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Virtualizing Citrix XenApp – is it a best practice??


As the industry trend is changing, more and more companies are virtualizing Citrix XenApp on VMware vSphere to lower down the cost and enhance flexibility. There has been a move to virtualize physical servers to better take advantage of hardware and provide a higher level of availability.

There are some benefits that virtualizing Citrix XenApp environment can bring to help drive better performance for users, thereby reducing the impact on projects and ultimately cutting down the costs.

Please see below a list of some advantages for virtualizing XenApp:

Virtual Application Delivery

XenApp is unique in that it is a complete system for virtual application delivery, offering both online and offline application access through a combination of application hosting and application streaming directly to user devices. The minimum requirements of a target device are a compatible Windows OS and appropriate Citrix client software. If the user device meets minimum requirements, then XenApp initiates application virtualization via application streaming directly into an isolated environment on the user’s device. In the event that the user device is not capable of running a particular application, XenApp actually initiates session virtualization.


Hardware Abstraction – Standardization & Automation

Virtualization’s goal of standardization and automation is achieved by abstracting the server operating system from the device hardware. Many Citrix XenApp server farms grow over time. As a Citrix farm is maintained it is not unusual to have a range of server hardware in use. This leads to a problem of managing and maintaining builds for different hardware platforms, different device drivers, different patching requirements. A new server type facilitates a new server image. With hardware abstraction, the build management process is simplified, being more readily automated. The introduction of new hardware does not need major changes, and isn’t another image to be added to the image management system; reducing operational costs for your farm and helping to minimize the risk of cost overrides during hardware refreshes.


High quality performance

Adding a hypervisor reduces capacity for a server running Terminal Services. Native hardware interaction is going to deliver the best performance. However, while the difference in performance used to be large for virtualized Terminal Services servers, this has improved a lot.

Simplified automation & management

In order to minimize the expenses and to ease the management, a number of organizations have adopted a “virtual first” policy for new services. A virtualized environment allows a faster migration (or deployment) to Citrix XenApp and reduce the risk of cost overruns during migration.

High availability and faster recovery

Virtualization brings higher availability and faster recovery allowing faster return to normal operations and reducing the impact of failure on the business. Virtualization can reduce a server instance failure domain, allowing for greater flexibility with updates and again, reducing the business impact on failure. It is this range of advantages that has driven Citrix XenApp virtualization to be the norm rather than the exception.


While various OS environments may be unsupported by the vendor from a budget and operation standpoint, there is still a requirement to maintain them. With virtualization new servers can be used to consolidate older servers.

There are certainly other benefits of virtualizing Citrix XenApp and it is definitely a best practice. Learn more and train yourself over various Citrix skills and training with NetCom Learning. NetCom Learning has serviced over 80% of Fortune 100 companies. We’ve helped over 10,000 organizations achieve their business goals by offering a full complement of Managed Learning Services, including IT and business training, curriculum design and content development, learning delivery and administration, consulting and advisory services, and management of learning technology.

Check and enroll for various Citrix training and certifications with NetCom Learning.