Category Archive: Articles

Aug 22

Driving Communism Out of IT with Cloud Computing | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Driving Communism Out of IT with Cloud Computing

by Leslie Muller

Enterprises spend too much time and money delivering IT resources that are not tailored to what business users really need. There are many reasons for this, but they all stem from one basic problem: IT departments operate on the centrally managed economic principles favored and loved by communist states. As a result, they practice behaviors that lead to an inefficient, rigid and one-size-fits-all environment. In order for IT to truly enable competitive advantage, it must adopt a free-market economy—which is exactly what cloud computing enables.

In order for IT to truly enable competitive advantage, it must adopt a free-market economy—which is exactly what cloud computing enables.

Read the full article in Virtual Strategy Magazine: Driving Communism Out of IT with Cloud Computing

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Apr 27

Installing XenDesktop 5 VDA on Windows 2008 R2 Server

Recently I was asked to use XenDesktop 5 as a way for students in a developer training class to connect to individual Windows 2008 R2 server VMs.  I agreed to set it up, but forgot that the Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) will not install on Windows 2008 R2 server, because the installer blocks it.

I did some searching on the web and came up with a post by Carlo Costanzo talking about installing the VDA on Windows 7.  This post made me realize the agent was capable of running, but simply wouldn’t install because it KNEW I was trying to put it onto Windows 2008 R2 server.

After some more searching, I found a post in the Citrix forums by a guy named Patrick Suddereth, who had managed to install the agent onto Windows 2008 R2 using a TRANSFORM workaround.  His post is here.

So, I downloaded the Microsoft Windows SDK and installed a sub-component called Orca on my Windows 2008 R2 dev box.  This program allows you to edit the installation process of a MSI file, then generate a .mst (transform) file.  A transform file simply tells the installer what to do differently from the default installation.  In this case, we needed to remove the prerequisite check of the OS (and as I found out later, allow the MSI to be installed directly).

Here’s what I had to edit:

Editing the MSI in Orca

After the edit was complete, I exported the transform (.mst) and tried running it from command line:
msiexec /i XdsAgent_x64.msi TRANSFORMS=XD5W2K8Install.mst

I was unsuccessful that way, so I tried changing things up a little…

  1. Copied the x64 install directory from the Citrix XenDesktop 5 installation DVD iso
  2. Made the edit directly to the agent MSI (instead of using the transform) and saved it back into the copied directory.
  3. Did a right-click / Run as Administrator to open a Console window.
  4. CD to the x64 / Virtual Desktop Agent directory
  5. Ran msiexec /i XdsAgent_x64.msi at the command prompt.

The agent installed successfully and the system rebooted as expected, but the machine refused to register with the XenDesktop 5 Controller.  I tried turning off firewalls, restarting services, still nothing.  Then I found a reference to a registry key that turned out to be missing!


Add a String (REG_SZ) called ListOfDDCs and for its value put the fully qualified name of your XenDesktop 5 server (like

Go register your machine using the Desktop Studio and it should connect immediately.

NOTE: I’m sure this is not supported by Citrix in any way, so use at your own risk.


*** IMPORTANT UPDATE – May 10, 2011 ***

Additional Windows Firewall configuration needed after manual install of VDA Agent

If you’re installing the agent “normally”, you can check the box to automatically configure Windows firewall.  Since we’re taking a backdoor, the configuration doesn’t happen.  Here’s the excerpt from the Admin Guide:

To enable users to connect to desktops, you must configure your firewall as follows:

For communication between endpoint devices and desktops:
•        %Program Files%\Citrix\ICAService\picaSvc.exe requires inbound TCP on port 1494. Because this connection uses a kernel driver, you may need to configure this setting as a port exception rather than a program exception, depending on your firewall software. If you are running Windows Firewall, you must configure this setting as a port exception.

•        %Program Files%\Citrix\ICAService\CitrixCGPServer.exe requires inbound TCP on port 2598

Special thanks to Jerry Jaworski for figuring this out and submitting it!



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Oct 18

DynamicOps Presents Private Cloud Case Studies at Interop — LEXINGTON, Mass., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ —

DynamicOps Presents Private Cloud Case Studies at Interop — LEXINGTON, Mass., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ —.

Session will profile how three companies automated IT services delivery and management

LEXINGTON, Mass., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ — Rich Bourdeau, vice president of product management at DynamicOps, a leading provider of automated IT service management software, will speak on October 21 at the Interop Conference in New York.

He will speak on “Case Studies: Automating the Delivery and Management of IT Services”. The session will address how companies can improve IT service delivery while lowering costs.

Bourdeau will show how three different enterprises in financial services, publishing, and education deployed automated, on-demand access to IT resources. Each success story will provide details on how these companies now provide users with secure multi-tenant access to the virtual or physical IT resources and the automated capabilities that have lowered costs by reducing manual intervention by IT staff to provision servers or desktops.

The DynamicOps executive has an insiders’ view of enterprise needs for on-demand IT services. Before joining DynamicOps, a 2008 Credit Suisse spinout, he was vice president of Product Management at Incipient, an emerging company in storage virtualization, and held product marketing and management positions at EMC.

Just last week, DynamicOps introduced DynamicOps Cloud Automation Center, the industry’s first full-featured, flexible platform for defining and rapidly automating the delivery and management of on-demand IT services on a shared multi-tenant private or public cloud infrastructure, on both physical or virtual resources.

DynamicOps technology has been running in both mid-sized and large enterprises for five years, beginning with deployment across four global data centers at Credit Suisse before the financial services company launched DynamicOps and offered a commercial solution to the market in 2008. Today, DynamicOps software supports more than 100,000 virtual servers and desktops across a range of industries worldwide.

In addition to the new product launch, two weeks ago, DynamicOps said it had signed a multi-year licensing and distribution agreement with Dell, where DynamicOps software will be a component of Dell’s recently introduced Virtual Integrated System architecture.

About DynamicOps

DynamicOps offers software that simplifies and accelerates the automation, optimization, and delivery of heterogeneous virtualized IT services. The company is privately held and based in Lexington, MA.

SOURCE DynamicOps


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