Posts Tagged ‘Citrix XenServer’

Citrix XenServer (next release) Tech Preview 2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, Intel, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Citrix have release Tech Preview 2 of Citrix XenServer (next release). Great news for customers, partners, cloud providers using Citrix XenServer. The XenServer team have improved again the Dom0 and made the hypervisor even faster, this will be interesting to see if XenServer will be faster than the competitor VMware vSphere. Intel GPU virtualisation is now part of the hypervisor and again Citrix is leading the GPU virtualisation space as nr 1 compared to Microsoft and VMware. If you have a server with Intel Iris Pro graphics on Broadwell and Haswell processors equipped with the C226 chipset you can now virtualise the GPU to a VDI/XenApp. Software thin provisioning for SAN is now available in this release so XenServer better can utilise storage and not consume lots of space with “block based” as previously releases, a lot of customers is going to love this feature + a lot of new awesome features…

Important information before testing this release.

Known Issues and Advisories in this Tech Preview 

 NVIDIA vGPU cannot be used in conjunction with this Tech Preview. GPU Pass Through is supported. So if you have NVIDIA GRID vGPU running in your environment and you upgrade with this technical preview, I advise you not to do this.

Why Citrix XenServer Tech Preview 2

As a core component of the Citrix portfolio of products, Citrix continually strive to ensure that XenServer remains the best possible platform for hosting Citrix solutions, and for fulfilling the needs of server virtualization and Cloud customers.

This Technical Preview 2 offers enhanced features and functionality for application, desktop and server virtualization use cases. In addition to improved support for large-scale Microsoft Active Directory infrastructures and enhancements to XenServer control domain responsiveness, the Tech Preview includes:

  • Improved heterogeneous pool support
  • Support for software-boot-from-iSCSI for Cisco UCS
  • Support for hardware-accelerated graphics processing
  • Enhanced block and file based storage features
  • Increased scalability

Terms of access and use

  • The Tech Preview 2 is only available to existing customers, and requires a Tech Preview license key. The license key is available from this page and needs to be installed on a Citrix License Server.
  • This preview is intended only for existing Citrix XenServer, XenApp or XenDesktop customers.
  • The previewed features and enhancements are being considered for inclusion in future versions of XenServer.  They have not yet been fully integrated or productized, and there may be debugging code in place.
  • This is not a fully featured release, is not intended for use in any environment other than test or development, and should not be used for production workloads. Citrix does not guarantee that any preview features or functionality described here or within the downloadable product will be made available in a future releases.

Providing feedback and reporting bugs

To help us produce the best quality product and improve future releases, please report any issues you encounter at https://tracker.citrix.com/projects/XSB/

Whats next in Tech Preview 2

Simplified Heterogeneous Pool Support 

Enables new hosts to be added to existing resource pools, irrespective of the underlying CPU type (as long as the CPU is from the same vendor family).

VMs can now freely migrate within and across pools, irrespective of the particular CPU features the VM may be using.

These enhanced agilities are delivered without recourse to any command line expressions and do not require any hosts to be rebooted. Page 2 Copyright © 2016 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix XenServer Tech Preview TP2: Release Notes v2.0 January 2016

Software-boot-from-iSCSI for Cisco UCS 

 Enables XenServer to boot from SAN via iSCSI, complimenting existing FC boot capabilities.

 XenServer can be installed to, booted from, and run from a LUN provided by an iSCSI target, which is specified in the iSCSI Boot Firmware Table (iBFT).

 Helps reduce infrastructure costs by removing the need for expensive Fibre Channel HBAs.

To use this feature, see Enabling Software-boot-from-iSCSI later in this document.

Intel GVT-g virtual GPU for Windows 

We continue to collaborate with our partners, in driving innovation in the virtualized-graphics domain. Within this Tech Preview, we showcase Intel’s virtual GPU; a graphics acceleration solution that requires no additional hardware:

 Uses the Intel Iris Pro functionality on Broadwell and Haswell processors equipped with the C226 chipset

 Utilizes a standard Intel GPU driver, installed within the VM

 Experience the benefit; simply RDP into a Windows 10 or a Windows 8.1 VM and run a graphically demanding application

Software Thin Provisioning for SAN 

With thin provisioning, a small amount of space is allocated initially to VDIs, which grows on demand, leading to far more efficient utilization of storage space. This will enable a significant reduction in the cost of ownership for the storage component of a SAN-based (LVMoiSCSI and LVMoHBA) XenServer environment.

This contrasts with previous versions of XenServer which only supported fully provisioned storage for block storage.

Support for SMB Storage 

XenServer is now able to use SMB1 storage as an SR type.

1 SMB is sometimes referred to as CIFS.

2 Press F10 when the installer boots to enable boot-from-SAN and to configure Open-FCoE settings.

Customers with existing SMB storage (ubiquitous in many Microsoft environments) can now utilize SMB as their XenServer SR, and therefore may need no additional storage for their XenServer environment, enabling significant potential cost savings.

Support for Offline Storage Migration 

Enables storage migrations to be undertaken with the VM in a stopped or suspended state. Currently customers are only able to migrate the storage of a VM, if the VM is actually running.

Support for NFSv4 

Adds support for the current version of the NFS standard and complements the existing NFSv3 support, delivering additional performance improvements.

Support for Open-FCoE 

Supports software FCoE, which can be configured easily using the XenServer installation program. Software-based FCoE delivers the same benefits as hardware-based FCoE. It alleviates the need for using expensive HBAs, but does so using less-expensive network adapters, in an entirely software-defined manner.

This Tech Preview also supports boot-from-SAN from Open-FCoE and includes an updated installer2 to assist with the configuration of Open-FCoE.

Improved Performance & Scale 

We continue to deliver ever greater performance and scale, enabling customers to realize economies of scale and processing efficiencies.

Increased Host Memory 

Support for up to 5 TB of system memory, accommodating even the largest workloads.

Support for up to 1.5 TB of Memory per VM 

For memory-hungry VMs3, such as those running databases, we now support up to 1.5 TB of memory.

Improved Dom0 Responsiveness 

The responsiveness of Dom0 has been significantly improved when subjected to heavy VM load.

Support for 256 CPUs 

Support for up to 256 physical CPUs, accommodating even the most powerful servers.

Increased number of VBDs 

Maximum number of VBDs per VM has increased to 255

Increased number of VBDs 

Maximum number of VBDs per host has increased to 4096

Enhanced Active Directory Support 

Delivering improvements for customers with large numbers of objects within their Active Directory, including improved login times.

Increased Size of Dom0 Disk Partitions 

By moving log files to a larger, separate partition, we enable more detailed logs to be held, over a longer period of time, improving the ability to diagnose issues. Simultaneously, this alleviates demands on Dom0’s root disk, which can sometimes lead to out of space issues, due to log file disk space consumption.

Single-threaded Storage IO 

Customers should notice significant improvements when using high performance/low latency storage.

Networking and Storage IO 

Higher throughput for Networking and Storage IO in aggregate usage scenarios.

Support for New Guests 

Introduction of the following new guests:

 SLED 11.3

 SLED 12

 Debian Jessie 8.0

Platform Improvements 

This Tech Preview also incorporates the following platform improvements:

 Latest Xen hypervisor v4.6

 Dom0 now uses Centos v7.1 for user space

 Support for booting hosts using UEFI, anticipating the eventual retirement of BIOS configured servers

XenCenter Improvements 

Customers are now able to initiate SSH console sessions direct from XenCenter.

Citrix Health Check 

Customers are now able to automate the process of uploading Server Status Reports to Citrix Insight Services and receive notifications in XenCenter, regarding the health of their systems, based on CIS-generated reports.

Source

Download Tech Preview 2 here

Poppelgaard Professional Services :

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

thomas poppelgaard CTP & MVP

Lakeside Case Study – sizing NVIDIA GRID vGPU

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Citrix, GRID, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, Lakeside Software, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Systrack, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Whitepapers, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

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 Poppelgaard.com 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 workstationPoppelgaard.com 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.

 

 

 

 

Source

 

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 thomas@poppelgaard.com or call on my cell +45 53540356

 

Citrix XenServer 6.5

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, Cisco, Citrix, Cloud, CloudStack, Datacenter and Cloud, Dell, Desktop Virtualization, FirePro, GRID, HDX, HDX 3D, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, HP, IBM, Lakeside Software, LoginVSI, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Server 2012R2, VDI-in-a-box, vGPU, Virtualization Ready, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenDesktop, XenServer

Citrix XenServer 6.5

Citrix have released a major release of their hypervisor XenServer 6.5

I have with this blogpost gathered all the public informations available and created a blogpost on what I think is new with Citrix XenServer 6.5 and why this is great and how you can use this.

Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 7.6

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Android, AppDNA, Apple, Chromebook, Citrix, Cloud, Datacenter and Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, GRID, HDX, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, HTML5, iOS, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OS X, Provisioning, Receiver, Server 2012R2, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 7.6

Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp 7.6

This is a major release that contains new version of many new software components.

I have in this article included all new product releases to give you an overview what is released related to XenDesktop & XenApp 7.6 solution.

How to get Fraps working with Citrix XenApp 7.5 & Login VSI Graphics Framework

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, Autodesk, Citrix, Cloud, Datacenter and Cloud, Dell, FirePro, GRID, HDX 3D, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, HowTo, HP, IBM, LoginVSI, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Receiver, Server 2012R2, vDGA, vGPU, VMware, vSGA, vSphere, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

How to get Fraps working with Citrix XenApp 7.5 & Login VSI Graphics Framework

This is one of my many series of how to scale test applications using Login VSI Graphics Framework.

If you are interested in trying out the new Graphics Framework from LoginVSI Click here to register for the public beta.

LoginVSI GFX requires you to have Fraps installed on your either VDI or XenApp server.

To get Fraps working correctly, you might run into the issue I have been having. UAC will not allow it to run or if you have UAC disable, you still get a UAC prompt.

This article describes how to get Fraps working in a multisession environment Microsoft Remote Desktop Services 2012R2, Citrix XenApp 7.5 with Login VSI Graphics Framework.

Recent Comments

Server 2016 Support

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Wonderful website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

Server 2016 Support

Thomas Poppelgaard

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Thanks Jose, I have corrected the map plus updated the map so 29 datacenters are now alive.

Jose Brenes

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Your map of Australia is wrong. You have put the state of Victoria inside the West Australian state.

Tobias K

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Note that on XenServer 7.1, installing VDA 7.13 also works to enable vGPUs running XenDesktop 7.11 even using the newer “NvFBCEnable.exe -enable -noreset” command. Tested with an M60 using various profiles.

Alex

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So how come version 3.11 doesn’t work for application switching?