Citrix have released a new version of Citrix XenDesktop 7.11 and XenApp 7.11 and is now available for download.
Citrix raises the bar of for user experience and new product release of following technologies
Virtual Delivery Agents 7.11 for ServerOS and ClientOS
Provisioning Services 7.11
Profile Management 5.5
License Server 11.14
Citrix Receiver 15.0 for Windows
HDX RealTime Optimization Pack 2.1.1 for Microsoft Skype® for Busines
Citrix SCOM Management Bundle for XenApp and XenDesktop (2016_08_24)
Linux Virtual Delivery Agent 1.4
Tech preview for HTML5 redirection
This release is an important release no matter if you are working daily with Office application such as Excel, Word or Browsers and even highend applications such as CAD. The features in 7.11 have important improved user experience from the VDA to the Receiver that improves dramtically the user experience. NVIDIA NVENC technology is now part of VDA and supports even multiple monitors. The admin can now monitor RTT within Director this feature have been something I have asked for very long time and now finally its in the product, customer will love this new feature so its fast to see where the issue is in a infrastructure with which users that have latency issues. Version 7.11 is the release that fully supports Microsoft Windows Server 2016 that is soon GA, this means you can install Delivery components on Windows Server 2016, VDA on Server 2016, use Azure N-series with support for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Discrete Device Assignment (DDA) or you can use it onpremises with Hyper-V. Support for UWP is HUGE and I am very excited about this technology and this also used in Microsoft Hololens so cant wait to a Receiver for hololens so you can publish UWP apps to Hololens 😉 Imagine that. I can keep going on with all these new features lets dig in below and learn whats new, its incredible that Citrix raises the bar and comes with huge improvements and they this each 3 months 🙂 yes each 3months, you read it correct. If you dont have a plan for this in your company I highly recommend you build a strategy on how you upgrade you Citrix environment frequently to get these awesome new features.
I want to share this with you all, Luke Wignall and his team from NVIDIA have created some great AppGuides, that helps with understanding how many users can you put on a NVIDIA GRID system with a K2 in a VMware environment. These guides are made together with vendors such as ESRI. The guides focus on following apps ESRI ArcGIS Pro.
In this blogpost my goal is to highlight the great work NVIDIA have done creating the scalability app guides and these guides helps you if you want to virtualize ESRI Pro with NVIDIA GRID and VMware Horizon. The guides are great – cause they give an idea what you would require in a virtualized environment and these can be reused for other virtualized platforms such as Citrix and Microsoft – keep in mind that results might be different. If you would like to get more informations about how the setup is configured and which methodology i recommend you read the AppGuide, you can download it in under source in the end of this article.
The appguides gives a great idea to understand the impact of CPU and how the GPU are giving value.
About ESRI ArcGIS Pro
ESRI ArcGIS Pro 1.0 is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application for mapping, visualizing, editing, and analyzing spatial data. Esri recommends a GPU for best end user experience, but as ArcGIS Pro 1.0 also generates heavy CPU load, this also needs to be considered in architecting your vGPU solution. The size of your map data, the concurrency of your users, and the level of interaction with 3D data all need to be considered when defining your user groups.
Results NVIDIA Appguide for ESRI ArcGis Pro
The following are the full results of our testing. The baseline was the 45 second draw time sum – anything greater than that value represented a worsening UX while less would be a better UX. Looking for both performance and scalability, we tested looking for the greatest number of virtual desktops, and therefore the greatest scalability, while still within performance expectations and the threshold of 45 seconds. It’s important to note that your users, your data, and your hardware will impact these results and you may decide a different level of performance or scalability is required to meet your individual business needs. Tests were also run to look for potential NUMA issues that can negatively impact performance. This is where the physical GPU and its PCI-e channels are tied to one physical CPU, while the virtual desktop is running on the other physical CPU, so communication with the physical GPU has to move over the QPI between the two physical CPUs. This creates a bottleneck and can cause performance issues. However, in our testing, the application is sufficiently CPU bound that NUMA affinity made little difference. The results in the table below show the decrease in performance as we increased vCPU counts, and then the increase in scalability with synthetic human behavior (think time):
ArcGIS – users per server
Based on NVIDIA Performance Engineering Lab findings, NVIDIA GRID provides the following performance and scalability metrics for Esri ArcGIS 3D Pro 1.0. These metrics are based on tests with the lab equipment shown in the graphic below, using the Esri API based “heavy 3D” benchmark and in working with Esri to determine acceptable performance. Of course, your usage will depend on your models, but this is guidance to help guide your implementation.
Last year I was invited by HPE to go to their EMEA event HPE Discover in London, which took place the first week of December. I was invited there as part of their Hewlett Packard Enterprise Independent Influencer Program, and I was super proud of being part of this well organized program, which Kristen Reyes manages. HUGE kudos to Kristen Reyes and her team for putting together one of the most organized events I have ever attended as a blogger. Last time I attended HPE Discover was some years ago at their big US HPE Discover which took place at Las Vegas. I remember it was HUGE with lots of people – an epic experience that my previously employer, Arrow ECS managed the trip for. I had pretty high expectations going to the HPE Discover and I knew it was going to be good, but not as good as it REALLY was.
HPE Independent Influencer Program:
I am proud of being part of this program – let me tell you which profiles are part of the program including myself.
The team behind HPE took care of us from the time I flew all the way from Denmark to London. They made sure we got the right hotel and then once at the venue, we got a special VIP room where we got introduce each other. Team had a plan for what happend exclusively for the group. This reminds me of the Citrix CTP program I am humble to be part of where we also meet 2 times a year and are taken especially care of.
I highly recommend you follow above persons, as they are awesome people. This is the first time I have been with such a wide range of technology bloggers in my life and it was a huge difference – so thank you to HPE for daring to put so many different profiles together.
Let’s talk about HPE Discover in London 2015
There was 13.000 attendees. YES! That is INSANE and it felt like being in United States but I was in London. London can also have huge venues and they succeeded with cherry top on the beautiful cake. Yes HPE pulled it off! Please other big vendors – start making EMEA events because London is a perfect spot for this! Citrix, VMware, Microsoft… EMEA salutes you..
I was in for a surprise the first day of the keynote when Meg Whitman kicked off HPE Discover, and Satya Nadella Microsoft CEO talked even thought it was via a conf call (but still pretty cool) and Microsoft showed the flag. I would have loved if Satya could have come in person since that would have been my first time seeing Mr. Nadella in person.
After a great keynotes learning about where HPE is taking the company, it was time to walk around the expo to see what innovative technologies were hidden and what others I was allowed to blog about.
Next gen consumer products for engineers & designers
This device is so beautiful the brand new HP Envy 34, its the widest screen I have ever seen on a professional computer and its powered by Intel HD530 GPU and NVIDIA GTX 960A GPU. The speakers are B&O (Danish design brand).
Price for this device is approx 1700 USD – that’s pretty cheap for an All-in-one machine.
Another beautiful Augmented Reality device I tried was the HP Sprout. This device makes it possible to quickly edit 3D models in real time by taking objects from reality and scanning them directly in to the device. Then you can manipulate with the object and then print it out on a 3Dprinter. This process increases the speed of making a design. Right now, the device is only available for consumers but we might see that change soon for enterprises since the unit was displayed at the HPE Discover 🙂 – so watch out for this space. I also saw AMD had setup several Oculus Rift DK2 units running some great demos. Great to see that VR was at HPE Discover.
Deep Learning & The Machine
I meet many of the brains behind the Deep Learning “things” HPE are doing, and its VERY impressive where they are, and how HPE differs to their competitors. I can’t talk much about it now – and will leave it up to how things are evolving later this year – and then blog more about it when the information is available to the public. But if you are fascinated by the future and AI / Deep learning you should look at what HPE is doing with the concept, “The Machine”. If you look at what they are trying to accomplish and put the puzzle together yourself, you might see for yourself how HPE will make a difference in how next generation datacenters will be built – that’s a fact.
Citrix Octoblu & HPE – The Cube
(The ultimate iOT automated conference room)
HPE Smart Digital Collaboration Space (1107), a.k.a. “The Cube.” . That was the name of this cool concept.
This was mind-blowing – and one of the most innovative things I saw at HPE Discover with IoT using Citrix Octoblu.
HPE, together with Aruba and Octoblu have teamed together to create a beautiful workflow that automates a conference room with iOT.
All visitors could try this at the event. HPE allowed 3-4 people to enter the cube as a group. We were asked our name and then were given an iPhone to bring into “The Cube”. The system then welcomed use by name and the room went from “green” to “red” (which was Philips Hue that did this), so the people outside could clearly see that the room was occupied and a meeting was taking place. An HP tablet on the door outside also showed the room was occupied and listed the attendees by name. Inside, the HP surface PCs connected to Skype for Business, Samsung TV started and a business session went live. At the end, “The Cube” took a selfie and put on twitter and sent the photo to our emails and after we left the room. Upon exiting, it reset all the workflows and the room was lit green again – ready for next group. Amazing 🙂
It was great to see all the new NVIDIA GRID 2.0 solutions. Two gentlemen proudly showed the HPE ProLiant WS460C Gen9 that now supports NVIDIA Tesla M60 and NVIDIA Tesla M6. This means higher density and more performance. So great to see that HPE is a pioneer, offering the entire solution from NVIDIA. There is soon NVIDIA GTC – and I expect we will see some data on customers running on HPE solution with M60/M6 and we get some data on how many users can run on these new offerings. It’s actually my first time seeing on-hands the M6 GPU from NVIDIA and it looks beautiful and green. These GPUs are made for low end GPU workloads all the way up to high end GPU workloads. The performance of the M60 is 2x the performance compared to K2 (GRID 1.0)
Please keep in mind that NVIDIA has changed GRID 2.0 so when you buy the GPUs, you also have to buy a “software” license.
Your NPN (NVIDIA preferred partner) should be able to help you with providing you the correct information. This license is required both for Pass-through and vGPU of the M60 and M6.
Moonshot and beyond
HPE Moonshot has been a subject I have been following for a while now. It all started when one of my great friends (and fellow CTP) Dane Young talked about HP Moonshot and why it differs to the market. HPE liked Young’s view – and his face is now on the wall at the Houston research facility. So if you are a client or a partner, you might know Dane Young – or you will if you are in Houston to see what HPE is doing with HPE Moonshot.
Citrix had a booth at the HPE Discover and they showed how Citrix is working and offered on a HPE Moonshot stack.
The HPE Moonshot team had several sessions talking about the next generation “trader workstation” which opens my eyes on how users use a computer. Traders are actually some of the most “difficult” users to satisfy – and they have a very short lifetime as an employee because its so hard what they do is so stressful. The amount of monitors and amount of data they look at is shocking and the high availability for this is nothing like you have never seen before. If these people cant work, the moneyflow stops moving – something you don’t want in the financial world. Designers are one thing, but I would definitely call traders the most difficult users. So what´s so amazing about the HPE Moonshot offering? HPE has a new catridge called the M710P, which was released in the Summer 2015. It has a high amount of CPU/GPU (or as others call it APU which is a CPU/GPU processor in 1 unit). Lots of memory and high speed disks. This is all build in a super small server which we call a cartridge. This cartridge can be put in a system and an OS can be installed and now you can have many users connecting to the catridge and using multiple sessions from Microsoft Remote Desktop Services combine this with Citrix super power “XenApp” and you now have an amazing flagship for having high amount of users with low cost. Nothing is virtualized and everything is running on bare metal. The beauty about the moonshot is that in 1 chassis you can put in 45 catridges of the M710P.
Moonshot cartridge building blocks for Citrix workloads
These are the offering that HPE have with Moonshot and Citrix and you can build amazing workloads. Personally, I would look at the M710p because I think this is the cartridge that is mature for the workload. I normally design Citrix solutions with.. wait are you talking about GPU? Yes I am..
If you remember some time ago, Brian Madden, said “Imagine if you could put 20.000 users in a single rack? Let’s see what has happended since then. Things have evolved – and with the new cartridge M710p, its much more powerful than the first cartridges that were built for Citrix
Citrix is using Moonshot internally
At HPE Discover, Citrix had a session with Bob Thompson from Citrix and together with the HPE Moonshot team EMEA telling how Citrix is using HPE Moonshot.
I had never heard about Citrix is using it at this scale – and big surprise their demo cloud is also running on Moonshot.
Insights what Citrix IT are doing with HPE Moonshot
“Citrix on Citrix” – team responsible for deploying Citrix products internally
Upgrading to latest version of XenApp
Seamless app access from Windows 10 devices
Superior user experience
Improved security (e.g. both FIPS Compliant and Common Criteria certified)
Migrating to Moonshot (m710) for XenApp from HP Blades
Designed and optimized for XenApp
Less: power consumption, space and cabling
8,500 sessions, across the globe in (4) data centers
“WOW so why arent more people using Moonshot, if this is so good and Citrix is doing this, it is mature”.
M710P & Citrix – Next gen trader workstation
I am very impressed about this new machine and HPE is having HUGE success with this machine for the financial buisness. In fact, some of the biggest banks in the world are running on this. Surprised ? IT’S TRUE
Let’s look at the details of what it is.
Here is a typical trader running with 4 monitors connecting to 1 catridge M710p and only 47% of the GPU is utilized. AMAZING!
M710P catridge – hardware specifications
Video transcoding , Application Delivery
Intel Xeon E3-1284Lv4 with on-die GPU (GT3e: Iris Pro P6300)
20 independent L2/3 switches with 4.5Tb throughput
1180 Cores (3600 with HyperThreading)
54TB – 430TB iSSD Storage
18,000 XenApp users (@40 users per server)
I hope the above gives you a pretty good idea on where Moonshot is going – and this is just for Citrix. HPE Moonshot is much more though -it’s a huge eco system build for enterprises and cloud providers, so check it out https://www.hpe.com/us/en/servers/moonshot.html
More informations about HPE Moonshot M710p – The Trader Workstation:
HPE Discover 2015 blew my mind – and it looks like we are going to have an amazing year in 2016.
I would like to say thank you to Kristen Reyes from HPE for making this happen. Each time I didn’t know what to do, she and her team took great care of me and made sure I meet the correct people at HPE – and there was always “open doors” (which isn’t always the case when techies sees a guy with a “blogger” sign around his neck).
After a succesfull NVIDIA GTC (gpu technology conference) in San Jose, March 2015. It was amazing all the brain gathered in one place, at NVIDIA GTC 2015, I had so many great conversations with friends, partners and there was one sentence I thought through “try to imagine what could you do for the world if we tried to build 1 thing with all this brain power in joined forces” . NVIDIA is doing amazing things and this year it was all about “Deep Learning” and “NVIDIA GRID”. Google was part of the keynote and it was very interesting seeing how far AI is evolving, Elon Musk the guy behind Tesla, Space-X was also on stage.
NVIDIA GRID was big this year and all the vendors, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Cisco, Supermicro, Citrix, Vmware and such was there. There was tonz of success stories and best practices. So amazing to learn all the best on GPU enabled application/desktop using either Citrix or VMware, this is the conference to learn from people that are early adapters, the best of the best. If you feel missed out come next year and you understand what I mean. This conference is very different compared to other conferences. This is here it all happens, all industries meet and make a fusion across GPU’s. If you missed this year GTC, I highly recommend you go to the next year GTC which takes place in April 4-8th, 2016 in Silicon Valley
Roland WartenbergDirector Global SAP Alliance, Citrix David CruickshankSr. Director, Strategy and Operations, SAP Co-Innovation Lab, SAP Labs S5377 – Running SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Using Citrix and NVIDIA – What about Performance?
Erik Bohnhorst, SR. GRID Solution Architect from NVIDIA Ronald Grass, SR. Systems Engineer from Citrix
The End User Computing Podcast (www.eucpodcast.com) is a community driven podcast for IT Professionals, and the first EUC Podcast is officially “in the bag”. Thanks to all those who hung around while the roadies tapped the mic, looked at the mic, tapped the mic again – got the manual out, realised it was in Danish written in a Manga syle, then essentially turned it off and on again.. but we got there in the end.