In anticipation of activities at Cisco Live, Citrix solution architects are collaborating closely with Cisco and NetApp engineers to develop a series of reference architectures based on the Citrix XenDesktop 7 release. Citrix XenDesktop 7 transforms the delivery of Microsoft Windows apps and desktops, creating secure, centrally managed services that users can access on any device, anywhere. The new release follows a common architecture for provisioning all Windows apps and desktops—for hosted-shared RDS access as well as VDI desktops—taking advantage of common policies and cohesive tools to govern infrastructure resources and access.

Because companies are eager to deploy XenDesktop 7, Citrix, Cisco, and NetApp engineers have joined forces to design, test, and document a comprehensive solution stack. The goal is to define a set of cost-effective architectures that scale predictably, helping IT to reduce time to service. The designs will incorporate core infrastructure components from Cisco and NetApp: Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Servers, Cisco 6248UP Fabric Interconnects, Cisco Nexus 5538UP Access Layer Switches, Cisco Nexus 5596 Cluster Interconnects, and NetApp FAS3240 Series Controllers. Multiple hypervisor platforms per solution round out the list.

Citrix XenDesktop 7 follows a cloud-ready service delivery model that promotes mobility and allows users to subscribe to published services. As shown below, administrators use consistent tools to build VMs that host Server OS Machines (for RDS), Desktop OS Machines (for VDI), and Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS). The XenDesktop Delivery Controller manages access, connects users to apps and desktops, and optimizes connections. Updated software components—Citrix Studio, StoreFront, and Director—simplify app store and profile management, self-service subscription, and real-time analytics, respectively, making virtualization solutions easy to manage and deploy. An enhanced Provisioning Services release supports image management for both RDS and VDI-based machines, conserving capacity and simplifying software maintenance.

To learn more about XenDesktop 7 and this joint reference architecture effort, visit the Cisco, NetApp, and Citrix booths at Cisco Live!

— Frank Anderson, Principal Solutions Architect with Citrix Worldwide Alliances