nFactor Authentication for NetScaler Gateway 11

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:18 pm

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Overview

nFactor lets you configure an unlimited number of authentication factors. You are no longer limited to just two factors. Each authentication factor performs the following tasks:

  • nFactor requests credentials from the user. These credentials can be anything supported by NetScaler including:
    • SAML
    • Certificate
    • oAuth
    • Kerberos
    • Forms-based authentication (traditional web-based logon page) for LDAP, RADIUS, etc.
      • Multiple passwords can be collected with one form.
      • Or prompt the user multiple times throughout the authentication chain.
      • The logon page can contain a domain drop-down.
  • nFactor evaluates the credentials. The results can be:
    • Authentication success
    • Authentication failure
    • Group extraction
    • Attribute extraction from SAML, Certificate, etc.
  • Based on the evaluation results, do one of the following:
    • Allow access
    • Use authentication evaluation results to select next factor
    • Deny access
  • Multiple factor evaluations can be chained together. The chosen next factor is based on the results of the prior factor. This can continue indefinitely. The next factor can do one of the following:
    • Prompt the user for more credentials
    • Evaluate the already entered next set of credentials
    • Use policy expression to select another next factor (no authentication). This is typically used with group extraction so that groups determine the next factor.

Here are some nFactor use cases, but the combinations are almost limitless:

  • Authentication method based on Active Directory group: Logon screen asks for user name only. Extract user’s groups from Active Directory. Based on user’s Active Directory groups, either ask user for certificate, or ask user for LDAP password. If LDAP, the username doesn’t need to be entered again.
  • Ask for Certificate first:
    • If certificate, perform LDAP
    • If no certificate, perform LDAP + RADIUS
  • Two-factor with passwords checked in specific order: Logon screen with two password fields. Check the first password. If the first password succeeds, then check the second password. This lets you check RADIUS before LDAP.

In NetScaler 11.0 build 62 and newer, you can configure nFactor on AAA authentication servers.

In NetScaler 11.0 build 66 and newer, you can configure nFactor in the AAA feature and bind it to NetScaler Gateway Virtual Servers. Thus NetScaler Enterprise Edition is required.

  • Note: nFactor works with browser clients, but it does not work with Receiver Self-Service (native Receiver).

nFactor configuration summary (detailed instructions below):

  • The first factor (Advanced Authentication Policy and Login Schema) is bound directly to a AAA Virtual Server.
  • Next factors are Authentication Policy Labels that are chained to Advanced Authentication Policies in prior factors.
  • Authentication Profile links AAA nFactor with NetScaler Gateway.

AAA Virtual Server

Create AAA Virtual Server

To use nFactor with NetScaler Gateway, you first configure it on a AAA Virtual Server. Then you later bind the AAA Virtual Server to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.

  1. If AAA feature is not already enabled, go to Security > AAA, right-click AAA and Enable Feature.
  2. Go to Security > AAA > Virtual Servers.
  3. On the right, click Add.
  4. Give the Virtual Server a name.
  5. If you are only using this AAA Virtual Server for NetScaler Gateway, then you can change the IP address Type to Non Addressable. It’s also possible to content switch to AAA.
  6. Enter an Authentication Domain and click OK.
  7. In the Certificates section, click where it says No Server Certificate.
  8. Click to select.
  9. Select a certificate for the AAA Virtual Server and click Select. Since this AAA Virtual Server is not directly addressable, the chosen certificate doesn’t matter.
  10. Click Bind.
  11. Click Continue.
  12. You probably don’t have any Advanced Authentication Policies yet so just click Continue.

AAA Portal Theme

If this AAA Virtual Server is used not just for NetScaler Gateway, but also for traffic management (Load Balancing, Content Switching), then you might want to change the AAA Portal theme.

  1. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Portal Themes and add a theme.
  2. After adjusting it as desired, at the top of the portal theme editing page, Click to Bind and View Configured Theme.
  3. Change the selection to Authentication.
  4. Use the Authentication Virtual Server Name drop-down to select the AAA Virtual Server and click Bind and Preview.

Client Certificate Authentication

If one of your authentication Factors is certificate, then you must perform some SSL configuration on the AAA Virtual Server:

  1. Go to Traffic Management > SSL > Certificates and install the root certificate for the issuer of the client certificates. Root certificates do not have a key file.
  2. Go to Security > AAA > Virtual Servers and edit an existing AAA Virtual Server.
  3. On the left, in the SSL Parameters section, click the pencil icon.
  4. Check the box next to Client Authentication.
  5. Make sure Client Certificate drop-down is set to Optional, and click OK.
  6. On the left, in the Certificates section, click where it says No CA Certificate.
  7. Click to select.
  8. Select the root certificate for the issuer of the client certificates and click Select.
  9. Click Bind.

Login Schema

Login Schema XML File

Login Schema is an XML file providing the structure of forms-based authentication logon pages.

nFactor implies multiple authentication Factors that are chained together. Each Factor can have different Login Schema pages/files. In some authentication scenarios, users could be presented with multiple logon screens.

Or you can have one Factor gather information that can be passed on to later Factors so that the later Factors don’t need to display another Login Schema. This is particularly useful for traditional two-password logon screens (LDAP + RADIUS) since each password is evaluated in a separate Factor:

  • The first password is evaluated in the first factor (e.g. LDAP). If successful, then proceed to the second factor.
  • The second factor (e.g. RADIUS) evaluates the second password. However, the second password has already been entered so there’s no need to ask the user for it again. To prevent a Login Schema from being shown to the user, select noschema (LSCHEMA_INT) in the Authentication Policy Label.

Several Login Schema .xml files are included with NetScaler under /nsconfig/loginschema/LoginSchema. You can easily duplicate and modify these files. You can also download login schemas from support.citrix.com.

After duplicating one of the existing .xml files, you can edit it as desired. You can change the labels. Or you can configure fields to pre-fill information from previous Factors as shown below:

The login schema can also contain a domain drop-down. See CTX201760 nFactor – Domain Drop-Down in First Factor then Different Policy Evaluations Based on Groups for a sample configuration.

Login Schema Profile

To configure a Login Schema Profile:

  1. Create or Edit a Login Schema .XML file based on your nFactor design.
  2. Go to Security > AAA > Login Schema.
  3. On the right, switch to the Profiles tab and click Add.
  4. In the Authentication Schema field, click the pencil icon.
  5. Click the LoginSchema folder to see the files in it.
  6. Select one of the files. You can see a preview on the right. The labels can be changed by editing the file under /nsconfig/loginschema/LoginSchema/.
  7. On the top right, click Select.
  8. Give the Login Schema a name.
  9. You typically need to use the entered credentials elsewhere. For example, you might need to use the username and one of the passwords to later Single Sign-on to StoreFront. Near the bottom of the Login Schema Profile, enter unique values for the indexes. These values can be between 1 and 16.
  10. You can also configure these values on your noschema profiles so that passwords received from a previous factor can be put into a different Index.
  11. Later you reference these index values in a Traffic Policy/Profile by using the expression HTTP.REQ.USER.ATTRIBUTE(#).
  12. Click Create.
  13. Note: if you later edit the Login Schema .xml file, the changes might not be reflected until you edit the Login Schema Profile and select the .xml file again

Login Schema Policy

Login Schemas can be bound directly to a AAA Virtual Server. If one of the Advanced Authentication policies bound directly to the AAA Virtual Server is forms-based, then bind the Login Schema directly to the AAA Virtual Server. If you are binding the Login Schema directly to a AAA Virtual Server, then you must first create a Login Schema Policy expression that is linked to the Login Schema Profile.

Or Login Schemas can be bound to an Authentication Policy Label (described later). If you are binding a Login Schema to an Authentication Policy Label, then there’s no need to create a Login Schema policy expression.

To create and bind a Login Schema Policy:

  1. On the left, go to Security > AAA > Login Schema.
  2. On the right, switch to the Policies tab and click Add.
  3. Use the Profile drop-down to select the Login Schema Profile you already created.
  4. Enter a Default Syntax expression in the Rule box and click Create.
  5. On the left, go to Security > AAA > Virtual Servers and edit an existing AAA Virtual Server.
  6. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Login Schemas.
  7. On the left, in the Login Schemas section, click where it says No Login Schemas.
  8. Click to select.
  9. Select the Login Schema policy and click Select. Only Login Schema Policies appear in this list. Login Schema Profiles (without a policy) do not appear.
  10. Click Bind.

Advanced Authentication Policies

Authentication policies are a combination of policy expression and policy action. If the expression is true, then evaluate the action.

The Action is always an authentication server (LDAP, RADIUS, etc.).

The policy expression can be either in classic syntax, or in the newer default syntax.

The policy type is either Basic or Advanced. Basic policies can only use classic syntax. Advanced policies only use the newer default syntax. Both types of policies use the same Actions (authentication servers).

nFactor requires Advanced Authentication Policies; Basic policies won’t work.

Create Advanced Authentication Policy

You will need Authentication Actions/Servers (e.g. LDAP, RADIUS, CERT, SAML, etc.)

When creating an Advanced Authentication Policy, there’s a plus icon that lets you create Authentication Actions/Servers.

Or you can create Authentication Actions prior to creating the Advanced Authentication Policy. The Authentication Actions are located under the Security > AAA > Policies > Basic Policies > <Action Type> node. On the right, switch to the Servers tab to create the Actions/Servers. Once the Actions are created, use the instructions below to create the Advanced Authentication Policy. There’s no need to create a Basic Authentication Policy.

To create an Advanced Authentication Policy:

  1. Go to Security > AAA > Authentication > Advanced Policies > Policy.
  2. On the right, click Add. You typically create at least one Authentication Policy for each Factor. When you create multiple Authentication Policies for one Factor, NetScaler checks each policy in priority order until one of them succeeds.
  3. Use the Action Type drop-down to select the Action Type (e.g. LDAP). The Action Type depends on your nFactor flow design.
  4. If you don’t currently have any Actions configured, of if you want to create a new one, click the plus icon next to the Action drop-down. The Actions/Servers are created in the normal fashion.
  5. In the Expression box, enter an expression using the Default Syntax. ns_true won’t work because that’s Classic syntax. There’s an Expression Editor link on the right. Or hit Ctrl+Space to see your options. true is a valid Default expression. Click Create when done.
  6. Create more Advanced Authentication Policies as needed for your nFactor design.

Bind Advanced Authentication Policy to AAA

Only the Advanced Authentication Policies for the first Factor are bound directly to the AAA Virtual Server. The Advanced Authentication Policies for the remaining Factors are bound to Authentication Policy Labels as detailed in the next section.

  1. Go to Security > AAA > Virtual Servers.
  2. Edit an existing AAA Virtual Server.
  3. On the left, in the Advanced Authentication Policies section, click where it says No Authentication Policy.
  4. Click to select.
  5. Select the Advanced Authentication Policy and click Select.
  6. The Select Next Factor field can optionally point to an Authentication Policy Label as detailed in the next section. The Next Factor is only evaluated if this Advanced Authentication Policy succeeds.
  7. If this Advanced Authentication Policy fails, then the Goto Expression determines what happens next. If it is set to NEXT, then the next Advanced Authentication Policy bound to this Factor is evaluated. If it is set to END, of if there are no more Advanced Authentication Policies bound to this Factor, then authentication is finished and marked as failed.
  8. Click Bind.

LDAP Group Extraction

Sometimes you only want to extract a user’s groups from Active Directory but have don’t actually want to authenticate with LDAP. These groups can then be used to select the next authentication Factor.

To configure an LDAP Action/Server for only group extraction:

  1. Make sure Authentication is unchecked.
  2. Make sure the Group Attribute and Sub Attribute Name are filled in.

Authentication Policy Label

When configuring the first Factor, you bind two objects to the AAA Virtual Server:

  • Login schema – for forms-based authentication
  • Advanced Authentication Policy

When binding the Advanced Authentication Policy to the AAA Virtual Server, there’s a field to Select Next Factor. If the Advanced Authentication Policy succeeds, then the Next Factor is evaluated.

The Next Factor is actually an Authentication Policy Label.

Authentication Policy Labels contain three objects:

  • Login Schema
  • Advanced Authentication Policies
  • Next Factor – the next Authentication Policy Label

Here’s the flow:

  1. User connects to AAA or NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.
  2. If forms-based authentication, the Login Schema bound to the AAA Virtual Server is displayed.
  3. Advanced Authentication Policies bound to the AAA Virtual Server are evaluated.
    1. If the Advanced Authentication Policy is successful, go to the configured Next Factor, which is an Authentication Policy Label.
      1. If Next Factor is not configured, then authentication is complete and successful.
    2. If the Advanced Authentication Policy fails, and if Goto Expression is Next, then evaluate the next bound Advanced Authentication Policy.
    3. If none of the Advanced Authentication Policies are successful, then authentication failed.
  4. If the Next Factor Authentication Policy Label has a Login Schema bound to it, display it to the user.
  5. Evaluate the Advanced Authentication Policies bound to the Next Factor Authentication Policy Label.
    1. If the Advanced Authentication Policy is successful, go to the configured Next Factor, which is an Authentication Policy Label.
      1. If Next Factor is not configured, then authentication is complete and successful.
    2. If the Advanced Authentication Policy fails, and if Goto Expression is Next, then evaluate the next bound Advanced Authentication Policy.
    3. If none of the Advanced Authentication Policies are successful, then authentication failed.
  6. Continue evaluating the Next Factor Authentication Policy Label until authentication succeeds or fails. You can chain together an unlimited number of Authentication Policy Labels.

If you are binding a Login Schema to an Authentication Policy Label, then you only need the Login Schema Profile. There’s no need to create a Login Schema Policy.

Not every Factor needs a Login Schema (logon page). It’s possible for a prior Factor to gather all of the credential information and simply pass it on to the next Factor. If you don’t need a Login Schema for a particular Authentication Policy Label, simply select LSCHEMA_INT, which is mapped to noschema. Or create a new Login Schema Profile based on noschema.

Create Authentication Policy Label

To create an Authentication Policy Label:

  1. Authentication Policy Labels are configured at Security > AAA > Policies > Authentication > Advanced Policies > PolicyLabel.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Policy Label a name.
  4. Select a Login Schema Profile. This can be one that is set to noschema if you don’t actually want to display anything to the user. Then click Continue.
  5. In the Policy Binding section, Click to select.
  6. Select an Advanced Authentication Policy that evaluates this Factor. Click Select.
  7. Use the Goto Expression drop-down to select NEXT or END. If you want to bind more Advanced Authentication Policies to this Factor, then select NEXT.
  8. In the Select Next Factor field, if you chain another Factor, Click to select and bind the next Authentication Policy Label (Next Factor).
  9. Or don’t select anything, and if this Advanced Authentication Policy succeeds, then authentication is successful and complete. This ends the chaining.
  10. Click Bind when done.
  11. You can click Add Binding to add more Advanced Authentication Policies to this Policy Label (Factor). Or you can bind Advanced Authentication Policies to the next Policy Label (Next Factor). Click Done.

Bind Authentication Policy Label

Once the Policy Label (Factor) is created, you bind it to an existing Advanced Authentication Policy binding. This is how you chain Factors together.

  1. Either edit an existing AAA Virtual Server that has an Advanced Authentication Policy already bound to it.
  2. Or edit a different Authentication Policy Label.
  3. On the left, in the Advanced Authentication Policies section, click the bindings.
  4. Right-click an existing binding and click Edit Binding.
  5. In the Select Next Factor field, Click to select.
  6. Select the Policy Label for the Next Factor and click Select.
  7. Click Bind.
  8. Click Done.

nFactor for NetScaler Gateway

AAA Authentication Profile

Authentication Profile lets you bind a AAA Virtual Server to NetScaler Gateway. This is what enables nFactor on NetScaler Gateway.

  1. Go to Security > AAA > Authentication Profile.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Authentication Profile a name.
  4. In the Authentication Host field, it wants a URL to redirect users to your AAA Virtual Server. If you do this configuration from the CLI then this field is optional. But in the GUI it is required. NetScaler Gateway does not need to redirect so it doesn’t matter what you enter here.
  5. In the Authentication Virtual Server field, Click to select.
  6. Select the AAA Virtual Server that has Login Schema, Advanced Authentication Policy, and Authentication Policy Labels configured. The AAA Virtual Server does not need an IP address. Click Select.
  7. Then click Create.
  8. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Virtual Servers.
  9. On the right, edit an existing Gateway Virtual Server.
  10. In the Basic Settings section, click the pencil icon.
  11. Click More.
  12. Use the Authentication Profile drop-down to select the Authentication Profile you just created.
  13. If one of your Factors is client certificates, then you’ll need to configure SSL Parameters and CA certificate as detailed in the next section.
  14. When you browse to your Gateway, you’ll see the nFactor authentication screens.

Gateway Client Certificate Authentication

If one of your authentication Factors is certificate, then you must perform some SSL configuration on the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server:

  1. Go to Traffic Management > SSL > Certificates and install the root certificate for the issuer of the client certificates. Certificate Authority certificates do not need key files.
  2. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Virtual Servers, and edit an existing NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server that is enabled for nFactor.
  3. On the left, in the SSL Parameters section, click the pencil icon.
  4. Check the box next to Client Authentication.
  5. Make sure Client Certificate drop-down is set to Optional, and click OK.
  6. On the left, in the Certificates section, click where it says No CA Certificate.
  7. Click to select.
  8. Select the root certificate for the issuer of the client certificates and click Select.
  9. Click Bind.

nFactor Single Sign-on to StoreFront

When performing Single Sign-on to StoreFront, nFactor defaults to using the last entered password. If LDAP is not the last entered password, then you need to create a Traffic Policy/Profile to override the default nFactor behavior.

  1. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Policies > Traffic.
  2. On the right, switch to the Traffic Profiles tab.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Give the Traffic Profile a name.
  5. In the Protocol section, select HTTP. Scroll down.
  6. In the SSO Expression fields, enter an HTTP.REQ.USER.ATTRIBUTE(#) expression that matches the indexes specified in the Login Schema.
  7. Click Create.
  8. On the right, switch to the Traffic Policies tab and click Add.
  9. Give the policy a name.
  10. Select the previously created Traffic Profile.
  11. Enter a classic expression (e.g. ns_true) and click Create.
  12. Edit an existing NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.

  13. Scroll down to the Policies section and click the plus icon.
  14. Select Traffic > Request and click Continue.
  15. Select the previously created Traffic Policy.

  16. Bind the Traffic Policy.

Sample Configurations

From Citrix Docs: Sample deployments using nFactor authentication:

  • Getting two passwords up-front, pass-through in next factor. Read
  • Group extraction followed by certificate or LDAP authentication, based on group membership. Read
  • SAML followed by LDAP or certificate authentication, based on attributes extracted during SAML.Read
  • SAML in first factor, followed by group extraction, and then LDAP or certificate authentication, based on groups extracted. Read
  • Prefilling user name from certificate. Read
  • Certificate authentication followed by group extraction for 401 enabled traffic management virtual servers. Read
  • Username and 2 passwords with group extraction in third factor.Read
  • Certificate fallback to LDAP in same cascade; one virtual server for both certificate and LDAP authentication. Read
  • LDAP in first factor and WebAuth in second factor.Read
  • Domain drop down in first factor, then different policy evaluations based on group.Read

Certificate auth: If Successful, LDAP only. If Failure, LDAP+RADIUS

This scenario is described in Citrix Blog Post Configuration Notes on nFactor

The authentication process flows like this:

  1. User connects to NetScaler Gateway.
  2. NetScaler Gateway asks user for certificate.
  3. If user selects a certificate, NetScaler Gateway compares certificate signature to the CA certificate that is bound to the NetScaler Gateway. If it doesn’t match, then user certificate is ignored.
  4. Bound to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server is an Authentication Profile, which links NetScaler Gateway to AAA nFactor.
  5. Certificate authentication: The lowest priority number authentication policy on the AAA Virtual Server is Certificate. If there’s a valid user certificate:
    1. Extract the user’s userPrincipalName from the certificate.
    2. Next Factor = policy label that displays a logon screen (Single-factor Login Schema)
    3. The username field is pre-populated with the userPrincipalName attribute extracted from the certificate.
    4. User is prompted to enter the LDAP password only.
    5. LDAP policy/server is configured to use userPrincipalName to login to LDAP.
    6. If successful, NetScaler Gateway authentication is complete. Next step is to Single Sign-on to StoreFront.
    7. If LDAP authentication fails, then NetScaler Gateway authentication fails, and the user is prompted to try LDAP-only authentication again.
  6. LDAP authentication: If certificate authentication fails, try next authentication policy bound to the AAA Virtual Server, which is a different LDAP Policy.
    1. Bound to the AAA Virtual Server is a Dual Factor Login Schema that asks for username, LDAP password, and RADIUS password.
    2. LDAP policy/server is configured to use sAMAccountName to login to LDAP. SAMAccountName means users don’t have to enter full userPrincipalName.
    3. If LDAP authentication is successful:
      1. Put username in Credential Index 1 and put password in Credential Index 2. These will later be used by a Traffic Policy to Single Sign-on to StoreFront.
      2. Proceed to next factor (Policy Label), which is RADIUS.
    4. If LDAP authentication fails, NetScaler Gateway login fails, and the user is prompted to try two-factor authentication again.
  7. RADIUS authentication: the second factor Policy Label is configured with Noschema. This means no additional logon form is displayed because the RADIUS password was already collected in the previous factor.
    1. When multiple passwords are collected, they are tried in order. The first password was used by the previous factor. The second password is tried by this factor (Policy Label).
    2. RADIUS policy/profile attempts authentication.
    3. If RADIUS authentication is successful, NetScaler Gateway authentication is complete. Next step is Single Sign-on to StoreFront.
    4. If RADIUS authentication fails, NetScaler Gateway login fails, and the user is prompted to try two-factor authentication again.
  8. Single Sign-on to StoreFront: NetScaler Gateway uses the last password collected by nFactor to Single Sign-on with StoreFront. If the last password is LDAP, then no additional configuration is needed. If the last password is not LDAP, then a Traffic Policy/Profile is needed.
    1. Bound to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server is a Traffic Policy.
    2. The Traffic Policy/Profile users Credential Index 1 for username and Credential Index 2 for Password. These are the same indexes configured in the Dual Factor Login Schema.

The order of configuration doesn’t match the authentication flow because some objects have to be created before others.

# Create Auth vServer, bind server cert, bind CA cert for client certificates
# Enable Optional client certificates
add authentication vserver nFactorAAA SSL 0.0.0.0 443 -AuthenticationDomain corp.com
bind ssl vserver nFactorAAA -certkeyName WildCorpCom
bind ssl vserver nFactorAAA -certkeyName CorpRoot -CA -ocspCheck Optional
set ssl vserver nFactorAAA -clientAuth ENABLED -clientCert Optional -ssl3 DISABLED

# Create auth policy for LDAP-UPN
add authentication ldapAction Corp-UserPrincipalName -serverIP 10.2.2.220 -serverPort 636 -ldapBase "dc=corp,dc=local" -ldapBindDn "corp\\ctxsvc" -ldapBindDnPassword "MyPassword" -ldapLoginName userPrincipalName -groupAttrName memberOf -subAttributeName CN -secType SSL -passwdChange ENABLED
add authentication Policy Corp-UserPrincipalName -rule true -action Corp-UserPrincipalName

# Create PolicyLabel LDAPPasswordOnly with Single-factor Login Schema
add authentication loginSchema SingleAuth -authenticationSchema "/nsconfig/loginschema/LoginSchema/SingleAuth-Corp.xml"
add authentication policylabel LDAPPasswordOnly -loginSchema SingleAuth
bind authentication policylabel LDAPPasswordOnly -policyName Corp-UserPrincipalName -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression NEXT

# Create Cert policy and bind to AAA vServer with LDAPPasswordOnly PolicyLabel as Next Factor
# Cert policy must have lower priority number than LDAP-SAM policy
add authentication certAction Cert_Auth_Profile -userNameField SubjectAltName:PrincipalName
add authentication Policy Cert_Auth_Policy -rule true -action Cert_Auth_Profile
bind authentication vserver nFactorAAA -policy Cert_Auth_Policy -priority 100 -nextFactor LDAPPasswordOnly -gotoPriorityExpression NEXT

# Create LDAP-SAM Auth Policy
add authentication ldapAction Corp-Gateway -serverIP 10.2.2.220 -serverPort 636 -ldapBase "dc=corp,dc=local" -ldapBindDn "corp\\ctxsvc" -ldapBindDnPassword "MyPassword" -ldapLoginName samaccountname -groupAttrName memberOf -subAttributeName CN -secType SSL -passwdChange ENABLED
add authentication Policy Corp-SAMAccountName -rule true -action Corp-Gateway

# Create RADIUS Auth Policy
add authentication radiusAction RADIUS-Action -serverIP 10.2.2.42 -serverPort 1812 -radKey MyKey
add authentication Policy RADIUS-Policy -rule true -action RADIUS-Action

# Create Dual-factor Login Schema and bind directly to AAA vServer
# This Login Schema is only shown if Cert auth fails
add authentication loginSchema DualAuth -authenticationSchema "/nsconfig/loginschema/LoginSchema/DualAuth.xml" -userCredentialIndex 1 -passwordCredentialIndex 2
add authentication loginSchemaPolicy DualAuth -rule true -action DualAuth
bind authentication vserver nFactorAAA -policy DualAuth -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression END

# Create RADIUS Policy Label with noschema and RADIUS Auth Policy
add authentication loginSchema Noschema -authenticationSchema noschema
add authentication policylabel NoSchema-RADIUS -loginSchema Noschema
bind authentication policylabel NoSchema-RADIUS -policyName RADIUS-Policy -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression NEXT

# Bind LDAP-SAM Auth Policy to AAA vServer with RADIUS as next factor
# LDAP-SAM Auth Policy must have higher priority number than Cert Policy
bind authentication vserver nFactorAAA -policy Corp-SAMAccountName -priority 110 -nextFactor NoSchema-RADIUS -gotoPriorityExpression NEXT

# Create Authentication Profile to link AAA with Gateway. Bind to Gateway.
add authentication authnProfile nFactor -authnVsName nFactorAAA -AuthenticationHost aaa.corp.com
add vpn vserver gateway.corp.com SSL 10.2.2.220 443 -icaOnly ON -dtls ON -Listenpolicy NONE -tcpProfileName nstcp_default_XA_XD_profile -appflowLog ENABLED -authnProfile nFactor

# Enable Optional Client certs on Gateway
set ssl vserver gateway.corp.com -clientAuth ENABLED -clientCert Optional -ssl3 DISABLED
bind ssl vserver gateway.corp.com -certkeyName CorpRoot -CA -ocspCheck Optional

# Create Traffic Policy to SSON to StoreFront. Bind to Gateway.
add vpn trafficAction nFactorSSO http -kcdAccount NONE -userExpression "http.req.user.attribute(1)" -passwdExpression "http.req.user.attribute(2)"
add vpn trafficPolicy nFactorSSO ns_true nFactorSSO
bind vpn vserver gateway.corp.com -policy nFactorSSO -priority 100

Citrix Federated Authentication Service (SAML) 7.15

Last Modified: Sep 18, 2017 @ 6:55 am

Navigation

This article applies to Federated Authentication Services versions 7.15, 7.14, 7.13, 7.12, 7.11, and 7.9.

Overview

Citrix Federated Authentication Service enables users to login to NetScaler Gateway and StoreFront using SAML authentication.

Citrix Federated Authentication Service uses Microsoft Certificate Authority to issue certificates on behalf of users. These certificates are used for the StoreFront and Virtual Delivery Agent logon process.

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Certificate Authority in Enterprise mode
  • XenApp/XenDesktop 7.9 or newer
  • StoreFront 3.6 or newer
  • NetScaler Gateway. Note: StoreFront 3.9 and newer also supports SAML authentication natively without NetScaler.
  • Receiver for Web only.
  • Receiver Self-Service for Windows 4.6 and newer supports SAML auth when connecting to StoreFront native SAML without NetScaler.

From Citrix CTX225721 Federated Authentication Service High Availability and Scalability: you can build multiple FAS servers. Enter all FAS server FQDNs in the Group Policy. StoreFront will then use a hashing algorithm on the username to select a FAS server.

  1. If you have less than 10K users, one FAS server with 4 vCPUs (2.5Ghz) should be sufficient.
  2. You will require a minimum of one FAS server (with 8 vCPUs) per 25,000 users if all users expect to be able to logon under cold start conditions (no keys or certificates cached) within 60-90 minutes.
  3. A single FAS server can handle greater than 50K users under warm start conditions (keys and certificates pre-cached)
  4. One reserve FAS server for every four FAS servers for “Day 1” cold start (Users get new keys/certificates) & disaster recovery scenarios
  5. Split the FAS Certificate Authority from Certificate Authority that performs other tasks for both security and scalability purposes.

Also see the Citrix Federated Authentication Service Scalability whitepaper.  💡

Install Service

The service should be installed on a secure, standalone server that does not have any other Citrix components installed. The FAS server stores user authentication keys and thus security is paramount.

  1. On the Federated Authentication Service server, go to the XenDesktop 7.9 or newer ISO, and run AutoSelect.exe.
  2. In XenDesktop 7.13 and newer, in the lower half of the window, click Federated Authentication Service.
  3. Or in XenDesktop 7.9 through 7.12, on the bottom right, click Federated Authentication Service.
  4. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms of the license agreement, and click Next.
  5. In the Core Components page, click Next.
  6. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  7. In the Summary page, click Install.
  8. In the Finish Installation page, click Finish.

FAS Group Policy

  1. On the Federated Authentication Service server, browse to C:\Program Files\Citrix\Federated Authentication Service\PolicyDefinitions. Copy the files and folder.
  2. Go to \\domain.com\SYSVOL\domain.com\Policies\PolicyDefinitions and paste the files and folder. If PolicyDefinitions doesn’t exist in SYSVOL, then copy them to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions instead.
  3. Edit a GPO that applies to all StoreFront servers, all Federated Authentication Service servers, and all VDAs.
  4. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Citrix Components > Authentication.
  5. Edit the setting Federated Authentication Service.
  6. Enable the setting and click Show.
  7. Enter the FQDN of the Federated Authentication Service server. You can add more than one Federated Authentication Service server.
  8. Click OK twice.
  9. On the Federated Authentication Service server, and VDAs, run gpupdate.
  10. On the FAS server, and on VDAs, look in the registry at HKLM\Software\Policies\Citrix\Authentication\UserCredentialService\Addresses. Make sure this key and value exists. The number one cause why FAS doesn’t work is because this key is missing from VDAs. The FAS Address GPO must apply to VDAs too.  💡
  11. If the VDAs and Users are in different domains, see CTX220497 Users from one AD Domain not able to get FAS user certificates from another trusted domain: add the Citrix StoreFront Servers, FAS server and VDA servers from domain B to the Windows Authorization Access Group on Domain B.
  12. By default, the VDAs will verify the certificates aren’t revoked by downloading the Certificate Revocation List. You can disable this by configuring HKEY_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\LSA\Kerberos\Parameters\UseCachedCRLOnlyAndIgnoreRevocationUnknownErrors (DWORD) = 1 as detailed at CTX217150 Unable to login using the FAS Authentication – Getting Stuck on Please wait for local session manager.

FAS Configuration

  1. From the Start Menu, run Citrix Federated Authentication Service as administrator. Make sure you run it elevated.
  2. The Federated Authentication Service FQDN should already be in the list (from group policy). Click OK.
  3. In Step 1: Deploy certificate templates, click Start.
  4. Click OK to add certificate templates to Active Directory. Sufficient permission is required.
  5. In Step 2: Setup Certificate Authority, click Start.
  6. Select a Certificate Authority to issue the certificates, and click Ok.
  7. In Step 3: Authorize this Service, click Start.
  8. Step 3 automatically submits an online request for the Registration Authority certificate to the CA and stores the non-exportable private key in the standard Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider. Alternatively, you can submit the certificate request manually, and store the private key in TPM or HSM as detailed at Federated Authentication Service private key protection at Citrix Docs. When running New-FasAuthorizationCertificateRequest, the -UseTPM switch is optional.
  9. Select the issuing Certificate Authority, and click OK.
  10. Step 3 is now yellow.
  11. Go to the Certificate Authority Console > Pending Requests. Find the pending request and Issue it.
  12. In a minute or two, Federated Authentication Service will recognize the issued certificate and Step 3 will turn green. If it doesn’t turn green, then there might be a private hotfix. See David Lloyd at Citrix Discussions.
  13. Another user at XenDesktop 7.9 FAS at Citrix Discussions had to bump up the Validity Period of the Citrix_RegistrationAuthority_ManualAuthorization template to 2 days before it would authorize.
  14. After authorization, switch to the User Rules tab.
  15. Use the Certificate Authority drop-down to select the issuing Certificate Authority.
  16. Use the Certificate Template drop-down to select the Citrix_SmartcardLogon template.
  17. Click Edit next to List of StoreFront servers that can use this rule.
  18. Remove Domain Computers from the top half and instead add your StoreFront servers. You could add an Active Directory security group instead of individual StoreFront servers.
  19. On the bottom half, make sure Assert Identity is Allowed. Click OK.
  20. By default, all users and all VDAs are allowed. You can click the other two Edit boxes to change this.
  21. When done, click Apply.
  22. Click OK when Rule updated successfully.
  23. To further restrict who can be issued certificates, go to your Certificate Authority’s Properties, and use the Enrollment Agents tab to restrict enrollment agents.

StoreFront Configuration

  1. On the StoreFront 3.6 or newer server, run the following elevated PowerShell command:
    & "$Env:PROGRAMFILES\Citrix\Receiver StoreFront\Scripts\ImportModules.ps1"
  2. Run the following commands. Adjust the store name as required.
    $StoreVirtualPath = "/Citrix/Store"
    $store = Get-STFStoreService -VirtualPath $StoreVirtualPath
    $auth = Get-STFAuthenticationService -StoreService $store
    Set-STFClaimsFactoryNames -AuthenticationService $auth -ClaimsFactoryName "FASClaimsFactory"
    Set-STFStoreLaunchOptions -StoreService $store -VdaLogonDataProvider "FASLogonDataProvider"
  3. If you have multiple StoreFront servers, Propagate Changes.
  4. On a XenDesktop Delivery Controller, run the following commands:
    asnp citrix.*
    Set-BrokerSite -TrustRequestsSentToTheXmlServicePort $true

If you ever need to disable FAS on StoreFront, run the following commands. Adjust the store name as required.

$StoreVirtualPath = "/Citrix/Store"
$store = Get-STFStoreService -VirtualPath $StoreVirtualPath
$auth = Get-STFAuthenticationService -StoreService $store
Set-STFClaimsFactoryNames -AuthenticationService $auth -ClaimsFactoryName "standardClaimsFactory"
Set-STFStoreLaunchOptions -StoreService $store -VdaLogonDataProvider ""

NetScaler Gateway Config

SAML on NetScaler Gateway 11.1

If NetScaler 11.0, see SAML on NetScaler Gateway 11.0.

ADFS-specific Links:

Configure the SAML iDP:

  1. In your SAML iDP, create a Relying Party Trust (aka service provider trust).
  2. NetScaler doesn’t have a SAML metadata service, but you can create a metadata file manually by following the instructions at Citrix CTX133919 How to Configure NetScaler SAML to Work with Microsoft AD FS 2.0 IDP.
  3. Otherwise, select the option to enter relying party data manually.
  4. For the Assertion Consumer Service URL (aka relying party service URL), enter the URL to your NetScaler Gateway with /cgi/samlauth appended to the end (e.g. https://gateway.corp.com/cgi/samlauth)
  5. Enter a Relying party trust identifier. You must specify the same identifier (Issuer Name) on the NetScaler as detailed soon.
  6. Configure the SAML iDP to send email address or User-Principal-name as Name ID. NetScaler receives the Name ID and sends it to StoreFront. StoreFront will look in Active Directory for an account with userPrincipalName that matches the Name ID.
  7. NetScaler will sign the authentication requests it sends to the iDP. On the NetScaler, you will soon configure the NetScaler signing certificate with private key that signs the requests. In your SAML iDP, import the same NetScaler signing certificate but without private key.
  8. Copy the SAML authentication URL (aka Token Issuance URL) from your SAML iDP. You’ll need to enter this same URL on your NetScaler later.
  9. Export the iDP Token-signing certificate from your SAML iDP. The iDP could be ADFS, Okta, Ping, etc.

Configure the NetScaler:

  1. On NetScaler, import the iDP SAML token-signing certificate (without private key) under Traffic Management > SSL > Certificates > CA Certificates. NetScaler uses this certificate to verify the signature of the SAML assertion from the iDP.

  2. Import or create a NetScaler SAML signing certificate with private key for signing of SAML authentication requests to the iDP. This can be the same certificate used on NetScaler Gateway. Or a more common practice is to create a self-signed certificate.
  3. You’ll also need to import this NetScaler SAML signing certificate (without private key) to your SAML iDP so it can verify the SAML authentication request signature from the NetScaler.
  4. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Policies > Authentication > SAML.
  5. On the right, switch to the Servers tab, and click Add.
  6. Enter the information for authenticating with your SAML iDP. This configuration will vary depending on your SAML iDP.
  7. For iDP Certificate Name, select the SAML iDP’s certificate that was exported from the SAML iDP and imported to NetScaler. NetScaler will use this iDP certificate to verify SAML assertions from the iDP.
  8. For Redirect URL, enter the URL to the SAML iDP’s authentication page. NetScaler Gateway will redirect users to this URL. For ADFS, enter your ADFS URL appended with /adfs/ls (e.g. https://adfs.corp.com/adfs/ls). For other iDPs, get the URL from your iDP.
  9. For Signing Certificate Name, select the NetScaler certificate (with private key) that NetScaler will use to sign authentication requests to the iDP. This same certificate (without private key) must be imported to the iDP, so the iDP can verify the authentication request signature.
  10. Enter an Issuer Name that the SAML iDP is expecting for the Relying Party.  This Issuer Name must match the name you configured on the iDP’s Relying Party (Service Provider) Trust.
  11. Click More.
  12. NetScaler defaults to SHA1. You might have to change the Signature Algorithm and Digest Method to SHA256.
  13. Review the other settings as needed by your iDP. Click Create when done.
  14. On the right, switch to the Policies tab, and click Add.
  15. Give the policy a name, select the SAML Server, and enter ns_true for the expression. Click Create.
  16. If you haven’t created your Session Polices yet, then see http://www.carlstalhood.com/session-policies-for-storefront-netscaler-11-1/.
  17. Edit your Session Policy/Profile. On the Published Applications tab, make sure Single Sign-on Domain is not configured.
  18. If you haven’t created your Gateway Virtual Server yet, then see http://www.carlstalhood.com/netscaler-gateway-11-1-virtual-server/.
  19. Edit your Gateway Virtual Server. Go to the Basic Authentication section, and add a policy.
  20. Bind the SAML policy. This is the only authentication policy you need. You can remove all other authentication policies.

  21. Next step: configure StoreFront for SAML NetScaler Gateway.

SAML on NetScaler Gateway 11.0

If NetScaler 11.1, see SAML on NetScaler Gateway 11.1.

ADFS-specific Links:

Configure the SAML iDP:

  1. In your SAML iDP, create a Relying Party Trust (aka service provider trust).
  2. NetScaler doesn’t have a SAML metadata service, but you can create a metadata file manually by following the instructions at Citrix CTX133919 How to Configure NetScaler SAML to Work with Microsoft AD FS 2.0 IDP.
  3. Otherwise, select the option to enter relying party data manually.
  4. For the Assertion Consumer Service URL (aka relying party service URL), enter the URL to your NetScaler Gateway with /cgi/samlauth appended to the end (e.g. https://gateway.corp.com/cgi/samlauth)
  5. Enter a Relying party trust identifier. You must specify the same identifier (Issuer Name) on the NetScaler as detailed soon.
  6. Configure the SAML iDP to send email address or User-Principal-name as Name ID. NetScaler receives the Name ID and sends it to StoreFront. StoreFront will look in Active Directory for an account with userPrincipalName that matches the Name ID.
  7. NetScaler will sign the authentication requests it sends to the iDP. On the NetScaler, you will soon configure the NetScaler signing certificate with private key that signs the requests. In your SAML iDP, import the same NetScaler signing certificate but without private key.
  8. Copy the SAML authentication URL (aka Token Issuance URL) from your SAML iDP. You’ll need to enter this same URL on your NetScaler later.
  9. Export the signing certificate from your SAML iDP. The iDP could be ADFS, Okta, Ping, etc.

Configure the NetScaler:

  1. On NetScaler, import the iDP SAML signing certificate (without private key). NetScaler uses this certificate to verify SAML assertions from the iDP.

  2. Import or create a NetScaler SAML signing certificate with private key for signing of SAML authentication requests to the iDP. This can be the same certificate used on NetScaler Gateway. Or a more common practice is to create a self-signed certificate.
  3. You’ll also need to import this NetScaler SAML signing certificate (without private key) to your SAML iDP so it can verify the SAML authentication request signature from the NetScaler.
  4. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Policies > Authentication > SAML > Servers, and click Add.
  5. Enter the information for authenticating with SAML. This configuration will vary depending on your SAML iDP.
  6. For iDP Certificate Name, select the SAML iDP’s certificate that was exported from the SAML iDP and imported to NetScaler. NetScaler will use this iDP certificate to verify SAML assertions from the iDP.
  7. For Redirect URL, enter the URL to the SAML iDP’s authentication page. NetScaler Gateway will redirect users to this URL. For ADFS, enter your ADFS URL appended with /adfs/ls (e.g. https://adfs.corp.com/adfs/ls). For other iDPs, get the URL from your iDP.
  8. For Signing Certificate Name, select the NetScaler certificate (with private key) that NetScaler will use to sign authentication requests to the iDP. This same certificate (without private key) must be imported to the iDP, so the iDP can verify the authentication request signature.
  9. Enter an Issuer Name that the SAML iDP is expecting for the Relying Party. This Issuer Name must match the name you configured on the iDP’s Relying Party (Service Provider) Trust.
  10. Click More.
  11. NetScaler defaults to SHA1. You might have to change the Signature Algorithm and Digest Method to SHA256.
  12. Review the other settings as needed by your iDP. Click Create when done.
  13. On the right, switch to the Policies tab and click Add.
  14. Give the policy a name, select the SAML Server, and enter ns_true for the expression. Click Create.
  15. If you haven’t created your Session Polices yet, then see http://www.carlstalhood.com/session-policies-for-storefront-netscaler-11/.
  16. Edit your Session Policy/Profile. On the Published Applications tab, make sure Single Sign-on Domain is not configured.
  17. If you haven’t created your Gateway Virtual Server yet, then see http://www.carlstalhood.com/netscaler-gateway-11-virtual-server/.
  18. Edit your Gateway Virtual Server. Go to the Authentication section and add a policy.
  19. Bind the SAML policy. This is the only authentication policy you need. You can remove all other authentication policies.
  20. Next step: configure StoreFront for SAML NetScaler Gateway.

StoreFront Config for SAML NetScaler Gateway

  1. In StoreFront 3.6 or newer, right-click the store, and click Manage Authentication Methods.
  2. Make sure Pass-through from NetScaler Gateway is selected.
  3. Click the gear icon on the right, and click Configure Delegated Authentication.
  4. Check the box next to Fully delegate credential validation to NetScaler Gateway, and click OK twice.
  5. In StoreFront, add a NetScaler Gateway object that matches the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server that has SAML enabled.
  6. On the Authentication Settings page, make sure you configure a Callback URL. It won’t work without it.
  7. Then assign (Configure Remote Access Settings) the Gateway to your Store.

  8. Next step: create Active Directory Shadow Accounts

SAML on StoreFront without NetScaler

New in StoreFront 3.9 is native support for SAML Authentication without NetScaler.

Notes:

  • SAML overrides Explicit and Pass-through authentication.
  • SAML in StoreFront without NetScaler seems to work in Receiver Self-Service for Windows.

To configure SAML in StoreFront 3.9 or newer:

  1. Export the signing certificate from your SAML iDP. The iDP could be ADFS, Okta, Ping Identity, etc.
  2. In StoreFront 3.9 or newer console, right-click a Store, and click Manage Authentication Methods.
  3. Check the box next to SAML Authentication. If you don’t see this option (because you upgraded), click the Advanced button on the bottom of the window, and install the authentication method.
  4. On the right, click the gear icon for SAML, and click Identity Provider.
  5. Change the SAML Binding to the method your iDP expects.
  6. Enter the iDP token issuance endpoint URL. For example, in ADFS, the path is /adfs/ls.
  7.  Click Import.
  8. Browse to the signing certificate exported from your iDP, and click Open.
  9. Then click OK to close the Identity Provider window.
  10. On the right, in the SAML Authentication row, click the gear icon, and then click Service Provider.
  11. Click the first Browse button.
  12. Give the Signing certificate a name, and save it somewhere.
  13. Click the second Browse button.
  14. Give the Encryption certificate a name, and save it somewhere.
  15. Copy the Service Provider Identifier. Or you can change it to your desired value. Then click OK.
  16. In your iDP (e.g. ADFS), create a Relying Party Trust.
  17. Import the Encryption certificate that you exported from StoreFront.
  18. Enable SAML 2.0.
  19. For the Assertion Consumer Service (ACS) path, enter something similar to https://storefront.corp.com/Citrix/StoreAuth/SamlForms/AssertionConsumerService. The hostname portion of the URL is equivalent to your StoreFront Base URL. /Citrix/StoreAuth matches your Store name with Auth on the end. The rest of the path must be /SamlForms/AssertionConsumerService. You can get this ACS value by looking in the SAML metadata at the bottom of https://<storefront host>/Citrix/StoreAuth/SamlForms/ServiceProvider/Metadata.

  20. For the Relying party trust identifier, enter the identifier you copied from the Service Provider window in StoreFront.
  21. Configure the Claim Rules to send the user’s email address or userPrincipalName as Name ID.
  22. Edit the Relying Party Trust. Import the Signing certificate that you exported from StoreFront.

  23. Create Active Directory Shadow Accounts. Federated users must be userPrincipalName mapped to local Active Directory accounts.
  24. If you point your browser to https://<storefront-host>/Citrix/<storename>Auth/SamlTest, it should perform a SAML Login, and then show you the assertion that was returned from the iDP. See Citrix CTX220639 How to configure SAML Authentication-Test Configuration.
  25. See Citrix CTX220682 Storefront SAML Troubleshooting Guide for event logs, SAML Metadata, Active Directory account mapping, Trust XML, etc.
  26. When you go to your Receiver for Web page, it should automatically redirect you to your iDP. After authentication, it should redirect you back to StoreFront and show you your icons.
  27. ADFS also works in Receiver 4.6 and newer. Currently, the only supported configuration is ADFS with SAML to StoreFront without NetScaler.
  28. When you logoff, it won’t let you log on again unless you close your browser and reopen it.

  29. To fix this problem, see CTP Sacha Thomet StoreFront – Allow relogin without browser close. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StoreWeb\custom\script.js, and add the following line:
    CTXS.allowReloginWithoutBrowserClose = true

  30. Now when you logoff, you’re given an option to log on again.

Active Directory Shadow Accounts

To login to Windows (Citrix VDA), every user must have an Active Directory account in a domain trusted by the VDA. For Federated Users, you typically need to create shadow accounts for each Federated user in your local Active Directory. These Shadow accounts need a userPrincipalName that matches the SAML attribute (usually email address) provided by the SAML iDP.

If the email address provided by the SAML iDP does not match the UPN suffix for your domain, then do the following:

  1. Open Active Directory Domains and Trust.
  2. Right-click the top left node (not a domain node), and click Properties.
  3. In the UPN Suffixes tab, add a UPN suffix that matches the email suffix provided by the SAML iDP.
  4. When creating a shadow account in your Active Directory, the new UPN suffix is available in the drop-down list. Note that the pre-Windows 2000 logon name can’t conflict with any other user in the domain.
  5. The password for these Shadow accounts can be any random complex password since the Federated users never need the Shadow account’s password.
  6. If the shadow account is already created, edit the account, and on the Account tab, use the drop-down to select the new UPN suffix.
  7. Create a shadow account for every federated user. There are third party Identity Management tools that can automate this. Or get an export from the iDP and use PowerShell scripting to create the acccounts.

Verify FAS

When FAS is enabled on StoreFront, every user that logs into StoreFront (local or remote) causes a user certificate to be created on the FAS server. You can see these user certificates by running the following PowerShell commands:

Add-PSSnapin Citrix.Authentication.FederatedAuthenticationService.V1
Get-FasUserCertificate -address fas01.corp.local

Citrix uses these certificates to logon to the VDA as the user. No password needed.

NetScaler Gateway 11 – SSL VPN

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:21 pm

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Overview

NetScaler Gateway supports five different connection methods:

  • ICA Proxy to XenApp/XenDesktop – client is built into Citrix Receiver
  • SSL VPN – requires NetScaler Gateway plug-in
  • Clientless – browser only, no VPN client, uses rewrite
  • Secure Browse – from MDX-wrapped mobile applications (XenMobile), uses rewrite
  • RDP Proxy – only RDP client is needed

If Endpoint Analysis is configured, then an Endpoint Analysis plug-in is downloaded to the Windows or Mac client.

Users use SSL to connect to NetScaler Gateway Virtual Servers.

  • NetScaler Gateway prompts the user for authentication.
  • Once the user is authenticated, NetScaler Gateway uses Session Policies to determine what happens next.

You can configure NetScaler Gateway Session Policies to only use one of the connection methods. Or NetScaler Gateway can be configured to let users choose between ICA Proxy, Clientless, and SSL VPN connection methods. Here’s a sample Client Choices screen using the X1 theme:

Enable SSL VPN in a Session Policy as detailed later. Then configure additional NetScaler Gateway objects including the following:

  • DNS Servers and Suffix – enable DNS resolution across the VPN tunnel
  • NetScaler Gateway Universal Licenses – all VPN users must be licensed.
  • Intranet IP addresses – give IP addresses to VPN clients. If no client IP, then VPN clients use NetScaler SNIP to communicate with internal resources. Requires routing changes on internal network.
  • Intranet Applications – if split tunnel is enabled, configure this object to dictate what traffic goes across the tunnel and which traffic stays local.
  • Authorization Policies – if default authorization is DENY, use Authorization Policies to dictate what resources can be accessed across the NetScaler Gateway connection. These Authorization Policies apply to all NetScaler Gateway connections, not just VPN.
  • Bookmarks – displayed on the built-in NetScaler Gateway portal page. Users click bookmarks to access resources across the VPN tunnel or clientless access (rewrite).
  • Endpoint Analysis Scans – block endpoints that fail security requirements. Configured in Session Policies or Preauthentication Policies.
  • Traffic Policies – Single Sign-on to internal web applications
  • AAA Groups – bind Session Policies, Authorization Policies, Intranet Applications, Intranet IPs, Bookmarks, and Traffic Policies to one or more Active Directory groups. Allows different Active Directory groups to have different NetScaler Gateway configurations.

Prerequisites

Except for ICA Proxy, all NetScaler Gateway connection methods require a NetScaler Gateway Universal License for each concurrent session. Go to System > Licenses and make sure NetScaler Gateway User licenses are installed.

Also make sure the maximum AAA users equals the number of licenses. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Global Settings > Change authentication AAA settings.

DNS usually needs to function across the VPN tunnel. Go to Traffic Management > DNS > Name Servers to add DNS servers.

Create Session Profile

You can create multiple Session Policy/Profiles, each with different settings. Then you can bind these Session Policies to different AAA groups or different NetScaler Gateway Virtual Servers. You can also bind Endpoint Analysis expressions to a Session Policy so that the Session Policy only applies to machines that pass the Endpoint Analysis scan.

If multiple Session Policies apply to a particular connection, then the settings in the policies are merged. For conflicting settings, the Session Policy with the highest priority (lowest priority number) wins. Session Policies bound to AAA groups only override Session Policies bound to NetScaler Gateway Virtual Servers if the AAA group bind point has a lower priority number. In other words, priority numbers are evaluated globally no matter where the Session Policy is bound. You can run the command nsconmsg –d current –g pol_hits to see which Session Policies are applying to a particular connection.

Do the following to enable SSL VPN. First create the Session Profile. Then create a Session Policy.

  1. On the left, expand NetScaler Gateway, expand Policies, and click Session.
  2. On the right, switch to the Session Profiles tab and click Add.
  3. Name the profile VPN or similar.
  4. In Session Profiles, every line has an Override Global checkbox to the right of it. If you check this box next to a particular field, then the field in this session profile will override settings configured globally or in a lower priority session policy.
  5. Switch to the Network Configuration tab and check the box next to Advanced Settings.
  6. You will find a setting that lets you select a DNS Virtual Server. Or if you don’t select anything then the tunnel will use the DNS servers configured under Traffic Management > DNS > Name Servers.
  7. Configure the behavior when there are more VPN clients than available IPs in the address pool. This only applies if you are configuring Intranet IPs.
  8. There are also a couple timeouts lower on the page.
  9. Switch to the Client Experience tab. This tab contains most of the NetScaler Gateway VPN settings.
  10. Override Plug-in Type and set it to Windows/Mac OS X.
  11. Whenever NetScaler firmware is upgraded, all users will be prompted to upgrade their VPN clients. You can use the Upgrade drop-downs to disable the automatic upgrade.
  12. By default, if Receiver and NetScaler Gateway Plug-in are installed on the same machine, then the icons are merged. To see the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in Settings, you right-click Receiver, open Advanced Preferences and then click NetScaler Gateway Settings.

  13. You can configure the Session Policy/Profile to prevent NetScaler Gateway Plug-in from merging with Receiver. On the Client Experience tab, scroll down and check the box next to Advanced Settings.
  14. Check the box next to Show VPN Plugin-in icon with Receiver. This causes the two icons to be displayed separately thus making it easier to access the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in settings.

  15. On the Client Experience tab, override Split Tunnel and make your choice. Setting it to Off will force all traffic to use the tunnel. Setting it to On will require you to create Intranet Applications so the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in will know which traffic goes through the tunnel and which traffic goes directly out the client NIC (e.g. to the Internet).
  16. On the Client Experience tab, there are timers that can be configured. Global Settings contains default timers so you might want to override the defaults and increase the timeouts. See Configuring Time-Out Settings at Citrix Docs for details.
    1. Client Idle Time-out is a NetScaler Gateway Plug-in timer that disconnects the session if there is no user activity (mouse, keyboard) on the client machine.
    2. Session Time-out disconnects the session if there is no network activity for this duration.
    3. In addition to these two timers on the Client Experience tab, on the Network Configuration tab, under Advanced Settings, there’s a Forced Timeout setting.
  17. By default, once the VPN tunnel is established, a 3-page interface appears containing bookmarks, file shares, and StoreFront. An example of the three-page interface in the X1 theme is shown below.
  18. On the Client Experience tab, the Home Page field lets you override the 3-page interface and instead display a different webpage (e.g. Intranet or StoreFront). This homepage is displayed after the VPN tunnel is established (or immediately if connecting using Clientless Access).
  19. On the Client Experience tab, there are more settings that control the behavior of the NetScaler Gateway plug-in. Hover your mouse over the question marks to see what they do.
  20. Additional VPN settings can be found by clicking Advanced Settings near the bottom of the Client Experience tab.
  21. Under Client Experience > Advanced Settings, on the General tab, there are settings to run a login script at login, enable/disable Split DNS, and enable Local LAN Access. Use the question marks to see what they do. Reliable DNS occurs when Split DNS is set to Remote.
  22. Under Client Experience > Advanced Settings, on the General tab, is a checkbox for Client Choices. This lets the user decide if they want VPN, Clientless, or ICA Proxy (StoreFront). Without Client Choices, the VPN will launch automatically
  23. On the main Client Experience tab, if you enabled Client Choices, you can set Clientless Access to Allow to add Clientless to the list of available connection methods.
  24. An example of Client Choices is shown below:
  25. The Client Experience > Advanced Settings section has additional tabs for controlling the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in. A commonly configured tab is Proxy so you can enable a proxy server for VPN users.
  26. Back in the main Session Profile, switch to the Security tab.
  27. Set the default authorization to Allow or Deny. If Deny (recommended), you will need to create authorization policies to allow traffic across the tunnel. You can later create different authorization policies for different groups of users.
  28. On the Published Applications tab, set ICA Proxy to Off. This ensures VPN is used instead of ICA Proxy.
  29. Configure the Web Interface Address to embed StoreFront into the 3-pane default portal page. Note: additional iFrame configuration is required on the StoreFront side as detailed below.
  30. From Michael Krasnove: if you configured the Session Policy to direct users to StoreFront, then placing the following code in c:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StoreWeb\custom\script.js will cause StoreFront to end the VPN tunnel when the user logs off of StoreFront.
    var LOGOFF_REDIRECT_URL = 'https://YourGatewayFQDN.com/cgi/logout';
     
    // Prevent the default "logoff" screen from being displayed
    CTXS.Controllers.LogoffController.prototype._handleLogoffResult = $.noop;
     
    CTXS.Extensions.afterWebLogoffComplete = function () {
     window.location.href = LOGOFF_REDIRECT_URL;
    };
  31. Click Create when you’re done creating the Session Profile.

Create Session Policy

  1. In the right pane, switch to the Session Policies tab and click Add.
  2. Give the policy a descriptive name.
  3. Change the Action to the VPN Profile you just created.
  4. Add a policy expression. You can enter ns_true, which applies to all connections.
  5. Or you can add Endpoint Analysis scans. If the Endpoint Analysis scan succeeds, then the session policy is applied. If the Endpoint Analysis scan fails, then this session policy is skipped and the next one is evaluated. This is how you can allow VPN if EPA scan succeeds but all failed EPA scans will get a different session policy that only has ICA Proxy enabled.
  6. To add an Endpoint Analysis scan, use one of the Editor links on the right.
  7. Configure OPSWAT scans in the OPSWAT EPA Editor.
  8. Configure Client Security Expressions in the Expression Editor.
  9. You can combine multiple Endpoint Analysis scan expressions using Booleans (&&, ||, !). Click Create when done.

Bind Session Policy

Most of the NetScaler Gateway objects can be bound to NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server, AAA Group, or both. This section details Session Policies, but the other NetScaler Gateway objects (e.g. Authorization Policies) can be bound using similar instructions.

  1. Bind the new session policy to a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server or a AAA group. If you bind it only to a AAA group, then only members of that Active Directory group will evaluate the expression.
  2. To bind to a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server, edit a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server (or create a new one), scroll down to the Policies section and click the Plus icon.
  3. In the Choose Type page, select Session, Request and click Continue.
  4. Select one or more session policies. This is where you specify a priority.
  5. To bind to a AAA Group, go to NetScaler Gateway > User Administration > AAA Groups.
  6. Add a group with the same name (case sensitive) as the Active Directory group name. This assumes your LDAP policies/server are configured for group extraction.
  7. Edit the AAA Group.
  8. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, add the Policies section.
  9. Click the plus icon to bind one or more Session Policies.
  10. If you want these Session Policies to override the Session Policies bound to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server then make sure the Session Policies bound to the AAA Group have lower priority numbers.

NetScaler Gateway Plug-in Installation

Here is what the user sees when launching the VPN session for the first time.


And then the 3-pane interface is displayed.

Only administrators can install the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in. You can download the Gateway plug-in from the NetScaler at /var/netscaler/gui/vpns/scripts/vista and push it to corporate-managed machines. Or you can download VPN clients from Citrix.com. The VPN client version must match the NetScaler firmware version.

Authorization Policies

If your Session Profile has Security tab > Default Authorization set to Deny (recommended), then create Authorization Policies to allow access across the tunnel.

  1. On the left, under NetScaler Gateway, expand Policies and click Authorization.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name the Authorization Policy.
  4. Select Allow or Deny.
  5. NetScaler Gateway requires you to Switch to Classic Syntax. The other syntax option is for AAA.
  6. Enter an expression. Use the Expression Editor link to build an expression. You can specify destination IP subnets, destination port numbers, etc.
  7. Click Create when done.
  8. Authorization Policies are usually bound to AAA groups. This allows different groups to have different access across the tunnel.
  9. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, add the Authorization Policies section.
  10. Then click where it says No Authorization Policy to bind policies.

Intranet Applications

If you enabled Split Tunnel, then you’ll need to create Intranet Applications to specify which traffic goes through the tunnel.

  1. On the left, under NetScaler Gateway, expand Resources and click Intranet Applications.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a name for the Internal subnet.
  4. Change the Interception Mode to TRANSPARENT.
  5. Enter an IP subnet. Only packets destined for this network go across the tunnel.
  6. Then click Create.
  7. Create additional Intranet applications for each internal subnet.
  8. Intranet Applications are usually bound to the Gateway Virtual Server but you can also bind them to AAA Groups.
  9. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, add the Intranet Applications section.
  10. On the left, click No Intranet Application to bind Intranet Applications.

DNS Suffix

Specify a DNS Suffix for Split DNS to function with single label DNS names.

  1. On the left, under NetScaler Gateway, expand Resources and click DNS Suffix.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter the DNS Suffix and click Create. You can add multiple suffixes.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks are the links that are displayed in the 3-pane interface. They can point to file shares or websites.

  1. Under NetScaler Gateway, expand Resources, and click Bookmarks.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the bookmark a name and display text.
  4. Enter a website or file share. For file shares you can use %username%.
  5. The other fields are for Single Sign-on through Unified Gateway. Click Create.
  6. Bookmarks (aka Published Applications > Url) are usually bound to AAA groups so different groups can have different bookmarks. But it’s also possible to bind Bookmarks to NetScaler Gateway Virtual Servers.
  7. If NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server, add the Published Applications section to bind Bookmarks.
  8. For AAA Group, it’s the Bookmarks section.
  9. On the left, find the Published Applications section and click No Url to bind Bookmarks.

VPN Client IP Pools (Intranet IPs)

By default, NetScaler Gateway VPN clients use NetScaler SNIP as their source IP when communicating with internal resources. To support IP Phones or endpoint management, you must instead assign IP addresses to VPN clients.

Any IP pool you add to NetScaler must be reachable from the internal network. Configure a static route on the upstream router. The reply traffic should be routed through a NetScaler SNIP. Or the NetScaler can participate in OSPF.

When a client is assigned a client IP, this IP address persists across multiple sessions until the appliance reboots or until the appliance runs out of IPs in the pool.

  1. Edit a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server or a AAA group.
  2. On the right, in the Advanced Settings section, click the plus icon next to Intranet IP Addresses.
  3. On the left, click where it says No Intranet IP.
  4. Enter a subnet and netmask. Click Bind.
  5. To see the Client IP address, on the client side, right-click the NetScaler Gateway Plug-in and click Configure NetScaler Gateway.
  6. Switch to the Profile tab to see the Client IP address.
  7. To see the client IP on the NetScaler, go to NetScaler Gateway and on the right is Active user sessions.
  8. Select one of the views and click Continue.
  9. The right column contains the Intranet IP.

StoreFront in Gateway Portal

  1. If you want to enable StoreFront to integrate with NetScaler Gateway’s default portal, edit the file C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StoreWeb\web.config.
  2. On the bottom, there are three sections containing frame options. Change all three of them from deny to allow.
  3. Also change frame-ancestors from none to self.
  4. In NetScaler, go to NetScaler Gateway > Global Settings and click Configure Domains for Clientless Access.
  5. Change the selection to Allow Domains, enter your StoreFront FQDN and click the plus icon.
  6. Click OK.
  7. In a Session Policy/Profile, on the Client Experience tab, make sure Single Sign-on to Web Applications is enabled.
  8. On the Published Applications tab, configure the Web Interface Address to point to the StoreFront Receiver for Web page.
  9. Configure the Single Sign-on domain to match what’s configured in StoreFront.
  10. The Applications page of the 3-page portal should automatically show the StoreFront published icons.

Quarantine Group

NetScaler Gateway can be configured so that if Endpoint Analysis scans fail, then the user is placed into a Quarantine Group. You can bind session policies, authorization policies, etc. to this quarantine group. Policies bound to other AAA groups are ignored.

  1. Go to NetScaler Gateway > User Administration > AAA Groups.
  2. Add a new local group for your Quarantined Users. This group is local and does not need to exist in Active Directory.
  3. Create a new Session Profile.
  4. On the Security tab, check the box next to Advanced Settings.
  5. Check the box to the right of Client Security Check String.
  6. Use the Editor links to add an Endpoint Analysis expression.
  7. Just below the Client Security Check String, select the previously created Quarantine Group.
  8. Click Create when done.
  9. Create a Session Policy and select the Session Profile you just created.
  10. Enter ns_true as the expression. Then click Create.
  11. Edit your Gateway Virtual Server and bind the new session policy.
  12. Bind session policies, authorization policies, etc. to your quarantine group. These policies typically limit access to the internal network so users can remediate. Or it might simply display a webpage telling users how to become compliant.
  13. To troubleshoot Quarantine policies, use the command nsconmsg –d current –g pol_hits.
  14. Another option is to use the session policy bound to the Quarantine Group for SmartAccess configuration.
  15. Gateway Insight (Insight Center 11.0 build 65 and newer) shows users that failed EPA scans and their quarantine status.

Related Pages

Director Load Balancing – NetScaler 11

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

Navigation

Monitor

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Monitors.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name it Director or similar.
  4. Change the Type drop-down to HTTP.
  5. If you will use SSL to communicate with the Director servers, then scroll down and check the box next to Secure.
  6. Switch to the Special Parameters tab.
  7. In the HTTP Request field, enter GET /Director/LogOn.aspx?cc=true
  8. If Single Sign-on is enabled on Director, then you might have to add 302 as a Response Code.
  9. Click Create.

Servers

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Servers.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a descriptive server name. Usually it matches the actual server name.
  4. Enter the IP address of the server.
  5. Enter comments to describe the server. Click Create.
  6. Continue adding Director servers.

Service Group

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Service Group.

  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Service Group a descriptive name (e.g. svcgrp-Director-SSL).
  4. Change the Protocol to HTTP or SSL. If the protocol is SSL, ensure the Director Monitor has Secure enabled.
  5. Scroll down and click OK.
  6. Click where it says No Service Group Member.
  7. If you did not previously create server objects, then enter the IP address of a Director Server. If you previously created a server objects, then change the selection to Server Based and select the server objects.
  8. Enter 80 or 443 as the port. Then click Create.
  9. On the right, under Advanced Settings, click Monitors.
  10. On the left, in the Monitors section, click where it says No Service Group to Monitor Binding.
  11. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  12. Select the Director monitor and click Select.
  13. Then click Bind.
  14. To verify that the monitor is working, on the left, in the Service Group Members section, click the Service Group Members line.
  15. Highlight a member and click Monitor Details.
  16. The Last Response should be Success – HTTP response code 200 received. Click Close twice.
  17. Then click Done.

Responder

Create a Responder policy to redirect users from the root page to /Director.

  1. Go to AppExpert > Responder and enable the feature if it isn’t already enabled.
  2. Go to AppExpert > Responder > Actions.
  3. On the right, click Add.
  4. Give the Action a name (e.g. Director_Redirect).
  5. Change the Type to Redirect.
  6. In the Expression box, enter "/Director", including the quotes.
  7. Click Create.
  8. Go to AppExpert > Responder > Policies.
  9. On the right, click Add.
  10. Give the Policy a name (e.g. Director_Redirect).
  11. Select the previously created Action.
  12. In the Expression box, enter HTTP.REQ.URL.PATH.EQ("/")
  13. Click Create.

Load Balancing Virtual Server

  1. Create or install a certificate that will be used by the SSL Virtual Server. This certificate must match the DNS name for the load balanced Director servers.
  2. On the left, under Traffic Management > Load Balancing, click Virtual Servers.

  3. On the right click Add.
  4. Name it Director-SSL-LB or similar.
  5. Change the Protocol to SSL.
  6. Specify a new internal VIP.
  7. Enter 443 as the Port.
  8. Click OK.
  9. On the left, in the Services and Service Groups section, click where it says No Load Balancing Virtual Server ServiceGroup Binding.
  10. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  11. Select your Director Service Group and click Select.
  12. Click Bind.
  13. Click Continue.
  14. Click where it says No Server Certificate.
  15. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  16. Select the certificate for this Director Load Balancing Virtual Server and click Select.
  17. Click Bind.
  18. Click Continue.
  19. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Persistence.
  20. Select SOURCEIP persistence.
  21. Set the timeout to match the timeout of Director. The default timeout for Director is 245 minutes.
  22. The IPv4 Netmask should default to 32 bits.
  23. Click OK.
  24. On the right, in the Advanced Settings section, add the Policies section.
  25. On the left, in the Policies section, click the plus icon.
  26. Select Responder in the Choose Policy drop-down and click Continue.
  27. Select the previously created Director_Redirect policy and click Bind.
  28. If you haven’t enabled the Default SSL Profile, then perform other normal SSL configuration including: disable SSLv3, bind a Modern Cipher Group, and enable Strict Transport Security.
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -certkeyName MyCert
    
    set ssl vserver MyvServer -ssl3 DISABLED -tls11 ENABLED -tls12 ENABLED
    
    unbind ssl vserver MyvServer -cipherName ALL
    
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -cipherName Modern
    
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -eccCurveName ALL
    
    bind lb vserver MyvServer -policyName insert_STS_header -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression END -type RESPONSE

SSL Redirect

  1. Right-click the Director SSL Load Balancing Virtual Server and click Add.
  2. Change the Name to Director-HTTP-SSLRedirect or something like that.
  3. Change the Protocol to HTTP.
  4. Click OK. This HTTP Virtual Server uses the same VIP as the SSL Load Balancer.
  5. Bind the AlwaysUp service. See SSL Redirect – Responder Method for more information.
  6. Bind the http_to_ssl_redirect_responderpol Responder Policy.
  7. That’s all this LB vServer needs. Click Done when done.

SSL Warning

  1. If you are doing SSL Offload (SSL on front end, HTTP on back end), when connecting to Director it might complain about “You are not using a secure connection”.
  2. To turn off this warning, login to the Director servers and run IIS Manager.
  3. On the left, navigate to Server > Sites > Default Web Site > Director.
  4. In the middle, double-click Application Settings.
  5. Change UI.EnableSslCheck to false.

CLI Commands

Here is a list of NetScaler CLI commands for Director Load Balancing:

add server Director01 10.2.2.18
add server Director02 10.2.2.100
add server 127.0.0.1 127.0.0.1
add service AlwaysUp 127.0.0.1 HTTP 80
add serviceGroup svcgrp-Director-HTTP HTTP
add ssl certKey wildcom -cert WildcardCorpCom_pem -key WildcardCorpCom_pem
add lb vserver Director-SSL-LB SSL 10.2.2.210 443 -persistenceType SOURCEIP -timeout 245
add lb vserver Director-HTTP-SSLRedirect HTTP 10.2.2.210 80 -persistenceType NONE
add responder action Director_Redirect redirect "\"/Director\"" -responseStatusCode 302
add responder action http_to_ssl_redirect_responderact redirect "\"https://\" + HTTP.REQ.HOSTNAME.HTTP_URL_SAFE + HTTP.REQ.URL.PATH_AND_QUERY.HTTP_URL_SAFE" -responseStatusCode 302
add responder policy Director_Redirect "http.REQ.URL.PATH.EQ(\"/\")" Director_Redirect
add responder policy http_to_ssl_redirect_responderpol HTTP.REQ.IS_VALID http_to_ssl_redirect_responderact
bind lb vserver Director-HTTP-SSLRedirect AlwaysUp
bind lb vserver Director-SSL-LB svcgrp-Director-SSL
bind lb vserver Director-SSL-LB -policyName Director_Redirect -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression END -type REQUEST
bind lb vserver Director-HTTP-SSLRedirect -policyName http_to_ssl_redirect_responderpol -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression END -type REQUEST
add lb monitor Director HTTP -respCode 200 -httpRequest "GET /Director/LogOn.aspx?cc=true" -LRTM DISABLED -secure YES
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Director-SSL Director01 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Director-SSL Director02 443
bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Director-SSL -monitorName Director
set ssl serviceGroup svcgrp-Director-SSL -tls11 DISABLED -tls12 DISABLED
bind ssl vserver Director-SSL-LB -certkeyName wildcom
bind ssl vserver Director-SSL-LB -eccCurveName P_256
bind ssl vserver Director-SSL-LB -eccCurveName P_384
bind ssl vserver Director-SSL-LB -eccCurveName P_224
bind ssl vserver Director-SSL-LB -eccCurveName P_521

SmartAccess / SmartControl – NetScaler 11

Last Modified: Nov 15, 2016 @ 5:44 pm

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SmartAccess / SmartControl

SmartAccess and SmartControl let you change ICA connection behavior (e.g. disable client device mappings) based on how users connect. Decisions are based on NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server name, Session Policy name, and Endpoint Analysis scan success or failure.

SmartAccess can also control application/desktop icon visibility.

Prerequisites

Other than the NetScaler appliance license, both SmartAccess and SmartControl have the same prerequisites. You can configure SmartAccess in XenApp/XenDesktop at any time but it won’t work until you do the following:

  1. NetScaler appliance license – SmartAccess works with all editions of NetScaler appliances.  However, SmartControl only works with NetScaler Platinum Edition.
  2. Gateway Universal licenses – Both SmartAccess and SmartControl require NetScaler Gateway Universal licenses. NetScaler 11.1 build 49 and newer come with a minimum of 500 Universal licenses so this might no longer be an issue. In 11.1 build 49 and newer, NetScaler Standard Edition comes with 500 licenses, NetScaler Enterprise Edition comes with 1,000 licenses, and NetScaler Platinum Edition comes with unlimited licenses.
  3. On the NetScaler, go to System > Licenses and make sure you have NetScaler Gateway Universal Licenses allocated to the appliance. The Universal licenses are allocated to the hostname of the appliance (click the gear icon), not the MAC address. In a High Availability pair, if each node has a different hostname then you can allocate the licenses to one hostname, then reallocate to the other hostname.
  4. After installing licenses, go to NetScaler Gateway > Global Settings.
  5. On the top right, click Change authentication AAA settings.
  6. At the top of the page, change the Maximum Number of Users to match your installed license count. Then click OK. This setting is commonly missed and if not configured it defaults to only 5 concurrent connections.
  7. On a XenApp/XenDesktop Controller, run PowerShell as Administrator.
  8. Run asnp citrix.* to load the snapins.
  9. Run Set-BrokerSite -TrustRequestsSentToTheXmlServicePort $true to enable Trust XML.
  10. In StoreFront Console, go to the NetScaler Gateway node and edit (Change General Settings) the existing Gateway object.
  11. Make sure a Callback URL is configured to resolve to a NetScaler Gateway VIP on the same appliance that authenticated the user. The Callback Gateway’s certificate must match the FQDN entered here. If you are configuring Single FQDN for internal and external then the Callback FQDN must be different than the Single FQDN.
  12. On the NetScaler, go to NetScaler Gateway > Virtual Servers and edit your Gateway Virtual Server.

  13. In the Basic Settings section, click the pencil icon.
  14. Click More.
  15. Uncheck the box next to ICA Only and click OK. This tells NetScaler Gateway to start using Universal licenses and enables the SmartAccess and SmartControl features.

Once the prerequisites are in place, do the following as detailed below:

Endpoint Analysis

Endpoint Analysis scans are completely optional. You can configure SmartControl and SmartAccess without implementing any Endpoint Analysis.

Endpoint Analysis is supported on Windows and Mac devices. Other devices, like iOS and Android, do not support Endpoint Analysis. If you want to allow mobile device connectivity, then make sure you have an access mechanism (e.g. ICA Proxy) that works if the Endpoint Analysis scan fails.

There are two methods of Endpoint Analysis: pre-authentication and post-authentication. For pre-authentication, configure an Endpoint Analysis expression in a Preauthentication Policy. For post-authentication, configure the Endpoint Analysis expression on one or more Session Policies.

  • With a Preauthentication Policy, if the Endpoint Analysis scan fails then users can’t login.
  • With a Postauthentication Policy, Endpoint Analysis doesn’t run until after the user logs in. Typically, you create multiple Session Policies. One or more policies has Endpoint Analysis expressions. Leave one policy without an Endpoint Analysis expression so there’s a fallback in case the client device doesn’t support Endpoint Analysis (e.g. mobile devices). The name of the Session Policy is then used later in Citrix Policies and Citrix Delivery Groups.

NetScaler 11 has two Endpoint Analysis engines: the classic Client Security engine and the newer OPSWAT Advanced EPA engine.

To configure OPSWAT Advanced EPA expressions:

  1. When creating a Preauthentication Policy or Session Policy, click the OPSWAT EPA Editor link.
  2. Use the drop-down menus to select the scan criteria. Then click Done.

See the following links for more Advanced EPA information:

To configure Client Security expressions:

  1. When creating a Preauthentication Policy or Session Policy, click the Expression Editor link.
  2. Change the Expression Type to Client Security.
  3. Use the Component drop-down to select a component. A common configuration is to check for domain membership as detailed at CTX128040 How to Configure a Registry-Based Scan Expression to Look for Domain Membership.
  4. You can also use EPA expressions when configuring a Quarantine Group.

Once the Policies are created, bind them to your NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server:

  1. Edit a NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.
  2. Scroll down to the Policies section and click the plus icon.
  3. Select either Preauthentication or Session and select the policy you already created. Then click Bind.

EPA Troubleshooting

Citrix CTX209148 Understanding/Configuring EPA Verbose Logging Feature:  💡

  1. Go to NetScaler Gateway > Global Settings.
  2. On the right, click Change Global Settings.
  3. On the Security tab, click Advanced Settings.
  4. Scroll down, check the box next to Enable Client Security Logging, and click OK.
  5. When the scan fails, the user is presented with a Case ID.
  6. You can then grep /var/log/ns.log for the Case ID. Or search your syslog.

 

To determine why your EPA scans fail, on the client machine, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Secure Access Client.
Make a DWORD value named “EnableEPALogging” and set the value to 1.

After attempting the scan again, you’ll find the file %localappdata%\Citrix\AGEE\epaHelper_epa_plugin.txt with details for each scan expression.

 

NetscalerAssasin EPA OPSWAT Packet flow and Troubleshooting shows a Wireshark trace of an EPA scan.

SmartControl

NetScaler 11.0 has a new SmartControl feature, where you can configure some of the SmartAccess functionality directly on the appliance. See Configuring SmartControl at docs.citrix.com for detailed instructions.

  1. If you are using a Preauthentication Policy to run an Endpoint Analysis scan, edit the Preauth profile.

  2. Configure the Default EPA Group with a new group name. You’ll use this group name later.
  3. If you are instead using a Session Policy/Profile to run the post-authentication Endpoint Analysis scan, on the Security tab, use the Smartgroup field to define a group name for users that pass the scan. You’ll use this group name later.
  4. On the left, expand NetScaler Gateway, expand Policies, and click ICA.
  5. On the right, switch to the Access Profiles tab and click Add.
  6. Configure the restrictions as desired and click OK.
  7. Switch to the ICA Action tab and click Add.
  8. Give the Action a name and select the Access Profile. Click Create.
  9. Switch to the ICA Policies tab and click Add.
  10. Select the previously created ICA Action.
  11. Enter an expression. You can use REQ.USER.IS_MEMBER_OF(“MyGroup”) where MyGroup is the name of the SmartGroup you configured in the session profile or preauth scan. Click Create when done.
  12. Edit your Gateway Virtual Server.
  13. Scroll down to the Policies section and click the plus icon.
  14. Change the Policy Type to ICA and click Continue.
  15. Select the SmartControl policy you created earlier and click Bind.

SmartAccess

CTX138110 How to Configure the SmartAccess feature on Access Gateway Enterprise Edition Appliance

In XenApp/XenDesktop, edit a Citrix policy and add the Access Control filter. If you are using GPO to deliver Citrix Policies, then only Citrix Policies in the user half of the GPO support Access Control filters.

You can leave the default wildcards for farm name and condition to match all NetScaler Gateway connections. Or you can match specific NetScaler Gateway / Session Policy connections:

  • AG farm name = name of the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.
  • Access condition = name of the NetScaler Gateway Session Policy.

You typically create a Citrix policy to turn off all client device mappings for all external users. Then you create a higher priority Citrix policy that re-enables client device mappings for those users that passed the Endpoint Analysis scan expression on a particular Session Policy.

If you edit a Delivery Group, there’s an Access Policy page where you can hide or show the Delivery Group for all NetScaler Gateway connections or for specific NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server / Session Policy connections.

  • Farm name = NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server name
  • Filter = NetScaler Gateway Session Policy name

This configuration is only available at the entire Delivery Group. It is not possible to perform this configuration for only specific published applications unless they are on different Delivery Groups.

Related Pages

NetScaler Scripting

Last Modified: Sep 16, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

Navigation

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NetScaler Configuration Extractor

For a crude Single HTML page that can extract configuration from a ns.conf file, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/NetScalerExtractor.html. This page runs completely on the client side so nothing is uploaded. Or you can download the HTML page and run it on your machine.

Configure NetScaler from PowerShell

You can use any scripting language that supports REST calls. This section is based on PowerShell 3 and its Invoke-RestMethod cmdlet.

Brandon Olin published a PowerShell module for NetScaler at Github.  💡

CTP Esther Barthel maintains a PowerShell module for NetScaler at https://github.com/cognitionIT/PS-NITRO. See Citrix Synergy TV – SYN325 – Automating NetScaler: talking NITRO with PowerShell for an overview.

The below NetScalerPowerShell.zip contains PowerShell functions that use REST calls to configure a NetScaler appliance. It only takes a few seconds to wipe a NetScaler and configure it with almost everything detailed on this site. A glaring omission is file operations including licenses, certificate files, and customized monitor scripts and the PowerShell script assumes these files are already present on the appliance.

Most of the functions should work on 10.5 and 11.0 with a few obvious exceptions like RDP Proxy. Here are some other differences between 10.5 and 11.0:

  • PUT operations in NetScaler 11 do not need an entity name in the URL; however 10.5 does require entity names in every PUT URL.
  • https URL for REST calls works without issue in NetScaler 11, but NetScaler 10.5 had inconsistent errors. http works without issue in NetScaler 10.5.

Nitro REST API Documentation

NetScaler Nitro REST API documentation can be found on any NetScaler by clicking the Downloads tab. The documentation is updated whenever you upgrade your firmware.

Look for the Nitro API Documentation.

Extract the files, and then launch index.html.

Start by reading the Getting Started Guide, and then expand the Configuration node to see detailed documentation for every REST call.

The Nitro API is also documented at REST Web Services at Citrix Docs.

NetScaler Gateway 11 – RDP Proxy

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:33 pm

RDP Proxy

NetScaler 10.5.e and NetScaler 11 support RDP Proxy through NetScaler Gateway. No VPN required. There are two ways of launching RDP sessions through NetScaler Gateway RDP Proxy:

  • Bookmarks on the Clientless Access portal page.
  • After logging in, change the URL in the browser to /rdpproxy/MyRDPServer. MyRDPServer can be IP or DNS.

You can have one Gateway vServer that authenticates the user and a different Gateway vServer to proxy the RDP connection. The Gateways use Secure Ticket Authority (STA) for mutual authentication. See Stateless RDP Proxy at docs.citrix.com for more information.  💡

Links:

Here are some requirements for RDP Proxy:

  • NetScaler Enterprise Edition or Platinum Edition.
  • NetScaler Gateway Universal Licenses for each user.
  • TCP 443 and TCP 3389 opened to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server.
  • TCP 3389 opened from the NetScaler SNIP to the RDP Servers.

Do the following to configure RDP Proxy:

  1. Expand NetScaler Gateway, expand Policies, right-click RDP and click Enable Feature.
  2. Click RDP on the left. On the right, switch to the Client Profiles tab and click Add.
  3. Give the Client Profile a name and configure it as desired. Scroll down.
  4. In the RDP Host field, enter the FQDN that resolves to the RDP Proxy listener, which is typically the same FQDN as NetScaler Gateway.
  5. Near the bottom is a Pre Shared Key. Enter a password and click OK. You’ll need this later.
  6. On the right, switch to the Server Profiles tab and click Add.
  7. Give the Server Profile a name.
  8. Enter the IP of the Gateway Virtual Server you’re going to bind this to.
  9. Enter the same Pre Shared Key you configured for the RDP Client Profile. Click Create.
  10. If you want to  put RDP bookmarks on the Clientless Access portal page, on the left, expand NetScaler Gateway, expand Resources, and click Bookmarks.
  11. Alternatively, Simon Gottschlag Publish RDP Proxy Link via StoreFront shows how NetScaler Rewrite can insert an RDP Proxy link into a StoreFront web page.  💡
  12. On the right, click Add.
  13. Give the Bookmark a name.
  14. For the URL, enter rdp://MyRDPServer using IP or DNS.
  15. Check the box next to Use NetScaler Gateway As a Reverse Proxy and click Create.
  16. Create more bookmarks as desired.
  17. Create or edit a session profile/policy.
  18. On the Security tab, set Default Authorization Action to ALLOW. Or you can use Authorization policies to control access.
  19. On the Remote Desktop tab, select the RDP Client Profile you created earlier.
  20. If you want to use Bookmarks, on the Client Experience tab, set Clientless Access to On.
  21. On the Published Applications tab, make sure ICA Proxy is OFF.
  22. Edit or Create your Gateway Virtual Server.
  23. In the Basic Settings section, click More.
  24. Use the RDP Server Profile drop-down to select the RDP Server Profile you created earlier.
  25. Scroll down. Make sure ICA Only is not checked.
  26. Bind a certificate.
  27. Bind authentication policies.
  28. Bind the session policy/profile that has the RDP Client Profile configured.
  29. You can bind Bookmarks to either the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server or to a AAA group. To bind to the NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server, on the right, in the Advanced Settings section, click Published Applications.
  30. On the left, in the Published Applications section, click where it says No Url.
  31. Bind your Bookmarks.
  32. Since this NetScaler Gateway Virtual Server has ICA Only unchecked, make sure your NetScaler Gateway Universal licenses are configured correctly. On the left, expand NetScaler Gateway and click Global Settings.
  33. On the right, click Change authentication AAA settings.
  34. Change the Maximum Number of Users to your licensed limit.
  35. If you want to connect to RDP servers using DNS, make sure DNS servers are configured on the appliance (Traffic Management > DNS > Name Servers).
  36. If you want to use the short names instead of FQDNs, add a DNS Suffix (Traffic Management > DNS > DNS Suffix).
  37. Connect to your Gateway and login.
  38. If you configured Bookmarks, simply click the Bookmark.
  39. Or you can change the address bar to /rdpproxy/MyRDPServer. You can enter IP address (e.g. rdpproxy/192.168.1.50) or DNS names (/rdpproxy/myserver).
  40. Then open the downloaded .rdp file.
  41. You can view the currently connected users by going to NetScaler Gateway > Policies > RDP and on the right is the Connections tab.

NetScaler SDX 11

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

Navigation

LOM IP Configuration

There are two ways to set the IP address of the Lights Out Module (LOM):

  • Crossover Ethernet cable from a laptop with an IP address in the 192.168.1.0 network.
  • ipmitool from the NetScaler SDX XenServer command line

Ipmitool Method:

  1. On NetScaler SDX appliance, SSH to the XenServer IP address (this is not the Service VM IP). On NetScaler MPX appliance, SSH to the NetScaler NSIP.
  2. Default XenServer credentials are root/nsroot. Default MPX credentials are nsroot/nsroot.
  3. If MPX, run shell. XenServer is already in the shell.
  4. Run the following:
    ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr x.x.x.x
    ipmitool lan set 1 netmask 255.255.255.0
    ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr x.x.x.x

  5. You should now be able to connect to the LOM using a browser.

Laptop method:

  1. Configure a laptop with static IP address 192.168.1.10 and connect it to the Lights Out Module port.
  2. In a Web browser, type the IP address of the LOM port. For initial configuration, type the port’s default address: http://192.168.1.3
  3. In the User Name and Password boxes, type the administrator credentials. The default username and password are nsroot/nsroot.
  4. In the Menu bar, click Configuration and then click Network.
  5. Under Options, click Network and type values for the following parameters:
    1. IP Address—The IP address of the LOM port.
    2. Subnet Mask—The mask used to define the subnet of the LOM port.
    3. Default Gateway—The IP address of the router that connects the appliance to the network.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Disconnect the laptop and instead connect a cable from a switch to the Lights Out Module.

LOM Firmware Upgrade

The LOM firmware at https://www.citrix.com/downloads/netscaler-adc/components/lom-firmware-upgrade differs depending on the hardware platform. The LOM firmware for the 8000 series is different than the 11000 series. Do not mix them up.

Note: the SDX Update Bundle does not include LOM firmware update so you must update it separately.

  1. Determine which firmware level you are currently running. You can point your browser to the LOM and login to the see the firmware level. Or you can run ipmitool mc info from the XenServer shell.
  2. If your LOM firmware is older than 3.0.2, follow the instructions at http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX137970 to upgrade the firmware.
  3. If your LOM firmware is version 3.02 or later, follow the instructions at http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX140270 to upgrade the firmware. This procedure is shown below.
  4. Now that the firmware is version 3.0.2 or later, you can upgrade to 3.39. Click the Maintenance menu and then click Firmware Update.
  5. On the right, click Enter Update Mode.
  6. Click OK when prompted to enter update mode.
  7. Click Choose File and browse to the extracted bin file.
  8. After the file is uploaded, click Upload Firmware.
  9. Click Start Upgrade.
  10. The Upgrade progress will be displayed.
  11. After upgrade is complete, click OK to acknowledge the 1 minute message.
  12. The LOM will reboot.
  13. After the reboot, login and notice that the LOM firmware is now 3.39.

SDX IP Configuration

Default IP for Management Service is 192.168.100.1/16 bound to interface 0/1. Use laptop with crossover cable to reconfigure. Point browser to http://192.168.100.1. Default login is nsroot/nsroot.

Default IP for XenServer is 192.168.100.2/16. Default login is root/nsroot. Note: XenServer IP and Management Service IP must be on the same subnet.

There should be no need to connect to XenServer directly. Instead, all XenServer configuration (e.g. create new VM) is performed through the Management Service (SVM). To change the XenServer IP, make the change through the Management Service as detailed below:

  1. Point a browser to http://192.168.100.1 and login as nsroot/nsroot.
  2. When you first login to the SDX Management Service, the Welcome! Wizard appears. Click Management Network.
  3. Configure the IP addresses. Management Service IP Address and XenServer IP Address must be different but on the same subnet.
  4. You can change the password at this time or later. Click Done.
  5. Click the System Settings box.
  6. Enter a Host Name.
  7. Select the time zone and click Continue.
  8. Click the Licenses box.
  9. Click Add New License.
  10. In the Manage Licenses section, allocate licenses normally.

  11. Then click Continue.

Another way to login to the Management Service virtual machine is through the serial port. This is actually the XenServer Dom0 console. Once logged in to XenServer, run ssh 169.254.0.10 to access the Management Service virtual machine. Then follow instructions at http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX130496 to change the IP.

The console of the Management Service virtual machine can be reached by running the following command in the XenServer Dom0 shell (SSH or console):

xe vm-list params=name-label,dom-id name-label="Management Service VM"

Then run /usr/lib/xen/bin/xenconsole <dom-id>

Or if 11.0 build 64 or newer, run /usr/lib64/xen/bin/xenconsole <dom-id>

Management Service Firmware – Upgrade to 11.0

NetScaler SDX 11.0 and newer now bundle all updates in a single package. To take advantage of this improved installation experience, you must first upgrade the Service VM to 11.0. Once it’s 11.0 you no longer need to upgrade the Service VM separately from the rest of the appliance.

  1. If your SDX SVM (Management Service) is running 10.5 build 57 or newer then you can skip this section and proceed with installing the SDX Bundle.
  2. NetScaler SDX 11.0 build 55 contains a separate installer for just the Management Service (SVM Upgrade Package).  The newer builds of NetScaler SDX 11.0 don’t seem to have a separate SVM Upgrade Package so you’ll need to upgrade SVM to 11.0 build 55 first. Then use the Software Bundle method to upgrade beyond build 55 as detailed in the next section.
  3. If the webpage says NetScaler SDX on top then you are connected to the Service VM.
  4. Switch to the Configuration tab.
  5. In the navigation pane, expand Management Service, and then click Software Images.
  6. In the right pane, click Upload.
  7. In the Upload Management Service Software Image dialog box, click Browse, navigate to the folder that contains the build-svm file, and then double-click the build file.
  8. Click Upload.

To upgrade the Management Service:

  1. In the navigation pane, click System.
  2. In the System pane, under System Administration, click Upgrade Management Service.
  3. In the Upgrade Management Service dialog box, in Build File, select the file of the build to which you want to upgrade the Management Service.
  4. If you see a Documentation File field, ignore it.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Yes if asked to continue.
  7. If desired, go back to the Software Images node and delete older firmware files.

SDX Platform Software Bundle

Starting with SDX 11.0, all updates are bundled together and installed at once.

  1. Make sure your Management Service (SVM) is running SDX 11.0 or newer. If not, see the separate SVM upgrade procedure in the previous section.
  2. Download the latest SDX Platform Software bundle from Downloads > NetScaler ADC > Service Delivery Appliances.

  3. Login to the SDX Management Service, go to Configuration > System.
  4. On the right, in the right column, click Upgrade Appliance.
  5. Browse to the build-sdx-11.0.tgz software bundle and click OK.

  6. It should show you the estimated installation time. Check boxes next to the instances that need configs saved. Click Upgrade.
  7. Click Yes to continue with the upgrade.
  8. The Management Service displays installation progress.

    Once the upgrade is complete, click Login.
  9. The Information page will be displayed showing the version of XenServer, Management Service (Build), etc.

Management Service NTP

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand System, and then click NTP Servers.
  2. To add a new NTP server, in the right pane, click Add.
  3. In the Create NTP Server dialog box enter the NTP server name (e.g. pool.ntp.org) and click Create.
  4. In the right pane click NTP Synchronization.
  5. In the NTP Synchronization dialog box, select Enable NTP Sync. Click OK.

Management Service Alerting

Syslog

  1. On the Configuration tab, expand System > Auditing and click Syslog Servers.
  2. In the right pane click the Add button.
  3. Enter a name for the server.
  4. Enter the IP address of the Syslog server.
  5. Select log levels and click Create.
  6. On the right is Syslog Parameters.
  7. You can configure the Date Format and Time Zone. Click OK.

Mail Notification

  1. On the Configuration tab, expand System > Notifications and click Email.
  2. In the right pane, on the Email Servers tab, click Add.
  3. Enter the DNS name of the mail server and click Create.
  4. In the right pane, switch to the Email Distribution List tab and click Add.
  5. Enter a name for the mail profile.
  6. Enter the destination email address and click Create.

System SNMP

  1. Go to System > SNMP.
  2. On the right, click Configure SNMP MIB.
  3. Enter information as desired and click OK. Your SNMP management software will read this information.
  4. Under the SNMP node, configure normal SNMP including: Trap Destinations, Managers, Alarms, etc.

  5. MIBs can be downloaded from the Downloads tab.

Instance SNMP

  1. The instances will send SNMP traps to the Service VM. To get alerted for these traps, in the Configuration page, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler, expand Events, and click Event Rules.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the rule a name.
  4. Select the Major and Critical severities and move them to the right. Scroll down.
  5. For the other sections, if you don’t configure anything then you will receive alerts for all of the devices, categories, and failure objects. If you configure any of them then only the configured entities will be alerted. Scroll down.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Select an Email Distribution List and click Done.

Management Service nsroot Password and AAA

To change the password of the default user account

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand System, and then click Users.
  2. In the Users pane, click the default user account, and then click Edit.
  3. In the Configure System User dialog box, in Password and Confirm Password, enter the password of your choice. Click OK.

To create a user account

  1. In the navigation pane, expand System, and then click Users. The Users pane displays a list of existing user accounts, with their permissions.
  2. To create a user account, click Add.
  3. In the Create System User or Modify System User dialog box, set the following parameters:
    • Name*—The user name of the account. The following characters are allowed in the name: letters a through z and A through Z, numbers 0 through 9, period (.), space, and underscore (_). Maximum length: 128. You cannot change the name.
    • Password*—The password for logging on to the appliance.
    • Confirm Password*—The password.
    • Session Timeout
    • Groups —The user’s privileges on the appliance. Possible values:
      • owner—The user can perform all administration tasks related to the Management Service.
      • readonly—The user can only monitor the system and change the password of the account.
  4. Click Create. The user that you created is listed in the Users pane.

AAA Authentication

  1. If you would like to enable LDAP authentication for the Service VM, do that under Configuration > System > Authentication > LDAP.
  2. In the right pane, click Add.
  3. This is configured identically to NetScaler. Enter a Load Balancing VIP for LDAP. Change the Security Type to SSL and Port to 636. Scroll down.
  4. Enter the Base DN in LDAP format.
  5. Enter the bind account.
  6. Check the box for Enable Change Password.
  7. Click Retrieve Attributes and scroll down.
  8. For Server Logon Attribute select sAMAccountName.
  9. For Group Attribute select memberOf.
  10. For Sub Attribute Name select cn.
  11. To prevent unauthorized users from logging in, configure a Search Filter. Scroll down.
  12. If desired configure Nested Group Extraction
  13. Click Create.
  14. Expand System, expand User Administration and click Groups.
  15. Click Add.
  16. Enter the case sensitive name of the Active Directory group.
  17. Select the admin permission.
  18. Configure the Session Timeout. Click Create.
  19. On the left, under System, click User Administration.
  20. On the right click User Lockout Configuration.
  21. If desired, check the box next to Enable User Lockout and configure the maximum logon attempts. Click OK.
  22. On the left, under System, click Authentication.
  23. On the right, click Authentication Configuration.
  24. Change the Server Type to LDAP.
  25. Select the LDAP server you created and click OK.

SSL Certificate and Encryption

Replace SDX Management Service Certificate

Before enabling secure access to the Management Service web console, you probably want to replace the Management Service certificate.

  1. PEM format: The certificate must be in PEM format. The Management Service does not provide any mechanism for converting a PFX file to PEM. You can convert from PFX to PEM by using the Import PKCS#12 task in a NetScaler instance.
  2. On the left, click System.
  3. On the right, click Install SSL Certificate.
  4. Select the certificate and key files in PEM format. If the key file is encrypted, enter the password. Then click OK. The Management Service will restart so there will be an interruption.


  5. After the Management Service restarts, connect to it using HTTPS. You can’t make this change if you are connected using HTTP.
  6. On the Configuration tab, click System.
  7. On the right, click Change System Settings.
  8. Check the box next to Secure Access Only and click OK. This forces you to use HTTPS to connect to the Management Service.

SSL Encrypt Management Service to NetScaler Communication

From http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX134973: Communication from the Management Service to the NetScaler VPX instances is HTTP by default. If you want to configure HTTPS access for the NetScaler VPX instances, then you have to secure the network traffic between the Management Service and NetScaler VPX instances. If you do not secure the network traffic from the Management Service configuration, then the NetScaler VPX Instance State appears as Out of Service and the Status shows Inventory from instance failed.

  1. Log on to the Management Service .
  2. On the Configuration tab, click System.
  3. On the right, click Change System Settings.
  4. Change Communication with NetScaler Instance to https, as shown in the following screen shot:
  5. Run the following command on the NetScaler VPX instance, to change the Management Access (-gui) to SECUREONLY:

set ns ip ipaddress -netmask netmask -arp ENABLED -icmp ENABLED -vServer DISABLED -telnet ENABLED -ftp ENABLED -gui SECUREONLY -ssh ENABLED -snmp ENABLED - mgmtAccess ENABLED -restrictAccess DISABLED -dynamicRouting ENABLED -ospf DISABLED -bgp DISABLED -rip DISABLED -hostRoute DISABLED -vrID 0

Or in the NetScaler instance management GUI go to Network > IPs, open the NSIP and then check the box next to Secure access only.

SDX/XenServer LACP Channels

To use LACP, configure Channels in the Management Service, which creates them in XenServer. Then when provisioning an instance, connect it to the Channel.

  1. In the Management Service, on the Configuration tab, expand System and click Channels.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Select a Channel ID.
  4. For Type, select LACP or STATIC. If using Cisco vPC then LACP is required. The other two options are for switch independent load balancing.
  5. In the Interfaces tab, click Add.
  6. Move the Channel Member interfaces to the right by clicking the plus icon.
  7. On the Settings tab, for LACP you can select Long or Short, depending on switch configuration. Short is the default.
  8. Click Create when done.
  9. Click Yes when asked to proceed.
  10. The channel will then be created on XenServer.

VPX Instances – Provision

To create an admin profile

Admin profiles specify the user credentials that are used by the Management Service when provisioning the NetScaler instances, and later when communicating with the instances to retrieve configuration data. The user credentials specified in an admin profile are also used by the client when logging on to the NetScaler instances through the CLI or the configuration utility.

The default admin profile for an instance specifies a user name of nsroot, and the password is also nsroot. This profile cannot be modified or deleted. However, you should override the default profile by creating a user-defined admin profile and attaching it to the instance when you provision the instance. The Management Service administrator can delete a user-defined admin profile if it is not attached to any NetScaler instance.

Important: Do not change the password directly on the NetScaler VPX instance. If you do so, the instance becomes unreachable from the Management Service. To change a password, first create a new admin profile, and then modify the NetScaler instance, selecting this profile from the Admin Profile list.

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler Configuration, and then click Admin Profiles.
  2. In the Admin Profiles pane, click Add.
  3. In the Create Admin Profile dialog box, set the following parameters:
    • Profile Name*—Name of the admin profile. The default profile name is nsroot. You can create user-defined profile names.
    • User Name—User name used to log on to the NetScaler instances. The user name of the default profile is nsroot and cannot be changed.
    • Password*—The password used to log on to the NetScaler instance. Maximum length: 31 characters.
    • Confirm Password*—The password used to log on to the NetScaler instance.
  4. Click Create. The admin profile you created appears in the Admin Profiles pane.

To upload a NetScaler VPX .xva file

You must upload a NetScaler VPX .xva file to the SDX appliance before provisioning the NetScaler VPX instances.

  1. Download the Virtual Appliance XVA from the SDX Software Bundle Download Page.
  2. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler Configuration, and then click Software Images.
  3. On the right, switch to the XVA Files tab and then click Upload.
  4. In the Upload NetScaler Instance XVA dialog box, click Browse and select the XVA image file that you want to upload. Click Upload. The XVA image file appears in the NetScaler XVA Files pane after it is uploaded.

To provision a NetScaler instance

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler Configuration, and then click Instances.
  2. In the NetScaler Instances pane, click Add.
  3. In the Provision NetScaler Wizard follow the instructions in the wizard.
  4. Click Create. The NetScaler instance you provisioned appears in the NetScaler Instances pane.

The wizard will ask for the following info:

  • Name* – The host name assigned to the NetScaler instance.
  • IP Address* – The NetScaler IP (NSIP) address at which you access a NetScaler instance for management purposes. A NetScaler instance can have only one NSIP. You cannot remove an NSIP address.
  • Netmask* – The subnet mask associated with the NSIP address.
  • Gateway* – The default gateway that you must add on the NetScaler instance if you want access through SSH or the configuration utility from an administrative workstation or laptop that is on a different network.
  • Nexthop to Management Service (11.0 build 64 and newer) – Adds a static route on the NSIP network so SDX Management Service can communicate with the instance NSIP. Only needed if instance default gateway and instance NSIP are on separate networks.  💡
  • XVA File* – The .xva image file that you need to provision. This file is required only when you add a NetScaler instance.
  • Feature License* – Specifies the license you have procured for the NetScaler. The license could be Standard, Enterprise, and Platinum.
  • Admin Profile* – The profile you want to attach to the NetScaler instance. This profile specifies the user credentials that are used by the Management Service to provision the NetScaler instance and later, to communicate with the instance to retrieve configuration data. The user credentials used in this profile are also used while logging on to the NetScaler instance by using the GUI or the CLI. It is recommended that you change the default password of the admin profile. This is done by creating a new profile with a user-defined password. For more information, see Configuring Admin Profiles.
  • Total Memory (MB)* – The total memory allocated to the NetScaler instance.
  • #SSL Cores* – Number of SSL cores assigned to the NetScaler instance. SSL cores cannot be shared. The instance is restarted if you modify this value.
  • Throughput (Mbps)* – The total throughput allocated to the NetScaler instance. The total used throughput should be less than or equal to the maximum throughput allocated in the SDX license. If the administrator has already allocated full throughput to multiple instances, no further throughput can be assigned to any new instance.
  • Packets per second* – The total number of packets received on the interface every second.
  • CPU – Assign a dedicated core or cores to the instance or the instance shares a core with other instance(s).
  • User Name* – The root user name for the NetScaler instance administrator. This user has superuser access, but does not have access to networking commands to configure VLANs and interfaces. (List of non-accessible commands will be listed here in later versions of this document)
  • Password* – The password for the root user.
  • Shell/Sftp/Scp Access* – The access allowed to the NetScaler instance administrator.
  • Interface Settings – This specifies the network interfaces assigned to a NetScaler instance. You can assign interfaces to an instance. For each interface, if you select Tagged, specify a VLAN ID.
    • Important:The interface ID numbers of interfaces that you add to an instance do not necessarily correspond to the physical interface numbering on the SDX appliance. For example, if the first interface that you associate with instance 1 is SDX interface 1/4, it appears as interface 1/1 when you log on to the instance and view the interface settings, because it is the first interface that you associated with instance 1.
    • If a non-zero VLAN ID is specified for a NetScaler instance interface, all the packets transmitted from the NetScaler instance through that interface will be tagged with the specified VLAN ID. If you want incoming packets meant for the NetScaler instance that you are configuring to be forwarded to the instance through a particular interface, you must tag that interface with the VLAN ID you want and ensure that the incoming packets specify the same VLAN ID.
    • For an interface to receive packets with several VLAN tags, you must specify a VLAN ID of 0 for the interface, and you must specify the required VLAN IDs for the NetScaler instance interface.
  • NSVLAN ID – An integer that uniquely identifies the NSVLAN. Minimum value: 2. Maximum value: 4095.
  • Tagged – Designate all interfaces associated with the NSVLAN as 802.1q tagged interfaces.
  • Interfaces – Bind the selected interfaces to the NSVLAN.

 

Here are screenshots from the wizard:

  1. In the Provision NetScaler section, enter a name for the instance.
  2. Enter the NSIP, mask, and Gateway.
  3. Nexthop to Management Service is new in 11.0 build 64 and newer. If the default gateway is on a different network than the NSIP, then enter a next hop router address on the NSIP network so the SDX Management Service can communicate with the NSIP.  💡
  4. In the XVA File field, you can Browse > Local to select an XVA file on your file system. Or you can Browse > Appliance and select an XVA file that has already been uploaded.

  5. Change the Feature License to Platinum.
  6. Select an Admin Profile created earlier.
  7. Enter a Description. Scroll down.
  8. In the Resource Allocation section, change the Total Memory to 4096.
  9. For SSL Chips, specify between 1 and 16.
  10. For Throughput, partition your licensed bandwidth. If you are licensed for 8 Gbps, make sure the total of all VPX instances does not exceed that number.
  11. Burstable is also an option. Fixed bandwidth can’t be shared with other instances. Burstable can be shared. See Bandwidth Metering in NetScaler SDX at docs.citrix.com
  12. For CPU, select one of the Dedicated options. Then scroll down.
  13. In the Instance Administration section, enter a new local account that will be created on the VPX. This is in addition to the nsroot user. Note, not all functionality is available to this account. Scroll down.
  14. In the Network Settings section, leave 0/1 selected and deselect 0/2.
  15. Click Add to connect the VPX to more interfaces.
  16. If you have Port Channels, select one of the LA interfaces.
  17. Try not configure any VLAN settings here. If you do, XenServer filters the VLANs available to the VPX instance. Changing the VLAN filtering settings later probably requires a reboot. Click Add.
  18. In the Management VLAN Settings section, do not configure anything in this section unless you need to tag the NSIP VLAN. Click Done.
  19. After a couple minutes the instance will be created. Click Close.
  20. In your Instances list, click the IP address to launch the VPX management console. Do the following at a minimum (instructions in the NetScaler System Configuration page):
    1. Enable MAC Based Forwarding – System > Settings > Configure Modes > MAC Based Forwarding
    2. Add SNIPs for each VLAN – System > Network > IPs
    3. Add VLANs and bind to SNIPs – System > Network > VLANs
    4. Change default gateway – System > Network > Routes > 0.0.0.0
    5. Create another instance on a different SDX and High Availability pair them together – System > High Availability

Applying the Administration Configuration

At the time of provisioning a NetScaler VPX instance, the Management Service creates some policies, instance administration (admin) profile, and other configuration on the VPX instance. If the Management Service fails to apply the admin configuration at this time due to any reason (for example, the Management Service and the NetScaler VPX instance are on different subnetworks and the router is down or if the Management Service and NetScaler VPX instance are on the same subnet but traffic has to pass through an external switch and one of the required links is down), you can explicitly push the admin configuration from the Management Service to the NetScaler VPX instance at any time.

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, click NetScaler.
  2. In the NetScaler Configuration pane, click Apply Admin Configuration.
  3. In the Apply Admin Configuration dialog box, in Instance IP Address, select the IP address of the NetScaler VPX instance on which you want to apply the admin configuration.
  4. Click OK.

VPX Instances – Manage

You may login to the VPX instance and configure everything normally. SDX also offers the ability to manage IP address and SSL certificates from SDX rather than from inside the VPX instance. The SDX Management Service does not have the ability to create certificates so it’s probably best to do that from within the VPX instance.

To view the console of a NetScaler instance

  1. Connect to the Management Service using https.
  2. Viewing the console might not work unless you replace the Management Service certificate.
  3. In the Management Service, go to Configuration > NetScaler > Instances.
  4. On the right, right-click an instance and click Console.
  5. The instance console then appears.
  6. Another option is to use the Lights Out Module and the xl console command as detailed at Citrix Blog Post SDX Remote Console Access of VIs.

 

To start, stop, delete, or restart a NetScaler instance

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler and click Instances.
  2. In the Instances pane, right-click the NetScaler instance on which you want to perform the operation, and then click Start or Shut Down or Delete or Reboot.
  3. In the Confirm message box, click Yes.

 

Creating a Subnet IP Address on a NetScaler Instance

You can create or delete a SNIP during runtime without restarting the NetScaler instance.

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, click NetScaler.
  2. In the NetScaler Configuration pane, click Create IP.
  3. In the Create NetScaler IP dialog box, specify values for the following parameters.
    • IP Address* – Specify the IP address assigned as the SNIP or the MIP address.
    • Netmask* – Specify the subnet mask associated with the SNIP or MIP address.
    • Type* – Specify the type of IP address. Possible values: SNIP.
    • Save Configuration* – Specify whether the configuration should be saved on the NetScaler. Default value is false.
    • Instance IP Address* – Specify the IP address of the NetScaler instance.
  4. Click Create.

Create a VLAN on a NetScaler instance

  1. Go to NetScaler > Instances.
  2. Right-click an instance and click VLAN Bindings.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Enter a VLAN ID and select an interface.
  5. Check the box for Tagged if needed.
  6. Notice there’s no way to bind a SNIP. You do that inside the instance. Click Create.

To save the configuration on a NetScaler instance

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, click NetScaler.
  2. In the NetScaler pane, click Save Configuration.
  3. In the Save Configuration dialog box, in Instance IP Address, select the IP addresses of the NetScaler instances whose configuration you want to save.
  4. Click OK.

Change NSIP of VPX Instance

If you change NSIP inside of VPX instead of using the Modify Instance wizard in the Service VM, see article http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX139206 to adjust the XenServer settings.

Enable Call Home

  1. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, click the NetScaler node.
  2. On the right, click Call Home.
  3. Enter an email address to receive communications regarding NetScaler Call Home.
  4. Check the box next to Enable Call Home.
  5. Select the instances to enable Call Home and click OK.
  6. You can view the status of Call Home by expanding NetScaler and clicking Call Home.
  7. The right pane indicates if it’s enabled or not. You can also configure Call Home from here.

VPX Instance – Firmware Upgrade

Upload NetScaler Firmware Build Files

To upgrade a VPX instance from the Management Service, first upload the firmware build file.

  1. Download the NetScaler firmware using the normal method.
  2. In the Configuration tab, on the left, expand NetScaler and click Software Images.
  3. On the right, in the Software Images tab click Upload.
  4. Browse to the build…tgz file and click Open.

Upgrading Multiple NetScaler VPX Instances

You can upgrade multiple instances at the same time.

  1. To prevent any loss of the configuration running on the instance that you want to upgrade, save the configuration on the instance before you upgrade the instance.
  2. On the Configuration tab, in the navigation pane, expand NetScaler and click Instances.
  3. Right-click an instance and click Upgrade.
  4. In the Upgrade NetScaler dialog box, in Build File, select the NetScaler upgrade build file of the version you want to upgrade to. Ignore the Documentation File. Click OK.

Management Service Monitoring

  1. To view syslog, in the navigation pane, expand System, click Auditing and then click Syslog Message in the right pane.
  2. To view the task log, in the navigation pane, expand Diagnostics, and then click Task Log.
  3. To view Management Service events, on the Configuration tab, in the expand System and click Events.
  4. NetScaler > Entities lets you see the various Load Balancing entities configured on the instances.

  5. To view instance alerts, go to NetScaler > Events > All Events.

  6. There is also event reporting.

Management Service Backups

The SDX appliance automatically keeps three backups of the Service VM configuration that are taken daily at 12:30 am.

Backups in NetScaler SDX 11.0 contain the following:

  • Single bundle image
  • NetScaler XVA image
  • NetScaler upgrade image
  • Management Service image
  • Management Service configuration
  • NetScaler SDX configuration
  • NetScaler configuration

You can go to Management Service > Backup Files to backup or restore the appliance’s configuration. And you can download the backup files.

You can configure the number of retained backups by clicking System on the left and then clicking Backup Policy in the right pane.

Web Interface Load Balancing – NetScaler 11

Last Modified: Jan 1, 2016 @ 6:25 am

Navigation

This procedure is only needed if you are running Web Interface instead of StoreFront.

Monitor

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Monitors.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Name it Web Interface or similar.
  4. Change the Type drop-down to CITRIX-WEB-INTERFACE.
  5. If you will use SSL to communicate with the Web Interface servers, then scroll down and check the box next to Secure.
  6. Switch to the Special Parameters tab.
  7. In the Site Path field, enter the path of a XenApp Web site (e.g. /Citrix/XenApp/).
    • Make sure you include the slash (/) on the end of the path or else the monitor won’t work.
    • The site path is also case sensitive.
  8. Click Create.

Servers

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Servers.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Enter a descriptive server name, usually it matches the actual server name.
  4. Enter the IP address of the server.
  5. Enter comments to describe the server. Click Create.
  6. Continue adding Web Interface servers.

Service Group

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management, expand Load Balancing, and click Service Groups.

  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the Service Group a descriptive name (e.g. svcgrp-WI-SSL).
  4. Change the Protocol to HTTP or SSL. If the protocol is SSL, ensure the Web Interface Monitor has Secure enabled.
  5. Scroll down and click OK.
  6. Click where it says No Service Group Member.
  7. If you did not create server objects then enter the IP address of a Web Interface Server. If you previously created a server object then change the selection to Server Based and select the server object.
  8. Enter 80 or 443 as the port. Then click Create.

  9. To add more members, click where it says 1 Service Group Member and then click Add. Click Close when done.

  10. On the right, under Advanced Settings, click Monitors.
  11. On the left, in the Monitors section, click where it says No Service Group to Monitor Binding.
  12. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  13. Select the Web Interface monitor and click Select.
  14. Then click Bind.
  15. To verify if the monitor is working or not, on the left, in the Service Group Members section, click the Service Group Members line.

  16. Highlight a member and click Monitor Details.
  17. The Last Response should indicate that Set-Cookie header was found. Click Close twice when done.
  18. Then click Done.

Load Balancing Virtual Server

  1. Create or install a certificate that will be used by the SSL Virtual Server. This certificate must match the DNS name for the load balanced Web Interface servers.
  2. On the left, under Traffic Management > Load Balancing, click Virtual Servers.

  3. On the right click Add.
  4. Name it Web Interface-SSL-LB or similar.
  5. Change the Protocol to SSL.
  6. Specify a new internal VIP.
  7. Enter 443 as the Port.
  8. Click OK.
  9. On the left, in the Services and Service Groups section, click where it says No Load Balancing Virtual Server ServiceGroup Binding.
  10. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  11. Select your Web Interface Service Group and click Select.
  12. Click Bind.
  13. Click Continue.
  14. Click where it says No Server Certificate.
  15. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  16. Select the certificate for this Web Interface Load Balancing Virtual Server and click Select.
  17. Click Bind.
  18. Click Continue.
  19. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Persistence.
  20. Select SOURCEIP persistence. Note: COOKIEINSERT also works with Web Interface. However, it doesn’t work with StoreFront.
  21. Set the timeout to match the timeout of Web Interface.
  22. The IPv4 Netmask should default to 32 bits.
  23. Click OK.
  24. If you haven’t enabled the Default SSL Profile, then perform other normal SSL configuration including: disable SSLv3, bind a Modern Cipher Group, and enable Strict Transport Security.
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -certkeyName MyCert
    
    set ssl vserver MyvServer -ssl3 DISABLED -tls11 ENABLED -tls12 ENABLED
    
    unbind ssl vserver MyvServer -cipherName ALL
    
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -cipherName Modern
    
    bind ssl vserver MyvServer -eccCurveName ALL
    
    bind lb vserver MyvServer -policyName insert_STS_header -priority 100 -gotoPriorityExpression END -type RESPONSE

SSL Redirect – Down vServer Method

If you created an SSL Virtual Server that only listens on SSL 443, users must enter https:// when navigating to the website. To make it easier for the users, create another load balancing Virtual Server on the same VIP that listens on HTTP 80 and then redirects the user’s browser to reconnect on SSL 443. This section details the Down vServer method. Alternatively you can configure the Responder method.

  1. On the left, under Traffic Management > Load Balancing, click Virtual Servers.

  2. On the right, find the SSL Virtual Server you’ve already created, right-click it and click Add. Doing it this way copies some of the data from the already created Virtual Server.
  3. Change the name to indicate that this new Virtual Server is an SSL Redirect.
  4. Change the Protocol to HTTP on Port 80.
  5. The IP Address should already be filled in. It must match the original SSL Virtual Server. Click OK.
  6. Don’t select any services. This vServer must intentionally be marked down so the redirect will take effect. Click Continue.
  7. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Protection.
  8. In the Redirect URL field, enter the full URL including https://. For example: https://citrix.company.com/Citrix/XenApp. Click OK.
  9. Click Done.
  10. When you view the SSL redirect Virtual Server in the list, it will have a state of DOWN. That’s OK. The Port 80 Virtual Server must be DOWN for the redirect to work.

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) – NetScaler 11

Last Modified: May 4, 2017 @ 2:05 pm

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

GSLB Planning

GSLB is nothing more than DNS. GSLB is not in the data path. GSLB receives a DNS query and GSLB sends back an IP address, which is exactly how a DNS server works. However, GSLB can do some things that DNS servers can’t do:

  • Don’t give out an IP address unless it is UP (monitoring)
    • If active IP address is down, give out the passive IP address (active/passive)
  • Give out the IP address that is closest to the user (proximity load balancing)
  • Give out different IPs for internal vs external (DNS View)

GSLB is only useful if you have a single DNS name that could resolve to two or more IP addresses. If there’s only one IP address then use normal DNS instead.

Citrix Blog Post Global Server Load Balancing: Part 1 explains how DNS queries work and how GSLB fits in.

Citrix has a good DNS and GSLB Primer.

When configuring GSLB, don’t forget to ask “where is the data?”. For XenApp/XenDesktop, DFS multi-master replication of user profiles is not supported so configure “home” sites for users. More information at Citrix Blog Post XenDesktop, GSLB & DR – Everything you think you know is probably wrong!

GSLB can be enabled both externally and internally. For external GSLB, configure it on the DMZ NetScaler appliances and expose it to the Internet. For internal GSLB, configure it on internal NetScaler appliances. Note: Each NetScaler appliance only has one DNS table so if you try to use one NetScaler for both public and internal then be aware that external users can query for internal GSLB-enabled DNS names. As described by Phil Bossman in the comments, you can use a Responder policy to prevent external users from reading internal DNS names.  💡

add policy patset GSLB_INTERNAL
bind policy patset GSLB_INTERNAL internalHostname.gslb.domain.com -index 1
add responder action DNS_Empty_Response respondwith DNS.NEW_RESPONSE
add responder policy GSLB_DNS_Empty_Response "(!(CLIENT.IP.SRC.IN_SUBNET(10.0.0.0/8)||CLIENT.IP.SRC.IN_SUBNET(192.0.0.0/16)||CLIENT.IP.SRC.IN_SUBNET(172.0.0.0/12)) && DNS.REQ.QUESTION.DOMAIN.CONTAINS_ANY(\"GSLB_INTERNAL\"))" DNS_Empty_Response
bind responder global GSLB_DNS_Empty_Response 100 END -type DNS_REQ_DEFAULT

For internal and external GSLB of the same DNS name on the same appliance, you can use DNS Policies and DNS Views to return different IP addresses depending on where users are connecting from. Citrix CTX130163 How to Configure a GSLB Setup for Internal and External Users Using the Same Host Name.

However, GSLB monitoring applies to the entire GSLB Service so it would take down both internal and external GSLB. If you need different GSLB monitoring for internal and external of the same DNS name, try CNAME:

  • External citrix.company.com:
    • Configure NetScaler GSLB for citrix.company.com.
    • On public DNS, delegate citrix.company.com to the NetScaler DMZ ADNS services.
  • Internal citrix.company.com:
    • Configure NetScaler GSLB for citrixinternal.company.com or something like that.
    • On internal DNS, create CNAME for citrix.company.com to citrixinternal.company.com
    • On internal DNS, delegate citrixinternal.company.com to NetScaler internal ADNS services.

 

Some IP Addresses are needed on each NetScaler pair:

  • ADNS IP: An IP that will listen for ADNS queries. For external, create a public IP for the ADNS IP and open UDP 53 so Internet-based DNS servers can access it. This can be an existing SNIP on the appliance.
  • GSLB Site IP / MEP IP: A GSLB Site IP that will be used for NetScaler-to-NetScaler communication, which is called MEP or Metric Exchange Protocol. The IP for ADNS can also be used for MEP / GSLB Site.
    • RPC Source IP: If running NetScaler 11.0 build 64 or newer then the GSLB Site IP can be anything and RPC traffic (MEP) can be sourced from the GSLB IP. For older NetScaler builds, RPC traffic is sourced from a SNIP, even if this is different than the GSLB Site IP. In older builds, it’s less confusing if you use a SNIP as the GSLB Site IP.
    • Public IP: For external GSLB, create public IPs that are NAT’d to the GSLB Site IPs. The same public IP used for ADNS can also be used for MEP. MEP should be routed across the Internet so NetScaler can determine if the remote datacenter has Internet connectivity or not.
    • MEP Port: Open port TCP 3009 between the two NetScaler GSLB Site IPs. Make sure only the NetScalers can access this port on the other NetScaler. Do not allow any other device on the Internet to access this port. This port is encrypted.
    • GSLB Sync Ports: To use GSLB Configuration Sync, open ports TCP 22 and TCP 3008 from the NSIP (management IP) to the remote public IP that is NAT’d to the GSLB Site IP. The GSLB Sync command runs a script in BSD shell and thus NSIP is always the Source IP.
  • DNS Queries: The purpose of GSLB is to resolve a DNS name to one of several potential IP addresses. These IP addresses are usually public IPs that are NAT’d to existing Load Balancing, SSL Offload, Content Switching, or NetScaler Gateway VIPs in each datacenter.
  • IP Summary: In summary, for external GSLB, you will need a minimum of two public IPs in each datacenter:
    • One public IP that is NAT’d to the IP that is used for ADNS and MEP (GSLB Site IP). You only need one IP for ADNS / MEP no matter how many GSLB names are configured. MEP (GSLB Site IP) can be a different IP, if desired.
    • One public IP that is NAT’d to a Load Balancing, SSL Offload, Content Switching, or NetScaler Gateway VIP.
    • If you GSLB-enable multiple DNS names, each DNS name usually resolves to different IPs. This usually means that you will need additional public IPs NAT’d to additional VIPs.

ADNS

  1. Identify an NetScaler-owned IP that you will use for ADNS. This is typically a SNIP.
  2. Configure a public IP for the ANDS Service IP and configure firewall rules.
  3. On the left, expand Load Balancing and click Services.
  4. On the right, click Add.
  5. Name the service ADNS or similar.
  6. In the IP Address field, enter an appliance SNIP.
  7. In the Protocol field, select ADNS. Then click OK.
  8. Scroll down and click Done.
  9. On the left of the console, expand System, expand Network and then click IPs.
  10. On the right, you’ll see the SNIP as now being marked as the ADNS svc IP. If you don’t see this yet, click the Refresh icon.
  11. Repeat on the other appliance in the other datacenter.

Metric Exchange Protocol

  1. Select an IP to be the GSLB Site IP. In NetScaler 11.0 build 64 and newer, this can be any IP. In older builds, you can use the same SNIP and same public IP used for ADNS.
  2. Open the firewall rules for Metric Exchange Protocol.
  3. On the left, expand Traffic Management, right-click GSLB and enable the feature.
  4. Expand GSLB and click Sites.
  5. On the right, click Add.
  6. Add the local site first. Enter a descriptive name and in the Site Type select LOCAL.
  7. In the Site IP Address field, enter an IP that this appliance will listen for MEP traffic. This IP must be in the default Traffic Domain. (Note: NetScaler 11.0 build 64 supports GSLB in Admin Partitions).
  8. For external GSLB, in the Public IP Address field, enter the public IP that is NAT’d to the GSLB Site IP. For internal GSLB, there’s no need to enter anything in the Public IP field. Click Create.
  9. Go back to System > Network > IPs and verify that the IP is now marked as a GSLB site IP. If you don’t see it yet, click the Refresh button.
  10. If you want to use the GLSB Sync Config feature, then you’ll need to edit the GSLB site IP and enable Management Access.
  11. When you enable Management Access on a dedicated GSLB site IP, SSH is already selected by default. That’s all you need.
  12. Go to the other appliance and also create the local GSLB site using its GSLB site IP and its public IP that is NAT’d to the GSLB site IP.
  13. In System > Network > IPs on the remote appliance, there should now be a GSLB site IP. This could be a SNIP. If GSLB Sync is desired, enable management access on that IP and ensure SSH is enabled.
  14. Now on each appliance add another GSLB Site, which will be the remote GSLB site.
  15. Enter a descriptive name and select REMOTE as the Site Type.
  16. Enter the other appliance’s actual GSLB Site IP as configured on the appliance. This IP does not need to be reachable.
  17. In the Public IP field, enter the public IP that is NAT’d to the GSLB Site IP on the other appliance. For MEP, TCP 3009 must be open to this IP from the local GSLB Site IP. For GSLB sync, TCP 22, and TCP 3008 must be open to this IP from the local NSIP. Click Create.
  18. Repeat on the other appliance.
  19. MEP will not function yet since the NetScalers are currently configured to communicate unencrypted on TCP 3011. To fix that, on the left, expand System, expand Network and click RPC.
  20. On the right, edit the new RPC address (the other site’s GSLB Site IP) and click Open.
  21. On the bottom, check the box next to Secure.
  22. In NetScaler 11.0 build 64 or newer, if your GSLB Site IP is not a SNIP then you’ll need to change the RPC Node to use the local GSLB Site IP as the source IP. Uncheck IPv6 first. Then enter the local GSLB Site IP. Click OK when done.
  23. Do the same thing on the other appliance.
  24. If you go back to GSLB > Sites, you should see it as active.

GSLB Services

GSLB Services represent the IP addresses that are returned in DNS Responses. DNS Query = DNS name. DNS Response = IP address.

GSLB should be configured identically on both NetScalers. Since you have no control over which NetScaler will receive the DNS query, you must ensure that both NetScalers are giving out the same DNS responses.

Create the same GSLB Services on both NetScalers:

  1. Start on the appliance in the primary data center. This appliance should already have a traffic Virtual Server (NetScaler Gateway, Load Balancing, or Content Switching) for the DNS name that you are trying to GSLB enable.
  2. On the left, expand Traffic Management > GSLB and click Services.
  3. On the right, click Add.
  4. The service name should be similar to the DNS name that you are trying to GSLB. Include the site name in the service name.
  5. Select the LOCAL Site.
  6. On the bottom part, select Virtual Servers and then select a Virtual Server that is already defined on this appliance. It should automatically fill in the other fields. If you see a message asking if you wish to create a service object, click Yes.
  7. Scroll up and make sure the Service Type is SSL. It’s annoying that NetScaler doesn’t set this drop-down correctly.
  8. The Public IP field contains the actual IP Address that the GSLB ADNS service will hand out. Make sure this Public IP is user accessible. It doesn’t even need to be a NetScaler owned IP.
  9. Scroll down and click OK.
  10. If the GSLB Service IP is a VIP on the local appliance, then GSLB will simply use the state of the local traffic Virtual Server (Load Balancing, Content Switching, or Gateway). If the GSLB Service IP is a VIP on a remote appliance, then GSLB will use MEP to ask the other appliance for the state of the remote traffic Virtual Server. In both cases, there’s no need to bind a monitor to the GSLB Service.
  11. However, you can also bind monitors directly to the GSLB Service. Here are some reasons for doing so:
    • If the GSLB Service IP is a NetScaler-owned traffic VIP, but the monitors bound the traffic Virtual Server are not the same ones you want to use for GSLB. When you bind monitors to the GSLB Services, the monitors bound to the traffic Virtual Server are ignored.
    • If the GSLB Service IP is in a non-default Traffic Domain, then you will need to attach a monitor since GSLB cannot determine the state of Virtual Servers in non-default Traffic Domains.
    • If the GSLB Service IP is not hosted on a NetScaler, then only GSLB Service monitors can determine if the Service IP is up or not.
  12. If you intend to do GSLB active/active and if you need site persistence then you can configure your GSLB Services to use Connection Proxy or HTTP Redirect. See Citrix Blog Post Troubleshooting GSLB Persistence with Fiddler for more details.
  13. Click Done.
  14. On the other datacenter NetScaler, create a GSLB Service.
  15. Select the REMOTE site that is hosting the service.
  16. Since the service is on a different appliance and not this one, you won’t be able to select it using the Virtual Servers option. Instead, select New Server.
  17. For the Server IP, enter the actual VIP configured on the other appliance. This local NetScaler will use GSLB MEP to communicate with the remote NetScaler to find a traffic Virtual Server with this VIP. The remote NetScaler respond if the remote traffic Virtual Server is up or not. The remote Server IP configured here does not need to be directly reachable by this local appliance. If the Server IP is not owned by either NetScaler, then you will need to bind monitors to your GSLB Service.
  18. In the Public IP field, enter the IP address that will be handed out to clients. This is the IP address that users will use to connect to the service. For Public DNS, you enter a Public IP that is usually NAT’d to the traffic VIP. For internal DNS, the Public IP and the Server IP are usually the same.
  19. Scroll up and change the Service Type to match the Virtual Server defined on the other appliance..
  20. Click OK.
  21. Just like the other appliance, you can also configure Site Persistence and GSLB Service Monitors. Click Done when done.
  22. Create more GSLB Services, one for each traffic VIP. GSLB is useless if there’s only one IP address to return. You should have multiple IP addresses (VIPs) through which a web service (e.g. NetScaler Gateway) can be accessed. Each of these VIPs is typically in different datacenters, or on different Internet circuits. The mapping between DNS name and IP addresses is configured in the GSLB vServer, as detailed in the next section.

GSLB Virtual Server

The GSLB Virtual Server is the entity that the DNS name is bound to. GSLB vServer then gives out the IP address of one of the GSLB Services that is bound to it.

Configure the GSLB vServer identically on both appliances:

  1. On the left, expand Traffic Management > GLSB, and click Virtual Servers.
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Give the GSLB vServer a descriptive name. For active/active, you can name it the same as your DNS name. For active/passive, you will create two GSLB Virtual Servers, one for each datacenter, so include Active or Passive in the Virtual Server name.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If you intend to bind multiple GSLB Services to this GSLB vServer, then you can optionally check the box for Send all “active” service IPs. By default, GSLB only gives out one IP per DNS query. This checkbox always returns all IPs, but the IPs are ordered based on the GSLB Load Balancing Method and/or GSLB Persistence.
  6. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Service.
  7. On the left, click where it says No GSLB Virtual Server to GSLBService Binding.
  8. Click the arrow next to Click to select.
  9. Check the box next to an existing GSLB Service and click Select. If your GSLB is active/passive then only bind one service.
  10. If your GSLB is active/active then bind multiple GSLB Services. Also, you’d probably need to configure GSLB persistence (Source IP or cookies).
  11. Click Bind.
  12. On the right, in the Advanced Settings column, click Domains.
  13. On the left, click where it says No GSLB Virtual Server Domain Binding.
  14. Enter the FQDN that GSLB will resolve.
  15. If this GSLB is active/passive, there are two options:
    • Use the Backup IP field to specify the IP address that will be handed out if the primary NetScaler is inaccessible or if the VIP on the primary appliance is marked down for any reason.
    • Or, create a second GSLB Virtual Server that has the passive GSLB service bound to it. Don’t bind a Domain to the second GSLB Virtual Server. Then edit the Active GSLB Virtual Server and use the Backup Virtual Server section to select the second GSLB Virtual Server.
  16. Click Bind.
  17. If this is active/active GSLB, you can edit the Method section to enable Static Proximity. This assumes the Geo Location database has already been installed on the appliance.
  18. Also for active/active, if you don’t want to use Cookie-based persistence, then you can use the Persistence section to configure Source IP persistence.
  19. Click Done.
  20. If you are configuring active/passive using the backup GSLB Virtual Server method, create a second GSLB Virtual Server that has the passive GSLB service bound to it. Don’t bind a Domain to the second GSLB Virtual Server. Then edit the Active GSLB Virtual Server and use the Backup Virtual Server section to select the second GSLB Virtual Server.

  21. On the left, if you expand Traffic ManagementDNS, expand Records and click Address Records, you’ll see a new DNS record for the GSLB domain you just configured. Notice it is marked as GSLB DOMAIN.

  22. Configure identical GSLB Virtual Servers on the other NetScaler appliance. Both NetScalers must be configured identically.
  23. You can also synchronize the GSLB configuration with the remote appliance by going to Traffic Management > GSLB.
  24. On the right, click Synchronize configuration on remote sites.
  25. Use the check boxes on the top, if desired. It’s usually a good idea to Preview the changes before applying them. Then click OK to begin synchronization.

Some notes regarding GSLB Sync:

  • It’s probably more reliable to do it from the CLI by running sync gslb config and one of the config options (e.g. -preview).
  • GSLB Sync runs as a script on the BSD shell and thus always uses the NSIP as the source IP.
  • GSLB Sync connects to the remote GSLB Site IP on TCP 3008 (if RPC is Secure) and TCP 22.

Test GSLB

  1. To test GSLB, simply point nslookup to the ADNS services and submit a DNS query for one of the DNS names bound to a GSLB vServer. Run the query multiple times to make sure you’re getting the response you expect.
  2. Both NetScaler ADNS services should be giving the same response.
  3. To simulate a failure, disable the traffic Virtual Server.
  4. Then the responses should change. Verify on both ADNS services.

  5. Re-enable the traffic Virtual Server, and the responses should return to normal.


DNS Delegation

If you are enabling GSLB for the domain gateway.corp.com, you’ll need to create a delegation at the server that is hosting the corp.com DNS zone. For public GSLB, you need to edit the public DNS zone for corp.com.

DNS Delegation instructions will vary depending on what product host’s the public DNS zone. This section details Microsoft DNS, but it should be similar in BIND or web-based DNS products.

There are two ways to delegate GSLB-enabled DNS names to NetScaler ADNS:

  • Delegate the individual record. For example, delegate gateway.corp.com to the two NetScaler ADNS services (gslb1.corp.com and gslb2.corp.com).
  • Delegate an entire subzone. For example, delegate the subzone gslb.corp.com to the two NetScaler ADNS services. Then create a CNAME record in the parent DNS zone for gateway.corp.com that is aliased to gateway.gslb.corp.com. When DNS queries make it to NetScaler, they will be for gateway.gslb.corp.com and thus gateway.gslb.corp.com needs to be bound to the GSLB Virtual Server instead of gateway.corp.com. For additional delegations, simply create more CNAME records.

This section covers the first method – delegating an individual DNS record:

  1. Run DNS Manager.
  2. First, create Host Records pointing to the ADNS services running on the NetScalers in each data center. These host records for ADNS are used for all GSLB delegations no matter how many GSLB delegations you need to create.
  3. The first Host record is gslb1 (or similar) and should point to the ADNS service (Public IP) on one of the NetScaler appliances.
  4. The second Host record is gslb2 and should point to the ADNS Service (public IP) on the other NetScaler appliance.
  5. If you currently have a host record for the service that you are delegating to GSLB (gateway.corp.com), delete it.
  6. Right-click the parent DNS zone and click New Delegation.
  7. In the Welcome to the New Delegation Wizard page, click Next.
  8. In the Delegated Domain Name page, enter the left part of the DNS record that you are delegating (e.g. gateway). Click Next.
  9. In the Name Servers page, click Add.
  10. This is where you specify gslb1.corp.com and gslb2.corp.com. Enter gslb1.corp.com and click Resolve. Then click OK. If you see a message about the server not being authoritative for the zone, ignore the message.
  11. Then click Add to add the other GSLB ADNS server.
  12. Once both ADNS servers are added to the list, click Next.
  13. In the Completing the New Delegation Wizard page, click Finish.
  14. If you run nslookup against your Microsoft DNS server, it will respond with Non-authoritative answer. That’s because it got the response from NetScaler and not from itself.

That’s all there is to it. Your NetScalers are now DNS servers. For active/passive, the NetScalers will hand out the public IP address of the primary data center. When the primary data center is not accessible, GSLB will hand out the GSLB Service IP bound to the Backup GSLB vServer.

Geo Location Database

If you want to use DNS Policies or Static Proximity GSLB Load Balancing or Responders based on user’s location, import a geo location database.

NetScaler 11 has a built-in database at /var/netscaler/inbuilt_db/ that you can use. Or you can download a database. Common free databases are:

For IP2Location, see the blog post Add IP2Location Database as NetScaler’s Location File for instructions on how to import.

To Download GeoLite Legacy:

  1. Download the GeoLite Country database CSV from http://dev.maxmind.com/geoip/legacy/geolite/.
  2. Note: GeoLite City is actually two files that must be merged as detailed at Citrix Blog Post GeoLite City as NetScaler location database. GeoLite Country doesn’t need any preparation.
  3. Upload the extracted database (.csv file) to the NetScaler appliance at /var/netscaler/locdb.

To import the Geo database (including the built-in database):

  1. In the NetScaler GUI, on the left, expand AppExpert, expand Location and click Static Database (IPv4).
  2. On the right, click Add.
  3. Change the Import From selection to File.
  4. Click Browse.
  5. For the built-in database, browse to /var/netscaler/inbuilt_db/ and open Citrix_NetScaler_InBuild_GeoIP_DB.csv.
  6. Or browse to the Geo Location database file you uploaded and open it.
  7. In the Location Format field, if using the built-in database, select netscaler.
  8. If using GeoLite Country, select geoip-country.
  9. Click Create.
  10. When you open a GSLB Service, the public IP will be translated to a location.

You can use the Geo locations in a DNS Policy, static proximity GSLB Load Balancing, or Responders: