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Automating your XenDesktop/XenApp deployment: Everything you need to know about the Delivery Controller

Automating your XenDesktop/XenApp deployment: Everything you need to know about the Delivery Controller

Our community is constantly growing. One of the great things about that is the fact that you get to talk to a lot of different people. After a while you start noticing certain trends. One thing I recently noticed is that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to deploying a virtualized desktop environment. So, I think it’s time to get technical and clarify a few important things you need to know when, for example, automating a Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp environment. There are many pieces involved in deploying Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp for your company. For simplification purposes while discussing automation, let’s focus on a single feature of a Citrix deployment- the Delivery Controller.

Just to make sure we are all on the same page: The Delivery Controller is responsible for the delivery of either applications or desktops to end users.

The components of a Delivery Controller are:

  • Database – SQL – Pre-requisite
  • Application – Citrix Delivery Controller

Generally speaking, installing each of these components individually is straight forward.  The applications are packaged in such a way that you can utilize a few switches to install the software.

SQL

Now that we are on the same page and understand what a Delivery Controller is and does, it’s time to get technical. Ps. I hope you guys love this part as much as I do.

Let’s start with an example:

C:\{Location}\setup.exe /QUIET /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS /ACTION=install /FEATURES=SQL,Tools /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /SQLSVCACCOUNT="NT Authority\Network Service" /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS=domain.local\Administrator /AGTSVCACCOUNT="NT Authority\Network Service"

This will install SQL on a Windows Server OS silently, and create a database named MSSQLSERVER.

The same can be done with the Delivery Controller.

XenDesktop/XenApp Delivery Controller

Time for another example:

C:\{Location}\x64\XenDesktop Setup\XenDesktopServerSetup.exe /PASSIVE /NOREBOOT /CONFIGURE_FIREWALL /COMPONENTS CONTROLLER /NOSQL

This will install the Delivery Controller portion of a XenDesktop/XenApp silently, deferring the reboot and not installing SQL. You can run this string as many times as you would like and the end result will be the same.

Now, let’s get fancy.

In order for the Delivery Controller to function a “Site” must be present. A site contains all of the data necessary for a Delivery Controller to function, and is stored in your SQL database; this includes configuration and logging information.

A site is the first step necessary to deliver resources with Citrix for your end users. With PowerShell you can configure this without user interaction, thus enabling you to automate the deployment process.

You will need 3 databases:

  • Site
  • Configuration
  • Logging

You can utilize PowerShell to create these with the “New-XDDatabase” command.  This is a function of the “Citrix.XenDesktop.Admin.V1” PowerShell snap-in.  This will enable you to create the three database necessary for a “Site” to function properly.  Once the databases are created, you can create your “Site”.

You can also utilize PowerShell to create your “Site” with the “New-XDSite” command.  This is a function of the “Citrix.XenDesktop.Admin.V1” PowerShell snap-in as well.

Combining packages from Microsoft, Citrix and PowerShell, you are able to automate the process of creating your first “Site” for a critical component of your Citrix deployment, the Delivery Controller.

automating your xendesktop xenapp deployment everything you need to know about the delivery controller powershell

PowerShell

If you have a need for automating your virtualized desktop environment, you all know that Login AM offers some great possibilities that rely heavily on PowerShell to automate the deployment of things, such as a fully function Citrix environment. It creates a logical organization structure for doing so, variables necessary and provides an interface for management.

Please get in touch with me via b.martynowicz@loginvsi.com, if you are interested in finding out more about this. Also, if you have any neat tricks with PowerShell please share them in the comment section. Happy automating.

About the author

Brian is a Senior Support Engineer at Login VSI, where he supports customers and partners globally with their technical issues while also providing consultation and product insight. He resides in Baltimore with his wife and 90lb pit, and enjoys playing/yelling at competitive video games, working on cars, reading up on the latest technologies, and listening to rap music.


Tags: Login VSI, Citrix, XenApp, XenDesktop, Login AM

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