The architecture that this guide describes is based on Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, which provides a complete end-to-end solution delivering Microsoft Windows virtual desktops to users on a wide variety of endpoint devices. Virtual desktops are dynamically assembled on demand, providing users with pristine, yet personalized, desktops each time they log in.
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops provides a complete virtual desktop delivery system by integrating several distributed components with advanced configuration tools that simplify the creation and real-time management of the virtual desktop infrastructure.
Figure 5: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops architecture
The core Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops components include:
- Studio—Studio is the management console that enables you to configure and manage your deployment, eliminating the need for separate management consoles for managing delivery of applications and desktops. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up your environment, creating your workloads to host applications and desktops, and assigning applications and desktops to users.
- Delivery Controller (DC)—Installed on servers in the data center, the controller authenticates users, manages the assembly of users' virtual desktop environments, and brokers connections between users and their virtual desktops. DC also manages the state of desktops, starting and stopping them based on demand and administrative configuration.
- Database—At least one Microsoft SQL Server database is required for every virtual application or desktop Site to store configuration and session information. DC must have a persistent connection to the database as it stores data that is collected and managed by the Controller services.
- Director—Director is a web-based tool that enables IT support teams to monitor an environment, troubleshoot issues before they become system-critical, and perform support tasks for end users. You can also view and interact with a user's sessions using Microsoft Remote Assistance. Starting in version 7.12, Director now includes detailed descriptions for connection and computer failures, one-month historical data (Enterprise edition), custom reporting, and notifications via SNMP traps.
- Receiver—Installed on user devices, Citrix Receiver provides users with quick, secure, self-service access to documents, applications, and desktops from any of the user's devices including smart phones, tablets, and PCs. Receiver provides on-demand access to Windows, web, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. For devices that cannot install the Receiver software, Citrix Receiver for HTML5 provides connectivity through a HTML5-compatible web browser.
- StoreFront—StoreFront authenticates users to sites hosting resources and manages stores of desktops and applications that users access. StoreFront version 3.8 (released with XenDesktop 7.12) and above includes the ability to create and use multiple IIS websites each having its own domain name.
- License Server—The Citrix License Server is an essential component of any Citrix-based solution. Every Citrix product environment must have at least one shared or dedicated license server. License servers are computers that are either partly or completely dedicated to storing and managing licenses. Citrix products request licenses from a license server when users try to connect.
- Machine Creation Services (MCS)—A collection of services that work together to create virtual servers and desktops on demand from a master image, optimizing storage utilization, and providing a pristine virtual machine to users every time they log in. Machine Creation Services is fully integrated and administered in Citrix Studio.
Figure 6: Machine Creation Services architecture