Provisioning XenApp and XenDesktop workloads in Azure!

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Citrix XenApp delivers a unique, hybrid cloud solution that gives organizations the freedom to deploy applications when and where they make the most sense to meet their security, performance, and availability requirements. In an ideal hybrid cloud solution, you should have a seamless extension of your private and public data center with desktop and application resources located both in the on premise data center as well as a public cloud like Azure.

  • Azure Account
  • Azure Subscription
  • Azure VNET incl. Subnet(s)
  • Azure VM as ‘Master image’ incl:
    • Your Applications
    • VDA 7.15
  • Already installed configured Citrix Delivery Controller
  • Citrix XenApp 7.15 installation media

Ok, Let’s Start!

Create Citrix Hosting connection:

In Citrix Studio go to ‘Hosting’ -> ‘Add Connection and Resources’


  • Microsoft Azure => ARM
  • Microsoft Azure Classic => ASM

Environment = ‘Azure Global’

Enter your Azure Subscription ID and a Connection name. Your Subscription ID can be found in the Portal or Azure CLI:

Azure CLI
Azure Portal

Then click on ‘Create new..’  This will create a new Azure Service Principal which will be granted permissions to create and manage Azure Resources.

Enter your Azure Credentials, and allow the creation of the Azure Service Principal.

You can check the Azure Service Principal in you Azure Portal. Go to ‘Azure Active Directory’ -> ‘App Registrations’. There you will find a ‘Citrix-xd-xxxxxxxx’ application registration.


There will be a green checkmark when the Azure Service Principal is succesfully created!

Select your Azure Region to use. In my case it is ‘West Europe’

Select your Azure VNET and Subnet and give it a name.


Create Citrix Machine Catalog:

In Citrix Studio go to -> Machine Catalogs -> Create Machine Catalog

Select ‘Server OS’

Select ‘Machines that are power managed’ and ‘Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)’

Find the Azure Storage account with the ‘Master Image’

Make sure your ‘Master Image’ VM is ‘Stopped (Deallocated)’!

For better performance choose a ‘Premium’ storage account type and Select your Licensing preference.

Select a VM size. For the demo i have selected a ‘Standard_DS11_v2_promo’

Select your ‘Write Back Cache’ preferences

Select the Network interface card (Which is already linked to your subnet). You can also add another interface card if desired.

Select a OU for het AD computer account(s) and assign a computer name schema.

Give the Machine Catalog a name.

And…. wait, wait, wait….

While you are waiting you can check the Azure Portal. The creation of a Machine Catalog will create:

  • A Storage account. See screenshot below
  • A NSG (which deny’s all traffic). this NSG is linked to the VM’s created (in preparation fase) to isolate it from the network and Active Directory. see screenshot below.
  • A VM for Preparation of the VM(‘s)
NSG ‘Deny ALL’
Storage Account and NSG

When the Preparation is done:

  • The VM’s will be created and linked to the prepared disks (VHD’s)
  • Network interface cards are created and linked to the VM’s





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