Deploy Citrix Solutions blueprints using existing machines
When deploying blueprints, Smart Tools can either provision and configure new machines or use existing machines that you specify. This topic describes how to deploy a Citrix Solutions blueprint using machines that already exist in your environment.
You might need to deploy a blueprint with existing machines if:
- You want to use machines in a resource location that Smart Tools does not support such as Microsoft Azure Resource Manager or Nutanix Acropolis.
- You want to use a supported resource location such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Citrix XenServer, but don’t want to supply credentials or keys to Smart Tools.
- You want to use physical machines in your environment with the blueprint.
To deploy your blueprint with minimal interruption, perform the following actions beforehand:
- In Smart Tools, add the blueprint you want to deploy to your Smart Tools account and modify it, if necessary, to accommodate the environment where Smart Tools will deploy the blueprint.
- Provision the machines that you will need for the deployment. All machines must have outbound communication on port 443 enabled so Smart Tools can configure the machines during blueprint deployment.
- Take a snapshot of each provisioned machine. Blueprint teardown functions are not available when using existing machines, so having snapshots will help you restore your machines in the event the blueprint deployment fails.
- Install the Smart Tools Agent on each machine.
Modify the blueprint
Citrix Solutions blueprints, such as the XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept or XenApp and XenDesktop without SQL blueprint, are designed with the assumption that a completely new deployment will be created and that Smart Tools will deploy brand-new machines. If your environment already includes some of the components that Smart Tools would normally deploy, you might need to modify the blueprint so Smart Tools can take your existing components into account when configuring the deployment.
Before you can modify the blueprint, add it to your library as described in Add a check or blueprint to your library.
Important: Modifying Citrix Solutions blueprints to suit your environment requires in-depth knowledge of the actions included in the blueprint and how those actions interact with your environment. Additionally, you will need to test your modifications carefully in a test environment to ensure the blueprint will perform as expected.
For more information about designing blueprints, refer to the following topics:
To modify the blueprint
- Click Smart Build, locate the blueprint in your library, and then click Actions > Edit. The Blueprint Designer displays the blueprint in an editable state.
- Click the Deploy tab and then make the needed changes. This might include adding or removing steps, adding scripts or other blueprints, or changing blueprint input values.
To provision machines suitable for the blueprint you want to deploy, consider the following questions:
- How many machines does the blueprint need?
- Which role will each machine in the deployment assume?
- What is the recommended configuration for each machine?
- What other resources are needed for the deployment (for example, IP addresses, certificates, license files, and so on)?
To answer these questions, you can:
- Consult the blueprint’s documentation. All Citrix Solutions blueprints have companion topics that provide complete details about the number of machines needed, system requirements, the roles they play in the deployment, and additional items that you will need to supply.
- Consult the blueprint’s Predeployment Checklist. The checklist displays an overview of the recommended configuration for each machine in the deployment and any additional information the blueprint author has included in the blueprint. To view the checklist, click Smart Build, locate the blueprint in your library and click Actions > View. On the Blueprint Designer’s Overview page, click Preview pre-deployment checklist.
Install the Smart Tools Agent
Before you can use existing machines with Smart Tools, you must first install the Smart Tools Agent on each machine you want to use with the blueprint you want to deploy. The agent communicates with Smart Tools on port 443, enabling Smart Tools to locate and configure each machine during the blueprint deployment process. Ensure each machine hosting the agent has outbound communication on port 443 enabled.
Note: The Smart Tools Agent download is located within the Add Resource Location wizard. So, to install the agent on your existing machines, you must launch this wizard. After you download and install the agent, you can cancel the wizard. You will not specify any resource location details.
To install the Smart Tools Agent
- Log on as an administrator user of the machine on which you want to install the agent.
- Log on to the Smart Tools web site using your account credentials.
- From the home page, click Resources & Settings.
- From the Resource Locations page, click Add Resource Location.
- Select Citrix XenServer and click Next. Selecting this option is required only to download the agent; not to specify your resource location.
- Select the machine operating system and bitness (32-bit or 64-bit), if applicable, and click Download Agent. When prompted, save the package.
- Locate the Smart Tools Agent package and launch the installation. During installation, the agent registers the machine with Smart Tools. This can take a few minutes. When the machine is successfully registered, a green check mark appears.
- Click Cancel to close the Add Resource Location dialog.
Deploy the blueprint
To use existing machines with a blueprint, the blueprint must include Server steps. These steps appear as machine tiers when you configure the blueprint deployment. For each machine tier, you specify an existing machine. When the blueprint is deployed, Smart Tools uses the specified machines as targets for the other steps in the blueprint, such as installing software or configuring a server role. For more information about using the Server step, see the “Server Step” section in About blueprint steps.
- From the menu bar, click Smart Build and then point to the blueprint you want to deploy.
- Under Actions, click Actions > Deploy. The blueprint description page appears.
- Click Start deployment setup. The Overview page appears.
- In Deployment Name, enter a friendly name for your deployment and click Next. The Resource Location page appears.
- In Resource Location, select All Existing Machines **and then click Next**.
- On the Architecture page, select any applicable deployment options and click Next.
- Review the Pre-deployment Checklist to ensure you have the information or resources that will be needed to configure and deploy the blueprint. Click Continue. For more information, see About the pre-deployment checklist.
On the Size page, perform the following actions:
- Select Use existing machines.
- In each machine tier, select a machine from the list. Repeat this step for all machine tiers in the blueprint. Click Next.
- On the Configuration page, enter the configuration parameters for the deployment. For more information about each parameter, click its Help icon. Click Next.
(Optional) Create a deployment profile:
- Enter a friendly name for the profile.
- (Optional) Enter a description.
- Click Save. If you do not want to create a profile, click Cancel.
- On the Summary page, review the options you’ve configured.
- Click Deploy.
After the deployment begins, Smart Tools displays the status of the deployment in the Deployment Details page. The Deployment Details page includes the real-time progress of each step in your blueprint. Depending on machine availability and the complexity of the blueprint, the deployment might take some time to complete, and some blueprint steps might take longer than others.