Sizing XenApp Azure VMs


When we size XenApp virtual machines for an on-premises deployment, we often talk about larger servers and NUMA. But what about sizing XenApp instances if we host in Azure? Azure has an extensive library of instances, with each instance providing different amounts of CPU, RAM, storage and GPU options. If we run the same scalability test across many of these types of Azure instances, we end up with the following density numbers. If we simply use these results as our guide, most of us would select the D13v2 instance as it gives us the greatest density. However, with cloud deployments, … Continue reading Sizing XenApp Azure VMs

Sizing Windows 2016, Windows 2012 and Windows 10 Virtual Machines


It has been almost one year since Windows Server 2016 was released at Microsoft Ignite. Are the virtual machine sizing recommendations for Windows Server 2012R2 applicable to Windows Server 2016? And since we are talking about sizing virtual machines for XenApp and XenDesktop, it might be a good time to revisit Windows 10.

Let’s first look at virtual CPU allocation recommendations: Continue reading “Sizing Windows 2016, Windows 2012 and Windows 10 Virtual Machines”

XenServer PVS Accelerator Cache Sizing


How large should we make our PVS Accelerator cache? Too large and we waste resources. Too small and we lose the performance.

Let’s take a step back and recall our best practice for sizing the RAM on Provisioning Services.  We would typically say allocate 2GB of RAM for each vDisk image the server provides.  This simple recommendation gives the PVS server enough RAM to cache portions of the image in Windows system cache, which reduces local read IO. So for a PVS server delivering

  • 1 image:  we would allocate 2GB of RAM (plus 4GB more for the PVS server itself)
  • 2 images:  we would allocate 4GB of RAM (plus 4GB more for the PVS server itself)
  • 4 images:  we would allocate 8GB of RAM (plus 4GB more for the PVS server itself)

Easy.

Let’s now focus on the XenServer portion of PVS Accelerator. If we use RAM as our PVS Accelerator cache, how many GB should we allocate?

Continue reading “XenServer PVS Accelerator Cache Sizing”

Sizing XenApp Windows 2012R2 Virtual Machines


I guess I’m not done yet. Last week, I posted the latest recommendations on sizing Windows 10 and Windows 7 virtual machines for a XenDesktop environment.  I received a few replies from people asking for any updates regarding Windows 2012R2. Unfortunately, when we discuss Windows 2012R2 and XenApp, the recommendations are not as straightforward as Windows 10 and Windows 7. Because Windows 2012R2 will do session virtualization (where many users share the same VM but get a separate session) it makes sizing CPU and RAM more difficult. Because we can publish multiple resources from the same VM, we can have … Continue reading Sizing XenApp Windows 2012R2 Virtual Machines

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

Sizing XenDesktop 7 App Edition VMs


In the Mobilizing Windows applications for 500 users design guide, we made the recommendation to allocate 8vCPUs for each virtual XenDesktop 7 App Edition host (formerly known as XenApp). Spreading this out across a server with two Intel Xeon E5-2690 @2.9GHz processors and 192 GB of RAM, we were yielding about 200 users per physical server and roughly 50 users per virtual server. Of course, the design guide is the end result of a lot of testing by the Citrix Solutions Lab. During the tests, we had the Solutions Lab compare many (and I mean many) different configurations where they … Continue reading Sizing XenDesktop 7 App Edition VMs