Install and Configuration of Citrix XenApp 6.5 Application Servers

In my previous blog post I covered the basics of what XenApp actually was, setting up a My Citrix Account, getting access to the install sources and getting access to your XenApp licenses. You can find the first post here.

So now that you have got your hands on the installers and licenses for Citrix XenApp the next step is to get started on the install. There are plenty of how to docs on installing and configuring servers as well as setting up a Windows domain. Unless it is relevant to the task at hand I am not going to cover any Windows specific configuration in detail. If you have any questions or require clarification feel free to leave a comment.

I already have my XenApp install sources and access to some evaluation licenses. The next step is to build a Windows 2008 R2 domain lab. (Domain is called XATEST) As per the picture below I have included the following, I also gave each VM 2GB of Ram initially:

  1. An Active Directory server/file share (11V-XA65AD-01)
  2. A Citrix XenApp and Windows Terminal Services License server (11V-XA65Lic-01)
  3. Two Citrix XenApp 6.5 application servers  (11V-XA65-01, 11V-XA65-02)
  4. I may add an additional servers to act as a Web Interface and/or a Merchandising server for later posts.

XenAppInstallPic1

Although this is only a small test environment I have included two XenApp application servers in order to demonstrate the configuration of roaming profiles in for XenApp users.

The first step of the install starts on one of the servers you have designated as your XenApp application server. (11V-XA65-01 in my case) Once you mount the ISO you will get the usual Autorun prompt.

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You will then be greeted with the initial XenApp install screen. You need to click on Install XenApp Server.

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Now you will be presented with the option to Add server roles:

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You will then be presented with the version of XenApp you want to install. You can read about the features available in each version here. In this scenario we will be choosing Enterprise Edition http://www.citrix.com/products/xenapp/features/editions.html

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Tick to accept terms of license and click next

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In the next prompt tick the XenApp option only:

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Under the sub components section leave the defaults ticked as below:

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You will then see a summary of the pre-requisites that will be installed, click next:

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Click Install

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Finally click Finish, this will run through the install and the server may require a reboot up to 2-3 times depending on the number of features required:

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You can click on the Reboot link in the Role manager screen to kick off the install and reboot sequences, if you are really sure click yes on the Windows prompt.

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When the server comes back online the Role manager window will re-launch automatically and you can click on Resume Install.

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The install process will then continue on as per the picture below:

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Finally once all required features and pre-requisites have been installed you can click finish.

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The next step in the install/configuration is to specify the Licensing for the XenApp server. You can do by clicking on the blue link:

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You will be choosing the option to license the server later as we will take care of this in a later post.

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Accept the XenApp warning and click continue

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You will then need to choose XenApp as the licensing model and click Apply.

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You will also be expecting the warning below, just click Continue:

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You will now return to the Role Manager page where you can click the blue link (Configure) to continue the remainder of the configuration.

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As this should be your first XenApp install on the first server you will need to click on Create a new server farm.

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As per the picture below I just named my Server farm XATest65 and set the domain administrator as the Citrix administrator account. In the real world you may want to consider setting up a dedicated Citrix Admin account as opposed to using the domain administrator.

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You will then be asked to set up a database, in this case I installed SQL Server 2012 Standard on 11V-XA65AD-01 so I choose the Existing Microsoft SQL Server database option. You can just install SQL server with the default settings if you do decide to use this option.

If you do not have access to a SQL Server install you can use the new database option which will install a database on the machine you are currently installing XenApp on. This will lead you through a fairly straight forward setup very similar to the below.

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If like me you choose the option of using an existing SQL server you will need to manually create a database with the same name as below (in my case XATEST65) and add the account you are using to install XenApp as a database owner/administrator.

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You will then have the option to enter credentials and test the database connection, this will in turn prompt you for the database credentials:

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Once the credentials have been accepted and you click Next you will see the window for configuring shadowing, it is always best to allow shadowing initially as you can’t turn it on later if you don’t accept it now. You can always turn it off at a later point in time.

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In the next window accept all defaults under Data Collection, XML Service and Receiver. Under Remote Desktop Users tick all the options below:

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You will then see the XenApp Server Configuration summary, just click on apply:

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It will run through the configuration options below after which you can click Finish

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Once this is done you will need to reboot once again

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For adding additional servers it is basically a rinse and repeat operation. (My second XenApp server is 11V-XA65-02) The first difference being that you will click on Add this server to an existing server farm

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The second difference is to choose an existing database, the option you choose will depend which database option you choose earlier. (SQL Server Express or SQL Server)

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Once you have run completely through the XenApp install on both servers you can launch the Citrix AppCenter from either server. Under the Start Menu, choose Administrative Tools -> Citrix -> Management Consoles -> Citrix AppCenter (pin it to your task bar for ease of access)

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On first launch you will get the prompt below, unless you have a technical reason for leaving it turned on I tend to disable it as it can take up to 5 minutes for the Xenapp console to open otherwise. You can read the CTX120115 article for more information on this setting.

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You just need to run through the discovery process, click on next

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Un-tick the Single Sign-On option to avoid unwanted errors in the discovery process as we have not configured Single Sign-On yet.

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Next click the Add Local Computer, you can also add the additional XenApp server (using the Add.. button)  to the discovery process (it will work with just one of the servers)

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You will get a chance to preview the discovery options before clicking Next:

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Discovery should then complete without any errors, just click on Finish

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On first launch of the Citrix AppCenter you will receive the Information message below letting you know that you have not published any applications.

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We will cover publishing applications and making them available to different user groups but there is a little more configuration before we get into that. In my next blog post I will be installing both the Citrix License Server and Windows Server Remote Desktop Licensing. It can be found here.

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