Citrix released their latest XenDesktop single server scalability test results today; showing a dual socket Intel Xeon x5570 (Nehalem) server with 72GB RAM running 130 Windows XP VMs per host. This is a significant improvement on Citrix’s previously published results, and certainly enough to bring it back into line with results VMware previously published.
More important than the results though is the test methodology that Citrix has adopted this time around.
For the past year I have been trying to encourage desktop virtualization vendors to adopt a standard testing methodology for virtual desktop workloads and I am very happy to be able to say that it looks like Citrix has come into line with my way of thinking. Rather than relying on an in-house developed test, Citrix have adopted Login VSI 2.0 from Log•in Consultants as the core of their testing process. Login VSI is a specifically designed benchmark for server-based computing and desktop virtualization environments. You may know it better as part of Project Virtual Reality Check the joint project by Log•in Consultants and PQR. Project VRC is the only fully independent benchmark of desktop virtualization workloads running on diverse physical and virtual platforms. By establishing themselves as trustworthy independent subject matter experts, the Project VRC team has benefited not just their customers but a global audience of IT organizations who can take advantage of the research performed under the Project VRC banner. Even more importantly the breadth and quality of information presented through Project VRC is acting to improve the quality and credibility of all server hosted desktop virtualization vendor issued performance benchmarks.
Now that Citrix have seen the light, I hope that all server hosted desktop virtualization vendors will follow suit and adopt Login VSI as their testing benchmark. Anyone who doesn’t should not be surprised if their performance data is called into question.