Citrix ShareFile StorageZones and NetApp offer a cost-effective and scalable file sharing solution with the following key benefits.
- Storage efficiency
- On-demand flexibility
- Nondisruptive operations
- Unified storage architecture
- Data protection
With the ShareFile object storage–based architecture, every update to the user’s files results in the creation of a new file on the back-end storage. Therefore, NetApp storage efficiency technologies help deduplicate the storage required for this highly duplicated data, thereby allowing storage cost savings. Additional savings are also obtained with the use of cross-file deduplication. Customers simultaneously achieve mobility and transparent data access with Citrix ShareFile.
NetApp storage can have up to 24 nodes can be nondisruptively added to a clustered Data ONTAP deployment. A single CIFS share can span multiple nodes. As a result, customers can scale out transparently without downtime.
NetApp nondisruptive operations (NDO) allow seamless storage operations without downtime. Storage upgrades and maintenance can easily be achieved without interrupting the user’s access to files.
File sharing is critical to business users; any downtime results in loss of productivity. More importantly, it can result in poor customer satisfaction. NDO in Data ONTAP provides the following benefits.
- Refresh hardware and software transparently without losing access to the customer’s data. When it is time for an update, administrators can simply move the CIFS volume to another node within the cluster nondisruptively to retire the old hardware from the cluster.
- Move data to a different node to redistribute the workload across a cluster. This task can be accomplished during normal business hours, allowing for a more dynamic platform, without waiting for the next maintenance window.
- Maintenance operations on specific hardware or software components can also be accomplished transparently. For example, adding a Flash Cache™ acceleration card or redistributing data across controllers can be done nondisruptively.
Unified Storage Architecture
The NetApp storage array can be shared between Citrix ShareFile, Citrix XenApp, and Citrix XenDesktop deployments. Several protocols can be leveraged on the same physical array. For example, numerous volumes are required when building a XenDesktop environment with Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS). It is possible to host the write-back cache files on an NFS volume where the desktop images (vDisk) will be set up on an iSCSI LUN or CIFS share. Additionally, the user profiles and ShareFile folders will remain on two separate CIFS shares.
NetApp Snapshot Based Backups
NetApp Snapshot™ technology provides great value when backing up the CIFS share object repository for ShareFile StorageZones since it does not require plenty of storage. By implementing Snapshot, administrators can benefit from a quick backup, flexible schedule, and custom retention policies. Remote replication of the backups can be achieved by leveraging NetApp SnapMirror® technology. Secondary backups can be achieved using NetApp SnapVault® technology.
NetApp OnCommand System Manager should be leveraged to configure backup and replication polices for the CIFS share.
After all these great points, NetApp has developed NetApp Recovery Manager for Citrix ShareFile (NRM-CS). NRM-CS is a Citrix Ready certified product which provides an administrator driven user file(s) recovery solution for Citrix ShareFile StorageZone’ s deployments using on-premise NetApp Storage. I will discuss ShareFile deployments and NRM-CS in my next two blogs.