Ok, where does one begin when talking about an Active/Active Citrix Deployment?  I’m frazzled just thinking about it.  Do I start with the Profiles, Netscalers, PVS Images, XenApp Sites…?  Let’s first describe the requirements.  Management has instructed the team to build a Highly Available and Stable environment that spans multiple data centers. Ready…Go!

However vague that is, we will let best practice, use case, and experience dictate the rest.

Our Data Centers are located within 10 miles of each other with dark fiber connecting the two together.  From a response standpoint we should have 50-100Gbps of bandwidth with less than 2ms latency.  Hardware wise, each Data Center will have their own Networking, Storage, Hosts, Internet, Netscalers, etc…

Here are some of he major topics I’ll be covering in more detail in this series of blog posts.  I’m not sure if this will be a 4 series blog post or a 10 series blog post.  I’ll keep writing more and more if the community wants to see more.

Netscalers/Storefront:  High level SDX/VPX placements and configuration for Active/Active setup utilizing GSLB.  What load balancing rules will I follow? How will DNS be used for Internal and External users?

Storage and Hosts: Placement of NAS.  Do files get synced to both locations?  How should my documents files be handled?

XA/XD Sites:  Should I have one or two sites?  Should users have a primary data center?  What will Active Directory group structure look like?

Provisioning Services: Will I have separate PVS deployments, or should they be under the same site?  How should images be synced to the 2nd location?

Profiles: How will profiles be synced across data centers?  If someone logs into Site A in the morning and then logs into Site B in the afternoon, will they have the same settings?

While we may not have all the answers at the moment, here are some soft directions that we have been given as well.  We need to be able to implement changes (host patching, PVS version updates, etc…) at the site level, fail over the site that the changes are taking place in, test those changes, then put users back onto said site, and perform the changes to the other site.  I realize this could all be accomplished in a target format from within a site, however, this is the direction we have been given.

Now, there is not ‘right’ way to accomplish this, especially with the different variables of where the data center is located, the storage back end, and the customer requirements/directives.  As I’ve said before, there are 100 ways to skin a cat.

In the following blogs i’ll get more into the details surrounding the technical setup of the primary components to complete our Active/Active setup.


Part 1 (this blog)

Part 2 

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