Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 – Installing the Virtual Delivery Agent and Creating a Machine Catalog

by admin

In my previous post on XenDesktop 7.5 I covered deploying XenDesktop 7.5 and initial site configuration. The next step is to prepare the master VM, from which the other VDI desktops will be spawned. In my lab environment, I will be working with a basic Windows 7 virtual machine, with the only addition so far being VMware tools. Other than that, all I have done is given it an IP address and joined it to my lab domain. Of course, in a production environment your base/master VDI build will likely contain many more settings and applications.

Once you are happy with your master VM build, the VDA agent will need to be installed. The VDA (or Virtual Delivery Agent) can be installed on virtual desktops (for VDI), servers (for a XenApp/hosted desktop service), or on a physical desktop for remote access leveraging Citrix HDX improved remote graphics.

I will be installing it on my Windows 7 master VM, for VDI purposes. The first step is to mount the XenDesktop installation media to the virtual machine. Like with the server install, it should autorun and present an install screen:

xendesktop-vda-installation

Click to install the ‘Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS. The VDA install wizard will open:

xendesktop-vda-environment

The first setting is regarding which type of VDA deployment. I will be choosing ‘Create a Master Image’ as this will be for use as a VDI desktop. Note that the other option available is to ‘Enable Remote PC Access’. The next screen will prompt you to choose whether to enable HDX 3D Pro. As this is a VM in my lab, without any high end graphics capability, I won’t enable it:

xd-enable-hdx-3d-pro

The next installation screen gives you the option to install the Citrix Receiver along with the VDA agent, and allows you to specify the install location, if you do not want to use the default:

vda-core-components

The following screen is where you point the VDA to the XenDesktop controller. In my lab I will do this manually, though other options are available such as Active Directory discovery.

xendesktop-add-controller

Use the ‘Test Connection’ button to check your connectivity to the controller. A green ‘tick’ will display following a successful test. Once the controller(s) have been added, click next. The following screen will have you select which features you want to include:

xendesktop-vda-features

In my deployment I have kept the defaults, which includes everything apart from Personal vDisk. Moving on, the next screen will display the firewall exceptions that are required, and will give the option for the changes to the firewall to be made automatically by the VDA installer (which can save a bit of work if you are using the Windows firewall):

xendesktop-75-firewall-settings

So, coming to the end of the install Wizard, you’ll be presented with the install summary screen. Clicking install here will start the installation. The necessary pre-requestites such as .net Framework will be installed, followed by the VDA itself. When the process completes, click ‘Finish’ to restart your VM:

xendesktop-75-install

So, that’s the VDA installed in my Windows 7 ‘Master’ VM. My next post will look at creating a machine catalog so that we can begin to create some VDI desktops.


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