Getting startet with Citrix Cloud – Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service

You know Virtual Apps and Desktops from Citrix Cloud? With this article I would like to take a closer look at the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and Desktop service, above all I would like to roughly explain the basic setup. This article is part of a series. First I will write a few words about what Virtual Apps and Desktop service is and what it is not. There are already some blog articles about this topic, but since I get inquiries about it again and again, I would like to at least say a few words about it here. I also want to do the basic setup for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service so that I can go into more detail in the next articles.

What is Citrix Cloud?

The services offered from the Citrix cloud are PaaS offerings. These currently include the following products:

  • Access Control
  • Analytic for Security
  • Analytics for Operations
  • Analytics for Performance
  • Content Collaboration
  • Endpoint Management
  • Gateway
  • Managed Desktops
  • Secure Browser
  • Virtual Apps and Desktops
  • ITSM Adapter
  • Microapps
  • Workspace Environment Management

Some of the services can be used individually, while others are available as bundles or integrated in dependence. e.g. Gateway service. It is at least important to know that the Citrix Cloud is not a platform on which you can directly operate VMs like Azure, AWS or Google Cloud.

In my opinion, the greatest benefit of the services is …

  • that better integration with other cloud services is possible
  • availability is higher even in small environments
  • can be scaled better in larger environments and
  • the components are updated and operated on Citrix.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service components

In the following overview you can easily see which components are included in CVAD service, which are managed by Citrix and which you have to take care of yourself.

Virtual Apps and Desktops - Citrix Cloud

Here I have attached a view of the layers again. So you can see that Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop services contains the Access and the Control Layer.

So, after the theory, I want to concentrate on the practice. I will now do the basic setup of the Citrix Cloud tenant and directly install a Citrix Cloud Connector.

Citrix Cloud – Virtual Apps and Desktops service initial setup

Requirements / Preparation

Since my environment runs on Microsoft Azure, I have already made some preparations. On the one hand there are:

  • Azure tenant with Azure Active Directory
  • AD Controller set up and configured
  • two additional Windows servers on which the Citrix Cloud Connectors can be installed

Initial Setup – Cloud Connectors

I have done the preparations so far. Now I’m logging in to my new Citrix Cloud tenant. You can apply for this tenant for testing on the Citrix website or it will be set up by a Citrix partner. Here I choose “Virtual Apps and Desktops Manage”.

The Citrix Cloud Connector is always the point through which connections are established to the corresponding environment in which the resources are located. It is the connection for the authentication (Active Directory Services) but also the controller for your Citrix Virtual Desktop Agents. Since I don’t have one installed yet, I do that first.

Install your Citrix Cloud Connectors

To install it I first download the Citrix Cloud connecotr. and install it on two Windows servers in my environment (in my article I do this only once for illustrative purposes).

Here you can find many information about how to size a Citrix Cloud Connector:

If you need any information about the technical details and the requirements for Citrix Cloud Connector check this link:

To install the Citrix Cloud Connector you have to start the downloaded setup.

Then you have to sign in.

Please enter your Citrix Cloud account.

Enter your verification code for 2 factor.

If you have multiple Citrix Cloud tenants, you have to select the right one.

Wait until the setup is finished. And klick “Close”.

If the installation is finished. There will pop up a new window. It is showing a connectivity test. This will take a few minutes. If the Test is successfu, click “Close”.

Tadaa! Everything is working as it should 🙂

Check your Cloud Connectors

In my Citrix Cloud tenant I now go to the point “Resource Locations”. Here I have my Resource Location and see that the Cloud Connector(s) is/are already visible.

If you click on Cloud Connectors, you can see the individual servers and their status. Even when they last had contact with the Cloud Service.

If you want more details, you can simply click on the server name. Then you will see more details about CPU, memory, disk space and network throughput.

Start to configure the Virtual Apps and Desktop service site

To start with the initial configuration of my site. I click on “Manage Service”

Now there is opening a Citrix Studio, as most of you also know it.

That’s about it. Now you can configure the machine catalogs and the provisioning groups for your users. I hope the article was interesting for you and if you want you can leave me a comment or follow me on Twitter @thomaspreischl.

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