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RemoteApp and MDI child windows / Performance

We're using Win Server 2008 Ent R2 and are deploying a 3rd party application via RemoteApp.  Things are generally going well, but we have 2 problems.

The application is an MDI application (trading system) that allows child windows to be broken out from the main frame.  For a trading system, the users have 4 monitors and detach windows and spread them across the monitors.  At times, the updates to the GUI can be frequent as prices blink with market movement.  The vendor tells us it was developed using standard .Net 3.5 libraries to enable the MDI interface and separating child windows.

Neither of these issues happen when the application is run locally on an XP or Win 7 desktop nor do they happen when run directly on the Remote Desktop of the server (traditional terminal server use).  It only happens with RemoteApp.

Problem 1:
When a child window is separated from the main frame, it can only be dragged an inch or two before it stops moving.  I click on the title bar, start to move it, and the window stops moving but the mouse continues.  I can right click on the child title bar and select "move" and it moves freely.  Oddly, moving the same child when it is docked to the main frame, there are no issues; it moves freely.  Ideas???

Problem 2:
The application responsiveness slows way down and even appears to lock when the GUI trying to push a lot of updates.  Imagine a grid with 40 rows and 30 columns.  The system can cycle though 40 new rows of data every half second.  In effect, the grid is completely repainting.  When the grid is not moving at this speed, say not updating at all, the application responds as fast as if it were running locally.  We tested running the application in RemoteApp and on the server desktop at the same time during this heavy update and the app ran just fine on the server.

I've played with the .rdp file and have been playing with settings.  Here's what I have.  From use multimon on down are the settings I've been playing with but none seem to help with the first issue.

redirectclipboard:i:1
redirectposdevices:i:0
redirectprinters:i:1
redirectcomports:i:1
redirectsmartcards:i:0
devicestoredirect:s:
drivestoredirect:s:
session bpp:i:16
prompt for credentials on client:i:1
remoteapplicationmode:i:1
server port:i:3389
allow font smoothing:i:0
promptcredentialonce:i:1
authentication level:i:2
gatewayusagemethod:i:2
gatewayprofileusagemethod:i:0
gatewaycredentialssource:i:0
full address:s:server1.ou1.dc2.dc1.com
alternate shell:s:||CharlesRiverIMS
remoteapplicationprogram:s:||CharlesRiverIMS
gatewayhostname:s:
remoteapplicationname:s:Charles River IMS 9.1.4.3
remoteapplicationcmdline:s:

use multimon:i:1
span monitors:i:0
autoreconnection enabled:i:1
displayconnectionbar:i:1
disable full window drag:i:0
disable menu anims:i:0
bitmapcachepersistenable:i

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jimbob_sf
Asked:
jimbob_sf
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1 Solution
 
Felix LevenCommented:
All monitors same resolution? The limit for all 4096 x 2048, but not shure.

Tried ?:
span monitors:i:1
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
Yes, all identical monitors.  I tried the 4 combos of multi and span.  Multi is needed to allow the app windows to be move from window to window.  I forget what span did, but it didn't affect the problems i'm having.
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Felix LevenCommented:
The "Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2" now covers Terminal Server starting on page 72:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/F/9/8F9CB30B-1617-4CF8-8534-9C2AAA0117F4/Perf-tun-srv-R2.docx

I think your first Problem is a problem of the app, somtimes apps grab/save the screensize on the first start. Try to run the with a new userprofile (and maybe a new IN-App User) on the 4 monitor setup.

Did you run the app on a terminal server with no other loda on it ?

Performance is a common problem with excel like apps, i would read the performance guide and try different settings in the rdp client (try different versions xp/win7).
Try to disable the "persistent Bitmap caching" under "Experience" in RDP-Client, sometimes strange things (Black Screen after login, graphic glitches, black bars when scrolling in pdf) disapeared after disabling this setting.
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Cláudio RodriguesCommented:
Couple comments:
1. Did you update the server to SP1? Many RDP specific fixes came with it.
2. Try with both Windows 7 SP1 clients and XP SP3 with latest RDP 7.1 client. Any difference?
3. What happens if you create a new RemoteApp that instead of launching the app executable launches a BATCH file that then launches the app executable?
4. If you cannot do number 3, could you try setting on the RDP client itself on the client, the startup program to be launched and set it to the app executable? Then connect directly to the server IP. What happens in this case?

Cheers.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
For MrGraves / Claudio:

We ran a stress test and couldn't replicate the slowness, so we're now focusing on the window dragging problem.

1. Thank you for the pointer to that doc.  I passed to our engineers.  We found a lot of pages on the net, but this was great to add.
2. I've modified the .rdp file based on yours and Claudio's suggestions.  The settings are below.
3. We can run the app on the server's desktop with no issues no matter what the load.  The TS is in the same data center as the application and database servers.  We ran the RemoteApp from desktops in the same building (LAN) and other locations (WAN) with no difference.
4.  No, our server is not on SP1.  I've asked for it to be applied.  This isn't a small company, so going off the current corp standard build will take a few days if entertaining discussion to get through the red tape.
5.  Yes, we tried on XP SP3 with the RDP 7 patch, Win 7 x32 and Win 7x64 (non SP1) and they all have the same window dragging problem.
6.  I saw notes on running a batch file and tried that.  It didn't work.  We see the cmd window open on the local desktop and then the app launches as it does on normal RemoteApp.
7.  We're going to try your suggestion on #4 regardless.

New info:
You're going to LOVE this one.  We had Microsoft dial in for support.  They use Easy Assist (Live Meeting).  When there was an active sharing session, the window dragging issue went away.  Amazing as it may seem, but there is something relating to an active sharing session and the window dragging problem.  Just having Easy Assist installed doesn't do it, a sharing has to be active.  We tried MOC (MS Office Communicator) and Cisco's MeetingPlace sharing and neither worked.  Yes - it's looking like the program itself is a contributor, but we're looking to see if we can do as much as we can on our own.  We'll get farther on our own than getting the vendor to dedicate an engineer to contribute.

redirectclipboard:i:1
redirectposdevices:i:0
redirectprinters:i:1
redirectcomports:i:1
redirectsmartcards:i:0
devicestoredirect:s:
drivestoredirect:s:
session bpp:i:16
prompt for credentials on client:i:1
remoteapplicationmode:i:1
server port:i:3389
allow font smoothing:i:0
promptcredentialonce:i:1
authentication level:i:2
gatewayusagemethod:i:2
gatewayprofileusagemethod:i:0
gatewaycredentialssource:i:0
full address:s:server1.ou1.dc2.dc1.com
alternate shell:s:||CharlesRiverIMS
remoteapplicationprogram:s:|| Our RemoteApp name
gatewayhostname:s:
remoteapplicationname:s:Our Program's Executable Name
remoteapplicationcmdline:s:
use multimon:i:1
span monitors:i:0
autoreconnection enabled:i:1
displayconnectionbar:i:0
disable full window drag:i:0
disable menu anims:i:0
disable wallpaper:i:0
font smoothing:i:0
disable full window drag:i:0
disable menu anims:i:1
disable cursor setting:i:1
disable themes:i:1
bitmapcachepersistenable:i:0
connection type:i:4

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Cláudio RodriguesCommented:
If you connect directly to the TS desktop as the user and launches the app (over RDP of course) in full desktop mode, if it does work, the problem is the lack of the Explorer.exe shell. When you do RemoteApps a different shell is loaded and this one is not 100% compatible with Explorer.exe what is known to cause several issues with certain applications.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
Microsoft MVP - RDS
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
Claudio - yes, it works directly on the TS desktop.  Is there a way to force the Explorer.exe shell as you note?

We're now 2 levels deep into MS support and have a call set up with someone in Washington on Monday.
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Cláudio RodriguesCommented:
Try method 2 described here and report back:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951048

Claudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Citrix CTP
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
Claudio,

We've been working with MS for over a month on this one.  They've got enough logs to build a cafewbin and we're still at it.  They've been very cooperative in helping get to the bottom of the problem and have even tried a few hotfixes.  To answer your question, no, we didn't try what that KB suggests.

At the same time, we just downloaded XenApp 5 and 6 to give them a shot.  Cost is becoming less of an issue and just getting a frameless (like RemoteApp) server-based solution in place quickly is our need.

So, we're still downloading XenApp.  Will 5 or 6 give us what we are looking for?
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Cláudio RodriguesCommented:
For sure it will.
But my recommendation is if you are considering XenApp, make sure you also download and test Quest vWorkspace, ProPalms TSE 6.5 or 2X ApplicationServer. Any of these will give you that, at a fraction of the cost of XenApp. Unless there are unique features on XenApp that you need, the other products almost certainly will do the trick for you.

Claudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Citrix CTP
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Proprietary information is int eh paste.  there is no ability to edit, so i have to delete.
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jimbob_sfAuthor Commented:
Claudio was thorough and helped me determine that there was no real solution.  It is a limitation in Windows Server.
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