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Why is XenApp 6.5 Published Desktop so slow?

Posted on 2013-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-07-02
I have spent the last few months designing and implementing a new XenApp 6.5 farm. This is to replace our current XenApp 5 Farm. Currently I am just not happy with the performance of the new farm and I am delaying deployment.

The farm consists of CSG, CWI, License Server, 2 Data Collectors, SQL 2008 R2 Database Host Server, 8 Published Desktop Hosts (with generic apps installed), 4 application host servers (hosts the role specific applications).

All Hosts are Server 2008 R2 and running on ESXi 5.1 hosts. Hosts, VM's and SAN all have 10GB NICs.

A user will launch their published desktop. Once they login, any role specific apps are also streamed to the session via the receiver installed on the server.

Each XenApp host server has been designed according to the XenApp 6.5, Server 2008 R2 best practices guide.

I am unsure what type of user experience to expect. I can quite easily see 100 clips on youtube of people watching smooth video clips online via their published desktop. However on our sessions stream an online video, they are rather clunky and unwatchable.
Also the general Desktop navigation is smoothish without being great most of the time, but also has its periods where it becomes unusable. Any Flash related content is also pretty bad.

I have installed the HDX monitor and I receive perfect 10/10 scores for my session. However the monitor obviously doesn't see what I do.

I have tried launching the sessions outside of office hours when network traffic is at its lowest. I have tried reducing all graphics options to their lowest, still not that great.

The clients I am using are running latest versions of flash and receiver. Servers are all up to date with Rollup packs, hotfixes etc.

I am stuck for what else to look at. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Howzatt
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8 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39246893
Just to add, the latency and available bandwidth test are also good (provided by HDX monitor). The latency averages at around 6-10ms from a branch office. And always minimum 500Kbps average available bandwidth.
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Expert Comment

by:basraj
ID: 39249338
Can you test the same on a physical server instead of ESX and let us know the result?
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39249392
You want me to build a physical xenapp host from scratch? I'll get back to you in 2 days!

Any other suggestions?
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Accepted Solution

by:
ukznmcl earned 500 total points
ID: 39250943
Make sure HDX Flash redirection is working properly.

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp65-admin/hd-flash-wrapper-ad.html

When HDX Flash Redirection is working properly the YouTube videos are processed on the client, not the server. That is why you see videos of it working smoothly.
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39252293
Thanks for that. The setting suggested in the link was already in place.
How do I tell if the processing is happening on the Client side or Server side?
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39252375
Looks like it was rendering on the server after all.
Changed it and instantly a million times better when running a flash video. It's now crystal clear. So many thanks for the help with that.

Everything else (General Desktop Navigation, opening/moving windows etc) is still a bit clunky for my liking though. I am sure this can still be optimized further. However Unsure of what else to check.  Anymore Ideas?
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39255572
Not sure what happened, but the video quality today has reverted back to its old clunky ways. The only thing that has happened since it was working great is that the Server restarted during the night (via a scheduled nightly reboot). It is playing as if it is rendering on the server now.

I have checked all of the settings and they all appear correct. There are no HDX alerts in the event viewer.
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Assisted Solution

by:ukznmcl
ukznmcl earned 500 total points
ID: 39255726
Have you installed the HDX Hotfix? http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX134426

Also check URL Blacklist to make sure that the websites aren't in there.
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