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Setting up load balancing with Citrix Presentatoin Server 4.5 Enterprise Edition

I just purchased 2 itentical servers to start my Citrix farm.  These two Windows 2k3 servers will be setup identically with the same software, security, etc.  I am looking to setup load balancing for these servers, but cannot seem to find a good document for this implementation.  Will I be using Citrix NetScaler?  Can I do load balancing with only 2 servers?  Can I setup Microsoft Routing and Remote Access on this server utilizing Load Balancing for my VPN Clients?

I am looking for the best way to start this implementation.

I hope I have given enough detail,
Mike
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orther
Asked:
orther
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2 Solutions
 
FSchafferCommented:
http://www.kemptechnologies.com/citrix-load-balancer.shtml

This seems to alot more cost effective than Citrix's solutions...
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thegordoCommented:
Hi Mike

Not sure I understand but here goes...

If you are using Citrix PS 4.5 Enterprise Edition then load balancing is included, even with only 2 servers.

See this article:
http://www.msterminalservices.org/articles/Citrix-Presentation-Server-Load-Management-Part1.html

Not sure what you mean by Citrix NetScaler?  
Citrix Netscaler is a web application delivery solution so you would not need this unless you were implementing/hosting a web application.

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t_swartzCommented:
gordo is right, when you add the 2nd server to the farm, on either ps4.5 advanced or enterprise edition, load balancing is part of the package. Now, to use it, you have to publish applications (the published apps are what get load balanced) within the citrix farm. To load balance an entire citrix session (desktop), got through the published apps wizard, create a published desktop, and when you add that 2nd server to host that published app, that published app is now load balanced. Make sense?

Todd
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ortherAuthor Commented:
Okay, I am a bit confused.  It was my understanding that each Citrix server would be assigned an IP Address and there would be a 3rd address that ICA clients would log in to and the load balancing server would send this user to the server with the smallest load.  Is this correct?

If the above statement is true, would I also be able to setup Routing and Remote access so that clients who do not actually log in to Citrix can still access the VPN via this 3rd IP Address?

I hope this makes sense
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thegordoCommented:
The easiest way to do this is the following:

1. Build each Citrix server, install same apps on both servers, publish to users and configure load balancing using the links above...
2. Install Citrix Web Interface (included with Citrix) on a IIS server - this provided your front end which will talk to your citrix servers.
3. The users access and authenticate to the web interface which then will talk to the CTX servers and display the user's published apps.
4. When the user clicks on an application, the web interface will contact the Zone Data Collector server which would provide the address of the server providing the relevant app with the smallest load and send to the web interface.
4. The web interface would then broker the citrix ica (port 1494) connection for the user between the citrix server and the users PC ICA client software.
4. The user logs in to the app....
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ortherAuthor Commented:
ahhh so I will no longer be using an ICA client to access Citrix?
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t_swartzCommented:
You can use that ICA client to access your published applications. The Web interface works fine to access published apps, but you can use the program neighborhood features as well to make published apps visible to your users.
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ortherAuthor Commented:
thanks t_swartz, but will load balancing work with the ICA Client?  Because my current users access our Citrix Server via a public IP Address.  Metaframe 1.8.

thegordo wrote the above list about load balancing but it seemed to me that we needed to use the web interface to utilize load balancing.
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t_swartzCommented:
Ahh, ok, public access. The simplest way in that case is going to be using the web interface to make those published apps available to your external users. You can use the ica client from the outside as well, but it gets a little complicated. What I usually recommend is webinterface for users accessing from outside of your network, ICA client for inside. Webinterface works fine from the inside too, but, if they are heavy citrix users, they usually appreciate using the ica client rather than accessing all the apps from a web page. Depends in large part what the folks are used to. Great thing about Citrix is that it is very flexible in this regard.
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ortherAuthor Commented:
Thanks again t_swartz.  

So if I understand correctly, load balancing does not work with the ICA client.  You see, all of my users throughout the world use the ICA client so I am not sure how they will feel about moving to a web client
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t_swartzCommented:
I apologize for the confusion. The ICA client and the webinterface accomplish the same thing: getting your users access to the citrix servers, be it direct connection (ica client can do this) or via published applications (webinterface and ICA client can connect to these). Now, there are details in using the ica client. You can make custom connections to the published apps, or you can aim your ica client at the program neighborhood url to see what is available for connection. You have to create a webinterface site for program neighborhood, then publish that to users, be they inside or outside your network, that want to connect to those published applications. Using the ica client in this fashion works fine, but you have to open up a few more ports on your firewall to take advantage of it as you cannot use just port 443 (or 80) like you do with webinterface. If anyone can clarify, I'd appreciate it, I'm not sure i am making myself clear.
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thegordoCommented:
I think the best thing would be to read the following article which lays it out all rather nicely....

http://www.msterminalservices.org/articles/Citrix-Client-Types-Features-Limitations.html

At the end of the day it is all down to preference....

The article below should answer your question relating to load balancing..
http://support.citrix.com/forums/thread.jspa?forumID=75&threadID=87578&messageID=583106&

To summarise, citrix can perform load balancing by application or by server no matter what client is used. However the client used defines the method of deployment for your published apps and the requirements you put on your users (ie update settings etc).

I would advise you to take our advice and deploy web interface to your users - they will still need the ica client installed on the client pcs to launch the apps but all of the IP and config settings will be configured server side by the web interface and the citrix farm.
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