Citrix XenDesktop has been enabling users to access applications and desktops, anywhere, anytime.  However, with the growth of smartphones, not all applications and websites give the best user experience, and for that Citrix has XenMobile. If a company has 30,000 employees, 5,000 of these may be remote users utilizing XenDesktop to access applications and desktops.  However, with today’s smartphone and tablet technology all 30,000 users are potential mobile users.

  • But what is the impact of adding XenMobile to an existing XenDesktop environment?
  • Where is the point of intersection between the XenDesktop and XenMobile users?
  • At the point of intersection, when does the XenDesktop user experience begin to be affected by the XenMobile users?

The Citrix Solution Lab had just finished a large scale user testing with XenDesktop 7.0 and decided to use the existing configuration to poke at these questions.  All of the users were converted to remote user status, creating 5000 users accessing the environment through the NetScaler.  We then leveraged a tool written by the XenMobile team to simulate mobile users accessing a XenMobile AppController.  It didn’t take rocket science to realize the intersection is at the NetScaler.  As a base line, a 5000 user XenDesktop test was run to get an ICA RTT (ICA Round Trip Time), then Mobility users were added until the ICA times changed and CPU utilization showed the NetScaler being overloaded.  The test was re-run with 4000 and 3000 XenDesktop users to see if a trend could be found.  The short version, in our test environment with the hardware and configuration we used, we saw about a 3:1 average between XenMobile users and XenDesktop users, or for each 1000 XenDesktop users we stepped down, an additional 3000 XenMobile users could be supported in the NetScaler.

A couple of things to note.  A XenMobile user creates micro VPN connections through the NetScaler to the AppController.  A XenMobile application can create multiple microVPN connections, and it is the number of micro VPN connections that affect the NetScaler performance.  Our test tool created 3 micro VPNs per connection, and kept those connections open for the entire test run, so 1000 “users” actually had 3000 microVPN connections open. It should be noted that the testing did use a very specific set of hardware including the NetScalers, did not look at first time connections or users, and did not run any applications. Secondly, as stated before, we tested a specific existing environment as referenced in the design guide “Adding XenMobile users to a XenDesktop Environment”.

When adding Mobile users to your existing environment, please leverage the design guide as well as a Citrix XenMobile expert.

Download the “Design Guide: Adding XenMobile Users to XenDesktop Environment” today.

Additional Resources

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