Automating Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 deployment
A little background
RES Automation Manager setup
When we deep dive into the module you notice that there are several task, I will talk you through the very basics, not the details.
To install XenDesktop 7.1 XenApp a few requirements have to be met, before we install XenDesktop 7.1 server we make sure all these are met.
After the installation of some roles we reboot the server so that the roles can be installed completely. We do this two times. Through a twitter conversation with @_POPPELGAARD I learned that the remote assistance and desktop experience rol are installed with the VDA so we don’t need to install them like I do. Perhaps I’ll change the deployment but this one works and I always learned never to change a winning team.
After the remote assistance and desktop experience installation Windows does a double reboot, I still have to built something to catch that second boot. I added a postpone job for now for 5 minutes to make sure all reboots are completed. If I didn’t add this my job would crash for Windows would be just to far up for the agent to come online and think it could go along with the task. Sometimes we do thing the hard way sometimes the easy, I chose the easy route here.. 5 minutes delay.
I copy all the files from the shared source to a local installation directory.
Then I install all the vCredist prerequisites needed by XenDesktop, these are installed automatically also but I was trying to control the time the installation was taking. By processing them at this moment it saves me time later on.
The main part of the module is the task to install the Xendesktop 7.1 XenApp server. A part of the command is shown below. Don’t add the NoReboot option in for the installation will fail if you do. The installation will need to reboot at least once.
After this command I added a postpone of 15 minutes and I hear you thinking 15 minutes that’s a life time.
I noticed and anyone installing Xendesktop 7.1 XenApp server (calling it XenApp for obvious reasons) will have noticed also that the installation calls many MSI’s, it’s pretty hard to determine what is happening at which time. I tried without a postpone but RES told me the installation is finished while actually in the backend XenDesktop was calling MSI after MSI only finishing the first initial MSI.
The screenshots below give you an impression on what XenDesktop is doing while installing, sometimes something pops-up but for a very long time you are watching a solid color screen.
It just takes some time, let it run.
Adding a bit of coffee time you ensure that the installation will succeed.
After a while, about 25-30 minutes the installation is done.
Can it be done faster when done by hand, sure it can but what is your point?
The reason you want to automate these deployments is that you want to make sure that every deployment of these servers is 100% the same so that you can rebuild your site from scratch.
When the project is running you can see the results and follow what is happening. In the screenshot below all the jobs did finish already so all is at 100%.