User Internet connections cause inconsistent Citrix results

Posted on 2006-04-10
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Some of the users I work with are complaining about their Citrix connections breaking down and causing them frequent disconnects. We have checked the system thoroughly and have found no issues. We also only have a couple of users out of the large number who use it that complain about losing their connections. Everything we can see points to the user having problems with their home internet connections which make the Citrix connections inconsistent and unstable. In most cases they have home wireless networks setup. The problem is convincing them and our administrators that it is indeed a problem with their connection, not out system. What can be done to show them when a citrix connection breaks due to a disconnect on their side or other issues with their connection? Is their something I can do with the native setup? Is there an additional software I can buy? I'm willing to consider any and all options as a couple of these users are "higher ups" and are making a lot of noise about their issues. Overall the system has been incredibly stable, but the noise of a few is overwhelming the silence of the many.

We are using a 3 server load balanced Citrix farm housed on an HP Blade box. We are running Presentation Server 4.0 with all the trimmings... Our connection to the outside world is done via a Fatpipe with 3 independent T1 lines. We are using Windows 2003 on our servers, and most of our users are using Windows XP on their home PC's and some kind of high speed wireless connection.

Any recommendations and/or assistance would be appreciated. I have marked this question as extremely difficult based on the urgency of the issue with my firm, and the fact that our research has uncovered very little that we haven't already done.
Question by:MSKUSER
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    You are probably absolutely right by saying that it is being caused by their own home networks/internet connections.  One way to know for sure is that if your connection is bad at the citrix side then EVERYONE will have problems.  Usually if there is a drop in your internet connection then everyone will get disconnected from citrix all at the same time.  From what you are saying this is not the case so it points to individual home networks.

    A couple things you can do to try to 'help' the problem.  The main problem though you probably can't fix unless you upgrade all their home networks.

    1. Change the ICA Keep-Alive setting to a longer duration (maybe 60 or 90 seconds).  This will help prevent disconnects by allowing a disconnected session some time to reconnect before the user sees their session drop.  They obviously won't be able to communicate with the server but it won't drop their connection.

    2. Enable Session Reliability (this goes in hand with #1).

    3. Make sure the ICA client software is up-to-date on their computers.

    4. Change their connection settings to a lower resolution.  Their picture won't be as pretty but will help speed up the connection by making the packets smaller.

    5. Lastly if possible I would investigate what equipment they have at their homes.  Since these people are "higher-ups" the company may be willing to pay for better equipment.  Especially with wireless routers/access points.  I've used some in the past that were just terrible (US Robotics to be specific).  Once I changed over to a simple Linksys wireless router everything was fine.  And both were low-end routers - about 70-80 dollars.

    Author Comment

    Since mgcIT was the only one who said anything, I'll accept his answer... I appreciate the assistance... Most of what you mentioned was done, and I've made other changes, but basically there seems like little that can be done in terms of CYA when it comes to this stuff.

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