Recommended / Best Practices Restart Procedure for Citrix XenApp Environment

Hi All,

I have an environment I manage which is running a 6-VM server Citrix setup with the following:
1x - CAG
1x - Web Interface
1x - Data Collector
3x - XenApp 6.5 Servers

With regards to restarting the servers, what do you guys recommend as the best practice?

I would firstly out of business hours shut them all down and typically I would start them up in the following order:

1. Start the CAG, Web Interface and Data Collector.
2. Start the remaining 3 XenApp servers.

Would like to know whether my approach is the correct / best practice approach or whether I am doing it backwards?

What do you guys recommend?

Cheers
vasbozAsked:
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Tony JLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
Nothing wrong in the order you're doing them. Typically though, CAGs tend to be quite stable and not require the same amount of reboots as Citrix application servers.

Ditto the WI and Data Collector - if the latter isn't also hosting apps, it tends to be quite stable.

Most places tend to just reboot the application servers (i.e the ones actually hosting published apps) once a week - and ideally via automation - on a staggered phase in case one doesn't come back up cleanly. So in your case, I'd recommend say a Friday, Monday and Wednesday nights - that way if one doesn't come back up you at least have the other two.
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Justin OwensITIL Problem ManagerCommented:
We set up our Application servers for daily reboots at 3:00 AM because they are heavily enough used that they become non-responsive due to overload when we don't.  A better solution would be to expand the app server farm, but that is not an option for us right now.  As Tony1044 mentioned, you should not need to have frequent reboots of the other servers.  I tend to hold off on those to wait for monthly patches and updates.  In this way, each server gets at least one reboot a month.

Ultimately, it is about personal preference and best practice for your specific scenario.

DrUltima
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Ayman BakrSenior ConsultantCommented:
The best practice is to have a periodic reboot to the session-hosting servers (that is the XenApp servers). How often is this reboot depends on the load on the servers and how often is the cache/RAM/pagefile depleted. Some people do it biweekly and I know of others who do it on a daily basis!

Personally, we do it on a weekly basis. Tony1044's suggestion is great, in case you decided to do it on a weekly basis, to distribute the reboot over the week days. However, just for your information, in our case this is not possible and we have SLAs with our clients where we are entitled to a maintenance window period on a weekend only - so we can't reboot during the weekdays.

Again, as Tony1044 outlined, the Web interface, data collector (if not hosting sessions), CAG and SQL servers are usually stable - so it is not required to have a reboot schedule for them. However, in case you need to apply patches where a restart is needed or in case of emergencies the order for shutting down and bringing up should be as follows:

ShutDown order:
1. Shut down the XenApp servers first
2. Shut down the Data Collector, Web Interface, CAG (doesn't matter here which is first)
3. Shut down SQL server
4. If the above are VMs and if required shut down the hypervisors (XenServers)

Booting Up order:
1. Boot up the hypervisors
2. Boot up the SQL server
3. Boot up the Data collectors, CAG, Web Interface servers
4. Boot up the XenApp servers
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