VMWare vs. Citrix

genXrcistgenXrcist Member Posts: 531
Hey guys,

I just started a consulting gig in which myself and a Vmware expert are going to be setting up HP Blade servers and workstations in a lab environment for the purpose of evaluating the pro's & con's of a Vmware VDI solution vs. a Citrix VDI solution.

All well and good and very exciting right? Well it is except for the fact that I really don't have Vmware or Citrix experience and I was told that I would largely be in a supporting role to the Vmware expert who's running the project.

I'm nervous though that the client has been told that I'm more of an expert on this material than I really am.

Any suggestions or tips? Any crash-course materials anyone can share with me on Vmware or Citrix? I plan on spending a lot of time watching the CBTNugget videos on these two technologies...
1) CCNP Goal: by August 2012

Comments

  • jmritenourjmritenour Member Posts: 565
    First, get a copy of Scott Lowe's book, Mastering VMWare vSphere

    What I would do is find a system with a good amount of memory (like greater than 4GB), download a trial copy of VMWare Worksation, THEN download the evaluation versions of ESX or ESXi and vCenter and install them all within workstation. Set up a working high availability data center.

    VMware is one of those things that really needs a lot of a hands on to make sense.

    Citrix, I can't really help you on. I'm pretty much a VMWare only guy.
    "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible; suddenly, you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    I'm venturing into Citrix now and really Citrix doesn't have very many good books on it's products. Using their online documentation is the best source that I'm finding to gain information about their products. For VDI in Citrix you need to look into XenDesktop.

    Citrix Product Documentation Library

    HTH
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For XenDesktop, go through the evaluation guide in the docs (linked above). Also check the Citrix forum here for the link to the free virtual labs for XD on Hyper-V. Finally, the Citrix support forums are a fantastic resource if you need help with any Citrix product.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here's the thread about the virtual lab:
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/citrix-certifications/51928-xendesktop-hyper-v-technet-virtual-lab.html

    It is a really nice way to learn since you can just jump right into it. XenDesktop supports multiple hypervisors and in the XD interface there is not much difference between them.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    You shouldn't expect your final solution to be a homogenous infrastructure, and you may need a management solution such as Quest vWorkspace that can handle a mixed environment.

    Then there's that pesky VECD license requirement from Microsoft. Licensing requirements change though, so check with your client's MS rep to make sure they have the VDI licensing covered.

    Finally, there is Citrix Receiver. Who wouldn't want the ability to run MS Office on their iPad?
  • ZaitsZaits Member Posts: 142
    From my experience if you want an easy deployment and don't care about end user experience go with VMware view. If you want a complicated deployment and a little more configuration up front, but a superior end user experience go with XenDesktop. As the others have said Citrix doesn't have a lot of books available and you primarily need to read the documentation provided by Citrix.

    My two cents if you want the best of both works go with Vmware as the hypervisor with XenDesktop for VDI.
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    QHalo wrote: »
    I'm venturing into Citrix now and really Citrix doesn't have very many good books on it's products. Using their online documentation is the best source that I'm finding to gain information about their products. For VDI in Citrix you need to look into XenDesktop.

    Citrix Product Documentation Library

    HTH

    Thanks for posting this. I am going to start working for a company that loves Citrix. Some of the documentation there is a good starting point for me.
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    View 4 adds PCoIP which helps close the user experience gap between it and XenDesktop. Also with View you get vSphere Enterprise Plus, whereas you have to buy XD Enterprise just to get XenServer Enterprise (lower editions you are stuck with free XenServer or buying a hypervisor). Yet another factor I've found to be important is that the support you buy with View includes maintenance and tech support whereas XD is maintenance only. You can buy support for XD but it is just prepaid incidents with no quantity discount, which is annoying.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • genXrcistgenXrcist Member Posts: 531
    Thanks everybody!

    Wells, it turns out that the project's been delayed a week as the equipment hasn't arrived...which gives me time to go over the resources everyone listed. Thanks to jmritenour for the book suggestion & mentholmoose for the Citrix info. And Claymoore of course for the insight. It's likely that we'll go with ESX on the backend but Citrix on the frontend so perhaps we'll look into Quest's product.

    I did go out and purchase/built a new PC today with the Intel i7-950 proc, 24GB of DDR3 RAM, 2x128GB SSD (6Gb/s) which I'll configure as RAID0 and 4x1TB SATA 3Gb/s HDDs for a RAID10 DAS for the Virtual Machines.

    Any chance anyone know where I can get a copy of VMWare Workstation cheap? I've been watching the CBTNugget videos on v3.5 and it looks like I can simulate ESX in Workstation so I should be able to go through a couple of trial runs.
    1) CCNP Goal: by August 2012
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