Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Microsoft Azure virtualization environments

Important:

As of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2003, current releases of that product do not support VDAs on the following hosts:

  • Amazon Web Services (includes VMware Cloud on AWS)
  • CloudPlatform (refers to the original Citrix software platform)
  • Microsoft Azure (includes Azure Resource Manager and Azure Classic)

For more information, see Changes in host support for Current Releases.

Connection configuration

When using Studio to create a Microsoft Azure connection, you need information from the Microsoft Azure Publish Settings file. The information in that XML file for each subscription looks similar to the following sample (your actual management certificate is much longer):

\<Subscription
ServiceManagementUrl="*address*"
Id="o1455234-0r10-nb93-at53-21zx6b87aabb7p"
Name="Test1"
ManagementCertificate=";alkjdflaksdjfl;akjsdfl;akjsdfl; sdjfklasdfilaskjdfkluqweiopruaiopdfaklsdjfjsdilfasdkl;fjerioup" />

The following procedure assumes you are creating a connection from Studio, and have launched either the Site creation wizard or the connection creation wizard.

  1. In a browser, go to https://manage.windowsazure.com/publishsettings/index.
  2. Click the Cloud Shell icon next to the search box and follow the instructions to download the Publish Settings file.
  3. In Studio, on the Connection page of the wizard, after you select the Microsoft Azure connection type, click Import.
  4. If you have more than one subscription, you are prompted to select the subscription you want.

The ID and certificate are automatically and silently imported into Studio.

Power actions using a connection are subject to thresholds. Default values are appropriate. Do not change them. However, you can edit a connection and change them. You cannot change these values when you create the connection. For details, see Edit connection settings.

Virtual machines

When creating a machine catalog in Studio, the size of each virtual machine depends on the options presented by Studio. The cost and performance of the selected VM instance type, and scalability.

Studio presents VM instance options that Microsoft Azure makes available in a selected region. Citrix cannot change this presentation. Be familiar with your applications and their CPU, memory, and I/O requirements. Several choices are available at difference price and performance points. See the following Microsoft articles to better understand the options:

Basic tier: VMs prefixed with “Basic” represent the basic disk. They are limited primarily by the Microsoft supported IOPS level of 300. These are not recommended for Desktop OS (VDI) or Server OS RDSH (Remote Desktop Session Host) workloads.

General purpose tier: General purpose tier VMs appear in 10 series: B, Dsv3, Dv3, DasV4, Dav4, DSv2, Dv2, Av2, DC, and DCv2. These VMs balance the CPU-to-memory ratio and are ideal for testing and development, small to medium databases, and low to medium traffic web servers. See Virtual Machine Sizing for more information on sizes and descriptions for Azure VMs.

When provisioning machines in Azure premium storage, be sure to select a machine size that is supported in the premium storage account.

Cost and performance of VM instance types

For US list pricing, the cost of each VM instance type per hour is available on the Microsoft Virtual Machines Pricing page. For Linux VM pricing, see the Linux Virtual Machines Pricing page.

Consider the following when determining which VM instance type to use:

  • It is important to understand your computing requirements. For proof of concept or other testing activities, it can be tempting to use the high-performance VM instance types. It is also tempting to use the lowest-performing VMs to save on costs.

  • Use a VM appropriate for the task. Starting with the best-performing will not get the results you need, and will become expensive over time - sometimes, within a week.

  • For lower-performing VM instance types with a lower cost, the performance and usability is not appropriate for the task.

  • For Desktop OS (VDI) or Server OS (RDSH) workloads, testing results using LoginVSI against its medium workload found that instance types Medium (A2) and Large (A3) offered the best price/performance ratio.

  • Medium (A2) and Large (A3 or A5) represent the best cost/performance for evaluating workloads. Anything smaller is not recommended. More capable VM series offer your applications or users the performance and usability they demand. However, it is best to baseline against one of these three instance types to determine if the higher cost of a more capable VM instance type provides true value.

Scalability

Several constraints affect the scalability of catalogs in a hosting unit. Some constraints, such as the number of CPU cores in an Azure subscription, can be mitigated by contacting Microsoft Azure support to increase the default value (20). Others, such as the number of VMs in a virtual network per subscription (2,048), cannot change.

Currently, Citrix supports 1,000 VMs in a catalog.

To scale up the number of VMs in a catalog or a host, contact Microsoft Azure support. The Microsoft Azure default limits prevent scaling beyond some VMs. However, this limit changes often, so check the latest information: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/azure-subscription-service-limits/.

A Microsoft Azure virtual network supports up to 2,048 VMs.

Consider VMs needed to provide the hosted applications. For more information, see Scalability and performance targets for VM disks on Windows.

Contact Microsoft Azure support to determine if the default CPU core limitations must be increased to support your workloads.

Microsoft Azure virtualization environments