About blueprints and the Blueprint Designer



Citrix Smart Tools enables you to deploy and configure the machines that host your applications and services through the use of blueprints. A blueprint is a process template that contains deployment topology, software, platform components, machine configuration, and workflow of the deployment process. It also contains information related to monitoring, scaling, redundancy, failure recovery, and teardown. You can design blueprints that include scripts and other blueprints.

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Where are blueprints located?

Published blueprints are stored in the Blueprint Catalog. This catalog contains blueprints that are predefined by Citrix and that all Smart Tools users can access. Citrix provides predefined blueprints for deploying and managing supported Citrix products.

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How do I access blueprints?

To use the blueprints in the Blueprint Catalog, you must first add them to your library. Your library is your own personal space for storing the blueprints and scripts that you create, copy from a catalog, or that other users share with you. After you add a blueprint to your library, you can include them within other blueprints or deploy them to your resource location.

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How do I modify a blueprint or create a new one?

To create or modify blueprints, use the Blueprint Designer. With the Blueprint Designer, you can create repeatable, automated blueprints that perform the following key cloud management activities through a series of specified actions:

  • Provisioning cloud resources (servers, storage, and network)
  • Installing and configuring cloud applications
  • Configuring systems and services
  • Managing instances, volumes, and network
  • Monitoring systems and applications with alerts and actions
  • Scheduling recurring operational tasks (maintenance, administration, and so on)
  • Scaling up or down

Blueprints are built from other blueprints, scripts, sub-processes, and cloud and utility steps. After you create a blueprint, you can modify it and save multiple different versions or deploy to your resource location. Smart Tools automatically executes each step and sub-process as defined in the blueprint. 

The Blueprint Designer includes the following sections you can use to configure your blueprint: 

  • Overview: This tab contains the metadata for your blueprint such as friendly name, supported resource locations, and prerequisites for deployment.
  • Deploy: Use this tab to add blueprints or scripts for building, configuring, and scaling your system architecture. This may include actions such as creating a new VM, configuring a domain, or installing an application. 
  • Manage: Use this tab to add the following types of processes to your blueprint:
    • Operations: Use this tab to add blueprints or scripts that run on a schedule. This may include system management tasks that happen at a specific time or on a recurring basis, such as backups, patching, security checks, log rotations, restarts, and so on.
    • Scale & Redundancy: Use this tab to configure manual or automatic scaling of your deployment. If you auto-scale your deployment, you can configure rules and preferences that govern when the deployment is scaled up or down and how many servers are added or decommissioned.  Blueprints that include steps for scaling resources up or down are  self-contained blueprints .
    • Fail Over: Use this tab to add blueprints or scripts that switch the functions of a failed primary component over to a secondary system component. The system component may be a processor, server, network, or database.
    • Fail Back: Use this tab to add blueprints or scripts that restore the functions to a primary system component after they have been switched to a secondary system component during failover.
    • Teardown: Use this tab to add steps that terminate the machines in your deployment. 

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How do I access the Blueprint Designer?

  1. From the Smart Tools menu bar, click Smart Build. The Library page appears.
  2. To create a new blueprint, click New Blueprint.
  3. To edit an existing blueprint, point to the blueprint and, under Actions, click Actions > Edit. Smart Tools displays the blueprint or script in the Blueprint Designer, in a modifiable state.

Note: You can also view the blueprint in the Blueprint Designer by selecting the View action from your library. However, to modify the blueprint or script, you must first click More > Edit from the Blueprint Designer's button bar.  If the blueprint is not in a modifiable state, you cannot make any changes to the blueprint.

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What are the naming requirements for new blueprints?

Blueprint names cannot be blank and must include at least one character. Blueprint names that start with the following words are not allowed:

  • AutoBlueprint
  • Upgrade Analysis Blueprint
  • Update DDC Blueprint
  • Update VDA Machines
  • Update Master Image

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