Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, formerly XenApp and XenDesktop with FlexCast™ delivery technology enables IT departments to deliver virtual desktops and applications that are tailored to meet diverse requirements while providing the performance, security, and elasticity that IT demands. Developed by Dell in partnership with Citrix, this solution architecture deploys Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops with FlexCast technology to deliver a mix of VDI desktops (where each user gets a virtual machine) and hosted-shared desktops (a highly efficient model where users get sessions partitioned on a shared virtual machine delivered via Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. This approach allows IT to optimize both costs and the delivery model according to each user’s application and desktop requirements. In addition, it facilitates simplified and fast re-provisioning as requirements change. Dell compute, networking, and storage solutions—widely regarded for their performance, flexibility, and reasonable price points—are a natural complement when building an agile and consistent virtualized infrastructure.
The solution architecture described in this document integrates Dell and Citrix technologies, blending them in a cost-effective, optimized Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution (DVS) that transforms application and desktop delivery. This paper describes the architecture and its key components, offering a tested sizing methodology and guidelines that can help to accelerate your time to value.
The Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution (DVS) is a prescriptive, highly scalable, flexible architecture designed to meet a wide array of VDI customer needs. It has the ability to scale to the enterprise level, from 50 to 50000 users with a high degree of prescription at every user level along the way. This granularity of scale allows customers to leverage Dell DVS’s accurate pay-as-you-grow model, which allows IT to expand VDI capacity and add capabilities as needs increase.
- Rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of new servers.
- Single image management integration with Microsoft System Center 2012.
- The ability to change OS versions or application loads with a single reboot.
- The consistency of deploying a single base image across an entire farm.
- A significant reduction in read IOPS within hypervisor hosts.
- A decrease in the storage capacity required for guest virtual machines (VMs). This enables the use of more expensive but small and significantly faster enterprise solid state disk (SSD) technologies.
- The ability to combine physical and virtual Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops servers together easily within the same farm while providing a single management interface.
- A workload optimized for a true private cloud.
- Citrix FlexCast and PVS technologies form the basis of delivering a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) model, allowing organizations to transition smoothly to a private cloud deployment strategy
The Solution Components
- Dell PowerEdge™ R720 Servers. These dual-socket platforms run the Intel® Xeon® E5- 2600 family of processors, with up to 24 DIMMs for a maximum of 768GB RAM, and support for up to 16 2.5” SAS disks, providing uncompromising performance and scalability in a compact 2U form factor. The Intel processor family features 32-nanometer process technology with up to 8 cores per processor, delivering fast processing for compute-intensive virtualization tasks.
- Dell EqualLogic™ PS4100E Storage. Management infrastructure storage was hosted on the Dell PS4100E storage array. The virtual desktop write cache was hosted on RAID 10 local storage that consisted of up to eight 15K SAS disks.
- Microsoft Hyper-V and SCVMM. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops virtual desktops were hosted on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with Enterprise Service Pack 1. Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) was used to manage the environment.
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Hosted Shared Desktops. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is an on-demand application delivery solution that enables any Windows® application to be virtualized, centralized, and managed within the corporate datacenter, instantly delivering applications as a service to users anywhere, regardless of the device type they’re using. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops provides a locked-down, streamlined, and standardized environment with a core set of shared desktop applications, making it ideally suited for task workers where personalization is less of a focus.
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Pooled Virtual Desktops. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is a desktop virtualization solution that transforms Windows desktops and applications into an on-demand VDI service. With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, you can securely deliver Windows, web, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, or full virtual desktops to PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and thin clients—all with a high-definition user experience.