Question: Is it wise to Virtualize XenApp 4.5 and 5.0 Data Collectors in Large Farm, in the Virtualization + Server-Based Computing forum on BrianMadden.com
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Question: Is it wise to Virtualize XenApp 4.5 and 5.0 Data Collectors in Large Farm, in the Virtualization + Server-Based Computing forum on BrianMadden.com

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Scott Chiara Posted: Sat, Mar 28 2009 12:03 PM

Its hard to believe but we have just started the process of Virtualizing our Citrix Farm with VMWare.

Most of the application servers will be a good fit Virtualization, but what about the Citrix Data Collector and Metric Servers.?

Currently we have a 200 Server Farm, with 400 applications and 4500 concurrent users. We have a dedicated 1U server currently hosting the Farm Data Collector.

Can someone share their experiences and advice for Virtualizing the Citrix Data Collector in a large busy Citrix Farm.

Thanks in advance

ScottC

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Top 500 Contributor
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Hello,

I currently run my data collectors with no issue on Vmware.

Just start off small and add more resource as needed for your enviroment.

if you are running dedicated data collectors dont run any published applications on them and make sure you set the priority correctly in the Presentation Server console.

side note make sure you test Citrix on Vmware.. We had 0 luck with Vmware.. Xen on the other hand we had lots of luck and plan on moving our entire citrix infrastructure on it.

 

Jon

 

 

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Top 150 Contributor
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We're almost your size and I see problems w/virtualizing what I call the Infrastructure Servers.  With 4.0 everything was hardware as we gradually worked our way into virtualization.  Those infrastructure servers we added as virtual either because old hardware died or to add redundancy didn't appear to affect farm performance.

With our new 4.5 farm we started implementing VM's wherever possible, in part because of everyone's success stories and it didn't appear any of these would be very resource intensive, beyond the 2cpu/4gb ram configuration we typically use.  We are large enough to insure these servers are dedicated to single tasks (ZDC's, etc.) so that is not an issue.  Starting with our new CAG implementation we made the 2 AAC and 2 WI servers VM's.  Once we went into production and got any kind of load we saw many issues.  Discussions with Citrix led us to implement physical servers in the AAC role as our issues appeared to be resource related.  Our problems have just about vanished.  As we move more servers and applications into our 4.5 farm I am seeing more 'issues' that seem to point to our virtual ZDC's.  I plan to replace at least the primary ZDC with a physical server to see if I get the same resolution I got with the AAC implementation.

We are committed to virtualization with over 50% of our servers virtualized.  It's not a pancea but it does have it's uses.  I'm not sure if some of our issues might be related to networking/latency/etc. or host issues with regards to the virtual servers, but the Citrix server resources (cpu/ram/etc) never spike enough to be a concern.  But I'm almost doing nightly reboots to get the ZDC's functioning properly, which should not be the case.

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Top 150 Contributor
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As an update, what we have found is regardless of how small a resource footprint a server looks like it needs every Citrix server (even ZDCs) get 2cpu's & 2gb ram.  With 1 cpu ZDCs never look like they need more, but assigning 2 cpu's to these servers eliminated our problems.

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I have an 85 server farm which will be growing to over 100 within the next 6 months.  There are really about 10 main published apps that we use.  My vmware farm has been up and running for 2 years now and what I find is that periodically, the servers just need to be rebooted.  Even the DC.  So I have all of the servers set up on a 3 night reboot rotation.   Currently on Xenapp4.5 using ESX vmware.  I don't like for more than 20 - 25 users to be on each server, I find past this amount of sessions I experience degradation.  This is low according to the numbers I've seen on a regular physical servers.  I will say that I can stage a vmware citrix server in about an hour from start to finish and ready for users.  All of my servers from the SQL, Desktop Authority, tsprofiles are all virtual.

Somedays I hate Citrix
85 XenApp 4.5 on VMware ESX

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