Configure Azure Quick Deploy with XenDesktop and XenApp Service in Citrix Cloud.

In this article, we will review how to use Azure Quick Deploy with Microsoft Azure and Citrix Cloud.

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

 

What is Azure Quick Deploy?

In XenDesktop and XenApp Service, Citrix offers 2 options to deploy workloads. The first one is called “Full configuration” and is designed to deploy with the XenDesktop console in Citrix Cloud. The second option is to deploy with Azure Quick Deploy. Quick Deploy is a quicker way to deploy via a simplified web interface. This deployment method offers basic configuration, without advanced features. This method is valid with Azure and only when using Azure Resource Manager as your host. Azure Quick Deploy will create the Cloud Connectors, Resource location, etc.

At this time, only XenApp Service (XenApp Essentials) is supported. No Windows 10 guys! See below the supported components:

Azure Quick Deploy overview
Azure Quick Deploy overview

More details here: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/service/install-configure/azure-quick-deploy.html

Architecture

Azure Quick Deploy Architecture in Citrix Clou - Lab 33
Azure Quick Deploy Architecture in Citrix Clou – Lab 33

Getting started

In this article you will learn the following:

  • How to configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud
  • How to publish apps and desktops with Azure Quick Deploy
  • How to assign users to the publications
  • How to put servers in maintenance in Azure Quick Deploy
  • Where to find Azure Quick Deploy components in Microsoft Azure

You need to have:

  • An active Citrix Cloud subscription
  • A valid Azure subscription
  • XenApp and XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud
  • Azure AD and Citrix Cloud Identity And Access Management configured
  • A subnet in Azure where Azure Quick Deploy will create the virtual machines
  • A Resource group in Azure where Azure Quick Deploy will create the components required
  • A lot of patience!! Because it is super slow!

Warning

Before starting, keep in mind that everything that is done in Azure Quick Deploy will also show up in the XenDesktop console in Citrix Cloud. Do not modify anything via this console or Azure Quick Deploy will stop working.

Azure Quick Deploy - Warning
Azure Quick Deploy – Warning

Note: you can still manage objects that are not part of Azure Quick Deploy via the full XenDesktop in Citrix Cloud.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud

Link Azure Subscription

Go to cloud.com and logon, then go to XenApp and Desktop Service, select Manage.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 1
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 1

Go to Azure Subscriptions.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 2
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 2

Select Add Subscription. And accept the warning.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 3
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 3

Logon to your account accept the popup.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 4
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 4

Select your subscription.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 5
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 5

And voila. The subscription is linked to Azure Quick Deploy.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 7
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 6

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud

The first step is to pick a name for your Azure Quick Deploy machine catalog in XenDesktop. The process will create it automatically.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 7
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 7

Then select your Subscription and select your Resource group, Virtual Network and Subnet for this deployment.

Note: Azure Quick Deploy is only compatible with Windows Server, so we will put them in the SRV subnet.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 8
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 8

Enter your domain details.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 9
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 9

Then enter the name of the resource location.
Note: Azure Quick Deploy will create new Cloud Connectors.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 10
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 10

Next step is to pick the master image. For this example we will use the image prepared by Citrix with Windows Server 2012.

Note: you can also select an image located in Azure if you have one available.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 11
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 11

Select SSD and Task worker. Make sure to uncheck the box about managed disks. Leave everything else by default.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 12
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 12

Then select Save. It will take few minutes to validate. At this stage the configuration is saved but nothing has be done in Azure.

Click on Start Deployment to proceed.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 13
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 13

Citrix Cloud will start the process. It will take a long time (hours).

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 14
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 14

After a while, you will be able to see new virtual machines related to this deployment.

The first step for Azure Quick Deploy is to create new Cloud Connectors. Azure QD will automatically follow the best practices and create 2 connectors.

The machine will be named “XAEeulfy-Edge1” and “XAEeulfy-Edge2”.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 15
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 15

Once the machine are up and joined in the domain. Azure Quick Deploy will install Cloud Connector and create a new resource location in Citrix Cloud.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 16
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 16

When the first VM is available, you can connect to it to make sure that the virtual machine is joined in the domain.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 17
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 17

You can also verify that Citrix Cloud Connector was installed properly. So far so good!

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 18
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 18

The deployment can take up to 2 hours. Once it is done. You will see the Citrix Connectors in CG-RG-CITRIX and the new XenApp servers in xenapp-azureqd. This new resource group is 100% managed by Citrix Cloud. Do not make any change in it.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 19
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 19

You can connect to XenApp worker to take a look at the config preprared by Citrix.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 20
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 20

Note: only 2012 R2 is available at this time.

if we take a look in Microsoft Azure, we will find 2 new resource groups:

  • XenApp-AzureQD
  • XenAppEssentials
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud - Resource Group 1
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud – Resource Group 1

XenApp-AzureQD is the resource group managed by Citrix Cloud to add/remove workers.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud - Resource Group 2
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud – Resource Group 2

XenAppEssentials only contains the XenApp key.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud - Resource Group 3
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud – Resource Group 3

Back in Citrix Cloud, the next step is to publish apps and assign subscribers.

Click on + Publish Apps.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 21
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 21

And select the apps you want to publish. If they are not in the list, you can enter the path from the server.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 22
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 22

You can also publish a desktop here. Select Publish Desktop, enter the name of your publish desktop and submit.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 24
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 23

The next step is to publish the apps and the desktop for some users and try to launch them.

Note: if you have the loading Assigned Subscribers for a long time. Reboot all Cloud connectors.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 24
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 24

Search for a user or for a group. And then select it to add it to the subscribers.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 25
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 25

Back in the Summary, navigate to part 3.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 26
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 26

You can also add the user on the desktop.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 27
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 27

And then check the Desktop tab in the Workspace.

Azure Quick Deploy will automatically reuse your current Workspace if you have one or it will create a new one.

Go to your xxx.cloud.com address and logon.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 28
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 28
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 29
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 29

You can start the desktop.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 30
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 30

And Google Chrome in HTML5.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 31
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 31

Let’s take a look in the XenDesktop console.

Go to Manage > Full Configuration.

Note: Do not modify anything in the XenDesktop console for AzureQD.

You can see that a new catalog has been created and that this catalog is managed by MCS.

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Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 32

A new Delivery Group was created by Azure Quick Deploy and is also managed by Citrix Cloud.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 33
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 33

There are few additional settings in Azure Quick Deploy.

In the machines tab, you can put servers in maintenance. This will disable Citrix Smart Scale. Just FYI.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 34
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 34

In more Settings, you can also enter a location for profiles and a server that manages RDS licensing.

Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 35
Configure Azure Quick Deploy in Citrix Cloud 35

That’s all for Azure Quick Deploy. It was a long process for me. At least 4 hours. Many slowness in Citrix Cloud. Hopefully Citrix will improve this service in the future and also add the support for Citrix XenDesktop Essentials.

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