Getting Started with Citrix DaaS on Google Cloud
Forward thinking and innovative organizations around the world are choosing to run their Citrix virtualization workloads on Google Cloud. While most Citrix solutions can run in any cloud or resource location, Citrix offers several editions of it’s industry leading virtualization technology which run on Google Cloud. Likewise, Google offers multiple managed compute environments upon which Citrix workloads are supported. This guide will help you get started with Citrix virtualization on Google Cloud.
Which Citrix can I use?
Citrix currently offers multiple editions of it’s virtualization software to meet different customer requirements and use cases. These editions differ based upon who manages the Virtual Apps and Desktops control plane (the customer or Citrix) and where the control plane runs. Either can be used to run Citrix workloads on Google Cloud, with a couple caveats. Customer managed control planes support provisioning to Google Cloud beginning with the 2203 LTSR release. Most Citrix managed control planes support Google Cloud, but this capability is controlled by the edition being licensed. See the Citrix DaaS feature matrix for details.
This guide focuses on the usage of Citrix managed control planes (provided by the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service). These use cases are referred to as DaaS (hybrid or managed) but much of the guidance provided here is also applicable to customer managed control planes - now commonly referred to as VDI.
Citrix DaaS, Google Cloud Editions
Citrix offers two Google Cloud Editions of Citrix DaaS (Standard and Premium for Google Cloud), both of which feature control planes that run on Google Cloud. Both are available for customer consumption through the Google Cloud Marketplace. Both will also support hybrid DaaS use cases, allowing customers to deploy and manage VDA’s on their existing on-premises infrastructure as well as Google Cloud. Neither edition supports multi-cloud management - this feature is only available via the Citrix DaaS Premium service edition.
Hybrid DaaS on Google Cloud
A common deployment option for Citrix DaaS is to deploy a resource location into a customer managed Google Cloud compute environment. This effectively creates a Citrix managed DaaS platform. Add Citrix workloads (VDA’s) running on-premises, and you’ve now got a ‘Hybrid DaaS’ deployment. This guide focuses on this ‘Hybrid DaaS’ use case.
Supported Google Cloud Compute Environments
Google Cloud Compute Engine is Google’s native compute platform, based on their own hypervisor and native management stack. On GCE, virtual machines run in a shared environment, and licensing for Windows Server and various Linux distributions can be paid for based upon actual usage. GCE also includes dedicated sole-tenant nodes which can be used to support ‘bring your own’ licensing models, and are required by some software vendors’ licensing and support policies. For many organizations, GCE ends up being the most flexible and cost-effective compute platform for enterprise workloads.
Google Cloud also currently provides a second compute environment which can be used for Citrix virtualization workloads - Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE). GCVE is a first-party service, sold and supported by Google, which allows customers to ‘rent’ and run fully managed, VMware Cloud Foundation-based SDDC’s on Google Cloud. GCVE is fully supported by the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, and is also effectively ‘dedicated hardware’. As such, it’s used to support ‘bring your own’ licensing models, and also complies with some software vendors’ licensing and support policies.
For organizations who have invested heavily in VMware tooling in their legacy data center environments, Google Cloud VMware Engine can be a great choice for a compute environment on Google Cloud, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a fully managed cloud service without changing up their existing investments in VMware anchored tooling, processes, and knowledge. By also providing and supporting VMware HCX for VMware Engine, it can also facilitate a more expedient migration off of self-managed infrastructure and into Google Cloud.
While the process of deploying a Citrix Cloud resource location differs a bit in the detailed steps depending upon your starting point (greenfield or migration) as well as your choice of compute environment on Google Cloud, the general, high-level flow does not.
If you choose Google Cloud VMware Engine as your compute environment on Google Cloud, you can get started by reviewing the detailed steps on setting up a resource location in the Citrix DaaS documentation. If you choose Compute Engine as your compute environment on Google Cloud, you can start your journey by reviewing the step-by-step deployment guidance provided below.
|Follow the Guide: Step 1: Setup a Google Cloud Project|
|Follow the Guide: Step 2: Configure Network Services|
|Follow the Guide: Step 3: Create Virtual Machines|
|Follow the Guide: Step 4: Configure Access to VM Consoles|
|Follow the Guide: Step 5: Deploy Active Directory|
|Follow the Guide: Step 6: Initialize the Citrix Cloud Resource Location|
|Follow the Guide: Step 7: Configure Citrix DaaS|
|Follow the Guide: Step 8: Validate the Configuration|
Managed DaaS on Google Cloud
In 2021, Citrix and Google announced their intention to deliver a Citrix managed DaaS service on Google Cloud. This service will leverage the DaaS capabilities offered by Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktops service and include Citrix managed VDA infrastructure running on Google Cloud. When released, this service will be made available in the Google Cloud Marketplace, and customers will be able to pay for the service on a month by month basis. If you’re interested in participating in the tech preview for Managed DaaS on Google Cloud, please reach out to your Citrix representative and ask them to get you added to the early access list.