Office 2013 issues in RD server environment
Posted on 2013-11-20
Hey all -
I'm working with a fairly large client (70+ users) that keeps having strange issues with Office 2013 running on 2 RD servers (Server 2008r2 on both). Many of the users in the office are on Thinclients, and they login via an RD session broker - they can end up on either server, and they report the same issues on either one: Freezing and applications "not responding", random periods of slowdown, delayed input from keyboard/mouse, and occasional program crashes.
Here's what we know so far:
- Any application in the Office suite can exhibit this behavior at anytime throughout the day. Whether it's 5:00am with only a handful of people logged in, or 1:00pm where nearly EVERYONE is logged in, the same issues occur.
- If one user is experiencing the issues, it does not necessarily mean that other users are having problems at the same time. This is also true for the applications themselves - problems with Word 2013 in one session don't manifest in other sessions.
- Applications can occasionally sit in a "non-responsive" state for up to 10 minutes, then suddenly snap back to life. From what we've seen, there is no indication that these apps are about to lock up.
- Issue(s) seem to be related solely to User Experience - TS servers are not being taxed in-terms of resources (CPU / mem usage all within acceptable range).
- When we had Office 2007 installed on the same RD servers, none of these problems existed. Everything started acting up post-upgrade to Office 2013.
We did some digging and found a number of success stories from users who experienced a significant performance boost after disabling Hardware Graphics Acceleration (HGA). There's a registry entry for this, so I created a GPO to disable it for all users in the RD sec. group. Initially, my P.O.C. said that things seemed to have improved, although today he started experiencing the same problems. After asking a few of the other Thinclient users, they reported that nothing changed after the HGA policy went into effect. Guess it wasn't the 'silver bullet' we were hoping for.
So we're back to the drawing board and are looking into other possible solutions.
Has anyone else run into this? We're really starting to think that this is some kink related to Office 2013 in an RD environment, but we haven't found any info that definitively confirms this. Thanks in advance for any info / assistance!