It’s easier than ever to try out XenMobile Service, the cloud-hosted and managed solution for securing your apps (in particular your mobile apps), devices, and users.
XenMobile is described as an enterprise mobility management solution and that means that it’s a unified way to do device-level management and app-level management, making it easier to ensure that your users get the access they need in a secure manner. This article will takes a hands-on approach, showing you step-by-step how to try setup a XenMobile Service environment.
Step A: Citrix Cloud
XenMobile Service is offered through Citrix Cloud, which is the common platform for all Citrix cloud services. Start by going to https://citrix.cloud.com/ and then click on the “Sign up and try it free” link. If you already have a Citrix.com account (and you likely do) then click on the small “Wait! I have a Citrix.com account” link and the sign-up process is very easy; just login and then enter your company name. If you don’t have have a citrix.com account, just fill out the brief web form and you’re ready to go.
It may take up to a minute or so to create your Citrix Cloud account, but after it completes, you’ll see the main dashboard. Scroll down to the “Available Services” section and then click on the “Request Trial” button in the XenMobile Service tile. This will show you a small MadLibs-style form that will help explain to Citrix your use-case and requirements.
After filling it out and clicking on “Request” you’ll be sent back to the dashboard, and you’ll notice that the XenMobile Service tile’s button has now changed from “Request Trial” to “Trial Requested”.
This is a part of the process where sometimes people are wondering “Ok, now what?” and get stumped.
At this point, the request is being triaged and reviewed by Citrix staff, and you’ll eventually be approved or contacted as to why not. You can reach out to your sales representative if you wish to speed along the process or discuss details. You can also click on the “View trial status” link to learn more about the current stage that you’re in. Assuming that your request gets approved you’ll notice the next time that you login that the XenMobile Service tile has now moved up into the “My Services” section, and that the button now says “Manage”. Therein lies the next step which is to setup your XenMobile Service!
Step B: XenMobile Service
After you click on the Manage button for the XenMobile Service tile you’ll be brought to a page that shows you a 1-2-3 process for setting up your XenMobile Service environment.
The process for setting up the XenMobile Service is broken down into 3 easy steps. First you’ll specify just a few settings such as the name of your XenMobile site and the physical region in which it will be located. Then you’ll setup connectivity to your enterprise data center by defining a Resource Location in Citrix Cloud and installing 2 Cloud Connectors. Finally, you’ll be be able to go through the final step of going through the First-Time Use for the XenMobile site itself.
We’ll being by clicking on the “Start” button and specifying the XenMobile site details. Select a name for your site, which will define the address for your XenMobile Service. Also select the region in which you want your XenMobile Service to be hosted in. It’s recommended that you select a region close to where your data center is located.
You can also optionally limit access to the XenMobile admin console so that it can only be reached from a select list of IP addresses. Click on “Next” and you’re done with Step 1.
You’ll be brought back to the 1-2-3 XenMobile Service setup page, and now you can click on Step 2 which is to set up your Resource Location. A Resource Location is essentially a way for you to group your enterprise resources together. In particular it’s an important step here if you wish to have XenMobile Service interact with your enterprise resources, for instance so that your end-users can login with their Active Directory credentials and access internal web sites. Resource Locations are actually defined in the Citrix Cloud platform itself, and so by following Step 2 you’ll be brought to a page outside of the 1-2-3 setup for XenMobile Service.
Step C: Resource Location
Setting up a Resource Location is very straightforward. You will be asked to prepare two new Windows server machines anywhere in your data center (not in your DMZ!) and then install the Citrix Cloud Connector on them. As part of the installation you’ll enter your Citrix Cloud username and password, and then it will “phone home” and register itself.
These two machines (for high-availability) will make outbound-connections to an intermediary service, and it’s what allows XenMobile Service and the other Citrix Cloud services to securely connect to your internal company resources. In particular it’s most prominently used to allow end-users to login with your company’s Active Directory credentials.
These Citrix Cloud Connectors will self-configure and self-update themselves. It’s important to know that they should not be installed on an actual Active Directory controller, since they may initiate reboots on occasion. After the first Citrix Cloud Connector has been installed and self-registered the view will change to something like this:
As mentioned it’s always recommended to install 2 Citrix Cloud Connectors for high-availability.
Once you’re done you can click on the back arrow next to the “Resource Locations” title, and you’ll be back to the 1-2-3 setup for XenMobile Service.
Step D: Deployment and First-Time Use
You’ve so far defined some basic settings and setup one or more Resource Locations. That was the hardest part. When you return to the 1-2-3 setup page for XenMobile Service you’ll see that it now looks like this:
Within 24 hours your XenMobile Service site will get deployed and configured, and you’ll be notified via email when it’s ready. At that point when you next log back into Citrix Cloud and click on the Manage button for the XenMobile Service tile you’ll be brought directly to the XenMobile First-Time Use wizard. In other words your XenMobile Service site is up and running, and it’s just waiting on your initial configuration.
For more information on how to go through the First-Time Use experience please see the Citrix docs section “Configuring XenMobile in a web browser” in the Install and Configure page.
If you’re wondering what to do after that then take a look at my First Steps After You Setup XenMobile blog post.
Let me know in the comments section how your experience goes!