Building a XenApp 6.5 Farm inside your Lab Infrastructure – (Part 1)

1 Oct

Recently, I am setting up a poor man’s lab of Citrix XenApp 6.5 (64 bit). The reason to call it a poor man’s lab is because of the equipment in use. Though, I am complaining about the equipment I will tell you “my way” of efficiently setting up XenApp on a desktop class  Dell machine. My configuration is as follows:

Desktop Configuration:Dell Desktop Hardware Configuration

Preparatory Steps:

  • Install Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V as the choice of operating system on the Desktop.
  • Connect the desktop with internet to get all the Windows Updates
  • My next big thing was to create a Windows 2008 R2 EE template to create multiple VM’s and not waste time in creating individual virtual machines
  • Create a new Virtual Machine with Windows 2008 R2 EE SP1 and install all the Windows Updates
  • Install Features such as .Net 4 and Telnet Client from the “Add Features” as its reusable component on all VM’s 
  • Enable the ICMP inbound rule under the Windows Firewall port else you would be clueless during your troubleshooting
  • Sysprep the image Selection Option OOBE === Check Generalize === Shutdown. Your VM template is ready for use

Citrix Architecture for the lab

  • Plan to install Citrix XenApp 6.5 on 4 VM’s with the following server role breakup

Virtual Machine



VM1Active Directory/Citrix Licensing/Remote Desktop Licensing400 – 700 MB
VM2Citrix Web Server/SQL 2008 R2 Express/File Server400 – 700 MB
VM3Citrix XenApp1 (Application Streaming/Publishing)Static 700 MB
VM4Citrix XenApp2 (Hosted Shared Desktop)Static 700 MB

Note: Clubbing up of roles like I have done is strictly for lab environments. Production environments should be sized and designed in a different way

Architecture Diagram

Citrix XenApp 6.5 Lab Infrastructure

List of my Best Practices:

  • Create a reusable Sysprep template to create multiple VM’s on the fly
  • Enable the ICMP inbound rule on all VM’s else you would be clueless during troubleshooting
  • Use Dynamic Memory for all your VM’s. Predefine the values for Startup and Maximum RAM options under VM Settings. I must say this feature is a savior when building labs with restrictive resources
  • Make sure the Citrix Licensing file (*.lic) carries the exact hostname of the virtual machine as it’s case sensitive. Simply type hostname under the command prompt and copy/paste the same while generating Citrix license file from
  • In my case, the SQL Server Express is installed on the Web server. You will have to create a custom firewall rule to open the port number 1433 for all SQL related communication between the VM’s
  • During the Citrix installation make sure you select the “Install XenApp Server” option as this option brings in the convenience of installing all the prerequisite such as RDS, IIS components etc. automatically

Though, I am not sharing the step by step information on how to install each and every role because a lot of information is already available from Citrix & Microsoft and don’t want to make the blog lengthy.

I will be writing a series of blog on topics such as:

  • Application Publishing (Applications installed locally on Citrix XenApp Server)
  • Application Streaming (Application Streaming Server/Client Side)
  • User Profile Management (Separating the user profile using Citrix Profile Management)

If you like this blog please leave your comments

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

2 Responses to “Building a XenApp 6.5 Farm inside your Lab Infrastructure – (Part 1)”

  1. Ttubnad123 May 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi, nice blog. Can you shed more light of this part? My next big thing was to create a Windows 2008 R2 EE template to create multiple VM’s and not waste time in creating individual virtual machinesThanks

  2. divya sharma July 8, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    Thanks for the amazing article. My two cents about CITRIX TRAINING (XenApp 7.13)

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