Installing Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR

This is a step-by-step guide on how to install Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR using the GUI in an on-premises environment. We will also install the different infrastructure servers required for a XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR deployment. That includes setting up a VMware virtualization environment, so we can use a host connection to auto-provision machines in machine catalogs.

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR Architecture and Components were explained in this blog post.

 

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Navigation

1. Prerequisites

2. Install the Citrix License Server
3. Install the SQL Server instance

4. Install the Delivery Controllers
5. Create the XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR Site

6. Add a second Delivery Controller to the site
7. Create a host connection on the site

8. Install Virtual Delivery Agents
9. Create Machine Catalogs
10. Create Delivery Groups

11. Install Citrix StoreFront
12. Test your deployment

 

 

 

1. Prerequisites

 

 

 

The test lab in this guide will comprise of four Windows Server 2016 servers, and they will perform the following roles. You should dedicate 2GB ram to each server.

DC01: This will be Domain Controller in the shabaztech.com domain

Server02: This will be the database server, where we will install a SQL Server 2016 Database Engine instance, and store the XenDesktop databases. We will also install the Remote Desktop Licensing role service, Citrix Licenser Server and Citrix StoreFront on it. This is to consolidate the different roles as much as possible in the test lab.

DDC01: This will be the first Delivery Controller in the site.
DDC02: This will be the second Delivery Controller in the site.

We will also install Citrix Studio and Citrix Director on DDC01 and DDC02.
All servers are connected to the same subnet, 192.168.0.0/24

If you are going to set up a VMware virtualization environment too, then you will need two additional servers, which will require an additional 12GB of ram. So in total you will need a minimum of 20GB ram to have a fully functional test lab. One of the servers in the VMware virtualization environment will be an ESXi host, which will run virtual machines serving as Virtual Delivery Agents.

 

 

 

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2. Install the Citrix License Server

 

 

We are going to perform this installation on Server02. Just click the links, and you can view the blog post, which details the installation of the different components.

2.1 Installing Remote Desktop License Server. Install it completely as outlined in the blog post. But if you are just going to build a test lab, you obviously don’t have to Install RD CALs.

2.2 Installing Citrix License Server

 

 

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3. Install the SQL Server instance

 

 

 

This installation will also be performed on Server02

3.1 Installing SQL Server 2016

Remember to create a rule in the Windows Firewall, which allows all incoming traffic on port 1433 on Server02.

 

 

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4. Install the Delivery Controllers

 

 

Perform these steps on DDC01 and DDC02.

4.1 On the splash screen of the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR ISO, click Start on XenDesktop

4.2 Click Delivery Controller

4.3 Accept the license agreement, click Next
4.4 Select Delivery Controller, Studio and Director. Click Next

4.5 Remove the tick mark for SQL Server 2014 SP2 Express, keep the one for Windows Remote Assistance. Click Next

4.6 Keep the default option, click Next

4.7 Prerequisites will be installed before the core components, click Install

4.8 It’s merely a test lab, so I’m not going to connect to Smart Tools or Call Home.

4.9 Click Finish

 

 

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5. Create the XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR site

 

 

 

Perform these steps on DDC01 only. The user who creates the Site becomes a full administrator. You can assign permissions to additional users/groups later on.

5.1 Launch Citrix Studio
5.2 Click Deliver applications and desktops to your users

5.3 Select An empty, unconfigured Site. Give the site a name, and then click Next

5.4 Select Create and set up databases from Studio. Enter Name\InstanceName (for named instances) or just the Name (for default instances) of the SQL Server in the Location fields. Click Next and the database details will be validated.

The picture below is wrong, since I have a default instance, I only needed to enter Server02 (which I did later on, but forgot to take a screenshot of it 🙁 ) in the Location fields

5.5 Enter the name of the License server on the Licensing page, click Connect.

You will get this warning if the License Server has a self-signed certificate

 

5.6 Select the appropriate license, click Next

5.7 Click Finish, and the site will be set up

 

 

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6. Add a second Delivery Controller to the Site

 

 

Perform these steps on DDC02.

6.1 Log on as a user who is full administrator in the site. Launch Citrix Studio
6.2 Click Connect this Delivery Controller to an existing Site

6.3 Specify the FQDN of DDC01, click OK

6.4 Click Yes

6.5 If you check Controllers, you will see that you now have two Delivery Controllers in the site

 

 

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7. Create a Host Connection on the site

 

 

Follow this guide to set up a VMware virtualization environment. Then install the vCenter server’s self-signed certificate on DDC01 and DDC02. You can do so by following the guideline on section 4.1 of aforementioned guide.

7.1 Right-Click the Hosting node in Citrix Studio, and then click Add Connections and resources

7.2 Fill in information on the connection page, click Next

Connection type: VMware vSphere
Connection address: https://FQDNofvCenterServer/sdk
User name: Type in the user name of the user you assigned permissions to in section 4.3 of this blog post
Password: Password of said user
Connection name: Name it whatever you like

7.3 On the Storage Management page, click Browse

7.4 Then select your ESXi cluster/host, click Ok

7.5 Back on the Storage Management page, select the type of storage you want to use. I don’t have any shared storage in this test lab

7.6 Select the storage you want to store the different type of data on. I’m storing everything on a disk I have dedicated to virtual machines

7.7 Select one or more networks for the virtual machines to use. I’m selecting a network dedicated to VDAs, which is connected to the same subnet as my infrastructure servers (AD, SQL, License, StoreFront, Delivery Controllers). Click Next when done.

7.8 Click Finish on the summary screen

 

 

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8. Install Virtual Delivery Agents

 

 

To follow this section of the test lab, you need to either have performed the tasks in section 4.5 of this blog post, or you can just create two empty virtual machines and name them Win2016HS01 and Win10VDI01. Anyway, there are two types of VDAs for Windows machines, one for Server OS and one for Desktop OS. We will install both of them.

8.1 Install Windows Server 2016 on Win2016HS01 and Windows 10 on Win10VDI01. Then join both machines to the domain.

8.2 On Win2016HS01, launch the splash screen, choose to install XenDesktop
8.3 Select Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Server OS

8.4 On the Environment page select Create a Master Image (if you have set up the VMware Virtualization environment in the guide, otherwise feel free to select the other option), click Next

8.5 Keep the default option, and click Next. This will install Citrix Receiver 4.9 LTSR on the VDA. You can use that Receiver installation to connect to other XenDesktop sites from that VDA

8.6 Make your choice, click Next. I’m not going to install any additional components on this VDA

8.7 There are several different ways to register the VDA with the desired Delivery Controllers. I’m just going to insert the name of my DDCs manually on this page, since this is just a test lab

8.8 Make your selection, click Next

Optimizie performance, VDAs running in a VM on a hypervisor are optimized when this feature is enabled. VM optimization includes disabling offline files, disabling background defragmentation, and reducing event log size. For details, see CTX125874.

Use Windows Remote Assistance, Windows Remote Assistance is used with the user shadowing feature of Director.

Use Real-Time Audio Transport for audio, allows audio data to be transmitted using RTP over UDP transport, which reduces latency and improves audio resilience over lossy networks.

Framehawk, is a display remoting technology for mobile workers on broadband wireless connections (Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE cellular networks).

AppDisk, allows the usage of AppDisks. AppDisks separate applications and groups of applications from the operating system, enabling you to manage them independently. The applications in AppDisks are delivered through Delivery Groups.

8.9 Click Next

8.10 Click Install

8.11 The machine will restart once during installation of prerequisites (RDS components), just log back on with the same user you were logged on as before the restart to continue the installation
8.12 Click Next

8.13 Click Finish, and the VDA will restart to complete the installation.

8.14 Now perform the same procedure on Win10VDI01. Only difference is that you will install Desktop OS VDA this time around. Just remember to install Citrix Machine Identity Service on the Additional Components page, because we’ll use Machine Creation Services in the next step.

 

 

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9. Create Machine Catalogs

 

 

 

9.1 Shut down Win2016HS01 and Win10VDI01, and then take a snapshot of both of them.
9.2 On DDC01, launch Citrix Studio.
9.3 Right-Click the Machine Catalogs node, select Create Machine Catalog

9.4 Click Next on the Introduction screen

9.5 We are going to create a Server OS Machine Catalog first, so leave the selection at the default option, and click Next

9.6 Click Next again

9.7 Select the snapshot of Win2016HS01, leave the minimum functional level at 7.9 or newer. The functional level of the VDA determines the features that will be available to machines in the catalog. Click Next

9.8 Click Next

9.9 On the Computer Accounts page, select to create new AD accounts, and then browse to the appropriate OU you want to place those computer accounts in. Finally, select an account naming scheme, then click Next

9.10 Give the Catalog a name and a description, click Finish

9.11 The creation of the Machine Catalog will be initiated, and after a while it will be ready.

9.12 The machine catalog will include the new VM that was created during the creation of the catalog, but not the master image VM

9.13 Now for the Desktop OS Machine Catalog, right-Click the Machine Catalogs node, select Create Machine Catalog

9.14 Click Next on the Introduction screen
9.15 Select Desktop OS on the Operating System screen

9.16 Click Next on the Machine Management page

9.17 Select random desktop for users, click Next

9.18 Select the snapshot of Win10VDI01, leave the minimum functional level at 7.9 or newer, click Next

9.19 Click Next on the Virtual Machines screen

9.20 On the Computer Accounts page, select to create new AD accounts, and then browse to the appropriate OU you want to place those computer accounts in. Finally, select an account naming scheme, then click Next

9.21 Give the Catalog a name and a description, click Finish

 

 

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10. Create Delivery Groups

 

 

 

10.1 Right-click the Delivery Groups node, select Create Delivery Group

10.2 Click Next on the Introduction page

10.3 Select the Server 2016 machine catalog that you created earlier

10.4 On the users page, define the users who can use the applications and desktops in the Delivery Group. Click Next

10.5 We’ll only share the desktop for now, click Next

10.6 Click Add

Fill in the information on the Add Desktop dialog box, then click OK

Finally, click Next on the Desktops page

10.7 Give the Delivery Group a name and a description

10.8 Now add a Delivery Group for the Desktop OS VDAs. Right-click the Delivery Groups node, select Create Delivery Group

10.9 Click Next on the Introduction page
10.10 Select the Windows 10 machine catalog

10.11 On the users page, define the users who can use the applications and desktops in the Delivery Group. Click Next

10.12 We’ll only share the desktop for now, so just click Next on the Applications page.
10.13 Click Add on the Desktops page, and fill in the information on the Add Desktop dialog box, then click OK, and Next on the Desktops page

10.14 Give the Delivery Group a name and a description

 

 

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11. Install Citrix StoreFront

 

 

11.1 Install Citrix StoreFront as outlined here 
11.2 Create a store as outlined here

Just remember to adjust communication type (http or https) for the various services, depending on whether you have installed SSL certificates on the different servers or not. If you followed this guide, then you probably noticed that we did not install SSL certificates on the Delivery Controllers since its just a test lab, so you will have to configure http communication between StoreFront and Delivery Controllers.

 

 

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12. Test your deployment

 

 

 

12.1 Ensure that the VDAs are powered on
12.2 Browse to https:\\server02.shabaztech.com or http:\\server02.shabaztech.com (depending on whether you installed a SSL certificate on the StoreFront server or not) on a machine where you have installed Citrix Receiver

12.3 Enter the credentials of a user who has access to the desktops

12.4 Under the Desktops node, you will find the two different desktops

12.5 Click on either one of them to start your session

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