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How Using a Virtual User can Quantify the Performance of SAP and Citrix

When interacting with enterprise applications, the user experience is important.

Users must be able to smoothly and efficiently interact with the application to be productive and achieve the goals of the enterprise. The applications are expected to be responsive, dependable, and consistent in their presentation.

Over the last few years, I’ve published many articles and held many presentations on sizing and scalability of virtual desktop environments and while I’m confident there are many more to follow, today I’d like to show you something new: A continuity and performance test of a business-critical application.

Earlier this year the SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) and Citrix asked if we could help them illustrate the continuous performance of running a GEO-dispersed, local and remote end-user connectivity to SAP S/4HANA; delivered by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) through Citrix Cloud. The hypothesis was that having a CVAD server as close as possible to the SAP backend would outperform remote connections coming in via a traditional VPN. However to validate this, a continuous load with virtual users was required.

Using Login PI, together with engineers from Citrix, we designed a user-workload that would resemble mission-critical actions for any SAP user (e.g. starting the application, authentication, and working through a financial ledger). Login PI allows you to quickly create these workloads using the drag-and-drop application x-ray. Below you will find an example video of the final workload.

 

 

Generating workload and being able to get an alert when performance degraded was only the start of this project. Login PI also allows you to track the performance of an application in detail; we call this deep application testing. During the tests, we collected some screenshots that clearly show that the performance of an environment can fluctuate over time, whilst the user performs the same actions.

Login VSI - Blog - SAP  Login VSI - Blog - SAP  Login VSI - Blog - SAP

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It quickly became clear that CVAD was outperforming traditional VPN, especially in the locations furthest away from the datacenter, as network latency can have a major impact on the execution time of user requests. We’ve also learned that network latency can sometimes be unpredictable, as the route it takes may vary.

Login VSI - Blog - SAP

 Click to enlarge

If you’d like to know more about the research I encourage you to download the full whitepaper. Alternatively if you’d like to know more about testing the performance of SAP S/4HANA ® with Login PI in your environment, please simply contact us.

Login VSI - Blog - SAP

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About the author

Mark Plettenberg (@markplettenberg) is a product manager of Login VSI and has played a critical role in the development and growth of Login VSI. Ask Mark about motorcycle mechanics and breaking/repairing anything and everything that has a power plug.


Tags: Login PI, Citrix, Application Virtualization, Virtual Desktop, User Experience, SAP

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