Protection and recovery of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp using Azure Site Recovery

Citrix XenDesktop is an industry leading desktop virtualisation solution that delivers desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any user, anywhere. With FlexCast delivery technology, XenDesktop can quickly and securely deliver applications and desktops to users.
But up until this week, Citrix XenApp did not provide any out-of-the-box disaster recovery capability. Regardless of the type and scale of a disaster, recovery involves the use of a standby data center that you can recover the farm to. Standby data centers are required for scenarios where local redundant systems and backups cannot recover from the outage at the primary data center.

Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution and provides disaster recovery capabilities by orchestrating replication, failover and recovery of virtual machines. Azure Site Recovery supports a number of replication technologies to consistently replicate, protect, and seamlessly failover virtual machines to secondary site or to Azure.
With ASR, you can protect and recover the essential components of your on-premises XenDesktop and XenApp environment including:

• Citrix Delivery Controller
• StoreFront Server
• XenApp Master Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA)
• XenApp License Server
• AD DNS Server
• SQL Database Server

Additionally, ASR provides you the ability to:
• Recover to an application consistent point in time, which is useful to recover your multi-tiered Citrix VDI environment to an application-consistent state.
• Use flexible recovery plans to customize the order of recovery by grouping together machines that need to failover together, add automation scripts, and manual actions to be executed on a failover.
• Perform Non-disruptive recovery testing, that lets you test the failover of your Citrix VDI farm to Azure, without impacting on-going replication or the performance of your production environment.

A detailed step by step guidance for building a disaster recovery solution using ASR has been chalked out in close collaboration with Citrix. The whitepaper from Citrix detailing the process is;

Azure Site Recovery, as part of Microsoft Operations Management Suite, enables you to gain control and manage your workloads no matter where they run (Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware or OpenStack) with a cost-effective, all-in-one cloud IT management solution.

If you would like some more information or help in looking at the opportunities available, please get in touch.

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