Citrix ADC 101 – Fundamentals

The following is a collection of basic information about Citrix ADC. From licensing, to the most important commands, to the update procedures that can be performed.

General Information

Here is some basic information about Citrix ADC.

Operating System and Architecture

Citrix ADC is based on the open source operating system FreeBSD. Unlike the very similar Linux, FreeBSD has a modular kernel and Citrix has taken advantage of this to modify FreeBSD’s Bash shell by removing the networking subsystem and replacing it with its own. The modifications were placed in a custom kernel module called NetScaler Core Packet Processing Engine (PPE).

Citrix ADC FreeBSD
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Why a Windows Server 2019 VDI should be Hybrid Azure AD joined

What is Hybrid Azure AD Join ?

Let’s just start with the official definition from the Microsoft documentation:

Hybrid Azure AD Join: Joined to on-premises AD and Azure AD requiring organizational account to sign in to the device.

This means that after the device is Hybrid Azure AD joined, it behaves the same as any other computer connected to Active Directory.

Sign in with an Active Directory account is required.
User credentials are verified against an Active Directory domain controller.
Group Policy objects for users & computers read from the domain controller are applied automatically.

Hybrid Azure AD Join

After the Active Directory connection process is complete, additional steps are performed asynchronously in the background to register the device in Azure AD as well.

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Installing Workspace Environment Management Version 2012

Workspace Environment Management optimizes Citrix workers for the best possible performance (user density, logon time and application response time).

WEM is subject to the Current Release Lifecycle (Additional Component) and therefore there is no LTSR version of WEM available.

To use WEM, you must have an active Customer Success Services (CSS) for one of the following licenses:

  • Citrix Virtual Apps Advanced
  • Citrix Virtual Apps Premium
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Advanced
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Premium
  • Citrix Workspace Premium
  • Citrix Workspace Premium Plus

Technical Overview

Workspace Environment Management (WEM) is based on the following architecture:

WEM architecture

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MSIX App Attach with Windows 10 Version 2004 in Citrix Environments

With the latest version of Windows 10 (version 2004) it is finally possible to use MSIX App Attach in Citrix without any special adaptation.

MSIX App Attach allows you to store applications for virtual environments outside a virtual machine in a VHD/X file. Such an application can thus be integrated into the user session if required.

What is MSIX App Attach ?

MSIX App Attach is based on the concept where the application is stored in MSIX format in a central location and integrated into the operating system. After embedding, applications look like locally installed applications to both the user and the operating system. When combining FSLogix Profile Containers and MSIX App Attach, the Golden Master Image’s operating system remains completely clean and data, profiles and applications are completely separated.

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FSLogix App Masking in Citrix Environments

What is App Masking and what do we need it for?

App Masking minimize the number of Golden Images required, by allowing all applications to be installed in a single Golden Image. The mapping and separation of applications (as well as printers, fonts, office add-ins, Internet Explorer plug-ins, etc.) is done without packaging, sequencing, backend infrastructure or virtualization.

FSLogix App Masking

This is achieved by granular access control of the installed applications through App Masking Rules. These rules can be used to completely hide the application in an user runtime, so that it no longer appears in the file system, registry or under programs and features.

Because no additional ressources are required by the system when using the rules, applications run at their native speed.

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