Over the years I’ve spend a lot of time together with clients on how to implement their desktop strategy. It often starts with questions, such as what are the characteristics of the organization? How do people work, and what are their requirements? How is their application landscape shaped, and is there a clear strategy in place for applications and data? These questions (and many more to be honest) will determine your desktop strategy. Will it be a mixture of physical and virtual desktops? Or is a 100% virtual desktop strategy the way to go, and if so should it be server-based computing (SBC) or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), or both?
If we determine it should be 100% virtual, the next question that pops up is: “Should it be persistent or non-persistent?” While this can be an ongoing (almost religious) discussion that we’re not going to be able to address in a single blog post, I will say that persistent VDI is a popular choice, based on the fact that it is easier to implement because it’s similar to implementing and maintaining a more traditional physical desktop infrastructure.
Often, one of the next questions asked is: “Now that I’ve implemented this nice and shiny VDI infrastructure based on persistent desktops, how can I take it to the next level and create a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for these desktops?”
Nutanix has the unique ability to assign service levels for individual virtual machines (VMs)—aka, virtual disks—using the Nutanix Protection Domains (PD) feature. A PD is a set of VMs collected into a logical group. This grouping can be used to granularly create local snapshots of the VMs that can be replicated to another location, assigning a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) that is required by your SLA.
This brings us to the purpose of the newly announced Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop that ties the concepts of SLAs, PDs, and RTOs into VDI. The Nutanix plugin for XenDesktop is an MMC snap-in for XenDesktop Designer that can communicate with the Nutanix Operating System (NOS) via PowerShell cmdlets. It allows XenDesktop administrators to assign SLAs for an individual VDI desktop or a collection of VDI desktops (Machine Catalogs) by adding them to specific PDs. With the Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop the capacities of both XenDesktop and the NOS are being used, to ensure the protection of your desktops.
More about Nutanix + Citrix solutions:
Nutanix at Citrix Summit 2015
Are you attending Citrix Summit in Las Vegas this week? If so, come by the Nutanix booth at the show to see the plugin in action, along with our intuitive Nutanix Prism management framework and validations solutions for XenDesktop and XenApp.
The Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop is available for existing Nutanix customers through our early access program and will be generally available in the February 2015 timeframe.