What is the XenApp and XenDesktop Service?
The XenApp and XenDesktop Service (formerly Apps and Desktops service) of Citrix Cloud enables you to 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, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure Classic, Citrix XenServer, or VMware vSphere. 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.
By default, the XenApp and XenDesktop Service uses a hosted version of StoreFront to deliver applications and desktops; however, you can use your own StoreFront servers if you prefer. You can also use NetScaler VPX with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service to provide secure external access to your applications and desktops.
To learn more, see About the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on the Citrix Product Documentation web site.
What does the XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint do?
The XenApp and XenDesktop Resource Location Setup blueprint enables you to create a resource location on Microsoft Azure Classic that you can use with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service to deliver applications and desktops to your users. Similar to resource locations in Smart Tools, a resource location for the XenApp and XenDesktop Service is where the machines reside that provide the applications and desktops you make available to your users. These are machines that you manage through the Azure management console.
Important: Use Smart Tools to set up your very first resource location in Citrix Cloud. If you choose to set up your first resource location manually, the option to use Smart Tools for subsequent resource locations is not available.
To create the resource location, this 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, one configured for RDS and one configured for VDI, and join them to the domain.
- (Optional) Deploy a StoreFront server, if you don't want to use the Citrix-hosted StoreFront that comes with the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
- Deploy a NetScaler VPX instance and configure NetScaler Gateway for secure external access. Citrix provides the required certificates and generates the URL your users will access.
Provisioned machine configurations
The 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 Datacenter Edition
|Machine Type||Azure Machine Size|
|Domain controller||A1 (1 Core, 1.75 GB Memory)|
|Cloud Connectors||A1 (1 Core, 1.75 GB Memory)|
|Server VDA (RDS and Server VDI)||A2 (2 Cores, 3.5 GB Memory)|
|Storefront||A2 (2 Cores, 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.
When you log on to your Citrix Cloud account and click Get Started for the XenApp and XenDesktop Service, Citrix Cloud gives you the option of using Smart Tools to deploy your resource location. When you choose the Smart Tools option, Citrix Cloud transitions you to Smart Tools to complete the blueprint deployment process. After completion, you can return to Citrix Cloud to set up the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
When you deploy this blueprint, Smart Tools adds the blueprint to your library. Additionally, all Administrator users in your Smart Tools account will have access to the blueprint.
Before you deploy this blueprint, perform the following actions:
- Create a Microsoft Azure account.
- Request access to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service. To request access, visit https://citrix.cloud.com, log on to your account, and click Request Trial from the Citrix Cloud home page.
- Download the publishsettings file for your Azure account. You will need to supply this file when you deploy the blueprint.
- (Optional) Using the Azure portal, create a virtual network, cloud service, and storage account in the location where you want to create your new resource location. If you would prefer to get started quickly, you can create these items during the blueprint deployment process instead.
- Acquire a license for NetScaler VPX. You will need to supply the license file during the blueprint deployment process.
Deploy the blueprint
- Log on to the Citrix Cloud web site and then, from the Control Center, click Get Started for the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
- 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.
- On the Overview page, enter a deployment name. The default deployment name is XenApp and XenDesktop Service: Resource Location Setup. Click Next.
- On the Resource Location page, specify your Azure account details and then click Next:
- In Resource Location, select Add New Resource Location.
- Select Microsoft Azure and then click Next.
- On the Microsoft Azure setup page, enter the following details and then click Add:
- Name: Enter a friendly name for your Azure account.
- Certificate: Click Upload File and select the publishsettings file for your Azure account. If needed, you can download it from the setup page.
- Subscription: Select the Azure subscription you want to use. The subscription you select is tied to the Azure Classic resources that Smart Tools will use to deploy the blueprint.
- 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 and configures it for RDS. If you don't this VDA included in your deployment, select no.
- Create Server VDI Template: By default, Smart Tools deploys a VDA machine and configures it for Server VDI. If you don't want this VDA included in your deployment, select no.
- Under VM Tiers, select the Azure Classic deployment location you set up earlier. Smart Tools connects to your Azure account and the Configure VM wizard appears.
- On the Choose an Image page, select the latest image of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.
- On the Instance Details page, configure the following options and then click Next:
- Location: Select the region where you want to deploy your resource location.
- Virtual Network and Virtual Subnet: Select the virtual network and subnet you want to use your resource location. To create a new virtual network, select Create virtual network and subnet. When prompted, enter a Virtual Network Name and a Subnet Name. If needed, enter a Static IP and select the appropriate CIDR. Click Create Virtual Network. When created, the new network and subnet are selected by default on the Instance Details page.
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.
- Cloud Service: Select the cloud service you want to use for your resource location. To create a new cloud service, select Create a new cloud service. When prompted, enter a valid DNS name for the cloud service and then click Create Cloud Service. When created, the new cloud service is selected by default on the Instance Details page.
- Storage Account: Select the storage account you want to use for your resource location. To create a new storage account, select Create a new storage account and then click Create Storage Account. By default, the storage account is created with an automatically generated name. When created, the new storage account is selected by default on the Instance Details page.
- 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.
- VPX Password: Enter a password for the NetScaler VPX appliance.
- License File: Click Upload File and select the NetScaler VPX license file you want to use.
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.
How long does the blueprint take to finish?
Deploying a resource location can take up to three hours. When each server is successfully provisioned, Smart Tools sends you an email notification. Be aware that some steps take longer than others to complete. When the deployment is finished, Smart Tools sends you a final email notification.
How do I know when the resource location is ready to use?
- Check your email. When the deployment is finished, Smart Tools sends you an email notification indicating your deployment was successfully completed. Wait for this notification before proceeding.
- 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.
- 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.