Design Guidance for Citrix Delivered DaaS on Google Cloud


In this guide, we walk you through designing a Citrix virtualization system on GCP. As the journey progresses, we discuss the implications of the decisions you need to make, and curating more reference resources along the way. This guide is a living document. Be sure to bookmark it and check back periodically to see how things change over time.

Step 1: Design Patterns

We recognize that different customers are at different stages on their journey to “the cloud”. As such, we outline three design patterns that represent a spectrum from “we are all in” to “we will get there but it can take us a while”. Observant technologists see the common elements between all three. They start to see how they can mix and match customer managed and cloud services to meet different business needs and environmental influences. We explore this modularity of subsystems when we revisit these three design patterns later.

Design Guidance Read more: The Cloud Forward Design Pattern
Design Guidance Read more: The Hybrid Design Pattern
Design Guidance Read more: The Cloud Migration Design Pattern

Step 2: Sizing Considerations for Citrix VDA’s on Google Cloud

VDA’s are the workhorses of a Citrix virtualization system: they’re where the apps and desktops you present to your users run. In the guide below, we provide you with some technical guidance on how to determine the right instance type and shape for your specific workloads. We also describe how we tested a heavy “knowledge worker” workload, then analyze and provide our interpretation of the results. Our testing focused on Google Compute Engine, but we also provide some guidance on sizing for Google Cloud VMware Engine.

Design Guidance Read more: Virtual Instance Sizing

Step 3: Virtual Desktop Design

The most dynamic part of a Citrix virtualization system is the VDA. Remember that VDAs are where the actual work is happening - the apps and desktops you provide users on a Citrix virtualization system run from VM instances on GCP. You want to make sure you get this layer right, but don’t let perfection get in the way of progress! Do your homework up front. Set the expectation with users that the system will change over time. …and build simple and effective processes to handle change: it’s inevitable! With the power and flexibility of Citrix virtualization tech, managing change doesn’t have to be a major burden.

In this section, we’ve attempted to logically break the topic up such that we can dive deep without losing context. We do our best to provide the details you need in each section and call out leading practices and recommendations along the way.

We start by examining the different VDA related options for delivering your mix of apps and desktops, and there are quite a few! We then dive into how to configure and use Citrix Cloud’s VDA fleet and image management technologies, including MCS and the Autoscale feature. We then introduce user environment management (registry settings, drive/printer mappings, and so on) and user settings management (user profiles, personalization layers, home drives, and so on) options, dive into cost optimization and capacity management, and wrap up the section with more performance tuning considerations.

This is an ambitious amount of knowledge to distill - let’s get after it!

Design Guidance Read more: Delivery Options
Design Guidance Read more: Image Management
Design Guidance Read more: Cost Optimization
Design Guidance Read more: Performance Tuning
Design Guidance Read more: User Environment Management
Design Guidance Read more: File Storage

Step 4: VPN-Less Access (Zero Trust Network Access)

Google Cloud’s BeyondCorp Enterprise offering provides zero trust network access to corporate applications. Citrix’s Secure Private Access offering serves similar Enterprise use cases, with best in class virtualization support. The two services can be used together to meet even the most comprehensive access requirements. An overview of this solution can be found in this blog, with additional technical details available in the accompanying Solution Brief.

Design Guidance Read more: App Delivery Controller
Design Guidance for Citrix Delivered DaaS on Google Cloud