As many corporations are still considering Citrix XenApp 6.5, quick tour of the best practices and recommendations about the sizing and configuration of the infrastructure.
- Easy to manage
- vMotion across hosts
- Crash of one XA server is impacting less users
- User density is inferior with virtualization
- Cost (Virtualization is more expensive)
- more management activities
VMware is the leader in the Tier-1 hypervisors and my favorite to deploy XenApp 6.5. However there is nothing blocking you to use Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer.
CPU pinning disabled.
Memory Allocation: Fixed (No dynamically allocation of memory).
Host Swapping disabled.
Ensure that all critical components are not located on the same host.
No performance improvement with Quad processors.
Do not Overcommit your CPUs.
Size your infrastructure to use 24 vCPU (1.5 x ESX nb CPU).
Note: Do not deploy XenApp 6.5 VM with 2vCPU.
Note: Use all the memory available on your host
System – 40 GB and Data – 40GB
Always make sure to install the latest version of the VMware Tools for optimal performances.
- Light: One or two applications no browser-based activity.
- Normal: Multiple applications with browser-based activity.
- Heavy: Published Desktops, few applications but heavy system resource requirements. Data processing, compiling, or graphics manipulation are common applications.
- Light users: 36 users per XA VM
- Normal Users: 24 per XA VM
- Heavy users: 12 users per XA VM
Quad Socket Host
- Light users: 30 users per XA VM
- Normal Users: 20 users per XA VM
- Heavy users: 10 users per XA VM
- Light users: 36 users x 2 IOPS = 72 steady state IOPS per XA VM
- Normal Users: 24 users x 4 IOPS = 96 steady state IOPS per XA VM
- Heavy users: 12 users x 8 IOPS = 96 steady state IOPS per XA VM
Quad Socket Host
- Light users: 30 users x 2 IOPS = 60 steady state IOPS per XA VM
- Normal Users: 20 users x 4 IOPS = 80 steady state IOPS per XA VM
- Heavy users: 10 users x 8 IOPS = 80 steady state IOPS per XA VM
Make sure to select a storage solution delivering the IOPS required for your project.
XML Broker - Secure Ticket Authority (STA) & Data Collector (ZDC)
They should not run published applications.
Dedicate a Most Preferred Zone Data Collector in each zone.
Change the default XML port (ex: 8080).
Load balance XML brokers with Netscaler add the VIP in the WI/StoreFront configuration.
CPU and Memory usage are not significant.
Web Interface / StoreFront
Load balance the web interface servers by means of an intelligent load balancing appliance (i.e. Citrix NetScaler).
Encrypt HTTP traffic and enable Socket Pooling.
A dual 2.2 GHz CPU server running Web Interface 5.4 can handle more than ~30,000 sessions per hour.
To prevent failed logons and to optimize logon times, ensure that the STAs specified within Access Gateway match the STAs specified within Web Interface, including the order specified
Supported Databases: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX114501.
Configure a specific DNS alias for your database server would help during SQL migrations.
There is no need for a second server because of the 30 days grace period if the license server is down. Just backup this server in a way to make sure that you are able to restore it quickly.
Desktop Director / Edgesight
Note: Always put non-critical services on non-critical servers.
Microsoft RDS License server
Single farm/Multiple farms
- Location and needs of the users or your organization – If your organization is a service provider, you might want to dedicate a farm to each organization for which you provide service. Multiple farms might make it easier to demonstrate compliance with specific service level agreements.
- Geographic layout of your organization – If your IT infrastructure is organized by region and managed in a decentralized manner, multiple farms could improve farm performance. Multiple farms could also save time when coordinating farm administration and simplify troubleshooting farm-wide issues.
- Network infrastructure limitations – In WANs with high latency or error rates, multiple farms may perform better than a single farm with multiple zones.
- Organizational security policies concerning server communications – Consider multiple farms if your organization needs to segregate data based on security level. Likewise, you might need multiple farms for regulatory compliance.
- Application deployment methods – If you plan to use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 to deploy applications, XenApp Connector for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 components must be installed on servers within the same farm.
Keep in mind that you need as many datastore databases as farms.
Disable automatic installation of print drivers.
Use Citrix Universal Printer drivers as much as possible.