Installing Teams Optimization pack

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Citrix has released an optimisation pack for Microsoft teams. I think its fair to say that this RTOP pack has been highly anticipated.

This blog is part 1 of 2, here I wanted to focus on the required pre-requisites and installation instructions for Microsoft Teams on a Citrix environment.

What is the Team Optimization pack:

Running Skype for Business or MS Team in a hosted shared environment can be a real burden on the CPU and memory, and as a result it is recommended to offload processing to the client device using an optimization pack. Issues such as hair pinning are avoided as traffic flows peer to peer where possible. Citrix have released a great blog on it with lots of detail. https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/12/12/hdx-optimization-for-microsoft-teams-now-generally-available/

Things to remember

  • Teams is not supported below the CVAD version 1906.2
  • Teams is supported in the 1912 LTSR, but new features may not if a newer version of the VDA is required.
  • The Optimization packs are now built into the VDA and Workspace app clients. No more media engine versions to worry about.
  • The Current Release or CR will always have more features than the LTSR. This is something to keep in mind when looking at the an update strategy for Citrix CVAD.

RTOP Pre-requisites:

  • The version of Citrix Workspace app is very important. Please use version 1907 or above. I would recommend using the latest version available to access as many features as possible.
  • The version of VDA is also important and has a minimum version of 1906 or higher. Again I would recommend using the latest VDA possible.
  • The version of the Teams installed is also something to be careful of and should be above version 1.2.00.31357. https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/multimedia/opt-ms-teams.html
  • The Windows and Mac Citrix Workspace clients support Team optimization at the time of writing this article with Linux on the way.

Installing Teams on a VDI environment

When installing Teams on a VDI environment, it must be installed a certain way.

Use the correct media or installer: Download the msi from Microsoft site, and save for a command line install. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/teams-for-vdi

Install Teams using the installer with the following commands. This will install teams using the machine wide installer. This is recommended for non persistant VDI.

Once the install is complete, you can check that it is installed as a machine wide install

Citrix Policies

With Citrix Studio, you can create a Citrix policy to allow Teams Redirection. It is a default policy.

Choose the option “Allowed”

Assign the policy to a delivery group, (you choose how you wish to assign the policy.)

Enable the Policy, by clicking Enabling Policy.

Lets now launch a desktop from Citrix Workspace. I have the latest version of Citrix Workspace installed on my machine. Version 20.2.0.25.

With Skype, we had an indicator in the system tray to let us know if RTOP was optimising skype for business. Teams is done differently and to check if the optimization is configured correctly, navigate to the account settings, about and version. You can see that the title bar at the top now has in brackets (Citrix HDX Optimized)

When you click on call within Teams for the first time you are asking to allow the HDX Teams Overlay. Click Allow.

Within task manager you can see the process called HDX Overlay teams is running.

This part one, we will have a follow up blog part two where we will get into some additional detail.

Useful Docs:

This is a troubleshooting guide that is very helpful https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX253754

Installation Guide: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/teams-for-vdi

Citrix Documentation: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-virtual-apps-desktops/multimedia/opt-ms-teams.html

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