Today, I am pleased to announce the availability of Linux VDA Image Service, a new Citrix Cloud Labs service that allows administrators to jump-start their Linux VDA deployment on Microsoft Azure.
This new service comes armed with the peace of starting from a “Citrix-prepared” CentOS image that can, subsequently, be used to quickly provision an entire machine catalog for the XenApp and XenDesktop Service onto an Azure Resource Location. This way you can not only avoid the hassle of installing dozens of open-source Linux packages, by hand, to create your base image but you can now leverage the familiar “Machine Creation Services” workflow (that is available today for Windows images) to reduce the overhead of image management, provisioning and image update of Linux VDAs.
Our motivation for bringing this service to market is simple — whether it’s homegrown or ISV apps, 3D graphics or high performance computing workloads, Linux based apps are growing in enterprises more than ever and our customers have made it very clear that they want to leverage the broad footprint of public clouds like Azure to cost-effectively deliver those Linux workloads to their users (no surprise that 1 in 3 VMs running on Microsoft Azure is Linux!) through the world-class desktop virtualization capabilities in XenDesktop. So, we embarked on making the administrative experience as smooth and seamless as possible. By taking away from you the management overhead of building the image, cloning and updating etc. you can now focus on what really matters to you — apps and users.
To get started, all you need is a Citrix Cloud account and Microsoft Azure subscription with administrator rights. Once you to go the service page and login via Azure AD, you will be asked for a few basic pieces of information that will then be used to provision a Citrix prepared Linux VDA (7.14) on CentOS 7.2, within your Azure subscription. This now gives you an opportunity to install apps on that VM. Once you have done so, you are now ready to run the Machine Catalog creation wizard to create clones and deliver those apps to users.
Please check it out and let us know what you think. Use the comments section of this blog post to provide your feedback. Oh, and if you are going to be at VMWorld later this month, stop by our booth to learn more about this unique capability from Citrix.