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Need to ensure Citrix Xen users run published apps off the same Server in any user session

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have 4 Citrix Xen servers that we use to publish applications to our users - at any point a user's can call an application that will run from any one of the citrix servers based on load balancing.

We have a new DMS product that integrates between published applications (i.e. Outlook, Adobe, Word, etc), and requires that users run all of there applications off the same server so that the DMS app can integrate between them.

Can we change the way that users access their published apps to that all app for that users session will run front he same server? Can we load balance each user sessions across all 4 citrix servers? (I would rather not tie a particular user session to a specific Citrix server, as I want to be able to shutdown a server for maintenance  during the day without impact.

Any guidance here would be appreciated.
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Question by:DebbieFost
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by:Tony1044
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Well it should use session sharing where possible, but this doesn't always happen.

I think the only way you could guarantee this would be to install the main application into an isolation environment, and then install Office into this isolation environment.

It'd work, but it'd be a bit clunky. It would, though, give you what you wanted.

Or give the selected users a published desktop - that'd run the Office application 'locally' to the main application.

All of it's going to be a bit clunky I think.

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by:DebbieFost
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There is no way to force session sharing on the same server?

If not - can we "hardcode" users 1-20 to use Server1 published apps, users 21049 to use Server2 published apps? (obviously this does not allow for any load balancing, but would be a better alternative than publishing the desktop).
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by:Tony1044
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Well I'd go with an AIE first. It's a pain to set up, but has the beauty of creating a sandbox environment that office will install into.

Otherwise the only way to get them onto a single server is by group.

So create a set of groups, e.g:

CTX_Server1
CTX_Server2
CTX_Serverx

And add each of the required users into each group.

Then on each server, publish the apps you want only to that group for only that server.
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by:DebbieFost
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Thanks....I want to confirm AIE further with you - it is not just MSOffice that would be integrated - there are about 20 different applications that the DMS will integrate with (Omnipage, Acrobat, Illustartor, etc) - all must be running on the same box during a user session for the integration to work.

Does AIE guarantee that the DMS and all intgerated Applications will be running on the same citrix box for a user session?
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KrAzY earned 500 total points
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I would just use Session Sharing as it is intended.  It "should" work all the time.  Granted I've seen instances where it breaks, but I would then troubleshoot why.  I think the easiest way would be do use the built in session sharing.  Does it work? Yes, you're done.  No, see why it is breaking.  I'm make sure you are running the latest Rollup for whatever version of Citrix you're running just in case there are fixes for session sharing.  I would continue troubleshooting if it breaks.

The other option would be to publish a XenApp Desktop as Tony1044 said.  Depending on your users they may actually prefer this as it keeps all your applications with in a Single pane.  Just put the ICONs for their applications on their desktop and or start menu.

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by:joharder
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I wouldn't use application isolation or streaming if you don't need to.  Aside from the overhead (and thus fewer users per server), you have to profile apps and will be adding a lot more work on yourself.

And, I wouldn't force specific users onto specific boxes because if a box is down, you have a group of users that can't access.  Plus, your server loads will probably be a mess.

As KrAzY indicated, session sharing should automatically do this for you by default.  A few reasons why session sharing doesn't work as you might expect:
- User clicks many apps at once.  Although Web Interface has a 2-second delay automatically built into it, if the initial user connection is starting and hasn't quite reached the point where a second session will share the first one, additional sessions may be created.  If that's the case, you can adjust the 2-second delay to something more appropriate within the WebInterface.conf file.
- Session sharing has been disabled in the registry.  This is sometimes done in support of application-based QoS or selectivity for SmartAuditor or a WAN compression solution.
- Older versions of XenApp assigned a higher preference to load balancing as compared to existing sessions.  Previously, if a user had an existing session and requested one more app, load balancing might force the user onto another server.  This was fixed in XA5/2003 HRP3, I believe.
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