Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V provides a set of powerful management tools that allow you to multiply the operational efficiencies enabled by Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite. Essentials for Hyper-V is based on the Microsoft Management Console and integrates with Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager, providing enhanced management capabilities such as multi-site disaster recovery, lifecycle automation, dynamic provisioning, and deep integration with storage platforms.
Progent's Citrix-certified consultants can help you assess the potential business value of the various editions of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V, assist you to integrate Citrix management tools with your Microsoft Hyper-V network, and show you how you can use the Citrix Essentials to improve the performance, uptime, consistency, flexibility, and recoverability of your virtual environment while lowering equipment and operating costs and simplifying management tasks.
Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V expand IT management's control over Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center environments by offering a powerful set of enhanced features including:
- StorageLink Technology for Storage Management
- StorageLink Site Recovery for Disaster Recovery
- Dynamic Provisioning Services
- Stage and Lab Management
- Process Automation
Citrix offers Essentials for Hyper-V in three versions. The Platinum Edition includes every feature and is the only version with advanced disaster recovery capability and provisioning support for both virtual and physical machines. The Enterprise Edition offers basic StorageLink technology, workflow orchestration, and provisioning for virtual machines only. The Express edition, which is available as a free download, is a trimmed down version designed to help organizations evaluate Microsoft Hyper-V in a test environment that is easy to deploy and manage.
All versions of Essentials for Hyper-V include StorageLink technology, which gives IT managers one-click access to all the native services and functions of existing storage systems. This simplifies storage setup and maintenance by exposing built-in storage array-based services to Microsoft Management Console. Services that StorageLink makes visible can include partitioning, snapshots, backups and data replication. StorageLink's deep integration also avoids the tendency of hypervisors to mask advanced storage services, such as thin provisioning, cloning, de-duplication, and remote mirroring. StorageLink Gateway supports auto-discovery and direct access to native storage services using any of the most popular storage protocols including DAS, NAS, SAN, iSCSI and Fibre Channel. Native integration eliminates the need for proprietary, segmented storage management processes that simply duplicate systems that are already in place and can waste processing resources.
Citrix StorageLink Site Recovery
The Platinum edition of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V includes StorageLink Site Recovery, which allows you to design an affordable, fast, and automated disaster recovery system for your Hyper-V environment. The Platinum edition of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V includes StorageLink Site Recovery, which allows you to design an affordable, fast, and automated disaster recovery system for your Hyper-V environment. Citrix StorageLink Site Recovery directly integrates with native storage array controls for replication and copy functions. StorageLink Site Recovery wizards make it easy to begin site-to-site replication between storage arrays and to specify the Hyper-V virtual machines you want to protect.
Automated configuration validation and non-disruptive testing allows you to verify that your disaster recovery solution will work properly in the event it is necessary. You can also combine StorageLink Site Recovery tools with Microsoft failover clustering in order deploy a multi-site cluster with automatic failover. This virtualized approach to disaster recovery maximizes recovery speed and also saves money by consolidating the servers, storage, and infrastructure designated for disaster recovery. Progent's business continuity planning consultants and Citrix and Microsoft certified consultants can help you develop and test a cost-effective disaster recovery mechanism that will allow you to restore your Microsoft Hyper-V environment rapidly in case of a catastrophic data center failure.
Dynamic Provisioning Services
Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V can help you save time, avoid mistakes, and ensure consistency when you roll out new server workloads. Essentials for Hyper-V supports dynamic provisioning of multiple workloads from a single "golden" server image, cutting storage requirements and eliminating the hassle of manually patching, upgrading, validating, and maintaining multiple separate server images. With Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V you can provision workloads to virtual or physical servers and to Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer hypervisors.
Streaming Workloads from a Single "Golden" Image to Multiple Virtual or Physical Machines
Because it takes only minutes to provision full Windows Server 2008 and hypervisor images to a bare metal machine, even one without internal disks, Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V gives you considerable flexibility in meeting the fluctuating demands on your information system. For example, you can create extra web servers on demand if traffic suddenly spikes, or you can easily re-assign servers to match year-end, quarterly, or seasonal business cycles. Another advantage of being able to repurpose virtual servers on demand is that you safely consolidate your resources, reducing the costs for power, data center space, and standby equipment.
Stage and Lab Management
Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V includes stage and lab management tools to simplify the management of virtualized development, support, and training environments. Stage management tools streamline the process of configuring, patching, validating, and deploying applications into critical production environments by making it easy for IT managers to define and automate the stages involved in releasing virtual workloads.
The Stage Manager console of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V allows IT administrators to specify the workflow for the staging process for virtual application workloads, instantly promote and demote configurations, monitor process approvals as configurations pass through the release process, replicate production systems to ensure accurate testing, provision complex application configurations based on custom templates, plus clone and run configurations in parallel using fenced networking.
The Web-based Lab Manager console of Citrix Essentials offers role-based access to lab management tools and supports collaboration across pre-production virtualized environments. Advanced lab management tools allow Hyper-V administrators to build and manage a shared library of approved workload configurations that accurately replicate production systems. Multiple development and test teams can have self-service access to this centralized store of pre-built virtual environments so that workloads remain stable and consistent throughout an application's passage from development to production. Application installation, running scripts, or setting startup order and dependencies can easily be pre-configured and automated. After tasks are completed, snapshots of the system can be archived and administrators can manually or automatically release freed up resources back to the development pool for optimal resource utilization.
Managing Lab Image Lifecycles and Resource Ownership
Making production-like environments visible and shared eliminates the errors associated with manual build processes, resulting in shorter development cycles and higher quality end products. Citrix automated lab management also reduces costs by consolidating datacenter resources, slashing administrative overhead, and improving the productivity of development and test teams.
Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V includes Citrix Workflow Studio for workflow orchestration. Citrix Workflow Studio is built on top of Windows PowerShell and Windows Workflow Foundation and allows you to customize the automation of important management processes for Hyper-V virtual infrastructure. Workflow Studio offers a GUI interface for workflow design that replaces scripting and allows administrators to integrate technology components via workflows.
Citrix Workflow Studio allows you to initiate, schedule, and track workflow processes via a central dashboard, automate repetitive configuration tasks, integrate infrastructure components and application processes that span multiple products, and directly access resources of the Citrix Developer Network. Other processes that can be automated include user provisioning, resource allocation, plus failover and recovery procedures.
How Progent Can Help You with Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V
Progent's Citrix certified consultants can help you deploy and utilize the virtualization management tools included with Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V including StorageLink and StorageLink Site Recovery, Stage Manager, Lab Manager, and Workflow Studio. Progent's XenServer experts can provide support services for Xen hypervisor environments, and Progent's Citrix XenApp consultants and Citrix XenDesktop experts can assist you with designing and maintaining Windows application virtualization and delivery solutions powered by Citrix technology.
As a Microsoft Partner, Progent can provide world-class Windows Server 2008 R2 consulting services and expert help with Hyper-V technology. Progent also offers the expertise of certified Cisco CCIE network engineers to show you how to design your network infrastructure to realize the maximum business value from Citrix virtualization products. To verify the security and compliance of your Citrix environment, Progent's certified security engineers can perform comprehensive network security testing. Progent's business continuity consultants can help you build an affordable and effective disaster recovery solution that incorporates a mix of Microsoft, Citrix, and Cisco technology.
Progent's consulting services are available remotely anywhere in the U.S. and onsite in major cities across the country. Progent's remote consulting engineers have provided successful support services to companies in every state in the United States. Remote support, which is Progent's specialty, saves travel-related expenses and delivers faster solutions than on-site services.
For more information about Progent's consulting services associated with Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V and other virtualization solutions, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.