In the first post of this series I went over installing XenServer and preparing the base virtual machine images for a XenDesktop deployment (/blogs/2012/01/13/10-to-xen-part-1-of-3/). In the second post I covered the actual XenDesktop Site deployment itself (/blogs/2012/01/18/10-to-xen-part-2-of-3/). If you haven’t read either or both of these previous posts, I would suggest doing so to obtain some context before continuing on here.
For this last post in the series, we’ll take a look at application delivery with XenApp to our virtual desktop environment. After all, as has been discussed many times in the past, desktops provide the foundational platform for our users, but it’s the actual applications that allow them to get things done and be productive.
I’ll begin by spinning up a new virtual machine as follows from my base template:
XA – Windows Server 2008 R2 XenApp Server and components (4GB RAM + 4 vCPUs)
I kicked off the XenApp 6.5 installer and selected the core XenApp components and Web Interface. After the installation and a reboot (approximately 10 minutes) I used the XenApp Server Role Manager to create a new farm with a local SQL Server Express database and then rebooted once more (this took just under 10 minutes). Like I did for the XenDesktop components, I’ll put everything for XenApp on one system as well with the option to expand to multiple servers and an external database later on.
With the farm now created, I published Notepad to test and configured both a XenApp Web and XenApp Services site. I then tested connecting from a client machine through the Web browser before updating the Win7Base image with Citrix Receiver and the XenApp Services Site address. Updating the existing virtual desktops was done through the machine catalog in Desktop Studio.
The core XenApp functionality is up and I’m ready to implement an application delivery strategy. I need to begin by asking the following questions:
– What applications will users need access to?
– How should the applications be delivered (installed into virtual desktop, XenApp hosted, streamed to XenApp, streamed to virtual desktop, streamed to endpoint device)
– Is there an existing XenApp infrastructure that we can import setting from? (If so the XenApp Migration Center/Tools can assist with the process)
I also have the full suite of XenDesktop and XenApp Platinum components available to provide the best possible end-to-end experience for the users. There are virtually (no pun intended) limitless options available to meet any specific requirements, though as we saw, the initial setup of a basic XenDesktop and XenApp environment may be accomplished through a series of steps that take (mostly) ten minutes or less. I hope you found this blog series informative and welcome any feedback on how you approach XenDesktop and XenApp implementations, tips and tricks, and how to bring environments up as quickly and efficiently as possible.