92: The Citrix Session: The Click-Down (Launchpad Edition): Citrix Image Portability and PVS on public cloud

Oct 29, 2021

Yesterday at the Citrix Launchpad: Cloud event, we heard some exciting announcements around our App Delivery and Security Service, service continuity, Citrix’s value-add benefits for Azure Virtual Desktop, and more. We also heard about two exciting new technologies that are currently in preview — Citrix Provisioning (PVS) on Azure and Citrix Image Portability.

Citrix Image Portability service dramatically simplifies and streamlines the management of images across platforms, which facilitates managing images between an on-premises resource location and one in a public cloud, like Azure. Citrix Provisioning has been a beloved Citrix technology for over a decade. It’s is a streaming technology that delivers OS images including applications, patches, updates, and other information to virtual and physical machines. PVS used to be a technology that was exclusive to on-prem customers. During the Citrix Launchpad: Cloud event, we announced PVS on public cloud, which is currently in preview.

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-Host: Bill Sutton


00:00:02.760 –> 00:00:10.050
Andy Whiteside: hi everyone and welcome to episode 92 of the citrix session i’m your host Andy whiteside got bill sudden just just the two of us build back to the old days how’s it going.

00:00:10.380 –> 00:00:11.730
Bill Sutton: On well thanks, how are you.

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Andy Whiteside: Good you know I always know that long as I can count on you being here and not to, not to say anything about the other guys there they’re awesome to have the extra.

00:00:19.500 –> 00:00:25.620
Andy Whiteside: context they bring lots of ideas and questions and answers to the podcast when they’re here but.

00:00:26.190 –> 00:00:37.860
Andy Whiteside: Think Ben and down, but that things come up today, so they couldn’t join us, but I know if you’re here and i’m going to have not only theoretical, but real world examples of of how it works and allows us to have a really good conversation.

00:00:38.700 –> 00:00:39.270
Bill Sutton: hope so.

00:00:40.890 –> 00:00:46.140
Andy Whiteside: This is going to be an interesting one, and actually, I think, maybe this is one where we don’t have a lot of.

00:00:47.280 –> 00:01:00.060
Andy Whiteside: Real world scenarios yet it’s kind of new and today we are talking about actually another podcast click down done by Anna Anna Ruiz and Dan feller and others where they talk about.

00:01:00.750 –> 00:01:14.160
Andy Whiteside: Let me give a title the click down is the name of the podcast and it’s called the launchpad series which we talked about launchpad last week citrix image portability and PBS on public cloud, you and I have brought up PBS a bunch we go way back.

00:01:15.270 –> 00:01:16.890
Andy Whiteside: back when we did it all bare metal.

00:01:18.120 –> 00:01:21.870
Andy Whiteside: citrix acquired the product from whom whom was it they bought it from.

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Bill Sutton: Our new.

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Andy Whiteside: Artists yep so we go back we’re we’re old school PBS guys, we need to talk about here, where it fits in the cloud public cloud and why you would do that.

00:01:36.330 –> 00:01:36.570
Bill Sutton: yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: So I apologize in advance if we make anybody mad for talking ugly about PBS.

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Andy Whiteside: Historically i’m a huge fan of it and love what it did in the beginning, and still love it today.

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Andy Whiteside: I think my challenges with it, historically, has been that that networking layer that I didn’t control i’ll tell you one quick story I.

00:01:57.330 –> 00:02:03.780
Andy Whiteside: I probably had one of the largest implementations of citrix provisioning services to physical endpoints.

00:02:04.560 –> 00:02:16.350
Andy Whiteside: We had one lab with 250 devices, we had another lab with 50 devices and another lab with 30 devices i’ve got a customer that just retired their labs on PBS within the last month or two.

00:02:17.970 –> 00:02:26.280
Andy Whiteside: Because nobody was using it i’m a huge fan of it, however, the complexity of it, the dependencies on the network.

00:02:27.660 –> 00:02:36.510
Andy Whiteside: For me most virtual APP and desktop implementations have gone to mcs in a case where I could build out something like newt annex or some type of hyper converge.

00:02:37.140 –> 00:02:54.060
Andy Whiteside: what’s your what’s your take on old school PBS and biotech I mean physical endpoints which that should be pretty much a moot point, maybe, and your take on using it for vdi and virtual APP and desktop workloads today versus let’s say mcs.

00:02:54.780 –> 00:03:05.970
Bill Sutton: Well, as far as physical workloads, you know as you recall the big challenge without outside of the networking was the every device needed to be that, in theory, the same or almost the same.

00:03:06.600 –> 00:03:22.080
Bill Sutton: To support the image he had have same device drivers and all the complexity that went along with having to to manage physical physical devices, obviously, when we applied the virtualization layer a lot of that was reduced significantly if not eliminated, but that networking networking.

00:03:22.680 –> 00:03:27.420
Andy Whiteside: Well before you move on let’s hit on that real quick because yeah I was day you just pointed that out right, I mean if i’m in azure.

00:03:27.990 –> 00:03:35.310
Andy Whiteside: Right, I assume, my tools and drivers, I need are going to be, all the same, so that’s that’s actually a big hurdle that we don’t have to overcome anymore right.

00:03:35.580 –> 00:03:42.120
Bill Sutton: Absolutely yeah I mean I when you talk about projects that I had one years ago with an insurance company.

00:03:43.470 –> 00:03:48.240
Bill Sutton: PBS for delivering session hosts servers on vmware.

00:03:49.290 –> 00:03:59.130
Bill Sutton: And we set it up, it was I set it up in like less than two days had everything set up working it was let it let it bake overnight and I came back the next morning and had like 20,000 retreads.

00:03:59.730 –> 00:04:12.240
Bill Sutton: On the V disk and the performance was terrible and we spent weeks, they spent weeks trying to figure it out and turn out they had a loop in their network somebody had run a cable literally from one side of the data Center to the other side of the data Center and created a network loop.

00:04:12.600 –> 00:04:16.950
Bill Sutton: yeah and that caused all this reach reach rise and re transmissions and.

00:04:17.430 –> 00:04:21.150
Bill Sutton: Nearly killed the project but mcs was was obviously.

00:04:21.390 –> 00:04:27.990
Bill Sutton: More storage based or is more storage based and certainly much, much simpler, because it doesn’t have that networking component, but.

00:04:28.560 –> 00:04:42.090
Bill Sutton: The biggest advantage in my view of PBS, as you know, is is the ability to just really quickly and easily roll back and roll forward because it’s those images or those snapshots versions, they call them are so easy to manipulate yeah.

00:04:42.600 –> 00:04:53.130
Andy Whiteside: Well, and we’ve had a lot of experience lately with mcs on top of hyper converge stuff like the tactics and the roll forward and roll back is not instance, but it’s still pretty quick, but you.

00:04:53.160 –> 00:04:53.430
Andy Whiteside: know.

00:04:54.390 –> 00:05:05.670
Andy Whiteside: you point out a couple things there, the idea that you can roll forward and back and back to the key right when you when it’s like oh that didn’t work and we need to roll back PBS is super quick, I mean that’s just drag and drop reboot right.

00:05:06.000 –> 00:05:06.870
Bill Sutton: that’s exactly right.

00:05:07.530 –> 00:05:08.340
Andy Whiteside: And then you have.

00:05:09.360 –> 00:05:19.860
Andy Whiteside: The driver thing that you talked about, you have the networking, which is now done in the cloud portability, maybe, maybe the portability is not just the roll forward bag, but it’s you know take it to a different cloud and change the tools out.

00:05:20.190 –> 00:05:33.990
Andy Whiteside: Right and then you take something like maybe vmware on top of azure on top of aws and and now I don’t have to change the tools, because the hypervisor layer is the same from one to the other, you know, maybe, maybe, maybe you’re talking me into PBS in the cloud.

00:05:34.290 –> 00:05:35.340
Andy Whiteside: I thought I was crazy to begin with.

00:05:36.300 –> 00:05:43.830
Bill Sutton: Now I mean i’ve seen it and then the benefit of it, you know benefit of it doesn’t really change whether you’re talking about cloud or on Prem when you’re involved in virtualization.

00:05:44.310 –> 00:05:52.200
Bill Sutton: But I think the biggest the biggest driver of this where we’re going to see it used in the cloud is for those folks that are most familiar with PBS on Prem.

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Bill Sutton: You know, historically, well, let me back up we we I don’t see it very often in projects, usually its customers that already have it, or that are that are wedded to it.

00:06:03.000 –> 00:06:09.480
Bill Sutton: We don’t really very, very rarely maybe one or two projects over the three years i’ve been here i’ve actually seen a.

00:06:10.410 –> 00:06:17.640
Bill Sutton: PBS implementation from the ground up the vast majority of them are all of them pretty much our mcs now because it’s just simpler easier.

00:06:17.880 –> 00:06:29.760
Bill Sutton: you’re talking about smaller workloads in most cases, if you’re talking about multi thousand workloads I can certainly see where PDS would fit maybe better and easier than the storage requirements for mcs yeah.

00:06:30.420 –> 00:06:36.240
Andy Whiteside: Let me share my three and to them with same customer PBS nightmare story so maybe it’ll help somebody down the road.

00:06:37.080 –> 00:06:49.800
Andy Whiteside: One does big labs was talking about a while ago when when the when the time came for the students to come back this was during the summer we rolled it out, no problem we had a gig to the lab from the PBS server that was in the data Center which is plenty good enough.

00:06:51.180 –> 00:07:00.090
Andy Whiteside: But, but then, when the students came back all of a sudden that gig went down to like 10 megs because it was all carved up and if it was available it use it, but if it wasn’t available, we got limited to our.

00:07:00.540 –> 00:07:10.740
Andy Whiteside: Our 1010 megs or whatever it was to those labs the big one, that was a nightmare, and then in two cases I had situations where there was an antivirus in play.

00:07:11.070 –> 00:07:19.080
Andy Whiteside: That tried to look at every file every time, even though it had already checked them once they wanted to look on we had 2030 40,000 retry per boot times.

00:07:19.620 –> 00:07:33.390
Andy Whiteside: In one case it was couple hundred machines in one case was couple thousand machines there’s lots of little nuances that can bite ups that that probably bite you and mcs to you just it’s just all happens in the storage layer so fast you don’t maybe even notice it being a problem.

00:07:33.540 –> 00:07:34.500
Bill Sutton: Exactly yeah.

00:07:35.250 –> 00:07:43.230
Andy Whiteside: Just gotta just got to be on your your mind your p’s and q’s when you’re doing PBS and when it all lines up, it is kind of beautiful how it works, even today.

00:07:43.470 –> 00:07:44.580
Bill Sutton: It absolutely is.

00:07:45.990 –> 00:07:58.800
Andy Whiteside: So in the cloud so is this citrix is easy answer for legacy admin so that this this one image can can go all over the place in the cloud or clouds even including your own data Center.

00:07:59.670 –> 00:08:06.450
Andy Whiteside: I guess that’s really the magical piece here is to have that that legacy technology that is still applicable when you need it.

00:08:07.320 –> 00:08:23.040
Bill Sutton: yeah I think lots of customers have been asking for this, the ones that you know have got larger environments are that are wedded to PBS from years of use and really want to continue with that that ease of management as they see it, and in the public cloud and that coupled with their.

00:08:24.180 –> 00:08:32.580
Bill Sutton: Their their imaging service that they’re going to be the image portability service right there on the screen I don’t want to get ahead of us, but I think couple of those two together.

00:08:33.030 –> 00:08:39.480
Bill Sutton: will allow you to move those images from one public cloud to on Prem or the other way or from cloud to cloud eventually.

00:08:40.500 –> 00:08:48.960
Andy Whiteside: yeah it’s interesting to watch the two companies citrix and vmware kind of compete for the space citrix is in traditional citrix fashion, trying to make it work and work in different.

00:08:49.230 –> 00:08:50.940
Bill Sutton: On different platforms right.

00:08:51.390 –> 00:08:55.980
Andy Whiteside: vmware is trying to you know just own all the player be irrelevant and all the platforms.

00:08:56.160 –> 00:08:56.460
Andy Whiteside: So the.

00:08:57.030 –> 00:09:03.030
Andy Whiteside: V sphere or yeah sex and all the different platforms and portability is kind of native whereas citrix is trying to make it where you can.

00:09:03.540 –> 00:09:13.710
Andy Whiteside: pull it out check it out and then stick it somewhere else as needed and they’ll handle they’ll handle the layer that needs to happen to make it work from layer from platform to platform it’s.

00:09:13.950 –> 00:09:15.210
Andy Whiteside: baffling to watch this.

00:09:15.270 –> 00:09:20.160
Bill Sutton: it’s going to be really fun to watch this but you’re right, you know with vmware cloud on aws and on azure and.

00:09:20.640 –> 00:09:33.870
Bill Sutton: The whatever it’s called on Google they you know and then you’ve got on Prem so that the ability to V motion or migrate workloads from one place to the other really big it’s not any different than it was in the days, where you had it in one data Center another data Center.

00:09:34.530 –> 00:09:35.520
Bill Sutton: it’s really simple.

00:09:36.420 –> 00:09:45.840
Bill Sutton: citrix I think like you said it’s taking the the approach that we want to allow you to not have to have all that infrastructure and pay for all that infrastructure just use what you have now we can move the images around.

00:09:46.500 –> 00:09:47.610
Bill Sutton: If you decide to go from.

00:09:48.000 –> 00:09:51.060
Bill Sutton: As your aws or you have presence in both of them what have you.

00:09:52.260 –> 00:10:00.060
Andy Whiteside: You know I think I think a lot of the vendors on the easy side have realized that managing that computer so that it’s not just sitting there running for no reason.

00:10:00.450 –> 00:10:12.750
Andy Whiteside: In the cloud is really near and dear to making these things successful not not technically successful but financially successful, which I think has a lot to do with how the cloud use cases will will evolve.

00:10:13.590 –> 00:10:20.550
Bill Sutton: yeah there’s always that concern obviously about cost and being able to mitigate that by shutting machines down with the mcs.

00:10:20.940 –> 00:10:30.900
Bill Sutton: On azure In particular, I know when when that machine shuts down it literally pulls it out of the environment so there’s not even you’re not even paying for storage costs for that vm if you set it up right.

00:10:32.340 –> 00:10:38.280
Bill Sutton: I mean you know, so if you’ve got you know 500 vm at seven o’clock at night, you only need 100.

00:10:39.420 –> 00:10:45.270
Bill Sutton: If in the old days you spot them down the bits we’re still sitting on the storage, even though it was not much in the way of storage.

00:10:45.990 –> 00:10:57.870
Bill Sutton: In in mcs on azure the machines actually gone the machine objects still there, but the actual storage is is discarded so you’re not paying for that storage use.

00:10:58.770 –> 00:11:09.390
Andy Whiteside: So you’ll you’ll probably find this funny i’m the guy that’s almost 50 years old, hard to say almost 50 years old, that still has that reoccurring dream that I forgot to turn in an assignment and college.

00:11:10.050 –> 00:11:16.350
Andy Whiteside: And I wake up in a night sweat I have a similar but not exactly but a similar.

00:11:16.860 –> 00:11:24.720
Andy Whiteside: idea of being back to being a citrix administrator in the modern world we’re living in today and and not having stuff in place to turn down machines on Friday.

00:11:25.020 –> 00:11:36.780
Andy Whiteside: So that over the weekend we’re not paying for consumption I just had this reoccurring vision of walking in Monday morning going oh crud we just spent an extra $3,000 we didn’t have to spend obviously there’s tools to.

00:11:37.230 –> 00:11:46.620
Bill Sutton: yeah yeah I mean I you know I have an azure lab that I use from time to time, and most of the folks on my team have an azure lab enough pretty much told everybody when you create a vm.

00:11:47.040 –> 00:11:54.600
Bill Sutton: Set the flag on it that turns it off at 5pm or 6pm you can actually you know set a enable a setting on each vm individually.

00:11:55.140 –> 00:12:05.490
Bill Sutton: Of course you can do it via policy as well, but yeah that’s that’s always a big concern, particularly when you’re doing a lab environment if you’re building six or eight vm if you leave them all running over a weekend that can add up pretty quick.

00:12:06.330 –> 00:12:09.150
Andy Whiteside: yeah for sure I mean it’s a waste waste waste of money.

00:12:09.720 –> 00:12:10.260
Bill Sutton: Big time.

00:12:10.770 –> 00:12:18.090
Andy Whiteside: So you know that’s interesting I know you’re in the office last week and I gave you some servers for the team to use for their on premises aka home lab.

00:12:19.020 –> 00:12:33.300
Andy Whiteside: You know I think we live in a world where we gotta we gotta know how it works in both and we got to know how it works in both the same time now we need now we’ve got PBS that we can we can use in both the guys on your team will they’ll they’ll love setting that up in both.

00:12:33.930 –> 00:12:36.120
Andy Whiteside: And some of them will probably just run mcs and be done with it.

00:12:36.900 –> 00:12:48.060
Bill Sutton: yeah probably but i’m sure there are some that will set it up in both once they are aware, if they’re not already aware of the the availability, or at least in tech preview of PBS on on public cloud.

00:12:48.960 –> 00:12:51.090
Andy Whiteside: Oh that’s good point it is still in tech preview right.

00:12:51.390 –> 00:12:52.530
Bill Sutton: Yes, yes.

00:12:54.570 –> 00:13:03.030
Andy Whiteside: Well, Bill did there anything about PBS in general that we didn’t cover here and simply PBS in public cloud infrastructure that you want to bring up.

00:13:03.390 –> 00:13:04.320

00:13:06.090 –> 00:13:08.430
Bill Sutton: No nothing I can think of off top my head here.

00:13:09.540 –> 00:13:15.330
Andy Whiteside: No, no worries I think it’s pretty much straightforward thing now you know you that you think about how it works.

00:13:16.620 –> 00:13:27.510
Andy Whiteside: I guess, I do have some some some not to have some concerns or some some wondering about you know the pixie boot piece and are you booting from a.

00:13:28.920 –> 00:13:34.320
Andy Whiteside: ISO are you building, what do you booting from in order to get those helper addresses so that pixie actually works.

00:13:34.380 –> 00:13:44.430
Bill Sutton: yeah I think you’re Actually, I think the requirement is it does support you if I boot on gen two machines and I think I remember reading, but I can’t find it right now that.

00:13:45.210 –> 00:13:52.140
Bill Sutton: You would be using a boot disk boot ISO attached to it, as opposed to do I don’t think pixies supported, at least on now.

00:13:53.190 –> 00:13:56.160
Bill Sutton: there’ll be some form of a boot I saw required, but I might be wrong there.

00:13:56.340 –> 00:14:02.280
Andy Whiteside: Well, you just said two things I boot ISO and do dis depending on which one of those it is would be a very interesting different scenario.

00:14:02.610 –> 00:14:02.850

00:14:04.380 –> 00:14:11.280
Andy Whiteside: yeah so anyway, if people are listening and they want to talk about PBS and want to reach out to us and just jump on call and kind of talk through.

00:14:12.000 –> 00:14:20.190
Andy Whiteside: The many, many years we have of trying to understand how it works and what the overcome I tell you okay oh I gotta tell you my favorite PBS story I don’t think i’ve ever done on this podcast.

00:14:21.180 –> 00:14:30.120
Andy Whiteside: We were using PBS in that lab and for virtual APP and desktop aka Zen desktop at the time and the the company, I was working with the university.

00:14:30.660 –> 00:14:36.960
Andy Whiteside: Over the weekend, they changed their dh CP system to go from Microsoft the http to another third party, the http.

00:14:37.470 –> 00:14:52.650
Andy Whiteside: And one of the flags that the http server would set was released your IP on shut down so before the machines would shut down, they would release their IP address, which was not good for PBS and it would literally be like yanking the hard drive out.

00:14:53.100 –> 00:14:53.430
Bill Sutton: Right.

00:14:53.460 –> 00:15:02.850
Andy Whiteside: 20 seconds before the machine would totally shut down that was a nightmare Luckily, the guy was working with new the environment well enough after two weeks to be able to figure out what had happened.

00:15:03.780 –> 00:15:06.540
Andy Whiteside: You know, and the networking teams like Oh, we didn’t change anything we didn’t change anything.

00:15:08.850 –> 00:15:21.300
Andy Whiteside: that’s That was a funny story kinda but very, very common not necessary that use case or that scenario, but your networking changes make massive impact on the PBS world.

00:15:21.360 –> 00:15:27.630
Bill Sutton: They they they definitely will like that example I sided it actually took the customer to get somebody in there with a sniffer.

00:15:28.290 –> 00:15:33.030
Bill Sutton: to figure out what was going on and they actually found the cable that literally ran around the.

00:15:34.170 –> 00:15:39.930
Bill Sutton: floor panels it wasn’t under the floor, it was a raised floor data Center but somebody had interconnected two switches and.

00:15:40.350 –> 00:15:53.820
Bill Sutton: It just returned, and they were wondering why performance once the desktops booted performance was it would start off Okay, but then it would just get terrible just really slow and latent and as soon as they yanked those cables everything went back to normal.

00:15:54.840 –> 00:16:04.920
Andy Whiteside: that’s slightly similar but different know my first rollout of vmware yes X i’d done a pilot work fine and then we had to cut over on a Saturday nights.

00:16:05.400 –> 00:16:17.700
Andy Whiteside: Of the the physical file servers to virtual file servers and I was doing a robo copy and the pilot was great got done like an hour on the the actual rollout.

00:16:18.510 –> 00:16:25.680
Andy Whiteside: A PLC was great and then the the actual rollout was I took 20 hours for all the data to copy over and I couldn’t figure out why.

00:16:26.610 –> 00:16:31.140
Andy Whiteside: And then I walked in the next day and the networking guy who is not my biggest fan.

00:16:32.010 –> 00:16:40.650
Andy Whiteside: Was with me and we went to touch the ports where he had plugged in it from the patch panel into the switch ports and one of the two ports, when I pushed it you had to go click.

00:16:41.430 –> 00:16:57.240
Andy Whiteside: And it didn’t it wasn’t actually seated retry retry retry retry over and over and over again, we almost kicked vmware out because it was not working, and the whole thing was that the network guy didn’t actually push the rj 45 connector all the way in.

00:16:58.650 –> 00:16:59.130
Bill Sutton: wow.

00:17:00.240 –> 00:17:01.530
Andy Whiteside: Little life lessons.

00:17:02.370 –> 00:17:03.480
Bill Sutton: Oh yeah for sure.

00:17:05.370 –> 00:17:08.910
Andy Whiteside: Well, Bill anything else going on your world you want to share, while we got to get some listeners.

00:17:09.570 –> 00:17:21.180
Bill Sutton: um no not really just you know, keeping things moving and the customers need help with services side configuration design, implementation, let let me know give me a call send me an email.

00:17:21.690 –> 00:17:24.360
Andy Whiteside: yeah definitely reach out to us your salesperson is that yeah.

00:17:25.350 –> 00:17:35.520
Andy Whiteside: yeah can tell us which person, you want to work with us, and then I guess you know we never really do this, but you know as we grow we’re gonna be looking for more people to join us, you know feel free to hit myself or bill up on linkedin and.

00:17:35.550 –> 00:17:43.860
Andy Whiteside: back, let us know if you’re interested someday and and working with us and be like what we do and our focus on the EC space that would be that’d be great hopefully.

00:17:46.710 –> 00:17:53.520
Andy Whiteside: All right, well with that i’m heading off to him so i’m gonna be working with citrix at the hymns but the edge calls.

00:17:53.520 –> 00:17:54.570
Bill Sutton: conjure cause yep.

00:17:55.200 –> 00:18:01.800
Andy Whiteside: So getting back to the getting in person and man i’ve missed it it’s also very exhausting, but I think they missed it.

00:18:02.220 –> 00:18:14.340
Bill Sutton: yep it’s definitely good to see it starting back up, I really enjoyed those visits we had when you were up here with some customers and some such rights, I was a nice to get back in person absolutely right now.

00:18:15.150 –> 00:18:18.150
Andy Whiteside: All right, well with that will wrap this one up and we’ll do it again next week.

00:18:18.720 –> 00:18:20.280
Bill Sutton: Okay, thanks.