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Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 7.7 – Introduction

Citrix XenApp 7.7 System requirements

Delivery Controller

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

Requirements:

  • Disk space: 100 MB. Connection leasing (which is enabled by default) adds to this requirement; sizing depends on the number of users, applications, and mode (RDS or VDI). For example, 100,000 RDS users with 100 recently-used applications require approximately 3 GB of space for connection leases; deployments with more applications may require more space. For dedicated VDI desktops, 40,000 desktops require at least 400-500 MB. In any instance, providing several GBs of additional space is suggested.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 (Windows Server 2008 R2 only).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (4.5.2 and 4.6 are also supported).
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (included with Windows Server 2008 R2) or 3.0 (included with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012).
  • Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable package.

Databases

Supported Microsoft SQL Server versions for the Site Configuration, Configuration Logging, and Monitoring databases:

  • SQL Server 2014, Express, Standard, and Enterprise Editions.
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 and SP2, Express, Standard, and Enterprise Editions. By default, SQL Server 2012 SP2 Express is installed when installing the Controller, if an existing supported SQL Server installation is not detected.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2, Express, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions.

The following database features are supported (except for SQL Server Express, which supports only standalone mode):

  • SQL Server Clustered Instances
  • SQL Server Mirroring
  • SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups

Windows authentication is required for connections between the Controller and the SQL Server database.

Citrix Studio

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows 10, Pro, Enterprise, and Educational Editions
  • Windows 8.1, Professional and Enterprise Editions
  • Windows 8, Professional and Enterprise Editions
  • Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate Editions
  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

Requirements:

  • Disk space: 75 MB
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (4.5.2 and 4.6 are also supported)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 only)
  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (included with all supported operating systems)
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (included with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2) or 3.0 (included with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012)

Citrix Director

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) integration requires:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager

Requirements:

  • Disk space: 140 MB.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (4.5.2 and 4.6 are also supported).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (Windows Server 2008 R2 only)
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and ASP.NET 2.0. Ensure that the IIS server role has the Static Content role service installed. If these are not already installed, you are prompted for the Windows Server installation media, then they are installed for you.
  • Supported browsers for viewing Director:
    • Internet Explorer 11 and 10. Compatibility mode is not supported for Internet Explorer. You must use the recommended browser settings to access Director. When you install Internet Explorer, accept the default to use the recommended security and compatibility settings. If you already installed the browser and chose not to use the recommended settings, go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset and follow the instructions.
    • Microsoft Edge.
    • Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release).
    • Chrome.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Desktop OS

Supported operating systems:

  • Window 10, Pro, Enterprise, and Educational Editions. The following features are not supported on Windows 10:
    • HDX 3D Pro
    • GPU acceleration
    • Desktop composition redirection
    • Legacy graphics mode
    • Secure boot
    • Publishing universal Windows apps using VM hosted apps
  • Windows 8.1, Professional and Enterprise Editions
  • Windows 8, Professional and Enterprise Editions
  • Windows 7 SP1, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate Editions

To use the Server VDI feature, you can use the command line interface to install a VDA for Windows Desktop OS on a supported server operating system; see the Server VDI article for guidance.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

Requirements:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (4.5.2 and 4.6 are also supported)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 (Windows 7 only)
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1, 2010 SP1, and 2013 Runtimes (32-bit and 64-bit)

Remote PC Access uses this VDA, which you install on physical office PCs.

Several multimedia acceleration features (such as HDX MediaStream Windows Media Redirection) require that Microsoft Media Foundation be installed on the machine on which you install the VDA. If the machine does not have Media Foundation installed, the multimedia acceleration features will not be installed and will not work. Do not remove Media Foundation from the machine after installing the Citrix software; otherwise, users will not be able to log on to the machine. On most supported Windows desktop OS editions, Media Foundation support is already installed and cannot be removed. However, N editions do not include certain media-related technologies; you can obtain that software from Microsoft or a third party.

During VDA installation, you can choose to install the HDX 3D Pro version of the VDA for Windows Desktop OS. That version is particularly suited for use with DirectX and OpenGL-driven applications and with rich media such as video. Note that this is not supported for Windows 10.

You cannot install a current version of the VDA on a machine running Windows XP or Windows Vista; however, you can install an earlier Virtual Desktop Agent version on those operating systems if needed. See CTX140941 for details. The Remote PC Access version in this release is not supported on Windows Vista operating systems.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Server OS

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2012, Standard and Datacenter Editions
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter Editions

The installer automatically deploys the following requirements, which are also available on the Citrix installation media in the Support folders:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 (4.5.2 and 4.6 are also supported)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 (Windows Server 2008 R2 only)
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1, 2010 SP1, and 2013 Runtimes (32-bit and 64-bit)

The installer automatically installs and enables Remote Desktop Services role services, if they are not already installed and enabled.

Several multimedia acceleration features (such as HDX MediaStream Windows Media Redirection) require that the Microsoft Media Foundation be installed on the machine on which you install the VDA. If the machine does not have Media Foundation installed, the multimedia acceleration features will not be installed and will not work. Do not remove Media Foundation from the machine after installing the Citrix software; otherwise, users will not be able to log on to the machine. On most Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2 editions, the Media Foundation feature is installed through the Server Manager (for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012: ServerMediaFoundation; for Windows Server 2008 R2: DesktopExperience). However, N editions do not include certain media-related technologies; you can obtain that software from Microsoft or a third party.

Hosts / virtualization resources

Supported platforms:

  • XenServer.
    • XenServer 6.5  and SP1
    • XenServer 6.2 SP1 plus hotfixes (you must apply SP1 to enable application of future hotfixes)
    • XenServer 6.1
  • VMware vSphere. No support is provided for vSphere vCenter Linked Mode operation.
    • VMware vSphere 6.0 and Update 1
    • VMware vSphere 5.5 and Updates 1 through 3
    • VMware vSphere 5.1 Updates 2 and 3
    • VMware vSphere 5.0 Updates 2 and 3
    • VMware vCenter 5.5 / 6 appliance
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager – Includes any version of Hyper-V that can register with the supported System Center Virtual Machine Manager versions.
    • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2
    • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1
    • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
  • Nutanix Acropolis 4.5. Several XenApp and XenDesktop features are not available when using this platform; see CTX202032 for details. For more information on the use of the product with Acropolis, see https://portal.nutanix.com/#/page/docs.

You can also deploy this product in the following cloud environments:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    • You can provision applications and desktops on supported Windows server operating systems.
    • SQL Server 2012 Enterprise is not available on AWS.
    • AWS does not offer desktop operating system instances.
    • The Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is not supported.
    • See the AWS documentation and CTX140427 for additional information.
  • Citrix CloudPlatform
    • The minimum supported version is 4.2.1 with hotfixes 4.2.1-4.
    • Deployments were tested using XenServer 6.2 (with Service Pack 1 and hotfix XS62ESP1003) and vSphere 5.1 hypervisors.
    • CloudPlatform does not support Hyper-V hypervisors.
    • CloudPlatform 4.3.0.1 supports VMware vSphere 5.5.
    • See the CloudPlatform documentation (including the Release Notes for your CloudPlatform version) and CTX140428 for additional support and Linux-based system requirements information.
  • Microsoft Azure

The following virtualization resource and storage technology combinations are supported for Machine Creation Services and runtime Active Directory account injection into VMs. Combinations marked with an asterisk (*) are recommended.

Active Directory functional levels

The following functional levels for the Active Directory forest and domain are supported:

  • Windows 2000 native (not supported for domain controllers)
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

This illustration shows the key components in a typical XenApp or XenDesktop deployment, which is called a Site.

Citrix_XenDesktop_XenApp_7.7_Architecture

 

The components in this illustration are:

  • Delivery Controller: The Delivery Controller is the central management component of any XenApp or XenDesktop Site. Each Site has one or more Delivery Controllers. It is installed on at least one server in the data center. (For Site reliability and availability, install the Controller on more than one server.) If your deployment includes virtual machines hosted on a hypervisor or cloud service, the Controller services communicate with the hypervisor to distribute applications and desktops, authenticate and manage user access, broker connections between users and their virtual desktops and applications, optimize use connections, and load-balance these connections.

Each service’s data is stored in the Site database.

The Controller manages the state of the desktops, starting and stopping them based on demand and administrative configuration. In some editions, the Controller allows you to install Profile management to manage user personalization settings in virtualized or physical Windows environments.

  • Database: At least one Microsoft SQL Server database is required for every XenApp or XenDesktop Site to store all configuration and session information. This database stores the data collected and managed by the services that make up the Controller. Install the database within your data center, and ensure it has a persistent connection to the Controller.
  • Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA): The VDA is installed on each physical or virtual machine in your Site that you want to make available to users. It enables the machine to register with the Controller, which in turn allows the machine and the resources it is hosting to be made available to users. VDAs establish and manage the connection between the machine and the user device, verify that a Citrix license is available for the user or session, and apply whatever policies have been configured for the session. The VDA communicates session information to the Broker Service in the Controller through the broker agent included in the VDA.

VDAs are available for Windows server and desktop operating systems. VDAs for Windows server operating systems allow multiple users to connect to the server at one time. VDAs for Windows desktop operating systems allow only one user to connect to the desktop at a time.

  • Citrix StoreFront: StoreFront authenticates users to Sites hosting resources and manages stores of desktops and applications that users access. It hosts your enterprise application store, which lets you give users self-service access to desktops and applications you make available to them. It also keeps track of users’ application subscriptions, shortcut names, and other data to ensure they have a consistent experience across multiple devices.
  • Citrix Receiver:  Installed on user devices and other endpoints, such as virtual desktops, Citrix Receiver provides users with quick, secure, self-service access to documents, applications, and desktops from any of the user’s devices, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Citrix Receiver provides on-demand access to Windows, Web, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. For devices that cannot install Cotrox Receiver software, Citrix Receiver for HTML5 provides a connection through a HTML5-compatible web browser.
  • Citrix Studio: Studio is the management console that enables you to configure and manage your deployment, eliminating the need for separate management consoles for managing delivery of applications and desktops. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up your environment, creating your workloads to host applications and desktops, and assigning applications and desktops to users. You can also use Studio to allocate and track Citrix licenses for your Site.

Studio gets the information it displays from the Broker Service in the Controller.

  • Citrix Director: Director is a web-based tool that enables IT support and help desk teams to monitor an environment, troubleshoot issues before they become system-critical, and perform support tasks for end users. Director can be installed outside your trusted network. You can use one Director deployment to connect to and monitor multiple XenApp or XenDesktop Sites. Director shows session and Site information from:
    • Real-time session data from the Broker Service in the Controller, which include data the Broker Service gets from the broker agent in the VDA.
    • Historical Site data from Monitor Service in the Controller.
    • Data about HDX traffic (also known as ICA traffic) captured by HDX Insight from the NetScaler, if your deployment includes a NetScaler and your XenApp or XenDesktop edition includes HDX Insights.

You can also view and interact with a user’s sessions using Windows Remote Assistance.

  • Citrix License Server: The License Server manages your product licenses. It communicates with the Controller to manage licensing for each user’s session and with Studio to allocate license files. You must create at least one license server to store and manage your license files.
  • Hypervisor: The hypervisor hosts the virtual machines in your Site. These can be the virtual machines you use to host applications and desktops as well as virtual machines you use to host the XenApp and XenDesktop components. A hypervisor is installed on a host computer dedicated entirely to running the hypervisor and hosting virtual machines.

Citrix XenServer hypervisor is included with XenApp and XenDesktop; you can use other supported hypervisors, such as Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere.

Although many implementations of XenApp and XenDesktop require a hypervisor, you don’t need one to provide Remote PC Access or when you are using Provisioning Services (included with some editions of XenApp and XenDesktop) instead of MCS to provision virtual machine.

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x differences from XenApp 6.5 and previous versions

If you are familiar with XenApp 6.5 and previous versions of XenApp, it may be helpful to think of 7.x versions of XenApp and XenDesktop in terms of how they differ from those earlier versions.

NOTE: Throughout this section, 7.x refers to XenApp versions 7.5 or later, and XenDesktop versions 7 or later.

Although they are not exact equivalents, the following table helps map functional elements from XenApp 6.5 and previous versions to XenApp 7.x and XenDesktop 7.x:

Instead of this in XenApp 6.5 and before: Think of this in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x:
Independent Management Architecture (IMA)
FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA)
FarmSite
Worker Group
Machine Catalog

Delivery Group
WorkerVirtual Delivery Agent (VDA)

Server OS machine, Server OS VDA

Desktop OS machine, Desktop OS VDA
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Terminal Services machine
Server OS machine, Server OS VDA
Zone and Data CollectorDelivery Controller
Delivery Services Console
Citrix Studio and Citrix Director
Publishing applications
Delivering applications
Data store
Database
Load Evaluator
Load Management Policy
AdministratorDelegated Administrator

Role

Scope
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Abdoulaye WAGUEInstalling and Configuring Citrix XenApp 7.7 – Introduction

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