Part 6: Deploying XenDesktop 7.6 – Configuring StoreFront

Now that we have our StoreFront server installed, it’s time to make some configurations and ensure that our users are able to successfully access their applications.

I’ve always said, the installation is the easy part! but the configuration takes some understanding in order to provide that great user experience! So let’s begin. Upon the installation of storefront, we’ll be able to access the console through the start menu. Once opened, we can begin by creating our Store. To do so, navigate to Stores -> Create Store (right hand side). The Store is going to provide our users access to their applications

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Next, we’ll need to give our Store a name. The name can be anything you’d like but like with any config, should be meaningful to what you’re trying to achieve. For example, you can have a Store for your internal applications and a store for your external applications

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Next, we’ll need to define the delivery controllers by clicking on the Add

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Provide the Display name and then select the type. This is where we’re presented with multiple options:

  • XenApp 7.5 (or later, or XenDesktop – Provide access on XenApp or XenDesktop 7.5 or later
  • XenApp 6.5 (or earlier) – Provide access to apps on legacy XenApp servers
  • AppController – Provide access to Web, SaaS, Android, and iOS, as well as integration with ShareFile
  • VDI-in-a-box – Provide access to a small scale VDI deployment

For this particular deployment, we’re focusing on XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 so we’re going to chose the first option XenApp 7.5 (or later, or XenDesktop. Next, we’re going to need to define our delivery controllers, in this case CTX-DC-01/02  (FQDN)

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At the next screen, we have the option of defining the type of remote access we want to configure. For now, lets set it to None, but we’re going to come back to this later when we do the netscaler configuration

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Click Create and now our store is created!

Next, we’re going to modify our Base URL, this is where the users are going to point their browsers when they’re connecting to StoreFront. Remember, the idea here is to make the URL easy to remember but also to make it look professional. Navigate to Server Group and click on Change Base URL on the left Action Panel

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Make the appropriate change and click OK

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Next, let’s make some changes to the Authentication settings, navigate to Authentication and click on Add/Remove Methods

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At the Authentication Methods, you can see that we have various ways of authenticating against our StoreFront server:

  • Username and Password
  • Domain pass-through
  • Smart Card
  • HTTP Basic
  • Pass-through from Netscaler Gateway

In my lab, because I have a Netscaler and because I want to have Single Sign On enabled, I chose to go with Username and Password, Domain pass-through, HTTP Basic, and Pass-through from Netscaler Gateway

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Next, let’s make it a little easier for our users to sign in by defining a trusted domain and setting up the default domain as well. Navigate to Authentication -> Configure Trusted Domains

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Select the option Trusted domains only, click on Add.. Define your domain and then set that domain as your trusted domain. You also have the option of showing your domain name on logon page. Internally that should not be a problem, but externally, for security reasons, you’ll want to hide as much information as possible so enabling this option might not be the best approach.

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We can also apply some user password options, such as giving them the ability to change their passwords through Storefront. To enable that option, click on Manage Password Options in the Authentication options and apply the appropriate change

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Next, let’s tweak the interface a bit more by turning off the integration with Citrix Online. Most of the deployments don’t require it. Stores -> Integrate with Citrix Online

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Deselect everything

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Next, we’re going to configure the Receiver Deployment options, click on Receiver for Web -> Deploy Citrix Receiver

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Below we have three options:

  • Install Locally
  • User Receiver for HTML 5 if local install fails
  • Always use Receiver for HTML 5

These settings allow storefront to detect what device is connecting to it and offers that device to install the receiver if it finds that the device itself does not have any receivers deployed. We can further customize these settings by specifying where the receiver can be downloaded from. For example, by default the receiver will be download from the internet, but we can configure it to download the receiver from another server located on the domain. I will have another blog post on how to do so later on

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And finally, we’ll configure the Session Timeout so that our users don’t have to constantly login. This setting will be different for every deployment, but in our lab, I’ve set it to 1 hour. Receiver for Web -> Change Store

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Andrey Pogosyan

Andrey Pogosyan is a Virtualization Architect who’s focus is on infrastructure virtualization involving mainly VMware and Citrix products. Having worked in the IT industry for 10+ years, Andrey has had the opportunity to fulfill many different roles ranging from Desktop Support and all the way up to Architecture and Implementation. Most recently, Andrey has taken a great interest in the datacenter technology stack encompassing Virtualization, mainly VMware vSphere\View, Citrix XenApp\XenDesktop and Storage (EMC, HP, NetApp).

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