Hello Citrix community!

Since this is my first Citrix blog post, I thought I’d give a quick introduction. My name is Kenny Baldwin, and I’ve worked on the Citrix global escalation team for the past three years, supporting both XenApp and XenDesktop. I presented at TechEdge 2011, and am an active participant in the support forums.

I’m writing this post because I’d like to share a preview of the latest version of the XenDesktop Site Checker utility that I’ve been working on. I originally published this tool to the Citrix Knowledge Center a few months ago as the ‘XenDesktop Service Checker’, since it’s original intent was to check that all site services were running, and that all service instances were properly registered in a XenDesktop Site.

I decided early on to build this tool as a standalone C# WinForm, built on .NET 3.5 SP1, that could run PowerShell scripts to perform certain tasks in a XenDesktop 5 environment. Since all of the tool’s interactions with the site database are executed via the XenDesktop 5 PowerShell SDK, the application has proven to be quite flexible and reliable for it’s purpose.

This tool has always been meant to help identify and rectify common XenDesktop site issues, while also giving the user an ‘under the covers’ look at a XenDesktop 5+ site. While the tool still has the ability to identify and fix unregistered service instances in a XenDesktop site, I’ve been working to add other checks and fixes as we identify them in support.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on refining the tool’s performance, as well as expanding its capabilities and overall functionality. I thought it would be worthwhile to share my latest progress with the community in an effort to solicit any feedback (good or bad).

I’ve modified the tool quite a bit since the current public version, so here’s a quick look at what has changed between 1.1 and 1.5:

As you can see, I’ve heavily tweaked and expanded the scope of this utility. I’ve been trying to focus on adding configuration options that aren’t accessible in Desktop Studio (CTX131207 for example), as well as another method of connecting to and monitoring a XenDesktop site.

Here are a few of the major changes since v1.1:

  • Re-aligned the top level TreeView nodes to reflect the layout of Desktop Studio
  • Unlocked the main SplitContainer allowing for better re-sizing
  • Tweaked the Log Viewer textbox to fill the vertical space on resize/maximize
  • Added PVD Storage to the host node, as well as the ability to remove storage from either VM or PVD storage
  • Added AD Identity Pool, Catalog, Provisioning Schemes, and Provisioning Tasks nodes
  • Added the ability to Stop/Remove provisioning tasks
  • Added the ability to view/edit an assignment’s advanced power settings (this is my favorite addition, though I intentionally left off the ‘Extended’ options, does anyone actually use those??)

I also made the following minor adjustments:
  • Moved the buttons and progress bar to the bottom right dock panel
  • Added ‘Open in Notepad’ to log viewer (including on selected text)
  • Added logging for all PoSH scripts and variables used
  • Improved exception handling redirected to the log viewer
  • Changed the ‘Service Checker’ routine to automatically register missing service instances (it will still tell you about it, I just assumed that’s why you ran the tool 🙂
  • Removed the ‘Description’ text box
  • ‘Improved’ TreeView icons

Some things I’d like to add in the next version are:

  • Add a SQL join/evict script generator
  • Add ‘Connect To..’ functionality for remote support
  • Add a vCPU/RAM adjuster to the Provisioning Schemes node
  • Fix some formatting issues
  • Add more/better logging
  • Add any newly discovered ways to detect and resolve site configuration issues
  • Remain faster than Desktop Studio 😉

I hope you all get some good use out of this tool, and I look forward to any feedback! Keep an eye out for v1.5 later this week.