Hi guys

First post so be gentle.

I am working with a new customer who are deploying Citrix desktops to 55k users. They plan to use XenApp along side AppV to sequence and deploy the applications.

Has anyone got any guidance on how the architecture would work or if anyone has already done this integration and found any gotchas etc??

Many thanks for any guidance.
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Hi Graham,

Sounds like a nice project! XenApp and App-V work very well together - we've done lots in this area so feel free to ask away, but the main thing to think about when using App-V on XenApp as opposed to deploying to single user desktops is probably the cache design/management - you'll want to think about things like whether to use shared cache and if not how you want to manage streaming/caching of apps.

Cheers,
Danny
Answered 10/19/2010 by: DannyC
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Hi thanks for your reply.

I don't have experience with XenApp but am happy with AppV. I guess I am more concerned about what the architecture would look like and how the cache would work. Do you have a set of best practices to help these guys work together on a large scale deployment of 100% citrix desktop environment. We have about 1800 applications to be sequenced by a 3rd party.

Thanks
Answered 10/19/2010 by: gr4z
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Hi Graham,

The architecture will be relatively simple (assuming the XenApp estate design isn't too complex) as you'll have a relatively small number of clients, and potentially a small streaming overhead (if using shared cache/pre-streaming). The main disadvantage of shared cache is some inflexibility in releasing new applications but it should lead to a significant saving in storage requirements.

Even if you don't used shared cache, you'll probably pre-cache most/all of your apps so the main load on the App-V servers will be authentication/authorisation/reporting/licensing etc.

Out of interest, have you already selected your third party for the sequencing?

Cheers,
Danny
Answered 10/19/2010 by: DannyC
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Not yet no. I believe the customer is looking at the main players in the market. I am not aware of who they are specifically yet.

How would you recommend pre-staging the apps for a XenApp/AppV deployment inside a Citrix environment? Using MSI's and publishing them? To where? Sorry but as I mentioned I don't have much experience with Xen.

Thanks
Answered 10/19/2010 by: gr4z
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At the risk of shameless self-promotion, if they'd consider a smaller player then feel free to drop us a line... : )

Anyway, advert over..

In respect of staging, I'm not a huge fan of the MSI method - in the scenario you've described I would definitely investigate the suitability of shared cache initially (the suitability of this will depend on a couple of factors including frequency of app release/updates etc) which would preclude MSI anyway. I don't know what the XenApp design is going to look like, but taking very rough guess of 100 users a box you'll be looking at 550 servers (if the 55k are concurrent?); if you have local cache of say 20 Gb per server, that's "a lot" of storage.

Publishing isn't much different from native apps; the only main difference is that the published app points to the App-V Client with a parameter of the app to launch instead of the .exe itself.

Cheers,
Danny
Answered 10/19/2010 by: DannyC
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I will do :) but they are looking at 1800 applications in a very short time frame!

If we use a SAN for the cache would that remove the need for 550*20GB=11TB of stored? Can all VDIs access the SAN - however the throughput could be huge if 55k users attempt to stream apps at the same time. Surely in this instance MSI would be more suitable?

Thanks
Answered 10/19/2010 by: gr4z
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Hi Graham,

Sorry for the delay, but in answer to your question, you're right in that you'll be looking at a tradeoff between overall storage requirements and IOPS. You could have multiple shared cache files (perhaps local per VM host) for example. Also, remember that MSI is just a wrapper which can be used to deliver the app to the client machine and doesn't necessarily dictate the caching option used. Even if you choose to cache 'locally' to each machine, you could still use App-V infrastructure for more dynamic app delivery as opposed to MSI.

As for the 1800 apps; the number's not scary, but the timescale might be!?

Cheers,
Danny
Answered 10/25/2010 by: DannyC
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Thanks Danny. I believe moving forward we should pre-cache the most common apps into the XenApp servers. How would we pre-cache onto a XenApp server? Is there a command that needs to be run?
The apps that don't fall into the most common would need to be streamed from a App-V or XenApp server. How would this work? Via RTSP/HTTP/SMB?
Thanks
Answered 10/26/2010 by: gr4z
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