Delivering XenDesktop from Microsoft Azure using Azure Resource Manager

Last week, Citrix announced support for Microsoft Azure Resource Manager in XenDesktop. As of now this feature is only available in Citrix Cloud. Because Citrix has the common policy that features comes in Cloud first then on the on-premises deployment.

Using Azure Resource manager the setup has been simplified alot!  My lab is quite simple to setup, we need an Active Directory setup, an Windows Server 2012 R2 with the cloud connector installed. We also need a Windows Server 2012 R2 with the RSDH role installed with the VDA agent.

The VDA agent can be found and downloaded from here – https://www.citrix.com/downloads/citrix-cloud/product-software/xenapp-and-xendesktop-service.html

So we also need a Citrix Cloud sub or a trial, when doing into the management console and into connection we will now have Azure as a Connection Type.

We need to enter a subscription ID which we can find from within the Azure Console, and define a Zone name for these resources.  Then choose Create New, from there it will ask you to authenticate against Azure AD using your subscription credentials.

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After you have successfully authenticated it will say “connected”

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Next choose which region you want to provision resources in

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And lastly define which Virtual network (and subnet) you want the connection to provision resources in.
We can define use of multiple subnets here.

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The resources that appear in the wizard will depend on what already exists in the region and the active subscription. Now that we have an connection to Azure we can start creating our machine catalog.

Now before we create a Machine Catalog we need to have a template machine fininshed setup. The easiest way to setup a template machine is first by installing a virtual machine using the marketplace template

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And make sure that this RSDH server is placed within the same virtual network or make sure that it can connect to the Cloud Connector server since that act as a delivery controller for the VDA. After you have successfully setup the server shut it down

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So now after we are done with this we can go on with the setup within Citrix Cloud.

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Now before we go ahead and find the master image we need to find where our Virtual machine template is stored in. So we need to locate the storage account that is uses.

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So when choosing Master image, we first need to locate which resource group the virtual machine is located in and then going into the stoarge account, vhds and choosing the VHD file of the virtual machine, which will be uses as the template image.

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We now also have the option to choose if we want to use Standard disks or Premium disks.

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We also here define how many virtual machines we want to provisoin and what type of machine instances we want to use. The Standard_DS1_v2 It is based on the latest generation 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon® E5-2673 v3 (Haswell)

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And then we need to choose where the NICs are going to be connected to, this is defined in the connection resource.

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And then we have  the same procedure for Computer accounts.

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And also domain credentials.

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Then when we click Finish, let it roll!
You can see in the portal, that Citrix Cloud will create a new resource group where it stores the images and VHD files

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now this setup is going to take some time, since it needs to copy the vhd file from one storage account to another.  Now since this takes some time, stay tuned for part 2 where I show NetScaler Gateway services attached with Azure RM setup in XenDesktop