Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Citrix XenApp - Automate Discovery

I am in the process of building out a new XenApp environment for a customer, and was thinking... "It would be so nice to automate the 'Configure and run discovery' settings". So how do you accomplish this? I know my service desk would appreciate it!

The answer is a custom "MMC". Below are the steps to accomplish this.

Part 1: Create the custom MMC

  • Open up a 32bit MMC console (universally will work better and create less stress)
    • On 32 bit OS run "mmc"
    • On 64 bit OS run "mmc /32"


  •  Click File > Add/Remove Snap-in...


  •  Select the console you are going to push out to your users and add it to the "Selected snap-ins"
    • (In my case it is going to be AppCenter)


  •  Right Click on "XenApp"
    • Select "Configure and run discovery"


  •  Select the "Skip this screen in the future" box
    • Click Next


  •  Click on Add
    • For the server, I am going to pick my two XenApp Controllers
      • Depending on your setup, and where you are publishing this, you will need to pick the correct server(s)... (setting up a load balanced VIP on your NetScaler....  hmmm....)



  •  Click Next


  •  Check the box next to "Close this wizard when discovery is successful"


  •  Change the options of your new custom MMC console
    • Click on File > Options...


  •  In my case, I want to restrict access to areas of the tree
    • I am going to select "User mode - limited access, single window"


Below is an explanation of each option:

  • Author mode
    • Enables full customization of the snap-in console, including the ability to add or remove snap-ins, create new windows, create Favorites and taskpads, and access all the options of the Customize View and Options dialog boxes. Users creating a custom console file for themselves or others typically use this mode. The resulting snap-in console is usually saved in one of the user modes in this table.
  • User mode - full access
    • The same as author mode, except that users cannot add or remove snap-ins, change snap-in console options, create Favorites, or create taskpads.
  • User mode—limited access, multiple window
    • Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users can create new windows, but cannot close any existing windows.
  • User mode - limited access, single window
    • Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users cannot create new windows.


  •  Now we want to save our custom MMC
    • Click File > Save As...


  •  Save it where ever you would like. I am going to save mine to c:\custom mmc\AppCenter.mmc on each of my terminal servers.


Part 2: Publish the custom MMC

This section could be done a dozen different ways. I will show you how to publish out the mmc we just created as it being accessed directly from each server.


  • Select "Skip this screen in the future"
    • Click Next



  •  Enter in a Display name for your application
    • In my case I am using "Citrix AppCenter"


  •  Use the defaults
    • Application
      • Accessed from a server
        • Installed application


  •  Location to mmc.exe and the location of the custom mmc
    • Command Line:
      • c:\windows\system32\mmc.exe "c:\windows\system32\AppCenter.mmc"
    • Working directory:
      • c:\windows\system32
    • Click Next


  •  Click Add
    • Select the Servers or Worker Group that contains the servers you would like to publish out the mmc too.
      • Click Next


  •  Click Add
    • Add the users that need access to the mmc
      • Click Next


  •  Go to where your Citrix management console is installed (where the console is installed), and right click > properties
    • Then click on "Change Icon..."

  •  Copy out the location of the .ico


    • Go back to your application you are publishing and click "Chang icon..."
    • Click Browse
      • Input the location of the .ico file you just copied
        • Click OK


    •  Click Next


    •  Click Finish


    You now have a management console that your admins will not have to configure for discovery.


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