Storage features in XenDesktop 7.9

storageCitrix just released XenDesktop 7.9, one of the things that caught my eye during the installation was the option to leverage/utilise local storage of your virtualisation hosts.

The new XenDesktop 7.9 installation is similar to what we already know in the previous versions except for one thing that obviously caught my eye.

New storage features?

After you create the hosting connection in Citrix Studio the wizard will prompt you for the following additional configuration:

XD79_Storage_features

This new option offers you two main configuration items:

  • Use storage shared by hypervisors
    • Use storage local to the hypervisor

Both options have an additional check box as you can see, as my test environment already offers all the combined benefits of local storage and shared storage I’ve tested the first option and enabled the second tickbox and this resulted in the following configuration of the Resources section in my Hosting connection:

 

XD79_Storage_features2

As you can see the Resources section is using my CTR01 VMFS datastore for both shared storage and Personal vDisk storage and my local servers as temporary storage. With this combination Citrix is able to utilise the local storage of the virtualisation host for temporary files, this could be SSD or NVME-like technology where Citrix is able to speed up their IO/bring down their latency because of that.

The proof is in the pudding!

When I was testing this feature it was just still in beta phase so I wanted to find out if/what was written to local disks from a VM perspective so I created a Machine Catalog with 2 VMs in it and pinned down the host of one of the VMs, when I listed the VMFS volumes I got the following result:

[crayon-59c37b0bcb517128920696/]

There were a few other directories that I sanitised for readability; looking at the NTNX-local-ds-14SM365§0084-B directory (which is the local datastore of this host) I found the following listing:

[crayon-59c37b0bcb522569581908/]
Concluding

This is what I would expect here but no traces of any temporary data on the local sata dom which I, at this point, blame to the very early build I got installed. It would certainly be an interesting move to see what’s going on in the development of MCS to be a first class citizen in Citrix’s portfolio as PVS is often considered as complex and hard to manage.

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

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