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Intel Nehalem & Citrix XenServer Raise the Bar for XenApp Performance

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This past April, as Intel was releasing their new Xeon E5500 series processors, we showed you some remarkable test results demonstrating a solid 53% performance improvement between E5400 and E5500 based servers when running a virtualized DBHammer SQL Server 2008 workload.

We now wanted to move onto a workload representing the largest segment of the Citrix user community, XenApp. More specifically, XenApp 5.0 virtualized with the new XenServer 5.5. As we’ve seen in previous similar virtualization performance tests with XenApp on XenServer, when the XenApp guests are 32 bit (the majority of XenApp users still use use 32-bit applications), the opportunity for server consolidation can be significant. We wanted to see just how good the server consolidation opportunity is when an Intel Xeon E5500-based server is used as a XenServer host. In this case, we looked at how the server consolidation might look when going from 2.93 GHz Xeon X7350 physical XenApp servers to 2.93 GHz Xeon E5570 XenServer hosts.

For the purpose of this test, we ran the physical XenApp server with a single 32-bit workload (Windows 2003 SP2 with MS Office). It was given 2 CPUs and 4GB RAM, typical for this XenApp server workload. Using EdgeSight for Load Test (ESLT) version 3.5 we established a baseline of 25 seconds for users to login, run a standard MSOffice task script, and then logout (including network connect time). We added users until the threshold to run this sequence reached a latency of 30%, at which point the server was deemed to be at capacity. Using this configuration and test program, the maximum number of users was 47. This was a relatively small, single physical XenApp server, so 47 concurrent users was considered respectable.
 
To learn more and to read the entire article at its source, please refer to the following page, Nehalem & XenServer Raise the Bar for XenApp Performance – Bernard Hannon – Citrix Community
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