Citrix Solution to virtualize Server and Desktops

Hello Guys,

We are looking into Citrix Solution for Server and Desktop Virtualization..  Therefore, need some help for compiling the solution..

We have 8 physical servers which we would like to virtualise and 500 desktops.

Can you please advise what hardware and software is require to accomplish this.  We need a rough shopping list to workout the costings for the solution.

Many thanks!
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amichaellConnect With a Mentor Commented:
So you are likely looking at a deployment involving XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer, and Provisioning Services.  XenApp provides access to hosted applications.  XenDesktop provides access to hosted desktops.  XenServer is a hypervisor to run virtual machines (server or desktop).  Provisioning Services is utilized to stream an operating system "Golden Image" to multiple machines (physical or virtual).  

So the first question that needs to be asked is why are you looking at virtual desktops?  Have you considered straight XenApp or Remote Desktop Services?  VDI does offer a few benefits, though you should ensure your business needs can't first be met by using a traditional SBC approach.

There is quite a bit needed to stand up a XenDesktop environment.  Let's run through it briefly:


For XenApp you'll need server operating system licenses and Microsoft RDS CALs.  You'll also need Citrix licenses.  If you purchase XenDesktop Platinum you'll get XenApp as well.  

XenDesktop requires an operating system license for each desktop.  There is a server component (Delivery Controller) that requires a server operating system license.

XenServer is free (for a stripped down version), though if you want other features, such as dynamic memory, you'll want to buy a license.  If you purchase XenDesktop Platinum you'll get these licenses as well.

Provisioning Services licenses come with XenDesktop Platinum.  You'll also need server operating system licenses for each PVS server you want (minimum two recommended).


XenApp can run physical or virtual.  If you are stuck with a 32 bit environment then I recommend virtual.  If you can go full 64 bit then you might benefit from physical.

XenDesktop will need a Delivery Controller.  Preferably two.  These can be virtual servers.

XenServer is your underlying hypervisor, so you'll need physical servers for these.

Provisioning Services is recommended as physical servers.  You'll need RAM, fast disks, and multiple network interfaces (minimum four).

So that's a quick rundown.  Let's go from there.
nappy_dConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You largest obstacle is hardware from a cost perspective.

Top line overview for virtualizatio:
- you can typically get 4-6 servers per processor core
- so for your 8 servers, you need two cores
- now for your users in a XenApp virtualized environment, you can get at most 25 users per virtualized OS.
-doing the math, that puts you at roughly 30 servers for XenApp.
-next you need server with dual quad core procs.
+ doing the math that is roughly for physical host is approx 10 servers plus 1 or two for failover.
fais79Author Commented:
Thank you both for some brilliant suggestions... I am new to the world of Citrix need a bit of hand holding in terms of the software..

From what I understand from your posts is.

- 12 x Physical Servers each with Max Mem, 2 x Quad CPUs, 2 x 72GB Raid1 Disks, 6 network ports
- 2 x SAN
- Switches

- 12 x Xen Server Enterprise Edition
- How many XenApp Licenses?
- How many XenDesktop License?
- How many Windows Server Licenses?
- How many Windows Server RDS CALs?

Its software I am confused about.. Can you guys please help me in compiling the list and number of software require desktop vdi usin citrix
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RDS Cals = # of users in your environment.
Windows Server Licenses = RDS CALs unless you are using machine CALs and not user CALs
Get Xenapp licenses because it is concurrent usage9unless they changed this)  By doing this you only need to purchase a percentage of your user base un less every user works remotely 100% of the time.
fais79Author Commented:
We have 1200 users with maximum of 500 concurrent connections.  We want to allow users to acccess the new Windows 7 as a virtualised desktop therefore, do we need 500 x Windows 7 Pro licenses?  Would we still need RDS CALs? I guess not and rather need server user CALs?
If you go with XenDesktop 5 only you will not need RDS CALs.  If you plan to use XenApp as well you'll need RDS CALs.  

fais79Author Commented:
Pardon my ignorance.. is XenDesktop a one of license or is relevant to concurrent desktops?
fais79Author Commented:
After a lot of research I have come to the conclusion that we need to buy the following to accomplish the VDI side of things..  Can someone please confirm this:

- 10 x XenServer Enterprise Edition + 2 for failover
- 500 x XenDesktop Device Licenses (Allowing all users to logon via any device)

Please correct me if I need to purchase anything extra..

Many Thanks
Your XenDesktop licenses should come with XenServer licenses as well.

You will also need OS licenses for your servers.
fais79Author Commented:
Yes I am aware of the Windows OS Licenses..

Does each XenServer license comes with x no of XenDesktop licenses? If yes then how many XenDesktop Licenses come with each XenServer License?
fais79Author Commented:
Also am trying to look for a dell SAN.. can someone give me an idea on how much space do I need to provision to host 500 simultaneous desktops? I would like to allocate 30GB per desktop for the OS and software installation files therefore, does this mean it's 30GB x 500?  Which is way too much space requirement..  

All user data will be stored on a separate SAN..
I think the bottom to many of your questions, while we can provide answers are to your benefit to hire a local consultant in your area.  It will be well worth the investment.

ALSO BE CAREFUL with the windows licensing.  When virtualizing desktops, there is also an annual desktop license fee that HAS to be paid PER Virtualized desktop.

Here is a post of some requirements for provisioning:
The number of XenDeskto licenses aren't tied to XenServer licenses.  You can run as many VMs as your hardware will allow on XenServer.  

If you are using Provisioning Services with a Standard vDisk then you only need a single Golden Image large enough to hold the OS and applications.  Of course you'll want some space for backups of that image.  You'll also need some space to store the Write Cache.  

Nappy d is on target with the consultant suggestion.  You are getting in to design questions that are best answered with the engagement of a consultant.  There really is quite a bit to consider.
nappy_dConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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