In June 2012, Citrix embraced remoting to existing PCs and laptops with Receiver and HDX, introducing the technology Remote PC Access.  With XenDesktop 7, this technology now exists as an integrated part of the XenDesktop Studio as a Site and Machine Catalog option, so you may have discovered this technology option on your own!

Remote PC Access brings the amazing user experience of HDX technology directly to an existing PC or laptop.  Users don’t have to wait for their apps and desktop to be migrated into a virtual technology to leverage HDX, Receiver, and consequently BYO.  Deploy the Virtual Desktop Agent to their corporate desktop, integrate the XenDesktop Studio broker with Storefront and Netscaler Gateway, then users are ready to pick any device to connect securely and simply.  For a demonstration of the basic Remote PC Access experience:

Now that we’ve covered Remote PC Access, what is Local App Access?  Derek Thorslund, Product Manager for HDX gives a great overview here /blogs/2013/06/12/blending-local-windows-apps-into-the-virtual-desktop/

Let’s take this a step deeper and not only apply those use cases, but add in Remote PC Access to Local App Access and the user’s home PC with their physical PC or laptop in the office.  By using Remote PC Access and Local App Access, you provide your office workers a way to seamlessly integrate the local app representation, into the Remote PC Access session.  You can even separate intranet content from consumer content and appropriately control how the content is rendered, saving you bandwidth and giving your users the local-like experience they expect.

For a demonstration of the two capabilities together:

Now, how to configure?  I’ll be referencing eDocs to show you:

The requirements section is very clear on what will/won’t work, so make sure to review it carefully, as well as the Known Issues.

  1. XenDesktop 7 Studio:  Create a new HDX Policy and in the “Settings”, find the drop down for Local App Access.  This exposes the 3 keys to use.  Enable “Allow local app access”, then configure the WhiteList and BlackList policy for what content should/should not be constrained within.  BlackList is what you want to run on the home desktop browser, and WhiteList is constrained to the Corporate desktop browser.  To redirect the consumer content from all YouTube for example, I used http://*youtube* and “https://*facebook*.  Apply this policy to the Delivery Group for the Remote PC Access machine catalog.  You can also flow this down with normal Group Policies and ADM templates.
  2. Virtual Desktop Agent from XenDesktop 7 (corporate desktop): assuming Internet Explorer as the browser, run the command “<VDA_Installation_Folder>\VDARedirector.exe /regIE”
  3. Home Windows PC:    Install the Windows Citrix Receiver 4.0 on the desktop using a custom installation package, where “/ALLOW_CLIENTHOSTEDAPPSURL=1” is part of the CitrixReceiverWeb.exe installation string.  You can later modify the registry or use the icaclient.adm template, but home users would find this challenging.

Your home users should now be able to take advantage of mixing consumer and corporate content on their home PC and work desktop, by enabling Remote PC Access and Local App Access together.

Work and Life interlaced, simply.