Welcome back to our mini-series highlighting the new features in XenServer 7.1.

In part one, we discussed more extensive graphics support (for NVIDIA® and Intel® Pro Iris® customers), proving that XenServer continues to lead the charge when it comes to virtualized graphics. In part two, we introduced advanced security in the form of Hypervisor Introspection from Bitdefender®, which utilizes deep-memory introspection to help IT administrators detect, prevent and remedy sophisticated attacks on their datacenters. For part three of this series, we’ll turn our focus to performance — specifically, improving performance of virtual desktops provisioned via Provisioning Services (PVS).

Recently, the XenServer and PVS engineering teams joined forces to develop technology that leverages host memory and storage to 1) dramatically enhance virtual desktop performance, and 2) reduce server CPU and network utilization. In the former case, their achievement solves the issue of slow performance during boot storms and when contents of OS images are frequently accessed by large numbers of virtual desktops simultaneously. For the latter, it enables greater VM density while diminishing the number of required PVS Servers in order to simplify management and reduce TCO. The name of this new technology: PVS-Accelerator

How it works

The premise behind PVS-Accelerator is to progress PVS caching to the next level by allowing virtual machines (PVS target devices) to access data directly from local (host) memory and storage instead of from PVS Server RAM.



By “learning” what content the PVS Server is delivering to target devices from the OS Image (vDisk), XenServer is able to intercept subsequent read requests for that content and respond directly to devices on behalf of the PVS Server. In other words, XenServer is able to serve as a proxy for PVS. As a result, network traffic that would typically pass between devices and the PVS Server, as well as CPU utilization on the PVS Server, are significantly reduced. The best part: the primary benefit — enhanced performance — becomes more apparent as the number of devices increases.

Watch the video below to see the benefits of PVS-Accelerator.

Available only on XenServer, PVS-Accelerator provides further evidence of the significant value our customers are realizing through the Citrix “Better Together” concept!

In the next (and final) part of this mini-series, we’ll review Citrix’s long-term commitment to its customers with the introduction of XenServer LTSR (Long-Term Support Release), along with the highly-anticipated streamlined updating and live-patching features coming in XenServer 7.1.

Until next week!

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