Citrix recommends NFS for XenDesktop…huh?

May 13, 2011

Today I want to tell you about a really interesting article that appeared a couple of days ago on the Citrix blog Citrix (Citrix Community) regarding the fact that Citrix itself seems to recommend the NFS protocol in a XenDesktop 5 deployment.
Already from the title of this article, “Citrix recommends NFS for XenDesktop…huh?”, you can imagine that the author seems to be quite surprised, especially since the suggestion is both in the official documentation from Citrix and in a NetApp whitepaper
The article explains in detail the pros and cons of NFS technology in a XenDesktop environment, especially as related to the use of XenServer hypervisor. Of course a question about using VMware as hypervisor could not miss during this argumentation.

In short, NFS is mentioned as a favorite mainly because it is simply to manage and inherently thin provisioned, and this is true with Creation Machine Service, while using the provisioning (PVS) things are a bit different …
I strongly recommend you read this article for further details of the case; furthermore just today (May 13th 2011) Citrix released the Service Pack 1 for XenDesktop 5, that exploits the caching mechanism (IntelliCache) provided the latest version of XenServer. This is a significant step forward in storage performance, since this technology allows you to greatly reduce the I/O on the storage, especially (but not only) during boot storm.

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