Updated IO Optimization with Machine Creation Services


With the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop 1903 release, Machine Creation Services continues to improve! The RAM-based write cache feature has been updated and improved. I wanted to see how the new RAM-based write cache capability compared to the previous version and how it compares to a desktop without using a RAM-based write cache. First, let’s look at the 95th percentile IOPS with a LoginVSI knowledge worker workload running for one hour with different sizes for the RAM cache Seeing a 15-20% reduction in storage IOPS from the 1811 RAM cache and a 50%+ reduction compared to using no RAM … Continue reading Updated IO Optimization with Machine Creation Services

Improving Logon Time with PVS Accelerator


The title is correct.  We can improve user logon time by implementing PVS accelerator in XenServer 7.1.

This actually makes perfect sense.

We already showed that PVS Accelerator drastically improves VM boot times because portions of the master vDisk image are cached locally.  Booting a VM equates to roughly 80% reads and 20% writes.  VMs using the same image are reading the same blocks of data. Due to this similarity, we are able to see huge network utilization reductions by using the PVS Accelerator cache. These reductions in the network utilization translates into faster boot times.

But what about logon time?

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PVS vs MCS – Part 7: Summary


As Q said in the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All good things must come to an end” and after 6 previous blogs focusing on deciding between Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services, it is time to end. As I explained, over the past 5 years, improvements were made to Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services.  While Provisioning Services simplified deployment and maintenance, Machine Creation Services improved performance and delivery capabilities. Five years ago, if someone had to decide between the two, most likely the answer would be Provisioning Services.  But now in 2016, because of the … Continue reading PVS vs MCS – Part 7: Summary

Machine Creation Services RAM Cache and XenServer IntelliCache


As I was discussing the storage optimization capabilities in the Machine Creation Services vs Provisioning Services debate, I mentioned the use of a XenServer RAM-based read cache. This can be misunderstood as XenServer IntelliCache (a mistake I’m sad to say I’ve made in the past). XenServer IntelliCache (released with XenServer 5.6 SP1) and XenServer RAM Cache (released with XenServer 6.5) are two different capabilities of XenServer, both of which tries to reduce the  IO impact on shared storage. Let’s walk through different deployment scenarios with Machine Creation Services in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.9. Scenario 1: Shared Storage on any Hypervisor … Continue reading Machine Creation Services RAM Cache and XenServer IntelliCache

PVS vs. MCS – Part 3: Storage Optimization


This is part of a series comparing Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services Part 1: Resource Delivery Options Part 2: Scalability Part 3: Storage Optimization Part 4: Deployment Part 5: On-going Maintenance Part 6: Architecture Part 7: Summary   For years, storage optimization has been one of the major strengths of Provisioning Services. With PVS, we can do the following: Optimized temporary storage allocation: PVS allows us to store the read-only master image on local or shared storage. We can also decide where to place the temporary, write disk, which could be on the PVS server’s local storage, the hypervisor … Continue reading PVS vs. MCS – Part 3: Storage Optimization

Sizing Windows 10 and Windows 7 Virtual Machines


After reviewing all of the scalability tests we conducted over the past few months, I thought it was time to revisit the recommendations for sizing Windows 10 virtual machines.  I also reached out to Nick Rintalan to see if this is in line with what is currently being recommended for production environments (if you disagree, blame him 🙂 ). A few things you will notice Windows 7 and Windows 10 recommendations are similar.  Microsoft’s resource allocation for both operating systems are similar.  The Windows 10 and Windows 10 scalability tests resulted in similar numbers. Density – Experience: For some of … Continue reading Sizing Windows 10 and Windows 7 Virtual Machines