The following content is a brief and unofficial prerequisites guide to setup, configure and test XenDesktop 7 prior to deploying in a PoC, Pilot or Production environment by the author of this entry. The views, opinions and concepts expressed are those by the author of this entry only and do not necessary conform to industry descriptions or best practises.
REMOTE DESKTOP SERVICES – rds
VIRTUAL DESKTOP INFRASTRUCTURE – vdi
VIRTUAL DELIVERY CONTROLLER – vda
VIRTUAL GRAPHICS PROCESSING UNIT – vgpu
SERVICE LOCATION – srv
What is and does it do?
Citrix XenDesktop 7 allows you to deliver Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) workloads and secure remote access to an existing PC estate by installing the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) into those existing PC’s. All this capability is enabled from one single common architecture – FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). If you are a Citrix XenApp 5.0, 6.5 Administrator I would encourage you to read through the following Citrix eDoc article – http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-7/cds-overview-info-previous-xa-customers.html and follow on with this free Citrix 2 hour long course covering XenDesktop 7 weather your sales, pre-sales, sysadmin or engineer its useful in getting your mindset ready for XenDesktop 7 – http://training.citrix.com/mod/ctxcatalog/course.php?id=595.
Citrix TV & YouTube Videos To Watch
SYN320: XenDesktop 7: What You Should Know About FlexCast Management and XenApp Migration
Citrix XenDesktop 7 3D Pro Demonstration – http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/9008.
XenDesktop 7 Masterclass – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSFJ0xx7ztY.
XenDesktop 7 Handbook
Check out the blog article announcement – http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/10/10/new-xendesktop-7-handbook-published. You download the XenDesktop 7 Handbook directly at – http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX139331 and the XenDesktop 5.x Handbook at – http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX136546.
Components of XenDesktop 7 Explained
1: Studio is allows you to design and build your RDS, VDI workloads.
2: Director allows you to support and monitor your organisations XenDesktop 7 virtual machines, user sessions via MS RemoteAssistance, historical trending & metrics, network analytic’s if you have a NetScaler.
3: Delivery Controller is responsible for brokering the connections to your servers (ICA/RDS), virtual machines (VDI) or existing workstation PC’s.
4: Citrix Licensing Server is responsible for checking in/out of your FlexCast licenses. XenDesktop 7 requires CLS 11.11.
5: StoreFront provides users with a self-serve AppStore to tab to click to add your Windows hosted apps, hosted shared desktops (Windows Server 2008 R2) or VDI desktops (Windows 7,8).
6: Machine Creation Services (MCS) is built into XenDesktop 7 which enables as allows you to provision virtual machines from your master VM images. All you need to do to configure it is to input either XenServer, Hyper-V (Requires SCVMM) or ESX (Remember to trust the root certificate) hypervisor FQDN and the access details.
7: Provisioning Services (PVS)
8: User Profile Manager 5 (UPM) is built into XenDesktop 7 and provide Citrix’s profile management solution.
9: MS SQL is required to store configuration information and details about your XenDesktop 7 site. MS SQL express, standard, enterprise and data center* editions are supported and for H/A configuration options please visit this eDocs article at – *http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-7/cds-sys-requirements.html.
10: Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) is responsible for delivering a hosted shared desktop, windows hosted app and VDI desktop to users brokered via the Delivery Controller.
What Editions Are Available? VDI, App (XenApp capabilities e.g delivery of RDS workloads) , Enterprise and Platinum. To compare the feature sets of edition please check out – http://www.citrix.com/go/products/xendesktop/feature-matrix.html. At the time of writing this post you are required to login to Citrix.com with your access details.
Setup & Configure nVidia GRID VIRTUAL GPU (vGPU) on Citrix XenDesktop 7.1
To learn how-to setup and configure a test demo or PoC environment to leverage the vGPU capabilities of XenServer 6.2 and XenDesktop 7.1 Tech Preview check out – http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/grid-virtual-gpus-uk.html. You can download the XenDesktop 7.1 Tech Preview at – and the system requirements can be found at – http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop/cds-xendesktop-71-landing-page.htm and the HDX system requirements please check out – http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-71/hdx-enhance-ux-xd.html.
XenApp 6.5 GPU Sharing – http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/grid-xenapp-uk.html.
XenDesktop vGPU – http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/grid-xen-desktop-uk.html.
Multi-Site Configurations & High Availability
Coming soon! I will cover multiple data centres and sites and how-to enable and ensure H/A access to your published resources if you lost/lose communication with your XenDesktop 7 delivery controller(s) and the pitfalls. I would strongly recommend your environment is N+1 and with VM’s common these days setting and configuring an N+1 environment should be best practise for H/A, business continuity and DR.
How-to Enable Local App Access
Coming soon! However in the mean time please refer to http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-7/laa-configure-enable.html#laa-enable.dita.
XenDesktop Introduction Training Course CXD-102
Citrix training offers a 2 hour introduction course to XenDesktop 7 for free. The course is available at – http://training.citrix.com/mod/ctxcatalog/course.php?id=595.
Howto Configure Email Based Discovery& Why It’s Important
Configuration of email based discovery using SRV records is simple and greatly enhances the users login experiences as they all know there email addr and domain password much like logging into Facebook, Twitter e.t.c so offering the same login user experience weather users are in or outside or the organisation means they don’t need to remember logging in with the following format domain\username and domain password they can simple use there corporate email addr and domain password.
There is a great Citrix blog article that covers covers configuration of e-mail based discovery in and outside of your organisation leveraging a NetScaler Gateway check out – http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/04/01/configuring-email-based-account-discovery-for-citrix-receiver/.
The process below is for configuration of SRV records within a trusted corporate environment. If you would like to know more about what else you can configure in terms of SRV records check out – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRV_record, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961719.aspx (A Windows 2000 article but will get you thinking if your new to SRV records) and howto add other resources records into your organisations DNS – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772362.aspx.
1: Launch your Microsoft DNS management console
2: Right click on your organisations Forward Lookup Zone that contains the StoreFront FQDN
3: Click “Other New Records”
4: Scroll down and select “Service Locaiton (SRV)” and click “Create Record”
5: Your organisations domain should already be pre-populated e.g citrix.lab or axendatacentre.com
6: Type in “_citrixreceiver” in the Service feild
7: Type in “_tcp” in the Protocol field
8: Type in “443” in the Port number field or 80 if you don’t use 443 internally
9: Type in “storefront.domain” in the Hosting offering this service e.g storefront.axendatacentre.com or storefront.axendc.local
10: Save/Commit the changes and close the current active window in DNS
11: Navigate to physical or virtual machine install and launch Citrix Receiver when prompted enter in your email addr and password when prompted.
Open up a Windows Command prompt and execute these two commands below and for more information in validating your SRV records check out – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816587.
1: Type in “ipconfig /flushdns”
2: Type in “nslookup”
3: Type in “set type=srv”
4: Type in “_citrixreceiver._tcp.domain” e.g _citrixreceiver._tcp.axendatacentre.com
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows 8 Support
More coming soon!
In the mean time check out https://www.citrix.com/products/xendesktop/overview.html and Design Guide: Mobilising Windows Apps (Requires Form Input From Citrix)