EdgeSight for Load Testing with XenDesktop & Login VSI

This whitepaper is an Implementation Guide for utilizing EdgeSight for Load Testing with XenDesktop 5 and Login VSI workloads

Introduction

With the release of XenDesktop 5, Citrix announced support for EdgeSight for Load Testing 3.8 with XenDesktop 51 workloads. Prior to the release of XenDesktop 5, load testing XenDesktop Hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) desktops was most commonly performed using the Login Consultants’ Login VSI2 benchmarking tool. The Login VSI workload, included within the Login VSI tool, has become a common point of reference for VDI benchmarking. As part of Citrix XenDesktop Platinum, administrators have access to EdgeSight for Load Testing. EdgeSight for Load Testing can be utilized to create custom XenDesktop workloads for scalability testing, but given the popularity of the Login VSI workload and analysis tools, XenDesktop Platinum administrators may wish to integrate EdgeSight for Load Testing with the Login VSI workload3. By leveraging EdgeSight for Load Testing with the Login VSI workload, administrators can synchronize the performance monitoring of the XenDesktop infrastructure machines with the Login VSI workload execution timelines to correlate the Login VSI data analysis and XenDesktop infrastructure performance. In addition, EdgeSight for Load Testing provides the administrator with a collective view of each virtual desktop executing the VSI workload for monitoring purposes as shown in Figure 1.

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the configuration steps required to leverage EdgeSight for Load Testing to launch XenDesktop connections that execute the Login VSI workload within the virtual desktop. This paper provides configuration guidance for integrating EdgeSight for Load Testing with both the Login VSI 2.14 and 3.0 versions.

Please note:

1 Only XenDesktop 5 is supported with EdgeSight for Load Testing, XenDesktop 4 is not supported. 2 For more detailed information regarding the Login VSI tool, please reference http://www.loginconsultants.com/ 3 Login Consultants’ Login VSI tool contains the Login VSI workload, VSI Launcher, and analysis tools. This paper focuses on using EdgeSight for Load Testing as an alternative to the VSI Launcher. 4 Login Consultants Login VSI 2.1 is no longer supported by Login Consultants

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Benchmarking Citrix XenDesktop using Login Consultants VSI

Overview

As part of the XenDesktop implementation planning process, IT administrators may want to execute scalability testing to establish target numbers for virtual desktop density and hardware requirements. Citrix Consulting has utilized the Login VSI tool from Login Consultants to execute scalability testing for XenDesktop. Login VSI is commonly referenced as a standard within the virtual desktop community and was designed for benchmarking Server Based Computing (SBC) and Desktop Virtualization (VDI) solutions including Citrix XenDesktop. The Login VSI tool consist of two key components, the Login VSI Launcher and the Login VSI workload. The focus of this paper is to provide guidance on utilizing the Login VSI Launcher in conjunction with a custom Python script to launch simultaneous XenDesktop connections that simulate a large number of end- users accessing the environment.

It should be noted that Citrix Consulting recommends leveraging Citrix EdgeSight for Load Testing 3.8 when performing scalability testing for XenDesktop 5. Guidance for utilizing EdgeSight for Load Testing 3.8 with XenDesktop 5 and the Login VSI workload has been documented by Citrix Consulting with step-by-step instructions on the Citrix Knowledge Center. The EdgeSight for Load Testing 3.8 tool is available to Citrix customers as part of XenDeskop 5 Platinum Edition and provides a collective view of the performance metrics for all respective XenDesktop components, but for IT Administrators who are looking to either execute scalability testing with XenDesktop 4 (EdgeSight for Load Testing is not supported with XenDesktop 4) or utilize the Login VSI tool‟s Launcher component with XenDesktop 5 must leverage a custom Python script to perform scalability testing. This configuration guide provides step-by-step instructions for tailoring the custom Python script for an individual XenDesktop environment and configuring the Login VSI Launcher to execute that respective Python script.

Click here to download the full whitepaper – Benchmarking Citrix XenDesktop using Login Consultans VSI

Communication Ports Used by Citrix Technologies *updated

Fred Donovan from Citrix have updated the whitepaper – Communication Ports Used by Citrix Technologies to version 1.5 (April 2011)

Overview

This document provides an overview of ports that are used by Citrix components and must be considered as part of Virtual Computing architecture, especially if communication traffic traverses network components such as firewalls or proxy servers, where ports must be opened to ensure communication flow.

References

The assignments are listed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), updated regularly, and revised when new information is available and new assignments are made. The specific location of the port numbers list is available at the following Web site: http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers.

Microsoft Article “Network Ports Used by Key Microsoft Server Products”.

Microsoft Article ID 832017 “Service overview and network port requirements for the Windows Server system”.

Download WhitePaper – Communication Ports Used by Citrix Technologies here

Logon Optimization Guide

Citrix Consulting have created a whitepaper called Optimization Guide User Logon.

The goal is understanding the Windows Logon Process and Simplifying Troubleshooting with EdgeSight.

Introduction

XenApp and XenDesktop simplify application and desktop management. However, long logon time is a common complaint that detracts from end-user satisfaction. Often, this is an unreported problem or administrators cannot quantify and identify the root cause. This paper outlines the logon process and looks at factors that cause excessive logon times, as well as how to track and repair issues or optimize steps. Finally, it also looks at how using EdgeSight can greatly simplify the troubleshooting process.

In particular, the inability to quantify logon times is subject to user subjectivity as what is excessive for one user may not be for another. As every environment is different, there is no standard measure as to what a normal logon time should be; acceptable logon times can range from several seconds to a minute or longer.

How the Logon Process Works

In order to better understand where time can be shaved from the user logon, we will first review the logon process as shown below: Please note that this diagram focuses on internal users accessing either a XenApp or XenDesktop resource. Additional steps are required based on external access via Access Gateway.

 

 

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Overview – Supported Databases for Citrix Products

I recommend that you look at this chart if you are in doubt about which database you want to use with a Citrix product, this chart gives you a quick overview in red and green colours ;o)

Citrix is committed to ensuring that their products function with the latest Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM databases and clients. Citrix will supply best efforts to ensure compatibility with upcoming database releases. New versions of supported databases (SQL, Oracle, or DB2) released after our products have been released should work. However, Citrix recommends creating a test environment to ensure there are no unforeseen issues related to changes made to the new version or update of the third-party product. Individuals wishing to use the new release with current Citrix products should perform their own testing before using the platform. Citrix does not support any BETA versions of third-party products. Attached to this article is a chart of the tested and supported databases for the following Citrix products:

  • XenApp 6.0 for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • XenApp 5.0 for Windows Server 2008
  • XenApp 5.0/Presentation Server 4.5 for Windows Server 2003 (IMA store, Configuration Logging, Resource Manager, and Resource Manager Summary Database)
  • Power and Capacity Management XenApp 6
  • Power and Capacity Management XenApp 5
  • XenApp Fundamentals 6.0
  • XenApp Fundamentals 3.0
  • XenApp Fundamentals 2.0
  • XenDesktop 5.0
  • XenDesktop 4.0
  • XenDesktop 3.0
  • SmartAuditor 1.3
  • SmartAuditor 1.2
  • SmartAuditor 1.1
  • Provisioning Services 5.6
  • Provisioning Services 5.1
  • Provisioning Services 5.0
  • Advanced Access Control 4.5
  • EdgeSight 5.3
  • EdgeSight 5.2.1
  • EdgeSight 5.1 Service Pack 1
  • EdgeSight for NetScaler

This is a living document; it will be updated as new information becomes available.

Download the Database Chart  for Citrix Products here