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Posts Tagged ‘performance’

#Citrix #XenApp 7.8 & #XenDesktop 7.8 Available for Download – #EnvokeIT

February 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Citrix has no released XenApp & XenDesktop 7.8 for download! If you wonder how this new release could help you then contact us at EnvokeIT for more information!

Customers with active Software Maintenance (SWM) or Subscription Advantage (SA)–effective February 17, 2016–can download XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 on Citrix.com.

The XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 release greatly simplifies application management, delivering a 90% time savings over traditional methods. It enhances the user experience, while introducing scalability improvements, enabling a 40% memory reduction and a 20% increase in CPU efficiency for select behavior. Plus new features strengthen security and compliance.

Simplify app management and delivery through new AppDisk technology

The 7.8 release includes exciting, new AppDisk app layering technology that lets you package and manage applications independent of your master desktop or server image. AppDisk alleviates the management complexity of multiple, departmental-based images by instantly layering applications onto your golden image based on different employee needs, making it easier than ever to deliver, install or update an application without changing or impacting the pristine, master image.

Save 90 percent of testing time by integrating AppDNA compatibility testing with AppDisk

Extending the app layering benefits of AppDisk, AppDNA for AppDisk instantly assesses the compatibility of the AppDisk applications with the associated master image, provides step-by-step remediation guidance to make any app compatible, while also reordering multiple assigned AppDisk layers for peak performance. Now you will be able to validate and remediate any OS or inter-app compatibility issues before delivering AppDisk applications to your user community.

Read more…

How to monitor your Internet facing service globally – #Azure, #ApplicationInsights, #Citrix, #NetScaler, #EnvokeIT

Hi again all!

It’s been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post.. I’ve just been too busy working! 🙂

But this is a really cool capability that I think that many of you will like, how often do your company or service provider have a good way of monitoring availability, performance etc. from the public Internet? And if they do then most of the time the larger service providers will build a service and install their own probes on different geographical locations and then they charge quite a lot for this service, and every time you change your application the charge you again for modifying the scripts that the probes use etc.

What I’ve tried and now think is going to be great for both smaller and larger organisations is the Azure Application Insights service. It’s really great and can assist with just this, it’s a service that microsoft provide from their locations globally where you can test your apps in Azure or course but also any web site out there on the Internet. And it doesn’t stop there, you can also use the server installer to also provide metrics from your Windows IIS server up to Azure to get more detailed statistics about the web server itself and requests etc.

Just think about how much it would take for you to setup monitoring from APAC, Americas and Europe for your NetScaler environment.. that would not be done in 10 minutes if you talk to your standard service provider. It took me 10 minutes to setup this reporting to ensure that the NetScaler is available from different locations around the world:

Availability

 

And this is just a simple url ping test to ensure that we get a proper 200 OK response from our EnvokeIT Lab environment that my colleague Björn have setup and modified so nicely with the X1 StoreFront look & feel.

NetScaler_StoreFront_x1_look_and_feel

 

URL_ping_test_netscaler_bear_lab_envokeit

Of course you can make a more proper test than just a url ping test like in this case, the service supports multi-step tests and also content matching etc. It’s also very easy to create one application/service that then consists of multiple locations that you want to monitor, for instance if you’re using GSLB FQDNs as well as regional to ensure that you get the full picture.

More information about what can be done you can find on the Azure Application Insights  pageRead more…

#Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 1 of 7) – Introduction

This is a great blog post series! Good job Cristian Edwards!

Hi Virtualization gurus,

Since 6 months now, I’ve been working on the internal readiness about Hyper-V Networking in 2012 R2 and all the options and functionalities that exists and how to make them work together and I realize that a common question in our team or from our customers is what are the best practices or the best approaches when defining the Hyper-V Network Architectures of your Private Cloud or your Virtualization farm. Hence I decided to write this series of posts that I think they might be helpful at least to do the brainstorm to find the best approach for every particular scenario. The reality is that each environment is different and use different hardware, but at least I can help you identify 5 common scenarios on how to squeeze the performance of your hardware.

I want to make clear that there is no just one right answer or configuration  and your hardware can help you determine the best configuration for a robust, reliable and performer Hyper-V Network Architecture.  Please note that I will do some personal recommendation based on my experience. These recommendations might or might not be the official – generic recommendations from Microsoft, so please call you support contact in case of any doubt.

The series will contain these post:

1. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 1 of 7 ) – Introduction (This Post)

2. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 2 of  7) – Non-Converged Networks, the classical but robust approach

3. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 3 of  7) – Converged Networks Managed by SCVMM and Powershell

4. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 4 of 7 ) – Converged Networks using Static Backend QoS

5. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 5 of 7) – Converged Networks using Dynamic QoS

6. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 6 of 7 ) – Converged Network using CNAs

7. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 7 of 7 ) – Conclusions and Summary

8. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures (Part 8 of 7) – Bonus

Continue reading here!

//Richard

 

#VDI Calculator v5 is Now Available with Major New Features – #IaaS, #Storage, #BYOD via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is awesome! Great work by @andreleibovici!

I am happy to announce the General Availability of the new VDI Calculator v5. This new version is the single biggest release since I started delivering the calculator. I have completely re-architected the way the calculator works, allowing multiple types of desktops to be configured in a single calculation for a single solution.
 
All existing features have been retained and will work in the exact same way you are used to, but you now have the ability to select different  options for different types of desktops or desktop pools.
 
As an example, you may choose Desktop Type 1 to be a ‘student’ desktop using Linked Clones with 10 different pools; conversely you may choose Desktop Type 2 to be a ‘professor’ desktop using Full Clones with 5 individual pools. This new calculator gives you much more granular control over your calculations eliminating repetitive tasks when sizing larger environments.
 
To enable multi-desktop pool calculations just select ‘-’ and ‘+’ in the top bar menu.
 

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 9.50.39 AM

 
Another additional feature is what I call ‘Ask for Help‘. During the application session when you select the Update option a new screen will show up asking if you would like to be contacted by VDI solutions vendors that can help reduce costs, improve performance or improve manageability of your VDI solution. If you are interested…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Performance Tuning Citrix Storefront 2.x – #Citrix, #StoreFront via @PeterSmali

February 3, 2014 1 comment

Another great blog post from my colleague Peter Smali!

Performance Tuning Citrix Storefront 2.x

First of all I would like to thank Sandbu who came up with an extra performance tuning trick that I have been testing for a while now.
In this post I’ll be demonstrating an updated version of Sandbu’s due some small changes since the introduction of Citrix Storefront 2.x

As we all are aware of, Citrix Storefront is fully dependent on IIS to work, but it is really suffering of some perfromance issues that surely most of us who have been testing or implementing it are aware of. So Let’s give Storefront a new perfromance birth by doing the following
Attention! Take a backup of all files you are going to modify before doing this! And Remember that Citrix Systems does not support this!!

1. Enable Socket Pooling (pooledSockets=”on”)

Open your C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\Storename\Webweb.config file as administrator and chenge pooledSockets=”off” to pooledSockets=”on”
By enabling socket pooling, Storefront maintaines a pool of sockets instead of creating a new socket each time a new user connects to Storefront, this will give a better performance for SSL based traffic.

2. Changing the application pool to always running (Windows Server 2008 R2)

If you are running Storefront on Windows Server 2012, there is already a new feature implemented in IIS called always running on the application pools but if you are still Windows Server 2008 R2 as I do then you need to do some manual changes…

But if you are still running Windows Server 2008, then you need to do the following:

2.1 Download and install Application Initialization Module for IIS 7.5. A reboot may be required to finish the installation process…

2.2 Open the C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config on the storefront server as administrator and locate the following setting <configuration><system.applicationHost><applicationPools> and add thealways running paramter startMode=”AlwaysRunning” on each of following application pools

•Citrix Delivery Services Authentication
•Citrix Delivery Services Resources
•Citrix Receiver for Web
•Citrix Delivery Services

The result may look like this:

add name=”Citrix Delivery Services Authentication” autoStart=”true” managedRuntimeVersion=”v2.0″ managedPipelineMode=”Integrated” startMode=”AlwaysRunning”>

2.3 Now locate <configuration>…

Continue reading here!

And you can also check this tuning blog post:

Finetuning a Citrix StoreFront deployment

And also ensure that you intelligently load balance your XML brokers, my suggestion is to use content switching in combination with load balancing to get a more optimal solution in place.

Ensure that you DON’T use FQDN’s when you add the XML broker name into the Delivery Controllers config of the StoreFront Store!! Use NetBIOS names, and NOT like farm1.company.com, rather specify “farm1″ and then ensure that the StoreFront server can resolve “farm1″ to your CS VIP, that will speed enumeration up a lot due to that StoreFront first checks via NetBIOS/WINS which isn’t that optimal!

Content Switching instead of Load balancing of XenApp XML brokers? – #XenApp #NetScaler #CS #LB

Happy StoreFront’ing!

//Richard

How to: Create Desktop Appliance site on StoreFront – #Citrix, #StoreFront, #ThinClient

February 3, 2014 4 comments

I guess that some of you out there by now are using Thin Clients and some are using Desktop Appliance site functionality in the old Web Interface for these thin clients that are XenApp- or XenDesktop-ready.

So now you have or are thinking on how to setup this on StoreFront!

Citrix has A LOT of work to do in order to ensure that StoreFront becomes a stable and enterprise ready! There are so many tweaks and configurations needed in config files etc. that just isn’t ok! Add them into the console! It’s not hard, even I could code in some menus, forms windows and trigger the underlying PowerShell scripts!

But back to the topic, how do we configure Desktop Appliance site in StoreFront? Well, first we need to have a look at the following edocs articles that explain how to do it:

Desktop Appliance sites – And the most important in this article is the bottom that details WHAT DOESN’T WORK!

Important considerations

Desktop Appliance sites are intended for local users on the internal network accessing desktops from non-domain-joined desktop appliances. When you decide whether to use Desktop Appliance sites to provide users with access to your stores, consider the following restrictions.

  • If you plan to deploy domain-joined desktop appliances and repurposed PCs, do not configure them to access stores through Desktop Appliance sites. Instead, configure Citrix Receiver with the XenApp Services URL for the store. For more information, see XenApp Services URLs.
  • Desktop Appliance sites do not support connections from remote users outside the corporate network. Users logging on to NetScaler Gateway cannot access Desktop Appliance sites.

How do you release this and don’t support connecting through a NetScaler Gateway? Then you miss the whole point of SmartAccess, you cannot trigger EPA (host checks) for instance to control ICA/HDX features like drive mapping etc. internally. And you cannot have thin clients on the Internet that connects into the enterprise through NetScaler Gateway! 

Next you should read this article that details the PowerShell madness 😉

Configure Desktop Appliance sites

I won’t go into details of the article above but rather show you how it’s done and with some examples of arguments to pass to the PowerShell scripts.

Step one is to log on to your StoreFront server, and just to show you our current setup is that we have one Receiver for Web (RfW) sites used for browser access into StoreFront:

Receiver_for_Web_site

From a Store perspective you can see that we have one (1) store that the RfW site exposes:

StoreFront_Store Read more…

Citrix Startup Company #AppEnsure Releases Free tool to automatically measure response time & throughput for all applications! – via @douglasabrown

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Another cool application!

AppEnsure, a leading provider of application performance solutions for cloud and virtualized environments, today announced the first free product to aid IT operations with application performance monitoring and management. AppEnsure Free is the first free solution to automatically measure response time and throughput for all applications, including custom developed and purchased, in all locations; physical, virtualized, public and private cloud.

AppEnsure Free helps IT Operations rapidly troubleshoot and diagnose application performance problems within minutes and prevents war room meetings. The solution is easy-to-use and deploy and gives immediate insight into common application issues such as slow response time.

“IT Operations teams are the first ones blamed when an application is performing poorly,” reports Bernd Harzog, Performance and Capacity Management Analyst at The Virtualization Practice. “Giving these teams visibility into application response time and throughput will arm them with the necessary data to quickly resolve performance issues.”

“We developed AppEnsure Free to help IT Operations,” said Colin L.M. Macnab, CEO and co-founder of AppEnsure. “Time and time again we talk with companies struggling with their current performance management systems and we wanted to give companies a solution – at no cost – to help them ensure mission critical applications are performing as expected and to eliminate blame during war room meetings and bridge calls.”

AppEnsure Free costs absolutely nothing for a perpetual 5 servers…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style – #Nutanix, #IaaS

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

A great review of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform! 🙂

Nutanix NX-3000 Series
Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style

What do you get when you combine four independent servers, lots of memory, standard SATA disks and SSD, 10Gb networking, and custom software in a single box? In this instance, the answer would be a Nutanix NX-3000. Pigeonholing the Nutanix product into a traditional category is another riddle altogether. While the company refers to each unit it sells as an “appliance,” it really is a clustered combination of four individual servers and direct-attached storage that brings shared storage right into the box, eliminating the need for a back-end SAN or NAS.

I was recently given the opportunity to go hands on with a Nutanix NX-3000, the four nodes of which were running version 3.5.1 of the Nutanix operating system. It’s important to point out that the Nutanix platform handles clustering and file replication independent of any hosted virtualization system. Thus, a Nutanix cluster will automatically handle node, disk, and network failures while providing I/O at the speed of local disk — and using local SSD to accelerate access to the most frequently used data. Nutanix systems support the VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as KVM for Linux-based workloads.

[ The Nutanix NX-3000 is an InfoWorld 2014 Technology of the Year Award winner. Read about the other winning products in our slideshow, “InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners.” | For quick, smart takes on the news you’ll be talking about, check out InfoWorld TechBrief — subscribe today. ]

Nutanix was founded by experienced data center architects and engineers from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. That background brings with it a keen sense of what makes a good distributed system and what software pieces are necessary to build a scalable, high-performance product. A heavy dose of innovation and ingenuity shows up in a sophisticated set of distributed cluster management services, which eliminate any single point of failure, and in features like disk block fingerprinting, which leverages a special Intel instruction set (for computing an SHA-1 hash) to perform data deduplication and to ensure data integrity and redundancy.

A Nutanix cluster starts at one appliance (technically three nodes, allowing for the failure of one node) and scales out to any number of nodes. The NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System) provides a single store for all of your VMs, handling all disk and I/O load balancing and eliminating the need to use virtualization platform features like VMware’s Storage DRS. Otherwise, you manage your VMs no differently than you would on any other infrastructure, using VMware’s or Microsoft’s native management tools.

Nutanix architecture
The hardware behind the NX-3000 comes from SuperMicro. Apart from the fact that it squeezes four dual-processor server blades inside one 2U box, it isn’t anything special. All of the magic is in the software. Nutanix uses a combination of open source software, such as Apache Cassandra and ZooKeeper, plus a bevy of in-house developed tools. Nutanix built cluster configuration management services on ZooKeeper and heavily modified Cassandra for use as the primary object store for the cluster.

Test Center Scorecard
 
  20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10%  
Nutanix NX-3000 Series 10 9 10 9 9 8
9.3 EXCELLENT

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

New #Nutanix Platforms for Graphics, Performance and Economical Storage – #IaaS, #XenDesktop, #BYOD, #NVIDIA

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

This is really cool!!! Great job as usual Nutanix!!

Introducing New Platforms for Graphics, Performance
and Economical Storage

Enterprises continue to embrace converged scale-out architectures to make their datacenters simpler and easier to manage. Nutanix—the leader in converged infrastructure—brings these benefits to all parts of enterprise IT, providing the flexibility and power to run any virtual workload within a single infrastructure. Nutanix has added several new products to its family of Virtual Computing Platforms:


NX-7000 series platform for
powering graphics intensive users

Virtual desktop computing has become mainstream in all size organizations, and throughout all industries. Despite its successful and pervasive enterprise deployment, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has been unable to deliver many graphics-intensive applications and services with the same level of performance as when running on physical workstations.

To address this need, Nutanix has partnered with NVIDIA and Teradici to broaden its VDI portfolio, and integrate cutting edge acceleration for graphics rich desktops. The NX-7110 supports configurations with both NVIDIA GRID K1 

Nvidia, Teradiciand K2 GPU technology, as well as Teradici PCoIP APEX cards. The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is the industry’s first converged infrastructure to support every type of VDI user, from task and knowledge workers to power and data scientists. Leveraging VMware’s SVGA driver technology along with NVIDIA GRID, the NX-7000 supports multiple rendering models, including Soft 3D, vSGA and vDGA.

Existing Nutanix environments can dynamically deploy NX-7110 appliances into a unified cluster that is centrally managed, while maintaining graphics intensive users in a separate desktop pool. Additional benefits include the delivery of maximum compatibility and portability to any user. For the first time, organizations have the confidence to move away from more expensive and rigid physical workstations, and virtualize their entire portfolio of desktops. The NX-7110 is now generally available.

 


NX-6020 delivers more economical
data storage

The NX-6020 supports VMs with very large datasets, such as SQL databases, big data 

analytics projects and VDI deployments with full clones. It provides a 25% increase in available capacity. With both in-line and post-pr

ocess compression, it delivers between 42TB and 68TB of effective capacity in a space-efficient 2U platform. In addition, Nutanix has focused on cost-reducing other components within the appliance delivering a more economical data storage solution.

 


NX-3000/6000 series gets more powerful CPUs for 30% faster performance

Nutanix has updated the existing NX-3000 and NX-6000 product families with four new platforms featuring Intel’s Ivy Bridge server CPUs. As a 100% software-defined solution, Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform can rapidly adopt new technologies.

These new appliances benefit from 25% more CPU cores, faster clock speeds and a reduced power profile. This translates to a 30% increase in performance for VMs running on Nutanix, as well as support for higher VM densities. Each of these new platforms can be seamlessly added to any existing Nutanix cluster to immediately take advantage of the most advanced CPU technologies.

Read more here!

//Richard

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Built For Scale and Agility – via @dlink7, #Nutanix

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I must say that Dwayne did a great job with this blog post series!! It goes into expelling the Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) that I must say is the most amazing enterprise product out there if you need a truly scalable and agile Compute and Storage platform! I advise you to read this series!!

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility

Lots of talk in the industry about how had software defined storage first and who was using what components. I don’t want to go down that rat hole since it’s all marketing and it won’t help you at the end of the day to enable your business. I want to really get into the nitty gritty of the Nutanix Distributed Files System(NDFS). NDFS has been in production for over a year and half with good success, take read of the article on the Wall Street Journal.

Below are core services and components that make NDFS tick. There are actually over 13 services, for example our replication is distributed across all the nodes to provide speed and low impact on the system. The replication service is called Cerebro which we will get to in this series.
Nuntaix Distrubuted File System

 

This isn’t some home grown science experiment, the engineers that wrote the code come from Google, Facebook, Yahoo where this components where invented. It’s important to realize that all components are replaceable or future proofed if you will. The services\libraries provide the API’s so as newest innovations happen in the community, Nutanix is positioned to take advantage.

All the services mentioned above run on multiple nodes in cluster a master-less fashion to provide availability. The nodes talk over 10 GbE and are able to scale in a linear fashion. There is no performance degradation as you add nodes. Other vendors have to use InfiniBand because they don’t share the metadata cross all of the nodes. Those vendors end up putting a full copy of the metadata on each node, this eventually will cause them to hit a performance cliff and the scaling stops. Each Nutanix node acts a storage controller allowing you to do things like have a datastore of 10,000 VM’s without any performance impact… continue reading part 1 here

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 2: ZZ Top

In case you missed Part 1 – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility
zz-top-03082012-19
No it’s not Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or drummer Frank Beard. It’s Zeus and Zookeeper providing the strong blues that allow the Nutanix Distributed File System to maintain it’s configuration across the entire cluster. Read more…

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