Citrix XenApp 6.5 in Amazon EC2

This article covers how to set up and run a Citrix XenApp 6.5 server in Amazon EC2.  For reference I used the following articles:

Sign up for an Amazon Web Services account.  I have used EC2 the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud for this purpose.  EC2 is one of two compute services from Amazon, it is worth looking through all the services on offer as this will help you develop an understanding of the entire Amazon services.

EC2 - Create an account

Once the account has been created, sign in and launch the EC2 console.

From the console select your region,  I selected Singapore.  I completed a number of tests before selecting the region I wanted to use.  I’m based in Perth Western Australia and my ISP routes me straight there so my experience is very good.  However if you are based on the Eastern States of Australia then the results of my testing showed that the West coast of the United States would be the best option.

From the EC2 dashboard, select Network and Security, Security Groups.  Create a new security group and assign the inbound port rules.

I added rules for RDP, HTTP, and ICA including the CGP.  I have not enabled multi stream ICA in this environment or UDP stream.  IF this is required then make the adjustments required in the security group.

Navigate to images and search for an AMI to use.  In this instance I used ami-f4dfa1a6 (amazon/Windows-2008R2-SP1-English-Base-v101).  Once selected you will need to launch the instance.

On launch you are required to select the number of instance, availability zone and instance type.  If you are unsure of the cost or location Amazon provides a very good pricing guide and FAQ, which is well worth referencing.

 Post type selection you will be asked to create a key pair, configure the firewall, which is a matter of adding the instance to you security group and reviewing the information you have selected.

From the EC2 dashboard it is now possible to start the instance.  The status will change from stopped, to pending and then running.  Once running right click the instance and retrieve the Windows password and connect to the device.  This will start an RDP session to the server.

After logging into the server launch the EC2 Configuration Service and un tick the Set Computer Name, Initialize Drives and Password options.  Then in computer management reset the computers hostname.  The new hostname will be used as the license server name.

I have not played with the features however if I was to build more than one device and required the use of Sysprep then this may change the options I have chosen.

Following a reboot, download the XenApp 6.5 ISO and mount on the server.  I used Virtual CloneDriver for this.   It is possible to convert this instance to a template for further use; I have not completed this step in this case.
Please note:  you will need a MyCitrix account to access the media and evaluation licenses.

Once mounted follow the XenApp 6.5 install process, installing the edition and components required.  For a single server set up I installed XenApp, web interface and licensing all on a single device.

In this environment I have not used an AWS elastic IP address and am therefore presented with a different public IP address at each instance start.  Therefore to access published applications over the Internet I have configured the Web Interface and Service Site to user Alternate address translation and on each instance start set the AaltAddr on the XenApp server to map the current public IP address.

Setting the secure access method on the XenApp Web Interface and Services sites.


Setting the Alternate address on a XenApp 6.5 server