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Optimising Citrix XenApp in the Virtual Datacenter

Atlantis Computing has announced the release of Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp to address the challenges associated with virtualising Citrix XenApp deployments on VMware vSphere. Atlantis ILIO reduces provisioning time, improves the user experience and cuts the amount of storage required by up to 90% when running Citrix XenApp in the virtual data centre. Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp is particularly critical to customers planning to virtualise XenApp 6.5 with Windows Server 2008 R2.

 

Date: 29 Mar 2012

Virtualising XenApp causes a storage bottleneck that increases provisioning times, extends boot times and can reduce the number of XenApp sessions per server. To address the storage and performance barriers, Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp continuously optimises the storage traffic of the virtualised Windows Server throughout the daily cycle of re-provisioning, bootup and logon.

“There is a massive install base of customers on Citrix XenApp 4.5 with Windows Server 2003 that must move to Citrix XenApp 6.5 with Server 2008 R2 by March 2013,” said Vincent Branger, Virtualisation Expert and Consultant, Infralys. “When customers migrate to XenApp 6.5, the majority will virtualise Windows Server 2008 R2 to take advantage of the manageability and consolidation benefits of server virtualisation. However, the combination of virtualising XenApp, upgrading to Windows Server 2008 and shared storage introduces performance issues with provisioning, boot time and application response time for IO bound applications.”

As XenApp customers migrate to Windows Server 2008, they want to virtualise their XenApp servers to take advantage of server consolidation and improve their manageability. However, the combination of virtualising XenApp and moving to Windows Server 2008 requires a significant increase in the amount of shared storage needed to avoid performance issues.

“Both VDI and Citrix XenApp/RDS follow patterns of approximately 80-90% write activity vs. read activity during steady state. This means that the enhanced write capability delivered by Atlantis ILIO is extremely important to the scalability of the Citrix XenApp & RDS/TS platform,” said Shawn Bass, Citrix CTP and Microsoft MVP. “Deploying RDS/XenApp workloads behind Atlantis ILIO can reduce storage requirements, improve provisioning and boot time and improve scalability.”

“As we deployed Atlantis ILIO for VDI to help optimise Citrix XenDesktop deployments, we were continually asked by customers about helping them with their Citrix XenApp deployments,” said Bernard Harguindeguy, CEO of Atlantis Computing. “The Atlantis ILIO optimisation of XenApp helps customers overcome the storage challenges of migrating XenApp to a virtualised data centre, makes it possible to provision and refresh XenApp servers on-demand, and improves the user experience.”
 

Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp Test Results as Measured by Citrix CTP and Microsoft MVP, Shawn Bass

Performance
Provisioning – 53% faster provisioning
Boot Time – 4x faster boot times
Applications – accelerates response time of IO bound applications
Density
Server Density – 16% increase in users per server
Storage Density – 10x more users on existing storage
Storage Savings
Storage Capacity – reduce storage capacity by 92%
IO Offload – reduce IO to storage by up to 90%
Latency – reduce IO latency to improve response time
 

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Tags: Desktop Virtualization, Citrix

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