This post will cover a few things I learned about Citrix Virtual IP (VIP) and also how to set it up. Let me start with something that would have saved me a considerable amount of time had I found it clearly stated anywhere, including on Citrix eDocs.
If you want an application that transverses the network (specifically IE) to use the IP of the thin client Citrix VIP will not work. It makes sense that this wouldn’t work as it would mean that two devices on the network would then have the same IP. But when Citrix talks about “passing the Client IP address” with VIP it give you hope, and then ultimately disappoints.
Having covered that lets look at why you may want to enable Citrix Virtual IP:
- You have an application that cannot/will-not handle multiple connection from a single IP address.
- There are licensing requirements
- If you need to monitor network traffic by IP address
Citrix Virtual IP is designed to leverage a Microsoft capability within remote desktop services. You cannot enable Virtual IP without also enabling Microsofts IP virtualization.
How Citrix VIP/Microsoft IP virtualization works:
Microsofts IP virtualization creates a virtual NIC (with a randomized MAC) for each remote session, and then (and this is the key) uses DHCP to provide each session with its own IP address. It is possible to remove the requirement from DHCP and setup a range of IPs that will be used, guidance on setting up this type of deployment can be found here. Once this is setup along with a Citrix policy and some registry settings you can tell the entire desktop session or individual application like IE or any program for that matter, to use the VIP as the IP address when traffic is sent over the network.
Okay now that I got that out of the way let get to how you can enable and configure Citrix VIP:
- To begin on the application server open Remote Desktop Host Configuration from the start menu.
- When the window opens, under Edit settings double click on IP virtualization
- When the properties window opens you will need to check the Enable IP virtualization box and then select the network adapter to be used for IP virtualization. You can select either per session or per application. If you select per application you will then need to browse to the application you want to use IP virtualization
- Once this is configured you will need to open Citrix AppCenter and go to policies. Create a new policy and then enable the following settings under Virtual IP.
- Under the Virtual IP enhanced compatibility setting you will need to enable and under the Virtual IP compatibility program list you will need enable and identify the application you want to use VIP i.e iexplorer.exe *32.
- You will also need to use regedit to create two registry entries:
- Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1 (enable) or 0 (disable, which is the default)
Data: multiple executable names representing application processes that use client IP addresses **** note that for 32 bit IE you will need to user iexplorer.exe *32
- Once this is completed you will need to disconnect any active session and reconnect.
- To confirm that Citrix VIP is working correctly, after you have sessions connect run ipconfig /all on the application server and you will see multiple IP addresses for the network adapter you assigned in step 3.
- If you see 169.254 (or addresses this is because your application server is not pulling from DHCP. One reason for this could be that your application server needs to be on the same subnet as the DHCP server and have access to a scope within that subnet.
If you need more info check out these links: