How To Series: Migrating CVAD On-Premises to Citrix Cloud

by Serdar Göksu, Sr. Solutions Architect

In this article, I will explain how to migrate an on-premises CVAD environment to a Citrix DaaS.

Why migrate on-premises CVAD to Citrix DaaS?

First of all, it may be necessary to answer the question “Why should a company migrate to Citrix Cloud environment?”

There are several reasons for a business to migrate to Citrix Cloud services on-premises. For instance, there may be an upcoming hardware replacement or the organization may want to reduce the administration cost. A company actually gives the access and control panel of the Citrix architecture under Citrix’s control by migrating to the Citrix Cloud environment. In this way, an IT administrator can much more easily manage Citrix and the components (SQL, etc.) connected to Citrix. Since not only management but also updating and upgrading processes are done under Citrix control, it reduces the administrative effort of IT administrators.

For a better understanding of the article, let’s go through an example. Let’s say we manage the IT system in a company with 10K users and our company operates in the food industry. (I may feel hungry while writing the article. 😊) The CTO or IT Director of the company asked us to plan the migration of the control panel of the on-premises CVAD environment to the Citrix Cloud. In such a case, how can we migrate a Citrix environment to the Cloud?

The architecture of an on-premises CVAD environment is as follows;

Citrix CVAD on-prem architecture

We will have a CVAD environment like the one below when the migration is complete. (We aim to create this architecture.)

Citrix DaaS architecture

Migration Methods:

1: Automatic

The IT Administrator migrates the CVAD structure to the Citrix DaaS environment with an automatic migration tool.

2: Manual

If the IT Administrator is not using the current LTSR versions, but the one before the previous CR version, it will migrate manually.

Citrix Cloud Connector

The Citrix Cloud Connector is a component that establishes a connection between Citrix Cloud and your resource locations. In this article, we will install two Cloud Connector machines.

System Requirements:
Each Cloud Connector requires of minimum of:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 4 GB memory
  • 20 GB disk space
  • Windows 2012 R2 and later
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later

Let’s start!

Login to with a username and password via a web browser. And click on the “Resource Locations” menu on the Citrix Cloud page.

Citrix menu

Download the “Cloud Connector” setup file to be able to connect our on-premises environment and the Citrix Cloud. Copy the setup file to the machines we will use as “Cloud Connector.”

Add citrix cloud connector

When we run the setup file, the tool will ask for your user information. Let’s enter the Citrix user information and start the installation.

Citrix cloud connector installer

After the installation process, when we see the connection successful message, it means the installation is complete.

Citrix cloud connector install
Citrix cloud connector success
Citrix cloud connector list

Once the Automated Configuration tool has been run, then the machines hosting resources (running VDAs) must be configured to register with the Cloud Connectors.

Citrix cloud connector CVAD directory

Manual catalogs don’t use either of the provisioning methods, AD Group Policy can be used to update the registry key.

We will start the migration process through the Delivery Controller machine in our on-premises environment.

Download the “Automated Configuration” tool from the link below and copy it to the Delivery Controller, then click on Install to start the installation.

Citrix CVAD configuration
Citrix Automated Configuration

After the installation is complete, you will see the command window opens automatically. Export the settings of your CVAD environment with the command ‘Export-CvadAcToFile -All’ on the cmd screen.

CVAD export settings

If the export process successfully completes, you will see the generated YAML files. We will make edits to these files.

Citrix YAML files

Go back to the Citrix Cloud web page and click on the ‘Identity and Access Management’ menu.

Citrix Cloud Identity and Access Management menu

For starting the migration process, we need to create an ‘API Key’ on the Cloud page. Click the ‘Create Client’ button in the ‘API Key’ section and create the key strings.

Citrix Cloud Create Client
Citrix Cloud ID Secret Key

Now, find the ‘Customer.yml’ file among the created files and write the keys we created here.

Citrix customer.yml file

Open the ‘CvadSecurity’ file and enter the Hypervisor information in your on-premises environment.

CVAD security file

After filling in the information, let’s go back to the command window. With the ‘Merge-CvadAcToSite -All’ command, we import our settings to the Citrix Cloud environment.

Citrix Cloud settings import

When we come to the Citrix DaaS page with the import process, we will see that all settings (applications, policies, etc.) are loaded.

Citrix DaaS Premium settings

Configurations have been successfully imported into the Citrix DaaS environment.

So, how will your users connect to your DaaS environment?

Will they connect via ‘Gateway Service’ in the Citrix Cloud environment? Or do you want to use the ‘Citrix Gateway’ in your on-premises environment? Let’s study these options separately.

If you want to use the Gateway Service in the Citrix Cloud environment:

Click the ‘Workspace Configuration’ menu on the Citrix Cloud homepage.

Citrix Workspace configuration menu

In the ‘Workspace URL’ section, you can determine which URL your users will access the system through.

Citrix Workspace configuration URL

Additionally, you should tick the ‘Gateway Service’ option in the ‘External Connectivity’ section.

In the Authentication tab, you can determine which authentication method your users will use to log into the system.

Citrix Workspace authentication tab

If you want to use an Internal Gateway:

You need to tick the ‘Traditional Gateway’ option in the ‘External Connectivity’ section, then you can perform the test with ‘Test STA’.

Citrix Gateway configure connectivity

You need to replace the STA information on the on-premises Citrix Gateway with the Cloud Connector FQDN you will use in your environment. You can type the Cloud Connector FQDN and Bind.

Citrix VPN Virtual Server binding

Now we will need to configure the Storefront machines as the last step. Open the Storefront console and edit the STA information using the Cloud Connector FQDN.

Citrix Storefront Authority

Let’s write the Cloud Connector FQDN in the ‘Manage Delivery Controller’ section.

Citrix Manage Delivery Controllers

That’s it! You can now activate your DaaS environment. I hope it was useful for you.

See more by Serdar Göksu here.

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