- Infrastructure Prerequisites
- Virtual Infrastructure
- Azure Tenant
- Cycloud Datastore
- Cycloud User
- Domains and domain membership
- Software Prerequisites
Prior to installing any Cycloud components it is necessary to ensure that the infrastructure and software prerequisites are present and configured correctly.
The infrastructure prerequisite components are relatively simple to setup as they consist of standard Microsoft products and technologies and are well documented.
The software prerequisites are also relatively simple to setup and can be installed automatically by using the Cycloud unified installer. This is the recommended method of installing Cycloud components. Documentation regarding the Cycloud unified installer can be found here. If for any reason the Cycloud unified installer cannot be used the software prerequisites can also be installed manually as explained in later in this document.
It is important to note that prior to using the Cycloud unified installer it is crucially important to ensure that infrastructure prerequisites are installed and configured.
Infrastructure prerequisites include the following.
- Virtual infrastructure
- Azure tenant
- Cycloud Datastore
- Cycloud user
The virtual infrastructure depends on whether a Microsoft or Citrix virtual infrastructure is to be used.
In the case of Microsoft, a fully functional Microsoft “Azure Virtual Desktop” environment is required. Setup and supporting documentation can be found here.
If Citrix is to be used then it is important to note that Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is require up to version 1912 LTSR. Later releases of this product is not supported due to Citrix’s withdrawal of specific functions required for the provisioning of machines in public cloud environments. Citrix Cloud products are also not supported from a Cycloud perspective.
Assistance with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops can be found here.
The location of Citrix virtual infrastructure components can be either located within the Azure tenant hosted on cloud instances or located outside of it however if the latter is implemented appropriate provision for communication to these components from the Azure tenant will be required.
Because Cycloud services rely on a number of objects created within Azure it is necessary to ensure that an Azure tenant is available for this purpose. Creating an Azure tenant is a simple process. This article explains the process.
Prerequisites for Individual Cycloud software component are automatically installed when installations are run from the Cycloud unified installer. This makes installations far simpler and less prone to errors.
Cycloud uses a Microsoft file share (Data Store) to store various configuration data and logging information as well as some of the Cycloud Controller and Agent logic. The Cycloud Data Store is an essential component of the Cycloud Provisioning solution.
It is necessary to create a file share (Cycloud Date Store Share) prior to running the Cycloud Product Installer. It is important that the Microsoft user account under which the Cycloud Product Installer is running (meaning the user account running the Cycloud Product installer) has read and write permissions to the share in order to create the file structure within the share.
It is important to note that Azure file shares are not supported at this time. With this in mind it is possible to use an Azure instance to host this service as long as it is available from both Cycloud Controllers and Agents. This usually means that the machine hosting the Cycloud Data Store (If an Azure instance) is located within the same virtual network as the Cycloud Controller and Agents or if the machine is on-premises it be contactable via the appropriate VPN technology from the Azure tenant hosting Cycloud Controllers and Agents.
Data Store Security
It is advised that a Microsoft group be created and given full permissions to the Cycloud Data Store Share so that any users that require access to the share can simply be added to the group. In order to provide the best security, the “Everyone” object (which is normally given access to any share by default) is removed.
It is suggested that the file share used for the Cycloud file share should also be hidden from public browsing by appending a $ to the share name. This is common practice in Microsoft environments when creating shares that are not providing user storage facilities. The screenshot below is an example of the suggested file share configuration. Note that the Cycloud Admin group has full access whereas the default “Everyone” object has been removed.
A single Microsoft user account is required for the Cycloud Provisioning solution although it is not required for the Product Installer however it is logical to create it at this point as it is going to be needed when the Cycloud Controller and Agent Services are installed. It is important to note that the Cycloud user should not be used for regular use as this user account should be dedicated for Cycloud processes.
The “Cycloud” user needs to be a member of the Domain Admin and Cycloud (Admins) groups in addition to the default Domain Users group.
The only requirement of the Cycloud user is that it should not have any forced password policies. This is because the Cycloud user account is used as a Service account specifically for Cycloud Services, so it is crucial that the password that is created does not expire. The complexity of the password is not important and can align with company policy if required.
It is important to note that Active Directory managed passwords are not supported.
Domains and domain membership
It is a requirement that the selected machine that is to run the Cycloud unified installer is domain joined to the domain that is hosting the Cycloud data store. This is a requirement to provide authentication to the Cycloud Datastore.
It is also possible to run the Cycloud unified installer on a Windows Domain Controller should this be a requirement.
Cycloud engineers have ensured that all software components can be automatically installed by using the Cycloud unified installer. Using the Cycloud unified installer assists in installing the necessary components and reduced time and complexity. The Cycloud unified installer is integrated within the Cycloud fully product which can be downloaded from the Cycloud download page using this link.
If it is not possible to use the Cycloud unified installer to install Cycloud software prerequisite components they can also be installed manually. This section explains how each of the software prerequisite components can be installed using utilities within the various supported operating systems or directly from PowerShell.
The following software prerequisites are required.
- .Net Framework 5.1 (Windows Server 2012R2 only).
- Azure Az PowerShell modules. (The Azure RM module is outdated and therefore not supported).
- Active Directory Domain Module for PowerShell (Subset of RSAT for Server operating systems)
- Additional optional features (Subset of RSAT for Windows 10)
Azure Az PowerShell Modules
Azure instances do not contain the Azure PowerShell support by default. As Cycloud leverages some Azure Az PowerShell Modules it is necessary to ensure they are available by installing them using a supported method.
Cycloud software has been fully tested with version 5.6.03 of the Azure Az modules. It is a common practice and a Microsoft recommendation that the latest version of the Azure Az modules be used however it is important to note that it maybe required to fail back to a supported version of these modules for support purposes.
Installing the Azure AZ PowerShell modules can be achieved in a number of ways explained by this article. Introducing the Azure Az PowerShell modules. It is recommended that the Azure Az PowerShell modules be installed as an MSI using the following procedure.
- Download the Azure PowerShell modules from this link.
- Install the MSI.
- Check in control panel that the Azure PowerShell package has been registered.
RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) Modules
Cycloud Agents and Controllers use information obtained from Microsoft Active Directory. In order for this to be possible it is necessary to install some RSAT modules. It is not necessary to install all RSAT modules and is a recommendation that only the modules outlined in this guild be installed.
The installation process of the RSAT software is different for Server and client operating systems.
Server Operating Systems
For Server operating systems it is necessary to install the Active Directory Domain Module for PowerShell feature which is a component of RSAT. This is installed by using Server Manager and opening the “Add Roles and Features” utility. This will allow the Active Directory Domain Module for PowerShell to be installed by completing the process by following the screenshots below.
The Active Directory Domain Module for PowerShell can be also be installed directly using PowerShell using the following command from an elevated PowerShell session. <Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-AD-PowerShell>.
Client Operating Systems (Windows 10)
The process for installing the RSAT modules on Windows 10 is slightly different from Server operating systems. It is necessary to install a number of “optional features” for RSAT. Installation can be achieved manually by using the “settings” interface in Windows 10 following the screenshots below.
The optional Windows 10 features required are as follows.
- RSAT: Server Manager
- RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Services Tools
The required RSAT optional features can also be installed directly from an elevated PowerShell session using the following commands.
The manual installation process can be completed opening ‘Settings’ from the start menu and by following the following screenshots.
On some early versions of Windows 10 (Earlier than Windows 10 1806) the RSAT tools were not built into the operating system and therefore not available as optional features. On such operating systems the RSAT tools need to be installed separately. Installing the RSAT tools using the standalone installer does not allow selection of the various RSAT components so the entire RSAT subsystem will be installed.
The RSAT software can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Centre which can be reached using this link Simply follow the installation instructions that comes with the download.
The following links maybe helpful regarding the standalone installation of the Remote Administration Tools for Windows 10.
Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10
Remote Server Administration Tools
Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent
If Cycloud Agents are to be used in a Citrix virtualisation solution then the Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) is required prior to installing the Cycloud Agent. This is because the VDA is the mechanism that allows the Cycloud Agent installer to enumerate the Citrix infrastructure and allow the user to select the various Citrix machine catalogues and delivery groups.
The VDA should be fully installed and configured (This is a link to Citrix’s official VDA installation page) however there are some special considerations in regard to the provisioning technology selected when installing the VDA which we will look at in detail. As Cycloud is a provisioning solution in its own right it is not necessary to use Citrix’s provisioning. When installing the VDA it is crucial that the “Enable Broker Connection to a Server” option is selected. This allows the Cycloud Agent to control the provisioning.
The only other crucial requirement is that a Citrix delivery controller(s) is /are added successfully as this ensures that the Cycloud Agent Installer can use enumerate the Citrix infrastructure as well as the Cycloud Agent when it is in production.
All other options selected during the installation of the VDA are optional and specific to the particular requirements of the administrator.
Citrix PowerShell Module
Along with the Citrix VDA it is also necessary to install the Citrix PowerShell module. This module is provided on the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop media and is usually named “Broker_PowerShellSnapIn_x64vx.xx.x.xx.msi”. A tested and supported version of this module is also available from this link. The installation process is a simple one and just requires acceptance of the Citrix licensing agreement. When installed it will be observable in control panel as in the screenshot below.
.Net Framework 5.1 (Windows Server 2012R2 only)
Windows 2012R2 is a supported operating system for use as a Cycloud Controller only however this operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft. It is recommended that Server 2016 or Server 2019 be used if possible.
If Server 2012R2 is to be used it is essential that the .Net Framework version is at 5.1 as a minimum requirement and as the Cycloud unified installer does not install .Net it is crucial that this is installed / updated manually. Often .Net is updated though scheduled Windows updates however this should be checked and updated manually if required as Cycloud relies on many components of .Net.
All .Net Framework distributions can be obtained from the Microsoft Download Centre which can be reached using this link Simply follow the installation instructions that comes with the download.