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Citrix Server design

Posted on 2013-02-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-03-03
When we try to setup a new citrix environment for 1000 users. what is the best way to design the environment\servers\Web interface\data streo.

all the users are goign to be in same location
Question by:sandy2learn
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 38850745
This is a very broad question. If your org is new to it, you would generally want to sart off with XenApp environment (later you might find a need to go for XenDesktop as a complimentary product rather than replacement).

Typically in one location you would consider the following design aspects:
1- It is recommended to have your data store on a separate SQL server
2- Citrix license server is light weight and can be placed on a low-end server or combined with other light-weight server roles like the RD license server
3- Two data collectors dedicated (two for fault tolerance)
4- XenApp servers that are only session hosts (number of xenapp servers will depend on the application silos and load your users will put on the servers during a typical day, taking into consideration peak hours - you can determine this with Edgesight for load testing)
5- Two (for fault tolerance and/or load balancing) web interface servers (web interface is approaching its life cycle end and you should start considering storefront)
6- You might want to consider provisioning servers for provisioning your XenApps as this will ease your administration and updates of your servers (patching, upgrades to applications).

Author Comment

ID: 38850855
we dont have edgesight for load testing. I need to know more about on server sizing.
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Ayman Bakr
Ayman Bakr earned 2000 total points
ID: 38851280
Sizing in terms of number of session hosts really boils down to the following factors:
- how many applications silo you will have (a silo is determined on the basis of conflicts between apps, security, or  performance)
- how many users for each silo
- depending on the load on the server, how many users can be handled by a server; thus you will be able to reach to the number XenApps needed.

People who do not have tools like EdgeSight for load testing will usually carry the load testing manually via pilot users. You will have to pilot it and monitor some performance counters. Your pilot shoule typically include a sample of 10 of your most heavy users. During the pilot test you will also keep an eye on peak hours and how these counters will be impacted.

Some of the most important performance counters you will have to look at:

CPU utilization: with contant CPU usage you will have to consider to spread out the load further; however, spikes for a few ms are acceptable (spikes occur when users start sessions in bulk, e.g. in the morning, or during peak hours when certain processes need higher load). Usually you would want to have your CPU utilization at less than 80 - 90 % during peak times.

Memory - With XenApp 6.5, the OS is 2008 R2, i.e. 64 bit. You should not limit yourself to 4 GB. See my explanation for hardware below. Again, you should be concerned if memory utilization grows above 80 - 90 %.

Disk Latency - if you think to virtualize your environment (I am in favor of doing so), this usually implies SAN storage. Responsiveness would be important.

Disk Queue Length - this relates to the above and usually you would be concerned if this goes above 2.

You might also be looking at network bandwidth utilization. The above is not 'hard-coded', they can vary with your environment.

With 64 bit servers I would strongly recommend that you set the RAM to at least 8 GB, 16+ GB recommended, for two reasons. First WOW64 requires additional resources to provide 32 bit DLLs in isolation from 64bit environment to cater for 32 bit applications. Second, unlike 32bit OS, in a 64 bit OS the kernel is not limited to 2GB of RAM; so in order to provide more RAM for the kernel for better performance and still provide enough RAM for your users you need to have ideally RAM between 16 GB and 64 GB for best performance.
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Author Comment

ID: 38879081
how edgesight for load testing works?
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Ayman Bakr earned 2000 total points
ID: 38880005
You will have the Controller where you will create virtual user scripts and define tests. Once the tests are ready for playback the Controller sends instructions to the Launchers for running the tests. The tests will be run with a certain number of virtual users over a certain period of time. Once the instructions are received the launchers will generate virtual user ICA session on the target XenApp (or XenDesktop). The number of launchers will depend on the target virtual user load.

Then the launchers will send session reports to the Controller which in turn will carry out the analysis during run-time and after run-time.

This way you can simulate as many as you wish of virtual users and measure the responsiveness of the servers you have thus determining the load bearable and how many to have available for your environment.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 38924567
Why the 'B' Grade? I have answered all your questions precisely, upto the point (even beyond), and in a timely manner.

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