Citrix, Citrix Cloud
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Citrix Cloud Service On-boarding and Cloud Connectors Guide

Citrix Cloud Service On-boarding and Cloud Connectors Guide

Lately I delivered project to consolidate global multi-site on-premises environments in to one and migrate it to the Citrix Cloud Services. This time it included multiple different vendor’s Enterprise Mobile Management solutions (XenMobile, Workspace ONE, etc.) and Citrix ADCs (NetScalers). Multiple different MDM solutions migrated in to Citrix Endpoint Management service in to Citrix Cloud.

I’m not going to go any more technical details regarding different vendor’s products as this time this is not meant to be technical post, (that will come later!), but rather I walkthrough process how to get on-boarded in to Cloud Service and install Citrix Cloud Connector.

INFO: Citrix Cloud services simplify the delivery and management of Citrix technologies, helping you to extend existing on-premises software deployments or move one hundred percent to the cloud.  Create and deploy secure digital workspaces in hours, not weeks, while placing your sensitive app, desktop and data resources on any cloud or hybrid cloud.

There is two different approach for Citrix Cloud Services, Transition and Migration. I’m focusing now on this post in to Transition approach, as the Migration approach always requires to engage Citrix Sales and Professional Services who helps to migrate databases etc. from on-premises.

Migration advantages are to copy current configuration, databases, etc. as it is and like for XenMobile, users are not required to re-enroll their devices again in to cloud service. Migration will be seamless for the users.

Transition approach is a clean new services will be created in Citrix Cloud from scratch and users will be migrated to use the new cloud based services. It has advantages like housekeep and inventory of current environment, but also current on-premises environment and cloud services parallel during user migration. Disadvantage could be require to build a new/similar environment from the scratch, which still is not always disadvantage.

Both approaches have its advantages and challenges and needs to be carefully chosen based on customer requirements, scenarios and products to be migrated.

Everything starts from the assessment, gather current on-premises environment details, use cases, expectations, prerequisites and limitations. Then decide right on-boarding method for the customer.

Next step is to subscribe the Cloud Service platform and get it up and running, ready to be for a new service or for migration of current services.

Go to the Citrix Cloud On-boarding website: https://onboarding.cloud.com/ and use current citrix.com account details or register there depending if it is a new or existing customer.

Other helpful method is to get in contact to Citrix Sales Engineer in your region and ask them to advice.

After successfully registration customer are able log in to: https://cloud.citrix.com/ and request service trials. This is the portal in where to manage all Citrix Cloud Services, open service tickets, etc.

Customer can click Request Trial to formally request a trial for the services. Once the customer requests the trial it must be approved by the Cloud Services Rapid Deployment Team or Cloud Product manager.

Citrix Cloud Connector

After successfully requested trials and got them up and running, first thing probably would be to connect Cloud Services to on-premises for Active Directory user authentication etc.

The Citrix Cloud Connector is a Citrix component that serves as a channel for communication between Citrix Cloud and on-premises resource locations, enabling cloud management without requiring any complex networking or infrastructure configuration. This removes all the hassle of managing delivery infrastructure. It enables customer to manage and focus on the resources that provide value to your users. E.g. Active Directory authentication from Cloud Services to on-premises domain. Cloud Connectors also replaces Virtual Apps and Desktops Desktop Delivery Controllers (DDC) role and acts as the control point for the VDA’s on-premises.

The Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Endpoint Management services requires the Cloud Connector for enterprise connectivity to the Endpoint Management service.

Cloud Connector is a small software cwcconnector.exe to be installed to domain joined on-premises Windows Server. Two servers are recommended to be installed for sake of High-Availability.

Download Cloud Connector software from the Cloud Portal Resource Locations page.

NOTE: Do not install the Cloud Connector, or any other Citrix components, on an Active Directory domain controller.

Do not install the Cloud Connector on machines that are part of other Citrix deployments (for example, Delivery Controllers in a Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment).

Cloud Controller Technical Requirements

  • Supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.
  • .NET Framework 4.5.1 or later.
  • Active Directory (AD): Join the machine to an AD domain that contains the resources and/or users for the workspaces (Active Directory schema versions 2008 R2 and later are supported).
  • Networking: Connect the machine to a network that can contact the resources in the Resource Location. These resources provide the services of the cloud workspace. The machine must have a connection to the internet.
  • Make sure the clock on the server has the correct time. Otherwise, you cannot connect to the cloud.
  • The connector requires outbound connectivity on port HTTPS 443.

Cloud Connector Install Instructions

  1. Log on as an administrator to the machine where you will install the Cloud Connector. The machine should have Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 installed, be joined to a domain, and have outbound Internet access. (HTTPS 443)
  2. Go to https://citrix.cloud.com and sign in. The Citrix Cloud management console appears.
  3. From the menu button in the upper left corner, select Resource Locations.
  4. On the Resource Locations page, click Download to download the Cloud Connector software.
  5. Launch the Cloud Connector installer. The installer performs an initial connectivity check to ensure you can connect to Citrix Cloud.
  6. When prompted, sign in to Citrix Cloud.
  7. Follow the wizard to install and configure the Cloud Connector. When the installation finishes, the installer performs a final connectivity check to verify Connector-to-Cloud communication.
  8. Repeat these steps on additional machines you want to use as Cloud Connectors.

After installation go back to the Cloud Portal and Resource Locations, you should see the Cloud Connector successfully connected.

The Cloud Connector authenticates and encrypts all communication between Citrix Cloud and on-premises resource locations. Once installed, the Cloud Connector initiates communication with Citrix Cloud through an outbound connection. All connections are established from the Cloud Connector to the cloud using the standard HTTPS port (443) and the TCP protocol. No incoming connections are accepted.

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Citrix
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Citrix Synergy 2019 – Lunch Table Tech Chats

Breakout sessions may take a pause during the midday break, but Synergy learning and networking opportunities don’t stop, even for lunch, thanks to the volunteer Citrix User Group Community members and Citrix Technology Advocates who lead Lunch Table Tech Chats every afternoon in the Solutions Expo.

These informal but insightful discussions are designed to help you make new contacts and gather fresh approaches to your IT challenges while you eat. No need to sign up in advance; just find a topic that interests you and pull up a seat!

Lunch Table Tech Chats
Tuesday, May 21 – Thursday, May 23, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
GWCC, Building C, Level 1, Hall C4, Solutions Expo

Meet me at ENDPOINT MANAGEMENT LUNCH TABLE!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janikohonencom
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janikohonen/
Blog: https://janikohonen.com/
Email: jani@janikohonen.com

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Citrix, Community, CTA
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Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA) Recognition

Community Champions: Citrix Technology Advocates (CTA)

I am honoured to being recognized as a Citrix Technology Advocate. I will keep contributing to community and to technology of my passion.

The main objective of the CTA program is to provide Citrix enthusiasts meaningful recognition for their community contributions, provide unique opportunities to connect with Citrix peers and internal stakeholders that will enable a continued growth and performance in their careers.

They spend countless hours sharing knowledge and connecting with community peers. Below are a couple of examples of their dedication, but the list is not exhaustive:

– Sharing their proficiency in the Citrix technology stack
– Participating in online forums such as CUGC and other technology forums
– Blogging about their experience with technology
– Speaking at Citrix and related industry events
– Supporting community programs
– Providing strategic feedback to Citrix product teams
– Volunteering for community initiatives such as leading local user groups, hosting lunch table tech chats at Synergy, participating in focus groups

These Citrix Technology Advocates are recognized for their wonderful contributions to the Citrix community, with benefits such as:

– Private community on myCUGC.org
– Citrix education discounts
– Private Slack channel with key stakeholders
– Hosted networking engagements at Citrix Synergy and local CUGC meetings
– Unique opportunities for product feedback
– Exclusive product updates and tech previews
– Cadence of meetings with key Citrix stakeholders
– Candidate Contributions

Congratulations to other current and new CTA members! Thank you Citrix!

More information:

https://www.citrix.com/community/cta/awardees.html

https://www.citrix.com/community/

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/03/05/announcing-the-new-2019-citrix-technology-advocate-awardees/

PS: Feel free to join our active Facebook groups:

Citrix Certified
https://www.facebook.com/groups/citrix.certified/

NetScaler SME
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ilovenetscaler/

Citrix Endpoint Management
https://www.facebook.com/groups/xenmobile/

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Citrix, VMware, XenMobile
6

VMware Fusion 10 – Cannot import .ova virtual appliance templates anymore?

I came across this situation after upgraded Fusion 8 on macOS from to version 10 and didn’t manage to import anymore some particular .ova virtual appliance tempalates in to it. e.g. Citrix XenMobile virtual appliance.

VMware Fusion 10 fails to import .ova template and gives an error: “Invalid target disk adapter type: pvscsi”. Apperantly latest OVF Tool included in it has a bug to import if SCSI Controller type configured in template as “VirtualSCSI” = pvscsi.

Workaround, before VMware fixes this issue, extract .ova template and change the SCSI Controller configured in .ovf file from “VirtualSCSI” SCSI Controller
to “lsilogic”.

Workaround

1. Extract .ova file and you’ll get three files;

– opt.mf
– opt.ovf
– opt.vmdk

2. Open opt.ovf file and edit SCSI Controller section in it from “pvscsi” to “lsilogic”;

<Item>
<rasd:Address>0</rasd:Address>
<rasd:Description>SCSI Controller</rasd:Description>
<rasd:ElementName>scsi0</rasd:ElementName>
<rasd:InstanceID>3</rasd:InstanceID>
<rasd:ResourceSubType>lsilogic</rasd:ResourceSubType>
<rasd:ResourceType>6</rasd:ResourceType>
</Item>

3. After file edited you still cannot import it as the manifest file “opt.mf”, which has been SHA signed, doesn’t match anymore to the original opt.ovf file signed.

4. Use OpenSSL to sign manifest file again (download and install OpenSLL first);

– Openssl sha1 *.vmdk *.ovf > opt.mf

5. After signed manifest file again you’re good to go and import .ova template succesfully. Of course it now uses different SCSI Controller, but it works at least for the latest Citrix XenMobile .ova template.

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Citrix, NetScaler
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NetScaler Gateway – Two-Factor Authentication – How to hide 2nd password field

Some two-factor products (e.g. DUO, SMS Passcode) require you to hide the 2nd password field. Easiest way is to use Rewrite policies, which works both Web browser and Receiver self-service.

Tested with:

Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.6.0
Citrix Receiver for Mac 12.4.0
NetScaler 11.1 51.26.nc

If you have any file level customizations on NetScaler, it needs to be reset as per default settings before doing these Rewrite policy – modifications.

For Web browser:

1. Create a Rewrite Action

Type: INSERT_HTTP_HEADER
Header Name: Set-Cookie
Expression: (“pwcount=”+ 1″)

2. Create a Rewrite Policy

Action: Select the rewrite action which you created
Undefined Result Action: -Global undefined result action
Expression: HTTP.REQ.HEADER(“Set-Cookie”).CONTAINS(“pwcount”).NOT

Bind this policy to the Netscaler Gateway Virtual Server where 2FA is configured.

For Receiver Self-Service:

1. Create a Rewrite Action

Type: INSERT_AFTER_ALL
Expression to choose target location: http.res.body(1024)
Expression: “rn”+”<META http-equiv=”X-Citrix-AM-GatewayAuthType” content=”SMS”>”
Pattern: content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″>

2. Create a Rewrite Policy

Action: Select the Rewrite action which you created
Undefined Result Action: -Global undefined result action
Expression: http.req.url.path.endswith(“vpn/index.html”)

Bind this policy to the Netscaler Gateway Virtual Server where 2FA is configured.

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