Presentation: Netscaler Insight, a Brief introduction


During another Great E2EVC Conference, my friend Ronnie Hamilton and I presented a session on the greatness of Netscaler Insight and we planned to share the following presentation afterwards as there were a number of sizing recommendations and figures that didn’t lend themselves to a presentation!

In this presentation you’ll find the following topics:

  • What is Netscaler Insight.
  • Demo of insight data natively from Insight manager.
  • What’s it available in (licensing).
  • Deploying Insight in 5 minutes.
  • Integrating it into director.
  • How can it be deployed.
  • What’s new in version 11.
  • Netscaler Sizing Considerations.
  • Insight Manager Sizing considerations.

Download link.

A big thank you to Ronnie and E2EVC for the great trip. See you soon!

New Module: Creating an RDP file password with PowerShell

Windows_PowerShell_iconHere’s something that is surprisingly tricky to automate in this day and age. Creating a password and storing it in an RDP file. I’m not here to debate the security “knock ons” of doing this, it’s not in my interest and if I’m asked to do something despite advice against it, I do it!

But as always I figured I’d share this feature in case anyone else needs it.

So RDP files encrypt a password in a very specific way and details online are cagey.This is something I set about doing myself and I’m happy to annouce I’ve included it in the following Free Powershell module for your use!

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Altaro VM Backup Review

logoWell you may be asking yourself what an EUC focused guy is doing reviewing a backup product, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure either but then something happened and I suddenly grew a strong appreciation for this product… but more on that later.

As one who still remembers (and has the scars) from those dreaded tape restore days to off site locations. I remember spending 72 hours + trying to restore machines to different hardware, struggle with different tape drive manufacturers and trying to find the right tape!  I jumped ship from sys admin long ago and moved to EUC, avoiding the backup market like the plague in later years so I really was a fresh set of eyes to this age old conundrum.

Recently I stumbled across Altaro VM backup as part of my usual day to day readings and my interest was piqued. Withstanding that as a home lab owner and a hypervisor snob I really only run vSphere and Hyper-V was normally not something I enjoyed working with… I got talking to a nice gentleman from Altaro and I was invited to join the closed beta for vSphere.

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Citrix Receiver for Mac and British keyboard tomfoolery.

receiver-iconTomfoolery? indeed! Here is a problem that drove me nuts on a daily basis and I’m delighted to report the great Simon Frost and Dustin Norman of Citrix heard my cries of frustration and kindly resolved my issue outright. Stand up gentlemen they are!

My issue was simple, as a developer and powershell zealot, I regularly used the pipe Symbol (|) in anger. Well in anger i mean, I was literally angry as despite pressing the frickin pipe key, an imposter appeared in the remote console…


  • Looked like a pipe? Yes!
  • Acted like a pipe? NO!

So anyway, being a Citrix CTP has it’s benefits, I reached out to the aforementioned blokes and sure enough a few emails were exchanged and poof! issue resolved.

To paraphrase Dustins email:

  1. Open ~/Library/Application Support/Config in a text editor
  2. Find the KeyboardLayout setting in the [WFClient] section
  3. Change KeyboardLayout to: British
  4. Save the file
  5. Launch the session

Tada! Pipe back to normal. Thanks again Simon and Dustin.

ThreadLocker 2.0 is live!

Threadlocker 128x128Back in 2012 I wrote a utility called “ThreadLocker” for dealing with CPU heavy processes or multi threaded processes that have a nasty tendency to cause sluggish performance or even hangs in shared computing environments.

You can read all about the original concept here. My good friend and fellow CTP Barry Schiffer also wrote a really good article about the need for a product like ThreadLocker here.


Some history:

In essence, ThreadLocker was a utility for both shared and 1:1 desktop environments. It allowed you to layer in rules for processes that had a history of high or discruptive CPU usage, to protect the other users (in a shared environment) or to protect other running processes and the users interface (explorer.exe) while a large compute job was occurring.

ThreadLocker exploded with popularity and has received well over 100,000 downloads in the last three years. Alike ThinKiosk, ThreadLocker is a tool I regularly come across in my customers environments while consulting and it always suprised me with it’s uptake and popularity. I have observed ThreadLocker in VDI, SBC and even on stand alone workstations with great levels of success.


Moving on:

One of the frustrations I had with ThreadLocker, was any .NET based language (c#,, etc.) was never quick enough to be able to add an intelligent aspect to the utility without actually making CPU usage worse by implementing. ThreadLocker 1.0 relied on static rules and any new processes would have to be observed and added.

Recently David Coombes and I undertook the side project of redesigning ThreadLocker to run in c++, adding the raw speed we needed to be able to make intelligent decisions based on CPU usage and react in a fraction of a second to a sudden CPU spike. ThreadLocker 2.0 was designed to specifically tackle two issues:

  • Processes comsuming a large % of CPU and is multithreaded.
  • Many buggy or heavy processes, each consuming a core each.

We didnt want to tackle this with the approach of many others, where they’ll pause and resume threads many times a second creating a “SawTooth” effect on the processes CPU usage. We wanted the processes to run as fast as they need up to a certain threshold and only be restricted when contention is likely.

Having experienced other vendors approaches where process priority is dropped, many times this simply does not cut it as a heavy process, even at idle priority, will cause the other users and processes to feel slow and sluggish.

Why is ThreadLocker different?

With ThreadLocker 2.0, you can elect a percentage of your CPU cores that ThreadLocker can use for isolating these processes. When a process violates the ThreadLocking criteria, they are locked into these subset of cores to contend with any other processes that are also ThreadLocked, leaving well behaved processes to be able to take advantage of all cores in system. Once they start to behave again and do so for a certain amount of time, the processes are dropped back into the “wild” unless they decide to misbehave again.

This approach is extremely fast (ThreadLocker consumes less CPU than Microsoft’s own Task Manager) from a processing point of view and also has the benefit of allowing users to multitask with other applications while, for example, Excel hammers the ThreadLocking cores during a calculation.

The end result has been fantastic. Threadlocker can be installed and up and running in seconds. There is no longer a requirement for static rules and out of box, all aspects of the logic can be tuned to suit your environment, but more than likely wont be needed.

 Demo Video:



We are proud to announce the general availability of ThreadLocker 2.0 and more information can be found on our website at