More Citrix customers are looking to run XenApp and XenDesktop in the cloud for disaster recovery, seasonal workloads or as their primary site. It is important to make the economics work by powering down unused VDA machines when user demand is low.

With the Citrix Lifecycle Management Smart Scale service, you can get over 50% in cost savings for running XenApp in the cloud (load dependent).


Enabling savings with Smart Scale

Smart Scale provides three scaling options: load and schedule based, schedule based, and load based. Default is “load and schedule based” which allows you to set the minimum number of machines for a specific time period, and automatically adjust the number of machines based on load.
In the example above, I have total of 5 machines in my delivery group. I like to have a minimum of 3 machines up and running 8am in the morning in anticipation of the load. And during the day, as more users come to work, it will take machines out of maintenance mode and power on additional machines based on my pre-configured buffer capacity (in Advanced settings, default is 10%). At 4pm, I set the minimum to be 1 machine. The scaling algorithm will first put the least loaded machines into maintenance mode to drain the sessions, and then power down machines when they reach 0 load.

Tip! In order to drain sessions, it is important to configure idle and disconnected session timeout policies in Studio.

The latest release of the service allows you to connect multiple XenApp Delivery Controllers to Smart Scale for redundancy, as well as using load index as the scaling metric.

Here is how to use Smart Scale in three steps.

  1. Install Lifecycle Management Site Agent onto your XenApp Delivery Controllers. This allows Smart Scale service to collect delivery group information and monitoring data about your XenApp site, and execute any power management actions.
  2. Configure Smart Scale for each delivery group and enable scaling. You can choose from load and/or schedule based scaling options, load index or session count as the scaling metric. You can also set the hour cost per machine, so that Smart Scale will show you the cost savings.
  3. Monitor load, machine activities and cost savings.

Want to try it for yourself?

  1. If you don’t yet have a Citrix Cloud account, create a free account at Request a free trial for Lifecycle Management at
  2. Connect your existing XenApp site to Lifecycle Management by installing a Site Agent. (If you don’t have a XenApp site, use Simple XenApp and XenDesktop Proof of Concept blueprint to set up a site in AWS or Azure Then create a machine catalog using MCS to be used to test scaling).
  3. Enable Smart Scale and see it working in action.

You can keep up with all the upcoming enhancements by following us on Twitter, @LifecycleManage.