App-V. Something which I have pushed to one side as a previously immature bolt-on to Terminal Services which surely couldn’t compete with the rich application packaging solutions of Citrix Streaming Profiler and Application Packager? But I have to admit, that App-V is quickly becoming a very useful addition to a Remote Desktop / XenApp virtualisation landscape which now in version 4.5 SP2 is starting to look very mature.
In terms of my initial foray in a lab environment it has not been straightforward. The terminology seems a little confusing, I mean a Streaming Server sounds different from a Management Server – and I didn’t realise at first that the Streaming Server is something which you could leave out entirely if you wished. All of the functionality is built in to the App-V management platform, so a Streaming Server is only appropriate if you’ve got clients running in a branch office.
The documentation flicks from one hyperlink to another in a bewildering fashion, but stick to the Prerequisites in order to get IIS and .Net application components installed successfully. You’ll need a database server installed before you start, I used SQL Server 2008 Express which was fine for my small lab.
Don’t forget that you can download the App-V group policy client ADM from here.
When connecting the App-V streaming client to your App-V centralised package server you may experience strange issues unless you use the fully qualified domain name within the host name field of the client.
Strangely – in a virtual environment the Application Virtualization Management Server service fails to start after boot. This can cause false starts if your clients can’t connect to the application services. More to follow on this one so check back again sometime soon..
I recently discovered that is possible to upgrade a server installation from say Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard edition to either DataCentre or Enterprise versions using the command line tool DISM.exe. It is not possible to downgrade an installation, however if you find that an upgrade is necessary use the following commands:
DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions
once the possible editions are displayed, e.g. ServerEnterprise then enter:
DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:XXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX to upgrade to Enterprise edition.
The server will require a reboot, following which it will adopt the new version without requiring any software re-installation.
I came across this error very recently following a new rollout based upon Citrix XenApp 6 (no hotfix released at time of writing) on Windows Server 2008 R2 (no service pack at time of writing). Essentially the issue relates to users (or administrators) connecting to a shared printer located on another Windows Server 2008 R2 print server. As the user browses and locates the printer the normal process of downloading the driver from the print server occurs, however at the point where the Finalising settings dialog is displayed the following error will be displayed:
operation failed with error 0x0000007e
Now, it’s important to explain that this doesn’t seem to occur with all printers – however it is consistent between computers, so if you have multiple servers connecting to the same share you should receive the same error on each.
So far I have experienced this problem with HP and Canon printers using the manufacturer’s latest x64 drivers, but it still seems that it must be driver related. Strangely, shared printers from different vendors (such as Kyocera or Ricoh) did not display the issue.
After a fair bit of searching the web for a solution I came across the following Microsoft hotfix knowledge base entry:
Initially I failed to notice that there are three different versions, for x64, i386 and Itanium – so make sure that you expand the line fully which contains the checkbox for the item that will be downloaded.
Thankfully, after applying the hotfix and rebooting the error no longer appeared. This is a fundamental issue with Windows Server 2008 R2 and no doubt will affect many Citrix XenApp6 or Remote Desktop Services rollouts that connect to remote print shares.