Hello all, I've got a question (well multiple questions actually! [:)]) around setting up SoftGrid 4.5 in an environment that has a large centralised Citrix Farm and a large number of desktops spread across a number of WAN links.

What I'm particularly interested in is how to achieve an integrated solution i.e. centralised management of SoftGrid enabled applications for both Citrix Servers and Desktops.

I can understand how to achieve this if SCCM 2007 SP1 R2 (with MAV integration), isnt used. In this case a centralised VAS Server (or load balanced servers) and a centralised Data Store (Clustered etc) could be used. The citrix server SoftGrid clients would point at the centralised load balanced VAS. At low-bandwidth sites, the Lightweight streaming server would be used for local clients and the SoftGrid Content replicated to these sites using say DFSR etc.

However if you are going to use SCCM 2007 SP1 R2 with Application Virtualisation integration, how do you create an integrated solution for both Citrix servers and Desktops? A lot of environments would just use SCCM for desktop deployments and then use Citrix Installation Manager for Citrix Deployments.

Using SCCM with MAV integration, you seem to lose the Data Store component (or rather this is integrated into the SCCM database). So it seems you can't also have a centralised VAS server that the Citrix servers would point at, that would also share the same "Data Store" as the desktop SCCM clients. Is that correct?

Is the only way to have an integrated environment, to also install SCCM clients onto Citrix and then deploy virtual packages from SCCM to both citrix servers and desktops?

If you do this, it appears to me that you lose some of the benefits of having a dynamic citrix farm that can stream down an application a user requires from the VAS automatically if its not already pre-cached, rather than having to wait for SCCM packages to be deployed to the server.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/comments you might have on this.

Cheers
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I am looking at this path but to be honest I'm waiting for MAV 4.5 RC1 until I perform more research on this. From what I can tell if you use SCCM you will be using the lightweight streaming server on your distribution points so I agree that you will not have a heavywieght server with the traditional SoftGrid SQL back end. This may be ok but you have to be aware of what each implementation can and can't do. I'm making an assumption that the SCCM client can work just fine on a Citrix server but in reality I've never seen SCCM run on Citrix but it looks like vendors are endorsing it.

Citrix Presentation Server Configuration Pack for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX115268

I don't think running SCCM on Citrix to deliver virtual applications is much different than using installation manager to deliver MSIs to Citrix servers. Ultimately the server has to be staged before applications are published.
Answered 05/29/2008 by: kkaminsk
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Thanks for the response and the information regarding the Citrix PS Configuration Pack. I'll have a look through this and see what it provides in terms of deployment of virtual packages/management of citrix servers etc.

Your correct in that there wouldnt really be any difference between deploying packages via Citrix Installation Manager or by SCCM Client. I guess its just a shame to lose that flexibility of having the heavyweight server , with applicaitons being streamed on-demand to a citrix server and also no requirement for downtime when making a new application available - as there's no need to disable logons to install the msi package etc. I guess in reality all virtual packages would be pre-cached on a citrix server before it was brought into the farm, so it might not be quite so much of a difference as I think.

Thanks again.
Answered 05/29/2008 by: carlitog
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No prob, I added the Citrix Management pack as proof people are running SCCM on Citrix boxes. It may be useful in case you are interested in desired configuration management (DCM) but doesn't help with SoftGrid application deployment in the slightest.
Answered 05/29/2008 by: kkaminsk
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With R2 you have the option to setup the Advertisement for the sequence in SCCM to either precache or have it streamed from the distribution point. At MMS they also mentioned that in R2 streaming uses HTTP instead of RTSP, which they were suprised to find improves the streaming performance.
Answered 05/30/2008 by: rsnewto
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I think the HTTP streaming was working better because it is a protocol that network equipment is more familiar with. What I am curious about is if HTTP streaming will allow SoftGrid to work better with WAN optimization appliances.
Answered 06/02/2008 by: kkaminsk
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