Here at Citrix we know that many of you have both Citrix XenDesktop and System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr). We know that you package all of your applications in MSI and App-V and use ConfigMgr to deploy you apps to your traditional desktops.
The question we frequently hear “how can I use my existing ConfigMgr infrastructure, packaged apps and processes to easily deploy applications in a Citrix environment?”
The XenDesktop Connector is designed explicitly for this purpose.
The connector enables you to use ConfigMgr to deploy applications to a XenDesktop Server OS farm from within ConfigMgr, and it ensures that if you are using either PVS or MCS for provisioning, that clones do not get caught in install/reboot hell and that the Master VM for your PVS or MCS catalog gets correctly updated – making it easy for you to deploy a refreshed image at any time.
Once your app is deployed ConfigMgr can then be used to publish the application in Citrix StoreFront where it can be selected for use by users on any device that has Receiver installed (iPad, Android, Mac, PC, Windows Phone etc).
Lastly for Managed PCs (Domain Joined PCs with the ConfigMgr agent installed), you can specify which version of an application a user should get – App-V, MSI, OR XenDesktop Published Application. For example, using ConfigMgr policy you can determine that a user would access Visio via Citrix Receiver if the machine they are using is not on the corporate network whereas they would have a local App-V copy deployed to them if they were on the corporate network.
In summary the connector lets you use Configuration Manager as a central application deploy mechanism that allows you to:
- Deploy MSI & App-V applications to XenDesktop Server OS farms in the same way you deploy to traditional desktops – one admin can deploy an app to desktops (physical or virtual) in your organization.
- Publish applications to StoreFront / Receiver from within ConfigMgr
- Selectively deploy an applications as an App-V, MSI OR XenDesktop Published Application to Managed PCs
What can you test with this release?
In this first Tech Preview you can test the following key scenarios:
- Use a single System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager Site to manage a XenDesktop Site
- Use a single System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Site to manage a XenDesktop Site
- Deploy MSI or App-V apps to XenDesktop 7.1 Server OS Instances (workers)
- Deploy apps to PVS managed Server OS catalogs
- Enable SCCM to deploy XenApp Deployment Type to Managed Clients
As this release is a Tech Preview please note the following limitations:
- We do not support this connector in a production environment and strongly recommend this only be used in lab or PoC environments.
- There will be no upgrade from this Tech Preview to final version. We may require you to completely uninstall the Tech Preview, its components and data in System Center before installing the final release. We highly recommend you do not install this connector in a production environment.
- We only support the connector when used against a single System Center site and single XenDesktop site.
- We only support XenDesktop Server OS (RDSH) scenarios and do not support XenDesktop Client OS scenarios (VDI/RDVH) scenarios
- We do not support orchestrated software deployment to MCS based server catalogs in this release.
- There is no support for High Availability (HA) configurations in this release.