Apr. 11, 2017
The Citrix XenDesktop Essentials Service allows management and delivery of Windows 10 virtual desktops from Microsoft Azure.
XenDesktop Essentials Service is designed specifically for the Azure Marketplace. Citrix and Microsoft partner to deliver an integrated experience for XenDesktop Essentials and Azure IaaS. This partnership gives you a single interface to deliver a complete Windows 10 digital workspace from Azure.
By using XenDesktop Essentials Service, you can:
Citrix XenDesktop Essentials Service simplifies Windows 10 deployment. You can deploy desktops quickly, manage at scale, and deliver a rich user access experience from a single management plane.
You manage the Windows 10 desktops by using Studio and you monitor sessions from Director. Users connect to their Windows 10 virtual desktops by logging on with Citrix Receiver.
XenDesktop Essentials, the Citrix Cloud, and Microsoft Azure work together. During configuration, you create a Microsoft Azure subscription. After that, you install the Citrix Cloud Connectors, which provide access to your Azure resources from Citrix Cloud. You then create a Windows 10 master image that includes the VDA. The master image provides the template for desktops you deliver to users.
When you complete those tasks, you create a host connection to Microsoft Azure. Studio and Director are available in your cloud console. Use Studio and Director to manage and monitor your XenDesktop Essentials Service.
Deploy NetScaler VPX to provide secure access to Windows 10 desktops from anywhere. StoreFront is hosted from Citrix Cloud. You provide your users with the URL.
Users connect to their desktops via Citrix Receiver, using the URL you provide. When users log on to Citrix Receiver, the Windows 10 desktop icon appears in the StoreFront window.
XenDesktop Essentials Service requires certain complementary products and components and specific account permissions for installation, configuration, and operation.
XenDesktop Essentials Service is designed to support Microsoft Azure exclusively. Your Azure environment must meet certain minimum requirements to support XenDesktop Essentials Service:
The Citrix Cloud Connector servers must meet the following minimum requirements:
Citrix Cloud Connector authenticates and encrypts communication between Citrix Cloud and your resource locations. With XenDesktop Essentials Service, your resources are located in Microsoft Azure. Citrix Cloud requires that you install the Citrix Cloud Connector on two machines to ensure continuous availability of your resource locations.
To install the Citrix Cloud Connector
After installation, Citrix Cloud registers your domain in Identity and Access Management. You can see the domain registered in Identity and Access Management in the left menu. For more information about domain registration and access management, see Identity and Access Management.
Before you start, ensure that you have your Azure Active Directory credentials and your subscription ID available. The Azure AD user who creates the host connection must be a native cloud user in the Azure AD or synchronized for the enterprise domain. The user account cannot be an invited or delegated Microsoft account.
Connect to Azure
On the Add Connection and Resources page:
After you click Use existing, the Existing Service Principal Details page appears:
In preparation for hosting the desktops, install the Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) software on the Windows 10 virtual machine. The VDA software
To install the VDA on the base image
Create a Storage Account
In Microsoft Azure, you need a storage account to host the base image virtual hard disk. You can host the drive in an existing storage account or create a storage account.
Important: Upload the Windows 10 master image to the destination storage account in Azure before you create the machine catalog.
To create a storage account for images
After you create a storage account, create a blob container and then name it to reflect the virtual hard disk, such as "VHDs."
To create a blob container for image VHDs
Create a machine catalog for XenDesktop Essentials
Machine catalogs are collections of virtual desktops that you manage as a single entity. These virtual desktops are the resources you provide to your users. All the machines in a catalog have the same operating system and the same VDA installed.
Typically, you create a master image and use it to create identical VMs in the catalog.
To create a machine catalog
In your Citrix Cloud console, go to the Manage tab and select Service Creation.
The virtual machines are created and a new storage account appears in the Microsoft Azure dashboard. While machine catalog services deploy the virtual machines, a preparation virtual machine with a VHS is created temporarily in Azure.
To identify the image name in Microsoft Azure
A Delivery Group is a collection of machines selected from one or more machine catalogs. The Delivery Group specifies which users can use those machines.
After completing these steps, edit the delivery group to configure access for users. You can add or remove users and change user settings.
Add or remove users in a delivery group
Change user settings in a delivery group
The name of this page can appear as either User Settings or Basic Settings.
Assign users access in the Citrix Cloud
Your Windows 10 virtual desktops are assigned to the groups added to the subscribers list.
If you have users who connect from a remote location, configure NetScaler VPX in Azure to create secure connections between Citrix Receiver and Windows 10 desktops.
To configure NetScaler VPX in Azure
When the deployment is complete, use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to one of the Cloud Connector machines. When you connect, you continue to the NetScaler VPX configuration from the web administration console.
You can also add inbound port 80 to the NetScaler network security group to configure NetScaler by using its public IP address. After the configuration is complete, you can delete the inbound port 80 rule to secure access to the management console.
To configure the NetScaler Gateway settings for secure access
When the virtual machine restarts, log on again by using NetScaler credentials. The next step is to delete the subnet IP address.
To delete the subnet IP address
The next step is to add the two Active Directory domain controllers from the Azure Service Manager (Classic) network.
To add the Azure Service Manager Active Directory domain controllers
StoreFront manages desktop and application delivery to user devices. Users access StoreFront stores through Citrix Receiver directly or by browsing to a Citrix Receiver for Web or Desktop Appliance site. Users can also access StoreFront using thin clients and other end-user-compatible devices through a XenApp Services site.
Enable Service Delivery through Cloud Hosted StoreFront
Enable Remote Access by using NetScaler VPX