Deploy the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint on Citrix XenServer

Contents

Overview

This topic describes how to prepare a Citrix XenServer environment and deploy the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint with an on-premises NetScaler appliance. For a complete step-by-step walkthrough of this process, refer to Getting Started with Citrix Smart Tools and Citrix XenServer (PDF).

When you complete the tasks in this topic, your proof-of-concept will include the following components:

  • An Active Directory domain controller.
  • A XenApp and XenDesktop Delivery Controller, joined to the domain.
  • A Server VDA, joined to the domain.
  • (Optional) A NetScaler appliance, located in your network environment.

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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 and creates a SQL Express database and Site on the Delivery Controller.
  • Adds the Server VDA to a Machine Catalog and publishes the catalog to all domain users.
  • (Optional) Deploys NetScaler Gateway using a NetScaler appliance that you provide.

Provisioned machine configurations

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

Operating system: Windows Server 2012 R2 (all machines)

Machine Type vCPUs Memory (GB) Storage (GB)
Domain controller 2 32
Delivery Controller 4 64
Server VDA 2 32

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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Prerequisites

NetScaler prerequisites

To include NetScaler Gateway in your deployment, you need the following items:

  • The address and credentials for an existing NetScaler appliance you can use to configure the NetScaler Gateway. Ensure the NetScaler appliance is configured with an IP address (NSIP), any required subnet IP addresses (SNIP), and is licensed for a NetScaler Gateway. 
  • An available IP address to assign to the NetScaler Gateway. 
  • A file containing an X.509 certificate and private key to assign to the NetScaler Gateway. During deployment, this file will be uploaded directly to NetScaler. The file can contain just the certificate and key or a certificate bundle. For more information about certificate bundles and acceptable file formats, see the NetScaler documentation on the Citrix Product Documentation web site
  • The URL for a web server or address of a Windows file share from which the certificate file can be downloaded. If you are using a Windows share that requires authentication, you might also need a user name and password for authenticating to the share. 
  • The external URL by which the NetScaler Gateway will be accessed (for example, https://gateway.example.com).

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Task 1: Prepare a machine to be a connector

A connector is a machine in your network that enables Smart Tools to communicate with your on-premises resource location behind a firewall. 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 Proof of Concept blueprint. Later in this topic, you will install the Smart Tools Agent on this machine so that Smart Tools can communicate with your XenServer environment.

  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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Task 2: 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 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.
  • Sysprepped using your own unattend.xml file or the unattend.xml file supplied by Citrix.

For complete instructions for preparing the VM template, see Prepare Windows Server VM templates for deploying blueprints.

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Task 3: Add a Citrix XenServer resource location

The resource location is where Smart Tools will provision all the machines required by the blueprint. In this task, you perform the following actions:

  • Download and install the Smart Tools Agent on the machine you prepared earlier to be the connector.
  • Connect your XenServer environment to Smart Tools. 

Before you perform this task, ensure you have the IP address and the administrator credentials of your XenServer host or pool master handy.

For complete instructions, see Add a Citrix XenServer resource location.

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Task 4: Add the blueprint to your library

Your library is your personal space where you can store blueprints you add from the catalog, create yourself, or that other users share with you.

  1. From the Smart Tools menu bar, click Blueprint Catalog.
  2. Under Solutions, locate the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint and then click the plus sign (+) to add it to your library.  Smart Tools displays a green notification to indicate the blueprint was added successfully.

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Task 5: Deploy the blueprint

  1. From the top menu bar in Smart Tools, click Smart Build.
  2. Point to the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint and then, under Actions, click Actions > Deploy.
  3. Click Start deployment setup.
  4. On the Overview page, type friendly name for your deployment. By default, the deployment name is XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept. Click Next.
  5. On the Resource Location page, select the XenServer resource location you added earlier. Click Next.
  6. On the Architecture page, in Configure NetScaler, select Yes to include NetScaler Gateway in your deployment. Select No to deploy your proof-of-concept without NetScaler.
  7. On the Pre-deployment Checklist, click Continue.
  8. On the Scale page, click Next.
  9. On the Size page, ensure Create new VMs is selected for each machine tier.
  10. Under the Domain Controller machine tier, perform the following actions:
    1. Select the XenServer resource location from the list. The Configure VM wizard appears.
    2. On the Parameters page, configure the following settings and click Next:
      • In Create Server Method, ensure Create from template is selected.
      • In Launch Template, select the sysprepped VM template you prepared earlier.
      • In Place VM in Host, select the XenServer host or pool master you want to use. By default, the host or pool master configured for your resource location is selected.
    3. On the Storage page, accept the default values 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 configured in the template you selected. Click Next.
    6. On the Summary page, click Finish to return to the Size page and continue the deployment.
  11. Repeat steps 10-1 through 10-6 to configure the XenDesktop Delivery Controller and Server VDA machine tiers. Click Next.
  12. On the Configuration page, configure the following settings and then click Next:
    • In AdministratorName, enter the account name for the domain administrator. The default name is Administrator.
    • In AdministratorPassword, enter the password for the domain administrator.
    • In DomainName, enter the fully qualified domain name you want Smart Tools to configure.
    • In SafeModePassword, enter a password for Windows Safe Mode.
    • In KmsServerAddress, enter the IP address or FQDN of the KMS server you want the domain to reference, if applicable.
    • In XenDesktopIso, enter the file name of the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9 installation media you want to use. By default, the blueprint uses installation media provided by Citrix.
    • In DownloadPath, enter the URL or CIFS file share path where Smart Tools can download the XenApp and XenDesktop installation media. By default, Smart Tools downloads installation media provided by Citrix.
    • In ServerVdi, select Yes to configure the VDA for Server VDI. Select No to configure the VDA shared RDS desktops.
    • In NSIP, enter the IP address or name of your NetScaler appliance.
    • In NsPassword, enter the password for the NetScaler administrator.
    • In CertificatePath, enter the URL or CIFS share path to the NetScaler certificate files.
    • In GatewayIP, enter the IP address you want to use for the NetScaler Gateway that Smart Tools will configure.
    • In GatewayName, enter the name you want to assign to the NetScaler Gateway. The default name is XenDesktopGateway.
    • In GatewayExternalUrl, enter the URL you want to use for the NetScaler Gateway.
    • In GatewayCertificate, enter the name of the PEM or PFX file containing the gateway certificate and private key. The certificate should be consistent with the GatewayExternalUrl value you specified.
    • In GatewayCertPassword, enter the password for the private key associated with the gateway certificate.
    • In NetScaleCACertificate, enter the name of the file containing the certificate of the CA that issued the gateway certificate. By default, no CA certificate files are specified.
  13. In Deployment Profile, enter a friendly profile name and click Save. This allows you to redeploy the blueprint on another XenServer resource location without re-entering any configuration information. If you don't want to save the configuration, click Cancel.
  14. On the Summary page, click Deploy. The Deployment Details page appears, where you can see the status of your deployment as Smart Tools executes each step in the blueprint.

As each machine in the blueprint is deployed, Smart Tools sends you an email notification. Be aware that deployment can take some time and that some blueprint steps take longer than others to complete.

When the blueprint is finished, Smart Tools sends you a final email notification. You can then log on to the site using the NetScaler Gateway URL you specified. 

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