Need to get those last two departments off Windows XP at a low cost? Not sure how to get started securing “mobile” data within budget? Staying away from VDI because of the numerous unknowns and horror stories about hardware cost?

Maybe you should take a look at Project Accelerator. This Citrix web application takes direction from you on your “Business Priorities”. If you select “Reducing Cost”, it is more likely to recommend a design that lowers the cost per user. For instance, since Citrix testing results show that the Hosted Shared FlexCast model requires less hardware resources per user than the Pooled VDI one, we will recommend Hosted Shared more often in this scenario.

How else can Project Accelerator help? First some background. Project Accelerator has logic that is guided by your Business Priorities and relevant skills, reigned by technology constraints and informed from the leading practices of Citrix Consulting. So the logic uses your answers in Assess to recommend an “Original” hardware sizing that is based on what Citrix Consulting would recommend and the testing of those FlexCast models, operating systems, workloads and other variables. And yet, Project Accelerator in its Design phase also gives you freedom to take action based on your knowledge of the situation, i.e. you can override the Citrix recommendations from their original value and pick a customized design.

Updating FlexCast models in Project Accelerator to Reduce Cost

Let’s take an example of an organization that wants to reduce cost and has a user group ‘Engineering’, that requires Complete Personalization. Let’s step through how Project Accelerator can be utilized to look at options for lowering cost. For this specific project Assigned VDI was recommended. When we open up Design for this Project, we are presented with some steps and the first step is FlexCast model (see picture above). From this step we can change the from the Citrix Recommended value. In the picture above, we are going to experiment going with Remote PC as our FlexCast model for “Engineering”. Project Accelerator will allow me to see the implication of how this one decision will have downstream effects on the design for my project.

Citrix XenDesktop Hardware Recommendations

Project Accelerator has a Sizing and Deployment Plan that details the hardware needed to support your project. From this excerpt of the Plan pictured at left, the Original tab shows the hardware I would need if I went with the Citrix Recommended Design utilizing Assigned VDI. It shows I would need 121 Cores, 1420 GB of RAM, and 3850 IOPS for the Project (there are other user groups in the Project, you will see some of that detail in the next screenshot).

Customized Hardware Recommendations for XenDesktop

The Customized tab at right allows me to see the impact of my Decision to explore using Remote PC for the ‘Engineering’ user group. The actual sizing and deployment plan would show more details. Andy Baker, the architect for Project Accelerator just posted a great blog about it, take a look if you’d like more details. Back to the Project Manager in this example, if I decided that Remote PC was not the right solution I could change other Decisions such as RAM per Desktop or application delivery and see what their effects might be on the hardware required for the project.

If you would like to know more about how to reduce cost for your next desktop and application virtualization project I recommend attending Synergy and listening to the SYN312 presentation on Thursday, entitled “Creating cost-effective, optimized XenDesktop/XenApp designs for small to midsize deployments”. Roger LaMarca, the lead presenter, blogged about the topic recently.

I hope to see you at Synergy. If you have feedback now, please comment below or via the feedback button in Project Accelerator.

– Chris