Huraah! User Farm Mapping has finally been included within the GUI of the Citrix StoreFront 3.1 Tech Preview release.
This is a very welcome addition to those of us who have spent a long time digging round XML files and configuring things using notepad. In previous versions of StoreFront this has also meant that once configured within the web.conf XML file that the GUI locked out the ability to edit the delivery controllers.
Within Citrix StoreFront 3.1 Tech Preview basic user farm mapping and aggregation options have been made available through the GUI. Now obviously being a tech preview there is no certainty that it will make the final release or that it wont be expanded upon at GA making it even more useful. This post will walkthrough the basics of how to configure the GUI elements of UFM and also outline the things that I have noticed that are missing so far. so without further ado lets get configuring!
Configuring User Farm Mapping
Now when you open StoreFront the GUI looks a little different from before but if you’re an old hand at Web Interface the layout shouldn’t be too shocking!
What we need to do to configure user farm mapping is click the Manage Delivery Controllers option on the right hand side.
What you will now notice is a handy user mapping and multi-site configuration options, click Configure.
You will now see a couple of hyperlinks to choose from to either configure user farm mapping or the agregation. Click on the User Farm Mapping link first.
By default the everyone radio button will be selected so in order to configure groups click the Specific User Groups radio button and then Add. Now in my mind here is the first curious option, you can search by Active Directory Group (natch) but you also have the option to add manually by SID. It’s nice to have the option but I do wonder how much use the SID selection option will actually get within a GUI.
Enter an AD user Or Group name in the standard search box and click OK. Then click next on the StoreFront 3.1 GUI.
Manually specifying by SID’s (added for completeness of post)
Now click the Add button to begin adding controller groups.
You now have the chance to order the delivery controllers by preference with option 1 in the screen below. This will coincide with the aggregation options where upon if you have two aggregated farms both with Microsoft Word published for example the one at the top of this list will be displayed to the user unless the controllers are uncontactable. Once your happy with the order the mappings are in for the group click Create.
Now you are back at the initial User Farm Mapping configuration screen where you again can reorder the global mappings by preference 1 which affects what aggregated resources a user will see if there are multiple user farm mappings and the user is a member of several groups that span hit more than one user farm mapping configuration.
Configure aggregation groups
Configuring aggregation groups is extremely simple through the GUI although the logic to me of the configuration has changed. Within the traditional xml you gave an aggregation group a name which ensured that multiple farms where aggregated together however there is no option for this within the GUI. Instead you appear to apply a blanket aggregation and then use the user farm mapping global order to specify a kind of grouping structure.
To configure aggregation click the aggregate resources hyperlink.
Your controllers will move up to the Aggregated Resources section, if you’ve made a mistake at this point just select them again and click the do not aggregate button, otherwise click ok and your done!
Things that I’ve noticed so far is that there doesn’t seem to be a provision for specifically specifying a failover/loadbalanced mechanism for the delivery groups so to use this feature you will need to ensure that the order and the actual published applications do match exactly, and the addition of specifying the SID’s when binding groups to ufm’s is curious in my eyes but there we go I’m sure someone will use it.
As mentioned before adding this feature to the GUI is very welcome as messing about with XML can be tedious (or at least it is for me). I really hope this feature makes the GA of Citrix StoreFront 3.1.
Author: Dale Scriven
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