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Users experience slow Citrix performance

kam_uk asked

We have two Citrix servers - both are virtual Citrix servers on two different Vmware hosts. Both have an application, App1, published. Citrix servers are Windows 2003, running PS4. We are using Program Neighbourhood on the desktops, which are Windows XP.

Sometimes we are noticing that users, especially one, are experiencing extremely slow performance when using App1 over Citrix.

The problem is extremely intermittent unfortunately, and difficult to tie down to any specifics. I would, however, like to rule out Citrix as the cause of the problem. I have checked the performance of the server that the user is connected to when experiencing the issues, and it seems healthy.

Does anyone have any ideas on tests to run? So far, I have come up with the idea of getting the user to log onto the Citrix server via RDP and run the application, as if the slowness was still experienced, this would rule out Citrix?

Any ideas/ comments, most welcome. I am interested in any perfmon type tests, Citrix specific tests etc

Also, what is the best way to force the user to use on specific Citrix server?

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a quick question on the user configuration
is there user drive mapping or printer mapping to local
is sound turned on
and the classic is there an open gl screen saver on the server(unlikely but have to ask)



Connect client drives at logon, connect client printers at logon are both checked, and disable client drive mapping is unchecked, so yes i user drive mapping is on, if that's what you mean?
How would I check if sound it turned on?

Thanks for taking this up!



Just to note, the application seems to work fine when a user launches it directly on the server using RDP.

Are there known issues with client/printer drive mapping?
there can be issues with spool jobs over citrix depending on the connection as citrix was designed to run on low bandwidth connections there has been issues with printing locally and connecting to local drives, I am noy familiar with presentation server 4 this may well have been adressed.
What colour depth are you running the RDP session in?

RDP commonly runs at 256 colours and ICA runs more often in 32bit full colour. This can explain the difference in performance. To test - try running the application in 256 colour through ICA.

Also check the encryption level of the ICA traffic - shouldn't create much of a slow down but can be an overhead to take into account.

The main difference between RDP and ICA is that ICA has been optimised to run faster over lower bandwidth connections with Speedscreen type technologies. If you're mapping printers and client devices in both RDP and ICA then that's not likely to be your problem.

VMWare can quite often create performance problems for Citrix. Brian Madden has written a few articles on the matter - www.brianmadden.com. Can't lay my hands on any at the moment. Specifically he talks about paging being a major issue with VMWare and Citrix as the disk subsystems can rarely keep pace with with the paging required.

In the meantime if your create a baseline for the Citrix Server in perfmon whilst the user is not using the problem app. Then create another when they are hopefully you'll be able to see what resources the application is utilising and then be able to identify what's causing it. In the baseline i'd include CPU utilisation, number of sessions, memory usage and disk queues to start with. As per Brian Madden if you want you can look at the "process - private bytes" and "process - working set" plus pages in and pages out. Though to be honest unless you're looking at memory optimisation tools then this can be a bit confusing.

Hope that helps.


Removing local drive mapping seems to have fixed it!

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