introduction to Citrix Workspace Enviroment Manager–Part 1

So with the purchase of NorScale, Citrix again has enterede the UEM market. Now instead of going with RES or AppSense (Which is now at Landesk) they aimed for a product which is pretty small in comparison but I belive that this will makes it easier for Citrix to mold it into a product of their own. Now I’ve been eager to try it out for a while, but time has been quite limited over the last couple of months.

Now the product became available for download a couple of weeks back, still lacking quite alot on the documentation and information available but it has now been rebranded of their own. So what about the product, what does it do? It can alter the user enviroment, mapping drives, resources, printers, hide and lockdown the desktop, we can do this based upon different filters for instance LDAP OU, Groups and so on (ill come back to this part a bit later) so think of it as a more powerfull way to do Group Policy Preferences but without the limitations.
Another cool feature is the resource optimization part which allows us to save CPU / Memory.

The infrastructure components as of now are pretty simple deployment, we need to setup the solution to a license server or else you will get an error message(Like the one below)

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and also you need to correct license as well which is XenApp and XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum edition customers with active Software Maintenance.

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Now to get started there are a couple of things that need to be in place, before we start installing it.

1: License Server VPX – Version 11.14.0.1

2: Database server (SQL 2012 +)
3: Server to install the console and the infrastructure role (If you are testing this in a lab don’t install the DB part on the DDC! and not on a domain controller it won’t work properly)

So when you setup the SQL database server, use windows authentication. The Workspace Enviroment Manager download consists of three components, Agent, Console and Infrastructure components. It also contains some Group Policy setting which we will import later.

After installing the infrastructure role on a server you will get a couple of applications available to do the further setup (Administration Console is only after you install the admin console MSI)

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Start with Database Management

Then enter the information on the SQL server and name of the database to be created

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NOTE: If you are encountering any errors on the setup. Look into the Program files folder of NorScale, there is a log file, “Citrix WEM Database Management Utility log”

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On the final page you have a create database button, which would either give you a

Or if something fails you need to take a look at thelog file or in the SQL Server agent log. When the database is created we can go ahead and configure the broker service. Start the Broker Configuration options on the desktop

From there configure the licensing server

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Configure the service account

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Configure the Database settings

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Then lastly save the broker configuration

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If everything now is completly setup we now copy the ADMX templates and configure the group policy settings for the agents to connect to the broker. So the ADMX templates needs to be copied into the Central Store and PolicyDefinitions.

And this policy should only be created and applied for machine objects where we want the agent to be used.
Adding the ADMX policy will add a new Citrix policy settings for WorkSpace enviroment management. From there we need to configure the connection broker name and Agent post which it should communicate with. If you wish to alter the port number you need to configure the broker settings configuration again.

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If for some reason agents are not connecting to the broker server you can check registry under the following value. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\norscale\Agent host

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So the agent can be installed manually using the MSI downloaded or using silent install using the regular flags. After the agent is installed on a host and you’ve done gpupdate on it, it should start appearing inside the management console, under administration and agents

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Stay tuned for Part two of Workspace Enviroment Manager where we will take a closer look at defining actions, filters and assigments.

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About the Author: Marius Sandbu

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