From the Gold-Brick-Through-Your-Window Dept. A while back you may have read about the work that was initiated at the Citrix Servtech event in Santa Clara, CA. As it turns out RES Software and Citrix Systems found a lot of common ground in leveraging the power of the RES Automation Manager to speed up Citrix XenApp 6.5 deployments.
IMPORTANT: The buildingblock has been updated Dec 5th. See below.
There is good reason to look into automating XA6.5 installations: You may not have noticed it, but the end-of-life date for XenApp 6.0 was recently updated. In other words, within the coming year you may need to start thinking about upgrading your XenApp farms. To ease this transition, it is my pleasure already now to be able to share with you the fruits of the collaboration between Citrix and RES. You can download the building block for Automation Manager at the end of this post.
A few words about the building block: It contains a Run Book which will schedule several Modules, necessary to install and configure XenApp 6.5 – including it’s prerequisites. To try it out, you need to download and install the RES Automation Manager. You can pull down a fully functional 45-day eval copy here. Getting-Started guide is available here. Out of the box there will be enough licenses to install a handful of XenApp servers. You will also need your XenApp 6.5 ISO image handy. You will either mount the image somewhere or extract the contents to a folder. Either way, the buildingblock requires the contents of the ISO to be accessible via a share. This is important. Once you schedule the Run Book, you will be prompted to enter some information such as paths, passwords, etc. See the screenshot on the right for an example.
Those of you who are savy AM hackers may wonder what’s up with the share. As it turns out, it’s really the most efficient way to access the Citrix distribution media, simply because of it’s size, it’s not feasible to upload as a AM Resource. Second, bear in mind that the ISO contents may be updated by Citrix in the future.
I wish to personally thank the following people for their contributions to this project: Rick Eilenberger, Josh Fleming, Alex Danilychev and Brian Mirrotto @ Citrix Systems. And last but not least my fearless Sicilian friend Luca Lo Castro here at RES, who put the pieces together into a working building block. Credit also goes to Musa Cakar and Arno Vos, who took the time to expand the datastore capabilities. See below:
As mentioned, the buildingblock was updated December 5th 2011. The update consists of support of MS SQL Datastores. While the original buildingblock only supported SQLserver 2008, it now supports creating the XenApp Datastore on MSSQL 2005 and 2012 (Release Candidate 0).