Deploy the Simple XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint on Microsoft Azure Classic

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This topic describes how to deploy the Simple XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint with a cloud-based NetScaler Gateway on Microsoft Azure Classic. 

If you want to deploy a XenApp and XenDesktop proof-of-concept with an on-premises NetScaler VPX appliance, use the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint.

What does this blueprint do?

When you deploy this blueprint, Smart Tools performs the following tasks:

  • Provisions a domain controller and creates a domain.
  • Provisions a XenApp and XenDesktop Delivery Controller and Server VDA and joins them to the domain.
  • Installs XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 and creates a database and delivery site.
  • Deploys a NetScaler VPX appliance to your Azure account and configures NetScaler Gateway to provide secure external access to your applications and desktops.  

Note: This blueprint deploys NetScaler Gateway by default. If you don't want to include NetScaler in your proof-of-concept, use the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint instead. 

Provisioned machine configurations

The blueprint includes recommended configurations for each machine that Smart Tools provisions to the deployment. The following Azure machine sizes are the default selections when you configure the VM for each machine tier in the deployment:

Operating system: Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition (all machines)

Machine Type Azure Machine Size
Domain controller A2 (2 Cores, 3.5 GB Memory)
Delivery Controller A3 (4 Core, 7 GB Memory)
Server VDA A2 (2 Core, 3.5 GB Memory)

Important: This blueprint includes conditions for deploying the components above on supported resource locations. 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.

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To deploy this blueprint, you need the following items:

  • A Microsoft Azure account. If you don't have an Azure account, you can create one at
  • A NetScaler VPX Enterprise license. You will need to supply the license file during the blueprint deployment process. The default hostname for the NetScaler appliance is xd-poc-ns.

Prepare for deployment (optional)

To deploy this blueprint with minimal interruption, Citrix recommends performing the tasks in this section before you begin the deployment. If you prefer to get started quickly, you can perform these tasks during the blueprint deployment process instead.

  1. In Smart Tools, add your Azure account as a resource location. To do this, follow the steps described in Add a Microsoft Azure Classic resource location
  2. In Smart Tools, add the Simple XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint in the Checks and Blueprints catalog to your library. 
  3. Using the Azure portal, create a virtual network with a subnet, cloud service, and storage account in the location where you want to deploy the blueprint. When naming the virtual network and subnet, do not include spaces.

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Deploy the blueprint

  1. From Smart Tools, click Checks and Blueprints and add the Simple XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint to your account.
  2. Click Smart Build, click Actions > Deploy, then click Start deployment setup
  3. On the Overview page, enter a Deployment Name and then click Next.
  4. On the Resource Location page, select your Azure resource location and then click Next. If you have not yet set up a resource location, select Add New Resource Location and follow the steps described in Add a Microsoft Azure Classic resource location.
  5. On the Pre-deployment Checklist, click Continue
  6. On the Size page, ensure Create new VMs is selected. 
  7. For the Domain Controller machine tier, perform the following actions:  
    1. In the Select a Resource Location field, select your Azure Classic resource location. The Configure VM dialog box appears.
    2. On the Choose An Image page, select the most recent image of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter. 
    3. On the Instance Details page, configure the following settings and then click Next:
      • In Virtual Network, select an existing virtual network or create a new one. To create a new virtual network, select Create new virtual network and subnet. On the Create Virtual Network and Subnet page, enter a Virtual Network Name and a Subnet Name. Click Create Virtual Network
        Note: Virtual Network names must start with a letter and end with a letter, number, or underscore. Both Virtual Network and Subnet names can contain only letters, numbers, underscores, periods, and hyphens.
      • In Cloud Service, select an existing cloud service or create a new one. To create a new cloud service, select Create a new cloud service. On the Create Cloud Service page, enter a Cloud Service DNS Name and then press TAB to validate the name's format. Click Create Cloud Service
      • In Storage Account, select an existing storage account or create a new one. To create a new storage account, select Create a new storage account. On the Create Storage Account page, click Create Storage Account.
      • On the Security and Network page, enter the Username and Password you want to use for the Administrator account. These credentials are used for the Domain Admin account when the VM is promoted to a domain controller. Make a note of these credentials; you will need to supply them when you configure the blueprint's deployment parameters later on. Click Next.
        Important: Do not use "Administrator" or "Admin" as the username for this VM. As a security best practice, Azure requires distinct usernames for administrator accounts. For example, you might enter "poc-admin" as the username for each VM tier.
      • On the Summary page, leave Copy this configuration to other VM tiers selected and then click Finish
  8. On the Size page, click Next to continue the deployment.
  9. On the Configuration page, enter the following settings and then click Next:
    • In DomainName, enter a fully-qualified domain name for your XenDesktop deployment.
    • In SafeModePassword, enter a password to allow administrators to repair Active Directory in safe mode.
    • In ServerVdi, select yes to configure the Server VDA machine to support Server VDI. Select no (the default) to configure the Server VDA machine to support shared RDS desktops. 
    • In VPX Password, enter a password to assign to the NetScaler VPX that Smart Tools will deploy.
    • In License File, click Upload File and select your NetScaler VPX Enterprise license file.
  10. (Optional) Enter a deployment profile name and then click Save to save your blueprint deployment settings. Otherwise, click Cancel.
  11. Click Deploy.

After the deployment begins, Smart Tools displays the status of the deployment in the Deployment Details page. The Deployment Details page includes the real-time progress of each step in your blueprint. Depending on machine availability and the complexity of the blueprint, the deployment might take some time to complete, and some blueprint steps might take longer than others.

During deployment, Smart Tools sends you email notifications when each machine in the blueprint is successfully provisioned. When the deployment is finished, Smart Tools sends you a final email notification. 

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