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POC Guide: Citrix Session Recording

  • Contributed By: Steve Beals Special Thanks To: Leon Feng

Overview

This Proof of Concept guide is designed to help you quickly set up and configure Citrix Session Recording and the Citrix Session Recording Service. At the end of this Proof of Concept guide, you can record and play back user sessions from both on-premises and Citrix Cloud.

Conceptual Architecture

poc-guides_session-recording_architecture.png

All Citrix Session Recording components reside in your secure resource location. The Session Recording agents are installed on either a single-session OS, multi-session OS, or Remote PC Access VDA. The Session Recording Server and the Session Recording Policy Console are installed on separate Windows servers. The Session Recording Player is installed on a workstation. The Session Recording Agent, policy console, player, and database communicate with the Recording Server. End-user devices with the Citrix Workspace app connect to the Citrix VDA, where the Session Recording Agent is installed.

Scope

In this Proof of Concept guide, you experience the role of a Citrix DaaS administrator and set up Citrix Session Recording within your on-premises Citrix DaaS resource location. You will optionally set up the Citrix Session Recording Service and connect your on-premises Session Recording servers to this service.

This guide showcases how to perform the following actions:

  1. Install the Session Recording administration components in your Resource Location.
  2. Install the Session Recording Agent on the VDA machine.
  3. Connect the Session Recording servers to the Session Recording Service.
  4. Create a Session Recording policy.
  5. Replay a recording with the on-premises and cloud-hosted Session Recording player.

Prerequisites

All Session Recording server components are installed on a single server for this proof-of-concept. For production environments, Citrix recommends that each component resides on separate servers. This proof of concept requires the following:

  1. An existing on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or Citrix DaaS Resource location.
  2. Download the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops v2209 Product ISO from citrix.com.
  3. Create one Windows 2019 Server within your Resource Location with Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Express Edition installed.
  4. Create one Windows VDA within your Resource Location. This VDA can either be a Windows Server or Desktop VDA.

Install Session Recording Components

The first step is to install all of the Citrix Session Recording components required on the Windows 2019 server you have created.

  1. Connect to the Windows 2019 server (for this POC, we connect via RDP)

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-rdp.png

  2. Mount Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Product ISO and run AutoSelect. Click Start for Virtual Apps and Desktops

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall.png

  3. Click Session Recording

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-2.png

  4. Accept the terms of the license agreement, then Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-3.png

  5. Select Session Recording Administration and Session Recording Player then Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-4.png

  6. Select all Features and Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-5.png

  7. Enter your SQLEXPRESS Instance Name, leave the Database Name to default, and click Test connection. Once the Test is confirmed, enter your Session Recording Server computer account name, then Click Next.

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-6.png

  8. Click Test connection Once the test passes, Click Next.

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-7.png

  9. Review the Summary screen, then Click Install

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-8.png

  10. The machine will require a restart after the prerequisites are installed. Select Close and allow the server to reboot.

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-9.png

  11. Once rebooted, connect back to the server. Session Recording continues to install.

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-10.png

  12. Once the Session Recording install completes, Click Finish

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-11.png

    The Session Recording server components are now installed.

Install Session Recording Agent

The next step is installing the Session Recording Agent on the Windows VDA used in this POC.

  1. Connect to your Windows VDA (for this POC, we connect via RDP).

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda1.png

  2. Mount Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Product ISO and run AutoSelect. Click Start for Virtual Apps and Desktops

  3. Click Session Recording

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-2.png

  4. Accept the terms of the license agreement, then Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_win-2019-srinstall-2.png

  5. Select Session Recording Agent, then Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda2.png

  6. Enter the Session Recording server name, change Protocol to HTTP, then Click Text Connection. Once the test completes, Click Next.

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda3.png

  7. Review the Summary page, then Click Install.

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda4.png

  8. The Session Recording Agent begins to install.

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda5.png

  9. Once the Session Recording Agent install has been completed, Click Finish.

    poc-guides_session-recording_vda6.png

The Session Recording Agent is now installed on your Windows VDA.

Add the Windows VDA to a new Machine Catalog and Delivery Group

Add the Windows VDA to a new Machine Catalog and Delivery Group within your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or Citrix DaaS console.

Connect Session Recording Server to Citrix Cloud (Optional)

The Session Recording service provides an advanced administration experience and simplifies deployment. It supports centralized management of server settings, policies, and playback. The Session Recording service facilitates administrative tasks by providing a unified entry point to manage and observe the Session Recording servers across your organization. The optional next step is connecting the Session Recording server that you created to the Session Recording service. Before beginning these steps, ensure that Ports 8088 and 9090-9094 are open outbound for the Session Recording Server.

  1. On your Session Recording Server, Log on to Citrix Cloud

    poc-guides_session-recording_service1.png

  2. Click Manage in the Citrix DaaS tile

    poc-guides_session-recording_service2.png

  3. Select Manage > Session Recording

    poc-guides_session-recording_service3.png

  4. Select Configuration > Server Management from the left navigation menu.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service4.png

  5. Select Create Site

    poc-guides_session-recording_service5.png

  6. Enter the Site name and optional Description, then Click Save.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service6.png

  7. Click the Server connection guide link to begin the process of adding your Session Recording Server to the service.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service7.png

  8. Download the Session Recording cloud client software. Click Download

    poc-guides_session-recording_service8.png

  9. To communicate with Citrix Cloud, you need to create a Secure Client for the Session Recording cloud. To configure this, open Identity and Access Management from the top left hamburger menu.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service9.png

  10. Select API Access

    poc-guides_session-recording_service10.png

  11. Copy your customer ID parameter to Notepad.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service11.png

  12. Enter a name in the Name your Secure Client input box, and Click Create Client

    poc-guides_session-recording_service12.png

  13. Copy both your ID and Secret and paste them to Notepad. Then Click Download, then Close.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service13.png

  14. The Session Recording POC Secure Client is now in your Secure Client list.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service14.png

  15. Open Command Prompt and run the following command: msiexec /i SRCloudClientService.msi CUSTOMERID="<Citrix Cloud customer ID>" CLIENTID="<secure client ID>" CLIENTSECRET="<secure client secret>" /qn+

  16. Once the Session Recording cloud client install completes, Click OK.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service15.png

  17. Return to Citrix Cloud Session Recording Service console, and Select Continue configuration.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service16.png

  18. Your Session Recording Server is connected to the Citrix Cloud Session Recording service.

    poc-guides_session-recording_service17.png

Configure and Enable Session Recording Policy

Once the Session Recording Server and Agent install are complete, you can now configure and enable the Session Recording policy.

Enable Session Recording on VDA

  1. On the Windows VDA, open Session Recording Agent Properties from the Start Menu.

    poc-guides_session-recording_agent-properties.png

  2. Select Enable session recording for this VDA machine, then Click Next. Choose Yes when prompted for a service restart.

    poc-guides_session-recording_agent-properties2.png

Configure Session Recording Server

  1. Connect to the Session Recording server via RDP

  2. Open Session Recording Server Properties from the Start Menu

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties1.png

  3. Click Add for File storage directories, then Click Browse.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties2.png

  4. Browse to C:/SessionRecordings, then Click OK.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties3.png

  5. Select OK

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties4.png

  6. Select OK

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties5.png

  7. Select Yes if prompted to restart the Citrix Session Recording Storage Manager service.

Configure Session Recording Policy

  1. Open the IIS Manager on the Session Recording Server. Once open, select Sites > Default Web Site > SessionRecordingBroker, then Open SSL Settings.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties7.png

  2. Clear Require SSL and Click Apply.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties7a.png

  3. Close ISS Manager, then restart the IIS server.

  4. Open the Session Recording Policy Console. Change Protocol to HTTP, then Select OK.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties6.png

  5. When the Session Recording Policy Console opens, on the left navigation menu, Right-click on Recording Policies and Select Add New Policy.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties8.png

  6. Right-click on the New Policy created and Select Add Rule

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties9.png

  7. Select Enable session recording with notification, and Click Next.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties10.png

  8. Click OK at the warning message.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties11.png

  9. Select Users or Groups, then Click Select Users or Groups in the Edit the rule criteria input box.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties12.png

  10. Click Add

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties13.png

  11. Type the name of the AD User or Group, Select Check Names, then Click OK. (For our example, we are using a test user account we have created.)

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties14.png

  12. Click OK

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties15.png

  13. Click Next

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties16.png

  14. Provide a name and description for the rule, ensure that Enable this rule is selected, then Click Finish.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties17.png

  15. Right-click on New Policy and Select Activate Policy.

    poc-guides_session-recording_server-properties18.png

Your Session Recording Policy is now active.

Launch a VDI Session

  1. Launch the Windows VDA session as the user that you have added to the Session Recording Policy. A prompt notifies the user that the session is recorded. Quickly open an application, then log off the session.

    poc-guides_session-recording_player6.gif

Playback Session Recording (Session Recording Server)

  1. Open Session Recording Player from the Start Menu.

    poc-guides_session-recording_player1.png

  2. On the Toolbar, select the timeframe dropdown and select In last 24 hours, then click the Binoculars icon. Find the recording of the session you just launched in the list. Select the recording file and right-click on the file and select Play.

    poc-guides_session-recording_player2.png

  3. Your recorded session will now play as seen below:

    poc-guides_session-recording_player3.gif

Playback Session Recording (Session Recording service)

  1. Log into Citrix Cloud and go to Session Recording Service Console. Select Recordings then All Recordings

    poc-guides_session-recording_player4.png

  2. Click the Play button on your new recording to play back your session.

    poc-guides_session-recording_player5.gif

Summary

This guide walked you through setting up a Citrix Session Recording Server and connecting it to the Citrix Session Recording Service. You learned how to create a Session Recording policy and playback your recorded sessions. To learn more about Citrix Session Recording and the Session Recording service, visit the following:

Citrix Session Recording

Citrix Session Recording Service


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