Configure XenDesktop and XenApp Service with Microsoft Azure and Citrix Cloud.

This article follows the one published about Getting started in Microsoft Azure and the one about Getting started in Citrix Cloud. Here, we will discuss how to configure XenApp and XenDesktop Service with Microsoft Azure and Citrix Cloud.

Make sure to catch up this series' previous posts first!

 

What is XenDesktop and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud?

When moving your Citrix workloads to the Cloud, you have 2 options. The first is to setup your full Citrix infrastructure in Microsoft Azure (or else) and configure your XenDesktop controllers as usual. But what if you could skip this part? Well, the good news is that is it possible with Citrix Cloud. The second option is to leverage XenApp and XenDesktop Service from Citrix Cloud. In that case, Citrix manages the core components in Citrix Cloud including Studio, Controllers, Director, Licensing and even SQL for you. Citrix also takes care of installing and upgrading those components. You connect to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service through Cloud Connector, which serves as a channel for communication between Citrix Cloud and your resource locations.

Note: you are still responsible for the upgrade of the VDA software installed on your virtual machines and the Cloud Connector software located in your Microsoft Azure environment.

Architecture

XenDesktop and XenApp Service Architecture - Lab 30
XenDesktop and XenApp Service Architecture – Lab 30

Getting started

In this article, you will learn the following:

  • How to create a Windows 10 virtual machine in Microsoft Azure
  • How to add this virtual machine to the Azure AD domain
  • How to download and install Citrix VDA on a virtual machine hosted in Azure
  • How to configure a VDA to register to Citrix Cloud Connectors
  • How to verify that a virtual machine is registered to Citrix Cloud Connectors
  • How to request a trial for XenDeskop and XenApp Service in Citrix Cloud
  • How to configure Studio in Citrix Cloud
  • How to configure Azure in Citrix Cloud
  • How to create a machine catalog and a delivery group in Citrix Cloud
  • How to configure Remote PC in Citrix Cloud
  • How to check that a virtual machine is registered in Citrix Cloud

You need the following to be able to perform the steps in the post:

Create a Windows 10 virtual machine in Azure

We need a Windows client to connect to with XenDesktop Service.

Microsoft Azure - Create Windows 10 Client VM
Microsoft Azure – Create Windows 10 Client VM
Microsoft Azure - W10 Client configuration
Microsoft Azure – W10 Client configuration

Make sure to select the virtual network that we created in Lab: Part 27 – Getting started with Microsoft Azure and select GC-SN-WRK subnet. This subnet is reserved to Windows clients.

Microsoft Azure - W10 Client optional configuration
Microsoft Azure – W10 Client optional configuration
Microsoft Azure - W10 Client summary
Microsoft Azure – W10 Client summary

Once the virtual machine is ready, connect to it and add it to the citrixguru.com domain.

Microsoft Azure - Windows 10 VM
Microsoft Azure – Windows 10 VM
Microsoft Azure - Windows 10 VM added in citrixguru.com domain
Microsoft Azure – Windows 10 VM added in citrixguru.com domain

To be able to communicate with Citrix Cloud, we need to install Citrix Virtual Desktop on the machine.

Download Virtual Delivery agent (VDA)
Download Virtual Delivery agent (VDA)

Go back to Citrix Cloud and go to the Downloads tab. Select Download Virtual Delivery agent (VDA). You will be redirected to Citrix Downloads.

Select Desktop OS VDA 7.18.

Select Desktop OS VDA 7.18
Select Desktop OS VDA 7.18

Do it from the Windows 10 VM or transfer the executable on it. Then launch it. The process to install the VDA is the same as on regular on-premises VM. Here is a quick recap.

Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 0
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 0
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 1
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 1
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 2
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 2
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 3
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 3
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 4
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 4
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 5
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 5
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 6
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 6
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 7
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 7
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM - Part 8
Install VDA on Azure Windows 10 VM – Part 8

Once installed, reboot the VM and check the logs to make sure that the registration is working as expected.

Azure W10 VDI - Registration 1/2
Azure W10 VDI – Registration 1/2
Azure W10 VDI - Registration 2/2
Azure W10 VDI – Registration 2/2

Note: for the step above, you need to have configure XenApp and XenDesktop Service. Check below how to do.

Everything is as expected here and the Windows 10 client is registered to Citrix Cloud.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service

Request Trial for XenApp and XenDesktop Service

Click on Request Trial in the Citrix Cloud console.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service  trial
XenApp and XenDesktop Service  trial

The process should be easier but anyway. Complete the form and submit your request.

Submit XenApp and XenDesktop Service trial request
Submit XenApp and XenDesktop Service trial request

Once approved, you will get an email.

Trial approved for XenDesktop Service
Trial approved for XenDesktop Service

Configure XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud

You are now able to manage XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud

Select Manage to get started. You will be redirected to https://xenapp.cloud.com.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud
XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud

Select Manage Service. You will get access to a cloud instance of XenDesktop to manage your infrastructure. The console is very similar to the console on-premises.

XenDesktop and XenApp Service Console
XenDesktop and XenApp Service Console

Note: the name of the farm is cloudxdsite.

As stated on the console, the first step is to configure the connectivity to Microsoft Azure.

Select 1 – Connect to resources that will host the machines.

Add Connection and Resources - XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud
Add Connection and Resources – XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud

Copy your Azure subscription ID. You can find it here. Also type a connection name with no space.

Copy your Azure subscription ID
Copy your Azure subscription ID

You will be prompted to logon to Azure.

Logon to Azure
Logon to Azure
Allow Citrix XenDesktop to access Azure
Allow Citrix XenDesktop to access Azure

The connection will be validated.

Azure connection validated
Azure connection validated
Azure + XenDesktop Service Summary
Azure + XenDesktop Service Summary

The next step is to create a new machine catalog.

XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 1
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 1
XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 2
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 2
XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 3
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 3
XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 4
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 4
XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 5
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 5

We installed the VDA previsouly. So the virtual machine so be registered.

XenDesktop Service - Create Machine Catalog Part 6
XenDesktop Service – Create Machine Catalog Part 6

The next step is to create a delivery group.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 1
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 1

Select the WIN10-VM catalog previously created.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 2
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 2

We are setting up a Windows 10 desktop group, so select Desktops.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 3
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 3

Restrict to Domain Users. In your production environment, you may want to make it more secure.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 4
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 4

No desktop assignment rules.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 5
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 5

Pick a name for the Delivery Group.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 6
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 6

Then click Finish.

The Delivery Group is created.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 7
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 7

Once the group is created right, right click and Edit Delivery Group. Then go to Machine allocation and assign your user to the virtual machine.

XenApp and XenDesktop Service - Create Delivery Group 8
XenApp and XenDesktop Service – Create Delivery Group 8

That’s all for the configuration in Studio. In the next articles, we will review how to configure Citrix Identity and Access Management and how to use NetScaler Gateway Service in Citrix Cloud to allow your users to connect to virtual machine hosted in Microsoft Azure.

Make sure to catch up this series' previous posts first!