I just wanted to take time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
I just wanted to take time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Citrix has release the first update to Citrix XenServer 5.0. You can read about and download Citrix XenServer 5.0 Update 1 (Platinum, Enterprise, Standard and Express) at CTX119122 on the Citrix Support Site. I have been running the update for a few days now and have experienced no problems.
One of my favorite websites, BrianMadden.Com, has been acquired by TechTarget. I have followed BrianMadden.Com for a very long time and have had the opportunity to speak to Brian on a couple of occasions.
Congratulations Brian! (See TechTarget Press Release Below)
Needham, MA – November 19, 2008 – Information technology (IT) media company TechTarget, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTGT) today announced the acquisition of The Brian Madden Company, the leading independent, website and conference to address the needs of IT decision makers on the topics of desktop virtualization, terminal services, and application virtualization.
As an addition to TechTarget’s portfolio of market-specific media, The Brian Madden Company brings the largest community of IT professionals specializing in application delivery and desktop virtualization. This includes hundreds of thousands of visits to BrianMadden.com, and attendees to BriForum, an annual event held in Chicago and the only independent conference covering the desktop virtualization space.
“After the success of server virtualization, desktop virtualization is poised to be the next ‘game changer’ for IT organizations seeking to gain competitive advantage through information technology. BrianMadden.com is the leading source of information for IT decision makers that need to bring desktop virtualization’s benefits to their own organization,” said Jonathan Brown, Publisher of TechTarget Windows Media. “This site and conference will enhance our coverage of the virtualization market, giving us a clear lead in delivering the information that technology professionals need. We have the largest audience that Virtualization vendors are trying to reach. BrianMadden.com and BriForum ‘09 will complement existing TechTarget websites SearchServerVirtualization.com, SearchVMware.com, and SearchEnterpriseDesktop.com as well as the expert led seminars on desktop and server virtualization which will be continuing throughout 2009.
TechTarget, a leading online Information Technology (IT) media company, provides IT companies with ROI-focused marketing programs to generate leads, shorten sales cycles, and grow revenues. With its network of 52 technology-specific Web sites and over 6.6 million registered members, TechTarget is a primary Web destination for IT professionals researching which products to purchase. The company is also a leading provider of independent, peer and vendor content, a leading distributor of white papers, and a leading producer of vendor-sponsored Webcasts and Podcasts for the IT market. Its Web sites are complemented by numerous invitation-only events and two magazines. TechTarget provides proven lead generation and branding programs to top advertisers including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, SAP and Symantec.
NetScaler 9 is officially here. Well, actually, it's officially announced. It won't be officially available to download from mycitrix.com until November 27th. Yes, I know that's Thanksgiving. However, Citrix is a global company, and what better way to prove it than to post the NetScaler 9 code on a major US holiday? And, there is a chance that it might show up a day or two before the 27th.
NetScaler 9 is a pretty big release. Looking at the detailed feature tracker, it contains over 350 new features and feature enhancements. I'm not going to go through all of them in this post, because that's what release notes are for. However, I do want to highlight some of the major new features that folks seem to be most excited about, and point you to some additional resources on this site that go into a bit more detail on some of them.
I like to think that NetScaler acts as the bridge between the network and the applications that run on it, making each of them work better with the other. NetScaler 9 furthers this. A lot of the new capabilities and features making NetScaler more application-saavy than it already is. This is not to say that there aren't any hardcore networking enhancements in NetScaler 9, because there are a lot of them. These include everything from end-to-end support for IPv6 to enhancements to our GSLB functionality to the ability to tunnel IP within IP.
But in the end our networks are there to run applications, and it's the new AppExpert features in NetScaler 9 that seem to be generating the most interest.
AppExpert Templates make a given application the "first class citizen" within NetScaler. They do this by encapsulating everything about a NetScaler configuration that is specific to a given application, including:
All of this is presented in a way that puts the application front and center, and configuration and policy changes can be made from there as well. So, while today understanding the entire NetScaler configuration for Microsoft SharePoint (for example) involves moving around between the various NetScaler GUI tabs, with AppExpert Templates everything is centralized in one place.
AppExpert Templates can be imported and exported as well, so they make it pretty easy to move app-specific configurations between different systems. More broadly, several folks have told us that this, and the general look and feel of AppExpert Templates, will help with knowledge transfer within their organizations. You can see an example of the Microsoft SharePoint template being imported and then applied here.
If you go here when NetScaler 9 becomes available in a couple of weeks, you'll be able to download AppExpert Templates we've already built. And, as you'll quickly notice, AppExpert Templates aren't static. The underlying infrastructure makes it really easy for you tweak a template to your own specific needs, or to improve the template by adding to it. Hopefully, you'll all post any improvements and modifications you make back to the community site so that others can benefit. And definitely look for additional AppExpert Templates to be made available by us, but Citrix partners, and hopefully by other NetScaler users.
With AppExpert rate controls, we've integrated the concept of data rate into the core NetScaler policy infrastructure. This allows building policies that are only triggered when a defined data rate is exceeded. And since it's integrated with the core policy infrastructure, it can be used with the various NetScaler functional modules (e.g., content switching, responder), so you're not limited to just dropping traffic as an action.
There's a number of ways folks have told us they're going to use AppExpert rate controls. Of course straight-up rate limiting (e.g., DNS rate-limiting, limiting traffic originating from a single subnet) is one example. Ensuring a given resource (e.g., anything from a VServer to a specific URL) isn't overwhelmed by requests is another. Two specific examples are:
AppExpert service callouts make NetScaler policies extensible, and will allow you to integrate logic or functionality available in other systems and applications into NetScaler policies. Specifically, using an AppExpert service callout, a policy can send (over HTTP or HTTPS) any part of an incoming request to an external service. The result returned by the external service is then used like any other policy evaluation result.
As an example, one beta customer has an application that identifies and tracks IP addresses that are scraping its site's content. No, this is not the same customer that is interested in AppExpert rate controls. In earlier case, scraping is encouraged, they just needed to control it. In this case, the scraping of content amounts to theft, and the customer want to prevent as much of it as possible. Unfortunately, the IP addresses doing scraping change constantly (hence the reason they had to build an app), so statically defining them within the policy itself isn't practical. However, a service callout can query the application in real-time, and NetScaler then uses the response to either pass or drop the request.
Other use cases customers have mentioned include:
NetScaler 9 has the first availability of the XML technology we acquired from QuickTree last year. New XML protections in the NetScaler Application Firewall module will now be able to inspect and protect XML as well as HTML traffic. In addition to protecting XML-based applications from attack, this can also be used to ensure that incoming XML traffic conforms to various standards (e.g., XML syntax, schema, WSDL validation). With XML, sometimes "bad" traffic isn't malicious but is just a mistake. Either way, the XML capabilities in the app firewall will catch it.
We've had the ability to rewrite payloads within the TCP header or payload since NetScaler 8.0. However, in NetScaler 9.0 we've added a URL transformation 'mini-module' to our generalized rewrite functionality specifically for rewriting HREFs. While this function is often thought of in the context of either SSL VPN or application firewall, it has uses beyond these as well. For example, onboarding apps acquired through M&A activity, simplifying change management or "Akamai-zing" graphics content.
Again, NetScaler 9.0 is big release. There is a lot more than the app-centric things mentioned above. There is a pretty comprehensive What's New in NetScaler 9 writeup here for those of you that want a more comprehensive overview.
Doing some late reading and found that Citrix Access Essentials 3.0 has been released to manufacturing. This is very impressive, I found it on the Citrix Access Essentials Blog…
Citrix Access Essentials 3.0 for Windows Server 2008 has achieved Release To Manufacturing (RTM). This is a major milestone for this remote access solution targeted at small businesses. Earlier this year, I posted about a number of features/enhancements that will be available in this release on Windows Server 2008, including support for Windows Server 2008, SpeedScreen technologies, as well as integration with Microsoft's new mid-size business offering - Windows Essentials Business Servers (EBS).
My company works more with Server Farms and Virtualization structures—it is good to see Citrix give the SMB market the same type features with limitations.
SearchWinIT is reporting from Microsoft Tech Ed 2008 in Barcelona that Microsoft announced that the new version of Terminal Server will not be called Terminal Server. Instead, it will be called "Remote Desktop Services."
I am going to start carrying a cheat sheet with me to conferences so I don’t mess up while socializing! Good job posting this Brian!
Just a quick note. On December 2, 2008–-I will be giving a webinar demonstrating Citrix XenApp 5 running virtualized with Citrix XenServer 5. Basically, I will run through some slides hitting the important technical point for about 15 minutes. The rest of the time, you will get to watch me build two Citrix XenApp 5 servers on a Citrix XenServer 5 virtual server. Of course, you can ask questions or comment as I do the installation—plus I will explain each step as I go through the process.
The webinar will start at 12:00PM and run officially to 1:00PM—but if anybody has questions, I will be available after the webinar to answer any questions. I will be using Citrix GoToMeeting—so you can call a voice bridge or use VOIP for audio.
Hopefully at the end of the presentation you will see how Citrix XenServer and XenApp are better together! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also—we will be giving away a pretty cool prize to one person!
Just wanted to let everyone know about the Syngress Online Microsoft Training we are currently working on. Some of the best in the business have worked on this project—and I think everyone is going to be pleased with the end product. I went through the test banks for one of the exams this weekend—all of the questions where excellent. I am excited because this is going to give potential Microsoft Certified persons another outlet for training. I am unsure of the exact release data—but will be sure to forward the information and how to sign up in the near future.