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January 28, 2014

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 with Atlantis ILIO

Aaron Parker - Atlantis


I’ve spent many years designing and delivering desktop and application virtualization solutions for customers of all sizes. I’ve just started my journey with Atlantis Computing as a Solutions Architect based out of sunny Melbourne, Australia. Most recently I was living and working in the UK for a number of years, so I’m getting back into the antipodean way of life.

I am genuinely excited by the flexibility that desktop virtualization delivers to users, but have come to understand the importance each component in a VDI stack and how they come together to create new paradigm for desktop delivery. Most importantly, I’ve gained an appreciation for the significance of storage to the success of XenApp and XenDesktop deployments.

Citrix continues its success in the application and desktop virtualization space with the release of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 to enable efficient cloud-based delivery of Windows desktops while delivering great user experience with enhancements to their HDX technologies.

Long-time friend, fellow CTP and now co-worker, Andrew Wood has already shared some insights into the benefits of the agility and flexibility that virtualization brings to XenApp. To create true private cloud deployments for desktops based on XenApp and XenDesktop, virtualization is key.

Atlantis ILIO for XenApp is perfectly positioned to optimize cloud-based deployments of XenApp for the following reasons:

  • Flexibility – Atlantis ILIO is a 100% software-based solution that optimizes Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop deployments, any hypervisor, server or storage.
  • Simplicity – Atlantis ILIO inserts transparently into existing deployments to optimize storage, but can also eliminates the need for any storage in new XenApp deployments.
  • Automation – Atlantis ILIO adds key automation and provisioning capability that help achieve cloud-scale deployments.
  • High performance – Using ILIO In-Memory storage technology, customers can achieve a tremendous user experience that is faster than a MacBook Air with a cost well below a PC.

In short, by optimizing how XenApp consumes storage, Atlantis ILIO enables XenApp instances to be run in server memory, at performance levels that far exceed what a physical PC or XenApp instances with traditional storage can provide, combined with up to 20% higher user densities.

There is no requirement for network storage or SSDs, simplifying the architecture significantly (see illustration below), and minimizing the risks associated with Citrix Provisioning Services Write-Cache size growth. Furthermore, ILIO provides linear scaling of any deployment, which critical to deploying XenApp at scale. Each new server comes with tens of thousands of additional microsecond latency IOPS to keep desktops and application running at their best.


Looking into XenDesktop, Atlantis ILIO delivers the same benefits to hosted virtual desktop deployments for both persistent and non-persistent workloads. Storage plays an even bigger role with virtual desktops as they require much more performance based on the workload type compared to common server-based deployments. Therefore, the dependency and interaction of the server, network, and storage components is crucial for the user experience, which can be decisive for the success or failure of any VDI deployment.

Atlantis ILIO provides flexibility in cloud-based environments, as it is server and storage agnostic, simplifies deployments with automated installation and configuration, and delivers immediate ROI with fantastic user experience.

The illustration below shows how Atlantis ILIO captures VDI specific and storage related activities at the root in order to optimize these before they hit the physical storage – meaning the optimization occurs at the hypervisor host where the read/write request is created, instead of optimizing these on the storage where RAID levels and network latency can significantly degrade performance.



XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 take the next step in desktop virtualization evolution and enable cloud-agnostic deployments,Atlantis ILIO is a natural complement to get the best out of any XenApp or XenDesktop deployment.

I congratulate Citrix on this exciting new release, and look forward to helping our customers move toward cloud-delivered apps and desktops.

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