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The HPE All-Wireless Workplace
powered by HPE Moonshot,
Aruba Networks, and Citrix
Any device, anytime, anywhere
HPE Moonshot System with HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridges
Putting it all together
HPE Moonshot System
Capacity and sizing
Test hardware setup
Test workload description
Analysis and recommendations
Best practices and tuning parameters
Bill of materials
Implementing a proof-of-concept
For more information
Reference guide Page 3 Executive summary In a traditional office environment, the user plugs in to an Ethernet port to access the network. When an Ethernet port is unavailable, however, the wireless network serves as a temporary solution. By making wireless network availability and performance a priority, users can forego the need to tether at their desks for access. They become free to collaborate with others, attend meetings, and work from anywhere in the campus network—all without losing the high-end user experience they’ve come to expect while plugged in. This paper outlines a reference architecture for the HPE All-Wireless Workplace using the HPE Moonshot System, Aruba Networks, and Citrix® XenApp and XenDesktop® software.
High-performance wireless access is given priority so that users can easily access their data and applications using any device, at any time, from anywhere in the campus network.
The HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge provides an excellent end-user experience with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, including rich visual experience for graphics applications, because of the Intel® Xeon® E3 processor paired with Intel® Iris Pro Graphics. The m710p Server Cartridge also provides high-speed, low-latency 10GbE networking as a strong back-end for the Aruba wireless infrastructure. Aruba Networks’ simple controller setup and access point deployment provide an 802.11ac network that works up to three times faster than 802.11n and provisions within hours. User data remains securely located in the data center.
The HPE All-Wireless Workplace provides a platform that is optimized to reduce costly square meter footprint, power, cooling, and complexity of existing data center-hosted application and desktop delivery alternatives.
Target audience: This reference architecture is intended for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Citrix partners and customers who seek a framework for the deployment and delivery of an All-Wireless Workplace powered by the HPE Moonshot System. It is also intended for HPE technical presales and solution architects. A working knowledge of server architecture, networking architecture, and storage design is recommended.
Document purpose: The purpose of this document is to describe a recommended architecture or solution, highlighting recognizable benefits to technical audiences. This paper describes testing performed in September and October 2015.
Overview HPE Moonshot System with HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridges HPE Moonshot System is a huge leap forward in infrastructure design that delivers breakthrough efficiency and scale by aligning the right amount of compute, memory, and storage to get the work done. The Moonshot Chassis includes all of the common resources from a traditional server—power, cooling, management, fabric, switches, and network uplinks—all shared across 45 hot-pluggable server cartridges in a dense 4.3U form factor. It replaces general-purpose processors with more energy-efficient Systems-on-Chips (SoCs) containing integrated accelerators, such as a graphics processor, tailored for specific workloads. The HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge was built on the lower-power Intel Broadwell processing architecture, including a powerful, integrated GPU with Iris Pro Graphics, specifically for Moonshot, and has been optimized for the best possible performance with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. Together, the HPE Moonshot System and the HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge provide an architecture well suited to support both application delivery and high-end desktops hosted in the data center, delivering excellent processing and graphical capabilities to the end user over Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.
Aruba Networks Aruba Networks enterprise wireless LAN solutions are industry-leading and purpose-built for mobility first. Aruba 802.11ac wireless access points deliver superb Wi-Fi performance even in high-density environments, at speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n access points. These access points can be controlled by Aruba controllers, which optimize network traffic and secure applications while rightsizing the network infrastructure.
Aruba controllers feature built-in security features such as stateful firewall, secure VPN, and content filtering. Aruba Networks AppRF makes monitoring, prioritizing, and securing network traffic easy, and ClientMatch eliminates sticky clients while roaming.
Citrix XenDesktop Citrix XenDesktop is a complete software suite for transforming Windows® desktops and applications into on-demand services accessible from any device, and for managing those desktops, apps, and the users who access them. With XenDesktop, IT can reduce workload and costs by consolidating control and security for sensitive data and intellectual property in the data center. HDX technologies facilitate XenDesktop to deliver a rich native look-and-feel, dynamically optimized for both the type of device and network conditions. Users interact with the desktop as they would a local desktop by sending keystrokes and mouse movements, which are sent to the server. The server then sends screen updates back to the user’s device. This paradigm of interaction utilizes server-side processing, which can free IT from the endless cycle of PC hardware refreshes normally necessary to support new applications and application upgrades when using traditional, user-side compute deployment techniques.
Reference guide Page 4 Citrix also provides an excellent tool for image management and deployment, called Provisioning Services (PVS). PVS streams a complete operating system image to desktops running on both virtual and physical resources, including Moonshot. PVS can dramatically reduce IT maintenance costs by allowing IT to maintain a single image for all devices. Citrix PVS is not a requirement for this solution, but it is an option that may be implemented as desired.
Note Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop offer access to applications and desktops from any device, a server-side deployment advantage. The device must be able to download Citrix Receiver software, which is published for all major operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux®, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone). Though performance is somewhat dependent on client processing and graphical power, most modern laptops, smartphones, and tablets deliver an excellent Citrix experience on a single screen.
Putting it all together Overall, the HPE All-Wireless Workplace is the best alternative to traditional “wired-first” office networks. The HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge is an ideal combination of size and compute and graphics capability for both high-end desktop and application delivery use cases, providing excellent processing power, fast graphics, solid-state storage, and ample memory. Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop provide enhanced access to applications and desktops from a wide range of devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Aruba Networks’ industry-leading controllers and wireless access points extend the high-performance wireless access to all wireless-capable devices.
The hardware components driving the HPE All-Wireless Workplace are illustrated in figure 1.
Solution components This section describes the hardware and software used during testing. These components form a building block that scales simply with minimal alterations to the overall infrastructure. This reference architecture assumes that Active Directory, DNS, Citrix Delivery Controller, and other supporting infrastructure for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop already exist.
HPE Moonshot System In the HPE Moonshot 1500 System, a 4.3U chassis houses dual, fully-redundant, 45-port 1GbE or 10GbE switches, two uplink modules (16x10GbE or 4x40GbE connectors each), fans, power supplies, an HPE Moonshot 1500 Chassis Management Module, and up to 45 server cartridges.
HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridges Table 1 lists specifications of the HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge.
Table 1. HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridge technical specifications
Networking To connect the HPE Moonshot 1500 Chassis to the main network, an HPE 5700-series switch is recommended. For this testing, one 10GbE SFP port was connected from the Moonshot uplink module to the HPE 5700 switch.
Aruba Networks The Aruba Networks components in this solution consist of an Aruba 7005 Controller and Aruba AP-225 access points.
Table 2 lists Aruba Networks components and their corresponding software versions.
Table 2. Aruba Networks components software versions
COMPONENT DESCRIPTIONAruba 7005 Compact form factor controller, max. 1,024 concurrent users/device, ArubaOS 220.127.116.11
Citrix XenDesktop Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop version 7.6 was used for testing. XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 have a number of feature additions and enhancements over previous versions, including generic USB redirection, and is recommended as the latest Citrix XenDesktop release.
Table 3 describes the software versions of each Citrix component.
Table 3. Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop software versions
Client hardware The client-side hardware consists of nearly any wireless-capable device, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Table 4 describes the different client hardware used during testing.
Table 4. Tested client hardware technical specifications
CLIENT DESCRIPTIONHP EliteBook 840 G1 Windows 7 64-bit, Intel® Core™ i5-4300U, 8 GB RAM, screen resolution 1600x900 HP Mobile Thin Client Windows Embedded Standard 7E 32-bit, AMD Elite A4-4300M, 8 GB RAM, screen resolution 1366x768 MacBook Pro with Retina Display OS X Yosemite, Intel Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB RAM, screen resolution 2880x1800 (native) 1440x900 (effective)
HTC Desire EYE Android 4.4.4, Qualcomm® Snapdragon 801, 2 GB RAM, screen resolution 1920x1080 For devices with USB ports, common USB devices such as Flash drives, webcams, microphones, and other USB devices are supported with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.
Capacity and sizing Test hardware setup HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridges inside an HPE Moonshot 1500 Chassis function as the server compute. An Aruba 7005 Controller and an Aruba AP-225 access point connect to the same network as the HPE ProLiant m710p Server Cartridges to deliver the internal network wirelessly.
The devices tested are described in table 4.
Reference guide Page 7 Test workload description The workload used for XenDesktop performance and end-user experience monitoring was built around the 3D graphics benchmark tool, 3D Glaze. This tool generates over 30 frames per second at the server, and therefore it becomes simple to identify if any part of the infrastructure, including wireless networking or a client device, is unable to deliver acceptable performance. The workload runs the 3D Glaze benchmark and monitoring tools simultaneously.
In addition to XenDesktop performance evaluation, XenApp performance was tested and evaluated. Applications tested ranged from general
office applications to more demanding graphics-heavy applications, including:
• Microsoft® Office—create and edit documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
• Microsoft Paint—draw onscreen to easily highlight any input lag problems
• SOLIDWORKS eDrawings Viewer—view and manipulate 3D objects
• Unigine Heaven benchmark—run a graphics benchmark to stress GPU and generate frame movement On devices with an Ethernet port, tests were run both in wired and wireless configurations, to determine any difference in end-user experience, resource requirement, and performance.
In addition to the workload applications, the m710p server is also running performance collection tools, including Citrix HDX Monitor, Windows Performance Monitor, and TechPowerUp GPU-Z. The given workloads are tested across a wide variety of end-point devices with varying capabilities and screen resolutions. Depending on the end-point device, different protocols within the HDX standard are used to send screen data from the m710p server to the client device. For Windows and Mac OS X, the default is Desktop Composition Redirection, while for iOS and Android the default is H.264 Enhanced SuperCodec.
For desktop delivery with XenDesktop, one high-end desktop user maps to one cartridge with independent compute, GPU, memory, and disk.
Therefore, sizing is pre-determined at one user per cartridge. The purpose of the desktop workload testing is to determine end-user experience.
End-user experience is measured objectively through frames per second delivered and round-trip latency metrics, and system performance metrics are captured to characterize any degradation in end-user experience. For example, if the frame rate drops below 24 frames per second (the standard used for films in movie theaters), there must be some limiting factor in the environment: CPU on the client or server, GPU on either device, network, etc.
For application delivery with XenApp, sizing is not pre-determined as many more than just one user can operate on a single cartridge. Depending on the application(s), up to 50 users per cartridge are supported. Please refer to the Performance evaluation of mobile application delivery technical white paper.