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Best practice for Citrix installation, how to choose hardware configuration

Posted on 2006-06-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18

We are trying to implement Citrix in our office for 30 users, especially for accounts. What is the right way of installing on server with raid 5? Such as is OS to be mirrored and applications to be installed on mirrored drives etc.


Question by:aabhyankar
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Accepted Solution

Avatar261 earned 252 total points
ID: 16934512
It depends on what redundancy you require and how much disk space you need.

I just have 2 disks mirrored for some of my Citrix Servers. Others i have the OS in 2 mirrored disks and data on a RAID 5 array.

For 30 users i would adopt option one. Get 2 75GIG disks if you can and mirror them

LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 16935692
If you can afford it, 2 RAID 1 arrays would be faster.  Put the OS and half the swap files on one array and put applications and the other half of the swapfile on the other.  Terminal Services can require tons of pagefile space; you want 2-2.5 times the amount of RAM available for your pagefile.  

Expert Comment

ID: 16940891
No, that is wrong.

2 RAID 1 would be bad, if you can afford it you want 1 RAID 1 for the OS and RAID 5 for the apps.

What you said about the pagefile is also generally incorrect. Follow this article and make sure you add the /PAE /3GB /USERVA:3030 switches if you have more than 2GIG RAM http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?id=69

I have 4GIG RAM in my server with a page file of just over 2GIG. Windows does not need anymore than that. Make sure the do put the pagefile on a seperate drive to your OS though.
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

BLipman earned 248 total points
ID: 16946288
Sigh, where do I start...
The last thing you want is to write RAID 5 parity for a swapfile, when your disk subsystem does lots of small writes (like a pagefile) RAID 5 will hurt your performance.  Also, when you lose a disk RAID 1 performs 100% whereas RAID 5 runs degraded.  Here is are links to forum posts regarding pagefiles:


As you can see, RAID 5, especially for a pagefile, is a miserable idea.  RAID 1 or a single disk is much faster only second to a RAID 0 (I dont like the risk of RAID 0 personally).  

Look at actual documentation from Citrix and Microsoft and you will see the 2-2.5x recommendation holds.  You never want to put the 3GB switch on a terminal server IMO, why would you take the GB of RAM from your Kernel?  That is for database and exchange servers.  
Here is a quote right from Avatar261's link stating how bad of an idea 3GB would be:

"Using the /3GB (for Windows 2000) or the /4GT (for Windows 2003) boot.ini switches is even worse in Terminal Server environments because those switches change the partition between the application memory space and kernel memory space. These switches gives each application 3GB of memory, which in turn only leaves 1GB for the kernel—a disaster in Terminal Server environments!"

Please get your facts straight before telling me I am wrong.  

Here is a link to the Methadology In A Box; this is a Citrix "must read".  Then check out the MetaFrame Administrator's Guide and Advanced Concepts Guide.  


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