Group Policy Setup in a Citrix XenApp 6.5 environment

In my previous blog post which you can find here I covered the install of both my XenApp license server and my Windows Remote Desktop license server on the machine 11V-XA65Lic-01. I started to write a post on configuring the XenApp application servers (11V-XA65-01, 11V-XA65-02) to use 11V-XA65Lic-01 as both their Windows Remote Desktop license server and their Citrix License server. I realised it would be better to complete a post on Group Policy setup in the environment first as this will be the method used to point the XenApp application servers at 11V-XA65Lic-01. So here it is!

For the benefit of the novice there are two types of Group Policy, Windows Group Policy and Citrix Group Policy. Citrix Group Policies can be managed in two ways. The first is via the AppCenter under the Policies section

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Citrix policies can also be managed using Group Policy Management. This is the way recommended by Citrix so this is how I am going to cover it. Just note when managing Citrix Policy through the Group Policy Management snap-in you will need to launch it from the XenApp application servers as below.

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You will notice the Citrix Group Policy Modelling option below. It will not be present if you open the Group Policy Management snap-in on a server that is not a XenApp Application server.

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In order to ensure that any Group Policy (be it Windows or Citrix) is applied only to my XenApp application servers I have created a separate OU under my domain and placed both XenApp application servers into it.

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You will then see the XenServers OU show up in the Group Policy Manager as below.

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You need to create GPOs and link them to the Xenserver OU by right clicking and choosing the appropriate option

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You then choose your GPO name as below

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You can repeat these steps for however many GPOs you want/need for your XenApp environment. For ease of management and troubleshooting I like to separate them into four separate GPOs. The WindowsServers GPO will contain Windows Server policies, WindowsUsers will contain Windows User policies, XenAppServers will contain Citrix Server policies and finally XenAppUsers will contain Citrix user policies.

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The first warning is DO NOT mix and match your Citrix policies between Group Policy Management and AppCenter. The first problem is that it will make any troubleshooting troublesome if you don’t keep your policies tidy and in some logical order. There is an order of precedence when it comes to conflicting policies as seen below but I have seen pretty inconsistent policy application when policy items have been entered in both.

  1. Organizational Unit GPO’s
  2. Domain GPO’s
  3. Site GPO’s
  4. XenApp policies
  5. Local Policies/GPO’s

The second warning is DO NOT include both Citrix User and Citrix Computer Policies in the same GPO, as with the warning about I have seen a lot of inconsistent policy application when policies have been implemented this way. Hence my reasons for setting them up as described above.

Now that I have that out of the way I will cover the configuration required to configure the XenApp application servers to utilise 11V-XA65Lic-01 as their license
server. (both Windows Remote Desktop and Citrix Licenses). You can find it here.

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