After quite a bit of rework, Paul Wilson and myself are now ready to announce the availability of the 4th version of our AWS CloudFormation template which comes with quite some changes to the original versions. Changes that were needed to deal with some of your comments in using the previous versions, such as using your own AMIs, and not Citrix controlled ones. By default they are using the default AWS ones. Or to be able to use different NetScaler versions. But also to be more in line with the CloudFormation templates for the Implementation Guide that comes with the XenApp on AWS Reference Architecture, that we made available last week, which takes a much more modular approach. Where this v4 CloudFormation creates a completely self-contained XenApp on AWS environment, the modular approach will be able to incorporated and adapted to many existing infrastructure.

Version 4 of the CloudFormation JSON template can be downloaded from here.

For detailed instructions on using the v4.1.5 CloudFormation template, download the setup guide here.

This new templates introduces a few new options:

  • Ability to select a specific NetScaler Firmware version.
    By default we point at the v10.1-120.13 release, but you can now point in the XA on AWS CloudFormation template to one of these 3 URLs that will construct a NetScaler with the specific firmware version:
  • NetScaler VPX Platinum Edition – 10 mbps version 10.1-120.13:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/cf-XenApp/NS_VPX_Template_v4.1.json
  • NetScaler VPX Platinum Edition – 10 mbps version 10.1-119.7:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/cf-XenApp/NS_VPX_Template_v4.json
  • NetScaler VPX Platinum Edition – 10 mbps version 10.0-71.6008.e:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/cf-XenApp/NS_VPX_Template_v3.json
  • Public-key cryptography used to encrypt and decrypt the default domain and system administrator passwords. The AWS Console or EC2 tools need to be used to retrieve these passwords.
  • Ability to set username and password for an additional administrator account, instead of using the default administrator account
  • Introduction of a XenApp Administrator account that only has access rights at XenApp level
  • Option to select instance types for the various instance functions
  • Usage of a striped volume to support larger amounts of IOs to store applications for the XenApp servers in line with our best practices
  • More flexibility in the naming and configuration of the NetBIOS and DNS names to be used for the domain infrastructure.

Using this new template, just as before, in only a couple of hours you’ve constructed a XenApp farm in your selected Region within the AWS cloud using Netscaler and StoreFront technology. You can use the farm for a number of purposes, including:

  • Application Testing
  • Business Continuity testing
  • Proof-of-Concept
  • Testing XenApp performance in the cloud
  • Learning how to manage AWS resources
For any production deployments we strongly suggest you to check out instead our XenApp on AWS Reference Architecture and the accompanying Implementation Guide instead.

We welcome your comments and feedback about our new v4 NetScaler and StoreFront enabled AWS CloudFormation template for XenApp farm.

Paul and Peter