business continuity

Citrix XenServer Business Continuity

With its latest announcements of XenServer-related products, Citrix has strengthened its ability to provide more capable disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity services using its server virtualization line of products. These have lots of appeal for enterprises that previously would have either considered a full DR solution too expensive or who are using regular tape backups and finding them cumbersome. A combination of services including high availability (HA), live migration of running virtual machines (VMs), virtual storage management and near-term server failover that were previously only the province of very expensive and customized clustered configurations are now available in the virtual world and can serve as a good substitute for many enterprise's DR applications, too. This is because VMs are easily portable and replicated across the Internet, so you can quickly get a secondary site up and running when the primary server has failed.

One of the issues with custom clustering solutions is that XenServer require identical hardware and operating system versions for each physical machine that was part of the cluster: virtualized servers are more forgiving and flexible, not to mention less expensive too. Another issue is that many clusters required very high-speed Internet links to support a remote DR site: virtualized solutions are also less demanding of connectivity too.

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XenServer, which began shipping since 2010 under Citrix banner, offers some changes in how these its DR services are packaged and delivered from previous versions. Citrix will offer four different versions:

  • A free version that includes XenConvert, its physical-to-virtual conversion utility; and XenMotion, its live migration utility where running VMs can be moved from one physical host to another. This is available for managing both XenServer and Microsoft HyperV installations.
  • An Advanced version that adds high availability and some other management tools, which will sell for $1,000+ or $30 per month for cloud service providers. This version is only available for XenServer.
  • An Enterprise version that adds to the above features virtual provisioning services, live memory snapshots, and StorageLink storage management software for $2,5000, and
  • A Platinum version that adds physical provisioning services and Site Recovery tools for $5,000. It is this version that we will focus on and show you what is needed to implement a true DR plan and how the various pieces of Citrix software and third-party hardware fit together.

 

Citrix XenApp Business Continuity

Avoid business disruption—no matter what

Citrix XenApp™ helps ensure continuous business operations - maintaining employee productivity and customer service along with disaster recovery and planning. In preparing for natural, man-made or technological disaster, today’s management must be able to maintain nothing less than uninterrupted connections for employees, customers, suppliers and business partners. There can be no downtime.

In the case of unplanned interruption or disaster, employees can use any computing device to access their mission-critical applications and information, from anywhere, over any connection—wireless to Web. If the datacenter is affected, XenApp will allow you to deliver all critical applications from a backup site more quickly than any other solution. Citrix server disaster recovery solutions can potentially eliminate the need to rebuild networks and desktops. For multi-site deployments, Citrix NetScaler transparently redirects users accessing applications delivered by XenApp to alternate sites if a regularly accessed site is temporarily unavailable.

For application maintenance, all patches and updates are applied only once on the server farm so updates are applied quickly and easily, increasing IT productivity. Application maintenance is transparent and there is no business disruption for end users. Remote and mobile workers maintain productivity as XenApp eliminates the need to update user devices.

Benefits include:

  • Business continuity for operations, sales and customer service during planned and unplanned outages
  • Higher sales and customer satisfaction
  • Server disaster recovery services

For more Citrix Virtualization Solutions resources, please click here.