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AXPO Chooses Sanbolic To Ensure High Availability (HA) And Increase Scalability Of Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Sanbolic®, the market leader in distributed data management, today announced that AXPO, the largest energy utility company in Switzerland, has deployed Sanbolic Melio software to ensure high availability (HA) and increase scalability of its Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110620/NE22418LOGO )

AXPO had two datacenters, approximately 30 miles (50 km) apart.  Each data center hosted a Citrix XenApp server farm, which was provisioned dynamically using Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS). AXPO used replication between the sites to keep the vDisks at both sites synchronized and to provide disaster-recovery (DR) capability.  For the next phase of the implementation, the company was preparing to rollout Citrix XenDesktop to thousands of users.  AXPO had three significant requirements for their VDI environment: high availability, a consistent user experience and a cost-efficient infrastructure:
  • High Availability (HA) - AXPO needed a high availability environment for its Citrix XenApp and the planned XenDesktop rollout.  This required multiple servers for Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS), so that the service could remain available during maintenance windows or in the event of server failure.
  • Consistent User Experience - AXPO needed to avoid a degraded user experience during peak usage periods, which were most noticeable during start-of-day logons. AXPO had previously required additional Provisioning Servers and storage to support I/O requirements. 
  • Cost-Efficiency - AXPO needed to minimize upfront and on-going storage expense.  Each Provisioning Server required access to all of the XenApp and XenDesktop images.  Replicating the images among the storage volumes assigned to each Provisioning Server added complexity and overhead, as well as increased storage cost.

After a careful review and evaluation process of available options, AXPO selected Sanbolic's Melio VDI software to provide seamless scale-out of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp, while delivering consistent performance and improved storage utilization.  Active/active storage access and centralized management through the Melio platform also proved critical features to ensure image availability and simplified management.  AXPO obtained the following benefits with the Sanbolic Melio VDI solution:
  • Flexible scale-out to thousands of Citrix desktops, while meeting availability requirements and customer service-level expectations.
  • Reduced storage capital requirements by more than 50%, by eliminating the need to have redundant local copies for each Provisioning Server.
  • Reduced storage management expense by providing centralized management of desktop images.
  • Eliminated scheduled outages by enabling on-line expansion of the VDI environment.

"Being prepared to scale out to thousands of virtual desktops without additional hardware cost, and knowing that we are optimizing server and storage utilization without slowing down daily operations, is worth a lot to the entire team here at AXPO," said Daniel Fritz, Team Manager, AXPO.  "Sanbolic's Melio VDI made this vision a reality." 

Fritz continued, "We are now storing all our images on Melio volumes for high availability.  Melio VDI lets us add servers and expand volumes on-the-fly without reboot or downtime.  We are prepared to scale to 2,000 XenDesktops at any point."

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