Citrix VDI is the best in class when it comes to user experience, simplicity and security. HDX protocol is very light and its been developed for years to make it the best protocol for application and desktop delivery. Even though Citrix provides XenServer as a hypervisor, Its a common choice for most to go with Citrix XenDesktop on VMWare vSphere. There might be many reasons one being ESXi is very stable and most of the people are comfortable with that and dont want to try a new hypervisor.
Will cover detailed steps of installing and configuring Citrix XenDesktop and Xenapp 7.17 on vSphere 6.7 ( vCenter 6.7 and ESXi 6.7). this post will give you complete confidence to setup a VDI for production and POC purposes.
If you need to have a quick look on vCenter 6.7 setup below blogs will guide you.
Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 7.17
Any implementation is straight forward when pre-requisites are handy. here you go…
- vCenter 6.7 server with Cluster of ESXi hosts for VDI.
- Create 2 Windows server 2016 for XenDesktop Controllers.
- Create one windows 10 for VDI master image on vCenter server and place in a VM folder.
- Create 1 Windows server 2016 for XenApp server.
- All machines renamed and joined to domain.
- vCenter server reachable form Controller servers ( fqdn of vCenter)
- DHCP scope for Windows 10 VDI tested and working.
- Service account to install XenDesktop controllers ( ctxadmin)
- Service account ctxadmin to have access to Database servers to create SQL DB’s , i suggest sysadmin first, after installing set permissions as listed in this citrix article .
- Login credentials of vCenter server with admin access.
- OU for VDI Creation and delegated permissions on domain to service account to create & Delete computer objects.
Installing XenDesktop Controller
In this section will install XenDesktop Controller. Hope the pre-requisites are already done.
Step 1: Mount ISO on a windows server 2016 prepared for Controller – run AutoSelect
XenDesktop Site Setup
Additional XenDesktop Controller Configuration
Login to second controller using the same service account used for first one installation and follow the steps 1 through 12 listed above. Once installation is completed.
With this we had installed the XenDesktop Primary and secondary controller. will move to storefornt configuration.
Once the second controller added to existing site – Storefront & Stores will also be configured automatically as shown below.
Change Base URL and Verify Configuration
Step 27: By default storefront base URL will be primary one fqdn, change it to your Storefront load balanced fqdn. In my case it is storefront.sslab.com. Select propagate changes after doing any changes to that it will reflect to others.
Change Colors and Logos in Storefront
Changing colors and Inserting logos are common things. below steps will help
Add trusted domains in Store
By default users need to provide domain name to login, to avoid that we need to provide trusted domains.
Step 33: Select Store – Manage authentication methods
Configure Storefront for Netscaler Gateway
This is an Optional, If you are using Netscaler for ICA proxy for VDI and XenApp below needs to be configured.
Note: the gateway url ( external facing url) dns record need to be added on storefront local host DNS records with the VIP for call back to work. If not cannot connect errors might appear in netscaler.
Below blogs for NetScaler will help in installing and configuring Netscaler.
vCenter Certificate Installation & Host Connection
vCenter server Certificate needs to be installed on Controller server for successful communication of vCenter server from the controllers.
Note: Certificate needs to be installed on both controller servers
vCenter server Certificate installation on XenDesktop Controllers
Step 41: Open browser on the XenDesktop Controller server and open vCenter fdqn. Click on Certificate and go to details
Step 42: Select copy to file
Step 43: select Base 64 encoded
Step 44: browse and provide a name to the certificate to be exported
Step 45:click finish to export the certificate. This certificate needs to be installed on Both controller servers
Step 46: Open the certificate on the Controller servers, select local machine
Step 47: Browse and select trusted people
Note: these steps 58 to 65 should be done on both XenDesktop Controllers.
Host Connection for vCenter Server
Now as Plugin is installed on both controllers. We can add connection.
Step 50: Select Studio – Configuration – Hosting – Add Connection.
- Connection address: https://vcenter-vc01.sslab.com/sdk
- User Name: firstname.lastname@example.org ( this user to have admin access on vCenter)
- Password: Provide vCenter password.
- Connection Name: vCenter6_7
Step 51: Browse and select the vCenter cluster created for hosting VDI.
Step 52: select the datastore for OS, pvdisk and temporary files. you can choose diff datastores for diff types.
Step 53: select the network – Next
Step 54: review and finish
Step 55: Click on Hosting and review that vCenter is added
Windows 10 VDA Installation & Configuration
In this section will install Desktop VDA 7.17on a windows 10 image, Then create Catalog to create VDI on vmware infra and delivery group to provide VDI access to users.
Windows 7 is not supported for installing Desktop VDA 7.17 only Windows 10, minimum version 1607 is supported. please check system requirements here before proceeding to install VDA.
Create a VM and install windows 10 OS, install vmware tools and windows patches.
Desktop VDA Installation
Step 57: Click Start as shown below
Windows 10 Machine Catalog Creation on vCenter server
Step 68: Now as vCenter host connection is created and Windows 10 Master image is ready.
Step 72: select random or static as per your requirement.
Step 73: select the Master image that is created for installing windows 10 VDA.
Step 74: provide no of VM’s , cpu, cache and ram for VDI
Step 75: Select the domain, OU to create computer accounts and Provide naming convention as shown below.
Windows 10 VDI Delivery group creation
Step 78: As the Catalog is created now we need to provide access to users for VDI.
Step 85: Provide Name, review and finish
VDI Power management and Registration Check
Step 86: Now we need to set power management for Delivery group
Step 88: In my case i selected all VDI to be on always , Click on delivery group and VDI will be on , Status should show as Registered. with this your VDI is good. If its not showing registered this Citrix article might help you https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX126992
XenApp 7.17 VDA Installation & Configuration
In this section will install Server VDA on a windows server 2016, Then create Catalog and delivery group with applications to provide access to users.
Server 2012 is not supported for installing Server VDA 7.17 only 2012 R2 and 2016 are supported. please check system requirements here before proceeding to install VDA.
Create a windows server 2016 VM for Xenapp server VDA on vCenter, install VMWare tools on the server.
XenApp Server VDA installation on Server 2016
Step 92: (Option 1) If you are creating a master image so that Xendesktop Controller will create Xenapp servers then select Create Master Image.
XenApp machine Catalog Creation
Step 110: once created click on the catalog – xenapp server should show registered. This means we are good, if not follow this citrix article to help you with failed registrations.
XenApp Application Publishing – Delivery Group Creation
Step 111: Now take a snapshot of VM and install all custom apps on xenapp server.
XenApp Application Limit Visibility to users
Step 120: Its a general thing that you dont want all users to have access to all apps. In that case. add all the application groups in Step 129.
VDI & XenApp on vSphere 6.7 Testing
Step 123: As we had successfully installed VDI and XenApp on VMWare vCenter and ESXi, Its time for testing.
Step 124: As we customized colors with green its shown below. Select desktops – Click them to launch
With this XenDesktop & XenApp 7.17 installation on vSphere 6.7 is completed.
Refer below blogs for installing and configuring Netscaler.
Hope this post is useful. Leave your comments and feedback…