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Demystifying Citrix Excalibur Architecture – via @kbaggerman

A great blog post by Kees Baggerman! 🙂

For all XenApp admins and consultants out there Project Avalon will bring a big change as we are used to having XenApp servers running on the (what seemed to be) everlasting Citrix Independent Management Architecture and we’re heading to Citrix FlexCast Management Architecture (already included in XenDesktop at this moment) and will be included in the Citrix Excalibur Architecture.

IMA

When looking up IMA in the eDocs you’ll find:

Independent Management Architecture (IMA) is the underlying architecture used in XenApp for configuring, monitoring, and operating all XenApp functions. The IMA data store stores all XenApp configurations.

Basically IMA exists to manage the XenApp or Presentation Server farms by enabling the communications between servers. As stated it transfers information about all XenApp functions like licenses, policies, sessions and server loads. All management tooling within these versions of Citrix’s PS/XA rely on this service for information.

According to Communication ports used by Citrix Technologies IMA uses the following ports:

Ports Source Prot. Comment
2512 Common Citrix Communication Ports TCP Independent Management Architecture (IMA)
2513 Access Gateway 5.0 Controller administration TCP IMA-based Communication

As we can see IMA uses 2512 (by default) to communicate with other servers and the Access Gateway Controller uses 2513 (by default) for IMA-based communication. The port IMA uses can be changed or queried via the commandline tool IMAPORT.

Brian Madden did a blogpost way back in 2007 but it’s definition of IMA is still current:

Independent Management Architecture is:

  • A data store, which is a database for storing MetaFrame XP server configuration information, such as published applications, total licenses, load balancing configuration, MetaFrame XP security rights, and printer configuration.
  • A protocol for transferring the ever-changing background information between MetaFrame XP servers, including server load, current users and connections, and licenses in use
FMA

With the introduction of XenDesktop we got a new architecture called Flexcast Management Architecture. This new architecture has got an agent-based setup where we can install the operating system including the basic applications that need to be installed and after that we can install an agent. This agent registers itself to a controller and is offered through StoreFront to the end user.

This will be delivered by two different types of agents, one to support Windows Server OS’s and one for Windows Desktop OS’s.

Andrew Wood did an article on Excalibur and used this diagram to explain the architecture:

Citrix FlexCast Management ArchitectureCitrix FlexCast Management Architecture

  • Receiver provides users with self-service access to published resources.
  • StoreFront authenticates users to site(s) hosting resources and manages stores of desktops and applications that users access – Web Interface as a platform is essentially resting, but it will cease to be.
  • Studio is a single management console that enables you to configure and manage your deployment, a dramatic reduction over the 23 consoles you could well have today. Studio provides various wizards to guide you through the process of setting up an environment, creating workloads to host applications and desktops, and assigning applications and desktops to users.
  • Delivery Controller distributes applications and desktops, manages user access, and optimizes…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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