This article follows on the heels of two articles recently posted on the Citrix blog site that describe the many benefits Citrix customers achieve using Sanbolic’s Melio5 data acceleration platform in their Citrix XenDesktop VDI deployments. Since those articles were posted, several customers have inquired about using Melio for purposes other than those highlighted in the previous articles, which led us to conclude there are probably lots of other XenDesktop users who are also wondering what else Melio can do for them.

If you missed the earlier articles, you can find them at /blogs/2013/07/22/sanbolic-melio5-is-citrix-ready/ and /blogs/2013/09/09/sanbolics-melio5-data-acceleration-platform/. If you have read them or if you’re already a Sanbolic customer, you know that Melio is a host-based, hardware-agnostic software suite that lets users put some truly incredible technology to work for them in order to simplify and enhance their Citrix XenDesktop VDI environments.

By consolidating and sharing storage resources across multiple systems (i.e., hypervisors, Provisioning Services, SQL Servers, file-servers, etc.), Melio5 simplifies image management and maintenance, reduces storage capacity requirements, enhances virtual desktop machine performance, protects configuration and monitoring databases, provides high availability of file shares, enables seamless infrastructure scale-out, and improves infrastructure fault-tolerance.

Citrix XenDesktop customers can also leverage Melio’s software-defined storage (SDS) capabilities to build their own high-performance storage systems using their choice of (commodity) servers and storage (i.e., SSD, flash, HDD). Such systems, which include Melio’s advanced storage management features, offer performance, scale and fault-tolerance comparable to higher-end external storage arrays at far lower cost, helping customers maximize ROI on VDI.

In addition to the above, here are some other ways Melio5 is simplifying and enhancing Citrix XenDesktop VDI deployments:

MCS image management and availability

Taking advantage of highly available and highly scalable shared storage created with Melio, Citrix XenDesktop administrators can store their MCS image files on a single storage volume, ensuring images are available for assignment to virtual desktop machines running on any host system. In addition, dynamic volume expansion means there’s always plenty of capacity to support an ever-growing image library; storage live migration allows images to be moved seamlessly between storage arrays; and cluster-wide snapshots offer a simple mechanism for backing up and recovering images at any point in time.

User profile availability

As any VDI administrator knows, user profiles are an absolute necessity in a virtual desktop environment. Fortunately, insuring profiles are available at all times is an easy job for Melio. By consolidating user profiles onto a single shared volume accessible by multiple file servers concurrently, XenDesktop administrators can create a highly available file-serving environment that offers virtual desktop users continuous access to their profiles: if one of the file servers hosting the user profile file share goes offline unexpectedly, users can access their profiles through another file server. With no single point of failure and file servers sharing block-level access to user profiles, enhanced fault-tolerance and increased performance can be achieved.

SQL database availability

With Citrix XenDesktop containing multiple databases crucial to configuring, managing and monitoring a VDI environment, its imperative these databases be available at all times. By detecting SQL Server failures and rapidly moving databases to one or more online SQL Servers, Melio provides a simple, cost-effective solution for ensuring database availability without the costs, constraints or complexities associated with other SQL DB HA options and regardless of the edition of SQL Server being used.

So there you have it… three more aspects of Citrix XenDesktop significantly enhanced with Melio5.

If you’d like to see how Melio5 can benefit your XenDesktop VDI environment, visit www.sanbolic.com and click the “Download Melio 5.0 Free Trial” button. Sanbolic offers free support throughout the evaluation process, so if you have any questions you can send them an email at support@sanbolic.com.

Sanbolic is a Citrix Ready partner. Citrix Ready is a complete end-to-end partner program that showcases and recommends third party products, solutions and services that demonstrate compatibility with Citrix products. Customers can quickly and easily find solutions recommended by Citrix in the Citrix Ready Xchange Marketplace. Visit www.citrix.com/ready.

For any additional information, write to CitrixReady@citrix.com