In this reference architecture document, Nutanix makes recommendations for the design, optimization and scaling of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp deployments on Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix. It shows the scalability of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform and provides detailed performance and configuration information on the scale-out capabilities of the cluster when leveraged for XenDesktop and XenApp deployments. This document is based upon generalized assumptions and Citrix design best practices. Extensive testing has been performed using Login VSI to simulate real-world workloads and conditions of a XenDesktop environment using MCS and PVS on Nutanix. The sizing data and recommendations made in this document are based upon multiple testing iterations and thorough technical validation.
The MCS tests showed light IO footprints on the Nutanix platform with a peak of ~15,683 aggregate IOPS during the test runs, peaking during the boot storms. Sustained IOPS were light ranging from 2,000-3,000 during the test execution. The PVS tests showed light IO footprints as expected. IO Latencies averaged <1ms for read and <8ms for write during peak load. Enabling the NDFS Shadow Clone feature showed great improvements for MCS desktops especially during the boot storm where the Master VM can become a read bottleneck.