Citrix desktop virtualization and Microsoft System Center 2012: better together

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1 Citrix desktop virtualization and Microsoft System Center 2012: better together

2 2 Delivery of applications and data to users is an integral part of IT services today. But delivery can t happen without infrastructure. A robust foundation of hardware, software and management solutions is essential for supporting that delivery platform. Citrix XenDesktop is recognized worldwide as the most comprehensive desktop virtualization solution for meeting various business desktop demands. With its foundation of four key products XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenServer and Citrix NetScaler Application Delivery Controller (ADC) the Citrix desktop virtualization solution offers the broadest support for effectively delivering desktops, applications and data to users from any device and over any network. Smart organizations also understand that successfully delivering applications and desktops requires a mature infrastructure managed by a best-in-class toolset. The Microsoft System Center portfolio of management solutions is recognized as a complete solution for managing today s virtual and physical Windows infrastructures. Figure 1 Citrix desktop virtualization and Microsoft System Center combined solution While the products of these two companies are recognized independently as best in their class, many IT organizations are unaware that they can be better together. This white paper describes the specific benefits of the combined solution across both physical and virtual desktop infrastructures.

3 3 XenDesktop + System Center Configuration Manager Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager helps empower people to use the devices and applications they need to be productive, while helping IT maintain corporate compliance and control. It accomplishes this with a unified infrastructure that provides a single pane of glass to efficiently manage physical, virtual and mobile clients. It also provides tools and improvements that make it easier for IT administrators to do their jobs. The XenDesktop desktop virtualization solution transforms Windows desktops and applications into an on-demand service available to any user, anywhere, on any device. With XenDesktop, you can securely deliver individual Windows, web and SaaS applications or full virtual desktops to PC desktops and laptops, Mac computers, tablets, smartphones and thin clients all with a high-definition user experience. Trusted by the world s largest organizations, XenDesktop has won numerous awards for its leading-edge technology and strategic approach to desktop virtualization. Core to the XenDesktop solution is the concept of single-image management and delivery. By running virtual desktops from a single, shared instance of the OS and common applications, the technology significantly reduces storage space requirements and costs as well as management effort. Integration of Configuration Manager with the provisioning services capability of XenDesktop takes single image management a step farther by enabling administrators to update these shared disk images seamlessly within the Configuration Manager console. Provisioning Services automatically identifies configuration changes and applies them to the shared disk images, allowing administrators to leverage existing tools and processes. In addition, new features in Configuration Manager give administrators access to virtual desktop properties that can be used for reporting and policy management. Together, Configuration Manager and XenDesktop ensure IT organizations have a more accurate inventory of virtual desktops, improved enforcement of configuration policies and greatly enhanced compliance reporting to meet business and technical demands.

4 4 XenApp + System Center Configuration Manager Configuration Manager is perhaps best known as Microsoft s solution for delivering applications to user desktops and mobile devices. This delivery methodology focuses on direct application installation as well as delivery of virtualized local apps via Microsoft App-V. XenApp is an on-demand application delivery solution that enables any Windows application to be virtualized, centralized and managed in the datacenter and instantly delivered as a service to users anywhere, on any device. In use by over 100 million users worldwide, XenApp delivers on the promise of proven application compatibility. XenApp and Configuration Manager in combination facilitate a broad range of application and desktop delivery mechanisms demanded by today s business needs. Furthering this integration is Project Thor (technical preview), a connector between Configuration Manager and XenApp that enables administrators to extend the Configuration Manager single pane of glass interface to deliver any Windows application to any user on any device through Citrix Receiver. This is made possible by the seamless integration of the XenApp deployment type, which is a pre-defined application delivery method within the Configuration Manager console. XenDesktop + System Center - Virtual Machine Manager Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager delivers industry-leading fabric management, virtual machine management and services deployment in private cloud environments. System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager offers new features that include hypervisor creation and management, network management, storage management, private cloud creation, self-service usage and service creation. XenDesktop operates as a management and automation layer atop a range of virtualization platforms including Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager. XenDesktop purpose-built management interfaces orchestrate the creation and management of virtual desktops, allowing administrators to focus on desktop service delivery rather than hypervisor and storage management. Microsoft and Citrix have worked closely to enhance the interoperability of the two technologies to provide IT with a combined solution that is optimized for cost-effective and scalable delivery of virtual desktops. Together with Cisco and NetApp, Citrix and Microsoft have developed a reference architecture built on a 2,000-desktop deployment, giving administrators a proven, repeatable

5 5 solution upon which to model their own deployments. More information on this reference architecture can be found at: computing/ucs/ucs_cvds/ucs_xd56_flexpod.html. XenServer + System Center - Virtual Machine Manager Today s conventional wisdom suggests that relying on a single hypervisor can create an unnecessary risk for IT operations. Each hypervisor is credited with its own strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, leveraging the most suitable hypervisor for each business workload is quickly becoming industry best practice. Virtual Machine Manager in combination with XenServer facilitates this best practice by enabling unified virtual machine management across both XenServer and Hyper-V hypervisors with the same levels of parity for deployment, migration and a variety of host management functions. By combining Virtual Machine Manager with XenServer, an enterprise is free to deploy every virtual machine workload atop the best-fit hypervisor. XenServer and Virtual Machine Manager integrate to deliver a single pane of glass for managing virtual workloads wherever they may be located. NetScaler A DC + System Center - Virtual Machine Manager Enhancements in today s hypervisors now enable virtualized appliances to operate with performance almost equaling that of yesterday s hardware devices, along with significantly greater flexibility. NetScaler ADC is an enterprise-ready application acceleration and cloud network platform. It leverages a variety of technologies to deliver high application availability, server and database offload, user experience acceleration and advanced attack protection. Originally released as a hardened network appliance on proprietary hardware, NetScaler ADC is now available as a virtual appliance atop Hyper-V. By integrating the NetScaler ADC virtual machine with the provisioning features found in Virtual Machine Manager, IT administrators are empowered to deliver additional acceleration services on demand to meet changing business needs.

6 6 XenDesktop + System Center - Operations Manager Operations Manager, a component of Microsoft System Center 2012, helps administrators monitor services, devices and operations for many computers from a single console. It facilitates gathering and reporting on behavioral, log and performance data associated with OS and application metrics. Operations Manager supports holistic monitoring and remediation of the entire application and datacenter stack, facilitating a deep understanding of the behaviors of physical and virtual systems. Virtual desktop delivery requires careful orchestration of a variety of interconnected systems. As a result, tracking down the source of performance issues and/or problem behaviors without the assistance of monitoring that spans every datacenter component is often challenging. As an open and extensible solution, Operations Manager leverages third-party management packs to augment its out-of-box monitors to provide single pane of glass monitoring across the IT infrastructure. ComTrade, in cooperation with Citrix, has developed a management pack that extends the reach of Operations Manager deep into a XenDesktop infrastructure. This added visibility greatly enhances standard behavioral, logging and performance monitoring, and aids IT administrators in rapid root cause analysis and issue resolution. XenApp + System Center - Operations Manager Achieving holistic monitoring of a complex application requires situational awareness of behaviors across every interconnected component. Effective application performance monitoring requires presentation of consolidated metrics from multiple datacenter elements: storage, networking, servers, hypervisors, applications and databases. While every datacenter element makes these metrics available, the greatest challenge is collecting and finding meaning in the deluge of data. An application delivery infrastructure, by definition, is itself a complex application. This infrastructure must meet the delivery needs of every user in every situation, often requiring a variety of technologies to get the job done. Integrating Operations Manager with XenApp creates a holistic monitoring solution across the key datacenter elements that contribute to application delivery.

7 7 Further enhancing the value of Operations Manager is its built-in intelligence, aided by the ComTrade Management Pack for XenApp. Together, they assist IT administrators in successfully delivering applications by focusing troubleshooting efforts and alerting on inappropriate behaviors before they impact users. XenServer + System Center - Operations Manager Operations Manager is recognized globally as an effective solution for deep-level monitoring of virtual plus physical Windows environments. Whether servers run directly atop physical hardware or virtually atop the Hyper-V hypervisor, Operations Manager is equipped with the instrumentation and intelligence to monitor behaviors and suggest remediation actions. The ComTrade Management Pack for XenServer can extend the reach of Operations Manager into the XenServer hypervisor. This information provides IT teams with a deeper understanding of the health of the XenServer hypervisor along with the virtual machines running on top. These deep health services checks bring robust fidelity to XenServer monitoring that is unmatched by other solutions, ensuring that workloads atop either hypervisor are equally well monitored and managed. NetScaler ADC + System Center - Operations Manager Finally, but no less important, are the advantages of integrating Operations Manager with NetScaler ADC. At its core, NetScaler ADC is a single solution serving multiple roles. It facilitates the creation and interconnection of an enterprise cloud network across application hosting locations. It accelerates communications between users and applications, as well as among application components. It also secures communications among components and between applications and users, ensuring that users get the best experience with every delivered application. That unique network position gives NetScaler ADC an advantage in monitoring the health of multitier applications. NetScaler ADC processes network traffic as it passes between components, enabling it to report on the behaviors it sees. Integrate that deep inspection with the widespread instrumentation and builtin intelligence of Operations Manager, and it becomes obvious that Operations Manager and NetScaler ADC are better together.

8 8 Citrix desktop virtualization + Microsoft System Center: a solid partnership for enterprise virtual + physical demands Today s IT focus is all about delivery: connecting users with their applications and data. But, as you have learned in this white paper, you cannot successfully deliver services without a robust infrastructure. XenDesktop and System Center 2012 combine to create the most comprehensive solution for meeting the virtual plus physical desktop demands of enterprises. This combination delivers comprehensive management of virtual and physical desktops with an integrated toolset, robust application orchestration, deployment and monitoring and a reduction in virtual and physical infrastructure management costs. Find out more about why XenDesktop and System Center are better together at: Citrix and Microsoft Learn more about ComTrade Management Packs for XenDesktop and XenServer at Citrix and ComTrade Corporate Headquarters Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA Silicon Valley Headquarters Santa Clara, CA, USA EMEA Headquarters Schaffhausen, Switzerland India Development Center Bangalore, India Online Division Headquarters Santa Barbara, CA, USA Pacific Headquarters Hong Kong, China Latin America Headquarters Coral Gables, FL, USA UK Development Center Chalfont, United Kingdom About Citrix and Microsoft Leading partnership for business success in desktop virtualization Citrix builds on Microsoft Windows as its Innovation Platform and continues to expand upon the successful alignment pioneered through the collaboration between Microsoft and Citrix in the application delivery marketplace. Partners for over 22 years, Citrix and Microsoft offer joint solutions that enable more than 230,000 businesses worldwide to reduce costs, increase IT flexibility and agility by centralizing Windows-based applications, desktops and servers in the datacenter; dynamically delivering them to users anywhere, on any device. Citrix s tight integration with Windows Server, Hyper-V server virtualization, Remote Desktop Services presentation virtualization, and System Center provide end to end virtualization solutions for customers of all sizes. About Citrix Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the company transforming how people, businesses and IT work and collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 enterprises. Citrix touches 75 percent of Internet users each day and partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion. Learn more at Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix, XenDesktop, XenApp, NetScaler, XenServer and Citrix Receiver are trademarks or registered trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. 1112/PDF

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