Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps And Desktops

  

The content of the CTX270373 article published by Citrix has brought worrying consequences for Citrix customers running or planning to run workloads over the cloud. The reason for this is that Citrix will no longer support any deployments running on Virtual Apps and Desktops 2003 and future Current Releases (CRs) if the deployments run workloads over public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

The port requirement for a Citrix Cloud Resource location are as follows: Granting Access for Citrix Cloud to Access your Azure Subscirption When considering how to connect the Citrix Cloud Virtual Apps and desktops Service to the Azure subscriptions, there are 2 primary options for connecting Citrix Cloud to the Azure Subscription: 1. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops for Azure is a desktop and app virtualization service available through Azure Marketplace or agreements with Citrix. Use familiar tools to manage on-premises Citrix deployments alongside Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure, supporting cloud modernization while maximizing your existing investment.

This blog post describes how this may affect Citrix customers and introduces Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) as an ideal alternative solution for delivering applications and virtual desktops over on-premises, hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios.

What does this announcement mean?

Citrix administrators deploying Virtual Desktop Agents (VDAs) to resources running over the cloud who are accustomed to upgrading their Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) setup to the latest Current Release will need to choose an alternative. Here are some options for moving a virtual desktop and application delivery solution to a supported configuration:

  • Migrate the CVAD setup to the 1912 Long Term Service Release (LTSR). LTSR versions, with a support lifecycle of five years, are only updated using Cumulative Updates which include security patches and fixes. Therefore, customers will not be able to apply any updates containing the latest product features.

or

  • Migrate to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. This cloud service includes support for public cloud and on-premises workloads but may require a complete redesign of the customer’s setup. Certain infrastructure components such as Delivery Controllers, Director and Studio will be hosted and managed by Citrix, whereas customers will be required to deploy cloud connectors for every resource location, as well as manage all components of the resource layer.

Both alternatives entail a migration process of your Citrix setup that may compromise its stability and affect business continuity.

Another important consequence of this announcement is that moving forward, if customers require to deploy hybrid models and need to remain on a Current Release version, then the use of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service in Citrix Cloud is mandatory. In addition, if a migration to Citrix Cloud is finally required, enterprises will still need to navigate through a complex array of product editions to decide which line best fits their needs and perhaps might even have to readapt their previously purchased licensing model.

Because this announcement applies to CR versions, those Citrix customers using the 1912 LTSR version or running Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service in Citrix Cloud won’t be affected.

Parallels RAS is a Great Alternative

Parallels RAS is an all-in-one application delivery and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that allows users to work remotely at any time and from any client device, including mobile platforms. When using Parallels RAS, enterprises have the flexibility to run workloads over both public cloud providers and on-premises infrastructure according to their needs, without having to analyze complex feature matrixes and subscription models.

There is only one full-featured product edition of Parallels RAS licensed by concurrent users that includes all enterprise features such as application and virtual desktop delivery, load balancing, high availability, reporting, monitoring and more. Also, support and software maintenance are included without additional cost.

In addition, the latest Parallels RAS 18 provides unified Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop integration and enriches this Azure service. It does so by centralizing workload management and providing administrators the capability to easily manage workspaces, host pools and templates from one single point, the Parallels RAS Console.

The Windows Virtual Desktop service recommends FSLogix Profile Container as a user profile management solution. Parallels RAS provides the ability to deploy and configure FSLogix Profile Containers centrally—not only over Windows Virtual Desktop workloads but also over Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and VDI workloads.

Running a pre-configured trial of Parallels RAS over Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS is very straightforward. Pre-configured virtual machines are available on Azure and AWS marketplaces, and organizations can deploy a fully functional Parallels RAS setup within minutes with just a few clicks.

Cloud
reference deployment

This Quick Start automatically deploys a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service resource location on the AWS Cloud.

Citrix Virtual Desktop

Using the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, you can deliver secure virtual apps and desktops to any device, and leave most of the product installation, setup, configuration, upgrades, and monitoring to Citrix. You maintain complete control over applications, policies, and users while delivering a high-quality user experience.

This Quick Start is intended for users who want to accelerate a production implementation by automating the foundation setup, or for users who want to set up a trial deployment of Citrix Cloud.

This Quick Start was developed by Citrix Systems in collaboration with AWS. Citrix Systems is an
AWS Partner.

Citrix Desktop App

  • What you'll build
  • The Quick Start sets up the following:

    • A highly available system architecture that spans two Availability Zones. *
    • A virtual private cloud (VPC) configured with public and private subnets according to AWS best practices, to provide you with your own virtual network on AWS. *
    • An internet gateway to allow access to the internet. *
    • In the public subnets, managed NAT gateways to allow outbound internet access for resources in the private subnets. *
    • In the public subnets, a Remote Desktop Gateway in an Auto Scaling group to allow inbound Remote Desktop access to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances in public and private subnets. *
    • In the private subnets, AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory deployed in both Availability Zones for redundancy. *
    • In the private subnets, two Citrix Cloud Connectors (domain-joined Windows servers) running on EC2 instances, deployed in both Availability Zones for redundancy.
    • A Windows Server with the Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installed, running on an EC2 instance.

    This Quick Start also performs the following in your Citrix Cloud tenant:

    • Configures the two Citrix Cloud Connector instances to form a resource location on AWS.
    • Creates an AWS hosting connection and resource.
    • Creates a machine catalog, and adds the VDA instance to the machine catalog.
    • Creates a Delivery Group, including a hosted shared desktop and two sample published applications.

    * The template that deploys the Quick Start into an existing VPC skips the tasks marked by asterisks and prompts you for your existing VPC configuration.

  • How to deploy
  • To deploy the necessary components for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service on AWS in about 90 minutes, follow the instructions in the deployment guide. Xg 115 sophos. The deployment process includes these steps:

    1. If you don't already have an AWS account, sign up at https://aws.amazon.com.
    2. Request a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service trial subscription, or use your existing subscription.
    3. Launch the Quick Start. You can choose from two options:
      • Deploy into a new VPC
      • Deploy into an existing VPC
    4. Explore and test the deployment.

    Amazon may share user-deployment information with the AWS Partner that collaborated with AWS on the Quick Start.

  • Cost and licenses
  • You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using this Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation template for this Quick Start includes configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such as instance type, will affect the cost of deployment. For cost estimates, see the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using. Prices are subject to change.

    Tip After you deploy the Quick Start, we recommend that you enable the AWS Cost and Usage Report to track costs associated with the Quick Start. This report delivers billing metrics to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket in your account. It provides cost estimates based on usage throughout each month, and finalizes the data at the end of the month. For more information about the report, see the AWS documentation.

    This Quick Start leverages the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service, which is delivered as an evergreen managed service from Citrix Cloud. For this Quick Start script to function, you will need either an active trial or a paid subscription to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service. This service is licensed on a per-user, per-month basis. For more information or to request a trial, contact your Citrix reseller or sales representative. To request an evaluation, see the Citrix Cloud services website.

    NoteAmazon EC2 AMIs with Windows Server require no Client Access Licenses (CALs). They also include two Microsoft Remote Desktop Services licenses for administrative purposes. For Remote Desktop Session Host or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops use cases, we recommend obtaining additional Microsoft Remote Desktop Services licenses for additional users.