Deploy a Citrix ADC on Azure or a Citrix Gateway? Even if you can get it from the Citrix Cloud? Yes, but it depends.
It depends… ツ I love that sentence and I know it can drive some customers and colleagues crazy. But I don’t think I’m the only one who loves this sentence.
But now back to the topic…
I think there are some usecases. On the one hand the customization and on the other hand possibly the price in certain scenarios or if the machine is to be used for global load balancing. Maybe also because you already own a license and want to use it further. I think there are enough requirements.
In my case, I already have the license and would like to use a customized login page later.
So buddies, enough text! Get on the notebook and let’s deploy!
I don’t think I have to explain how to create an Azure Subscription, if you haven’t already, you can have a look at it here:
https://azure.microsoft.com – As a newbie you can also get 170€ credit for one month there.
Until deployment I did the following things: You need a resource group and a virtual network (vnet on Azure). Thats all!
I am currently running the whole lab on Azure, so you may see more objects in the screenshots. However, I will go into this and deploy a Citrix ADC 12.1 in my example. How not a Citrix ADC 13? Well, I tried it, but it was so buggy that I deleted it without further ado.
So that we can start deployment, we add a new resource. You can search directly for “Citrix ADC”. Then select the desired version or your Citrix ADC flavor ツ and click on it.
The next step is to decide which license you want. Standard or Enterprise and also the bandwidth you have to choose. Since I already own a Citrix ADC license, I have decided for the “Citrix ADC 12.1 VPX Bring Your Own License”. Then click on “Create”.
Virtual Machine Deployment
These steps will look familiar to you for the most part if you have already provided virtual machines in Microsoft Azure.
In the first step of the deployment process you will be asked for some important information. Select your resource group here. You will also need to enter a name and select the Microsoft Azure region where you want the Citrix ADC to run. Here you can also choose the size of the virtual machine. Since I only have one lab here, 2 vCPUs and 3.5 GiB RAM are enough for me.
Enter your username and password and click “Next”.
You don’t really need to change much about the disk. For cost reasons I have chosen “Standard SSD”. I would always recommend SSD in a productive environment, otherwise it can come to performance bottlenecks. Then continue with “Next”.
For the time being, we do not need a public interface for the network interface. I’ve marked the change in red and we’ll configure it later. Continue with “Next”.
This is the last step of my adjustment. All I have left here is a shutdown plan. If you don’t need it and you want the machine to run 24×7, just deactivate the “Enalbe auto-shutdown”. There you can leave your mail address even if you have configured Auto-shutdown, then you will get an info when the machine is shut down and you are not logged in Microsoft Azure right now.
Now you can click on “Create and Review”.
Let it roll!
If everything is ok, you will see “Validation passed” at the top and you can deploy the Citrix ADC with “Create”.
Here you can see the ongoing provisioning process. This will take some time now. So it’s time for a coffee…
Once the provisioning process is complete, you will be notified. Then let’s get started with the configuration.
Configuration of the Citrix ADC
The following steps are specific to Microsoft Azure. You should also do this before you start configuring the Citrix ADC. Now first select your virtual machine so your Citrix ADC.
There you select the menu item “Networking”. Here you can see the available interfaces. Since we now want to add additional IP addresses, we have to select the interface.
With a click on “Add” we add the IP addresses we want to use in our Citrix ADC later. I add two IP addresses in my case. A “Subnet IP Address”, which later takes over the communication to the backend servers and a VIP (Virtual IP Address). On this address the requests of the clients are accepted, e.g. for load balancing or the Citrix gateway.
In this list you can also see the already DHCP assigned IP address for the management of the Citrix ADC. You can change the IP address from dynamic to static by clicking on the IP address. Or you can also change the IP address here.
Changing from a dynamic IP address to a static address.
Configuration of virtual IP address and Subnet IP address.
When you’re done, it should look something like this. Here you can see that the three IP addresses are stored on the interface.
Since the Citrix ADC on Microsoft Azure is also licensed via the HostID, I was tempted the first time by the MAC address under “Properties” of the network interface to create the license. I thought, well under vmware it is also the MAC address of the management interface. The Host ID is dynamically generated under Azure and can only be seen in Citrix ADC as far as I have seen.
Configuring the inner workings of the Citrix ADC on Azure
First of all, open your Browser and go to the management IP address of your Citrix ADC on Azure. There you log in with the previously entered username and password.
First you will be asked if you want to participate in the Citrix User Experience Improvement Program. If no, just click on “Skip” otherwise click on “Enable”.
From here the installation runs like a normal Citrix ADC installation. You have to enter the subnet IP address. Also the IP addresses of the DNS server and the NTP server. Then you can select the time zone. The steps are as follows:
First enter the Subnet IP address. As already described in the upper part of the article, this address is used to communicate with the later backend servers.
Now enter your DNS server. With the plus you can add more. It is always recommended to add more than one DNS server. The same applies to the NTP server. You can also enter it here. Here you can also change the hostname if necessary. By default in Microsoft Azure the name of the virtual machine is always used here.
If you have entered all the information, the page should look like this. Each section should be green. That’s good! Continue with “Continue”.
Now we’re going to reboot.
Install your own license
Once the reboot is complete, you can log back in to the Citrix ADC. Now all we have to do is install our own license. The message “CallHome has been enabled” shows that CallHome is enabled by default. You can also deactivate this if necessary.
On the start page of the “Configuration” tab you can see the Host ID required for licensing. As you can see here, you have to enter it one to one for the activation of the license.
To exchange the license we go to “Configuration” and then to “Licenses”. Here you can see that the VPX Express license is the default license. With a click on “Manage Licenses” you can select your license.
Just click on “Add New License”.
Click on “Browse” and Choose your license file wich you have generated on https://www.citrix.com
After you have choosen your Licesenfile. The license will be added. There will be a hint to make a reboot of your Citrix ADC. Just klick on “Reboot”.
If you clicked on “Reboot”, you will be asked if you want to save the configuration first. Click “yes” here.
When the restart is done, you can login to the Citrix ADC WebUI again. You will now see the active license of your Citrix ADC that you have uploaded.
We have now completed the basic configuration of our Citrix ADC on Azure. Last thing is that we have to assign the public IP address to our Citrix ADC.
Assign a public IP Adress to Citrix ADC on Azure
Now we bind the public IP address to our Citrix ADC. For this you choose the virtual machine. Go to the menu item “Networking” and select your network interface. This item has already been described in the upper part of the article.
Go to “IP Configurations” and choose your VIP interface, the interface which handel your frontend (client) traffic. Click on that and choose “enalbe” on public IP address. Than you have to assign a public IP address.
If this does not yet exist, you can create a new one with Create.
It is best to choose a static IP address, as it is of course easier to create a DNS entry on a public DNS. And click on “OK”.
Then click “OK” twice more and the IP will be assigned to the interface. Now you can see the IP in your “IP Configuration” list. Now go again to the “Networking” menu item of your virtual machine and create the inbound rule there so that the public IP address can also be reached via the desired port.