A Review of XenApp 6.5 Scalability

An article by James Denne from Citrix Blogs

As a Technical Relationship Manager, I spend a lot of time researching the more complex questions asked by customers that do not fit into the traditional Break-Fix reactive support model. One that I was asked recently sparked a good bit of thought, research and a debate within the TRM Team at Citrix and I wanted to share my findings.

The customer question was: What is Citrix’s recommendation for the maximum number of servers, users etc for a XenApp 6.5 Farm?

There are some published documents that discuss XenApp 6.5 Farm scalability which you can read here:

Planning Server Functions: http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/XenApp 6.565-planning/ps-planning-infrastructure-servers-v2.html

XenApp 6.5Enterprise Scalable XenApp 6.5 Deployments: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131102

Speeding up Farm Deployments with XenApp 6.5– Part 3: http://blogs.citrix.com/2011/09/23/speeding-up-Farm-deployments-with-XenApp 6.5-6-5-part-3/

Pedal to the Metal: Bare Metal Scaling of XenApp 6.5 Hosted Shared Desktops: http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/03/28/pedal-to-the-metal-bare-metal-scaling-of-XenApp 6.5-6-5-hosted-shared-desktops/

After reading these documents I drew a these conclusions:

  1. The largest XenApp 6.5 deployment we have tested internally was 1000 servers in a single Farm.
  2. Memory consumption of the IMA Service on the Zone Data Collector is going to be a critical bottleneck as Farm size increases.
  3. It is the fine detail of how the Farm has been deployed and how it is used that will determine overall scalability.

GENERAL FARM LIMITS

Zones

We recommend no more than 5 zones per Farm due to the mesh network nature of Zone Data Collector communications – adding zones exponentially increases the network chatter and bandwidth required to maintain inter-zone communications. I wrote about this a couple of years ago here: http://blogs.citrix.com/2012/11/26/some-XenApp 6.5-6-5-Zone Data Collector-replication-calculations/.

 

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