- XenApp Essentials Service
- XenDesktop Essentials Service
XenApp Essentials Service allows you to deliver Windows applications from Microsoft Azure to any user on any device. The service combines the industry-leading XenApp service with the power and flexibility of Microsoft Azure.
XenApp Essentials Service replaces Microsoft RemoteApp while providing the same application access experience for users.
To deliver Windows apps to users, log on to the Citrix Cloud. After you log on, choose the XenApp and XenDesktop Service and then configure the settings.
You purchase XenApp Essentials from the Azure Marketplace. After you complete your purchase, see System Requirements for the required components to deploy XenApp Essentials successfully.
Follow these steps to deploy XenApp Essentials Service:
For detailed deployment instructions, see the following XenApp Essentials Deployment Guide.
The following graphic shows the flow of deploying XenApp Essentials.
The following are the requirements to install and configure XenApp Essentials Service after you purchase the service from the Azure Marketplace.
To provision and deploy resources in Microsoft Azure correctly, you need the following:
For more information about how to set up an Azure Active Directory tenant, see How to get an Azure Active Directory tenant on the Microsoft website.
XenApp Essentials Service supports configuring machines by using Azure Resource Manager only.
XenApp Essentials Service creates Cloud Connector virtual machines automatically.
You can open the XenApp Essentials administration console in the following web browsers:
The XenApp Essentials Service has the following known issues:
You can purchase XenApp Essentials directly from the Azure Marketplace by using your Microsoft Azure account. There must be a minimum of 25 users. The service is delivered through the Citrix Cloud and requires a Citrix Cloud account to complete the onboarding process. You can create a Citrix Cloud account on the Citrix Cloud Sign Up page before going to Azure Marketplace to complete the transaction. Ensure that you enter accurate information for all details including address fields to ensure timely processing of your order.
Your XenApp Essentials Citrix Cloud account cannot be affiliated with either of the following:
For detailed information about buying XenApp Essentials Service, click the following link:
Citrix Cloud hosts the XenApp Essentials Service. The XenApp Essentials offers secure access to virtual Windows apps. This service is based on XenApp and XenDesktop technology. The service includes the workspace experience and the NetScaler Gateway Service along with core management services. Your app workloads run in your Azure subscription.
You can find detailed deployment instructions in the XenApp Essentials Service Deployment Guide.
The following diagram shows an architectural overview of a basic XenApp Essentials Service cloud deployment:
You can also allow users to connect to your on-premises data center. Connections between the Azure cloud and your on-premises data center occur through a VPN connection. Users connect through XenApp Essentials to your license server, file servers, or Active Directory over the VPN connection.
Perform the following tasks in Microsoft Azure before setting up the connection in Citrix Cloud:
After you create your Azure account, you can prepare your Azure subscription.
Choose your Azure subscription to be the host connection for your VDAs and related resources. These resources can incur charges based on your consumption.
This service requires you to log on with an Azure Active Directory account. XenApp Essentials does not support other account types, such as live.com.
When you prepare your Azure subscription, you configure the following in Azure Resource Manager:
If you prefer to use Azure Active Directory Domain Services instead of a domain controller, use the following guidelines. Citrix recommends reviewing the documentation Azure Active Directory Domain Services for Beginners on the Microsoft website.
In the Citrix Cloud, you link your XenApp Essentials Service to your Azure subscription.
To link your Azure subscription
After you link your Azure subscription to XenApp Essentials, upload your master image.
You can use one of the following two images in your deployment:
Citrix does not recommend using a Citrix-prepared image for production deployments.
When you prepare the master image, the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installs on the image automatically. The VDA software enables the following:
VDAs are available for Windows server and desktop operating systems. VDAs for Windows Server operating systems allow multiple users to connect to the server at one time.
For more information, see Configure VDAs.
The VDA for Windows desktop operating systems is not supported in XenApp Essentials Service.
Use the following requirements to create a master image:
Do not Sysprep the image.
To prepare a master image
You create the master image by using the Azure Resource Manager. When you prepare your master image, the steps you must take in the Azure portal are:
Create a Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 2016 server virtual machine.
You can also use existing server virtual machines. When you use existing machines, you use the resource group, virtual network, and storage account associated with the machine. The storage account is where you create the virtual hard disk (VHD).
Create the VDA template with standard (non SSD) storage. Also, do not join the VDA to a domain.
Connect to the virtual machine after you create it and when it is running.
Install the applications on the virtual machine. The apps are available to your users when they log on with the workspace URL.
Download the server operating system VDA on the virtual machine from the XenApp and XenDesktop Service download page.
Install the VDA on the virtual machine. When you receive a prompt for the Delivery Controller address, select Let MCS configure.
Skip the installation of Citrix Receiver and App-V. Use the default settings for the remainder of the configuration steps.
Restart the VDA and complete the VDA installation steps by following the instructions on the page.
Test starting the applications to ensure that the configuration is correct.
Shut down the virtual machine.
When you create the virtual machine, the VHD is created in the storage account you specified. When you upload the master image, you must specify the storage account location in the XenApp Essentials console.
To upload the master image
A catalog is similar to collections in Azure Remote App. A Citrix XenApp Essentials Service catalog lists apps and resources that you can share with users on any device.
XenApp Essentials Service catalog uses a simpler approach to the combination of a machine catalog and a Delivery Group.
XenApp machine catalog and Delivery Group creation workflows are not available in XenApp Essentials Service.
When you add a catalog, you configure the following:
Before you start creating your catalog, ensure that you have your Azure Active Directory credentials and your subscription ID available.
To create a catalog
Log on to citrix.cloud.com.
Select the XenApp and XenDesktop Service.
On the Manage tab, click Catalogs, and then click +Catalog.
On the Add a Catalog page, in Pick a Name, type the name of the catalog, select Domain Joined, and then click Save.
In Link your Azure subscription, provide your Azure subscription details. You can use a subscription you created previously or link a new Azure subscription. To use an existing subscription, do the following:
Under Join local domain, enter the following:
In Choose master image, do one of the following:
In Connect to a resource location, do one of the following based on your catalog status:
Resource locations contain the resources required to deliver services to your subscribers, such as the Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs). Your resource location requires Citrix Cloud Connectors to help with administration and control from Citrix Cloud. During catalog deployment, the Cloud Connectors install automatically on a Windows server virtual machine in Microsoft Azure. For high availability, XenApp Essentials installs two Cloud Connectors.
In Select Capacity and Manage Cost, do the following:
In Set idle or disconnected session time-out, set the time for when the session ends.
User sessions end automatically if the session remains idle or is disconnected for the specified time period. Shorter time-out values allow unused VDAs to power off and save costs.
After you configure your catalog, click Start Deployment to start catalog creation. This step can take 1–2 hours. If you specified many virtual machines, creating the catalog can take a longer time.
When the previous step is complete, you can publish apps and assign users and user groups. You need at least one published application and one user assigned to complete creating the catalog.
To update or add applications, update the virtual machine that you used to create the catalogs master image.
To update the master image
To update a catalog
After configuring your catalog, you can publish apps for your users. The image you installed includes apps that you can publish.
There are two ways to publish apps:
To publish apps from the Start menu
To publish apps by using a path to the app
You can use icons to represent the published application. You change the icon when you publish the app for the first time or after you publish the app.
To change the icon for an app
After you publish apps, you can add users and groups.
Test your connectivity through the virtual network by creating a virtual machine in your Azure subscription. The virtual machine must be in the same resource group, virtual network, and subnet that you use to deploy the catalog. Ensure that the virtual machine can connect to the internet. Also, include a test that you can reach the domain by joining the virtual network to the domain. You can test by using the same credentials used for this catalog deployment.
Profile Management ensures that personal settings apply to users virtual applications, regardless of the location of the user device.
Configuring Profile Management is an optional step.
You can enable Profile Management by using the profile optimization service. This service provides a reliable way for managing these settings in Windows. Managing the profiles ensures a consistent experience by maintaining a single profile that follows the user. It consolidates automatically and optimizes user profiles to minimize management and storage requirements. The profile optimization service requires minimal administration, support, and infrastructure. Also, profile optimization provides users with an improved log on and log off experience.
The profile optimization service requires a file share where all the personal settings persist. You must specify the share as a UNC path. The path can contain system environment variables, Active Directory user attributes, or Profile Management variables. To learn more about the format of the UNC text string, see the article, To specify the path to the user store.
You configure Profile Management in the Citrix Cloud.
To configure Profile Management
When enabling Profile Management, consider further optimization of the users profile by configuring folder redirection to minimize the effects of the user profile size. Applying folder redirection complements the Profile Management solution. For more information, see Microsoft Folder Redirection.
The XenApp Essentials Service offering accesses Windows Server remote session capabilities that would typically require a Remote Desktop Services client access license (RDS CAL). The Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) must be able to contact a Remote Desktop license server to request RDS CALs. Install and activate the license server. For more information, see Activate the Remote Desktop Services License Server. For proof of concept environments, you can use the grace period provided by Microsoft.
By using this method, you can have the XenApp Essentials Service apply the license server settings. You can configure the license server and per user mode in the Remote Desktop Services console on the master image. You can also configure the license server by using Microsoft Group Policy settings. For more information, see License your RDS deployment with client access licenses (CALs).
To configure the Remote Desktop Services license server by using Group Policy settings
If you purchased CAL licenses from Microsoft Remote Access, you do not have to install the licenses. You can purchase licenses from Microsoft Remote Access in the Azure Marketplace along with XenApp Essentials.
To configure the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) license server
The XenApp Essentials Service in Citrix Cloud enables the workspace experience for each customer. After you create the first catalog, XenApp Essentials configures the workspace URL automatically. The URL is the one from which users can access their applications. The workspace URL appears under the catalog details. The new workspace URL replaces the cloud-hosted StoreFront. XenApp Essentials does not support on-premises StoreFront deployments.
For more information, see Workspace configuration.
NetScaler Gateway Service
To allow users secure access to their published apps, XenApp Essentials Service uses NetScaler Gateway Service. This service does not need any configuration by you. Each user is limited to 1-GB outbound data transfer per month. You can purchase a 25 GB add-on from the Azure Marketplace. The charge for the add-on is on a monthly basis.
To monitor the overall performance of the Citrix XenApp Essentials Service for Azure, do the following:
You can incur Azure charges from XenApp Essentials because of the following key elements:
The Microsoft Azure charge for XenApp Essentials Service is on a monthly basis. When you cancel XenApp Essentials, you are charged for the current month. If you cancel your order, your service will not renew for next month. You continue to have access to XenApp Essentials Service until the end of the current month by using Citrix Cloud.
Your Azure bill can contain multiple line items for XenApp Essentials, including:
To cancel your XenApp Essentials subscription, delete the order resource in the Azure portal.
To delete the order resource in Azure
Click All Resources.
In the Type column, double-click to open Citrix XenApp Essentials.
Click the trashcan icon. The delete process starts.
In Citrix Cloud, delete the catalogs and images associated with your account. Also, remove the subscription links and ensure the removal of the Citrix Cloud Connector virtual machines from Citrix Cloud.
To delete catalogs
On the Manage tab, click Catalogs.
Next to the catalog you want to remove, click the ellipsis, and then click Delete Catalog.
Repeat step 2 for each catalog you want to delete.
To remove master images
On the Manage tab, click Master Images.
Select an image and then click Remove.
Repeat step 2 for each master image you want to delete.
To remove links to Azure subscriptions
On the Manage tab, click Subscriptions.
Next to the subscription, click the Trash icon.
The Azure portal opens.
Log on to your Azure subscription by using your global administrator Azure credentials.
Click Accept to allow XenApp Essentials Service to access your Azure account.
Click Remove to unlink the subscription.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 for other linked Azure subscriptions.
To ensure removal of the Citrix Cloud Connector virtual machines
In the XenApp Essentials console, click the hamburger menu in the upper left corner and then click Resource Locations.
Identify the Cloud Connector virtual machines.
Delete the virtual machines from the Resource page in Azure.
If you have problems with XenApp Essentials Service, open a ticket by following instructions in How to Get Help and Support.