Kelverion Case Study Orchestrator

This is going to be a long one, and I want it done properly! Since I have seen multiple blogs containing the same recipe over and over again on how to setup networking within Virtual Machine Manager I have yet to see a blog post that actually describes and shows how it all links together, yeah everyone can create a network within VMM and describe how to do it but to show the “big picture” is something else.

So the things I am going to go trough.
1: Logical Networks
2: VM Networks
3: Port profiles and Port Classifications (Uplinks and how to attach VLANs to a host)
4: Logical Switch and NIC Teaming
5: The Big Picture how it is all linked together.

Lets start with the first things first, the Logical Network.
Logical Network is a container. When you create a logical Network you need to create Network Sites within it. Network Sites might be different locations or depending on the site of your company different networks.

For instance I can create a Logical Network called Sandbu, within it I have 3 sites, which will be for my different networks. Within these sites I need to attach all my VLANs which I need on my virtulization hosts.
Important to note that I do not attach a logical network to something, but  I attach my network sites to a host group or multiple host group.  I can also create an IP-pool from each VLAN I associate with each of the Network Sites. In my case I only needed an IP-pool for where my Virtual Machines are going to be placed, the rest will be using DHCP. The IP-pool is associated with a VLAN, so when I want to provision my VMs I can use from the IP-pool which the VMM maintains or I can use DHCP. The overview will look like this.

So what actually happens to the hyper-v hosts when I attach a network site to the host groups ? Not much actually, the hosts get the site “linked” to them, so when I go to Hardware of the host and look on the Network Adapters I can see that my newly created network site appears under.

This is because I linked the network site to the host group this host resides in.
What happens if I associate a logical network with the sites to this host ?
Not much, it limits the host to the use of these VLANs if I for instance wanted to create a network switch.

Ill leave it at that at the moment.
Now we have created a logical network, attached network sites added VLANs and created a IP-pool of adresses. Next we need to create VM Networks.
VM Network are virtual network which are networks useable for virtual machines or virtual nic who are part of a NIC team.

Since our network sites are VM traffic, Storage and management which will all go trough the a virtual NIC and trough a switch we need to create VM Networks for them.
After we have created the VM networks for each VLAN.

So in my case I need to create three networks, one for virtual machines, one for management and one for storage. Important to note that VM networks are associated with a VLAN within a network site. Here I can now create a vm network for my virtual machines from the network site I created earlier with an IP-pool.

Now since the VM networks are linked to the Logical Networks, and the Logical Networks are linked to the Host groups the hosts will have them as well. We can see this when we try to edit the network settings of a virtual machine on one of the hosts.

Now since I have three VM networks I can choose from each of them.

I have three VM networks to choose from in my case. I can also create a hardware profile which uses the VM network by default so I dont have to change network settings each time.

Now the next parts are port profiles and port classifications.
Port Classifications
are just to describe a virtual port profile (even thou you can not link it directly, you can only link it when you create a logical switch)
So when we create a port classifications this is all we do

Note there are alot of predefined port classifications here as well.
Next is the port profiles.
There are two types of port profiles. One is an Uplink Port Profile (Which is actually a profile for how to setup NIC teaming)  Here we select what kind of NIC teaming we want.

Uplink Port Profiles are also linked to a Network Site. If we want the three network sites trunked via the Uplink Port (NIC teaming) we need to add all sites.

And the other port profile is virtual network adapter port profile (Here we can define offload settings and what type of security settings and bandwitdth settings). Note that a virtual network adapter port profile is not linked to a network site or a logical network.
After we have created the uplink port profiles and the virtual network adapter port profiles we have to create a last magical component which is a Logical Switch.

A Logical Switch is just a template actually. Its based upon the extensible switch which comes with 2012 and includes the uplink port profile, and virtual port adapter profile and what extensions that is going to be included.

And there we link the port classification to the virtual network port profiles. So when we create the logical switch it bind (Different Port Profiles, Extensions) and adds the template to a switch.

And since the uplink port profile is linked to the host group we can now create a logical switch on a host group. So to be able to create a logical switch on a host we need to make sure that the logical network and network sites are assosiated with the host.

So after the switch is created we can add it to a host.

After we have created the logical switch we can then add virtual network adapters for the different services, then the virtual network adapter can be added to a VM network and added a port classification.

Note that these virtual network adapters are not the ones that can be created by using NIC teaming manager (These network adapters can only be created via powershell or via SCVMM)
So now when I check my virtual machines on this host I can move them to the newly created switch and choose Subnet.

So the big picture. (This took some time to create via Visio)
Logical Overview

Physical Overview

Done for to now, hopefully this post made sense for some!

#scvmm-2012, #system-center, #virtual-machine-manager

Earlier today, Citrix released their updated System Center Configuration Manager connector to XenDesktop 7.5. It can be downloaded from here –> http://www.citrix.com/downloads/xendesktop/product-software/xendesktop-and-xenapp-75-connector-for-sccm.html note that it requires an mycitrix account in order to download it.

So what does it do ? well a couple of things. Mostly it’s about pushing software out to regular clients and servers including XenApp/XenDesktop servers where the clients might get the XD/XA version of an application. You can also use it to publish applications directly to XD/XA from Configuration Manager which makes it easy to maintain a consistant software library.

Now there are a couple of components here that are needed.

* Citrix Connector Service (This does the syncing, publishing and orchestration jobs between Configuration Manager site and the XA/XD site)

* Citrix DT handler (This component is needed on VDA servers/clients and on managed clients which you want to use the integration between) NOTE: There are different DT handlers for clients and VDA agents

So in my case I installed the Citrix Connector Service on my site server since it is a demo-enviroment. Now the installation is pretty straight forward.

Install both the service and the console extension

Enter a service account for the connector serivce

New in this release is the ability to define maintance windows, in case you want automated deployment to VDA agents.

Now after the installation is finished there are a few things which should be done first.

Make sure that Configuration Manager client is installed on the VDA agents you want to use with this deployment. Now you should create an application of the DT handler and deploy out to all VDA agents.

  • Using the following installation paramters msiexec /i «CitrixDTHandler_x64.msi» /q
  • Also all applications you want to publish should be pre-created and added to Configuration manager.

Now in my case, I have installed the DThandler on 1 VDA server, and have created 7-zip as an application in Configuration Manager. When we open Configuration Manager Console we have some new options. First of under Assets and Complliance we have the machine catalogs listed up

First of we need to deploy 7-zip to the machine catalog and VDA agents. After that Configuration Manager has gotten the info that the application has been installed

We can go ahead and do a publication action. Go into Software library and into Citrix Applications Publications andchoose Create Publication.

Then we run trough the wizard

Now the connector has been added a nifty new feature which check if all the prerequistes are in place.

So after we have done the wizard and the syncronization is complete the application will appear in the XenDesktop studio.

So now we have successfully installed 7-zip on a VDA agent and successfully published it from Configuration Manager. So this means that the application is available as an resource if the user starts up Citrix Receiver or logs into StoreFront.

Now onto the next option, what if we want users to get applications from Software Center or the Application Catalog (But they can start a citrix session if we want them to?) this is part of the DT handler on the managed clients.

Now let’s deploy 7-zip from Configuration Manager to some managed clients, first of we need to create a new deployment type which references the newly published applications. in the the deployment type choose XenApp

Under publishing you need to choose the existing Citrix deployment that was published earlier.

NOTE: Citrix DT handler needs to be installed on the clients.

Now go trough the wizard and after you are done with the wizard you need to give the XenApp deployment type a lower priority then the other option.

Now after you have created the deployment type and you want to deploy the appliaction you need to choose the clients or the users which are defined in the delivery groups

Now if you head over to the application portal on a managed client with a valid user, the application will appear.

Now if you click this application the configuration manager agent and the DT components will interact and publish the application in the receiver. If you have a valid single-sign-on deployment working on your Xendesktop enviroment you can see that 7-zip is published on the managed clients desktop

this is a quick walkthrough but it gives you the quick overview of what you can use this connector with. You can also integrate it with MCS and PVS, also we can integrate App-V applications. Also important to remember that with XenDesktop 7.5 you can integrate with Configuration Manager for Wake on lan functionality.

#citrix, #configuation-manager-connector, #configuration-manager, #xenapp, #xendesktop

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