XenDesktop Hosted-shared desktops on Amazon Web Services

I Recently read an article posted by Peter Bats, a Senior Solutions Architect at Citrix Systems. In his article Peter discusses the scalability of hosting desktops on Amazon Web Services. The full article can be found here

Deploying Citrix XenDesktop Hosted-shared desktops on Amazon Web Services (AWS) combines the benefits of virtualized application and desktop delivery with the advantages of cloud computig. Building a XenDesktop Hosted-shared desktop (XenApp) farm on AWS creates a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution that allows instantaneous application and desktop provisioning. This capability often eases IT’s efforts to cope with workload spikes and business changes such as reorganizations, mergers, and acquisitions.

Delivering XenApp application and desktop services from an AWS cloud is cost-efficient because it’s strictly a “pay-for-what-you-use” model that doesn’t require an up-front investment. Depending on your application stack and system requirements, the price point for delivering application services can be as little as a penny per hour per user , as shown in the “Scalability and Economics of XenApp on Amazon Cloud” (PDF) whitepaper.

The scalability of Citrix XenDesktop Hosted-shared desktops (XenApp) helps to lower the cost of application service delivery. To size an AWS environment and help to estimate costs, it’s helpful to project how many users each Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance can support while maintaining acceptable response times. For this reason, here at Citrix our solution architects, in close cooperation with Amazon solutions architects, recently conducted a series of tests. Using a simulated user workload, we validated the scalability of XenApp on single AWS instances, examining user responsiveness under a variety of EC2 instance types. Citrix solution architect Paul Wilson also spearheaded a second test to validate the scalability of a large XenApp farm running multiple server instances.

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