Product Documentation

Machine catalogs managed by MCS

May 09, 2015

To deploy applications to machines managed by MCS, you create each application using a base deployment type of MSI, App-V, or Script, and then deploy the applications to device collections containing update devices and machine clones.

The following table describes where you target deployments based on how user data is handled and whether a deployment is intended for all users. The Connector uses an update device in Configuration Manager to represent a VM with a master image.

OS type User data handling Deploy to:
Desktop OS Discarded Device collection containing an update device
On PvD
  • Device collection containing an update device, if deployment is intended for all users
  • User collection, if deployment is optional
On local disk Device collection
Server OS Discarded Device collection containing an update device

The following table indicates whether the Connector or MCS handles various orchestration tasks. Applications are available for publishing to users after all specified clone machines are updated. For more information about deployment orchestration, refer to Deployment orchestration.

Provisioning method OS type Product handling orchestration tasks
Deployment to master image Deployment to clones Notifications
Machine Creation Services Desktop OS or Server OS Connector Studio Studio
Tip: The Connector provides a summary of machine catalog characteristics, including information about how to handle the catalog. To view that information, navigate to Device Collections > Citrix Delivery Sites > Catalog, right-click a catalog in the list, and choose Machine Catalog Properties.

Prepare for application deployment

To deploy applications to machine catalogs managed by MCS, you work with both Configuration Manager and Citrix Studio. The following diagram and discussion describe the MCS setup process.


MCS image setup workflow

The Connector integration with MCS incorporates the tasks that you normally perform during provisioning setup and configuration (steps 1 through 3 in the diagram) and synchronizes provisioned assets with Configuration Manager.
  • Step 1: Create a master image as you normally would, using the guidelines in Prepare a master image.
  • Steps 2 - 3: Use Citrix Studio to create a machine catalog and Delivery Group.
  • Step 4: After the Connector synchronizes Configuration Manager with XenApp or XenDesktop, use Configuration Manager to designate an update device for the master image and then deploy applications.
  • If the provisioned machines discard user data or store user data on a PvD, you first designate the update device containing the master image and then deploy.
  • If the provisioned machines store data on a local device, you proceed with the deployment.

Deploy applications to Desktop OS or Server OS session machines managed by an update device

Use the following steps to target application installation to a device collection containing an update device for:
  • Server OS (hosted shared) or Desktop OS (VDI) session machines that discard user data
  • Desktop OS (VDI) session machines that store user data on a PvD
    Important: When user data is stored on a PvD, you target deployment to a device collection containing an update device if the application deployment is intended for all users. If the application is not intended for all users, deploy it to a user collection instead. If a user chooses to install the application, it is installed on the user's personal vDisk.

For your reference, a workflow diagram follows the steps.

  1. Choose an update device:
    1. In the Configuration Manager console, expand Assets and Compliance > Device Collections > Citrix Delivery Sites > Catalog, right-click the catalog name, and then choose Designate Update Device.
      Tip: If the Connector displays a message to let you know this device collection does not require an update device, deploy the application.

      A list of all devices that have the Citrix VDA installed and configured as a master image appears. If the list is empty, either the VDA is not installed on any devices managed by Configuration Manager or Configuration Manager has not performed a hardware inventory on VDAs configured as a master image. You can search for the update device by name.

    2. Select the machine name and then click Verify and Select. After the machine is verified, click OK.
      Tip: If Configuration Manager cannot contact the machine, an error message displays and you have the choice of continuing or canceling. For more information, refer to Troubleshoot issues.

      The update device is added to the device collection, increasing the member count by one.

  2. To deploy the application, select the catalog name and then click Home > Deploy > Application.

    The Deploy Software Wizard appears.

  3. On the General page: Across from Software, click Browse and then select the application you want to deploy.

    Do not change the Collection.

  4. On the Content page, choose a distribution point for MSI or App-V applications. For Script based applications the application is already on the host and there is nothing to distribute, so just click Next.
  5. On the Deployment Settings page: For Purpose, choose Required so that Configuration Manager forces the application to install.
    Important: If you do not choose Required, Configuration Manager will not deploy the application to the device collection containing the Citrix machine catalog.
    Deployment Settings

  6. On the Scheduling page: Specify a date and time that the application should be available and an installation deadline. The schedule defaults to as soon as possible.

    For information about scheduling deployments, refer to Microsoft TechNet documentation for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the wizard.

    Green check marks on the Completion page indicate that the application is scheduled for deployment.

  8. Verify that the application deployed to the update device:
    1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Monitoring > Deployments, right-click the application, and then choose View Status.

      If the application deployed, a green success item appears and, under Asset Details, the name of the update device appears.

    2. If the application has not deployed, wait a while and then click Run Summarization.
      Caution: Do not continue until the View Status screen reports a successful deployment for the update device.

      After the application deploys, the In Progress tab lists the clones of the image, with a status of "Waiting For Orchestration."

  9. To update the machine catalog with the update device, perform these steps in Citrix Studio or let your XenApp or XenDesktop administrator know that the machine catalog is ready to be updated.
    1. In Citrix Studio, click Machine Catalogs, right-click the machine catalog that you chose in step 1, and then click Update Machines.
    2. Select the Delivery Group and then click Next.
    3. On the Master Image page, select the master image and then click Next.
    4. On the Rollout Strategy page, specify the update timing and how you want Studio to notify users.

      If you are using MCS for Server OS machine catalogs, the option On next shutdown (not right now) will not cause the Connector to reboot the machines. Instead, choose how you want Studio to handle notifications.

    5. Click Next, click Finish, and then observe the progress bar on the machine catalog name.

      The progress bar indicates that MCS is taking a snapshot of the update device. This process can take a while. Do not continue until the green progress bar disappears.

  10. To verify that all clones in the machine catalog are updated: In the Configuration Manager console, click Monitoring > Deployments, right-click the application, and then choose View Status.

    If the application deployed, a green success item appears and, under Asset Details, the names of the update device and machine clones appear.

  11. You can now publish the application. The Connector delays publication until all active machines in the Delivery Group report compliance. Active machines are those that are online and not in XenApp or XenDesktop maintenance mode.
    MCS maintenance workflow

Deploy applications to Desktop OS session machines that store user data on a local disk

Use this procedure to target application installation to statically allocated Desktop OS (VDI) session machines that store user data on a local disk. You manage these machines exactly as you manage physical machines: There are no special requirements for the Connector. These steps are provided for convenience.
  1. In the Configuration Manager console, expand Assets and Compliance > Device Collections > Citrix Delivery Sites > Catalog, click the catalog name, and then click Home > Deploy > Application.

    The Deploy Software Wizard appears.

  2. On the General page: Across from Software, click Browse and then select the application you want to deploy.

    Do not change the Collection.

  3. On the Content page, choose a distribution point for MSI or App-V applications. For Script based applications the application is already on the host and there is nothing to distribute, so just click Next.
  4. On the Deployment Settings page, make sure that the three check boxes are cleared.
  5. On the Scheduling page: Specify a date and time that the application should be available and an installation deadline. The schedule defaults to as soon as possible.

    For information about scheduling deployments, refer to Microsoft TechNet documentation for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the wizard.

    Green check marks on the Completion page indicate that the application is scheduled for deployment.

  7. Monitor the deployment to determine when a desktop hosted application is ready for publishing.