Disaster Recovery Solution options for XenDesktop 56 infrastructure

Hello there,

We have set-up prod XenDesktop 56 Infrastructure with 2 x Netscaler 5500 , 2 x Desktop Delivery Controllers, 2 x StoreFront servers, 1 x Citrix License server, SQL server hosting XenDesktop Database and Network DFS-N (storing user profiles).

We have created 2 x machine catalogs with 150 machines each with DHCP scope, using VMware as hypervisor.

My question, we have now the task of designing DR solution for above set-up. What are the options available?

One suggestion was to have Active -Active solution, that is to split-up the Netscaler, DDC, SF  servers in Primary Datacenter and DR Data center, including fail-over option for SQL and DFS-N. In the event of Primary Data center going down, users will not have any impact, as they will be seamlessly get connected to infra in DR center.

Is this viable scenario?

Please advise.

Thanks and Regards
goprasadAsked:
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goprasadAuthor Commented:
Please advise.
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CoralonCommented:
In XenDesktop, a physical site is considered a Farm.. they have to be well connected (to use the microsoft terminology).  

Unless you have massive bandwidth between the prod & dr sites, that's probably not a great solution.

A lot depends on how much recovery you need between the sites.  If it really needs to be no user impact, then you should completely duplicate the setup on your DR site, and use SQL log shipping to keep that database up to date.  (Also, be careful about your license server!  As of 5.6, XD will shutdown after 5 minutes if it loses contact with the license server).

However, with the right VMWare licensing, you can use the VMWare failovers to migrate the entire environment (assuming it is all virtualized), and avoid the extra overhead.

Coralon
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basrajCommented:
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goprasadAuthor Commented:
Hello Coralon, The connectivity between 2 sites (Prod and DR) is fibre, good bandwidth. In this scenario if the following viable option?

split-up the Netscaler, DDC, SF  servers in Primary Datacenter and DR Data center, including fail-over option for SQL and DFS-N.
In the event of Primary Data center going down, users will not have any impact, as they will be seamlessly get connected to infra in DR center.

Please advise.
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CoralonCommented:
I would not.  Unless you have latency in the less than 5ms range, I absolutely would not do it.  If you wanted to go that route, I'd make them 2 completely separate and unrelated farms.  Then you would just provide some form of failover for your actual data, and possibly your license server.

Going that route,  you'd lose the redundancy between the sites.  But, if you try to make them the same farm across the wire, you will probably run into a lot of timing issues, possible database corruptions, etc.  Citrix won't support you on it either :-\  Remember - to them a site/farm is based on everything being on a LAN, and not on a WAN.

Coralon
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goprasadAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for the explanation. In nutshell, Active - Active DR solution is not recommended. WE will have to plan for Active - Passive, with active farm replicated in Passive.
In Active-Passive, I am sure we will have to manually fail-over, users to DR, to the extent, we will have to create a new machine catalogue.
Because, the new machines will have to get IP add from the DHCP server in DR center. Because I am not sure, how can we ensure seamless allocation of IP add's to all the VM's when we fire up in DR, using VMware SRM?

Please advise.
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CoralonCommented:
The VMWare should handle the IP assignments and update AD itself.  (I'm not the VMWare guy.. I'm the Citrix guy.  My coworker handles the VMWare backend.)  

As long as your VM's all failover together and the IP's are updated, there shouldn't be much of anything to handle by hand.  

My other thought to being sure about the IP allocation is to make sure your DR side has an equivalent zone (same number of IP's etc.) to make sure you have enough space for it.

Coralon
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