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Virtualization: Article

How to Roll Out Citrix XenDesktop Globally

The VDI architecture was complex, consisting of hundreds of Citrix severs, Web servers and other back-end systems

In addition to Pieter Van Heck, Alasdair Patton (Delivery Architect for Compuware APM) and Mark Revill (Field Technical Services, Compuware APM) also contributed to the authoring of this post.

Windows XP is living on borrowed time: Microsoft officially ended extended support for it on 8 April 2014. It was inevitable, but now many companies and organizations across the world face the unenviable task of removing XP from their organizations without disrupting regular business activities.

One of our customers, a bank with multinational operations, took this opportunity to implement XenDesktop, Citrix' Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) package, and make managing their employees' computers cheaper and easier going forward.

The technical team within the bank responsible for the rollout set themselves up for success by doing two things: first of all, they tested their implementation on small groups of employees before the main rollout. Initially they deployed XenDesktop to an offshore office where everything worked fine. Then they deployed it to a bank branch near their headquarters, and there were a few user complaints. The VDI introduced an extra stage in delivering applications to end-users, and at this point the technical team realised they didn't have visibility into its performance.

Even at this early stage, the VDI architecture was complex, consisting of hundreds of Citrix severs, Web servers and other back-end systems. Manual performance diagnosis would be time-consuming, disruptive and difficult.

Regaining Visibility
Here's where the second success factor comes in: the bank added Compuware APM Citrix monitoring to their existing APM setup. With this, they restored end-to-end visibility into their systems' health and learned how it was affecting user experience.

Figure 1 shows the APM Portal, which the bank's technical team uses to monitors and field alerts on the performance and availability of:

  • The business application delivery chain (VDI Deployment) from the virtual desktop instance through application load balancer, front end servers, middleware, to the back-end tiers;
  • The Web interface that the VDI users (Desktop Launch) contact to log on to their desktop instance;
  • The desktop-to-display network links (VDI Channels), including breakdown into types of end user activities with the desktop (screen, printing, multimedia etc.).

Figure 1

For more, click here for the full article

More Stories By Pieter Van Heck

Pieter Van Heck is the Sales Engineering Manager for EMEA. In his role he focuses on the Data Center Real User Monitoring Solution. He has been working in the IT for over 15 years, where started his career on the Mainframe. The last decade of his career Pieter has worked on the different set of technologies around End-User Experience, therefore has a unique experience around the value, usage and implementation of end user monitoring solutions and how the solution market has evolved.

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