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Is Citrix unreliable???

Discussion in 'Software' started by michael78, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I was thinking about specialising in an area to get away from support after I finish my MCSA off and Citrix sprang to mind as that and Virtualisation seems to be the future. The problem is where I work (a global company) Citrix is just so unreliable and messes up a lot and is slow as hell. I'm constantly reinstalling the client and contacting our help desk in India (as they look after it) to get them to reset settings and fix problems.

    Is this the norm for Citrix or is it just that the company I work for doesn't have it set up correctly. As from what I'm lead to believe Citrix should be fast as hell as the processing is done from the server and pretty stable. Any thoughts on this as I don't want to specialise in an application that is flaky as I want less stress rather than more...:blink
     
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  2. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Your working in tech... stress is kind of a given.

    Anyway, I've not heard many reports of particularly unreliable Citrix. Unreliability in virtual environments can normally be traced back to under provisioned server resources in my experience.

    As for specialising in Citrix, I'd be careful on that one, theres nothing more scary for a tech than specialising in a particular up and coming technology only to have the rug pulled out from under you when the bubble bursts. I'd widen your plan to include virtualisation in general, gives you a wider appeal.

    just my 0.2.
     
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  3. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Both myself and Modey (Dom) use to work with Citrix back about 4 years. Citrix itself back then was stable, however the things that caused problems and made it appear that Citrix was unstable was:

    1. The server, the company that put it in, put too many clients on this one server (they put approx 45 clients on a server that we found out after investigating could really only cope with a max of 30) &

    2. The network infrastructure was not sound, there were 10mb switches (unmanaged) and hubs still around. Something both of us work hard to get rid off.

    We did end out dumping Citrix as it didn't meet our needs, however the newer versions of Citrix are alot better.

    To tell the truth, there are alot of things that can affect a companies implmentation of Citrix, like I've already said: The servers itself, the network infrastructure (hard wire as well as the network cables), the thin clients itself as well as the initial installation can affect usability.

    I hope that they get it sorted :)

    -ken
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I wholeheartedly agree with both of the above replies... including the part about specializing in one niche of IT. If Citrix were to be replaced with other technologies by most businesses... then where does that leave you?
     
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  5. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    The lure to be specialized in a niche product (i.e. Citrix; VMWare; Remedy; SAP; etc...) is that you'll usually get a higher pay especially as a consultant. The down side is if and when the industry shifts, you are likely to become redundant. The higher pay is treated as a kind of insurance.

    As for Citrix, we use it. There was some learning involved, but once the kinks were adjusted, it's been performing well.
     
  6. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Cheers for the replies guys some interesting points. I have a pretty good all round knowledge but want to leave general day to day support as I'm getting tired of it and want more out of my career. I take everyones point on the risks of specialising but I really think that Virtualisation and Citrix are the future and are here to stay.
     
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  7. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Slypie,

    Sounds exactly the way I was thinking of going, we have a 2 citrix farms that we manage and from what I can see there is a really good chance that techs like thin clients, citrix and vmware will/are making big inroads. We have a branch office that is totally thin clients and the users dont know any different. So I thought after the 291 I shall have a stab at the cca and see where I want to go after that.
     
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  8. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    At work we use Citrix for our home users to access network resources and e-mails from home and it has been solid without issues on the server side. The only issue is when several users forget to log out properly causing their sessions to disconnect and hog the server.

    I really can't fault it though we're using version 4.5 meta frame presentation server. In terms of virtualization I think Citrix has a future plus they're currently in talks of partnering with Microsoft.
     
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  9. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    sounds like you just need to enable and configure a terminate disconnected sessions, in terminal services configuration of the ica connection.
     
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  10. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I'm pretty much heading down the CCA route as well as I'm sick of general support which I've done for 5+ years and need something to rekindle my interest in IT. At present I've lost all interest in my job and think a change of direction might help me get it back.
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Stress is part of the job mate and always will be unfortunately.

    If you want to specialise in a product then that’s cool but expect to work on *big* projects so if things go belly up then you will have to fix it. That’s stress! :biggrin

    Also try to consider some other products, even if you are a guru with Citrix you might be asked to explain the advantages of Citrix over the new version of Terminal Services with Server 2008. :hhhmmm
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep... a whoooole lot more stress than that caused by "day-to-day support", that's for sure!
     
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    In many places I've worked, Citrix does have a reputation for being unreliable.

    I've found that this is usually down to one of three things:

    1 - lUsers. they don't like the fact that 'their' PCs have been replaced with thin clients, and do everything they possibly can to moan about Citrix being 'slower' than when they had 'their' old computer. Since they are only lUsers anyway, you can safely ignore this aspect of the reliability debate.

    2 - Poor implementation. This is by far the biggest issue for Citrix everywhere I've ever been. I can't count the amount of times I've worked at places where the term servers have been totally different from each other, the Citrix install has different patches applied, regional settings on servers are different, profile paths are not mapped correctly, non-matching print drivers are installed on different servers, the zones haven't been set up properly, applications have been installed differently etc etc etc. What often happens with Citrix is that some pr**k in finance (or up the IT management food chain, if the place is big enough) reads something about thin computing containing horrible phrases like 'TCO' and 'ROI' and decides that they'll implement it irrespective of the suitability for their environment because it will look good on their CV. this leads to outside consultants being brough in who invariably don't know a Goddamn thing about the company's environment and, more to the point, don't care. All they want to do is dump a OSFA solution, take their fee and sod off again, leaving the poor techs (who may never have seen TS, let alone Citrix) to manage it all.

    3 - Lack of resources. Often intrinsically linked to point 2 (management being spiteful with budgets '**** it, just stick it on the Citrix servers' without analysing resource requirements properly) this can result in a nightmare for companies. I once worked for one company (who shall remain nameless, for fear of reprisals) who had three Citrix servers serving over 150 employees. Needless to say, performance wasn't particularly good during the middle of the day... They also had a main call centre with ONE Citrix server handling the load of FIFTY employees - linked to the farm by a 128K ISDN link. That's the sort of thing you regularly encounter when working with Citrix - and they had got so tied up with the idea of saving money that they couldn't see they were actually LOSING money because they were losing business when systems regularly crashed.

    Citrix, like so many other technologies, can be put to extremely varied uses. I have yet to see, however, a company implement it 'properly' - i.e. plan for it, implement it and manage it in the way it should be managed consistently and robustly.

    IMHO, specialising in Citrix is a bad idea - particularly bad at the moment since Microsoft will kill it stone dead when Server 2008 becomes widely adopted. Most places don't use all the fancy gumph that Citrix bolts on for 'Added Value' - they just use it to deliver apps. Why would anyone bother doing this - and paying the preposterously high CAL fees Citrix charges - when you can now do it natively in Windows TS for free? I agree with earlier posters - you'd be much better off 'specialising' in a more general area (i.e. networking, security, virtualisation etc) than tying yourself to one vendor's product.
     
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  14. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    You need to set connection configuration policies. To do this, you can configure it either through AD Users and Computers (select the user account and, under the 'Sessions' tab configure your disconnect policy there), or from the Term Services Configuration tool (connect to to your term servers and open the ts configuration tool (tssc.msc) then, from there, right click the ICA session properties and set your policy there.)
     
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  15. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Cheers guys once again some really good points. I knew there was a reason I post questions like this here :biggrin

    On the point of stress I know there will always be stress in IT but when you loose your passion for the job plus stress then it's not a good thing. I feel that I've went as far as I can in general support and my wages are probably at the high end for my job and can't see them shoot up a huge amount in what I'm doing. I'm struggling to finish off my MCSA and am trying to get the buzz back to get it finished so I can move on into areas that I feel will be interesting to me to do.

    I think I'll look into Server 2008 and see if there is any point in Citrix so cheers for pointing that out to me. But again guys cheers for the pointers.
     
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  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That's all well and good - certainly it sounds like it's time to move on to something different. However, what we're saying is that specializing isn't necessarily the best way to go. What happens when you lose your passion for Citrix administration (or any niche specialization), plus the stress? What then? At that point, you've nowhere to go but to take a step or two backwards out of the niche before you can take a step forwards again.

    Not saying you shouldn't do it... but you should do it with the full realization of what could happen. :)
     
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  17. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the heads up Zeb:)
     
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  18. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Point taken in that I might be sick of doing Citrix administration but I've been thinking about leaving IT altogether but keeping having second thought due to the amount of work/money I've invested in my career. If I could go back 6 years I would of been a plummer...:biggrin
     
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  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Coulda become sick of being a plumber too. :) Eh, it happens. Happens to me particularly when I get bored with something, where I'm not learning or doing anything new.
     
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