You probably use some Citrix features more than others depending on what your IT environment needs. With all the new features we have added this year for better Operational and IT Efficiency, Workload and Device Flexibility, Security and Compliance, and Employee Experience Technology, you’ve probably adopted some new features this year too. But with so many new Citrix features, make sure you’re not missing out on existing Citrix features that can make your environment more efficient and help you save money. These features work across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises solutions, so no matter where your environment is hosted you can take advantage of our cost saving solutions. If you’re interested in adopting any of these 5 features, make sure to check out our Citrix Product Documentation for more.
1. Citrix Provisioning and Machine Creation Services
Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) allows you to provision and re-provision applications and desktops from one single shared disk image to multiple machines, reducing the number of images that you have to manage and ensuring consistency across machines. PVS helps your infrastructure team manage thousands of devices with a single image by delivering updates, patches, and configuration information to multiple virtual desktop endpoints. This saves your IT team time by delivering desktops faster, so they can focus on value-add projects instead. For example, PVS can deploy cloud-based VMs on demand, rather than you having to host those VMs all the time.
Slightly different from Citrix Provisioning, Machine Creation Services (MCS) creates machines from one single image using hypervisor or cloud provider APIs to build linked clones from the master image to provision the required desktops. Your IT team can then provision, create, configure, start, stop, and delete virtual desktops hosted on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. When paired with Autoscale, Citrix MCS power management saves money by strategically powering virtual app and desktop workloads up and down to control spending with cloud providers.
Both Citrix PVS and MCS can help your organization deploy the right number of virtual desktops and applications. If you’re not already leveraging the tools built into Citrix PVS and MCS, you could be spending way too much time on outdated manual machine creation processes and more money on unused machines than you need to.
2. Hybrid and multi-cloud deployments
If your business uses the cloud, Citrix can help you manage public and private clouds through a single management plane. This makes it simpler for your IT department to manage multi-cloud deployments. Citrix offers unmatched vendor flexibility for cloud providers, so you can pick and choose the vendors that best suit the needs of your business and avoid vendor lock-in. This way, you can take advantage of all the best cloud offers available and save money on cloud vendor contracts. Citrix even offers tools for your business to help control cloud spending, like Autoscale and Workspace Environment Management, which we will cover in more detail in the following sections.
Hybrid deployments also help you save money by allowing you to burst into the cloud to support peaks in activity. By adopting this approach, you don’t have to pay to keep and maintain the additional on premises resources that you would need to support peak volumes. You can just burst into the cloud when needed to support peaks in activity.
Autoscale is our most adopted Citrix feature for a reason, it has helped customers achieve significant cost savings, in some cases up to 70 percent. You can use Autoscale to adopt schedule-based scaling or load-based scaling and implement a variety of settings that can help your business utilize computational resources more efficiently.
Schedule-based scaling works by defining a schedule for the number or percentage of machines you need so that when employees log in, the machines are ready. This approach works best for predictable workloads. If you’re not sure what your workload is, the capacity utilization feature in Autoscale helps you see if you are powering on more or less machines than configured in your schedule, so you can adjust as needed.
Predictable workloads are easy to manage because they are so consistent. What sets Autoscale apart from the competition is its ability to manage unpredictable workloads with load-based scaling. Load-based scaling dynamically scales by powering machines on and off as the load increases and decreases. You can configure relaxed timeouts during peak hours and aggressive timeouts during off-peak hours to power down machines and save money. When used together, load-based and schedule-based scaling can create a capacity buffer to eliminate wait times for machines to power on and save money by only powering on the resources you need.
In addition to the scaling features, Autoscale has idle time, disconnect time, power off delay, force log off, and cost of a virtual machine per hour features for better optimization and visualization of cost differences. You can power down machines that are in a drain state with the force log off feature. You can also tag machines to apply certain rules, such as tagging on-premises machines to be used before cloud machines to save on cloud computing costs. With all of these tools, it’s no wonder that so many Citrix DaaS and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops customers have seen immense savings with Autoscale.
4. Workspace Environment Management
Workspace Environment Management (WEM) can enhance your server scalability by up to 70 percent, based on a WEM engineer study, and it’s available on both Citrix DaaS and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. WEM offers intelligent resource management and profile management to help you take control of your consumption and spending and improve end-user experience.
Resource management monitors user and application behavior in real time, and adjusts RAM, CPU, and IOPs in the user environment. It can automatically adjust settings to improve application performance and optimize resources between multiple sessions on the same host virtual machine, reducing CPU and RAM bottlenecks.
WEM also reduces log on times by up to 60 percent with profile management and action configurations. Profile management speeds up log on time by only loading a portion of the profile at logon, and the rest when a user accesses them. Action configurations include managing applications, printers, network drives, registry keys, and external tasks, which are applied to user profiles at login. All of these features improve logon performance and reduce wait times for your employees.
Another way that WEM saves you money is by increasing session density. Based on a WEM engineer study, if you enable CPU spike prevention and auto-prevent CPU spikes and add processes with high CPU usage to an exclusion list, you can increase session density by more than 15 percent. By adjusting your system based on demand, you can free up resources for better scalability, which translates to 15 percent savings on cloud computing costs or 15 percent more users for the same cost. With WEM, you have so many options to save money on resources by allocating intelligently and speeding up logon times to reduce wasted employee time.
5. ITSM Adapter
If your organization uses ServiceNow, the Citrix IT Service Management (ITSM) Adapter for ServiceNow allows you to automate the provisioning of Citrix resources, enable self-service for employees, and use a centralized dashboard to monitor Citrix DaaS incidents. The ITSM Adapter automates the provisioning of resources by adding MCS machines when there are not enough resources available to support end user desktop requirements, reducing the amount of manual IT intervention needed to create new machines. The adapter also deletes machines based on idle times defined by administrators. By deleting idle machines, you can make sure you’re not overspending on resources that you don’t need.
One of the most used features of the Citrix ITSM Adapter for ServiceNow is the incident management feature. This feature allows admins to automate session resets for employees, reducing the burden on IT reams by resolving reset and authentication issues without manual intervention. Organizations that use this feature have reduced desktop reset times from 15 minutes to 30 seconds. That is a lot less employee time wasted waiting for a session reset.
One customer, Novant Health, saw a significant drop in the amount of time it took to resolve desktop session resets that were caused by network issues, forgotten passwords, and authentication problems. Manual resets took up to 15 minutes to be resolved, wasting valuable time doctors and nurses would rather spend caring for patients. With the Citrix ITSM Adapter, users can now perform a self-service reset in 30 seconds. This means Novant Health professionals are able to get back to caring for patients faster, unlocking thousands of hours of productive time.
Unlock all the cost-saving benefits of your Citrix environment
If you’re not already taking advantage of all 5 of these cost saving features, read our Top 5 Citrix Cost Optimization Tools You Need to Use whitepaper for more information on what each of these features. And if you’re ready to start saving money, check Citrix Product Documentation for information on how to implement these features so you can start saving employee time and organizational resources, without compromising on computational power.
Disclaimer: This publication may include references to the planned testing, release and/or availability of Cloud Software Group, Inc. products and services. The information provided in this publication is for informational purposes only, its contents are subject to change without notice, and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for products remains at the sole discretion of Cloud Software Group, Inc.
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