Today I want to cover the steps it takes to setup a XenApp 7.5 or XenDesktop 7.5 delivery controller for the first time. I want to demonstrate that it’s not all that different from previous versions of XenApp and XenDesktop from a management standpoint. I know a lot of Citrix Admins are hesitant to move to 7.x architecture because of the big changes like FMA but really, there is nothing keeping you from moving forward. I encourage everyone to at least be playing with 7.x architecture in a test lab if you don’t already have it in production or have plans to do so. If you’ve only used previous versions of XenApp in the past, there might be a slight learning curve to some of the concepts and terminology. If you’ve used XenDesktop in the past, this is a cakewalk for you. Download the media from http://www.citrix.com/downloads.html first. It’s a 2.8 GB ISO called “XenApp_and_XenDesktop7_5.iso”.
1. Extract the media and and click AutoSelect.exe. Make sure you are logged into the server using a service account that has rights to the SQL server you plan on installing the SQL database to.
2. Install .NET 3.5 SP1
3. Once done you get asked if it should deliver apps only (XenApp) or apps + desktops (XenDesktop). You’ll want to choose XenDesktop in most instances.
4. Click Delivery Controller under the “Get Started” heading. I am assuming you have the Citrix License Server and StoreFront on other dedicated servers.
5. Accept the EULA
6. Change the location to D: drive unless you want to let it install to the default C: and keep Delivery Controller, Studio, and Director checked. Again, I’m assuming you will have dedicated servers for the License Server and StoreFront roles.
7. Go ahead and leave Remote Assistance checked if you plan on using shadowing
8. Firewall ports 80 and 443 will be used by Delivery Controller and Director. Just leave it to configure the rules automatically on Windows Firewall.
9. Review the summary and hit Install
10. It will begin installing, come back in about 11 min
11. Once installed it will look like this, hit Finish to launch Desktop Studio
12. Click “Deliver applications and desktops to your users” under the Site Setup heading
13. For a brand new deployment, keep it checked on “A fully configured, production-ready Site (recommended for new users)” and give it a name
14. Type in a database server and database name. This is where things are a little different from older versions of XenApp such as XenApp 6.5. As long as the service account you are logged in with has SA and DBO rights to the database server, you can just type in the name, hit test connection, then press OK and it will create it for you. If your DBA team doesn’t want to give your service account temporary elevated rights then genreate the datbabase script and give it to them. There will be 2 scripts, one for the regular database and one for the mirror if you plan on mirroring.
15. Once it verifies the database is there or it has the ability to create the database using the logged in account it will come back and say “All database connection tests passed”.
16. Enter a license server name and select an existing license. It may warn you saying your license server is not trusted if you don’t have an SSL cert.
17. Enter your XenSever info if you plan on using PVS, MCS, etc. to spin up VMs. The full list of options here are:
-Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager
-Microsoft Configuration Manager Wake on LAN
18. If you have App-V (and you should or at least be considering it) put your App-V management server and publishing server info in.
19. Review the summary and hit Finish
20. Now it will create the database, install services, etc. Shouldn’t take very long at all.
21. Run the Test site configuration option to the right
22. It will run through tests and provide an .htm based report of all results.
23. You should hopefully have everything successful
24. Now you’re ready to setup your Machine Catalogs. Click “2 – Set up machines for desktops and applications for remote PC access”. Read over the intro so you have a good understanding of the types of machine catalogs.
25. Now you get your options for your first catalog:
-Windows Server OS = XenApp
-Windows Desktop OS = XenDesktop/VDI
-Remote PC Access = “Poor Man’s VDI”. For those wanting to get rid of SSL VPN + RDP to their office desktops and instead get users using ICA through SSL ICA proxy (Access Gateway). At least that’s one of the best arguments for it.
26. During setup I did not enter any XenServer info and skipped the option. So I’ve defaulted to “not power managed” as a result. In this example I’m going to choose “Another service of technology” and use an existing physical server to populate this catalog.
27. Enter the name of the server. For this example I have a brand new Server 2008 R2 server created. It is clean OS with nothing on it yet. Give the Catalog a name and description and hit Finish.
28. RDP into your the server you had added tot he catalog and navgiate to your install media and run AutoSelect.exe again. Choose the XenApp option this time and click the option to install the “Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Server OS”.
29. Since this is a standalone physical box, I will choose the “Enable connections to a server machine option”:
30. I would leave Citrix Receiver checked. You can change the drive for the install if you need to.
31. Enter your DDC info. Remember, use the FQDN or it won’t work.
32. Leave Remote Assistance and Real Time Audio Transport checked and hit Next
33. Leave the firewall stuff as-is and hit Next
34. Confirm everything is correct and hit Install. You will likely need to reboot right after the first pre-req (RDSH) is installed. If you hit the Close button, it will immediately reboot the box so please be aware of that. I wish it would say Reboot Now instead since that is what it really does and you won’t be caught off guard. Hopefully you don’t have many other things open on the box when it reboots. 🙂
35. Once you’re logged back in it will pick right back up and take about 9 minutes to finish installing. Don’t expect to be able to multi-task and do something else on the box while you wait, the Start menu and desktop are all gone until it’s finished.
36. Hit Finish to restart one more time once it’s done.
37. Once you’re back in check the versions of what it has installed in Programs and Features and make a note in your documentation. Citrix Receiver is 4.1 (18.104.22.168) and the VDA is 22.214.171.12453. This info will come in handy later on when hotfixes and new releases need to be applied to the servers.
38. Go back to your DDC and you’ll see your server is now in a Registered state in your Machine Catalog:
39. Now click the Citrix Studio root and move on to step 3. You’re going to create and assign an app.
40. First you’ll need to create a Delivery Group
41. It sees my one and only Machine Catalog and I hit the + button to add just the single server to the Delivery Group
42. Since this server is going to be used exclusively for XenApp applications, I choose the Applications option
43. Add your user account for testing
44. The DDC will now enumerate all the apps on the server. I’m going to select trusty old Notepad to publish.
45. Now give the Delivery Group a name and description and hit Finish. For simplicity’s sake I called mine Notepad but follow whatever naming convention you normally use.
46. You’ll be redirected to Common Tasks and you’ll see the Notepad delivery group now. Your app is now published and should be available in StoreFront or Web Interface as long as your new farm is hooked up to it. To make it stand out easily among all your other apps you can even name it “Notepad XA 75” and stick it right in the root.
47. We know StoreFront will work but I just wanted to post this screenshot on Web Interface 5.4 for those of you that really wanted to see XenApp 7.5 on Web Interface 5.4. Launch Notepad and you’ve successfully published your first app on XenApp 7.5! 🙂 Go explore publishing XenDesktop and RemotePC catalogs too. It’s not much different than what you just did.
Don’t forget you need to set your RDS licensing server and licensing method just like old versions of XenApp on any server you have installed the VDA agent on. Hope this guide helps with those new to XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x architecture. It’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s the same trusty XenApp and XenDesktop with a new skin and more features.