One of the great things about the Cloud is that you use only what you need and pay as you go. For public clouds like Microsoft Azure, you are only billed for resources while they are running. With a power management plan, our customers can reap the cost savings of reduced cloud resource usage. In this post, we will cover a few best practices of hosting their resource location for their Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop Service in a public cloud.
Most of the costs of hosting a resource location in a public cloud are related to VDAs. There are two methods that can be leveraged to power down machines when they are not being used.
The first is through the Power Management feature within a Delivery group for VDI machines. This feature allows you to only start and stop certain machines during certain periods. For example, you may have a delivery group of desktops for users that work normal business hours. After 5pm, and as long as the user has been disconnected for a short period of time, the machine could be powered off automatically to reduce resource cost.
The second way is using Smart Scale, a feature found in Citrix Smart Tools. Smart Scale enables proactive scaling and power management of machines in a XenApp and XenDesktop Site based on a schedule you define or the level of demand for user sessions. Using Smart Scale, you can ensure users can access their applications and desktops when they are needed while also controlling machine utilization. Smart Scale is configured on a per-Delivery Group basis. Smart Tools is also included in the XenApp & XenDesktop Service subscription.
It is also important to cover what should not be power-managed for cost savings. First, domain controllers should not be powered off. These are required for authentication and will prevent users from accessing their offerings and workspaces in Storefront. Secondly, there should always be at least 2 Citrix Cloud Connectors running at any given time. The Cloud Connector is the channel of communication between Citrix Cloud and the resource location so interruptions should be kept to a minimum.