SAML Authentication with Azure AD as IdP and Citrix as SP

Since Citrix XenApp / XenDesktop 7.9 the Federated Authentication Service (FAS) is available. Via Citrix FAS it is possible to authenticate a user via SAML and thus connect Citrix as a service provider to existing identity providers, such as Azure-AD.

Sequence of SAML authentication

  1. The user browse the FQDN (e.g. of the Citrix Gateway vServer (Service Provider) to start his VA / VD resources
  2. The Citrix Gateway vServer directs the unauthenticated user directly to the Identity Provider (Azure-AD) to authenticate itself (saml: authnRequest)
  3. The Identity Provider points to its SingleSignOnService URL (e.g. and the user must authenticate
  4. The user enters his AD credentials and these are checked by the Identity Provider against the user database
  5. Upon successful verification in the user database, the IdP is informed
  6. The IdP issues a token (SAML assertion) and sends it to the Citrix Gateway (saml: response)
  7. Citrix Gateway checks the token (assertion signature) and extracts the UPN from the assertion token. This allows access via SSO to the VA / VD farm via FAS (The SP does not have access to the user’s credentials)
SAML Auth Azure AD & Citrix Gateway with FAS
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NVIDIA vGPU Licensing

Through various recent projects, I had to work through the clutter of information regarding NVIDIA vGPU licensing.

Here is a small summary of this information.

NVIDIA vGPU Architecture

Under the control of the NVIDIA GPU Virtual Manager, running in the hypervisor, the NVIDIA Physical GPU can operate multiple virtual GPU devices (vGPUs), that can be assigned directly to the Guest VM.

Diagram showing the high-level architecture of NVIDIA vGPU

The Guest VMs use the NVIDIA virtual vGPUs in the same way as a physical GPU would come from the hypervisor by direct passed through. The NVIDIA Driver loaded into the guest VM provides Direct GPU Access for high-performance operations. The NVIDIA Virtual GPU Manager paravirtualized interface performs the non-performance management operations for the NVIDIA Driver.

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What’s new in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1811

Delivery Groups: New Studio interface for creating machine restart schedules

In earlier releases, you used Studio to create a restart schedule for machines in a Delivery Group. To create multiple schedules, you used PowerShell cmdlets. Now, the updated Studio interface enables you to create and manage one or more restart schedules.

A schedule can affect either:

  • All of the machines in the group.
  • One or more (but not all) machines in the group. The machines are identified by a tag that you apply to the machine. This is called a tag restriction, because the tag restricts an action to only items (in this case, machines) that have the tag.
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Create a SQL Maintenance Plan for Citrix DB

SQL Maintenance Plan

The Maintenance Plan Wizard creates jobs for the Microsoft SQL Server Agent. This allows you to perform various database management tasks at specific intervals, e.g. Backups, database health checks or database statistic updates. This should be configured for all SQL databases, as this will prevent the transaction logs from becoming excessively large. Excessively large transaction logs can make the server inefficient and unstable.

Create a SQL Maintenance Plan for Citrix DB
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