App Orchestration is all about farms and apps and how you can access them. CloudPortal Services Manager (CPSM) is all about customers and users. Each of these is necessary to deploy any Citrix based app stack, but how do they work together?
Because each one is quite good at their respective tasks we didn’t want to duplicate the functionality of either one in each other one. Instead we wanted to tie them together so CSPs can utilize the benefits of both systems. In order to do this we created a CPSM service called “Hosted Apps and Desktops”.
This service will allow CSPs to leverage all the customers and users they create in CSPM to use the advertisements that are created via App Orchestration.
Please note: If you have just been reading the App Orchestration blogs and docs you might not have heard much mention of Customers. If you have just been reading CSPM docs you might never have heard of a Tenant. However, for all intents and purposes, they are the same thing. It can be a bit confusing to keep track of this, so just remember: Customers = CSPM, Tenants = App Orchestration. (Yes, we know we should fix this.)
Assuming you have App Orchestration already setup, as well as CPSM, there are three main steps that need to be done in CPSM to utilize App Orchestration.
- Service Import and Initial Setup.
- User Plan creation and Advertisement selection
- Provision the service to Customers and Users
There a lot of details needed to be done to setup the service, all of which seem quite complex if this is your first time using the system. Or the second. Or the third… Luckily there is a very good video that will detail all the steps that need to be done: http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/5401
Once this is done try a few test deployments to make sure everything is working. These should just be test user plans and test customers and users, but this will let you see how things work end to end.
The heart of the integration is in the User Plans and how they are configured. User plans need to be designed in order to provide the best business model for how a CSP is going to sell things.
Multiple user plans can be deployed to the same user, so things can be mixed and matched. Advertisements can be selected on general groupings, like one just for MS Office or basic apps like notepad and Internet Explorer or a default desktop.
Other user plans can be made for verticals like Health Care or Engineering apps. You can have separate plans for each of these. It all depends on what is being sold. These plans can then be linked to your billing system, or have the internal prices set if a billing system isn’t being used.
Once the User Plans are configured they need to be provisioned to first a customer and then that customer’s users. As a reseller you first give all the user plans to the customer. The customer will provision the specific plans to the specific users who would use them. The reseller can do this as well, but it is nice to allow for as much self-service as possible.
You might give the MS office plan to all employees for instance, but only your engineers would get the AutoCAD user plan. This is all highly customizable via the standard methods available in CPSM.
Once you have given the plans to users, App Orchestration will kick in behind the scenes and build the necessary workloads for the plans advertisements (now technically subscriptions.) This will take some time because the workloads will have to be created. This can be monitored in the Citrix App Studio.
As you can see, leveraging the power of these two diverse and powerful technologies together can save a tremendous amount of manual time and labor to provide access to Apps and Desktops to end users on a large scale.