Deploy the XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint on Citrix XenServer

Contents

Overview

The XenApp and XenDesktop Service of Citrix Cloud helps you deliver virtual applications and desktops using XenApp and XenDesktop technology. As with on-premises XenApp and XenDesktop deployments, the XenApp and XenDesktop Service requires you have a supported hypervisor or cloud provider environment. The XenApp and XenDesktop service provides the functions that would otherwise be provided by the XenApp and XenDesktop Delivery Controllers in an on-premises deployment.

This topic describes the required tasks for creating a Citrix Cloud resource location on Citrix XenServer which you can use with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.

What does the blueprint do?

The XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint enables you to create a resource location on Citrix XenServer that you can use with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service to deliver applications and desktops to your users. The resource location is where the machines that you manage through the XenCenter management console reside.

To create the resource location, the blueprint performs the following actions:

  • Deploy an Active Directory domain controller and create a domain.
  • Deploy two Cloud Connector machines, joined to the domain.
  • (Optional) Deploy two Server VDA machines, joined to the domain: one configured for RDS and one configured for Server VDI.
  • (Optional) Deploy a Storefront server, joined to the domain, if you don't want to use the Citrix-hosted Storefront that comes with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
  • (Optional) Configure a NetScaler VPX appliance and configure NetScaler Gateway for secure external access to your apps and desktops. The default hostname is xd-rl-ns, but you can change this when you configure the deployment. 

By default, the blueprint deploys these machines to the default resource location in your Citrix Cloud account. If you have multiple resource locations in your account, you can deploy the blueprint to one of them by supplying its Resource Location ID in the blueprint configuration. See Step 12 in Deploy the blueprint in this topic.

ctx-cloud-2nd-resource-location.png

When the blueprint is deployed, Smart Tools installs the Smart Tools Agent on all provisioned machines by default. The Smart Tools Agent enables Smart Tools to communicate with your XenServer environment so Smart Tools can configure each machine in the blueprint successfully. For more information about the Smart Tools Agent, see About agents in Smart Tools.

Additionally, Smart Tools creates two test user accounts, User1 and User2, and adds them to a security group called "CWC Users." You define the passwords for these accounts when you configure the blueprint deployment. 

Provisioned machine configurations

This blueprint includes recommended configurations for each machine that Smart Tools provisions to the deployment. The following recommendations are displayed when you configure the VM for each machine tier in the deployment.

Operating system (for all machines): Windows Server 2012 R2

Machine Type Memory (GB) Disk Size (GB) vCPU Size
Domain controller 2 32 2
Cloud Connectors  2 32 2
Server VDA (RDS) 4 64 4
Server VDA (Server VDI) 2 32 2
Storefront 2 32 2

Important: When configuring the VMs for each machine tier, you must allow Smart Tools to provision new VMs during deployment. Using existing machines with this blueprint is not supported and will cause the deployment to fail.

Supported XenServer versions

The blueprint supports using Citrix XenServer 6.2, 6.5, and 7.0.

Blueprint availability for other account users

When you deploy this blueprint, Smart Tools adds the blueprint to your library in Smart Tools. Additionally, all Administrator users in your Smart Tools account will have access to the blueprint.

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Prerequisites

To include NetScaler in your deployment, have the following items ready:

  • Three available IP addresses:
    • Two IP addresses to assign as the NetScaler IP address (NSIP) and the Subnet IP address (SNIP) to the NetScaler VPX appliance. These IP addresses should be from the same subnet as the blueprint assigns a single NIC to both during deployment.
    • An IP address to assign to the NetScaler Gateway.
  • A license file that enables you to provision a NetScaler Gateway on the NetScaler VPX appliance. The hostname on the license file must match the hostname you intend to use when you configure the blueprint deployment. For more information about allocating NetScaler Gateway licenses, see CTX126049 in the Citrix Knowledge Center.

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Prepare the connector

A connector is a machine that enables Smart Tools to communicate with your XenServer environment. The machine you prepare must have access to both the Internet and your XenServer environment. Additionally, this machine must reside on the same network as the machines Smart Tools will provision when you deploy the XenApp and XenDesktop Service Resource Location blueprint. 

  1. Using the XenCenter management console, create a new virtual machine with the following characteristics:
    • Operating system: Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Disk: 40 GB
    • vCPUs: 2
  2. In Windows Firewall, create an outbound rule to open port 443. The connector uses this port for communicating with Smart Tools.

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Add XenServer environment details

This task involves installing the Smart Tools Agent on the machine you prepared to be the connector and adding your XenServer environment details to Smart Tools. Completing this task enables Smart Tools to connect to your XenServer environment (through the connector) and successfully provision and configure the machines specified in the blueprint.

To complete this task, refer to the instructions in Add a Citrix XenServer resource location

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Prepare a virtual machine template

When deploying the blueprint, Smart Tools uses a VM template to provison the machines required for the deployment. The template you prepare must meet the following requirements:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 is installed.
  • XenServer Tools is installed.
  • Has all applicable Windows operating system updates installed.
  • Has at least 4 GB memory, 64 GB disk space, and 4 vCPUs.
  • Configured to acquire IP addresses dynamically.
  • Configured to allow outbound communication on port 443.
  • Local Administrator account password does not require changing at next logon.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and inbound connections on TCP port 135 (DCOM port) are enabled.
  • Sysprepped using your own unattend.xml file or the unattend.xml file supplied by Citrix

To complete this task, refer to the instructions in Prepare Windows Server VM templates for deploying blueprints.

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Deploy the blueprint

This task assumes that you are a first-time user of the XenApp and XenDesktop Service and are deploying the blueprint as the first step in setting up the service.

  1. Log on to the Citrix Cloud web site and then, from the Control Center, click Get Started for the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
  2. From the XenApp and XenDesktop Service home page, click Use Smart Tools. XenApp and XenDesktop Service directs you to Smart Tools so you can configure your resource location. This might take a few minutes to complete.
  3. On the Overview page, enter a deployment name. The default deployment name is XenApp and XenDesktop Service: Resource Location Setup. Click Next.
  4. On the Resource Location page, select your XenServer environment that you added earlier. Click Next.
  5. On the Architecture page, configure the following options and then click Next:
    • Deploy Storefront: Select yes to add a Storefront server to your deployment. By default, Smart Tools does not deploy an additional Storefront server.
    • Create RDS Template: By default, Smart Tools deploys a VDA machine image and configures it for RDS. If you don't want this VDA included in your deployment, select no.
    • Create Server VDI Template: By default, Smart Tools deploys a VDA machine image and configures it for Server VDI. If you don't want this VDA included in your deployment, select no.
    • Create NetScaler Gateway: By default, Smart Tools includes NetScaler Gateway in your deployment. If you don't want to include NetScaler, select no.
  6. On the Scale page, Smart Tools displays the machines that will be deployed in your new resource location. Click Next.
  7. On the Size page, leave Create new VMs selected.
  8. For the Domain Controller machine tier, perform the following actions:
    1. Under VM Tiers, select the XenServer deployment location you set up earlier. Smart Tools connects to your XenServer environment and the Configure VM wizard appears.
    2. On the Parameters page, configure the following settings and click Next:
      • In Create Server Method, leave Create from template selected.
      • In VM Name, accept the default value or change it as needed.
      • In Launch Template, select the sysprepped VM template you prepared earlier.
      • In Number of vCPU, accept the default value.
      • In Topology, accept the default value.
      • In Memory Size (MB), accept the default value.
      • In Place VM in Host, accept the default value. This is the name of the XenServer host or pool master you added earlier to Smart Tools. 
    3. On the Storage page, accept the default value and click Next.
    4. On the Networking page, accept the default values and click Next.
    5. On the Agent page, enter the Username and Password of the local administrator account you configured in the VM template you prepared earlier. 
    6. On the Summary page, click Finish. Smart Tools returns you to the Size page.
  9. On the Size page, perform Step 8 for the Cloud Connector, Storefront, VDA (RDS), and VDA (Server VDI) machine tiers. 
  10. For the NetScaler VPX machine tier, perform the following actions and click Next:
    1. Under VM Tiers, select the XenServer deployment location you added earlier to Smart Tools.
    2. On the Parameters page, accept the default values. By default, Smart Tools acquires the NetScaler VPX image from the XVA URL listed in the blueprint's Recommended Configuration. If you want to use your own XVA image of NetScaler VPX, you can change this URL.
    3. On the Storage page, accept the default value and click Next.
    4. On the Networking page, select Set Static IP, configure the following settings, and click Next:
      • In IP, enter the IP address you reserved for the NetScaler VPX appliance.
      • In Netmask, enter the IP address's subnet mask.
      • In Gateway, enter the default gateway for the IP address.
    5. On the Agent page, click Next. Smart Tools does not install the Smart Tools Agent on the NetScaler VPX appliance.
    6. On the Summary page, click Finish. Smart Tools returns you to the Size page. 
  11. On the Size page, click Next to continue the deployment configuration.
  12. On the Configuration page, configure the following options and then click Next:
    • AdministratorName: Enter a username for the domain administrator. The default username is Administrator.
    • AdministratorPassword: Enter a password for the domain administrator.
    • DomainName: Enter the fully qualified domain name you want to use for the domain controller Smart Tools provisions. Example: XDDomain.com
    • Test User Password: Enter a default password to assign to the User1 and User2 accounts that Smart Tools creates in the CWC Users group.
    • KmsServerAddress: (Optional) If you use a KMS server to activate Windows, enter the IP address.
    • Resource Location Id: (Optional) If you have multiple resource locations available in Citrix Cloud and you want to specify the resource location Smart Tools uses to deploy the Cloud Connectors specified in the blueprint, enter the ID for the resource location. The resource location ID is located on the Resource Locations page in Citrix Cloud.
    • Create Snapshot: If your deployment includes VDA machines, click Configure Now to configure the snapshot Smart Tools will create so you can create machine catalogs in the XenApp and XenDesktop Service. Perform the following actions:
      1.  In the Configure Create Snapshot dialog, scroll to the VDA (RDS) or VDA (Server VDI) instance and select Server 1. Click Next.
      2. In Snapshot Name, enter a filename for the snapshot. Click Next.
      3. Click Done to close the dialog. 
    • VPX Password: Enter the administrator password you want to use for the NetScaler VPX appliance. Smart Tools will use your entry to change the default NetScaler password during deployment.
    • VPX Hostname: Enter the hostname you want to use for the NetScaler VPX. The license file you supply must have this hostname listed. The default hostname is xd-rl-ns.
    • NetScaler IP Address: Enter the static IP address (NSIP) you reserved for the NetScaler VPX appliance. This is the static IP address you configured in Step 10.
    • Subnet IP Address: Enter the NetScaler Subnet IP address (SNIP) you reserved for the NetScaler VPX appliance.
    • SNIP Netmask: Enter the netmask for the NetScaler Subnet IP address.
    • License File: Click Upload File and select the NetScaler .lic file you acquired from Citrix.
    • GatewayAddress: Enter the IP address you reserved for the NetScaler Gateway that Smart Tools will configure on the NetScaler VPX appliance.
  13. Click Deploy.

Smart Tools displays the Deployment Details page which shows the progress of your deployment. From here, you can see the status of your deployment as Smart Tools executes each step.

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Post-deployment tasks

How long does the blueprint take to finish?

Deploying a resource location can take up to five hours. Be aware that some steps take longer than others to complete. 

How do I know when the resource location is ready to use?

  1. Verify the Cloud Connectors have registered with Citrix Cloud. To do this, click the menu button in the upper-left corner of the page and select Resource Locations. Each of the Cloud Connectors that Smart Tools deployed displays a green check mark to indicate it registered successfully.
  2. Verify the domain you specified has registered successfully with Citrix Cloud. To do this, click the menu button in the upper-left corner of the page and select Identity and Access Management. The Domains tab displays the domain for your new resource location with a green indicator showing the domain is online.

What do I do next?

When your resource location is ready, you can set up the XenApp and XenDesktop Service. To do this, you perform the following tasks:

  • Create a host connection. 
  • Set up machine provisioning.
  • Create a Delivery Group.

For instructions, see Getting Started with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on the Citrix Product Documentation web site.

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Tear down your resource location

If you no longer need your blueprint deployment or you want to redeploy the blueprint to the same resource location in Citrix Cloud, you can tear down the deployment in Smart Tools. When you perform a teardown, Smart Tools decommissions and terminates all the VMs that were deployed through the XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint.

Before you tear down the deployment, perform the following actions:

  1. In the Library in Citrix Cloud, remove users from any offerings created through the XenApp and XenDesktop Service for your resource location.
  2. In Studio, perform the following actions:
    1. Delete machines from all Delivery Groups in the Site.
    2. Delete all Delivery Groups in the Site.
    3. Delete all Machine Catalogs in the Site.
    4. Delete all host connections in the Site.
  3. On each Cloud Connector machine in your resource location, uninstall the Citrix Cloud Connector software.
  4. In Citrix Cloud, delete the resource location.

To launch the teardown in Smart Tools:

  1. From the menu bar, click Manage and then select the XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint deployment you want to tear down.
  2. On the deployment page, click Tear Down and then click Tear down deployment.
  3. When prompted, click Tear down. Smart Tools schedules the teardown and, after a few minutes, decommissions and terminates the VMs.

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