Notes for Citrix XenDesktop 5 Administration Exam 1Y0-A19: Part 1/3 - General

Introduction: These notes were compiled while researching information pertinent to the 1Y0-A19 exam. These exam notes would normally get consigned to the recycle bin in the fullness of time, but in the hope that they may be useful to others who stumble across this blog, and to aid my recollection, they survive here. Cheers!

Setup, Configure, Administer

To demonstrate superior end user experience when planning a XenDesktop 5 Quick Deploy → consider first installing and configuring SQL Server 2008 R2 on the server that will run the controller.

Citrix best practice: recommended storage type to use when setting up a XenDesktop environment using XenServer = NFS

SQL Database Setups listed beginning with least amount of database downtime in the event of a failure →
Best: SQL Server Mirroring
2nd: VM based HA using Hypervisors and shared storage
3rd: SQL Server Clustering
Worst: Rebuild the database from backup

To update the image pool to include additional software for pooled desktops with the least amount of administrative effort → install the software on the master virtual machine, take a snapshot of the virtual machine, and assign the snapshot to the catalog

XenDesktop 5 Quick Deploy → all of the components must be installed on the same server

To remotely access a Controller to assign a dedicated desktop → install Desktop Studio on the server being used to access the Controller and point Desktop Studio to the appropriate controller

Configure XenApp Services site in order to allow users access to applications, virtual desktops and online content by clicking icons on their desktops or start menus.

For calculating the number of desktops that will be in standby mode → default buffer settings is 10% of 'number of desktops in desktop group' minus 'number of desktops currently being used'

To ensure desktops are added back into the idle pool → set behaviour 'when disconnected' after five minutes to suspend, under 'During peak hours'

To implement HDX MediaStream Flash redirection → Install Flash Player on the user device

Steps to share the master sites configuration →
i: Set up file sharing permission to allow access over the network to the configuration folder of the master site
ii: Change the setting of the configuration location parameter of the other sites to point to the absolute network path of the master site's configuration

For an administrator to create a catalog for existing machines, this requires →
i: Virtual machines available in the datacenter
ii: Active Directory computer accounts for the machines

Steps to create a desktop group with 2 desktops per user
i: Select the catalog from which the desktop group will be created
ii: Add the users to the desktop group
iii: Change number of desktops for each user to 2
iv: Select the help desk administrator who will manage the desktop group

Citrix recommends installing the 'Online plug-in' and 'Offline plug-in' on the master image for optimal application access

To reallocate an assigned virtual desktop a new employee → Find the appropriate desktop in the desktop group, click on 'Change user' and add the new employee

Desktop Director: to see number of end users connected → View the desktop group in the usage panel

Machine administrator can manage catalogs and build virtual desktops

Read-only administrator is the minimum permission necessary to allow monitoring of a XenDesktop environment

To enable logging for registration issues, modify →
i: WorkstationAgent.exe.config on the VDA and
ii: CdsController.exe.config on the Controller

Three Citrix services needed to be running on the Controller to create virtual machines using Machine Creation Services →
i: AD Identity
ii: Machine Identity
iii: Machine Creation

XDPing can resolve
i: Time difference between the Virtual Desktop Agent and the Controller
ii: The forward and reverse lookup on the DNS server of the Virtual Desktop Agent and Controller

If a Controller A is removed from a site → The VDA will re-query Active Directory and register with Controller B

To integrate a Web Interface with Access Gateway
i: Configure a web resource for the site in Access Gateway
ii: Assign the Web Interface site to an Access Gateway virtual server

To monitor data from Windows XP machines,
Windows Remote Management 2.0 is required to be installed

If the XenDesktop database goes down in a non-highly available SQL environment → existing connections to virtual desktops will continue to function until the user either logs off or disconnects from their virtual desktop; new connections cannot be established if the database server is unavailable.

Storage technologies that can be used with a XenDesktop environment using Hyper-V → Local Disks and Block Storage

To create a Microsoft Windows 7 template on XenServer for a XenDesktop environment →
i: Create a virtual machine
ii: Install Microsoft Windows 7 and join it to the domain
iii: Install the Virtual Desktop Agent
iv: Shut down the virtual machine and then convert it to a template

Use HTTPS instead of HTTP → Change the host details in Desktop Studio and replace the default SSL certificate on the host with one from a trusted certificate authority.

Recommend install Microsoft Outlook on the master image locally.

Three Active Directory environments supported in a XenDesktop implementation →
i: User accounts and computer accounts exist in domains in the same Active Directory forest
ii: User accounts exist in an Active Directory forest that is different from the Active Directory forest containing the computer accounts
iii: Computer accounts for Controllers exist in an Active Directory forest that is different from one or more additional Active Directory forests that contain the computer accounts of the virtual desktops


Time on the desktops is incorrect → Edit the desktop group and change the time zone in 'Edit user settings'

The Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) is not able to register with the Controller, to resolve the issue validate →
i: Errors are found within the Event Viewer of the VDA and the Controller
ii: The location of the Controller is specified correctly in the registry
iii: The forward and reverse lookup on the DNS server of the VDA and Controller
iv: Ensure the time is in sync between the VDA and the Controller
v: Confirm that the firewall is open for port 80 between the VDA and Controller

To troubleshoot an issue with DNS lookup between the Virtual Desktop Agent and the Controller, use the XDPing tool.

If end users CANNOT access their virtual desktops, monitor the unregistered Virtual Desktop Agent session state.

If not able to create virtual machines using the Machine Creation Services →
i: No Machine Creation Identity Services are running



  2. These notes are very helpful for my citrix exam preparation.

  3. Thank you for the comment citrix Services. I am pleased these notes are helpful. Cheers!

  4. This is a very good blog and will help you to pass the citrix XD5 exam very easily.

    Amal K
    Virtualization Expert

  5. Excellent Blog, however i feel there is one question answers is not quite right.

    Three Citrix services needed to be running on the Controller to create virtual machines using Machine Creation Services (should be)

    1. Host
    2. AD Identity
    3. Machine Creations


    Thank you

  6. Accept my apologies, your answers are right.
    I was not wrong as well because in whole host is also required, but MCS within Xendesktop requires.
    1. AD Identity Service
    2. Machine Identity Service
    3. Machine Creation Service


    Once again excellent blog.

  7. Thanks. Appreciate this.

  8. Hi

    what are your tyhoughts on the following question and the CTX article i have mentioned.

    When troubleshooting intermittent PXE boot timeout failures in a XenDesktop environment →

    ii: Disable TCP large Send Offload on both the server and target devices
    iii: Disable Spanning Tree on the Edge Ports Connected to boot the server and target devices


  9. I know that's expected answer as I've seen in in many places but could someone explain me how, on Earth, is VM based HA using Hypervisors SQL setup be supposed to result in less downtime than in clustered solutions? When a VM dies, for the monitoring to realise and to bring it up on another host we are talking at least 1 - 2 minutes. With clustering we are talking about 10-15 seconds.

    1. Hi Paul, you've got a good point. Would be nice to see what figures Citrix have recorded for a HA failover, and SQL cluster failover. In the meantime the following post from mssqltips explains downtime for SQL server clustering quite well for anyone who's reading. Cheers!

  10. Hi,

    This is awesome friend..Excellent info..So happy to found this man...keep going


  11. Isn't this wrong? with Quick deploy wouldn't you install SQL Server Express?

    To demonstrate superior end user experience when planning a XenDesktop 5 Quick Deploy → consider first installing and configuring SQL Server 2008 R2 on the server that will run the controller.


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