Feb 122021
 

Update Feb 11, 2020

In my First Blog post here Part1 I showed you how to set up Windows Deduplication on Server 2016. This second series will show you my production results and what I gained in space-saving

I estimated 18.5% in savings in the first post. However, I got 23% back, I think that is good in my opinion

I enabled Windows Deduplication on my production File Server Part1

Here is the drive space before, windows deduplication was running.

Ever so often I would run get-dedupstatus to give me an idea of what I am getting back

After Deduplication was run on 4TB Drive. As you can see I got back some good space

Now I wanted to take it one step further, and shrink the VHDXs. (Running it manually this time around)

Before

I got back just a tad over 1 TB and some change overall. I take that as a win for now. Soon very soon, I will be moving a lot of this to Nutanix files, then we can see the difference if any 😊 of Those who use Nutanix AHV and Nutanix Files understand the awesomeness it offers. 

Nex day Checks on February 12,2021

Let’s check on the Environment, and confirm logins are not slower, and that the schedule is set incorrect nothing is running during the day.

My schedule is at 10pm = Check

I can confirm it’s not running and when the last time it ran is = Check

Monitoring the event log

“Monitoring the event log can also be helpful to understand deduplication events and status. To view deduplication events, in File Explorer, navigate to Applications and Services Logs, click Microsoft, click Windows, and then click Deduplication.”

“If the value LastOptimizationResult = 0x00000000 appears in the Get-DedupStatus |fl Windows PowerShell results, the entire dataset was processed by the previous optimization job”

Start time

Finished time

Citrix VAD (Fslogix) Login times. 1.6 seconds to attached the FSLogix profile.

Checking in Control up and things seem to be as they should before this was enabled. If you don’t have Control up, you can use Director. You can use the script as well to achieve some login measurements with just powershell

Link

Analyze logon duration script just got more powerful | Citrix Blogs

As you can see, these are just some built in tools you can use. There is really no reason why you should not have this setup. Always test things and make sure you understand what it is that it’s doing, so you don’t break things

Resources

https://worldofeuc.slack.com/archives/CKBVDG48H/p1610685976025900
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/data-deduplication/understand
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/data-deduplication/advanced-settings

Monitor and Report for Data Deduplication | Microsoft Docs

Cleanup Jobs

Cleanup unused FSLogix Office 365 Containers – dready’s Blog

Delete Inactive FSLogix Profiles using PowerShell – hallspalmer_Blog (wordpress.com)

Delete old Profiles script

GitHub – FSLogix/Invoke-FslShrinkDisk: This script will shrink a FSLogix Disk to its minimum possible size

Feb 052021
 

Summary

This guide is geared around explaining how Zoom and Citrix work together. It will show you the Architecture and provide information for what is needed on the clients. There is information added in the document for education purposes as well.

Zoom VDI information 

  1. Zoom requires both the “Zoom Media Plugin” + “Zoom Client for VDI” to match exactly from version 2.1.5 documented at – https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360031768011-New-Updates-for-Virtual-Desktop-Infrastructure-VDI-
  1. The Citrix Team handles the “Zoom Client for VDI” installations on all VDI machines. The information here Is strictly for informational purpose
  1. For your company managed device You can use SCCM to push out the “Zoom Media Plugin” to corporate devices
  1. Personal devices that are being used to connect to Citrix VDI/Published will need the “Zoom Media Plugin” installed on their personal device. We provided a URL for the employee to go and download this.  Remember Its important to make sure the Plugin need to match on the Client and VDI side

The current VDI installer is 

Zoom VDI installer

5.459208

The Clients need to have this version

Zoom Plugin for Clients 

5.4.59208

VDI downloads and backwards compatibility Chart

  1. This is a link to show you the backwards compatiblity 

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360041602711-VDI-downloads-and-backwards-compatibility

Zoom VDI Plugins for Clients URL

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360052984292

High Level Architecture of Zoom in Citrix 

How to install the “Zoom Media Plugin” for a personal device

Open an internet browser of the user choice.

Put this URL in the search bar https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360052984292

Download the required Zoom Media Plugin for the operating system that is needed

In this example I have a Windows Operating System. I downloaded Windows x86 or x64: 5.4.59208.1207. Once it downloads, the Zoom Media Plugin. The typical area of download will be store in the Downloads folder. 

Double click on the  ZoomCitrixHDXMediaPlugin.msi. It will now open up and start the process.

Click next

Click next 

Click Next

Once its starts intalling, It will ask you if you want to allow the software to make changes to your device. Click yes

If you receive this error, you have to close out of the Citrix session, and Exit Citrix workspace

Before exiting the Citrix workspace, Please save all your work and properly exit the running application.

Once you complete this, proceed to exiting from Citrix Workspace.

Go to the task tray in the right-hand corner, hit the up arrow, and click “sign out”

If you get this, click sign out.

Give it 30 seconds, and procced to Exit Workspace.

Go to the task tray in the right hand corner, Hit the up arrow, and click “sign out”

Now go back to the zoom install, and click retry

You will then see this

You can verify this shows in control panel, under programs and features

You have completed the Zoom Media Plugin on the client device you are using. Now you go log back into the Citrix Virtual desktop and resume your work.

Testing Cam and Audio

VDA session

Open up the Zoom setting and look at the statistics to see what is doing.

Picked my Mic up just fine

Rolling out

  1. When I needed to start rolling this out, I found that Zoom makes a user install as well. Just like teams. So, I found an uninstaller CMD and deployed it with Citrix WEM.
  2. When I user goes to connect to a meeting this will come up.
  1. It appears though if you have the Zoom VDI client in first it will not install this either.
  2. I Created a WEM external Task, that will run this.  %appdata%\Zoom\uninstall\Installer.exe /uninstall /silent
  1. I plan on app masking this location, I just need to make sure I don’t break Zoom and understand the details.
  2. Ideally, I would app mask this location C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Zoom
  3. Add Zoom.exe into the CPU optimization area

Troubleshooting

  1. Citrix Virtual Desktops – Zoom – Microphone and video not working in ICA session
  2. https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX275259
  3. Download and install the Zoom Citrix Media Plugin found in the link below install the client of the VDA and the plugin on the endpoint:
  1. Note: Plugin version must be the same on the VDA and endpoint
  1. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360041602711
  1. Additional resources:
  1. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360031096531-Getting-Started-with-VDI

Zooms Troubleshooting Resource

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200305593-Troubleshooting

VDI Client Registry Settings

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360032343371-VDI-Client-Registry-Settings

Group Policy Settings

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360039100051-Group-Policy-Options-for-the-Windows-Desktop-Client-and-Zoom-Rooms

Resources

http://axendatacentre.com/blog/tag/zoom-is-unable-to-detect-a-camera-citrix/

So far, I would say Zoom is very nice over its competitors. Not everyone is lucky though and can go out and purchase it. But if your company does, This guide along with http://axendatacentre.com/blog/tag/zoom-is-unable-to-detect-a-camera-citrix/ guide will get you going in a flash.

Feb 012021
 

Windows 2016 Deduplication on FSLogix Containers and ODFC 

During the time of running my Shrink Scripts (yes I have a couple I go back and forth with) for FSLogix, I noticed that my 4 TB Drive is becoming used more and more. There wasn’t really anything I could do at this point other than adding Disk space( Call me old, but I try to optimize as much space as possible before throwing more hardware at it). One of the things I could do is delete all older profiles that haven’t been used in 90 days. There are scripts that can do this for you. One is Jim Moyle, another is Rene Bigler ( Posted at the end of the quick blog). However, I must test this, and I don’t have the time to do this right now. So, Manuel Winker reminded me about Windows Deduplication. I have totally forgotten about this, and I am not sure how I did, to be honest.  So, this is how I did it and my results.

  1. Install the Data Deduplication Role (GUI)
  1. Powershell Install
  2. Install-WindowsFeature -Name FS-Data-Deduplication -IncludeAllSubfeature -IncludeManagementTools 
  1. After things are installed you need to set it up for the Volume that you will apply this to
  2. Open server manager, then navigate to File and storage services -> Volumes, select the desired volume, right-click and from the menu select Configure Data Deduplication.
  1. For this test, I am going to use the “General Purpose File server”
  2. This is a chart I pulled from the MS site on the difference
  3. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/data-deduplication/understand#usage-type-default
  1. For the Schedule, I had some advice from Mike Streetz.
  2. https://worldofeuc.slack.com/archives/CKBVDG48H/p1610685976025900
  3. I removed Enable Background Optimizations because I feel that it could cause issues and enabled a schedule based on some feedback with better control
  1. Let’s check my schedule with PowerShell
  2. Get-DedupSchedule
  1. I am going to kick it off and see what it does for me.
  1. Powershell
  2. Start-DedupJob -Volume D: -Type Optimization -Memory 75 -Cores 100 -Priority High -Full
  1. Before
  1. After
  1. Let check the status
  2. Get-DedupStatus -Volume D: | fl
  1. So, I save 1GB? WOW. After looking at this, I realized that I ran an FSLogix Shrink script 2 days ago. So, I needed to change it to 1 day for me. So that was not a really fair test.
  1. Test 2 is switching to VDI and to 1 day. Based on what I read on MS. This would help in saving around see the same OS over and over. But in this case, it’s just a test and I am not worried about that. 
  1. After
  1. So, I saved 92.71 GB.

10 I will switch it back just to see if I can squeeze more out, or if it better this way. But I doubt it.

  1. So ill run this again
  2. Start-DedupJob -Volume D: -Type Optimization -Memory 75 -Cores 100 -Priority High -Full 
  1. Results are the same. But this was a good experiment and If I saved 91GB on 500GB Volume. I gained 18.5% of Disk space back. 500×18.2% = 92.5
  1. What could I save on 4TB? If we take the math I have here, and just guesstimate (Guessing and estimating). Based on that, 4000 x 18.5% = 740GB. I could gain another 740GB. At 4TB Volume, my current free space is 670GB after an FSLogix Shrink job was run.  So, overall, that is 1.4TB back in my pocket. I call that I win and very happy. However, this could be less or more. 

In my opinion, this is a huge value to anyone running FSLOGIX Profile servers, or really any file servers. This quick blog is not anything fancy, but more of a reminder out there for those who forgot like me. Everyone be safe and  Until Next time folks.

Resources

https://worldofeuc.slack.com/archives/CKBVDG48H/p1610685976025900

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/data-deduplication/understand

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/data-deduplication/advanced-settings

Cleanup Jobs

Cleanup unused FSLogix Office 365 Containers – dready’s Blog

Delete Inactive FSLogix Profiles using PowerShell – hallspalmer_Blog (wordpress.com)

Delete old Profiles script

GitHub – FSLogix/Invoke-FslShrinkDisk: This script will shrink a FSLogix Disk to its minimum possible size