It never ceases to amaze me how much our software technologies evolve over time. No sooner have you mastered a console or technology stack then the next version is only a matter of weeks away, it might be a small revision, it could be a complete redesign ; I’m not complaining, far from it, I love challenging myself and 2015 is no different with the sweeping changes Citrix has made to XenDesktop.
I’ve been in the IT business for a number of years now and I was brought up on a diet of Windows v3.1 and Windows 95 workstations, a world of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) – it had it all; for me opening the MS DOS command prompt was to do two things, ping a host or check my IP address. When I moved into the world of Server Computing, Microsoft NT4, Server 2000, 2003 and 2008 all pretty much followed the same mould but the Windows operating system landscape was changing and changing always means adapting. Soon we could install Windows without a GUI, a strange concept for me and would leave me pondering as to why.
So when Citrix brought XenDesktop v7 to the table it was still nice and familiar for me, a GUI console to manage the environment and a web based console for managing users but something new struck me; every click of the mouse within the GUI to perform an action had a corresponding PowerShell command. You may ask yourself what’s the point? Well if you need to automate a repetitive task or create a process that the GUI doesn’t handle that well you can break open a PowerShell session and take control that way. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to navigate around the GUI to perform a task, now I can do the same task from a command prompt using the tab key to autocomplete what I’m typing within a matter of seconds.
Now after many years of avoiding the world of programming I find myself embracing PowerShell. I can use it like MS DOS to still ping a host or check my ip address but now I can also use it to check the number of users connected to XenDesktop delivery group from a particular IP subnet from the comfort of my local workstation without having to open the GUI console. PowerShell is opening up a whole new world of possibilities so next up for me is scripting together several commands, thankfully here at CDW I have access to great study material and a Microsoft PowerShell MVP. #ExcitingTimes
Author: Mark Jubb, EUC Consultant
Based out of the Service Operations Centre in Peterborough Mark Jubb is a EUC Consultant to both managed customers and cloud based customers within CDW's ServiceWorks Platform. Mark has been recognised by Citrix as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the recent NetScaler exam series and continues to support Citrix Education in the development of new training and exam materials. He is an active member of the Citrix community within the UK and on twitter @mark_jubb