Product Documentation

Connections and resources

Jan 04, 2016

Introduction

You create your first connection to hosting resources when you create a Site. Later, you can change that connection and create new ones. Configuring a connection includes selecting the connection type from among the supported hypervisors or cloud services. The storage and network you select form the resources for that connection.

Read Only Administrators can view connection and resource details; you must be a Full Administrator to perform connection and resource management tasks.

Connection type information sources

You can use the supported virtualization platforms to host and manage machines in your XenApp or XenDesktop environment. You can use the supported cloud deployment solutions to host product components and provision virtual machines. These solutions pool computing resources to build public, private, and hybrid Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.

For details, see the following information sources.

VMware

Microsoft Hyper-V

Microsoft Azure

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • CTX140427.
  • AWS documentation.
  • When you create a connection in Studio, you must provide the API key and secret key values. You can export the key file containing those values from AWS and then import them. You must also provide the region, availability zone, VPC name, subnet addresses, domain name, security group names, and credentials.
  • The credentials file for the root AWS account (retrieved from the AWS console) is not formatted the same as credentials files downloaded for standard AWS users. Therefore, Studio cannot use the file to populate the API key and secret key fields. Ensure that you are using AWS IAM credentials files.

Citrix CloudPlatform

  • CTX140428.
  • Citrix CloudPlatform documentation.
  • When you create a connection in Studio, you must provide the API key and secret key values. You can export the key file containing those values from CloudPlatform and then import those values.

Citrix XenServer

  • Citrix XenServer documentation.
  • When you create a connection, you must provide the credentials for a VM Power Admin or higher-level user.
  • Citrix recommends using HTTPS to secure communications with XenServer. To use HTTPS, you must replace the default SSL certificate installed on XenServer; see CTX128656.
  • You can configure high availability if it is enabled on the XenServer.  Citrix recommends that you select all servers in the pool (from Edit High Availability) to allow communication with XenServer if the pool master fails. 
  • You can select a GPU type and group, or passthrough, if the XenServer supports vGPU. The display indicates if the selection has dedicated GPU resources.

Nutanix Acropolis

Create a connection and resources

The hosting resources must be available before you create a connection.

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select Add Connections and Resources in the Actions pane.
  3. Select Create a new Connection.
  4. On the Connection page, select the connection type and enter a connection name. Choose a name that will help administrators identify the host type and deployment address.
  5. Additional required information depends on the selected connection type.
  6. Choose the tools you will use to create virtual machines. For hypervisors that provide GPU resources, choose Studio Tools.
  7. On the Storage page, select storage types and devices. When using Machine Creation Services, select the network and storage resources for the new virtual machines. If you use shared storage on XenServer connections, you can enable IntelliCache to reduce load on the storage device. For information about using IntelliCache, see below.
  8. If the connection has GPU capabilities, select the option to use graphics virtualization and then select a GPU type and group.
  9. Enter a name for the resources.

Create a connection and resources from an existing connection

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select Add Connection and Resources in the Actions pane.
  3. Select Use an existing Connection and then choose the relevant connection.
  4. Choose the tools you will use to create virtual machines. For hypervisors that provide GPU resources, choose Studio Tools. If the Connection has GPU capabilities, select the option to use graphics virtualization and then select a GPU type and group.
  5. Enter a name for the resources.

Add storage

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a connection and then select Add Storage in the Actions pane.
  3. Select the storage to add.

Edit storage

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a resources entry under a connection and then select Edit Storage in the Actions pane.
  3. On the Standard Storage page, select or clear the check boxes for the storage locations that will store virtual machines. If you clear a storage location that was accepting new machines, it will no longer accept new machines. Existing machines will continue using that location (and write data to it); so it is possible for a storage location to become full even after it stops accepting new machines.

    If Personal vDisk storage is used, select or clear the check boxes on the PvD Storage page, too.

Edit a connection

Do not use this procedure to rename a connection or to create a new connection. Those are different operations.

You cannot change the GPU settings for a connection, because machine catalogs accessing this resource must use an appropriate GPU-specific master image. Create a new connection.

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the connection and then select Edit Connection in the Actions pane.
  3. Follow the guidance below for the settings available when you edit a connection.

Connection Properties page:

  • To change the connection address and credentials, select Edit settings and then enter the new information.
  • To specify the high-availability servers for a XenServer connection, select Edit HA servers. Citrix recommends that you select all servers in the pool to allow communication with XenServer if the pool master fails.

Advanced page:

For a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfMgr) Wake on LAN connection type, which isused with Remote PC Access, enter ConfMgr Wake Proxy, magic packets, and packet transmission information.

The throttling threshold settings enable you to specify a maximum number of power actions allowed on a connection. These settings can help when power management settings allow too many or too few machines to start at the same time.

  • The Simultaneous actions (all types) and Simultaneous Personal vDisk inventory updates settings specify two values: a maximum absolute number that can occur simultaneously on this connection, and a maximum percentage of all machines that use this connection. You must specify both absolute and percentage values; the actual limit applied is the lower of the values.

For example, in a deployment with 34 machines, if Simultaneous actions (all types) is set to an absolute value of 10 and a percentage value of 10, the actual limit applied is 3 (that is, 10 percent of 34 rounded to the nearest whole number, which is less than the absolute value of 10 machines).

  • The Maximum new actions per minute is an absolute number; there is no percentage value.

Each connection type has specific default values that are appropriate for most cases and should generally not be changed.

Note: Enter information in the Connection options field only under the guidance of a Citrix Support representative.

Turn maintenance mode on or off for a connection

Turning on maintenance mode for a connection prevents any new power action from affecting any machine stored on the connection. Users cannot connect to a machine when it is in maintenance mode. If users are already connected, maintenance mode takes effect when they log off.

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the connection. To turn maintenance mode on, select Turn On Maintenance Mode in the Actions pane. To turn maintenance mode off, select Turn Off Maintenance Mode.

You can also turn maintenance mode on or off for individual machines; see below. Additionally, you can turn maintenance mode on or off for machines in Machine Catalogs or Delivery Groups.

Delete a connection

Caution: Deleting a connection can result in the deletion of large numbers of machines and loss of data. Ensure that user data on affected machines is backed up or no longer required.

Before deleting a connection, ensure that:

  • All users are logged off from the machines stored on the connection.
  • No disconnected user sessions are running.
  • Maintenance mode is turned on for pooled and dedicated machines.
  • All machines in Machine Catalogs used by the connection are powered off.

A Machine Catalog becomes unusable when you delete a connection that is referenced by that catalog. If this connection is referenced by a catalog, you have the option to delete the catalog. Before you delete a catalog, make sure it is not used by other connections.

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the connection and then select Delete Connection in the Actions pane.
  3. If this connection has machines stored on it, you are asked whether the machines should be deleted. If they are to be deleted, specify what should be done with the associated Active Directory computer accounts.

Rename a connection

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the connection and then select Rename Connection in the Actions pane.

View machine details on a connection

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the connection and then select View Machines in the Actions pane.

The upper pane lists the machines accessed through the connection. Select a machine to view its details in the lower pane. Session details are also provided for open sessions.

Use the search feature to find machines quickly. Either select a saved search from the list at the top of the window, or create a new search. You can either search by typing all or part of the machine name, or you can build an expression to use for an advanced search. To build an expression, click Unfold, and then select from the lists of properties and operators.

Manage machines on a connection

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a connection and then select View Machines in the Action pane.
  3. Select one of the following in the Actions pane. Some actions may not be available, depending on the machine state and the connection host type.
  • Start: Starts the machine if it is powered off or suspended.
  • Suspend: Pauses the machine without shutting it down, and refreshes the list of machines.
  • Shut down: Requests the operating system to shut down.
  • Force shut down: Forcibly powers off the machine, and refreshes the list of machines.
  • Restart: Requests the operating system to shut down and then start the machine again. If the operating system cannot comply, the desktop remains in its current state.
  • Enable maintenance mode: Temporarily stops connections to a machine. Users cannot connect to a machine in this state. If users are connected, maintenance mode takes effect when they log off. (You can also  turn maintenance mode on or off for all machines accessed through a connection, see above.)
  • Remove from Delivery Group: Removing a machine from a Delivery Group does not delete it from the Machine Catalog that the Delivery Group uses. You can remove a machine only when no user is connected to it; turn on maintenance mode to temporarily prevent users from connecting while you are removing the machine.
  • Delete: When you delete a machine, users no longer have access to it, and the machine is deleted from the Machine Catalog. Before deleting a machine, ensure that all user data is backed up or no longer required. You can delete a machine only when no user is connected to it; turn on maintenance mode to temporarily stop users from connecting while you are deleting the machine.

For actions that involve machine shutdown, if the machine does not shut down within 10 minutes, it is powered off. If Windows attempts to install updates during shutdown, there is a risk that the machine will be powered off before the updates are complete.

Delete, rename, or test resources

  1. Select Configuration > Hosting in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the resource and then select the appropriate entry in the Actions pane: Delete ResourcesRename Resources, or Test Resources.

Use IntelliCache for XenServer connections

Using IntelliCache, hosted VDI deployments are more cost-effective because you can use a combination of shared storage and local storage. This enhances performance and reduces network traffic . The local storage caches the master image from the shared storage, which reduces the amount of reads on the shared storage. For shared desktops, writes to the differencing disks are written to local storage on the host and not to shared storage.

  • Shared storage must be NFS when using IntelliCache.
  • Citrix recommends that you use a high performance local storage device to ensure the fastest possible data transfer.

To use IntelliCache, you must enable it in both this product and XenServer.

  • When installing XenServer, select Enable thin provisioning (Optimized storage for XenDesktop). Citrix does not support mixed pools of servers that have IntelliCache enabled and servers that do not. For more information, see the XenServer documentation.
  • In XenApp and XenDesktop, IntelliCache is disabled by default. You can change the setting only when creating a XenServer connection; you cannot disable IntelliCache later. When you add a XenServer connection from Studio:
    • Select Shared as the storage type.
    • Select the Use IntelliCache check box.

Connection timers

You can use policy settings to configure three connection timers:

  • Maximum connection timer: Determines the maximum duration of an uninterrupted connection between a user device and a virtual desktop. Use the Session connection timer and Session connection timer interval policy settings.
  • Connection idle timer: Determines how long an uninterrupted user device connection to a virtual desktop will be maintained if there is no input from the user. Use the Session idle timer and Session idle timer interval policy settings.
  • Disconnect timer: Determines how long a disconnected, locked virtual desktop can remain locked before the session is logged off. Use the Disconnected session timer and Disconnected session timer interval policy settings .

When you update any of these settings, ensure they are consistent across your deployment.