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Measure latency of Citrix traffic

Posted on 2002-04-07
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Not sure where to post this.  Citrix Metaframe XPa on WIN2K server.  We have occasional slowdowns during Citrix sessions across a WAN.  The users complain that sometimes the screen refreshes fall way behind(a full line of text) their typing.

We are measuring bandwidth utilization and network latency and are not seeing any statistics that show us why the users experience these slowdowns.  In addition, the servers themselves don't seem to be low on memory or experiencing particularly high utilization at the time of the slowdown.

What I'm looking for is some kind of measurement tool that would at least show us statistically when these slowdowns occur so that we can get a closer look at the problem.  If there was a tool that sent traffic over port 1494 and would be able to tell us real time when the slow downs are occuring, we would at least be able to know exactly when the problem is occuring.  As it stands now, we're relying on the users to tell us when their experiencing the problem and it makes it difficult to isolate the problem.

Any thoughts on how better to isolate the problem?  We're monitoring network latency(ping tool), server utilization, memory usage and memory pages.
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Question by:jcneall
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by:AvonWyss
ID: 6923905
How are the users connected to the server? Note that the slowdown may very well e on the side of the users. For instance, if they have a local application which transfers data over the same link (for instance, an email client), they may experience a slowdown while their connection is "jammed up" with non-citrix traffic.
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by:jcneall
ID: 6925091
Yes and we've had varying degrees of success enabling/disabling/adjusting bitmap caching.  However, in this case, multiple users are affected.  The problem is we have a server farm and multiple WAN connected locations and when a slowdown occurs for 15 minutes, we typically don't catch it in time to really isolate the problem.
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by:AvonWyss
ID: 6925103
From what you say, I don't suppose that it is a limitating factor on your end. Could it be that one of the WAN links is slow during this time?
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by:geoffryn
ID: 6925602
Are the local clients caching/queuing keystrokes?
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by:jcneall
ID: 6925989
AvonWyss - Yes.  But we have bandwidth monitors running that say we're not maxed and ping utilities indicating that latency is not high.

As for queuing keyboard and mouse, no, but this is true whether there are problems or not.

I guess what I'm looking for is a tool that can emulate and monitor this performance so I can "catch" the problem and have a better chance of identifying it.
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by:AvonWyss
ID: 6926078
How many users are concurrently connected?
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by:hstiles
ID: 6927874
Do you have Citrix Management Services installed on the servers in your server farm?

Have you tried setting up performance monitor counters for CPU activity on the servers in your farm to see if they are spiking at specific times of the day.  If these could be tallied to occasions where users report poor response from applications - you might find that you have a misbehaving app.
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by:jcneall
ID: 6931252
hstiles, do you mean Resource Management Services?  If so, no, we don't have it.  If not, I don't know.
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by:hstiles
ID: 6931277
Sorry, my typo - I meant Resource Management.

In that case, try setting up performance monitor alerts for CPU activity above 60% and a CPU/server work queue of greater than 5.  This will alert you to instances of a single process hogging one or more CPUs or creating bottlenecks.

Just to get an idea of numbers, how many users roughly, how many servers in the farm and what is the average server spec.  Any 16-bit apps?
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jcneall earned 0 total points
ID: 6940015
We found the problem.  It was apparently related to the size of our router high priority queues.  By bumping up the amount of memory allocated to high priority traffic(Citrix traffic), the latency problem disappeared.
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by:jcneall
ID: 6940022
If its possible to give partial credit, it should go to hstiles for coming closest to actually answering the question I asked - which was a tool to better monitor Citrix performance....
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