Installing Citrix 7.6 Xenapp from scratch


I work for a small company that provides hosted cloud IT solutions to a number of SMEs in the local area.  We currently use Windows Server 2012 R2 and Citrix Xenapp 7.6 and the users connect to a server desktop via Wyse Thin Clients.

I have been tasked with setting up a new client from scratch, and although I have some experience, I am a bit stuck as to where to start.  I have installed Citrix on top of a Windows Server environment that already had all the Remote Desktop Services set up so I'm a bit unsure of how it all ties together.

Also, at the back of my mind is, do I really need Citrix for the amount of users we are looking at which is around 30.

Our other clients are basically setup with 3 servers, a Domain Controller, a database backend and a Citrix Server which provides the user with their desktop and applications.

They connect into our own Datacentre via an MPLS network usually over a leased line.

I'm in at the deep end here so any advise or pointers would be really great :)

Matthew HinchliffeIT EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Dirk KotteSECommented:
you need one server for the terminals-server functions.
at this server (with active "Remote Desktop Services" you install the VDA - the Agent only.
All other services like DesktopDeliveryController (DDC), StoreFront (SF), Director, SQL, ... would be installed at other servers. For small installations this may be the same server for all additional services.
Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
If you want to use the remote desktop version that Citrix provides all that is required is installing the CLIENT VDA on the internal workstations you wish to make available.

What most don't realize is Microsoft offers a free solution for RDP Gateway.  Called RDP Gateway.

It requires an SSL Ticket and registered FQDN.

When you launch MSTSC, you know that Advanced Tab where you define a Gateway.  That can be a Netscaler VIP or BIGIP or whatever load-balancer used external.  A reverse-NAT for that matter.

You can turn up 2 or 3 of those 2012 servers and enable the Remote Desktop Gateway function.  Bind the SSL Certificate.  It even allows you to use AD Groups, access policies - like disable drive mappings and so forth.

With that said, Citrix brings to this the same functionality but instead of connecting on 3389 RDP Protocol your workstations become mini-ICA servers.  The connection is over ICA on 1494 and Netscaler supports this native on version 11.X and up.  Not sure about earlier firmware.

To understand the Citrix piece all you need to understand is the Microsoft piece which existed since 2008 R2.

This is not the only consideration.  Why would you choose Microsoft RDP Gateway over Citrix?  Cost.

You already pay for a Terminal Server connection license and Windows 7 ENT and up includes a free TCAL for 1 remote connection.

RDP Gateway is the cost of 2-3 Virtual Servers, LB VIP, SSL Certificate from Verisign or well known third-party.

Citrix has a licensing cost but it will perform better than RDP if your users have low bandwith scenarios.

It really is that simple, after adding the in DNS to IP you open the MSTSC RDP Client (mstsc.exe) > OPTIONS > ADVANCED TAB > SETTINGS > USE RDP GATEWAY

Type the FQDN

Type in the actual workstation name because after the RDP Client connects to RDP Gateway the DNS resolution is done at the RDP Gateway.  It is almost like a 3389 VPN over 443 for RDP Traffic only.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.