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Session Sharing Between a Published Desktop and a Published Application

Organisations migrating over from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x would be surprised that a feature taken for granted in the previous version was not available until very recently in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x. The feature I am talking about is Application and Desktop Sharing. This is the ability to launch a published application locally from the published desktop if the published application is indeed installed locally. Prior to XenApp/XenDesktop 7.17 this functionality was not available and would result in a double hop scenario whereby another XenApp session would launch from another session host to launch an application. For example, a user would launch their published desktop. From within their published desktop they would launch a published application such as Adobe Reader. Instead of ...

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – Issues with Wireless Adapter and with Intel Management Engine Interface

Laptop Model:  Lenovo Yoga 370 but probably affects many other make and models. Troubleshooting various issues with a Windows 10 Creators Update build (1703) on a Lenovo Yoga 370 laptop I decided to install Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) to see if the issues would disappear.  Instead, a new one was introduced. The Problem Since installing Fall Creators Update: Boot times increased significantly – Was taking around 3 minutes to get to the login screen Shutting down and restart times also increased significantly – Was taking again around 3 minutes stuck on the “Restarting” screen and would sometimes get a Blue Screen of Death The wireless network card was not loaded and thus we could not see or connect to any wireless networks On looking in device manager, we could see that the follo...

Security of Cloud Tools

So I have been heavily involved with the security of our Managed Service Cloud infrastructure and have been using Microsoft OMS (Log Analytics) very proactively to scan our networks for potential vulnerabilities. One vulnerability that was picked up in the Security and Audit section was on a third-party box we have in our network which hosts some Office365 integration. In OMS Threat intelligence this server was shown to be hosting a suspicious outbound connection which is visualised as a red up turned arrow, which is you know you OMS is not good and requires immediate attention (see example below)… On investigation of the box and outbound IP address we discovered that it was actually an instance of remote control tool teamviewer which when accessed remotely by the third-party actuall...

Azure Stack – Black Box Architecture

Previously I talked about the Integrated System approach from Microsoft for Azure Stack. In this post I want to talk a little bit more about why Microsoft will be sealing the system. Azure Stack will run on a black box architecture with no way to get in the systems running on it. All of your administration is performed through the Azure Stack Resource Manager. You will not be able to log on the Hyper-V hosts, the credentials you use are not recognised by the Windows Servers as their level of access stops at the Azure Resource Manager level. Any action that is needed to be undertaken on the physical infrastructure will be done by the appropriate resource provider. One example of “Black Box Architecture” could be your Storage Area Network… For example, you can’t login...

Hybrid Cloud – It’s both the future and the past

We’ve all heard of the cloud by now, it’s fair to say it’s now a mainstream term for many people (not including the weather!) and most would agree it’s the future. When we look specifically at enterprise IT there’s still a discussion to be had on whether you should go public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud. There’s even more concepts coming down the line but we’ll stick with these for the simplicity of this post.  There’s always some scepticism around cloud, as there is with many ‘new’ IT concepts. But have you ever looked back and wondered if history is repeating itself? I’m writing this as someone with 17 years in the industry and more as a hobbyist so I’ve been around long enough to work with twinax terminals, ...

EMS Conditional Access Troubleshooter

The guys at Microsoft have released this fairly comprehensive troubleshooting flow for conditional access. I think if you can remember it all you’re doing well so this one might be worth a print and stick to the wall if you’re doing IT support. Download the full hi-resolution version from the Microsoft TechNet gallery here – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Conditional-access-fd747c1a?redir=0

Azure Stack Development Kit (PoC)

Azure Stack, for a production deployment, will only be available on Integrated Systems as described here. However, there is an option for you to install Azure Stack on a single server to “kick the tyres” … This is the Azure Stack PoC (PoC), soon to be renamed to Azure Stack Development Kit. This server does not need to have all the required hardware that a production deployment would require, for example you do not have to have SSDs and HDDs in the server, you need a minimum of 5 disks in the server for the PoC installation, 1 for the Boot OS and 4 for use by Azure Stack to create a Storage Space. For the exact specifications of the hardware please check this website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-deploy. If you are planning to test the AppService, SQL, MyS...

Integrated Systems and Azure Stack

Microsoft have announced that Azure Stack will only be available on integrated systems from a select number of vendors: Dell EMC HPE Lenovo Cisco (after the GA release of Azure Stack) You can watch a video here (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/videos/microsoft-azure-stack-insights-into-integrated-systems/) with Vijay Tewari, Principal Group Program Manager, where he talks about the integrated systems and why… But here’s my take on the situation… Anyone who has been deploying Hyper-V, or VMware, on a large scale will have come across a wide variety of problems ranging from incorrect firmware/driver versions on hardware to errant administrators who make a change that they don’t fully understand the implications of. Inevitably these situations lead to problems where the platform i...

Business Case for Azure Stack

Azure Stack is Microsoft’s brand new offering in the hybrid cloud space that uses the same technology as their hyperscale public could, Microsoft Azure. With this Microsoft, the ONLY hyperscale public cloud provider that can offer their services in a truly hybrid fashion. This essentially allows YOU to run Azure in your own datacentre. Microsoft have said that “Cloud is model, not a place” and this is very apt with Azure Stack. Azure Stack brings the technology of the hyperscale cloud to your datacentre. This can present organisations a huge opportunity… There are organisations that, for whatever reason, can’t use “the Cloud”, be that for compliance, security or other business reasons. Rarely is the reason a company “can’t use Cloud” a technological reason. Some organisations have data tha...

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