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Problems with Citrix and GMail

Posted on 2006-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Gmail has recently been blocked on our system.

The company that we outsource our IT to claim that people using GMail are causing very high CPU loads on the Citrix servers. They have gone as far as saying that one single user using Gmail can eat up 80%-90% of the CPU cycles.

I'm not sure whether to believe this or not, as I have no experience of either Citrix or GMail.
Does this sound plausable, or is this just an excuse given by a company that does not know what it is doing?

Cheers
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Question by:mr880
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jss1199 earned 336 total points
ID: 16417497
Hi mr880,

I would ask for clarification.  Using Gmail via Webmail causes this type of CPU usage?  Using GoogleTalk or Gmail notifier?  I can understand the latter two applications, possibly, but if they are alleging that using gmail within IE in a Citrix session consumes this amount of CPU, I would be hesitant and looking for new Citrix consultants...

Cheers!
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by:mgcIT
mgcIT earned 332 total points
ID: 16420060
I agree with what has been said.  Gmail is nothing more than a web-based email client similar to hotmail or yahoo mail.  There is very little processing done on the client end (in this case your citrix server).  There could be spikes in the cpu if people are downloading large attachments or something like that but gmail itself would not be causing this problem IMO.

I've tested on our servers here (granted I have different hardware, versions of citirx, etc...) and see no problems with CPU spikes.
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by:skaminski
skaminski earned 332 total points
ID: 16483110
I also agree with the comments.  I've had zero problems with Gmail.  We don't allow any of the notifiers but even those I can't imagine would cause any problems.  The funny thing is that when a user is accessing Gmail, the process is actually under IEXPLORE.exe or Firefox.exe.  Unless they are shadowing users that they see spiking the server, it would be difficult to determine what they were doing during these spikes.

If you need to utilize Gmail, I would request they provide you with information to show the high process utilization and how they tied that to Gmail.  You are their customer and they should provide you with proof.

Now, from a security standpoint any webmail is more of a security issue than a resource issue.  Webmail (yahoo, msn, gmail) typically allow the users to open attachments and other things that may comprimise the users system and may not be picked up by client side Antivirus programs.  Companies typically have AV on their corporate mail servers that delete the virus prior to you receiving it in your inbox.
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