Product Documentation

Set up machine catalogs

May 03, 2015

To deliver desktops and applications to users, the machine administrator creates a catalog of machines. The assignment administrator allocates machines from the machine catalog to users by creating Delivery Groups.

Cloud-provisioned machine catalogs

This release supports hosting a Site in a cloud environment managed by either Citrix CloudPlatform (CloudPlatform) or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Keep the following in mind when creating cloud provisioned machine catalogs:

  • Machines are provisioned by Machine Creation Services (MCS).
  • AWS only supports Server OS and Server VDI machine catalogs.
  • AWS does not support Remote PC Access catalogs.

Prepare to create machine catalogs

Before you begin, ensure that you:

  • Identify the types of machine catalogs to create based on your environment and users. See Desktop and application delivery.
  • Identify the machine catalog machine infrastructure for your desktop delivery:
    • Power-managed
      • This machine catalog contains machines that are power-managed through Studio. If no hypervisor connections are configured when you create the machine catalog, this option is not available.
      • Connection to a cloud environment are always through virtual machines provisioned by MCS or existing images that use another service or technology option.
    • Not power-managed — This machine catalog contains machines (usually physical) that not power-managed through Studio.
  • Consider how you manage and create machines; this affects the recommended machine catalog type. You manage a machine catalog's machine images through one of the following methods:
    • Machine Creation Services use a master image or template within your environment to manage virtual machines, enabling you to easily manage and update target devices through one master image or template.
    • Provisioning Services manage target devices as a device collection. A Provisioning Services vDisk imaged from a master target device delivers the desktops and applications and enables you to leverage the processing power of existing hardware or virtual machines.
    • Existing images use another service or technology option, and manage and deliver desktops and applications that you have already migrated to VMs in the data center. You must manage target devices on an individual basis or collectively using third-party electronic software distribution (ESD) tools.
  • Prepare your environment:
    • Prepare a master image or template.
    • Provide Active Directory computer accounts.
    • Network interface card configuration — If multiple network interface cards (NIC) are available on a master image, you can select one to be used with the machine catalog, and you can also assign an available network to the NIC. You can also add NICs as described in Configure a network interface card.

Create machine catalogs

Use the Create Machine Catalog wizard to create new machine catalogs. The wizard prompts you about your environment and helps you select the machine catalog type that fits your requirements based on your responses.

Test the machine catalog

After creating or changing a machine catalog, you can run tests to ensure that the machine catalogs are ready for use.

Provide Active Directory computer accounts

Each machine in a machine catalog needs a corresponding Active Directory computer account. If you plan to create random or static machine catalogs and you have access to an Active Directory domain administrator account, you can allow Studio to create new accounts when you create the machine catalog. If you do not have the necessary permissions, ensure that you have a sufficient number of unused Active Directory computer accounts available for the machines before you start the Create Machine Catalog task.

You can select the existing computer accounts to use by browsing the Active Directory when you create the machine catalog or, alternatively, you can import a .csv file containing a list of account names. Studio requires the following format for computer accounts imported from .csv files.

[ADComputerAccount]  ADcomputeraccountname.domain  ...

For existing and physical machine catalogs, you select or import existing accounts and assign each virtual or physical machine to both an Active Directory computer account and to a user account. For machines created through Provisioning Services, Active Directory computer accounts for target devices are managed using Provisioning Services and existing Active Directory tools. For more information about Active Directory integration with Provisioning Services, see Provisioning Services.

For information about managing a machine catalog's Active Directory or Organizational Units (OU) accounts, see Manage desktop computer accounts.

Create a new machine catalog

The Create Machine Catalog wizard guides you through the machine catalog creation process. Machine catalog creation is the first step in delivering desktops to users.

Steps for creating machine catalogs vary based on choices you make for the tasks that users perform, the devices to which the desktops and applications are delivered, or user experience requirements.

The major differences result from your choice of one of the following machine catalog types:

  • Server OS is appropriate for users who perform a set of well-defined tasks, and who do not require personalization for their work.
  • Desktop OS lets you provide individual desktop environments for each user as well as customizable desktops, including Personal vDisks (PvD).
  • Remote PC Access lets your users remotely connect to their office computers through a secure connection.

Before you start the Create Machine Catalog task, ensure that you have all the prerequisites in place for the particular type you intend to use.

Machine catalog type Requirement

All

  • A host with sufficient processors, memory, and storage to accommodate the number of machines you plan to create.
  • If there are multiple Network Interface cards (NICs), know which virtual networks you want to assign to each card.

Desktop OS and Server OS

  • Either a sufficient number of unused Active Directory computer accounts for the machines you plan to create, or access to an Active Directory domain administrator account for the domain on which you want the desktops to be members.
  • A master image or template from which to create the desktops. The master image must be available on the host where the machines are created.

Remote PC Access

Specify Machine Accounts or Organizational Units. These features let you add the machines corresponding to users or user groups.

To enable power management for Remote PC Access catalog machines, select the option to use a power management connection. With this option, users can remotely turn on their machines.

Existing

  • Virtual machines or dedicated blade PCs hosting user desktops that you have already migrated to the data center.
  • Active Directory user and computer accounts to assign to the virtual machines or blade PCs.

Desktop OS machine catalog that allows customization

  • A Provisioning Services deployment with a Personal vDisk that you have imaged from the master target device.
  • Device collections configured to load the Personal vDisk over the network.
  • Active Directory computer accounts managed by Provisioning Services for each target device in the device collections.
  • Select the kind of user experience you want to provide:
    • Connect to a random or dedicated desktop on logon.
    • Discard or retain changes. If users retain changes, decide where to save changes (on a separate Personal vDisk or on a local disk).

Server OS

Active Directory user and computer accounts to assign to the virtual machines or blade PCs.

To create a new machine catalog, perform the following actions:
  1. Log on to the computer running Studio. If you plan to use Studio to create new Active Directory computer accounts for the machines, log on using a domain administrator account for the domain on which you plan to add the desktops.
  2. Select the Machine Catalogs node, and click Create Machine Catalog.

    If the Machine Catalogs node is not visible, you must complete one of the initial configuration tasks presented when you first start Studio before you begin creating the first machine catalog.

  3. One the Operating System and Hardware page, select the type of machine catalog you want:
    • Desktop OS provides individual and customizable desktops.
    • Server OS provides a standardized desktop.
    • Remote PC Access provides users with remote access to their office computers.
  4. For Machine Management, select the type of machine from which desktops and applications are delivered:
    • Virtual machines — Use this type for cloud-provisioned machines, include Citrix CloudPlatform and AWS.
    • Physical hardware.
  5. Select the machine image management method:
    • Machine Creation Services (MCS)
      • The options to use virtual machines and Machine Creation Services are disabled if you do not have access to or have not configured a hosting infrastructure. For information about setting up the hosting infrastructure, see Connections and resources.
      • To create a machine catalog that uses GPU resources, you can use MCS only to create a GPU-enabled master image.
    • Provisioning Services — Select the Provisioning Services server by entering the IP address and domain. Provisioning Services is not supported for cloud-provisioned machines, including Citrix CloudPlatform and AWS.
    • Another service or technology (existing images)
  6. On the Desktop Experience page (which is not available for Remote PC Access), choose how users connect each time they log on:
    • Select how many users can connect to the same machine.
    • For Desktop OS machines:
      • Select random desktop or to the same static desktop.
      • Select whether to retain changes and how to save the changes: Personal vDisk or dedicated virtual machine.
    • For Desktop OS machines with Provisioning Services: random desktop or to the same static desktop.
  7. On the Machines page:
    • Select the number of machines for the catalog.
    • Select the machine computing specifications, such as CPU and memory. For cloud-provisioned machines, this is a CloudPlatform service offering or AWS instance that maps to virtual machine hardware profiles set up by the cloud administrator.
    • Add computer accounts:
      • Active Directory Computer Accounts for Desktop OS and Server OS machine catalogs
      • Organizational Units (OU) for Remote PC Access machine catalogs
  8. On the Users page, if you have machines in the machine catalog that are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, select the Some of the machines are running Windows XP or Windows Vista option.
  9. If you selected a machine image management method that uses a master image, on the Master Image page, select a host and a corresponding snapshot or virtual machine. To create a machine catalog with GPU capabilities, select a snapshot or master image that has a compatible GPU resource.
  10. If you selected a machine image management method that requires virtual machines, on the Add and Configure Virtual Machines page:
    • Select the number of virtual machines.
    • Configure the number of virtual CPUs, memory size, and hard disk size.
    • Specify the Personal vDisk size and drive letter.
  11. On the Network Interface Cards page:
    • Enable a network interface card by selecting an existing or adding another.
    • Select the network that the network interface card uses.
  12. On the Scopes page, define which administrators can access the machine catalog.
  13. On the Summary page, add descriptions, and create the machine catalog.

You have now created a machine catalog that provides the machines on which users' desktops reside.

To deliver desktops from the machines in your machine catalog to users, you must allocate the machines to users by creating Delivery Groups. For more information, see Create a new Delivery Group.

Configure a network interface card

When creating machine catalogs, if the master image has multiple network interface cards, configure one or more cards to work with networks. For example, if there are two cards on the master image, you can configure one of the cards to access a specific secure network, while the other accesses a more commonly used network.
  1. In the Create Catalog wizard, select the Network Cards Configuration node.
  2. Select a card in the display and make sure it is enabled.
  3. Select one or more virtual networks to associate with the selected card.
  4. Optionally add or remove cards and then click Next to continue to create the machine catalog.

Test a machine catalog

To make sure your machine catalog is properly configured to deliver desktops or applications, you can test the machine catalog. Machine catalog configuration testing occurs:
  • Automatically after you create a machine catalog
  • By clicking Test Machine Catalog:
    • In the Common Tasks page
    • In the Quick Launch page
    • As an action performed on a machine catalog in the Machine Catalogs page
  1. If you have not already done so, click Studio to display the console.
  2. Select a machine catalog and then click Test Catalog.
    When the test completes:
    • Optionally view a test report
    • Resolve any issues and then test again
    • Continue setting up other Studio components