In today’s society, users want to access their data from anywhere and everywhere, using whatever devices fit their lifestyles. 

They might need to access a desktop or application over a secure datalink, use a mobile device to quickly respond to an important email, or securely share files. If they are working in a branch office, they would like a to not suffer from WAN performance.

To help IT meet these needs, Citrix offers the Citrix Workspace Suite, a power suite of software to address performance, security, and mobility requirements. The Citrix Workspace Suite consists of XenDesktop, XenApp, XenMobile and ShareFile as well as CloudBridge and NetScaler.

As an existing Citrix customer, you already know the benefits of XenDesktop and XenApp and should have taken advantage of the power and capability of NetScaler. XenMobile provides an enterprise mobility management solution with MDM, MAM, and enterprise-grade mobility apps, including ShareFile for secure file sync and share.

If you’re an existing XenDesktop customer, Citrix offers a trade-up program that lets you keep your current licenses, but add additional technologies like XenMobile and ShareFile at a discounted price. But trading up means you have new technologies to add to your environment! The Citrix Solutions Lab has released a document that looks at what’s required to move from XenDesktop 7.5 to Citrix Workspace Suite. The document works from an already installed version of XenDesktop–in our case XenDesktop 7.5–and NetScaler configured and being used to access the environment. It goes through the upgrade of XenDesktop 7.5 to XenDesktop 7.6, and adds XenMobile and ShareFile to support 2,000 users.

The document also takes advantage of Citrix “special sauce”: some tricks we’ve come up with to reduce storage requirements.

The first of these is leveraging the RAM Cache capability of PVS (provisioning server) to reduce the IOPS of storage. By taking advantage of RAM Cache with disk overflow, the write cache file with PVS is maintained in memory with an overflow disk on the hard drive. This improves performance and reduces the storage requirements.

The second is the way the XenApp VMs are configured. 

XenApp VMs were provisioned to blade servers; each server had two physical drives, one to hold the OS and one to hold the write cache files, then PVS RAM Cache was implemented to reduce the IOPs to the storage. A delivery group, or farm, of XenApp VM servers was created so if any VM or physical server failed the remaining servers in the delivery group would pick up the load. This removed the need for any external storage to support the VMs. For more information about the pros and cons of configuring XenApp this way, check this blog.

To simplify your trade up to Citrix Workspace Suite, read the new Reference Architecture document published here.