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Lakeside Case Study – sizing NVIDIA GRID vGPU

aibelcoverLakeside Case Study – sizing NVIDIA GRID vGPU

Hi all

I am very proud to share the results of the work I did with my friend and coworker Magnar Johnsen from FirstPoint. We have been developing for a long time a smart new way of analyzing data (iOPS, CPU, Memory, GPU, Latency..) and different pieces of software was evaluated and Lakeside Software was the product we decided to go with and both our companies and Firstpoint who are a Lakeside partner so we are legit to make assessments for clients using Lakeside Software. Below article helps you if you are about to size a NVIDIA GRID vGPU solution using either Citrix XenServer or VMware vSphere. If you have been at NVIDIA GTC, Citrix Synergy, BriForum, E2EVC or seen me talking at a Citrix User Group you might have seen the results of the work we did, thats changing on how we think applications are impacting that requires a GPU.

Magnar and I go way back.

Magnar and I have a long past with remote graphics and when we put our minds together we create something that is beautiful. Last year at Citrix Synergy audience could see how people could virtualize 3d remote graphics from Virtual Reality solution using Oculus Rift “Facebook” from the cloud. This was showed for the first time for audience and Citrix loved the idea and redesigned their exhibit about HDX 3D Pro next to FrameHawk, and sorry FrameHawk we stole all the attention with everybody wants to try the VR solution. The cool thing was VR was cool, but me and Magnar worked months “hard” to analyze the data we find at Aibel and we did very successful assessment and we shared the findings at Brian Madden BriForum in May 2014, just after Citrix Synergy, and the audience could for the first time learn the lessons we experienced and we could see applications behavior is not “just” what you might think or expect it to be. Analytics is the key to understand your app. Lets talk about why…

Lets dig into the case study we did at Aibel

Aibel is an industrial pioneer with a history dating back more than a century. With around 5,500 employees worldwide the company is a leading supplier of engineering services related to oil, gas and renewable energy.

Aibel is a huge user of desktop virtualisation technology and is currently delivering virtual desktops to around 4,500 users. The challenge was to work out what to do with the remaining 1500 CAD/CAM workstations where graphics intensive modelling of 3D designs tied them to powerful physical workstations.

With projects occurring at the eight Aibel locations in Norway as well as at the Aibel offices in Thailand and Singapore the amount of data flowing across the WAN was increasing and becoming unwieldy. Large engineering models needed to be accessed on location and shared with engineers and designers in all Aibel office locations.

Virtualisation was seen as the solution to these issues but the challenge was how to virtualise graphics intensive workloads without impacting user experience or drive uneconomic datacentre specifications.

Partner Expertise

Firstpoint AS, a trusted Citrix Gold partner and virtualisation specialists, were brought in to advise Aibel on how to best virtualise this tricky user group.

They teamed up with Thomas Poppelgaard, an independent expert in virtualisation and GPU technologies and together they started an initial survey of Aibel’s situation.

GPU Acceleration Approach

It became quickly clear that the only way to successfully virtualise the 3D graphics workstations in an economically viable fashion was to deploy GPU acceleration technology in the datacentre. NVIDIA’s GRID cards would allow dedicated and shared GPU accelerators to be placed in the datacentre to be used by virtual desktops offloading server CPUs and removing user experience impact for other virtual desktop users.

The Challenge

Having identified the technology approach the challenge now was to work out how to size the workload of these 1500 users and design a solution that would deliver user experience at least as good as their current physical desktop experience. In order to do that the team needed to work out:

  • What graphics applications are in use today
  • Who is using which applications and workstations
  • What GPU processor power is being consumed today by application, user and and FirstPoint brought in Lakeside Software’s SysTrack to do this job. Using SysTrack’s granular data collection model they could model a complete picture of application and GPU workload across all the users and workstations in use at Aibel today.

The Outcome

aibel-results1Using SysTrack the team has been able to build a complete inventory of the existing application and workstation estate and user behaviour. Using these analytics and SysTrack technologies a detailed specification and design for the future NVIDIA GRID based desktop virtualisation infrastructure has been created. Aibel is able to trust this design

as it is completely based on observed data captured from their existing estate and modelled using industry leading technologies from Lakeside and NVIDIA to create the optimal solution for Aibel’s situation. Key in any design is to not over provision the solution and thereby inflate the cost of the solution. On the other hand under provisioning will lead to a poor user experience and potential project failure. SysTrack ensures the right data is used to make the right decision for the future estate.

The assessment was primarily executed to understand Aibel engineers CAD applications such as Aveva PDMS, Bentley Microstation, etc. Shown below is a summary of average GPU usage for 1500 physical machines which revealed surprisingly that internet browsers are very GPU intensive compared to other applications.

Another benefit of leveraging SysTrack was the SysTrack MarketPlace report that had been co-authored by Lakeside and NVIDIA which allowed the team to convert all the data collected into accurate sizing of the number of NVIDIA GRID cards by model number required to offload the GPU workload.

aibel-resultsvgpuThe output from SysTrack also showed how GPUs were being used across the existing estate and how hard they were being utilised. Using jointly authored Lakeside/NVIDIA reports this data was then used to calculate estimated vGPU profiles.







thomas poppelgaard CTP & MVP

Citrix technology professional – CTP, and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional MVP, Thomas Poppelgaard provides professional services. Write to me on my email or call on my cell +45 53540356


Webinar I did with XenAppblog – “GPU in virtualization, learn why it’s important” now available

Hi All

I am very excited to share this great news with you all. I did a webinar with fellow CTP  Trond Eirik Håvarstein from, and we had a special guest surprise Jeroen Van De Kamp CTP and CTO, LoginVSI announcing ground breaking stuff in the webinar. We had over 700 people signed up for the Webinar, if you was among the crowd that missed the opportunity to see the webinar here is your chance, the webinar is now available for everyone for free. There was a lot of Q/A and I will the next couple of days reply to all the Q/A and make them available in this article.

The webinar has been re-mastered and the audio & graphical demo videos is even better now  than in the actual webinar, make sure to check it out now:

Download the presentation here (PDF format)

Summary of webinar product announcements from LoginVSI, Lakeside Software, Uberagent for Splunk.

LoginVSI upcoming new version support’s GPU benchmark…

LoginVSI is working on next version that will support benchmark, capacity planning, stress testing the “missing component in virtualization” GPU. If you are interested you can write to get access to the beta version of LoginVSI.

Here are some screen shots from the session…. watch it to here what Jeroen tells about the upcoming version

Note if you want to get more info on the next version of LoginVSI that supports GPU, write to subject GFX

LoginVSI_gpu_01 LoginVSI_gpu_02




Lakeside Software Monitoring/Assessing NVIDIA GRID

Another groundbreaking product announcement was from Lakeside Software, they are about to release version 7 of Systrack that will support NVIDIA GPU Monitoring/assessing.

Application Graphics Benchmarking

The transformation of an existing software portfolio first begins with the identification of all of the actively used software packages in the environment. The added complication in the case of a project to begin advanced application delivery is the need to understand multiple facets of usage: resource consumption, graphics utilization, frequency of use, user access habits, and mobility needs. Because the state of IT is already so complex it only becomes possible to fully understand and plan with a complete set of descriptive information that really characterizes the unique aspects of every environment. Of particular interest is the ability to first identify applications that have GPU demands, and then begin to segment them into tiers of utilization. SysTrack continually collects information about software packages as they’re used and normalizes all data points for cross platform comparison. One of the key performance parameters that’s identified in this process is a graphical intensity measure (Graphics Index) that provides a way to identify those applications in the portfolio that have higher GPU demands than others. With this critical information it becomes possible to segment the portfolio into groupings based on their requirements for specific resources. By tying a general sense of which applications have peak demand to total length of usage it becomes easier to start developing a portfolio made up of different combinations of usage styles. This includes separating applications that may be used by a small set of the population with intense requirements versus widely used applications with a smaller footprint. Of course, this also allows for much deeper analytics centering on the behaviors of users that is quite important in planning the GPU profiles in use in provisioning. Figure 1 displays this relationship in a bubble chart format, this format groups applications based on their similar characteristics presenting clusters of similar applications in larger bubbles. The vast majority of applications exist in the “low graphics demand – Low Time Active” area in the bottom left, while only a select few have either high graphics demand or high time active.


SysTrackTracks graphics usage frequency across on physical clients and allows you to group users based on graphics usage & frequency

A natural expansion of this is grouping users into distinct workload types to understand how best to configure the profile types and GPU assignments for users. Once the target applications and users have been characterized and a plan has been developed it’s critical to begin the process of sizing the environment. This includes determining the architecture, sizing the desktops and servers that will be worked with, and identifying resources that will be required to support the needs of the planned deployment.

Resource Modeling & Capacity Planning

NVIDIA Marketplace report from Systrack’sVirtual Machine Planner (VMP) outlines the number of users that fall into different use cases making it easier to forecast how many users per board can be allocated

With a complete portfolio plan it now becomes possible to move into the next phase and start creating a model for what resources will be required for a complete environment. Because each of the users have been fully characterized throughout the assessment data collection interval it’s possible to use SysTrack’s Virtual Machine Planner (VMP) for powerful mathematical analysis to provide deep insight into infrastructure provisioning. The first component of this involves using the profile information above to help develop a plan for what kind of solution will be provided to the end-users. By segmenting the population into different delivery strategies using Citrix FlexCast options as a guideline, a more complete and accurate picture of how the net new environment will operate can be created. An additional benefit of segmentation is the ability to take advantage of grouping by general graphics consumption to identify the number of GPUs required for the environment based on the user density information for each profile type


The NVIDIA MarketPlace report from VMP outlines the number of users that fall into the various use cases (e.g. “high” for a designer or higher end power user), making it much easier to forecast how many users per board can be allocated and in turn how many total boards may be needed


This information creates an easy to use design for a set of user profiles, both for the actual desktop delivery and for the vGPU assignment. By ensuring the best possible analysis of the environment prior to the actual deployment the end-user experience is much simpler to forecast and control. This results in higher end-user satisfaction and a shorter transition time.

User Experience Optimization

After the successful implementation of the solution the environment still requires observation to prevent interruption of service and the potential for productivity impact. The best way to ensure optimal end-user service quality is to have a real-time alerting and analytical engine to collect and report instantly on degradation of any aspect of the systems the users interact with. SysTrack provides this in the form of proactive alerting, detailed system analysis in Resolve, and aggregate trending through Enterprise and Site Visualizer. An even more interesting feature is vScape, a tool designed to examine utilization across multiple virtual machines and correlate resource consumption to concurrency of application utilization. vScape provides real-time updates of all of the application usage across all virtual platforms in an enterprise, including information about what applications are currently demanding GPU resources. It also provides insight into other resource demands as well, such as CPU, memory, and I/O. This can help automate the discovery of co-scheduled or highly concurrent applications to pinpoint the root cause of oversubscription issues much more quickly. It also provides key insight into guest health characteristics with trending to correlate precisely which events may lead to service degradation


Another key feature introduced in SysTrack version 7.0 is the result of close collaboration with NVIDIA to leverage APIs presented in the guest operating system. This allows the capture of detailed GPU performance metrics to correlate vGPU consumption to end-user service quality. Specifically, with NVIDIA drivers present in the guest OS or on a physical system, the GPU utilization and key metrics (see table 2 for a sample of selected metrics) from the graphics card can be captured and analyzed in the same way as CPU or other system metrics are currently in SysTrack.


In Systrack 7 after provisioning users in VDI environment the IT admins can monitors performance, which enables to optimize density over time.

This completes the set of KPIs used in SysTrack to calculate the end-user experience score, including categories like resource limitation, network configuration, latency, guest configuration, protocol specific data for ICA, and virtual infrastructure. With a complete set of relevant information the proactive and trending health analysis provided in SysTrack yields a thorough analysis in an easy to understand, quantitative score that summarizes performance on an environmental, group based, or individual system level.

NVIDIA GPU Monitoring/Assessing: (Works with all NVIDIA GPU) Quadro, Kepler, GRID


You will be able to look at following parameters:

  • Device ID
  • Power State
  • GPU Usage
  • Frame Buffer Usage
  • Video Usage
  • Bus Usage
  • Memory Usage (Bytes and Percent)
  • # of Apps
  • Temperatures and Fan RPMS

Use this data to accurately plan and size GRID and HDX 3D Pro deployments based on actually observed usage and utilization.

Monitor users post-deployment to provide the best user experience

I recommend reading the whitepaper Lakeside Software have created:
White Paper: SysTrack Delivery Optimization and Planning for NVIDIA GRID and Citrix HDX



UberAgent 1.8 for Splunk adds GPU performance monitoring

Helge Klein have developed a new version of Splunk that now supports monitoring of GPU, this was a feature request I talked with Helge Klein about in 2013, and I am so happy to see the results what he have done with UberAgent for Splunk, lets dig in what it can do.

uberAgent measures:

  • GPU compute usage per machine
  • GPU memory usage per machine
  • GPU compute usage per process
  • GPU memory usage per process
  • uberAgent shows memory usage separately for shared and dedicated memory (dedicated = on the GPU, shared = main system RAM)
  • uberAgent shows compute usage per GPU engine. The various GPU engines serve different functions, e.g. 2D acceleration, 3D acceleration, video decoding, etc.

uberAgent - process GPU usage uberAgent - single machine GPU usage over time uberAgent - single process GPU usage over time uberAgent - machine GPU usage

For more information visit uberAgent’s website.

My 5 cents

I am very excited to share my findings of some of the things I do in poppelgaard professional services. Feel welcome to contact me at if you are interested in using my professional services and you need help with GPU solutions.

You will see more upcoming blogs from me covering this topic. End User experience, assessments of GPU workload, scaling/sizing, benchmarking, hardware supported, GPU side by side experience, Hypervisor vs Bare metal with a GPU. Watch out for cool things….


Watch the webinar here (YouTube)
Download the presentation here (PDF format)

Lakeside Software
White Paper: 
SysTrack Delivery Optimization and Planning for NVIDIA GRID and Citrix HDX
UberAgent for Splunk

Citrix XenDesktop HDX3D Pro
Citrix XenApp with GPU Sharing
Citrix XenServer vGPU
AMD FirePro
VMware vSphere vDGA
VMware vSphere vSGA with NVIDIA GRID


Citrix 3D Graphics Pack (vGPU)

Citrix 3D Graphics Pack is the new name for the “Citrix Virtual GPU solution” that was introduced in October 2013 in Tech Preview which is NVIDIA vGPU and XenServer/XenDesktop components. The cool thing about this release is that NVIDIA vGPU is now released and no more “technical preview/beta” and the product have been fully built into XenServer and Citrix have created some amazing GUI in XenServer 6.2 XenCenter and XenDesktop 7.1. There is a cool new SDK commands to fully automate the GPU commands if you want to use the CLI method instead of the GUI mode. December 16th, Citrix released support for GPU virtualization using XenDesktop 7.1 HDX 3D Pro with XenServer 6.2 SP1 in the Citrix 3D Graphics Pack (see This means that multiple users can share a single GPU, overcoming the 1:1 ratio to achieve higher user densities and create a more cost-effective remote 2D/3D virtualization solution.

  • Kudos to NVIDIA for building the vGPU
  • Kudos to Citrix XenServer team for integrating the vGPU into the Xen
  • Kudos to Citrix XenDesktop team for integrating the vGPU into the XenDesktop
  • Kudos to all the Citrix HDX 3D crew


What is Citrix 3D Graphics Pack

The Citrix 3D Graphics Pack enables true hardware GPU sharing of NVIDIA GRID Graphics cards providing the industry’s highest performance virtualized professional graphics app acceleration. This technology was first unveiled at Citrix Synergy 2013 and allows GPU sharing for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for XenServer, XenDesktop and NVIDIA GRID GPUs.

XenServerGPU pass-through improvements including XenCenter configuration.

Citrix/NVIDIA XenServer w. vGPU Architecture

vgpu architecture

Sizing NVIDIA vGPU profile

pGPU vs vGPU

NVIDIA vGPU profiles are designed different with amount of memory, CUDA cores and frame buffer, amount of display and display resolution pr GRID GPU type.

I have added more informations than Citrix and NVIDIA does in their branding.
vGPU OS support is one of the important things where you clearly see which OS is supported on Pass-through profile vs vGPU profiles.

vGPU profiles

Which GRID to choose


Whats new in XenServer 6.2 SP1

  • The 3D Graphics Pack supporting NVIDIA GRID GPUs
  • Support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Improvements to the Site Recovery wizard for large deployments
  • GPU pass-through improvements including XenCenter configuration.
  • New SR wizard allows up to 50 new fibre-channel HBA SRs to be created in a single step.
  • Security Hotfix and functional Hotfix roll-up.
  • New SDK for XenServer 6.2.0 Service Pack 1 is ideal for developers wishing to access programmatically XenServer’s new management features for GPU virtualization (including the new vGPU and GPU pass-through). The five available XenServer SDKs, one for each of C, C#, Java, PowerShell and Python, expose the new XenAPI commands for working with physical GPUs (pGPUs), GPU groups, virtual GPUs (vGPUs) and virtual GPU types. The GPU technologies for XenDesktop and XenServer do of course also come with rich GUI configuration operations and provisioning via XenCenter, XenDesktop and MCS.Citrix last few development cycles they have invested in re-writing XenServer’s PowerShell API to provide developers and administrators with a PoSH alternative to using the XenServer command line (CLI) interface. In particular this interface is proving popular with those looking to automate bespoke vGPU and GPU pass-through configuration and benchmarking or auto-test frameworks. The PowerShell API is also a popular choice for XenDesktop and Windows administrators working with XenServer. Read more about the SDK here

Whats new in NVIDIA GRID vGPU Pack

GA of NVIDIA GRID vGPU Manager + Windows Display Driver

  • Latest NVIDIA GRID vGPU Manager is version  (331.30)
  • Latest NVIDIA GRID vGPU Windows Display Driver (332.07) for Windows 7, Windows 8, Server 2008R2, Server 2012.

Important if you implemented XenServer vGPU tech preview

  • Customers who have previously installed the vGPU Tech Preview (XS62ETP001) on a host, cannot subsequently install Service Pack 1. Customers wishing to install Service Pack 1 will need to do a fresh installation of XenServer 6.2.0, before installing Service Pack 1.

How to implement Citrix 3D Graphics Pack

Download Citrix XenServer 6.2 + SP1
Download NVIDIA GRID vGPU Pack for GRID K1 or GRID K2
Download Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 99 user trial or licensed software here (require MyCitrix ID)

install vgpu

1. Start with a fresh XenServer 6.2 installation on a GRID supported hardware
2. Install Service Pack 1 on the XenServer 6.2
3. Download the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Pack and unzip the contents; install NVIDIA GRID manager in XenServer from the CLI
4. Create a Windows 7 VM (this will be the base image)
5. From the XenCenter GUI, assign a vGPU type to the base image
6. In the Windows 7 VM:
a. Install NVIDIA GPU guest OS driver (available in the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Pack)
b. Install the XenServer Tools
c. Install the latest version of Citrix HDX 3D Pro VDA 7.1
7. Create a Machine Catalog using MCS to provision new VMs based on the base image or you can also use Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS)
8. Create Delivery Group, assign users, and publish the desktops
9. Access virtual desktops using Citrix Receiver. No GPU is required on the end-point devices
10. Validate GPU sharing by multiple desktops, using monitoring tools like Process Explorer from Microsoft

GUI enhancements in XenCenter for XenServer 6.2 SP1

In the Citrix XenCenter, there is a new tab called “GPU” at the host level. The appropriate vGPU types attached to the host are defined in this GUI, and made available to the virtual machines (VM). Depending on the requirements, one can also define the GPU placement policy here. This tab also makes it very convenient to visualize how many vGPU’s are already attached, and the physical GPU’s where they get placed.
This makes later troubleshooting simpler.



At the VM-level in XenCenter, the vGPU can be selected as part of VM properties or during New VMcreation on GPU enabled hosts. In the tech preview, this was a laborious step in the CLI. Now, simply determine the suitable vGPU Profile for your use-case and select it from the drop-down list. Once the VM is created, it boots into the Windows standard 800X600 VGA resolution. The vGPU features are available once the guest driver is installed in the Windows VM.


GPU performance graphs are available under the Performance tab of XenServer host. On first-run, these graphs have to be added to the view. Subsequently, they can be moved up or down and can show one or more of the installed GPUs.



GUI enhancements in XenDesktop 7.1 with XenServer 6.2 SP1

There are few GPU related enhancements on the XenDesktop consoles, and automated-provisioning of vGPU-enabled VMs using Machine Creation Services (MCS) is the one we’ve been waiting for. Simply attach a vGPU to the base VM, install the virtual delivery agent (VDA for HDX 3D Pro), and install the required graphics apps. Then head over to XenDesktop Studio to create the machine catalog. The only part to exercise caution is not to perform a Sysprep after creating a vGPU-enabled base image, else it wipes out the vGPU information.

In Studio, the vGPU Type must be defined while creating the host settings to be used as a platform for the MCS machines.


Subsequently, proceed to creation of a machine catalog as usual. The exact steps are outlined in the Reviewer’s Guide. At the step where MCS base image is chosen, hovering over the image name shows information to confirm if you have a valid vGPU-enabled master image.


The remaining process to create machine catalog, create delivery group, and assign users is no different than the usual way of delivering desktops and apps. Use the latest Citrix Receiver to access 3D apps.

Tweak XenServer 6.2.x for GPU intense applications/performance

Below articles are critical to follow, no matter if you use GPU pass-through or vGPU profiles with your virtual machines.
I have seen many GPU intense applications that uses the Turbo mode or the max CPU clock frequency and if you think Turbo mode work out of the box, think again. Many virtualize their 3D applications and will have an impact on this if this is not configured.

Follow this article How to use host-cpu-tune to fine tune XenServer 6.2.0 performance

Follow this article How to investigate and use Turbo mode, C-States and P-States in XenServer

Tweak Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 HDX 3D Pro.

I have seen multiple issues with performance, now Citrix have officially shared the informations, so shall I help you position how to tweak XenDesktop 7.1 HDX 3D. Following tweaks are for XenDesktop 7.0 & 7.1 VDA’s.

  • With high screen resolutions (such as 2560×1600), a lower than expected Frames per Second (FPS) may be apparent, impacting user experience.
    Change Encodespeed from
    to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Graphics]”EncodeSpeed”=dword:00000001
    registry key to work around this issue.
  • While connecting to high resolution displays (for example: 2560×1600) artifacts of previously opened windows can remain. To ensure that the screen is refreshed, users can add the following registry key:


Software – Download vGPU (GRID Manager + GRID drivers) + XenServer 6.2 SP1 here

Ctx article – How to Resolve GPU Memory Mapping Issues in XenServer *important to check if you want to use vGPU

Citrite Mayunk Jain blogpost Super Easy GPU Sharing with XenDesktop 7.1: Introducing 3D Graphics Pack

Citrite Mayunk Jain Reviewer’s Guide for Delivering 3D Graphics Apps: Part 3 (vGPU)

Citrite Konstantina Chremmou blogpost – Configuring vGPU and GPU pass-through using the PowerShell SDK for XenServer 6.2.0 Service Pack 1

Citrite Rachel Berry blogpost – Configuring XenServer to use Turbo mode – including for 3-D graphically intense applications

Xen Team Advice for developers and partners working with GPUs

Alexander Ervik (CTP)  Shows how to enable NVIDIA vGPU support in XenServer 6.2 SP1 with Dell R720

Citrix blogpost – True hardware GPU sharing with XenDesktop and NVIDIA GRID arrives!

Citrix FlexCast Services: Virtualize 3D professional graphics

Citrix Technical and Training Materials about vGPU & HDX 3D Pro

NVIDIA GRID certified OEM servers

NVIDIA GRID certified applications

Whitepaper – Implementation Guide XenDesktop with Personal vDisk

Citrix have released a whitepaper that describes how you implement Citrix XenDesktop with the Personal vDisk.


This document provides the installation steps required to setup the personal vDisk feature of XenDesktop 5.6 with either Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Provisioning Services (PVS) running on the Citrix XenServer virtualization platform. This guide assumes the infrastructure aspects for Citrix products have been installed, including Citrix Licensing Server 11.9, Citrix XenDesktop 5.6, Provisioning Services 6.1, etc. Upon completion of the steps outlined in this document, an enterprise can provide XenDesktop virtual desktops with the personal vDisk feature enabled.

Implementing XenDesktop is not a difficult or particularly complex process. However, installing XenDesktop should not be performed in a production environment without adequate testing beforehand. It is recommended to install in a test or lab environment and conduct thorough systems and user acceptance testing to determine the optimal configuration for the enterprise environment. Success Accelerator kits are available at ensure XenDesktop projects delivers value to the organization.

Implementation Guide

  • Prerequisites for SQL database, Citrix Licensing, XenDesktop Controller, and Provisioning Services.
  • Preparing Provisioning Services vDisk to be used with personal vDisk.
  • Creating a Citrix XenDesktop site with a Desktop Group featuring personal vDisks.
  • Creating streamed Virtual Machines with personal vDisks using XenDesktop Setup Wizard.
  • Updating the master vDisk and the personal vDisk inventory.
  • Resizing the personal vDisk.
  • Resetting the personal vDisk.
  • Capturing personal vDisk log files.
  • Preparing the base Virtual Machine to be used with personal vDisk and MCS.
  • Creating pooled Virtual Machines with personal vDisks using MCS.
  • Final validation steps.


Read the entire Whitepaper ( Implementation Guide Citrix XenDesktop with Personal vDisk ) here (CTX133965)

Whitepaper – Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Policy Planning Guide

Citrix Consulting have released a XenApp/XenDesktop Policy Planning Guide that is a must read for architects that design XenApp/XenDesktop solutions.


Citrix policies provide the basis to configure and fine tune your XenDesktop and XenApp environments, allowing organizations to control connection, security and bandwidth settings based on various combinations of users, devices or connection types. Correctly defining an initial baseline policy and assigning additional policies based on security requirements and specific access scenarios can be important in delivering a high definition user experience.

This planning guide is intended to be a guideline during the decision process for creating a baseline policy and additional policies based on connection, security, device and profile considerations. While it creates a baseline policy and recommendations for policy settings, it should not be assumed to be a complete configuration, or absolutely correct for every customer situation. Architects should review the recommendations contained in this document against desired outcomes within the organization to ensure requirements are met.
When making policy decisions it is important to consider both Microsoft Windows and Citrix policies as components within both policy configurations have an impact on user experience and environment optimization. Within this planning guide a base set of windows policies that can be used to optimize XenApp and XenDesktop environments is presented. For more details on specific Windows related policies, refer to the Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server, specifically settings related to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

To help architects design a XenDesktop and XenApp solution based on real-world projects, organizations can refer to the Citrix Desktop Transformation Accelerator for step by step assessment, design and deployment guidance, and the XenDesktop Design Handbook for reference architectures, planning guides and best practices.

Read the full whitepaper here


Creating policies for XenDesktop and XenApp configurations involves a combination of Citrix and Microsoft Active Directory group policy settings. Correctly configuring a baseline policy configuration and keeping policy exceptions to a minimum allows organizations to create an environment that meets user experience and security requirements, while providing a policy structure that is easy to review and diagnose. This planning guide has provided a suggested set of policies as a starting point for a XenDesktop or XenApp configuration. It can be used as a basis for architects to customize an initial policy configuration for an organization.


Download the Policy Planning Guide for XenApp, XenDesktop here