Installing VMware virtualization environment for XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR


This is a step-by-step guide on how to get a VMware virtualization environment for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR up and running in a test lab. A test lab environment is paramount whenever you want to learn a new technology. Unless you get hands-on experience, you will never truly learn the technology.

You can set this test lab environment up on any computer that can run VMware Workstation Player. VMware Workstation Player has two main advantages compared to other virtualization products, it’s free and you can install hypervisors on virtual machines running on it. You will (initially) need three virtual machines for this test lab. You will of course expand with additional virtual machines when you install servers related to Citrix XenDesktop, but for now let’s just concentrate on the three aforementioned virtual machines.

 

Navigation

1. Prerequisites
2. Installing VMware ESXi 6.5.0
3. Installing VMware vCenter 6.5.0 on Windows Server 2016
4. Configuring the VMware virtualization environment
—-4.1 Importing vCenter’s self-signed certificate to Trusted People store on machines
—-4.2 Initial configuration of the VMware virtualization environment
—-4.3 Assigning permissions to host connection user
—-4.4 Creating Network for Virtual Delivery Agents
—-4.5 Creating Master Image Virtual Machines

 

 

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1. Prerequisites

 

 

 

In VMware Workstation Player, you will need to create two LAN Segments. One for ESXi and vCenter communication purposes, and the other for AD related communication. Here I have created two segments, and named them VMware and AD respectively.

1.1 Create these three virtual machines

 

Name IP Address/Subnetmask Network Disks Ram OS Role
Esxi01 NIC1: 192.168.1.100
NIC1: 255.255.255.0
NIC2: 192.168.0.100
NIC2: 255.255.255.0
NIC1: VMware
NIC2: AD
Disk1: 80GB
Disk2: 500GB
4GB VMware ESXi 6.5.0 ESXi host
DC01 NIC1: 192.168.0.10
NIC1: 255.255.255.0
NIC1: AD Disk1: 60GB 2GB Windows Server 2016 Domain Controller
DHCP Server
VC01 NIC1: 192.168.0.20
NIC1: 255.255.255.0
NIC2: 192.168.1.20
NIC2: 255.255.255.0
NIC1: AD
NIC2: VMware
Disk1: 60GB 8GB Windows Server 2016 vCenter Server

1.2 Install OS on DC01 and VC01, configure the NICS on them as outlined in the table above, then install AD Domain Services on DC01 and promote it to a Domain Controller.

1.3 Next install the DHCP role service on DC01, create a IPv4 scope with 192.168.0.220 as start IP, and 192.168.0.230 as end IP. This to ensure that you don’t have to set static IP on your VDAs.

1.4 On DC01, open an administrative command prompt, and run the following command to activate Adobe Flash Player

1.5 Restart DC01
1.6 Join VC01 to the domain
1.7 Install VMware Tools on both servers
1.8 Make sure that NIC2 on VC01 does not register its IP address in DNS

 

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2. Installing VMware ESXi 6.5.0

 

 

2.1 Start the Esxi01 virtual machine
2.2 Boot from the CD-Rom drive, on which the ESXi 6.5.0 installer ISO should have been mounted
2.3 Select the Installer

2.4 The installer will be loaded. This might take a while, so be patient.

2.5 Press Enter to continue

2.6 Accept the EULA by pressing F11

2.7 Select the local disk, then press Enter

2.8 Select your keyboard layout, press Enter

2.9 Type a root password, press Enter

2.10 Press F11 to start the installation

2.11 Press Enter to reboot

2.12 Press F2 when VMware ESXi 6.5.0 has loaded

2.13 Enter the password you set in step 2.9, press Enter

2.14 Select Configure Management Network, press Enter

2.15 Select IPv4 Configuration, press Enter

2.16 Set static IP and Subnet Mask for the NIC, press Enter

2.17 Press Esc when back at the Configure Management Network screen
2.18 Press Y to save the new configuration

2.19 On the System Customization screen, press Esc to Log out

 

 

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3. Installing VMware vCenter 6.5.0 on Windows Server 2016

 

 

 

 

3.1 Mount the vCenter Server ISO on VC01, and run autorun.exe
3.2 On the splash screen, click Install

3.3 Click Next

3.4 Accept the license agreement, click Next

3.5 Keep the default option of Embedded Deployment, click Next

3.6 Click Next

3.7 Enter a password for the administrator user, click Next

3.8 Keep the default option, click Next

3.9 Click Next again

3.10 Keep the default ports, click Next

3.11 Click Next

3.12 Make your choice, click Next

3.13 Finally, click Install

3.14 Click Finish when the installation is completed

 

 

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4. Configuring the VMware virtualization environment

 

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4.1 Importing vCenter’s self-signed certificate to Trusted People store on machines

 

In the test lab, you will have to install vCenter’s self-signed certificate on the XenDesktop Delivery Controllers and any machine you will use to connect to the vSphere web client. Obviously in a production environment, you would not use a self-signed certificate, but rather use a certificate issued by a Certification Authority.

4.1.1 On DC01, turn off IE ESC, open Internet Explorer and type in https://VC01.shabaztech.com
4.1.2 Since VC01 is using a self-signed certificate, you will get this warning. Just click Continue to this website.

4.1.3 Click on Certificate error → View Certificates

4.1.4 Click Install Certificate (You must run IE as an administrator for this option to be clickable)

4.1.5 Select Local Machine, click Next

4.1.6 Select Place all certificates in the following store, and then click Browse

4.1.7 Select Trusted People as store, click OK

4.1.8 Click Next, then click Finish

 

 

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4.2 Initial configuration of the VMware virtualization environment

 

 


4.2.1
Log on to DCO1, and then browse to https://VC01.shabaztech.com/vsphere-client

4.2.3 Log on using the credentials you set in step 3.7

4.2.4 Click Create Datacenter

4.2.5 Give the new Datacenter a name, Click OK

4.2.6 Click Add a host

4.2.7 Enter the IP address of NIC1 on Esxi01 (192.168.1.100), click Next

4.2.8 Enter root as username, and the password you set in step 2.9. Click Next

4.2.9 Click Yes

4.2.10 Click Next

4.2.11 Click Next

4.2.12 This is just a test lab, so we can just keep the default setting of Disabled. Click Next

4.2.13 Click Next on VM location page, then click Finish to add Esxi01 to Datacenter01.

Next create a Datastore for the Virtual Delivery Agents

4.2.14 Right-click Datacenter01 → Storage → New Datastore

4.2.15 Click Next on the Location page, since there is only one Datacenter anyway
4.2.16 Keep the default datastore type of VMFS, click Next

4.2.17 Give the Datastore a name, select the only host (Esxi01) and finally select the 500GB disk of Esxi01, click Next

4.2.18 Select VMFS6, click Next

4.2.19 Keep the default settings, click Next

4.2.20 Click Finish on the Ready to complete page to add the datastore

 

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4.3 Assigning permissions to host connection user

 

Before you start, create a user account named Svc-Citrix-VC in Active Directory, it doesn’t need any special AD permissions, nor does it need to be member of any other group than Domain Users. This user account will be used to perform various tasks, such as auto-provision and manage virtual machines, through Citrix Studio/PowerShell, on this Datacenter.

If you want to configure permissions for users and groups from an Active Directory domain to access the vCenter Server components, you must (first of all) join its associated embedded or external Platform Services Controller instance to the Active Directory domain. Since we installed vCenter on a domain joined Windows server, it will actually already be joined to the domain.

4.3.1 You can check that the vCenter Server with the embedded Platform Services Controller is joined to the domain by clicking Home → Administration → (Deployment) System Configuration → Nodes → VC01.Shabaztech.com

4.3.2 Next you need to add the AD Domain as an identity source, because that is also a requirement for assigning permissions on the vCenter server to Active Directory security principals.

4.3.3 On the Home tab, click Administration → Configuration → Identity Sources → the green + sign

4.3.4 Keep the default option, click Next

4.3.5 Click Next again

4.3.6 Then click Finish

4.3.7 Next you will add permissions to Svc-Citrix-VC, because that user account will be used to perform various tasks, such as auto-provision and manage virtual machines, through Citrix Studio/PowerShell, on this Datacenter.

4.3.8 On Administration, click Roles, then click the green + sign

4.3.9 Give the role an appropriate name, then assign it the permissions/privileges listed by Citrix. Click OK when done.

4.3.10 Click on Global Permissions, then click the green + sign

4.3.11 Add the Svc-Citrix-VC user account from the domain, and assign it the role you created in step 4.3.9

 

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4.4 Creating Network for Virtual Delivery Agents

 

 

4.4.1 Right-click Esxi01→ Add Networking

4.4.2 Select Virtual Machine Port Group for a Standard Switch, click Next

4.4.3 Select New Standard switch, click Next

4.4.4 Click on the green + sign, then select NIC2 of Esxi01. Click OK, then click Next

4.4.5 Label the Network, click Next

4.4.6 Click Finish

 

 

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4.5 Creating Master Image Virtual Machines

 

 

4.5.1 Right-click Esxi01 → New Virtual Machine→ New Virtual Machine
4.5.2 Click Next on the Select a creation type page
4.5.3 Enter a name for the virtual machine, click Next

4.5.4 Click Next on the Select a compute resource page, since there is only one compute resource (Esxi01)
4.5.5 Select the Datastore that was created earlier in step 4.2.14 to 4.2.20

4.5.6 Click Next on the Select compatibility page, keeping the default selection of ESXi 6.5 and later
4.5.7 Select Windows Server 2016 as guest OS, click Next

4.5.8 Make adjustments according to your environment/needs, but remember to connect the NIC to the network you created in section 4.4, click Next and then Click Finish on the Ready to complete page.

4.5.9 Create a Win10 virtual machine if you like
4.5.10 Install Windows Server 2016 on the Win2016 machine, and Windows 10 on the Win10 machine. Remember Client Device for CD-Rom is DC01 and Host Device is Esxi01. Using Host device will result in faster installation. Rename both of those machines in Windows, install VMware tools, and finally add those two machines to the domain.

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