The XenApp move to FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) brings conceptual and terminology shifts. This blog explains how you can think about XenApp 6 entities in a XenApp 7.5 world.
For simplicity, “XenApp 7” here is meant to include any current point release such as XenApp 7.5, and “XenApp 6” is meant to include any current point release such as XenApp 6.5.
Although not exact equivalents, the following table helps map XenApp 6 functional elements to XenApp 7:
|Independent Management Architecture (IMA)||FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA)|
|Worker Group||Session Machine Catalog
|Worker||Virtual Delivery Agent
Server OS Machine
Desktop OS Machine
|Zone and Data Collector||Delivery Controller|
|Delivery Services Console||Citrix Studio and Citrix Director|
|Publishing applications||Delivering applications|
|Load Evaluator||Load Management Policy|
FlexCast Management Architecture
The FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) is a service-oriented architecture that allows interoperability and management modularity across Citrix technologies. FMA provides a platform for application delivery, mobility, services, flexible provisioning, and cloud management.
FMA replaces the Independent Management Architecture (IMA) used in XenApp 6.
Elements in the new architecture
Farms were the top-level objects in XenApp 6. In XenApp 7, the Delivery Site is the highest-level item. Sites offer applications and desktops to groups of users.
FMA requires you to be in a domain to deploy a site. For example, to install the servers, your account must have local administrator privileges and be a domain administrator in the Active Directory.
Session Machine Catalogs and Delivery Groups
Machines hosting applications in XenApp 6 belonged to Worker Groups for efficient management of the applications and server software. Administrators could manage all machines in a Worker Group as a single unit for their application management and load-balancing needs. Folders were used to organize applications and machines.
In XenApp 7, you use a combination of Session Machine Catalogs and Delivery Groups to manage machines, load balancing, and hosted applications or desktops.
A Session Machine Catalog is a collection of machines that are configured and managed alike. A machine (whether virtual or physical) belongs to only one catalog. The same applications or desktops are available on all machines of the catalog.
Delivery Groups are designed to deliver applications and desktops to users. A Delivery Group can contain machines from multiple machine catalogs, and a single machine catalog can contribute machines to multiple Delivery Groups. However, one machine can belong to only one Delivery Group. You can manage the software running on machines through the catalogs to which they belong. Manage user access to applications through the Delivery Groups.
Virtual Delivery Agents
The Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) enables connections to applications and desktops. The VDA is installed on the machine that runs the applications or virtual desktops for the user. It enables the machines to register with Delivery Controllers and manage the High Definition eXperience (HDX) connection to a user device.
In XenApp 6, worker machines in Worker Groups ran applications for the user and communicated with data collectors. In XenApp 7, the VDA communicates with Delivery Controllers that manage the user connections.
The VDA installs on:
• Server OS machines – run a Windows Server operating system
• Desktop OS machines – run a Windows desktop operating system
In XenApp 6, a zone master was responsible for user connection requests and communication with hypervisors. In XenApp 7, this function is distributed across the Controllers in the site.
XenApp 6 zones provided a way to aggregate servers and replicate data across WAN connections. Although zones have no exact equivalent in XenApp 7, you can provide users with applications that cross WANs and locations. You can design Delivery Sites for a specific geographical location or datacenter and then allow your users access to multiple Delivery Sites. App Orchestration with XenApp 7 provides capabilities for managing multiple sites in multiple geographies.
Citrix Studio and Citrix Director
Use the Studio console to configure your environments and provide users with access to applications and desktops.
Director is a monitoring tool installed on the Delivery Controller. Administrators use Director to monitor the environment, shadow user devices, and troubleshoot IT issues.
XenApp 6 used the Publish Application wizard to prepare applications and deliver them to users. In XenApp 7, you use Studio to create and add applications to make them available to users who are included in a Delivery Group. Using Studio, you first configure a site, create and specify machine catalogs, and then create Delivery Groups within those machine catalogs. The Delivery Groups determine which users have access to the applications you deliver.
XenApp 7 does not use the IMA data store for configuration information. It uses a Microsoft SQL Server database to store configuration and session information.
Load Management Policy
In XenApp 6, load evaluators use predefined measurements to determine the load on a machine. User connections can be matched to the machines with less load.
In XenApp 7, use load management policies for balancing load across machines.
In XenApp 6, you created custom administrators and assigned them permissions based on folders and objects. In XenApp 7, custom administrators are based on role and scope pairs. A role represents a job function and has defined permissions associated with it to allow delegation. A scope represents a collection of objects. Built-in administrator roles have specific permissions sets, such as help desk, applications, hosting, and catalog. For example, help desk administrators can work only with individual users on specified sites, while full administrators can monitor the entire deployment and resolve system-wide IT issues.