Citrix Xenmobile 9

Mobility is one of the buzzwords of 2014 and if you’ve been reading the many blogs and news articles out there, you’re probably familiar with the major players in the market.  Gartner recently released a report that listed the “Magic Quadrants for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites”.  In their report, Gartner lists the strengths and cautions of the 5 leaders in the EMM Suite “Magic Quadrant”.

If your company is looking into mobility vendors and researching your options, how do you decide which EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) vendor to go with?  One of the factors to consider when selecting your EMM solution is what your requirements are for redundancy and high availability.

The focus of this blog is on the redundancy and high availability of one of the 5 “Magic Quadrant” EMM leaders, Citrix XenMobile Enterprise.  With XenMobile version 9.0 released on June 30th, this product is quickly gaining more momentum in the marketplace with added functionality and improved performance.

There are multiple components that make up the XenMobile Enterprise Suite, and it’s important to address redundancy for each component so that there is no one single point of failure.

Redundancy and High Availability in XenMobile

  1. NetScaler – The gateway to the XenMobile environment, NetScaler is a networking workhorse that allows you several options for High Availability and Failover.  Installed into a redundant pair, NetScalers can run in Active/Passive mode and will seamlessly failover if one node goes down.  In a more complex environment or multiple locations, you may want to consider Global Server Load Balancing in which traffic can be directed to the nearest Netscaler based on geography, client type, etc.  This allows for the complex placement that comes with a Disaster Recovery site as well.
  2. Device Manager – The enrollment and policy server, up to 3 Device Managers can be clustered together to form a highly available deployment.  This configuration includes a load balancer to distribute load between servers and a TomCat cluster to replicate session information between nodes.
  3. App Controller  – The Web/SAAS Application and SAML manager, the App Controller is a virtual appliance that runs on a Hypervisor.  The App Controllers can and should be run as a highly available pair.  They are configured as an active/passive pair with a virtual that sits on the active node.
  4. Storefront – For XenMobile, the StoreFront provides the connection to the XenApp/XenDesktop farms. If you have Web Interface currently, you are probably already running at least 2 servers with a load balancer distributing connections between the servers.  The same is true of StoreFront with an additional feature that allows the 2 StoreFront servers to  synchronize changes between them, providing more consistency and ease of administration.
  5. SQL Server Database – The SQL database is critical to the XenMobile Device Manager, and it is recommended that it is run in a clustered or mirrored configuration.

High availability and redundancy are critical to the success of any solution, and particularly to an EMM solution that clients will depend on to access their company data and email from their mobile devices.  Citrix XenMobile Enterprise is a complex suite with many components that integrate together to form a very powerful EMM solution.  Every component of the suite offers a highly available configuration that allows for solid redundancy and stability.


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