Citrix Xenapp 7.6 Design

Hi All,

I am designing a Citrix Xenapp 7.6 infrastructure. Our audience is of 100 users that will connect directly to a remote desktop session on a server 2008 R2, all the servers will be virtualised on vmware vsphere.
the Storefront Server, Delivery Controller and the License server will have 2 CPU's, 4gb Ram, 50gb page file disk.

The VDA agent servers (servers that users will connect to) will have 4 CPU's and 6gb ram, along with 100gb page.

Is this configuration OK?

thank you in advance
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAsked:
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Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
How do i check if i have enough capacity, eg. CPU, RAM, Storage on my vsphere cluster?
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
although the infrastructure is small, however we do plan to grow in the future.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
Unfortunately, as with most things Citrix, the answer is a solid "It depends"

There is some really useful sizing information here

One thing I'm curious of - if this is a green fields (new) install, why 2008 and 2012?
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Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
sorry do you mean why 2008 and not 2012?
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
"..server 2008 R2,"

Why not WIndows Server 2012 R2?
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
i dont think we have the licenses for 2012 r2
Sekar ChinnakannuStaff EngineerCommented:

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Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
That tool is for VDI though, not XenApp.
Sukhraj DhaliwalCommented:
As per previous comments, it really does depend on your server spec, networking, user workload etc.

Those server spec would most probably be okay however you will need to provide more info on the hypervisor/esxi host itself.

You can find this out through the vSphere client.

Sorry if you are not getting the answer you are after but it really is 'finger in the air 'at the moment.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
6GB RAM for the VDA servers might be limiting though.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I am also building a director server, should i do install this on a separate VM or install this on the storefront, delivery controller or license server??
Sukhraj DhaliwalCommented:
Yes. Can happily live on either. Its actually part of the default install.

 Again, you will need to test performance.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
Kabir you need to do some research into these things yourself because we don't have enough insight into your precise requirements to accurately answer these questions.

To give you some idea, ordinarily I would expect to do a requirements gathering piece of work prior to even putting finger to keyboard to design. A large part of that would be finding out what you currently have, how you would expect to use it and how we would scale the new implementation.

Now please don't take this the wrong way, but I would suggest you require help from an SME - you are effectively fudging your way through a raft of technologies you don't understand deeply and this will, ultimately, bite you. Citrix can be a complicated beast to get in right and if you don't you'll find your users having a less than satisfying experience. And they will ultimately blame "Citrix" constantly whether the problems lie there or not (they tend to do this anyway, as it's the most visibly prominent aspect that they come to know and relate to).

At the very least, read through this:

 But again, I would really recommend you pay someone to come in and advise you.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
our goal at the moment is to build a simple infrastructure based on a solid foundation. We are confident we can do this ourselves, i have done this before with vpshere and there was no need to hire expensive consultants. As long as all options are explored and all decisions are discussed with the team and also documented, i am sure it will be a successful project.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
thank you for all the help guys! really appreciate it.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
Again, I am not being personal but really? You are trying to put into place a solution for 100 users without even the basic knowledge of the technology you are trying to implement but yet you are confident you can do it alone?

Let me ask you some questions:

Have you / are you intending to throw this into your live environment or build it as a proof of concept?

How do you intend to give your users access? How will you secure this access? Are you aware that, for example, there's been a move away from SSL to TLS and the former won't work on the latest clients?

Have you done any performance or scalability testing on your existing infrastructure?

Do you intend to do load/performance/functional/non functional tests? If so, how do you expect to be able to produce these tests? Do you know if your existing platform can scale to support these 100 users?

Have you tested the applications to make sure they are compatible and supported? And can be licensed?

Have you read any of the best practices guides for how to tune the solution? Especially for use on a virtualised platform?

I am all for assisting, I really am, but this sounds like one of the many systems I've later been asked to dig out of the mire because it simply doesn't work as expected. Citrix can be an incredibly complex beast.

My advice is to learn to walk rather than run and at the very least, run a proof of concept. This gives you a chance to iron out all of the problems and answer all of the questions you are asking already, some of which are fundamental but also the others you haven't even thought to ask yet because of the lack of experience.

Right now it feels like you're asking for the experts here to build it by proxy but as I mentioned above we have zero insight into your infrastructure and this isn't a usual call to help with a problem.

I am just concerned that by the very nature of how Citrix presents itself to users, if you don't get the fundamentals right up-front, it is your reputation. I cannot count the number of times I've heard the cry go up about how rubbish Citrix is because it's crashed "again" despite the fact that the problems are usually nothing to do with Citrix. but it's just the thing users see and associate with.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
yes off course its a proof of concept initially, but surely you don't need to hire expensive consultants for such projects, especially a small project like this one.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
its not complex at all lol. the xenapp 7.6 is pretty straight forward.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
I am glad you think so and at it's simplest form, you're almost right. But I guarantee (and this is almost twenty years of Citrix experience talking) that your apparent simplistic next, next, next approach will set you up for problems down the line.
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
its not complex at all lol. the xenapp 7.6 is pretty straight forward.

And yet here you are, asking the most basic of questions like "will this virtual hardware be good enough to run a system for 100 users" but at the same time giving no real information that enables a good answer and simultaneously getting offended because I suggested you might need the very kind of help you are seeking but not wanting to pay for.

Save yourself a lot of trouble - at the very least get help with the design stage so you know it'll be fit for purpose. Boots on the ground will be able to scale a solution properly and design so it's stable and will perform.
Kelly GarciaSenior Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
no i am no offended at all, i am here seeking advice and instead i am getting people trying to sell me a service, when all i am trying to do is build a solid proof of concept!
Tony JohncockLead Technical ArchitectCommented:
No you aren't - at what point did I ever try to sell you a service? Believe you and me I am busy enough that there are already insufficient hours in the day. Nope...didn't mention any specific company or individual, either.

I voluntarily offered my professional recommendation based on digging many poor implementations out of the mire over the last 20 years. I also provided you links to Citrix documents that will help you to step-by-step build your PoC environment and yet you appear to have chosen the single least relevant answer as the solution - that is a VDI sizing tool, not a XenApp sizing tool. They are different functions. Hard not to notice it's also the very first response that isn't from me.

Nor did you actually say to begin with it was going to be a PoC - I had to ask if that was the plan - you specifically just asked if your servers would be suitable at a specific size. However, as I pointed out earlier you don't give any detail as to what you plan to deliver on them. Profiling your users requirements is a basic step.

And that was the crux of my worry leading to suggestions which seems to have triggered off your defensive responses - that you aren't even asking the right questions at this stage.

You do seem to have got upset at the answers I was providing you. Sometimes, you know, "No" or "Cannot be done" or even "Seek outside help for at lease one part" are actually valid and acceptable answers even if they aren't what you hoped to be told. You will notice here that I've continued to try to help despite everything. Oh well.

I wish you all the very best with your implementation.

Some more things you will need to consider:

How you will deliver the applications to users;
How you will manage profiles;
How you will manage printing;
How you will manage group policies for both the users and servers - particularly with a view to locking down the administrator rights and other security and stability options;
Following design best practices as laid down by CCS;
Tuning the system to run in a virtualised environment;
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