Application virtualization, IoT and Cloud Computing, Blog of Sacha Thomet

Citrix

Finally 1.0 – but never finalized!

In November 2014 I created the blog post about the adaption of the PVS Script for XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x :
XenDesktop & XenApp FMA (7.x) HealthCheck – Oops!… I Did It Again

sheepsNow after almost two years of continuous development on this Script, the XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x Health Check has now Version 1.0.

I started this script in a very basic version and in the meanwhile lot of tester and contributors helped to bring this script in this version. Just this year I started with GitHub and it’s surprising, the community who helped is awesome!

Now after a number of 0.x versions, just at the point we introduce the XML configuration file, I can say the version now has deserved the number 1.00.

xaxd-xml

The big benefit of the configuration in the XML file is in case you have multiple environments with the script you don’t need to edit the header section of the script which has earlier contained the config. On a new version of the script, you just replace the script in your environments and keep the XML file.

The XML file and the script need to be in the same directory and the Name of the XML file need to be same like the script, e.g:

XA-and-XD-HealthCheck.ps1
XA-and-XD-HealthCheck_Parameters.xml

The XML-Config is introduced to this script by Stefan Beckmann (Twitter: @alphasteff)

github

The newest version of the script you can find on GitHub:
https://github.com/sacha81/XA-and-XD-HealthCheck 

html script output

The HTML Output file gained some more input, even it was difficult to decide which feature request to consider and which not.

We check now CPU, Memory and disk space of controllers and workers (XenApp Server and XenDesktop VDIs). Because I learned last month’s that with 7.x and the FMA architecture it’s really possible that an environment contains number of different VDA versions, I also added this info. And for troubleshooting reason I assumed that it would be helpful to have also the hypervisor host information on this output.

The code is on GitHub:

https://github.com/sacha81/XA-and-XD-HealthCheck/

For Bug Reports or feature Request please use GitHub, of course you can also contribute on this code!

Happy New Script – PVS 7.7 HealthCheck

We are close to the New Year 2016 and I want to wish you all the best for 2016!
I’m already happy now, because I can publish some hours after the PVS 7.7 release from Citrix this Script:

Today Citrix released XenApp/XenDesktop 7.7 and Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7. There are a bunch of new features, but for me the most important thing, beside of the Win10 support, is
….  drum roll ….
the new PVS PowerShell API. PoSh with PVS 7.6 and below was a pain …  To know what else is new in PVS look here: PVS 7.7 New in this release

Now PVS comes with a real PoSh interface which gave more back than a bundle of strings. I had the chance to play around with PVS 7.7 Tech Preview and so here you have already the PVS HealthCheck Script for Version 7.7 in a complete new developed version:

pvs77

If you have a feature request or a bug report please post it direct on GitHub.

This version doesn’t work with PVS 7.6 and below, if you have an older version than 7.7 take this script: Citrix PVS HealthCheck 

Update 11.04.2016: Performance-Improvement, Change the order of the table, all the VDI status now at the end.
Update 09.05.2016: Bugfix & Input from Jay, get CPU/Memory/Disk usage of PVS.
Update 27.05.2016: Now my Script is on GitHub
I’m an absolute GitHub newbie … for this reason I leave it still also here as a download until I’m really comfortable with GitHub.

The code is on GitHub:

https://github.com/sacha81/citrix-pvs-healthcheck

PoSh Script who alert me if I’m running out of pooled Desktops

Just a small one, last days I’ve created a small script who alert me if I’m running out of pooled Desktops.

If you run this script at regular intervals you will receive an email as soon you have less desktops free than you defined as threshold:

LowDesktopFree


#==============================================================================================
# Created on: 08.2015 Version: 0.2
# Created by: Sacha Thomet
# File name: Citrix-XenDesktop-Alert-low-free-desktops.ps1
#
# Description: Check for Free Desktops in DeliveryGroups
#
# Prerequisite: None
#
# Call by : Scheduled Task e.g every 10 minutes
#
# Changelog:
# V0.1 Initial Version, create report file from array FreeDesktopReport and attach this to the email.
# V0.2 Change from txt-file to formatted HTML-Mail
#
#==============================================================================================
if ((Get-PSSnapin "Citrix.Common.Commands" -EA silentlycontinue) -eq $null) {
try { Add-PSSnapin Citrix.* -ErrorAction Stop }
catch { write-error "Error Citrix.* Powershell snapin"; Return }
}
# Change the below variables to suit your environment
#==============================================================================================

# Variables what should be changed according your environment and wishes

$DeliveryGroups = @("Win7-Desktops","Win10-Desktops")
$minDesktops = 10
$directoraddress="http://citrixdirector.mycompany.ch"
$EnvironmentName="Production XenDesktop"

# E-mail report details
$emailFrom = "citrix@mycompany.ch"
$emailTo = "citrix@mycompany.ch"
$smtpServer = "mailrelay.mycompany.ch"

#=======DONT CHANGE BELOW HERE =======================================================================================

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<!DOCTYPE html>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "<html>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<head>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "<style>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "BODY{background-color:#fbfbfb; font-family: Arial;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TABLE{border-width: 1px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;border-collapse: collapse; width:60%; }"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TH{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black; text-align:left;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "TD{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;}"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</style>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</head>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<body>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "This is the Low-Desktop-Alert for $EnvironmentName, if you receive this mail the value of free desktops is below the configured threshold of $minDesktops desktops! <br><br>"

$FreeDesktopReport = @()

foreach($dg in $DeliveryGroups)
{
$desktops = Get-BrokerDesktopGroup | where {$_.Name -eq $dg }
$CurrentDeliveryGroup = "" | Select-Object Name, Alert, DesktopsAvailable

# Write Array Values
$CurrentDeliveryGroup.Name = $dg

$CurrentDeliveryGroup.DesktopsAvailable = $desktops.DesktopsAvailable

if ($desktops.DesktopsAvailable -lt $minDesktops )
{
Write-Host "Number of free desktops to low for DeliveryGroup $dg, sending email"
# Add Line to Report
$CurrentDeliveryGroup.alert = "True"
}

$FreeDesktopReport += $CurrentDeliveryGroup
}

$mailbody += $FreeDesktopReport | ConvertTo-Html
$mailbody += "<br><br>Launch Citrix Studio or browse to <a href=$directoraddress>Citrix Director</a> see more information about the current Desktop usage<br>"

$mailbody = $mailbody + "<body>"
$mailbody = $mailbody + "</html>"

# If any record raises an alert, send an email.
if (($FreeDesktopReport | where {$_.alert -eq "True"}) -ne $null) {Send-MailMessage -to $emailTo -from $emailFrom -subject "********* Low free Desktop Alert for $EnvironmentName *********" -Body $mailbody -BodyAsHtml -SmtpServer $smtpServer }

Or download the Script here

Citrix X1 Prototype Mouse – hands-on

On Citrix Summit in Las Vegas back in January 2015 Citrix presented the X1 Prototype Mouse. This mouse is not just another mouse with a Citrix logo on it. It’s a mouse that works in Citrix Receiver with iOS-Devices! Yes it’s the truth, normal bluetooth mice doesn’t work with the Citrix receiver on iPad.

Even when I was not on Citrix Summit, with the social media channels I was pretty fast to get that Info and I was the 7th on the order form to request this cool gadget for a described use case.  I want to demonstrate this in my company because we are currently in a VDI initiative project with up to 2000 VDIs.

Today almost 4 months later I received my Citrix X1 Prototype Mouse and can start test and maybe show off in my company 🙂 To be honest, the design don’t give me the chance to show off …

Mouse MouseBottom
The X1 Mouse appears in a nasty 80ties style, the power switch on the bottom has three possible positions, up- and down for ON and OFF in the middle.

Connect the mouse to the iPhone? Really? 4,7 inch ? 

Not only the iPad is the only use case for the mouse, remember 2010 the Vision of the Nirvana Device and the Motorola NirvanaPhone . With the new version of the Citrix Receiver for iOS you can connect a Screen on your iPhone, a Bluetooth Keyboard, that mouse and you can work with the iPhone as “Thin Client” on you television connected with Airplay or on your 24″ Office Screen connected with a Lightning VGA adapter.

I made some quick hands-on test:

I’ve used the following infrastructure to test:

  • XenDesktop 5  on Windows 7 x64, Citrix Webinterface behind Netscaler Gateway.
  • XenDesktop 7.6 on Windows 7 x64, Citrix Webinterface behind Netscaler Gateway.
  • XenApp 7.6 Desktop on Windows 2008 R2, Citrix StoreFront 2.6 behind Netscaler Gateway.

For all tests I used my Apple iPad mini with the R1 Receiver which is mandatory necessary to use the X1 Prototype Mouse. I didn’t install anything special on XenDesktop or XenApp.

11210509_10205552449102835_7320258021443610820_n

iPad Mini, Belkin Keyboard, Citrix X1 Prototype Mouse

 

 

The next points where I mention what is ok and what needs improvement I will complement as soon as I have new points.

What works fine:

  • No issue to connect and use the mouse if you follow the instructions from Citrix.
  • I can use the X1 mouse inside my virtual desktop like a normal mouse, I can launch applications from start menu, change the active cells in MS Excel – most things I usually do with my mouse works.
  • I can configure in mouse pointer options a “mouse track” which also works fine.

What currently doesn’t work or need still improvement:

  • I tried to resize an Internet Explorer window and was irritated because the mouse pointer doesn’t change his  shape on the edge of the window to a “double-arrow”:
    mouseedge-expected

    Expected mouse pointer on window edge, with a classic mouse on my macbook

    mouseedge-UNexpected

    Unexpected mouse pointer on window edge, from iOS with the X1 Prototype mouse

     

  • Most mouse properties (Mouse speed, pointer scheme, etc.) has no effect.
  • I can see my mouse pointer in my R1 Receiver for iOS on the Webinterface but I cannot click anything. Possibly I need for this the X1 Web Receiver (StoreFront 2.7)  and not my legacy Webinterface …

 

Conclusion: For iOS the Citrix X1 Mouse can be a game changer, but to be honest that what is now possible with this mouse on iOS is already long time possible with an Android Tablet and a commercial of the shelf bluetooth mouse.

By the way, the X1 Mouse can also be used with other OS than iOS, so if you have an X1 Mouse but you decide that your iPad is to small to work you can use your “cool” mouse with a computer that supports Bluetooth 4.0 as a classic mouse.

 

Update 5.5.2015 06:10 GMT+1:

From now it’s possible to use the normal Recevier with the X1 mouse:

X1-Receiver-info X1-Receiver

Update 5.5.2015 22:20 GMT+1:

The final version of the X1 mouse will be launched on Citrix Synergy: http://blogs.citrix.com/2015/05/05/the-mouse-that-roared-for-business and what sounds exciting:
“…this is a unique Bluetooth Low Energy mouse (BTLE) with custom firmware that provides full-function mouse support to specific Citrix Mobile apps including Citrix Receiver, GoToMyPC, ShareConnect and WorkDesktop.”

Citrix Synergy First-Timer Preperation

This year I have the chance to join the Citrix Synergy in Orlando, FL, USA, THE Citrix conference.
For more Information: http://www.citrixsynergy.com

There is already a very good guide for the preparation of this conference from Neil Spellings, see the The ultimate Citrix Synergy survival guide – 2015 , that covers a lot of needed information.

But I add in this post some information for a first timer comes from overseas (Switzerland, Europe) like me.

Revision history
because this is a “living Blog-Post”:

  • 26.04.2015: Added “Join evening together Central & Eastern Europe Team”

Avoid the Jetlag when coming from overseas
My personal best method to avoid the Jetlag (Switzerland, Europe to Florida, US -6 hours):

  • I will arrive early, even Synergy starts on the 13th, I take already the plane on the 9th of May. That gives me some days to get in the correct day/night rhythm.
  • I stay waked up after arrival until my normal sleeping time, even if I’m very tired!
  • If I wake up in the middle of the first night because it’s morning in Europe (and in my day/night rhythm), I’ll take a soft Sleep Aid called MidNite, available in a lot of US Stores (e.g. CVS).
  • I get up after sunrise an go outside to the Sun to let my inner day/night rhythm know thats now day.

Stay online without expensive mobile roaming costs!
Instead of the Net10 card what is mentioned in the blog of Neil spellings I will buy a AT&T GoPhone Prepaid Card with e.g. 2GB for 25$ and I put it in my Huawei E5372. If you intend to use an other device or provider be aware of the used frequencies. This combination gives you a Mobile Hotspot which works in thr US with AT&T and Europe on 2G/3G and 4G mobile network.

Plan your sessions
You can plan the Sessions you want to attend on the Synergy Session Catalog Website . If you are already registered for Synergy you can login with your Synergy account subscribe to the sessions you like to attend (first come first served, no possibility to reserve the seats with exception of the 99$ Pre-event Training Workshop).  and  afterwards you can download a PDF with all your sessions or you can download the  Calendar-Files.

Plan Meetings!

  • After login to your Synergy Account you have the possibility for an Attendee Search and request meetings:
    synmeetings2
  • Try to meet people you known today just virtual from twitter or from a blog to get a face behind of a URL or a Username.

If you register for Citrix Synergy and like this post or this blog
Please use my referral code in the registration:

It’s my email address with MyPeer at the end. That gives me the chance to win Converse sneakers .

If you are from Central & Eastern Europe join the snacks, beer and networking event
Check your Mailbox, and the Spam-Folder about an invitation from Dirk Pfefferle, to a “evening together with Citrix Central & Eastern Europe Team”. I just found in my Spam folder an invitation for this snacks, beer and networking event.

XenDesktop & XenApp FMA (7.x) HealthCheck – Oops!… I Did It Again

Some months ago I’ve created the Citrix PVS Health-Check Script which is a based on the idea and some parts of code from the Health-Check Script for XenApp 6.x of Jason Poyer (http://deptive.co.nz/) .
Because now XenApp 7 with the Release 7.6 is finally in a state where considering an upgrade of the 6.x farms make sense, I belief that the demand for a XenApp 7.x Health Check Script grows.

So I did it again and took the “HealthCheck framework” to build a new version which combines the Power of the Citrix PS-Snappins for XenDesktop/XenApp and  the HTML-Output-Script of the existing HealthCheck Scripts.

The result is a new HealthCheck Script which is usable for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x and what makes me also happy, with only a few line of more code the Script is downwardly compatible for XenDesktop 5.6 environments.

  XenDesktop XenApp Health Check HTML Output

This is just the first version and I’m sure that more check’s need to be added. Feedback and “Feature requests” are welcome … And to be honest I have not yet a big environment to test my Script, so please be insightfully if you find some bugs and report them to me.

In the first part of the Script you are able to configure some parameters. You can decide if you only want to see the “bad” Desktops on which something it’s going wrong or if you want see everything. In huge XenDesktop environments you want definitely only see the bad machines …  ( $ShowOnlyErrorVDI = 1 ) Also you can decide if you want only report XenApp or only XenDesktop or both. The Desktops and XenApps are in two different Tables. It’s also possible to exclude Collections ($ExcludeCatalogs) from the Check, so virtual Desktops which are for testing purposes are not checked.

xd76-configure-shadow

 

If you have a feature request or a bug report please post it direct on GitHub.

Update 12.05.2016 (Version 0.95):
– Check CPU, Memory and C: of Controllers
– XenApp: Add values: CPU & Memory and Disk Usage
– XenApp: Option to toggle on/off to show Connected Users
– XenApp: DesktopFree set to N/A because not relevant
If you need a Health Check Script for XenApp Version which are older than XenApp 7.x see http://deptive.co.nz/xenapp-farm-health-check-v2 where it’s an excellent work and the inspiration for my HealthCheck-Scripts!

The code is on GitHub:

https://github.com/sacha81/XA-and-XD-HealthCheck/

For Bug Reports or feature Request please use GitHub, of course you can also contribute on this code!

Citrix PVS HealthCheck

Problem: There is currently no free tool to check the health status of a Citrix Provisioning Services farm with all Citrix relevant parameters. There are monitoring tools which tell you if a server is up and running or if it’s not, but now tool who gives you a special overview for Citrix Provisioning Services according to how much targets on which server, how much communication retries on which target an so on.

Solution:
Since some year’s I’m using the XenApp Health Check from Jason Poyner (deptive.co.nz) to get daily a status of my environment(s). I really appreciate the work from Jason, if you don’t know it until now, you really need have a look on his blog and on the Script . The mentioned XenApp Farm Health Check Script gave me the inspiration to create a similar Health Check Script for my Citrix Provisioning Server farm. To be honest, and I’m happy that Jason doesn’t mind, that I have “recycled” some parts, or say the “framework” of his XenApp Farm Health Check script to build my Script.

The script I built can be scheduled with a Windows task which trigger a run once a day and send out a email with the attached HTML-Report:

I’ve written the Script to perform the checks in 3 Parts: 

Target Devices:

  • Ping
  • Retry (Threshold configurable, default is 15)
  • PVS Disk (Value which I read from PVS farm with get-mcli)
  • PVS Disk (Value which is written in the personality.ini on the Target)
  • PVS disk version (V1.2)
  • The vDisk-Store *
  • PVS Server
  • WriteCache Size

* like you can read in my BlogPost “Achieve fastest Citrix Provisioning Target Device” I propose to have the vDisk Store local on each provisioning server. So I can check with that column if the Target is booting from the correct vDisk store. The Master Store is on CIFS and only used for updates of the Image.

vDisks:

  • Replication state (PVS don’t replicate anything – but can check if the vDisks on all servers are equal)
  • DeviceCount to see how many targets are currently reading from this Image
  • Load Balancing algorithm
    (Green if Best Effort because I want to have subnet affinity – feel free to change for your need.  I have two data centers with two separated subnet’s – so I can guarantee that each target stream from his own data centre as long the server is available. Just in case of an outage of all PVS server in one DC it fail over to the other DC  )
  • WriteCache Type
  • Name & Date of the vDisk

PVS Servers:

  • Ping
  • Active
  • How many device are connected

Don’t forget to register the PVS SnapIn DLL e.g. with .Net Framework 2.0 with the command:

“C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\InstallUtil.exe” “C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services Console\McliPSSnapIn.dll”

Otherwise you get a blank output. If you have another .Net Framework version or path, please adjust the path in the command! 

#==============================================================================================
# Created on: 08.2014            Version: 1.63
# Created by: Sacha Thomet, blog.sachathomet.ch / sachathomet.ch
# Filename: Citrix-PVS-Farm-Health-toHTML.ps1
#
# Special Thanks to:
# - Jason Poyner ... I've borrowed parts of the script and ideas to create this 
#   PVS health check script. Check his excellent XenApp Health Check @ techblog.deptive.co.nz.
# - Martin Hartmann to share his PowerShell KnowHow with me.
#
# Description: This script checks Citrix Provisioning Server, Farm, vDisk & Target devices.
#
# Prerequisite: Script must run on a PVS server, where MCLI snap-in is registered.
# Register SnapIn with command: C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\InstallUtil.exe 
# "C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services Console\McliPSSnapIn.dll"
#
# Call by : Scheduled Task, e.g. once a day
#
# Change Log: 
#      V1.1:  Consolidated code
#      V1.2:  Add possibility to check only specified Versions
#      V1.3:  New version after Citrix Synergy 2015 GeekOvation Award nomination. 
#		      With correction of typos and add some documentation lines. 
#      V1.4:  Possibility for multiple stores (Thanks to Kafedzhiev  for the code) (08-2015) 
#      V1.5:  Show create date of vDisk, FileName and the count of the used vDisk (09-2015)
#      V1.6:  Add RamCache used from each target, added code by Jonathan Pitre, 
#		      code from Matthew Nics http://mattnics.com/?p=414 (10-2015) 
#      V1.61: Changed RamCache to general WriteCache, add possibility to get Size of Cache on HD
#      V1.62: Correction in Header to show correct farm name instead a "6", correction in 
#		      LoadBalancingAlgorithm, Error if a disk is assigned fix to a server. 
#      V1.63: Check of Stream-, Soap-, and TFTP-Service (12-2015)
#
#
#      THIS SCRIPT IS FOR PVS 7.6 AND BELOW. ASK FOR BETA VERSION OF PVS 7.7 HEALTH CHECK SCRIPT 
#      IF YOU ARE USING THE TECHPREVIEW OF PVS 7.7 WITH COMPLETE NEW POSH-IMPLEMENTATION
#
#
#==============================================================================================
if ((Get-PSSnapin "McliPSSnapIn" -EA silentlycontinue) -eq $null) {
try { Add-PSSnapin McliPSSnapIn -ErrorAction Stop }
catch { write-error "Error loading PVS McliPSSnapIn PowerShell snapin"; Return }
}
# Change the below variables to suit your environment
#==============================================================================================
# Target Device Health Check threshold:
$retrythresholdWarning= "15" # define the Threshold from how many retries the color switch to red
 
# Include for Device Collections, type "every" if you want to see every Collection 
# Example1: $Collections = @("XA65","XA5")
# Example2: $Collections = @("every")
$Collections = @("every")
 
# Information about the site you want to check:
$siteName="site" # site name on which the according Store is.
  
# E-mail report details
$emailFrom = "email@company.ch"
$emailTo = "citrix@company.ch"#,"sacha.thomet@appcloud.ch"
$smtpServer = "mailrelay.company.ch"
$emailSubjectStart = "PVS Farm Report"
$mailprio = "High"
#==============================================================================================
 
$currentDir = Split-Path $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Path
$logfile = Join-Path $currentDir ("PVSHealthCheck.log")
$resultsHTM = Join-Path $currentDir ("PVSFarmReport.htm")
$errorsHTM = Join-Path $currentDir ("PVSHealthCheckErrors.htm") 
 
#Header for Table 1 "Target Device Checks"
$TargetfirstheaderName = "TargetDeviceName"
$TargetheaderNames = "CollectionName", "Ping", "Retry", "vDisk_PVS", "vDisk_Version", "WriteCache", "PVSServer"
$TargetheaderWidths = "4", "4", "4", "4", "2" , "4", "4"
$Targettablewidth = 1200
#Header for Table 2 "vDisk Checks"
$vDiksFirstheaderName = "vDisk"
$vDiskheaderNames = "Store", "vDiskFileName", "deviceCount", "CreateDate" , "ReplState", "LoadBalancingAlgorithm", "WriteCacheType"
$vDiskheaderWidths = "4", "8", "2","4", "4", "4", "4"
$vDisktablewidth = 1200
#Header for Table 3 "PV Server"
$PVSfirstheaderName = "PVS Server"
$PVSHeaderNames = "Ping", "Active", "deviceCount","SoapService","StreamService","TFTPService"
$PVSheaderWidths = "4", "4", "4","4","4","4"
$PVStablewidth = 600
#Header for Table 4 "Farm"
$PVSFirstFarmheaderName = "FarmChecks"
$PVSFarmHeaderNames = "Setting", "Value"
$PVSFarmWidths = "4", "8", "8"
$PVSFarmTablewidth = 400
 
#==============================================================================================
#log function
function LogMe() {
Param(
[parameter(Mandatory = $true, ValueFromPipeline = $true)] $logEntry,
[switch]$display,
[switch]$error,
[switch]$warning,
[switch]$progress
)
 
 if ($error) {
$logEntry = "[ERROR] $logEntry" ; Write-Host "$logEntry" -Foregroundcolor Red}
elseif ($warning) {
Write-Warning "$logEntry" ; $logEntry = "[WARNING] $logEntry"}
elseif ($progress) {
Write-Host "$logEntry" -Foregroundcolor Green}
elseif ($display) {
Write-Host "$logEntry" }
  
 #$logEntry = ((Get-Date -uformat "%D %T") + " - " + $logEntry)
$logEntry | Out-File $logFile -Append
}
#==============================================================================================
function Ping([string]$hostname, [int]$timeout = 200) {
$ping = new-object System.Net.NetworkInformation.Ping #creates a ping object
try {
$result = $ping.send($hostname, $timeout).Status.ToString()
} catch {
$result = "Failure"
}
return $result
}
#==============================================================================================
Function writeHtmlHeader
{
param($title, $fileName)
$date = ( Get-Date -format R)
$head = @"
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv='Content-Type' content='text/html; charset=iso-8859-1'>
<title>$title</title>


<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
<!-- td { font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 11px; border-top: 1px solid #999999; border-right: 1px solid #999999; border-bottom: 1px solid #999999; border-left: 1px solid #999999; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; overflow: hidden; } body { margin-left: 5px; margin-top: 5px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 10px; table { table-layout:fixed; border: thin solid #000000; } -->
</style>


</head>
<body>


<table width='1200'>


<tr bgcolor='#CCCCCC'>


<td colspan='7' height='48' align='center' valign="middle">
<font face='tahoma' color='#003399' size='4'>
<strong>$title - $date</strong></font>
</td>


</tr>


</table>


"@
$head | Out-File $fileName
}
# ==============================================================================================
Function writeTableHeader
{
param($fileName, $firstheaderName, $headerNames, $headerWidths, $tablewidth)
$tableHeader = @"


<table width='$tablewidth'>

<tbody>


<tr bgcolor=#CCCCCC>


<td width='6%' align='center'><strong>$firstheaderName</strong></td>


"@
$i = 0
while ($i -lt $headerNames.count) {
$headerName = $headerNames[$i]
$headerWidth = $headerWidths[$i]
$tableHeader += "

<td width='" + $headerWidth + "%' align='center'><strong>$headerName</strong></td>


"
$i++
}
$tableHeader += "</tr>


"
$tableHeader | Out-File $fileName -append
}
# ==============================================================================================
Function writeTableFooter
{
param($fileName)
"</table>


"| Out-File $fileName -append
}
#==============================================================================================
Function writeData
{
param($data, $fileName, $headerNames)
  
 $data.Keys | sort | foreach {
$tableEntry += "

<tr>"
$computerName = $_
$tableEntry += ("

<td bgcolor='#CCCCCC' align=center><font color='#003399'>$computerName</font></td>


")
#$data.$_.Keys | foreach {
$headerNames | foreach {
#"$computerName : $_" | LogMe -display
try {
if ($data.$computerName.$_[0] -eq "SUCCESS") { $bgcolor = "#387C44"; $fontColor = "#FFFFFF" }
elseif ($data.$computerName.$_[0] -eq "WARNING") { $bgcolor = "#FF7700"; $fontColor = "#FFFFFF" }
elseif ($data.$computerName.$_[0] -eq "ERROR") { $bgcolor = "#FF0000"; $fontColor = "#FFFFFF" }
else { $bgcolor = "#CCCCCC"; $fontColor = "#003399" }
$testResult = $data.$computerName.$_[1]
}
catch {
$bgcolor = "#CCCCCC"; $fontColor = "#003399"
$testResult = ""
}
  
 $tableEntry += ("

<td bgcolor='" + $bgcolor + "' align=center><font color='" + $fontColor + "'>$testResult</font></td>


")
}
  
 $tableEntry += "</tr>


"
  
  
 }
  
 $tableEntry | Out-File $fileName -append
}
# ==============================================================================================
Function writeHtmlFooter
{
param($fileName)
@"


<table>


<table width='1200'>


<tr bgcolor='#CCCCCC'>


<td colspan='7' height='25' align='left'>

<font face='courier' color='#000000' size='2'><strong>Retry Threshold =</strong></font><font color='#003399' face='courier' size='2'> $retrythresholdWarning

<tr></font>


<tr bgcolor='#CCCCCC'>
</td>


</tr>




<tr bgcolor='#CCCCCC'>
</tr>


</table>


</body>
</html>
"@ | Out-File $FileName -append
}
 
#==============================================================================================
# == MAIN SCRIPT ==
#==============================================================================================
rm $logfile -force -EA SilentlyContinue
"Begin with Citrix Provisioning Services HealthCheck" | LogMe -display -progress
" " | LogMe -display -progress
 
  
 
# ======= PVS Target Device Check ========
"Check PVS Target Devices" | LogMe -display -progress
" " | LogMe -display -progress
$allResults = @{}
$pvsdevices = mcli-get device -f deviceName | Select-String deviceName
foreach($target in $pvsdevices)
 {
  
 $tests = @{} 
  
 # Check to see if the server is in an excluded folder path
$target | Select-String deviceName 
 $_targetshort = $target -replace "deviceName: ",""
 $pvcollectionName = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort | select-string collectionName
$short_collectionName = $pvcollectionName.ToString().TrimStart("collectionName: ")
  
 #Only Check Servers in defined Collections: 
 if ($Collections -contains $short_collectionName -Or $Collections -contains "every") { 
  
 
 $target | Select-String deviceName 
 $_targetshort = $target -replace "deviceName: ",""
$_targetshort | LogMe -display -progress
  
 # Ping server 
 $result = Ping $_targetshort 100
if ($result -ne "SUCCESS") { $tests.Ping = "ERROR", $result }
else { $tests.Ping = "SUCCESS", $result 
 }
  
 #CollectionName
$pvcollectionName = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort | select-string collectionName
$short_collectionName = $pvcollectionName.ToString().TrimStart("collectionName: ")
$tests.CollectionName = "NEUTRAL", "$short_collectionName"
 # Test Retries
$devicestatus = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort -f status
$retrycount = $devicestatus[4].TrimStart("status: ") -as [int]
if ($retrycount -lt $retrythresholdWarning) { $tests.Retry = "SUCCESS", "$retrycount Retry = OK" }
else { $tests.Retry = "WARNING","$retrycount retries!" }
  
 #Check assigned Image
$devicediskFileName = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort | select-string diskFileName
$short_devicediskFileName = $devicediskFileName.ToString().TrimStart("diskFileName: ")
$tests.vDisk_PVS = "SUCCESS", "$short_devicediskFileName"
 #Check assigned Image Version
$devicediskVersion = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort | select-string diskVersion:
$short_devicediskVersion = $devicediskVersion.ToString().TrimStart("diskVersion: ")
$tests.vDisk_Version = "SUCCESS", "$short_devicediskVersion"
 #PVS-Server
$PVSServername = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort | select-string serverName
$short_PVSServername = $PVSServername.ToString().TrimStart("serverName: ")
$tests.PVSServer = "Neutral", "$short_PVSServername"


################ PVS WriteCache SECTION ###############

		
		if (test-path \\$_targetshort\c$\Personality.ini)
		{

			$wconhd = ""
			$wconhd = Get-Content \\$_targetshort\c$\Personality.ini | Where-Object  {$_.Contains("WriteCacheType=4") }
			
			If ($wconhd -match "$WriteCacheType=4") {Write-Host Cache on HDD
			
			#WWC on HD is $wconhd

				# Relative path to the PVS vDisk write cache file
				$PvsWriteCache   = "d$\.vdiskcache"
				# Size of the local PVS write cache drive
				$PvsWriteMaxSize = 10gb # size in GB
			
				$PvsWriteCacheUNC = Join-Path "\\$_targetshort" $PvsWriteCache 
				$CacheDiskexists  = Test-Path $PvsWriteCacheUNC
				if ($CacheDiskexists -eq $True)
				{
					$CacheDisk = [long] ((get-childitem $PvsWriteCacheUNC -force).length)
					$CacheDiskGB = "{0:n2}GB" -f($CacheDisk / 1GB)
					"PVS Cache file size: {0:n2}GB" -f($CacheDisk / 1GB) | LogMe
					#"PVS Cache max size: {0:n2}GB" -f($PvsWriteMaxSize / 1GB) | LogMe -display
					if($CacheDisk -lt ($PvsWriteMaxSize * 0.5))
					{
					   "WriteCache file size is low" | LogMe
					   $tests.WriteCache = "SUCCESS", $CacheDiskGB
					}
					elseif($CacheDisk -lt ($PvsWriteMaxSize * 0.8))
					{
					   "WriteCache file size moderate" | LogMe -display -warning
					   $tests.WriteCache = "WARNING", $CacheDiskGB
					}   
					else
					{
					   "WriteCache file size is high" | LogMe -display -error
					   $tests.WriteCache = "ERORR", $CacheDiskGB
					}
				}              
			   
				$Cachedisk = 0
			   
				$VDISKImage = get-content \\$_targetshort\c$\Personality.ini | Select-String "Diskname" | Out-String | % { $_.substring(12)}
				if($VDISKImage -Match $DefaultVDISK){
					"Default vDisk detected" | LogMe
					$tests.vDisk = "SUCCESS", $VDISKImage
				} else {
					"vDisk unknown"  | LogMe -display -error
					$tests.vDisk = "SUCCESS", $VDISKImage
				}   
			
			}
			else 
			{Write-Host Cache on Ram
			
			#RAMCache
			#Get-RamCache from each target, code from Matthew Nics http://mattnics.com/?p=414
			$RAMCache = [math]::truncate((Get-WmiObject Win32_PerfFormattedData_PerfOS_Memory -ComputerName $_targetshort).PoolNonPagedBytes /1MB)
			$tests.WriteCache = "Neutral", "$RamCache MB on Ram"
		
			}
		
		}
		else 
		{Write-Host WriteCache not readable
		$tests.WriteCache = "Neutral", "Cache not readable"	
		}
		############## END PVS WriteCache SECTION #############
			

#Forward results to $allResult array which will be written in HTM-File
$allResults.$_targetshort = $tests
 }
}
# ======= PVS vDisk Check #==================================================================
"Check PVS vDisks" | LogMe -display -progress
" " | LogMe -display -progress
 
$storenames = mcli-get store | Select-string storename
$vdiskResults = @{}
foreach ($storenameA in $storenames)
{
$storename = $storenameA -replace "storename: ",""
$storeid = mcli-get store -p storeName=$storename | Select-String storeId
$storeid_short = $storeid -replace "storeId: ",""
$alldisks = Mcli-Get disklocator -p siteName=$siteName, storeId=$storeid_short | Select-String diskLocatorName
foreach($disk in $alldisks)
{
$disk1 = $disk | Select-String diskLocatorName
$disklocator_short = $disk1 -replace "diskLocatorName: ",""
foreach($diksloc in $disklocator_short)
{
  
 $VDtests = @{} 
  
 $DiskVersion = Mcli-Get DiskVersion -p diskLocatorName=$disklocator_short, siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename
$diskreplstatus = $DiskVersion | Select-String goodInventoryStatus
$diskreplstatus_short = $diskreplstatus -replace "goodInventoryStatus: ","" 
  
  
 $disklocator_short
$diskreplstatus_short
  
 # vDiskFileName & createDate 
 $pathA = mcli-get store -p storeName=$storename | Select-String path -casesensitive
$path = $pathA -replace "path: ",""
  
 $diskfilenameA = Mcli-Get DiskVersion -p diskLocatorName=$disklocator_short, siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename | Select-String diskFileName 
 $diskfilename = $diskfilenameA -replace "diskFileName: ","
"
  
 $createDateA = Mcli-Get DiskVersion -p diskLocatorName=$disklocator_short, siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename | Select-String createDate 
 $createDate = $createDateA -replace "createDate: ","
"
  
 $VDtests.vDiskFileName = "OK", " $diskfilename"
Write-Host ("Path is $path $disklocator_short $diskfilename")
  
 $VDtests.createDate = "OK", " $createDate"
Write-Host ("Path is $path $disklocator_short $createDate")
  
 $vdiskResults.$disklocator_short = $VDtests
  
  
  
 #Check if correct replicated
if($diskreplstatus_short -eq 1 ){
"$disklocator_short correct replicated" | LogMe
$VDtests.ReplState = "SUCCESS", "Replication is OK"
  
 } else {
"$disklocator_short not correct replicated " | LogMe -display -error
$VDtests.ReplState = "ERROR", "Replication is NOT OK"
}
 # Check deviceCount: 
 $diskdevicecount = $DiskVersion | Select-String deviceCount
$diskdevicecounts_short = $diskdevicecount -replace "deviceCount: ","
" 
 $VDtests.deviceCount = "OK", "$diskdevicecounts_short "
  
  
 #Label Storename 
 $VDtests.Store = "OK", " $storename "
Write-Host ("Store is $storename")
  
 $vdiskResults.$disklocator_short = $VDtests
  
  
# Check for LB-Algorithm
# ----------------------
# Feel free to change it to the the from you desired State (e.g.Exchange a SUCCESS with a WARNING)
# In this default configuration "BestEffort" or "None" is desired and appears green on the output.
# is desired)

#ServeName must be empty! otherwise no LB is active!
$LBnoServer = ""
$LBnoServer_short = ""
$LBnoServer = Mcli-Get disklocator -p siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename, diskLocatorName=$disklocator_short | Select-String serverName
$LBnoServer_short = $LBnoServer -replace "serverName: ","" 
Write-Host ("vDisk is fix assigned to $LBnoServer")
#not assigned to a server
if ($LBnoServer_short -eq "")
		{
		$LBAlgo = Mcli-Get disklocator -p siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename | Select-String subnetAffinity
		$LBAlgo_short = $LBAlgo -replace "subnetAffinity: ","" 
		  
		#SubnetAffinity: 1=Best Effort, 2= fixed, 0=none
		if($LBAlgo_short -eq 1 ){
		"LB-Algorythm is set to BestEffort" | LogMe
		$VDtests.LoadBalancingAlgorithm = "SUCCESS", "LB is set to BEST EFFORT"} 
		  
		 elseif($LBAlgo_short -eq 2 ){
		"LB-Algorythm is set to fixed" | LogMe
		$VDtests.LoadBalancingAlgorithm = "WARNING", "LB is set to FIXED"}
		  
		 elseif($LBAlgo_short -eq 0 ){
		"LB-Algorythm is set to none" | LogMe
		$VDtests.LoadBalancingAlgorithm = "SUCCESS", "LB is set to NONE, least busy server is used"}

		}

#Disk fix assigned to a server
else
{
$VDtests.LoadBalancingAlgorithm = "ERROR", "vDisk is fix assigned to $LBnoServer, no LoadBalancing!"}
}
  
  
  
 #Check for WriteCacheType
# -----------------------
# Feel free to change it to the the from you desired State (e.g.Exchange a SUCCESS with a WARNING)
# In this default configuration, only "Cache to Ram with overflow" and "Cache to Device Hard disk" is desired and appears green on the output.
  
 $WriteCacheType = Mcli-Get DiskInfo -p diskLocatorName=$disklocator_short, siteName=$siteName, storeName=$storename
$WriteCacheType_short = $WriteCacheType -replace "WriteCacheType: ",""
  
 #$WriteCacheType 9=RamOfToHD 0=PrivateMode 4=DeviceHD 8=DeviceHDPersistent 3=DeviceRAM 1=PVSServer 7=ServerPersistent 
  
 if($WriteCacheType_short -eq 9 ){
"WC is set to Cache to Device Ram with overflow to HD" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "SUCCESS", "WC Cache to Ram with overflow to HD"}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 0 ){
"WC is not set because vDisk is in PrivateMode (R/W)" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "Error", "vDisk is in PrivateMode (R/W) "}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 4 ){
"WC is set to Cache to Device Hard Disk" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "SUCCESS", "WC is set to Cache to Device Hard Disk"}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 8 ){
"WC is set to Cache to Device Hard Disk Persistent" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "Error", "WC is set to Cache to Device Hard Disk Persistent"}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 3 ){
"WC is set to Cache to Device Ram" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "WARNING", "WC is set to Cache to Device Ram"}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 1 ){
"WC is set to Cache to PVS Server HD" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "Error", "WC is set to Cache to PVS Server HD"}
  
 elseif($WriteCacheType_short -eq 7 ){
"WC is set to Cache to PVS Server HD Persistent" | LogMe
$VDtests.WriteCacheType = "Error", "WC is set to Cache to PVS Server HD Persistent"}
}
}
  
  

# ======= PVS Server Check ==================================================================
"Check PVS Servers" | LogMe -display -progress
" " | LogMe -display -progress
 
$PVSResults = @{}
$allPVSServer = mcli-get server | Select-String serverName
foreach($PVServerName in $allPVSServer)
{
$PVStests = @{} 
  
 $PVServerName1 = $PVServerName | Select-String serverName
$PVServerName_short = $PVServerName1 -replace "serverName: ","" 
 $PVServerName_short
  
 # Ping server 
 $result = Ping $PVServerName_short 100
if ($result -ne "SUCCESS") { $PVStests.Ping = "ERROR", $result }
else { $PVStests.Ping = "SUCCESS", $result 
 } 
  
 #Check PVS Service Status
$serverstatus = mcli-get ServerStatus -p serverName=$PVServerName_short -f status
$actviestatus = $serverstatus[4].TrimStart("status: ") -as [int]
if ($actviestatus -eq 1) { $PVStests.Active = "SUCCESS", "active" }
else { $PVStests.Active = "Error","inactive" }

# Check services
		if ((Get-Service -Name "soapserver" -ComputerName $PVServerName_short).Status -Match "Running") {
			"SoapService running..." | LogMe
			$PVStests.SoapService = "SUCCESS", "Success"
		} else {
			"SoapService service stopped"  | LogMe -display -error
			$PVStests.SoapService = "ERROR", "Error"
		}
			
		if ((Get-Service -Name "StreamService" -ComputerName $PVServerName_short).Status -Match "Running") {
			"StreamService service running..." | LogMe
			$PVStests.StreamService = "SUCCESS","Success"
		} else {
			"StreamService service stopped"  | LogMe -display -error
			$PVStests.StreamService = "ERROR","Error"
		}
			
		if ((Get-Service -Name "BNTFTP" -ComputerName $PVServerName_short).Status -Match "Running") {
			"TFTP service running..." | LogMe
			$PVStests.TFTPService = "SUCCESS","Success"
		} else {
			"TFTP  service stopped"  | LogMe -display -error
			$PVStests.TFTPService = "ERROR","Error"
		
 }
  
 #Check PVS deviceCount
$serverdevicecount = mcli-get ServerStatus -p serverName=$PVServerName_short -f deviceCount
$numberofdevices = $serverdevicecount[4].TrimStart("deviceCount: ") -as [int]
if ($numberofdevices -gt 1) { $PVStests.deviceCount = "SUCCESS", " $numberofdevices active" }
else { $PVStests.deviceCount = "WARNING","No devices on this server" }
  
  
  
 $PVSResults.$PVServerName_short = $PVStests
  
}
# ======= PVS Farm Check ====================================================================
"Read some PVS Farm Parameters" | LogMe -display -progress
" " | LogMe -display -progress
$PVSFarmResults = @{}
$PVSfarms = mcli-get Farm #| Select-String FarmName

$farmname = mcli-get Farm | Select-String FarmName
$farmname_short = $farmname -replace "farmName: ",""

$Nr=0
foreach($PVSFarm in $PVSfarms)
{
$PVSFarmtests = @{}
# remove not needed record parts
if ($PVSFarm -like '*description*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*record*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*failover*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*executing*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*defaultSiteName*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*autoAddEnabled*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*role*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*audit*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*defaultSiteId*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*maxVersions*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*databaseInstanceName*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*farmId*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*merge*'){continue;}
if ($PVSFarm -like '*adGroups*'){continue;}
 if ($PVSFarm -ne '') {
$Nr += 1
$arr = $PVSFarm -split ': '
$farmsetting = $arr[0]
$PVSFarmtests.Setting = "NEUTRAL", "$farmsetting"
$arr = $PVSFarm -split ': '
$farmsettingvalue = $arr[1]
$PVSFarmtests.Value = "NEUTRAL", "$farmsettingvalue"
$farmnr=$Nr
$PVSFarmResults.$farmnr = $PVSFarmtests
}
}
 
 
 
# ======= Write all results to an html file =================================================
Write-Host ("Saving results to html report: " + $resultsHTM)
writeHtmlHeader "PVS Farm Report $farmname_short" $resultsHTM
writeTableHeader $resultsHTM $TargetFirstheaderName $TargetheaderNames $TargetheaderWidths $TargetTablewidth
$allResults | sort-object -property collectionName | % { writeData $allResults $resultsHTM $TargetheaderNames}
writeTableFooter $resultsHTM
writeTableHeader $resultsHTM $vDiksFirstheaderName $vDiskheaderNames $vDiskheaderWidths $vDisktablewidth
$vdiskResults | sort-object -property ReplState | % { writeData $vdiskResults $resultsHTM $vDiskheaderNames }
writeTableFooter $resultsHTM
writeTableHeader $resultsHTM $PVSFirstheaderName $PVSheaderNames $PVSheaderWidths $PVStablewidth
$PVSResults | sort-object -property PVServerName_short | % { writeData $PVSResults $resultsHTM $PVSheaderNames}
writeTableFooter $resultsHTM
 
writeTableHeader $resultsHTM $PVSFirstFarmheaderName $PVSFarmHeaderNames $PVSFarmWidths $PVSFarmTablewidth
$PVSFarmResults | % { writeData $PVSFarmResults $resultsHTM $PVSFarmHeaderNames}
writeTableFooter $resultsHTM
writeHtmlFooter $resultsHTM
#send email
$emailSubject = ("$emailSubjectStart - $farmname_short - " + (Get-Date -format R))
$mailMessageParameters = @{
From = $emailFrom
To = $emailTo
Subject = $emailSubject
SmtpServer = $smtpServer
Body = (gc $resultsHTM) | Out-String
Attachment = $resultsHTM
}
# Send mail if you wish
Send-MailMessage @mailMessageParameters -BodyAsHtml -Priority $mailprio

or Download the file on GitHub: Citrix-PVS-Farm-Health-toHTML.ps1

Question or suggestion for improvement? Just contact me.

Update 12.11.14: Now in version 1.2 it’s possible to define the device collection which should be checked. An other additional feature is that the script shows the version of the vDisk.
Update 15.08.15: Now in version 1.4 it’s possible to have more than just one vDisk store.
Update 16.09.15: Now in version 1.5 the vDisk file name, it’s date and the count of the used disk will be showed.
Update 14.10.15: Version 1.61 New feature, PVS Cache (on disk or Ram) will be reported. / 20.10.2015 1.62: fixed some bugs (see comments)

Update 29.12.15: If you use PVS 7.7 or higher check out the new blog post with the 7.7 Script: http://blog.sachathomet.ch/happy-new-script-pvs-7-7-healthcheck/

Because of the Release of PVS with the new PoSh API the further development of this Script is discontinued. Sorry.

Achieve fastest Citrix Provisioning Target Device

Citrix Provisioning Services is in my point of view an incomparable way to deliver a Software image to a  system. It’s not a kind of an known enterprise software deployment, rather it’s a way to stream a virtual disk during runtime to hardware. Beside of PVS, the acronym of Provisioning Services.

This article doesn’t explain what’s PVS and how it works. It only shows my personal best practice to have the fastest PVS target device. It’s maybe not the only one and right solution to work with PVS, e.g. for VDI other approaches would match better.  In the last couple of years I was working on multiple projects to introduce PVS OS streaming for XenApp servers on physical hardware or virtualized servers. The following instruction shows my way to deliver the fastest PVS Target for read-only XenApp servers, or in the XenApp replacement this  role is  Xen Desktop 7.x  App Edition called .

In this article I only mention performance relevant topics, I will not talk about HA, continuous availability or about PXE, TFTP and so on.

#1. Reduce reads from disk, make use of Standby Memory for vDisks

The best way to increase performance is to reduce work, in this  first step it’s to reduce the hard disk read by reading virtual hard disk files (VHD’s). This can be achieved by make use of the Windows disk cache, this approach is possible on physical PVS servers and as well on virtualized PVS servers on any hypervisor. Using the Windows disk cache means that files which are read from disk, are cached in Standby memory of the Server.
(If you are using XenServer as hypervisor have a look to the IntelliCache feature, http://blog.citrix24.com/how-does-intellicache-work. )

To make use of the file cache you need:

  • The vDisk on local drives, no CIFS share, no NFS share.
  • A plenty of memory to the PVS.

Having the vDisk’s on local disks is not the common way to work with PVS, keep in mind that you have to synchronize the files on all servers in PVS farm.

You can check if the file cache is used properly by having a look in the resource manager. If you have nearly no free memory and have a lot of use standby memory it’s a good sign:

ressourcemgr

To have a deep dive look in the cache use RamMap and keep an eye to File Summary:

rammap-vhd

 

#2. Use Target Device Write Cache on Ram

The second second way to increase performance is to use fastest possible storage, hard disk drives are quite fast today, solid state disks are faster but Ram is still the fastest memory. Because we need on the Target device only the Write Cache it doesn’t matter that the Ram is a transient memory.

A short performance comparison:

With AS SSD Benchmark you can measure the speed of your disk.

Target Device with WriteCache on Ram:
assd_benchmark_CacheRam

Target Device with WriteCache on local disk:
assd_benchmark_Cache_TargetDisk

( AS SSD Benchmark is Freeware and you can download and donate on: http://www.alex-is.de/PHP/fusion/downloads.php?cat_id=4&download_id=9 )

Keep in sight the Memory

When you working with Write Cache in the Target device Ram you must  appreciate the dangers of it … If you are running out of WriteCache the Target Device, perhaps a XenApp server with 50 users on it, will reboot immediately .
(By the way …  Citrix Provisioning Services 7.1 offers a great new feature, it’s the possibility to Cache to Ram with overflow to hard disk. Do not use it … it doesent work proper! Waiting for a hotfix.)

  • Plan the amount of real used Memory:Think how much of the Ram you will use for WriteCache, give as much as possible and consider the real memory usage of a fully loaded server. e.g. if you have a XenApp server as Target device with 16GB of Memory you can allocate 6GB for WriteCache and have still 10GB Memory for the XenApp servers. If you have special memory hungry application on the server you need maybe an other segmentation. It doesn’t exists a recipe, have a look on your currently productive servers about the used memory.
  • Reboot your Target device periodically to reset the used cache.
  • Reduce usage of Write Cache by redirecting as much as possible to an other disk drive, of course this is only possible if you still have a local disk attached to the Target Device.Good candidates to redirect are:
    • Printer Spooler
    • Pagefile
    • EventLog
    • EdgeSight database
  • Monitor your Write Cache,  a way to do this is e.g. using this small Powershell script on the PVS server with a scheduled task:
    (If you have PVS 7.1 with the newest Hotfixes I recommend to use WriteCache on Ram with overflow to hard disk)
#========================================================================
# Created on: 09.01.2014
# Created by: Sacha T. blog.sachathomet.ch
# Filename: Citrix-PVS-Get-Targetdevice-WriteCacheSize.ps1
#
# Descritpion: This script query the used write cache of the PVS farm
# connected target devices and write an event log entry if
# a target device exceed a definec % value of cache.
#
# Prerequisite: Script must run on a PVS server, where MCLI snap-in is registered.
#
# Register SnapIn with command: C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64
# \v2.0.50727\InstallUtil.exe 'C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning S
# ervices Console\McliPSSnapIn.dll'
#
# Call by : Scheduled Task all e.g. all 5 min.
#
#========================================================================
$thresholdInformation=55 # define the Threshold in %
$thresholdWarning=70 # define the Threshold in %
Add-PSSnapin -Name McliPSSnapIn -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
$pvsdevices = mcli-get device -f deviceName | Select-String deviceName
foreach($target in $pvsdevices)
{
 $target | Select-String deviceName
 $_targetshort = $target -replace "deviceName: ",""

 mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort -f status

 $devicestatus = mcli-get deviceinfo -p devicename=$_targetshort -f status
if ($devicestatus[4].TrimStart("status: ") -replace ",","." -gt $thresholdWarning)
{Write-Host "WARNING: The Write Cache of the PVS-Target device $_targetshort exceeded $thresholdWarning %! Intervention is needed" -foregroundcolor "red"
#do here what you need, email, eventlog etc ...
 write-eventlog -logname Application -source StreamProcess -eventID 3001 -entrytype Warning -message "A PVS target device, $_targetshort, exceeded the threshold ($thresholdWarning %) !" -category 1 -rawdata 10,20
 }

 elseif ($devicestatus[4].TrimStart("status: ") -replace ",","." -gt $thresholdInformation)
{Write-Host "INFORMATION: The Write Cache of the PVS-Target device $_targetshort exceeded $thresholdInformation %! " -foregroundcolor "yellow"
#do here what you need, email, eventlog etc ...
 write-eventlog -logname Application -source StreamProcess -eventID 3001 -entrytype Information -message "A PVS target device, $_targetshort, exceeded the threshold ($thresholdInformation %) !" -category 1 -rawdata 10,20
 }

#3. Avoid if possible cross Data centre streaming 

  • If you have different subnet’s, make use of subnet affinity in the load balancing configuration on the vDisk.
  • If you have one subnet over more data centres, create a store with the vDisk for each data centre and let only provide servers from the corresponding data centre this store. With this way you can still switch fast to a cross data centre configuration in a case of a PVS server outage in a data centre.

4#. Use all exiting best practice guides for tuning:
(for all what I’ve forget here … )

e.g. : http://blogs.citrix.com/2010/11/05/provisioning-services-and-cifs-stores-tuning-for-performance  and http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX127549

 

ff

Check Citrix XenApp published application properties with a PowerShell script

To avoid troubles with session sharing, you have to keep in mind that you set the application properties which are relevant for the session and his virtual channels in the same way.
This is for example the properties like color depth or the audio setting.

To check this, I’ve written a small PS script which loops trough all application, reads the application properties and shout if something is not like expected.

Show all apps which are not published as 32bit Color:

#========================================================================
# Created on: 5.11.2013 
# Created by: Sacha T. http://blog.sachathomet.ch 
# Filename: apps_not32bit_Office.ps1
#========================================================================
write-host "This Script show all Apps in Workergroup National which are not in 32 bit color depth published"
Add-PSSnapin Citrix.XenApp.Commands

 #$applications = Get-XAApplication #Gets the published applications
 $applications = Get-XAApplication -WorkerGroupName National


foreach($app in $applications){
 
 #Check to see if the application audio is disabled
 if($app.ColorDepth -ne "Colors32Bit"){
 $app_no32b+= "$app is not published in 32 bit.`n"
 }
 
 }
 
 echo "`nApps not 32bit: "
 echo $app_no32b
 
 
Write-Host "Press any key to continue …" 
$x = $host.UI.RawUI.ReadKey("NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown")

 


Change the green Workergroup to your workergroupname, it’s also possible to run this script without the parameter -WorkerGroup, but then all published content will be recognized as “non-32-bit”.

If you want see which application has audio disabled just change the attribut in the loop: 

---<snip>--- foreach($app in $applications)
{ #Check to see if the application audio is disabled if($app.AudioType -eq "none")
{ $app_noaudio+= "$app audio is currently disabled.`n" } } echo "`nApps Audio disabled: " echo $app_noaudio
---<snip>---

 

This easy loop you can recycle to check every application attribute, all possible attributes of an app you can get with an

Get-XAApplication -BrowserName "thebrowsernameofourapp"