.


With the next screen we are ready to activate the license server. Leave the checkmark next to Start Install Licenses Wizard now activated.


The Activate Server Wizard opens. Click NEXT.


Again we have a few options to choose for a license program. As Microsoft partner we have access to a few licenses. I will leave License Pack (retail Purchase).


On the next screen we need to type in a License code. Click ADD and NEXT.


We´re done with adding Licenses. Click FINISH.


Now you should be able to see the newly added Licenses in the RD Licensing Manager.


That´s your Microsoft RDS Licensing server on Windows Server 2016.


Step-by-Step – Install Citrix License Server 11.14.0 for 7.13

Author: Sinisa Sokolic Kommentare: 0 Datum: 19 Mrz 2017

This is the manual part were we are doing a next, next, I agree walk-through for all of you that are new to Citrix XenApp / XenDesktop or want to see what changed in the installation from previous versions.

You can install Citrix Licensing in two seperate ways and you will see that the installation dialogs and the Control Panel entries will look differently after installation depending on which way you choose.


Check http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7/cds-license-landing-/lic-licensing-prerequisites.html for specific prerequisites.

Installation through the Wizard

Let´s start. Insert the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_13.iso in your VM and double click on your DVD drive. Now click on the “Start” button in the XenApp field. There is no huge difference wheter you choose XenApp or XenDesktop, the infrastructure components are the same.

2017-03-04 09_31_15-XenDesktop 7.13

Now choose Citrix License Server on the left lower side in the Extend Deployment area. The installer look changed a little bit from the earlier versions and there is some room on the righht side for more options to come.

2017-03-04 09_34_07-XenApp

Accept the License Agreement and choose NEXT.

2017-03-04 09_34_34-XenDesktop 7.13

If you want you can change the installation directory you can do it here. I will install the License Server in the configured folder.

Always read the small letters in installers and readme´s, it could save your life ;-).

The installer states that you shouldn´t install the License Server and Citrix Director on the same system for scale and performance reasons.

Click NEXT.

2017-03-04 09_34_47-XenDesktop 7.13

In the next step you can change the option to configure the firewall automatically or do it manually later. If you don´t need the settings because you are not using the Windows firewall choose manually, I will choose automatically in my lab.

  • 7279 TCP
  • 27000 TCP
  • 8083 TCP
  • 8082 TCP

2017-03-04 09_34_59-XenDesktop 7.13

Click NEXT.

The next screen shows you a summary of your configured settings.

2017-03-04 09_35_06-XenDesktop 7.13

The installation starts after you click INSTALL.

2017-03-04 09_35_49-XenDesktop 7.13

After some time the installer quits successfully.

You now have a running Citrix License Server. Click FINISH.

Yes, that was hard. You have successfully installed the Citrix Licenser Server. Let´s see how this looks like in Programs and Features.

2017-03-04 09_36_50-Programs and Features

You can see that Citrix XenDesktop 7.13 installed.

What I really don´t like at this place is that we cannot see what excactly is installed. The name of the component simply stated Citrix XenDesktop 7.13 and not Citrix Licensing as I would expect. It would be easier if there was something like “Citrix License Server” or something similar.

Installation with CitrixLicensing.exe

Let´s see how you can get there. Therefore you won´t use the guided installation dialog from the first part instead you will start the Citrix Licensing installer directly from the installation media (x64\Licensing\CitrixLicensing.exe)

2017-03-04 09_43_42-Licensing

You can see a totally different behaviour in the installation dialogs and the Control Panel entry. Let´s move on.

2017-02-23 10_52_15-Citrix Licensing

Agree and click NEXT.

2017-02-23 10_52_22-Citrix Licensing

Choose the install location and click NEXT.

2017-02-23 10_52_29-Citrix Licensing

Configure the ports and if you like let the installer set the Windows Firewall exceptions. NEXT.

2017-02-23 10_53_55-Citrix Licensing

If you like you can configure Citrix Licensing to automatically check for Subscription Renewals. Click INSTALL.

2017-02-23 12_19_50-Citrix Licensing

That´s it. Click on FINISH. If you know check the entry in Control Panel you can see “Citrix Licensing with a product version of

2017-03-04 09_11_09-Programs and Features

Very confusing isn´t it?

The safest way to check for the really installed version of Citrix Licensing is to check the registry entry for it.

2017-03-04 09_50_00-Registry Editor

Other things to take care of

Because the Citrix Service Provider program requires Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and Call Home, if you are a Citrix Service Provider, you cannot disable CEIP or Call Home.

That´s it for the manual part of the installation.

Step by Step – Install Microsoft RDS Licensing on Windows Server 2016

Author: Sinisa Sokolic Kommentare: 0 Datum: 18 Mrz 2017

This blog post is part of a series covering the installation and configuration of Citrix XenApp 7.13 on Windows Server 2016.

This is the manual part were we are doing a next, next, I agree walk-through for all of you that are new to Citrix XenApp or want to see what changed in the installation from previous versions.

Today we are going to install one prerequisite that we need for our Citrix environment – Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Licensing.

In smaller environment I typically tend to install the Microsoft Licensing component on the same server as the Citrix Licensing Server. The bigger the environment the more likely you will have separate systems for infrastructure component installation.

If you want to have an overview of High Availability for RDS deyploments you should check this Technet article. You also find the following statement regarding the other options of fault tollerance you might think about…

There are two deployment configurations that are not supported:

Clustering RD Connection Broker servers on RD Virtualization Host servers.
An active-active RD Connection Broker installation.

To install it you need to switch to the Servermanager and start the Add Roles and Features Wizard. Click NEXT.


Choose Role-based or feature-based installation. Click NEXT.


As we are on the server were we want to install RDS Licensing click NEXT.


In the next screen scroll down to Remote Desktop Services and place a checkmark left to it. Click NEXT.


In the next screen leave everything untouched. Click NEXT.




Now place a checkmark left to Remote Desktop Services Licensing. Click Add features in the opening window.


In the next screen click NEXT.


Everything we need is now selected and ready for installation. Click INSTALL.


You can watch the progress if you like or grap a cup of coffee ;-). But be quick it won´t take long.


After the installation finishes click CLOSE.


And for today we are finished with this installation-quicky.

The following Windows Roles and Features were installed:

  • DisplayName : Remote Desktop Services
  • DisplayName : Remote Desktop Licensing
  • DisplayName : Remote Differential Compression
  • DisplayName : Remote Server Administration Tools
  • DisplayName : Role Administration Tools
  • DisplayName : Remote Desktop Services Tools
  • DisplayName : Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tools
  • DisplayName : Remote Desktop Licensing Tools

I hope this blog post helped you a bit. In a later one we will configure RDS Licensing.



Creating windows base boxes with packer and vagrant

Author: Oliver Gehrmann Kommentare: 0 Datum: 16 Feb 2017

Have you ever heard of DevOps?… No?

Well, neither have I until a few weeks ago. Let’s have a look at what almighty Wikipedia says about it:

“DevOps (a clipped compound of development and operations) is a set of practices that emphasizes the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. It aims at establishing a culture and environment where building, testing, and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably”

Honestly this could mean a lot, and from my opinion it’s still quite vague. You could ask ten other people and end up with ten different definitions. I think DevOps can be explained simply as operations working together with engineers to get things done faster in an automated and consecutive way.

I’ll try to give you a practical example of a DevOps process. We are looking for a solution to provide reproducible and lightweight Windows environments for our developers. In fact, the reason they need fresh systems literally every couple of hours is because slow deployment and installation standards are not an option. So what did we do? We created a “blueprint” of the environment which can be quick and easily reproducible by our developers. This is the story of how I fell in love with DevOps:

What do we need?

  • VirtualBox to run the virtual machines
  • Packer to create an Windows base image from an ISO file
  • Vagrant to launch and configure a base image tailored to a specific scenario
  • Chocolaty to easily install packages
  • Cmder, a super sexy and useful console emulator which also incorporates Git SCM (to access Git repositorys) – Byebye cmd.exe
  • Windows ISO (optional)

How do we start?

First of all, I would highly recommend to install chocolatey on your client (https://chocolatey.org). Cmder will be next, it can be installed through chocolatey with an admin command promt:

cinst cmder –y

The associated binaries can be found in C:\tools. Navigate to the path and start cmder with admin rights. Now you are ready to install the main components: VirtualBox, Vagrant and Packer. Do yourself a favor and use chocolatey again:

cinst virtualbox vagrant packer-y

So far, so good. Let’s create a new folder, e.g. “Vagrant” and cd into the directory. We’re going to clone the git repository from Joe Fitzgerald here ( https://github.com/joefitzgerald/packer-windows.git)

mkdir \Vagrant
cd \Vagrant
git clone https://github.com/joefitzgerald/packer-windows.git

Now you can move the “packer.exe” from %programdata%\chocolatey\lib\packer\tools to \vagrant\packer-windows

Building boxes!

You are now ready to build the box. Cd into the packer-windows directory and type:

packer build -only virtualbox-iso windows_2012_r2.json

Be patient now. The whole process can take from 3-5 hours! Afterward, you will find a windows_2012_r2_virtualbox.box file which can be used with vagrant.

The box will be automatically configured with:

  • SSH Server
  • WinRM
  • vagrant user account with a vagrant password
  • Latest Windows updates
  • VirtualBox guest additions
  • 60GB disk

Using different ISOs

By default, a MS evaluation ISO is used which is 180 days valid. If you want to use a different ISO, you have to modify the windows_2012_r2.JSON file and change iso_url and iso_checksum:

To figure out the md5 checksum I recommend the “File Checksum and Integrity Verifier utility”. It can be downloaded here:

Use the following syntax:

cd into the fciv.exe directory
fciv.exe –md5 >iso url<

The tool will compute the md5 checksum of the ISO which you have to use in your .json file.
If you don’t have a volume license ISO, you also need to set the Product Key. For that open the answer_files/2012_r2/Autounattend.xml file, search for ProductKey and follow the instructions.
If you are going to configure your VM as a KMS client, you can use the product keys at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx. These are the default values used in the Key element.


Add the created box file to Vagrant. This will also take a short amount of time.

vagrant box add –name windows_2012_r2 windows_2012_r2_virtualbox.box

Vagrant launch

To start the server with vagrant you need a provisioning script with the final provision.

Create a new directory in C:\vagrant (I called mine DSC1)
cd into there
type vagrant init

Edit the created vagrant file and modify it for your needs. You can use this as an example:

Save it
Type: vagrant up

Shortly after, you can connect to the box via vagrant rdp (Username: vagrant, Password vagrant).
Halt the box with “vagrant halt” or destroy it with “vagrant destroy”. A new box can be built again within seconds, just use “vagrant up”.

That’s it! Enjoy your new, reproducible and lightweight windows environment.

Big thanks to Joe for providing this awesome Github repository! Great work.

E2EVC Rome 2016 – Part 2 (Microsoft) – Troubleshoot XenApp With Style

Author: Sinisa Sokolic Kommentare: 0 Datum: 14 Feb 2017

Hi and welcome to this second part about troubleshooting Citrix XenApp.

Last november I had the honor to speak at two well known EUC and Citrix events. First of all at E2EVC in Rome, Italy and the day after at DCUG TecCon in Kassel, Germany. The topic of both sessions was “Troubleshoot XenApp with Style”.

I am writing this blog for all of you that couldn´t attend one of these great conferences. The third part will cover general troubleshooting tools that didn´t fit in the session and part 1 and 2 of the blog series.

The first part is about the Citrix tools you can use. [ + ] Weiterlesen

E2EVC Rome 2016 – Part 1 (Citrix) – Troubleshoot XenApp With Style

Author: Sinisa Sokolic Kommentare: 0 Datum: 25 Jan 2017

Hi and welcome to this first part about troubleshooting Citrix XenApp. Last november I had the honor to speak at two well known EUC and Citrix events.

First of all at E2EVC in Rome, Italy and the day after at DCUG TecCon in Kassel, Germany. The topic of both sessions was “Troubleshoot XenApp with Style”.

I am writing this blog for all of you that couldn´t attend one of these great conferences. This first part is about the Citrix tools because otherwise it would grow too big if I would integrate all parts. The second part is about some of the Microsoft tools. The third part is about general troubleshooting tools that didn´t fit in the session.

Why Should You Read It?

This post is not about the usual problems you might have with Certificates, Firewalls or similar things where you might be able to find an answer googling around or checking the knowledge base.

It is more about the methodology and the tools to use when you are not able to find anything in the whole world wide web. [ + ] Weiterlesen

Neues Jahr, Neue Themen – VCNRW (Januar 2017) Event Nr. 8

Author: Martin Schmittbetz Kommentare: 0 Datum: 24 Jan 2017

Unter diesem Motto luden die Organisatoren Timm und Helge zur ersten VCNRW im Jahre 2017. Wieder einmal war das Event VCNRW super organisiert und erfuhr eine hohe Nachfrage durch die Teilnehmer.

Die Referenten des Abends waren Rainer Kodat mit dem Thema „Mit WEM geht’s schneller?! – Optimierung der User Experience“ und James Rankin mit dem Thema „Windows 10 – Answering the Enterprise Deployment Questions“.

Bei frostiger Außentemperatur begrüßten wir in lockerer Runde neue wie bekannte Gesichter. Von der RISC nahmen Christian, Sinisa, Michael, Oliver und Martin teil. Nach einer leckeren Mahlzeit folgte der erste Beitrag von Rainer Kodat:

Mit WEM geht’s schneller?! – Optimierung der User Experience

Der Vortrag über den Citrix Workspace Environment Manager thematisiert die User Experience von Endanwendern in Virtualisierungsprojekten. Ziel ist es dem Endanwender eine gleichbleibend gute User Experience zu bieten. Rainer zeigte uns in einer Live Demo wie das CPU- und RAM-Balancing funktioniert. Des Weiteren besitzt das Produkt einen Log-on Accelerator, welcher z.B. das Mapping von Netzlaufwerk parallel anstatt seriell ausführt.

WEM basiert hierbei auf einem Service und verzichtet gänzlich auf Filter Treiber.

Windows 10 – Answering the Enterprise Deployment Questions

Nach einer kurzen Pause began James Rankin mit seinem Vortrag. Kern waren die Erfahrungen und daraus folgende Kenntnisse von James im Bezug auf das Windows 10 Deployment im Corporate und Enterprise Umfeld. Der Beitrag beantwortete Schlüsselfragen zum Deployment und gab hilfreiche Tips für nachfolgende Tätigkeiten und Prozesse. Besonders detailliert wurden die Vor-und Nachteile der zahlreichen Windows 10 Branches dargestellt und die daraus resultierenden Update Szenarien.

Im Fokus stand weiterhin der Umgang mit Modern Apps in Windows 10.
„Disable all apps which are not relevant – or you get apps for games and all that stuff!“
Entsprechende Ratschläge und Erfahrung von James aus seinen Projekten zu diesem Thema sind besonders hilfreich für eigene Projekte.

Wir haben die Vorträge mit Spannung verfolgt und freuen uns bereits auf das nächste Event am 27.04.2017.

Wir werden auf jeden Fall wieder teilnehmen!

RANSOMWARE – Wie man Infektionen wirklich keine Chance mehr gibt

Author: dustindoppelfeld Kommentare: 0 Datum: 22 Dez 2016

Ein neues Schreckgespenst kursiert seit einigen Tagen wieder durch die IT-Abteilungen dieser Welt. Vor Monaten hieß es Locky, zwischenzeitlich Petya, CryptoWall, CTB-Locker oder TeslaCrypt und nun fällt ein neuer Name in den Kaffeepausen der Unternehmen: Goldeneye. Und genau wie die im Orbit stationierte, namensgebende EMP-Waffe, gegen die Pierce Brosnan, bewaffnet mit P99 und erschreckend-statischer Fönfrisur, im gleichnamigen Bond-Streifen kämpft, setzt das Ransomware-Pendant die IT aktuell flächendeckend matt. Wie alle Vorgänger verbreitet sich Goldeneye rasant, unbeeindruckt von den eingesetzten Virenscannern und anderen Schutzmaßnahmen.


In den nachfolgenden Zeilen klären wir über die aktuelle Infektionswelle von Ransomware auf und zeigen, wie man sich mit dem AppSense Application Manager und Trusted Ownership Checking nachhaltig vor Schadcodes und vor noch unbekannten 0-Day-Exploits schützen kann. [ + ] Weiterlesen

Reporting 2.0 – Zukunft der erfolgreichen Projekt­management­kommunikation

Author: Martin Schmittbetz Kommentare: 0 Datum: 30 Nov 2016

Wird ihre Projektkommunikation von E-Mails, PowerPoint Präsentationen oder Telefonkonferenzen bestimmt?

Informationen werden nicht effizient verarbeitet und kommuniziert?

Hauptsächlich wird unter Kommunikation nur Informieren und Motivieren verstanden?

Der Stellenwert der Projektkommunikation für die tatsächliche Umsetzung der Projektziele und somit den Projekterfolg wird unterschätzt?

Sie wollen diesen Umstand ändern, sind sich des grundlegenden Problems aber nicht vollkommen bewusst?

Grundlegendes Problem des heutigen Reporting

Nachteil dieser Kommunikationsformen und Praktiken ist, dass diese jeweils nur ein einzelnes System – das visuelle oder auditive – ansprechen. Missverständnisse, Informationsverlust und daraus folgender Mehraufwand sind nur einige Folgeerscheinungen.

Eine entsprechende Studie zur Projektkommunikation von Cetacea Communications & Public Relations in Kooperation mit der Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement e. V. (GPM) und Atreus Interim Management befasste sich mit der Rolle von Kommunikation innerhalb und außerhalb von Projekten und einer ersten umfassenden Bestandsaufnahme aus Sicht von Projektmanagern (nähere Informationen zur Studie unter https://www.gpm-ipma.de/know_how/studienergebnisse/projektkommunikation.html). In der Praxis ist Kommunikation in und von Projekten immer noch ein Lippenbekenntnis. Ihr kommt keine angemessene Rolle zu und sie wird nicht professionell genug umgesetzt.

[ + ] Weiterlesen

How-To: Reset NetScaler SDX Password

Author: admin Kommentare: 0 Datum: 19 Okt 2016

You might come into the situation that you have to set up a NetScaler SDX, but you don’t have any passwords to access it. That can be in a situation where the SDX was already in use before or a predecessor has started to set it up but didn’t note down the passwords.

So what should you do insuch a situation and how is it possible to reset these passwords?

There are three different passwords you might need to reset:

  • from the XenServer
  • the Management Service VM
  • the VPX instances

You have to reset the passwords in that order.

So let’s start with the XenServer.
[ + ] Weiterlesen