Citrix TechEdge 2014 - Citrix Group Policy Troubleshooting for XenApp and XenDesktop


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Understanding the Citrix Group Policy architecture and how to troubleshoot is key to ensuring a stable environment. This session will provide an overview of the Citrix Group Policy architecture and troubleshooting tool and steps that can be leveraged in both XenApp and XenDesktop environments.

What you will learn
- General components and architecture of Citrix Group Policy
- Best practices and disaster recovery for Citrix Group Policy
- Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy issues

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  • Here are some details surrounding policy refresh intervals, there are some differences to be aware of
    For policies setup in StudioAppCenter
    The Computer and logged in User policies will refresh every 90 minutes
    For AD GPO’s
    The refresh interval is typically every 90 minutes plus or minus a random offset
    This update interval can also be set via AD GPO at the domain level
    For either method
    Computer policies will update at machine startup
    User policies will refresh during login or reconnection to an active or disconnected session
    You can also manually update the policies by issuing gpupdate /force (this is helpful when you modify policies and want them to refresh quicker)
  • Now that we’ve reviewed the components and files involved in Citrix Group Policy, I want to tie this altogether for you by showing you how Citrix Group Policies are applied when a user logs in. NOTE, this process is similar for when a computer starts up.
    Here we have an end user ready to log in <PAUSE><PAUSE> What, this isn’t your end user, lucky
    Ok, here’s your happy end user logging in
    Once the user logs in, the Microsoft Winlogon process starts up
    Then it loads the available Client Side Extensions
    This includes not only the Microsoft policy extension, the Citrix one as well
    From this point I’ll focus on the Citrix CSE
    Citrix CSE starts to process the policies and the local GPO’s are processed first
    Then CSE process the Farm policies
    Then lastly CSE processes the Active Directory policies
    Now the precedence order is just the opposite of our processing order (so Active Directory policies l take precedence over Farm policies and so on), using this precedence order and any policy filters involved, a resultant set of policies file (RSOP.GPF) is created
    This file is then used to make the actual policy settings in the registry (the registry location is based on whether we dealing with Computer or User policies)
    Let’s take a closer look at this final stage of Citrix Group Policy processing, since there’s a lot more going on here and understanding this critical stage can help you significantly when troubleshooting
  • The Rollback.GPF file is loaded from the cache (keep in mind this is the file containing instructions to remove or undo the existing RSOP settings)
    We then apply the new RSOP policy settings, this results in the registry being updated
    We then remove the previous cached GPF files
    Then we copy the new RSOP.gpf file to the cache and create a new Rollback.gpf file for the existing session which is cached as well
    The newer Rollback.gpf file will then be used the next time the User logs in (or Computer starts up)
    Then the LastUpdate value is updated in the registry for the Computer or Session
    At this point, we’re done
  • Citrix TechEdge 2014 - Citrix Group Policy Troubleshooting for XenApp and XenDesktop

    1. 1. Citrix Group Policy Troubleshooting for XenApp and XenDesktop Rick Berry, Senior Escalation Engineer Citrix Synergy, May 2014 SYN406
    2. 2. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.2 Tweet about this session with hashtag #syn406 and #citrixsynergy
    3. 3. Citrix Group Policy Architecture Overview of Citrix Group Policy and Components
    4. 4. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.4 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Policy Application Terminology Local Group Policies • Local GPO containing Computer and User settings Citrix Farm Policies • Also known as IMA farm policies (XenApp) • Set via AppCenterDSC (XenApp 6.x) or Studio (XenDesktopXenApp 7.5) • Stored in the farm datastoredatabase Active Directory Policies • Set via Site, Domain or OU GPO’s • Stored in Active Directory • Allows combining of Citrix and Microsoft Policies
    5. 5. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.5 Local Policies Citrix FarmIMA Polices Active Directory Site GPO Active Directory Domain GPO Active Directory OU GPO Citrix Group Policy Architecture Processing and Precedence for RSOP Processing Precedence RSOP will have CDM = Enabled CDM = Disabled
    6. 6. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.6 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Citrix Group Policy Management Console Citrix GPMC - A connector into the Microsoft GPMC Management of Citrix group policies via AppCenterStudio or GPMC Allows Citrix policy modelingcomparison Can be installed for standalone use Core binaries are in: • %PROGRAMFILES% and %PROGRAMFILES(x86)% • Under CitrixGroup PolicyManagement
    7. 7. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.7 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Citrix Group Policy Client Side Extension Also known as Citrix CSE (CitrixCseClient.dll) Loaded via Microsoft Winlogon process Generates policy requests (ComputerUser) Retrieves values to determine policy filter calculation Forwards policy requests to Citrix Caching Service Core binaries are in: • %PROGRAMFILES% and %PROGRAMFILES(x86)% • Under CitrixGroup PolicyClient-Side Extension
    8. 8. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.8 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Citrix Group Policy Caching Service Citrix Group Policy Engine service (CitrixCseEngine), part of Citrix CSE Performs the Citrix policy calculation and writes settings to the registry Caches Group Policy files between calculations to avoid excessive network traffic GPO (ADFarm) Local Cache: • %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixCseCache Also caches per-computer and per-user data files
    9. 9. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.9 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Data Files - Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) Per-Computer and Per-User resultant Citrix policy settings end up in RSOP.gpf These binary files are cached in: • Per-Computer → %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixCseCache • Per-User → %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixCseCache<SessionID> Files are used to create policy registry settings under: • Per-Computer → HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix • Per-User → HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix<SessionID>User
    10. 10. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.10 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Data Files – Rollback We needed a way to remove RSOP settings Mechanism creates a Rollback.gpf file Contains instructions to remove existing RSOP settings These binary files are cached in: • Per-Computer → %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixCseCache • Per-User → %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixCseCache<SessionID>
    11. 11. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.11 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Citrix Policy Filters Allows granular control of Citrix policies Filters policy settings based on certain criteria Different options based on the policy category Can’t be applied to the default Unfiltered policy
    12. 12. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.12 Policy Filters Computer Policies
    13. 13. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.13 Policy Filters User Policies Additional filter types For User Policies
    14. 14. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.14 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Unfiltered Policy and Templates There’s a default Unfiltered policy (contains no settings) Unfiltered policy settings apply to all objects Can be disabled if not needed (set to lowest priority) There are pre-configured policy Templates in place Templates grouped by end user connectivity (WAN, LAN) Policies created can be saved as templates
    15. 15. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.15 Policy Management XenApp 6.x - XenDesktop 5.x Separate Computer and User Policy Nodes
    16. 16. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.16 Policy Management XenApp 7.5 – XenDesktop 7.x Single Policy Node
    17. 17. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.17 Citrix Group Policy Architecture Citrix Policy Update Intervals For Citrix farm policies setup via AppCenterStudio: • Citrix policies for Computer and Users (logged in) refresh every 90 minutes For Citrix Policies set via AD GPO: • Leverage AD refresh interval (default is 90 minutes +- a random offset of 0-30 minutes) • What is set via AD GPO For either method: • Computer Policies update at machine startup • User Policies will also be updated during a reconnect to an active or disconnected session • Policies can be updated manually by running: gpupdate /force
    18. 18. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.18 User Policy Application (Similar for Computer) WinLogon Client Side Extensions Microsoft CSE Citrix CSE AD GPO Local GPO Resultant Policy RSOP.GPF Local server Registry Farm or Studio GPO Citrix CSE HKLMSoftwarePolicesCitrix (For Server) -or- HKLMSoftwarePolicesCitrix<SessionID>User
    19. 19. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.19 Policy Application Details Load existing Rollback.gpf Rollback.gpf Registry %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixGroupPolicy -or- %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixGroupPolicy<SessionID> Apply RSOP RSOP.gpf Delete Cached GPF files RSOP.gpf Rollback.gpf Registry Cache new files RSOP.gpf Rollback.gpf Set time in LastUpdate Under Events Registry Area All Done!Rollback.gpf
    20. 20. Recommended Practices - Tips Based on Citrix Support cases 20
    21. 21. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.21 Recommended Practices Architecture While supported, using both AD and FarmStudio Citrix policies may cause confusion when troubleshooting issues • Try to use one type or the other depending upon requirements Using WMI filters on AD GPO’s containing Citrix policies may cause issues during reconnects (due to WMIAD timeouts) • Use WMI filters sparingly • Possible mitigation: using DisableGPCalculation setting
    22. 22. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.22 Recommended Practices Document Policies For Farm (AppCenterStudio) applied policies: • Written documentspreadsheet (Scout can provide as well) For Active Directory applied policies: • Use the GPMC Save Report option on your AD GPO For either of the above: • CtxCseUtil – RSOP reporting tool • Export using Citrix Group Policy PowerShell module
    23. 23. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.23 Recommended Practices What Not To Do! To prevent Citrix Group Policy consistency issues, don’t manually manipulateremove any of the Citrix Group Policy data files on your own This includes filesfolders or reg entries under: • %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixGroupPolicy<SessionID> • %PROGRAMDATA%CitrixGroupPolicy • HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix<SessionID> • HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix Might be needed for certain fixes (LA5051)
    24. 24. Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy
    25. 25. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.25 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Recommended Approach Know your BaselineCollect the Details Determine Versions Policy Cache GPF Files RSOP Registry Settings Connection Information Additional Data Points
    26. 26. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.26 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Baseline and Collect Details – The Four W’s Make sure you can answer the following: Who is seeing the issue? What issue are they seeing? Tokyo Chicago Miami
    27. 27. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.27 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Baseline and Collect Details – The Four W’s Make sure you can answer the following: Who is seeing the issue? What issue are they seeing? When are they seeing the issue? Where are they seeing the issue? New Session? Reconnecting? Smooth Roaming? All of the Above?
    28. 28. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.28 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Determine Versions What version am I at??
    29. 29. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.29 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Determine CSE Version Look in the component directory Check CitrixCseEngine.exe
    30. 30. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.30 Troubleshooting Citrix Group Policy Determine GPMC Version
    31. 31. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.31 Product Versions - Reference XenApp – Baseline (Updated) Version Citrix GPMC Citrix CSE 6.0 1.0 1.0 6.5 1.5 (1.7) 1.5 (1.7) 7.5 2.2 2.1
    32. 32. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.32 Product Versions - Reference XenDesktop – Baseline (Updated) Version Citrix GPMC Citrix CSE 5.5, 5.6 1.5 (1.7) 1.5 (1.7) 7.1 2.1 2.1 7.5 2.2 2.1
    33. 33. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.33 Policy Cache Active Directory Policies Seeing {GUID} in the filename = AD GPO The 0 here denotes User policy settings The 1 here denotes a Computer policy
    34. 34. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.34 Policy Cache Active Directory Policies We have a match!! We have a match!!
    35. 35. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.35 Policy Cache FarmStudio Policies Lack of {GUID} = Farm policies
    36. 36. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.36 GPF files Per-Computer files Per-User files SessionID = 2
    37. 37. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.37 RSOP Registry Settings Per-Computer (HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix)
    38. 38. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.38 RSOP Registry Settings Per-User (HKLMSoftwarePoliciesCitrix<SessionID>)
    39. 39. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.39 Connection Information
    40. 40. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.40 Connection Details HKLMSoftwareCitrixICASession
    41. 41. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.41 Troubleshooting Tools - CtxCseUtil Citrix RSOP Report Tool Creates resultant set of policies report containing user settings, computer or both Can be run locally or remotely against a server or VDA Converts RSOP.gpf to HTML report End user has to have logged in at some point End user doesn’t have to be actively logged in
    42. 42. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.42 Troubleshooting Tools - CtxCseUtil Common Errors Solution: Run WinRm QuickConfig Typical error when first run…
    43. 43. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.43 Troubleshooting Tools - CtxCseUtil CtxCseUtil - Common Errors Help Message.docx Possible using Local Administrator Account?
    44. 44. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.44 Once run, resultant report is: CitrixRsopResult.html Resultant Report - CitrixRsopResult.html Troubleshooting Tools - CtxCseUtil
    45. 45. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.45 Citrix Group Policy PowerShell Module Citrix.GroupPolicy.Commands.psm1 Module containing cmdlets for Citrix Policies • Local, Farm or Active Directory Needs to be imported via PowerShell prompt Contains cmdlets to: • Set or Get Citrix policy settings • Export or Import Citrix policy objects Policy Details ImportedExported: • Policy Settings • Configuration Details • Filters
    46. 46. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.46 Citrix Group Policy PowerShell Module Exporting Farm Policies GET-COMMAND output
    47. 47. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.47 Citrix Group Policy PowerShell Module Exporting Farm Policies Once completed, these are your files Export the policies
    48. 48. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.48 Use the same PowerShell Module and cmdlets Connect to Active Directory GPO via New-PSDrive cmdlet See CTX140039 for the details Citrix Group Policy PowerShell Module Exporting Citrix Policies from Active Directory
    49. 49. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.49 CDFControl CDF Tracing Tool
    50. 50. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.50 FarmStudio Policy Issue Farm policies stored in a single object Likely related to corrupt policy Error seen when accessing policies Don’t restore datastoredatabase Contact Citrix Technical Support Maintain an updated policy export!!
    51. 51. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.51 WMI Related Issues Reconnect Issues If using WMI Filters on AD GPO’s, might see reconnect issues • Citrix policies not applying for reconnected sessions • LoginsReconnects taking long time to occur (does the issue resolve itself after some time?) Enable Microsoft Group Policy logging: • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionDiagnostics "GPSvcDebugLevel"=dword:00030002 Log file will be in: • %WINDIR%debugusermodegpsvc.log • If you see FilterCheck: Evaluate returned error. hr=0x80041069, AD is timing out on WMI call Look in Event Viewer as well for WMI errors
    52. 52. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.52 Takeaways Architecture and files related to Citrix Group Policy How Citrix policies apply during user login (computer too) Recommended practices Troubleshooting methods and tools Documenting and backing up your policies is important!!
    53. 53. Resources Links related to Citrix Group Policy 53
    54. 54. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.54 Resources Citrix Documentation Links Citrix Product Documentation Site (eDocs) Manage Citrix Policies (XenDesktopXenApp 7.5) Working with Citrix Policies (XenApp 6.5) Policy Settings Reference (XenApp 6.5)
    55. 55. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.55 Resources CTX140268 - Citrix policy settings not being displayed properly in newer Citrix Group Policy Management Console CTX127611 - How Citrix IMA Policies fit in to Microsoft GPO Processing and Precedence Model CTX138537 – HRP02 for Citrix XenApp 6.5 (for DisableGPCalculation setting) CTX130116 - Case Study: Unable to Apply Citrix Policies because of 0kb gpf Files CTX134081 - Planning Guide - Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Policies
    56. 56. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.56 Resources Group Policy Tools CTX140267 - Updated Citrix Group Policy PowerShell Module CTX138533 - Citrix Policy Reporter - RSOP CtxCseUtil Tool CTX140039 - How to Import and Export Policies in XenApp 6.x CTX111961 – CDFControl CTX130147 – Citrix Scout MS TechNet – Group Policy Cmdlets for PowerShell MS TechNet Blog – Enabling Group Policy Logging using RSAT
    57. 57. Questions and Wrap-Up
    58. 58. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.58 Questions?
    59. 59. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.59 Before you leave… Conference surveys are available online at starting Thursday, May 8 at 9:00 a.m. • Provide your feedback by 6:00 p.m. that day to be entered to win one of many prizes Download presentations starting Monday, May 19 from the My Event Planning tool
    60. 60. © 2014 Citrix. Confidential.60 WORK BETTER. LIVE BETTER.