As a Engineer on the Americas Strategic Alliances team at Citrix one of my focuses has been with our Cisco partnership and I have been spending more of my time working with XenDesktop and XenApp customers that are in the process of evaluating the Cisco UCS virtualization platform to host their desktop virtualization environments. I have to say Cisco has done a fantastic job of developing an infrastructure platform that has focused in on the needs of both enterprise and cloud providers for virtualization and even more so for desktop virtualization. To call out a few favorites:
• Memory performance and capacity- 384GB of memory capacity with full front side bus speeds of 1333mhz that contributes to the true single server density number.
• VICs (M81KR) Converged network adapters providing network IO scalability, low latency vNICs, utilizing the intel VMDq and SRioV chipset features. So great response times under heavy loads.
• Service Profiles which allows hardware configuration abstraction. Allowing stateless rapid provisioning, easy and quick blade swap out.
• Single UCS Management Domain 320 single-slot compute nodes in 40 blade chassis, connected to the data center via a pair of 40-port Fabric Interconnects. Scaling out wide.
• Open XML API for 3rd party automation integration
In this blog I wanted to provide some resources for those getting started and also share a few of my notes that might help get your XenDesktop 5 on UCS poc up faster.
Citrix on Cisco UCS Resources:
Website dedicated to Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution with Citrix XenDesktop:
UCS/XenServer/XenDesktop/Netapp Reference Architecture:
UCS/Hyper-V/XenDesktop/Netapp Reference Architecture:
UCS/Vsphere/XenDesktop/Netapp Reference Architecture:
UCS/XenDesktop/Atlantis ILIO (storage IO optimization ) Reference Architecture:
3rd party evaluation of UCS/Xenserver/XenDesktop by Principled Technologies:
For the Citrix white paper Citrix XenDesktop 4 with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V on the Intel Xeon Processor 5600 and 7500 Series: http://www.citrix.com/site/resources/dynamic/partnerDocs/XenDesktop-Xeon-HyperV_SolutionBrief_Jun2010.pdf
Great Collection of UCS Resourses:
XenDesktop 5 Design Handbook
A conglomeration of planning and implementation guides, and reference designs:
Citrix XenServer on Cisco UCS B2xx M2 Blades
Xenserver 5.6 FP1 now includes the M81KR VIC Palo Driver for both vNIC and vHBA support
If using a boot from SAN configuration read the following great blog post by Jeff Allen from Cisco
also see XenServer Booting from SAN Installation Guide page31 http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX127322
Storage HCL list for the Cisco VIC CNA http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/ps10265/at_work_promo.html#~si
Thanks for reading!