Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 – AppDisks and Turbo Containers – What a combination !

Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 – AppDisks and Turbo Containers – What a combination !

Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 – AppDisks and Turbo Containers – What a combination !

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I put a post up last week regarding an application delivery mechanism called Turbo.  Find them at https://turbo.net

I was thinking about how I could combine this with the new release of Citrix AppDisks to create a containerized application within an App Layer and attach it to my workload servers.

In this case I wanted to fix the browser level of my NetScaler Admin Browsers, apply the app firewall rules I posted about in this article and deliver the container into an AppDisk.  Once in there I can attach that AppDisk to any of my MCS or PVS delivered catalogs and have a working, secure NetScaler Admin delivery method across my entire Citrix XenDesktop estate.

So, lets get to it.

First, log into Citrix Studio and select AppDisks from the menu provided

01 - appdisks

Click Create AppDisk from the action pain on the right

02 - create appdisk

Click Next on the Intro Wizard

03 - appdisk wizard 1

Pick a size for the new AppDisk

04 - small disk

Pick a Machine Catalog to use for creating your new AppDisk

05 - pick mcs catalog

Give you new AppDisk a name

06 - name appdisk layer

Click finish.  At this point Citrix Studio will contact your hosting that your machine catalog resides on and create your new AppDisk for you.  It will attach it to a machine and spin up the machine with the new AppDisk created, and run the prep stage.  This will take a while and the machine used for capturing the AppDisk will restart a couple of times.

07 - being prepaired

Once the initial prep is finished Studio will tell you that you are ready to install applications

11 - ready to install

At this point you are ready to install your applications onto your AppDisk machine.  First lets have a look at what we set up in our Turbo portal using the last article.

12 - turbo apps available

As you can see we have 2 locked versions of Chrome ready.  One is restricted to ONLY be able to administer the NetScaler and another is able to ONLY access the external internet and not the local subnet!

Switch to your machine that is being used for the AppDisk creation and log in as an administrator onto the console.  If you want to know what machine is being used then click on the AppDisk in Studio and it will show you at the bottom of the screen.

Navigate to https://turbo.net from the machine and download the Turbo client to the machine

13 - download turbo

Open a command prompt as an Administrator from the machine

15 - run command as admin

Navigate to the downloaded Turbo Client and install it for All Users

16 - install turbo

Let the install run – accepting any prompts for server reboots

17 - installing

18 - restart

Once installed, log back into the server and open up a command prompt as an administrator again.  Then login to turbo

19 - turbo login

Then subscribe to the apps.  In this case its just my 2 Chrome Apps with the firewall rules.

20 - subscribe

Wait for the apps to download

21 - in start menu

Now run the applications.  This may not be the best practice for all deployments as you may just want the Turbo client in the layer but as I am locking the version of Chrome I want to pull the container into the AppDisk to speed up the launch time for the users

21.1 - run apps

Launch both apps, let them download and ensure the network routes you added on https://turbo.net are being honoured

23 - ensure working apps

Once the apps are working as you want them switch back to Citrix Studio.  Right click the new AppDisk and click on Seal AppDisk

24 - seal appdisk

Click yes to commit the AppDisk and seal the image ready to attach to your machine catalog.  Citrix Studio will display that the AppDisk is sealing and your machine used to create the AppDisk will restart a couple of times then eventually shut down.

Once this happens (be patient – it can take a while) your new AppDisk should show as ready

27 - disk ready

Lets attach our Turbo AppDisk to a machine catalog and test it!  Navigate to your machine catalogs and right click on a MCS or PVS delivered catalog and select manage AppDisks

28 - manage appdisks

Then click Add, select your AppDisk from the list of available AppDisks and click ok

29 - add appdisk

Click Next once your AppDisk successfully added

30 - click next

Select your roll out strategy and click next

31 - rollout stategy

Click on finish and your new AppDisk will be rolled out to your machine catalog.  Depending on your roll out strategy you may have to wait a little while or restart the machines yourself.

So, lets test the new AppDisk.

I have logged into my desktop for my MCS catalog, and on the start menu I have 3 new Apps

33 - added turbo apps

I will run up both browsers, on the left is the NetScaler Admin Browser and on the right is the Non Local LAN browser

34 - both browsers

All working as expected.  Lets test the network routed applied to the container to ensure that the browsers cannot access anything they shouldn’t

35 - failed access

Excellent – working as expected.  There you have it – your AppDisk layer has the turbo containerised apps within it and is ready to be deployed to any of your machine catalogs that are delivered using MCS or PVS

Hope this helps some of you out, as always, please share and comment.

Laters,

b@m

 

One thought on “Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 – AppDisks and Turbo Containers – What a combination !

  1. marco

    (appdisk) I found that windows defender was causing the personal vdisk service from running with the latest version of windows 10 and XD 7.8 once I disabled it all good no issue very quick sealing

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