When you’re at the starting line of a new XenDesktop or XenApp implementation the road ahead can seem pretty daunting.  But the good news is that most projects have a lot of commonality and there are lots of best practices that can be used across almost all projects.   Problem is, many people just do it once, so how do you build up your best practices toolkit before you need it?   That’s where Citrix Consulting comes in.  We’ve developed a best practices white paper to help you reach the finish line of your next implementation project.

The new XenDesktop and XenApp Best Practices Reference Guide brings together over 60 pages of best practices covering a wide variety of areas ranging from users to hardware.  Thomas Berger and I developed the white paper based on our experience, and that of our Citrix Consulting colleagues, designing and deploying XenDesktop and XenApp solutions.  We’ve spent a lot of time researching, creating and defining a list of best practices that can be used in 80% or more of projects and will hopefully help guide you through your next deployment.  The following list provides a sample of the best practices discussed:

  1. Reboot schedule for XenApp servers
  2. When to dedicate the XenApp Zone Data Collector roles
  3. Implications of provisioned XenApp servers on License server redundancy
  4. Whether pooled desktops should be rebooted at logoff
  5. What components should be backed up
  6. Hotfix deployment policy
  7. Recommended XenServer pool size when using MCS / PVS
  8. Using processor and memory overcommit
  9. When the ‘Optimize for XenApp’ setting should be used in XenServer
  10. Whether Provisioning Services should be scaled Up/Out

Where appropriate we’ve also provided links to Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware whitepapers / blog posts so that you can dig deeper for more information.

We all know that technology is changing at an exponential rate and it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with all the latest developments within the industry.  What’s identified as a best practice today may not be one tomorrow.  That’s why we’re going to regularly update this whitepaper to keep the best practices current and useful.

We also want to benefit from your experience – please join the discussion by adding your own best practices or recommendations for future best practices on a particular topic in the comments section.

What best practice has helped you get to the finish line?

I want to take this opportunity to thank Daniel Feller, Nicholas Rintalan, Dan Allen, Peter David, Dimitrios Samorgiannidis, Rich Meesters, Michael Palesch, George Prado and Chase Wright for contributing to the list of best practices.  I’d also like to thank Ron Kraft and Martin Zugec for their detailed feedback on the whitepaper.

Andy Baker – Architect
Worldwide Consulting
Desktop & Apps Team
Virtual Desktop Handbook
Project Accelerator