In this tutorial we look at creating a the Machine Catalog and Desktop Group components of XenDesktop. This will provide for the virtual machines that we offer to our clients to become their desktops.
First we install the Virtual Desktop Agents onto a Windows XP or Windows 7 machine. This should be domain joined and ready to roll out with the required software your users will need. Machine identity is managed by XenDesktop so sysprepping the master image in not required.
Installing the VDA is started by running the autoselect.exe at the root of the XenDesktop 5 DVD. Installing onto a workstation will only allow us to installed the VDA and the Server components are grayed-out. We have the choice of the Quick Deploy or the more normal Advanced Install. With the Advanced Install we can select how to detect the Desktop Delivery Controllers,
- Manually enter the DNS names
- Active Directory group
- Later with a Group Policy
The VDA will communicate to the Desktop delivery Controllers on port 80 and the clients on TCP ports 1494 and 2598 for session reliability; additionally port 3389 will need to be opened id desktop shadowing (remote control) will be used.
After the install we reboot the desktop and then shutdown. We can then use the shutdown machine to create the Machine Catalog. We return now to Desktop Studio and either from the Mahines node ot the Machine Creation wizard we create a new catalog. The Machine Catlog defines the type of virtual machine we will offer.
Here we will use the most common pooled catalog, whereby, many users can use the desktops, so they are pooled across the users we assign. Assignment is made through desktop groups. Having chosen the type we then choose the VM image to copy, this will be the master image that we installed the VDA onto before. We will copy this machine, or snapshot, to become the new master disk for the catalog.
As we stated before, the identity of the new virtual machines is maintained by XenDesktop so we will need to say in which OU to crate the new VMs and how to name them. The time taken to create the Catalog is really determined by how long it takes to duplicate the disk image.
The final ingredient is to create the Desktop Group. This will consume machine available from a given catalog and allow us to allocate desktops to users.
When we created the Proof of Concept system before with the Quick Deploy these elements were all created but as the system created them, not us as administrators they were less easy to comprehend.