Microsoft Teams On Citrix Vdi

Posted on  by admin

Chapter 4: The long-awaited optimization for Microsoft Teams on Windows Virtual Desktop – A/V Redirect. This morning I was wondering, when I saw multiple people post that the A/V Redirect feature will be available from today. They provided with a link from Microsoft, where to download this feature.

Citrix and VDI: Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) is an application delivery solution that enables access to Windows-based applications to any device compatible with Citrix Receiver.

  1. Microsoft Teams Leading Deployment Practises for Teams in Citrix VDI 1. Migrate Teams on VDI with chat and collaboration to Citrix with calling and meetings – 2.
  2. One of the biggest differences between Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop is cost. WVD was designed as a low-cost solution for smaller businesses. Windows Virtual Desktop. For 100 multi-session desktops with Office on WVD, Azure estimates a total monthly cost of $11,615.26 (see the official pricing page). This includes Office license costs.
  3. Citrix is the only VDI/virtualization partner certified for Microsoft Teams. Disclaimer: MS Teams is one of the fastest changing Office applications and currently is on a bi-weekly update schedule. This can make any recommendations obsolete without notice from Microsoft. At the time of this article creation Teams is on version 1.3.00.362.

VDI stands for virtual desktop infrastructure. A VDI desktop is a desktop running on a server in the datacenter that a user can access from virtually any device. To use VDI with Citrix, you need to purchase Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop). Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop) and VMware Horizon are two well-known solutions to implement and deploy virtual desktop infrastructures.

What is VDI?

VDI comprises host servers for desktop operating systems and application software residing inside guest virtual machines. The VMs are accessible from devices of any kind, e.g. desktops, tablets PCs, and mobile devices, within the network.

VdiVdi

Users connect to VMs, or their virtual desktops, using their preferred devices. Virtual desktops can be assigned to either a single user or multiple users:

  • Single-use desktops are configurable by their assigned users
  • Multiple-user desktops go back to their default configuration once a user completes their session

What makes the above possible is an abstraction layer known as a hypervisor, which allows guest VMs to be installed on a single server. It’s possible to scale the IT infrastructure up or down according to demand by adding more servers with more VMs. Hypervisors manage the VMs and broker the connections to the VMs.

What Are the Different Types of VDI?

While there is a standard definition of VDI, there are various methodologies to deliver virtual desktops, classified into three main categories:

Microsoft teams on citrix vdi
  • Desktop-Based VDI – A desktop running in a virtual machine that is hosted on a server in the datacenter.
  • Server-Based VDI – A desktop running in a server operating system that is available only for a single user at a time (Remote PC).
  • Session-Based VDI – An individual session running inside a server OS on either a virtual machine or a physical server.

What Are the Limitations for Citrix and VDI?

Deploying and maintaining VDI with Citrix is complicated due to different licenses offering different features. For example, to support desktop-based VDI and server-based VDI, organizations need to upgrade from Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop). In essence, even in its Platinum Edition, Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) does not support a full VDI.

How to Deploy VDI with Citrix

To deploy VDI with Citrix, organizations must consider what kind of VDI they need for their infrastructures (desktop, server, or session-based). They also need to be aware that publishing applications require either Citrix Virtual Apps or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop Enterprise/Platinum version.

Citrix’s VDI solution Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop works in small environments and large ones, but it’s geared toward the medium and big enterprise. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop is available in three versions.

1. Virtual Desktops Standard

This version provides only the basic Citrix virtualization technology, restricting the delivery options to VDI for both pooled and dedicated services on Windows 7 and Windows 10. However, the app lacks basic security configurations, including FIPS compliance, Common Criteria certification, SmartAccess, Intelligent session recording, and provisions for SSL VPN.

Login

In terms of productivity, the Virtual Desktop Standard does not provide optimized Skype and Microsoft Teams for business. Also, the app doesn’t allow for Citrix casting (transitioning applications and desktops from a mobile device to any display connected device in a Citrix Ready hub) and Workspace Environment Management.

2. Virtual Apps and Desktops Advanced

This version offers more virtualization features including, server-based hosted apps, server-based virtual desktops, VDI (for both pooled and dedicated services), Remote PC access, and VM hosted applications.

The main benefit of this version is the inclusion of extra features to boost employee’s productivity, such as optimized Skype and Microsoft Teams for businesses that are not available in Virtual Desktop Standard. However, it still lacks Citrix casting and Citrix SD-WAN for WAN optimization that could boost efficiency in an organization.

In terms of security, Virtual Apps and Desktop Advanced lacks standard security configurations including FIPS compliance, Common Criteria certification, SmartAccess, Intelligent session recording, and provisions for SSL VPN just like its Virtual Desktops Standard counterpart.

3. Virtual Apps & Desktops Premium

This version includes all VDI features, plus an enhanced version of Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) called XenApp Platinum. It also includes a couple of additional features such as seamless local applications, self-service password reset, and a UX network analysis.

Note: To deploy a fully-featured application and desktop delivery infrastructure with Citrix, you also need to purchase Citrix add-ons such as Citrix ADC (previously NetScaler).

Printing issues with Citrix Solutions

Printing is often a problematic area in Citrix. Among the pain points are:

  1. Slow printing: Citrix uses a virtual channel for printing. As a result, latency, packet loss, and lack of bandwidth may slow down printing across networks. Proper configuration with the use of the correct protocol and PCL6-based drivers may help address this issue.
  2. Not printing: Worse than slow printing are jobs that do not print at all. For example, while connected to a VPN, printing across a network may lead to jobs not being received on the other end. When this happens, check to see that your devices can connect to your printers, as network configuration may be the underlying cause.
  3. Printer misconfiguration: Citrix provides printer drivers for just about any possible printing scenario. However, if these drivers are not properly configured, users cannot utilize their advanced features, making them unsuitable for their needs. In this case, printer redirection may be needed.
  4. Printer is missing: Sometimes, connected printers may not appear at all when you try to use them for printing. When this happens, faulty policies and missing drivers may be to blame. The problem goes away when the correct policy is set, or the correct driver is installed.
  5. Printer stops working: When errors appear during printing or the printer stops working altogether, this can be traced to problems in either the Citrix and/or Microsoft printer services. Restarting the services on the session hosts often resolves the problem.

Parallels RAS Is an Ideal Citrix Alternative

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a cost-effective Citrix alternative that is easy to deploy and maintain. It delivers applications and desktops from RDS, VDI, Windows Virtual Desktop and Remote PC without feature limitations. In addition, it is available for a variety of deployments including on-premises, hybrid and the public cloud.

Microsoft Teams On Citrix Vdi Login

So, what are you waiting for? Download the Parallels RAS trial today!

References:

whitehatvirtual.com
wikipedia.org
redmondmag.com
techtarget.com
basvankaam.com
parallels.com/citrix-alternative/
parallels.com/vdi/

Good news, after a long time coming, Microsoft Teams calling and meetings (audio, video and sharing) are now available on VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) with Citrix.

Microsoft Teams chat and collaboration has been supported in VDI for a long time, and now with the Citrix platform, calling and meeting functionality are also supported.

Audio, video and sharing are handled via WebRTC on the Citrix platform. VDA-side HDX services use an API to interface with the Microsoft Teams hosted app to receive commands. These components open a control virtual channel (CTXMTOP) to the Citrix Workspace app-side media engine. The VDI endpoint decodes and renders the multimedia locally. The video/sharing is “snapped” to the local Microsoft Teams VDI client.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops requirements

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly known as XenApp and XenDesktop) provide AV optimization for Teams on VDI.

You can download the latest version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops here. (You’ll need to sign in first.)

The necessary components are bundled into the Citrix Workspace app (CWA) and Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) by default. You don’t need to install any additional components or plugins on CWA or the VDA.

Recommended version – Citrix Workspace app 1911 for Windows and Minimum version – Citrix Workspace app 1907 for Windows:

Microsoft Teams Requirements

The minimum version of the Teams desktop app that’s required is version 1.2.00.31357.

Some limitations/considerations

  • Windows Thin clients only, not Mac or Linux.
  • Only a single incoming video stream is supported in meetings or group calls. When multiple people send video, only the dominant speaker’s video is shown at any given time.
    • Update 3rd Feb 2021, 2×2 video now supported in preview details here: Microsoft Teams VDI 2×2 Gallery View Public Preview, Citrix and VMware – Tom Talks
  • Only one video stream OR screen share stream is supported. When there’s an incoming screen share, that screen share is shown instead of the remote user’s video.
  • Screen sharing from VDI is supported, but you must share the whole screen, sharing only specific application windows is not supported.
  • Give control and take control of screen sharing is not supported. Giving remote control of a PowerPoint is supported.
  • Incoming and outgoing video stream resolution is limited to 720p resolution.
  • With VDI per-machine installation, the Microsoft Teams client app isn’t automatically updated in the way that non-VDI Teams clients are. You have to update the VM image manually with the latest MSI on a regular basis.

These calling and meeting features are not supported:

Teams Citrix Vda

  • Enhanced emergency services
  • HID buttons and LED controls between the Teams app and devices
  • Background blur and effects
  • Broadcast/live events
  • Location-Based Routing (LBR)
  • Call park
  • Call queue

Microsoft is now working on adding these features.

Be sure to subscribe to my bi-weekly Microsoft Teams email update for the latest news at these features are added.

References/more information:

Microsoft Documentation: Microsoft Teams for Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure

Citrix: Optimization for Microsoft Teams

Citrix Hdx For Teams

Video Demo here