EMC Infrastructure for Citrix XenDesktop 7 - EMC XtremIO, VMware vSphere 5.1, and Citrix XenDesktop 7

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Reference Architecture:

This reference architecture provides a blueprint of a validated Citrix XenDekstop 7 virtualization solution enabled by an EMC XtremIO All-Flash array and the VMware vSphere 5.1 virtualization platform.  The solution was tested with 2500 Fully Persistent Desktops and again with 2500 MCS Linked-Clone desktops.  The results are pretty astounding.  Here are some highlights...but you should check out the reference architecture linked below for more of the real details.


Linked Clone Configurations...2500 Desktops
Average / Provisioned per Desktop6.3mb / 3gb
Provisioned per Personal vDisk3gb
Master Image Size14gb
Deduplication Ratio9.7:1
Average time per desktop to deploy 2500 desktops*3.3 seconds
Average peak IOPS per desktop52.9
Average IOPS per desktop during boot storm49.2
Full Clone Configurations... 2500 Desktops
Average / Provisioned per Desktop14gb / 40gb
Average storage / Full Clone Desktop14gb
Initial Deduplication Ratio241:1
Deduplication after Customization35:1
Average time per desktop to deploy 2500 desktops*8.8 seconds
Average peak IOPS per desktop37.7
Average IOPS per desktop during boot storm28.1
* Deploy means provisioned AND prepped in AD...ready to be used


The Dedupe ratio that you see above is pulled right out of the XtremIO management console...and it's pretty clear.  With Dedupe like that, desktop administrators have the flexibility to deploy a mix of Persistent AND Non-Persistent desktops...and even more flexibility to change their minds at any time, and not pay a penalty for having configured a storage array for a specific workload.


Provisioning Full Clones.  Because XenDesktop Machine Creation Services (MCS) does not support the use of full clone desktops for virtual desktop deployments, this solution uses traditional vSphere customization specifications and the Microsoft Sysprep utility to customize each desktop after it is cloned from a master desktop template, through PowerCLI scripts, and then adds virtual desktops into XenDesktop.

EMC XtremIO is capable of delivering an outstanding user experience to each virtual desktop by servicing I/O at sub-millisecond latency with high I/O levels for 2,500 desktops across a wide variety of desktop workloads with a single XtremIO X-Brick.

What this really means...is that while other traditional storage arrays are able to deliver normally accepted response times in the 3-5ms range...the XtremIO solution provides all of this capacity savings...on a simple platform to manage...and does it BELOW 1ms.  Translation:  VDI performance that's BETTER than your local desktop....with all the mobility, agility, and security that VDI brings. 

Want to learn more about XtremIO...check out the website at XtremIO.com/vdi



Original Links:

Reference Architecture: http://www.emc.com/collateral/white-paper/p12439-xio-citrixxendesktop-vsphere-ra.pdf


Originally Published:  February 2014


Documents Attached:

  • Reference Architecture:  EMC DOC ID: H11773


(Document attachments are done to ensure that the collateral referenced in this post survive any changes to the orignal links.  As documents are updated from time to time, the best practice should be to use the original document links, however, they are also attached directly to ensure longevity of the link)