FLEXXIBLE IT BLOG

FlexxDesktop April 2022 Updates – Cloud Cost Savings, Citrix, and more

FlexxDesktop April 2022 Updates – Cloud Cost Savings, Citrix, and more

by | Apr 26, 2022 | FlexxDesktop, FlexxWorkspaces

In the last 24 months, most IT organizations were forced to adopt a hybrid work model that most weren’t ready to embrace. The on-premises data center has various hosted applications, virtual applications, and virtual desktops. The goal seems simple, give end-users access to these resources from anywhere. As we evolve into this uncertain future, how the enterprise will grant access to end-users will change and become more complex with the addition of a public cloud. On the surface, this seems simple enough. I can migrate my hosted applications and virtual desktops to the cloud, but, In some cases, a virtual desktop will still need to access a legacy hosted application back in the on-premises data center. Over time, the public cloud may be too expensive or won’t meet the needs of the enterprise. Another cloud or DR site may be needed, and with that, more complexities. In some instances, this new cloud addition may need access to the on-premises data center, or an application hosted in the public cloud or an on-premises virtual desktop may need access to a specialized application in the private cloud. All this without the end-user realizing it. As we evolve into the future, hybrid workspaces will become more complicated.

Don’t fret… We have a solution!

Flexxible IT has recently released an update to our FlexxDesktop support portal, FlexxWorkspaces. The goal is simple, Flexxible IT will simplify your day-to-day life and hide all the complexities with our intuitive support portal and process. We will enable and facilitate your journey to the hybrid world by providing end-to-end operations and platform support. We don’t care what cloud, EUC vendor, or hardware is under the covers; you choose your cloud destiny, and we ensure the migration path is clear. Best of all, we assume the support and operations of the platform, and you worry about making your end-users happy.

FlexxDesktop v22.04 Updates

This month’s updates focus on cost savings, management enhancements, and Citrix updates. Let’s explore the latest updates!

Now Generally Available: Citrix Native Integration with On-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

FlexxDesktop can now fully manage Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on-premises. Our FlexxAgent sends power and maintenance actions to the Citrix Delivery Controllers. This new capability allows starting powered-off VMs and setting maintenance mode. How to do it?

Azure Cost Savings: Power Management

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can enable Azure cost savings by something as simple as ‘Power Management.’ Here you can see compute and storage costs and savings in all workspaces applied by the ‘Power Management‘ policy. You can select the desired time range, and the dashboard will display the amount of cost savings and a percentage of the total cost. How: Level 2 -> Power management policies -> select a power management policy -> scroll down and click on Monthly cost.

Azure Cost Savings: Orphaned Disks

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can detect orphaned disks, and you can decide when to delete the orphaned disks. This simple maintenance task will significantly reduce storage costs when VMs aren’t using the disks. How: Configuration -> Subscriptions -> select an Azure subscription and click on Cost savings.

Bulk Power Actions

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, now can select multiple Citrix VDAs. FlexxWorkspaces manages sending the power action chosen to the DDCs and records in the Jobs item the power actions process and success or failure per VDA. FlexxWorkspace also records these actions in the Citrix Logging database.

New Filter Options

In FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, you can now filter based on the status of the workspace. The possible values for status are:

  •  Maintenance (drain) mode On
  •  Powered off
  •  Citrix power state unknown
  •  OK
  •  Citrix unregistered / AVD unavailable

Filter: Power State Unknown

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can now get information about ‘Unknown Power State.‘ In most cases, this problem is most likely due to a host issue and may affect power actions. This feature will allow support administrators to detect problems and resolve the issue faster.

Filter: “Unregistered” Status

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can now get information about ‘Unregistered‘ virtual machines with Microsoft AVD, Citrix DaaS, and VDI. With this filter, you can easily display which workspaces are Unregistered (Citrix devices) or Unavailable (AVD devices).

Filter: Maintenance Status

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can now get information about ‘Maintenance‘ status with Microsoft AVD and Citrix DaaS and VDI. With one click, this new status filter helps you see which workspaces are in maintenance (Citrix) or drain (AVD) mode.

Optimized Database Performance

FlexxDesktop relies heavily on the FlexxWorkspaces database, tables, indexes, and queries optimized to handle more extensive data sets.

Citrix Improvement: View Citrix Site Information

FlexxDesktop via FlexxWorkspaces via the ‘Workspaces‘ view captures and displays the Citrix Site, Catalog, and Delivery group to provide more information. In this release, Pool is the same as Catalog.

Citrix Improvement: Alerts for Troubled Workspaces

This release lets you see alerts about unregistered Citrix Virtual Delivery Agents and AVD session hosts. You can also create alerts to monitor FlexxAgents that are not reporting and unregistered VMs per subscription.

  • How: Configuration -> Alert definitions -> FlexxAgent not reporting
  • How: Configuration -> Alert definitions -> Unregistered VMs per subscription

Improvement: FlexxAgent

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can disable FlexxAgent auto-update to plan agent updates manually or avoid storm requests on non-persistent devices. How: Configuration -> Settings -> Group: FlexxAgent settings -> AutoUpdateFlexxAgents. The default Value is “true”.

Improvement: Automatic Workspace Cleanup

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can now automatically cleanup ‘Workspaces.’ Parallel, you can configure the maximum retention of those workspaces that have been deleted but still appear in FlexxWorkspaces, as is usually the case with physical devices. This functionality incorporates the possibility of manually deleting one or more workspaces. How: Configuration -> Settings -> Group: FlexxWorkspaces -> NonReportingWorkspacesRetention. The default value is 31 days.

Improvement: Display OS Free Space

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can now display ‘Operating System‘ free space. Now all workspaces display the free space of the “Local Disk (C:).”

Improvement: FlexxAgent Check

The FlexxDesktop FlexxAgent checks the installed version to avoid overwriting binaries. If needed, you can enable the overwrite flag by running the PowerShell script with the parameter -RepairAgent True. Also, you can repair the FlexxAgent using Group Policy

Improvement: “Workspaces” GUI Enhancement

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, allows you to see all workspaces (physical, virtual, AVD, Citrix, etc.) from a single view. With this new capability, it is possible to display if the workspaces are running correctly or not. You can see if they are available, in maintenance, or healthy.

2204_Feature11_Workspaces_UI

Improvement: Display Maintenance Mode

FlexxDesktop, via FlexxWorkspaces, can collect and display maintenance mode in the ‘Workspaces‘ view. Use the ‘Column Chooser‘ to add the ‘Maintenance (drain mode)‘ column.

Improvement: Updated Login Page

FLexxDesktop leverages FlexxWorkspaces for management. Administrators can now enter their Username and Password on one screen instead of two. The new login page supports all modern browsers.

Improvement: Navigation

The browser back button is back! You can now use your browser’s “back button” to return to your previous selection in the FlexxWorkspaces console.

Improvements: General Fixes

We aren’t perfect and constantly test to find minor issues. The following issues have been addressed in this release:

  • Broker detection may fail on previously detected AVD devices.
  • Connection time may be empty if the device is not AVD.
  • Fixed grammar, spelling, text alignment, and typos.
  • The navigation bar was hidden when adding more than one existing user to the tenant.
  • Workspaces showed core per CPU instead of total cores. For example, 4 sockets with 1 core per socket would show a total of 1 core instead of 4.

That’s a Wrap

As you can see, there have been many great features and enhancements done, so kudos to the team for a job well done! Remember, FlexxDesktop is a fully managed Desktop as a Service solution where you want it, and the best part – is that we assume operations, support, and maintenance of everything. What does this really mean?

  1. FlexxDesktop is a monthly pay-as-you-grow solution, meaning you only pay for what you consume.
  2. FlexxDesktop is a premium service with strict SLAs ensuring 99.9% uptime
  3. FlexxDesktop is an adaptable solution that can scale at any time to any cloud based on the demands of the business
  4. FlexxDesktop requires no upfront investment or a multi-year lock-in

In short, Flexxible IT gives you a fully managed DaaS anywhere service!

For more information on the FlexxWorkspaces release, click HERE.

To submit feature ideas for FlexxWorkspaces, click HERE.

For information on FlexxDesktop, click HERE.

Sebastian Prat

Author

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