I guess when you boil it down… If you plan to use MCS or PVS to provision your server/desktop instances with XenDesktop 7.x you have three hypervisor choices.  XenServer (Amazon this puppy),  VMware (either you are a VMware shop or not), or  System Center 2012/Virtual Machine Manager. For this documentation we selected VMM not because there is a preference, but because the Hypervisors hosting the infrastructure is 2012 core w/ Hyper-v. The conversation about hypervisors is never a fun one to have. And either way you look at it, provisioning in any capacity is ultra expensive and the licensing component to any software is a total mess!
“Stay secure my friends… Stay secure” is the quote that plays over and over here with SQL 2012 (R2) Enterprise and Express.
I have always taken the set it and forget it approach for standard SQL installations. My desires have always been simple,  allow remote connections and  assure the configuration is secure as a baseline. The past few months has forced me out of my Server 2008 R2 zone and plopped me right in the middle of Server 2012 and all of its subtle nuances. SQL 2012 is no exception to the rule as remote connections are indeed disabled by default. Here is how to quickly correct the issue so any remote connections requiring database connectivity can be configured and accessed appropriately.
- Logon to the server where SQL 2012 is installed and fire up the SQL Server Configuration Manager
- Then expand ‘SQL Network Configuration’ followed by ‘protocols and assure “TCP/IP” is enabled (reboot or restart services required)
- A few additional things to check out should the above not work as desired.
- go to the properties of TCP/IP and verify the ip address correct.
- scroll down and clear out ‘TCP Dynamic Ports’ and then hardcode the ‘TCP Port’ to 1433 or any other port. Just remember the port you set it to.
That’s it in a nutshell. Cheers to Microsoft for keeping it real with the security and a smack to me for not checking if TCP/IP was set to enabled!
Lets start with some positive notes about any XenDesktop 7.x Proof of concept initiative.
[the introduction] I’ll admit, making the jump from XenApp 6.5 (and earlier versions) and XenDesktop 5.6 to XenDesktop 7.1 has been an awesome experience. In actuality, the entire installation and configuration of XenDesktop 7.1 is relatively straight forward. Moving away from multiple moving components like SMA and IMA is a challenge at a quick glance. And the consolidation of XenApp and XenDesktop into one product is well worth it. Trust me! Now, the getting past the sales people who subsequently know everything is a completely different story so nothing new there.
[a positive note] Now what I like about XenDesktop 7.1 is the integrated App-V feature sets, and AppDNA for the platinum edition which is great. Having a product like AppDNA to assess the likeliness of a package is to be virtualized (and what the potential issues are) is the fist step in any platform migration. Then sequencing the application for streaming with App-V is the next step. A push for App-V within the existing citrix farm and packaging groups will ultimately yield extensibility into the rest of the desktop and server platforms.
[a slight deviation] Now lets take a quick moment and talk about the end to end SQL database requirements. As far as I’m concerned citrix wins with tightly integrating SQL Express with the installer for XenDesktop 7.x. Heck, even AppDNA will gently plop down a nice looking SQL express database for you which is awesome.
Now lets delve into some bunkidge…
[the Microsoft conundrum] Now lets talk about deviation with Microsoft App-V. At a quick glance, the first thought is Awesome. I have a fully functional XenDesktop 7 deployment and now I want to try out App-V…. And then it comes…. Bang! App-V requires a full blown version of SQL. Think about it here… I already installed multiple separate SQL express instances as part of my POC. One for XenDesktop, one for Virtual Machine Manager, and one for AppDNA. And now I need full blown SQL for App-V? This logic makes Microsoft look horribly trashy and a yields a negative image across the entire IT industry.
I still love you Microsoft, I honestly do. Lets rethink this proposed infrastructure…
[pulling it out of the gutters] Lets spin this around for a second (hopefully you are still reading). If you are in the process of planning a full blown XenDesktop 7 POC and do not already have an existing lower environment SQL cluster to use, go ahead and setup/install SQL server 2012 (developer edition) first and then layer in the products (XD, App-DNA, VMM, and App-V).