I've been contacted by this software vendor to try out their product and make a review, I've been interested because I'm always looking for new software, tools to bring to our customer's offer and complete the option available to backup virtual infrastructures. I know PHD Virtual systems company and what they do but I never had a chance and time to check out their stuff. In an upcoming blog I will try their Citrix XenDesktop monitoring solution and check what this product can bring to a XenDesktop infrastructure. For this backup software I won't be able to go very deep and test everything I would like because my lab is not that big and I don't have access right now to a biggest environment but as soon as it's possible I will deep dive into this backup solution. Few month ago I wrote a blog about backing up your VMs using OpenFiler and I will do the same kind of blog to check if using PHD Virtual Backup for Citrix XenServer is a good solution if you have XenServer platinum licenses or if you don't. FIrst let's check what you got with different XenServer editions : You can click on the image to make it bigger (in fact you can click on any pic on www.archy.net to make it bigger :) ) and as you can see, the "Automated VM protection and recovery" is now available from the Enterprise edition (needed to be platinum with XenServer 5.6) And Citrix mention that bellow this edition frame : [1] Automated VM protection and recovery is only available for the Advanced and Enterprise editions in the 6.0 release and later. You can check the XenServer edition page at Citrix website here : link What is Automated VM Protection and Recovery ? Utilizing an easy set-up wizard, administrators can create snapshot and archival policies. Regularly scheduled snapshots help to protect against data loss in case of a VM failure. The policies established are based on snapshot type, frequency, amount of historical data that is retained, and an archive location. Recovering a VM is completed by simply choosing the last good known archive. This is very easy to use and does it's job integrated in XenCenter administration console. I use this feature to backup all my VMs on my lab but I must admit this is a very basic solution for a basic need and it…

Provisioning XenApp 6 Servers is very easy and make everything very simple but using third party Citrix products like EdgeSight or Power and Capacity Management can be tricky in order to make it work properly with provisioned services. The last issue I had was with Power and Capacity Management but before explaining everything, a quick remind : Citrix XenApp Power and Capacity Management can help reduce power consumption and manage XenApp server capacity by dynamically scaling up or scaling down the number of online XenApp servers. Consolidating sessions onto fewer online servers improves server utilization, while providing sufficient capacity to handle load while minimizing unnecessary power consumption. As users log on to the system and reduce the idle capacity (how much capacity is available for additional sessions), other servers in the workload are powered up. As users log off and idle capacity increases, idle servers are shut down. This helps optimize capacity for XenApp workloads. When installing PCM on the PVS master virtual machine to update the vDisk, everything ran smoothly, no problem at at, service was set to automatic. The service name is "Citrix XenApp Power and Capacity Management Agent" (PCMAgent) and have dependency toward "Citrix Independent Management Architecture (IMA)" and "Remote Procedure Call (RPC)". I assumed the service will wait XenApp is done launching IMA Service and then PCM Service would be able to launch. That was an error, I suppose XenAppPrepTool was taking too much time to launch IMA Service and a timeout occur for PCMAgent Service so the service was in auto but an error showed up in system event logs : Solution ? I choose the simple way, first try was to try to delay the PCMAgent service to wait for IMA Service startup. To do so, just switch from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed Start) in the service properties / Startup type : As I use a login script for the XenApp servers, a very good example can be find here : http://jariangibson.com/2010/03/17/using-edgesight-with-provisioned-xenapp-servers/ I just add a line to start the PCMAgent service : If you want to script the service startup type, you can inject registry using this value : in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\PCMAgent Then, update your vhd image and boot your provisoned XenApp servers, they should appear in PCM console. Sources: http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp6-w2k8/ps-power-capacity-mgt-wrapper-v1.html http://jariangibson.com/2010/03/17/using-edgesight-with-provisioned-xenapp-servers/

Here we go, Green Computing is coming ! Now Citrix give us the ability to switch off XenApp servers and switch it on only when the load on the power on server reach a limit. This is very very smart and I think this Power and Capacity Management for XenApp will be a success.   You can watch bellow the video filmed during the Synergy 2009 in Las Vegas : [flash http://www.citrix.com/tv/s/tv/players/ctv_viral_1_0.swf?ctv=354 w=486 h=412] And of course with your MyCitrix account you can download the Technical Preview here : http://www.citrix.com/site/SS/downloads/details.asp?downloadId=1689982&productId=186&c1=sot1349740#top  Soon I will release a test of this new toy but I have to finish first my XenDesktop how to and after I would like to put online my test with Netscaler VPX Tech Preview.