Not everyone has access to equipment at home or work to learn, experiment or test software. It often requires a pretty good chunk of money up front to get started – that won’t fly for everyone. For those who want access to fast, reliable and affordable computing power, the cloud is the perfect place to look. In this article we’ll cover building a 2 server lab to run Citrix XenApp 6.0 and a Domain Controller on Windows Server 2008 R2 on Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2).
Yes, Citrix offers pre-built AMIs for this task, but it doesn’t help learn the entire process of installing and configuring Citrix XenApp.
What You’ll Need
- A connection to the internet.
- An e-mail address.
- A credit card.
- Access to Citrix XenApp 6.0 Media (ISO)
- An hour or two.
What We’re Going to Do
- Using Amazon EC2, create 2 Instances running Windows Server 2008 R2 AMIs.
- Configure an Elastic IP Address
- Configure a Domain Controller
- Install and Configure Citrix Licensing
- Install and Configure Citrix XenApp 6.0 in a Single Farm/Zone Environment
- Install and Configure Web Interface
- Publish an Application
What We Won’t Be Doing
- Secure Gateway/SSL Access
- Multi-Zone Configuration
Creating an Amazon AWS Account
To get started, visit http://aws.amazon.com and create an account. You can use your regular Amazon.com account if you wish. You’ll need to provide a valid credit card number to complete the process.
Creating the Domain Controller Instance
Log into Amazon AWS using the username you just created and select the Amazon EC2 tab.
Select Launch Instance.
Select the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Base AMI
On the Instance Details page (part of the Request Instances Wizard), select Micro (Instance Type) and an Availability Zone close to your location. We’re selecting a Micro instance here because we’re only using it for a Domain Controller. Leave Launch Instances selected. Click Continue.
On the Advanced Instance Options page, you can leave all settings as they are and then click Continue.
On the Key/Value page, enter Role as they key and DomainController as the value.
Next, we’ll create a new Key Pair. EC2 uses key pairs to allow you to connect to your instances. Enter a key pair name of your choice, then select Create & Download your Key Pair. Keep this somewhere safe.
On the Configure Firewall page, select Create a New Security Group and name and describe it as you desire. Leave the rules alone for now; we’ll come back to that later. Click Continue.
You may now select Launch if all the settings shown are as you desire.
Select View your instances on the Instances page
You should then see a new instance, powered on, but without a name.
Select the empty section and edit it. Label the instance something like EIEC2-DC-01
In 15-30 minutes, we’ll come back to this instance. That amount of time is required for EC2 to generate a password for this instance.
Creating the Citrix XenApp Instance
Creating the instance required for the Citrix XenApp 6.0 server is nearly the same. Here are the exceptions:
- Use a Large not Micro Instance.
- The Role tag should have a key of CitrixXenApp
- Use the existing Key Pair and Security Group