Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 HDX Display performance improvements

This week Citrix released Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 For a complete overview of all that is new in version 7.8 check out the following great articles:
Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 and Citrix XenApp 7.8 by Citrix CTP Thomas Poppelgard
Installation and Configuration of Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop 7.8 AppDisks and AppDNA by Citrix CTP Dane Young
Citrix XenApp 7.8 and XenDesktop 7.8 released by Alexander Ervik Johnsen

In this article I’ll focus on the enhancements that have been made to the Citrix HDX Display protocol stack. The what’s new guide for Citrix XenDesktop 7.8 states the following enhancements:

  • Framehawk server scalability improvements. Over 40% average reduction in memory footprint. Up to 20% increase in CPU efficiency.
  • Reduced VDA memory footprint in Thinwire. The graphics encoder processing pipeline now eliminates the use of an intermediate frame buffer when running Thinwire without video codec compression.

These statements are screaming to be independently measured and that’s what this article is all about.

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Announcing Remote Display Analyzer

Remote Display Analyzer

Today Bram Wolfs and I are announcing the general availability of Remote Display Analyzer.

The Remote Display Analyzer project started about 9 months ago when we were working on a presentation called “Citrix HDX Display Codec Deepdive”. The goal for this presentation was to explain the available display codecs and show the impact of each of these codecs on both user experience and resource utilisation.

We quickly found that it wasn’t as easy to configure the HDX policies and just assume for the result to be as configured. We found that often times the resulting configuration was different then what we expected based on the configuration. This has to do with OS versions on the virtual desktop and endpoint as well as the endpoint capabilities.

Analysing the resulting configuration and resource utilisation was both time consuming and complex because this requires several consoles like HDX Monitor, Director, Microsoft Task Manager et cetera. Especially HDX Monitor is very confusing when it comes to viewing the active Display encoder.

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CPU scheduling and memory optimizations solutions compared Part 1 of 2 CPU

Updated: September 22nd 2015

Although it has been a while since I’ve written this article there’s still  a lot of interest in the subject. Pretty much nothing has changed since I released it so it’s was also still valid,  until yesterday. Community hero Andrew Morgan released a long awaited update for ThreadLocker. I’ve updated the Threadlocker part of this article and the conclusion.

If you are reading this you might also be interested in part 2 of the CPU scheduling and memory optimization solutions series.

For a while now customers and colleagues are asking me which tool to use when it comes to CPU scheduling and memory optimizations. We use several management products and end up with more than one product utilizing these tasks. Choice is good but do we just enable them all and if not what’s the best way to configure this?

When you look a little bit deeper then plain and simple marketing you’ll notice that the way the different products handle CPU scheduling is totally different and combining some of them will degrade system performance or simply don’t work for example Citrix CPU management does not start when Microsoft DFSS is enabled.

Before we start I’d like to thank Andrew Morgan for allowing me to re-use some information from his ThreadLocker topic.

To start off I will first try to explain how each product works and will then summarize and see if we can work through them and work to a proper advice.

Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Dynamic Fair Share Scheduling (DFSS)

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Citrix HDX 3D Pro and Nvidia Grid Browser experience

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working closely with Rachel Berry (Citrix) and Jason Southern (Nvidia) on some unexpected web browser behavior with web browsers on Nvidia grid enhanced VDI and RDS virtual machines running Citrix HDX 3D Pro. This work has resulted in a new support article from Citrix CTX202065.

In this article I’ll go a bit more in depth to explain our findings and hopefully help you to get better performance from web browsers but also give you some technical detail for situations where other applications may not perform as well as one would expect.

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Citrix Technology Professional Award!

Citrix Technology Professional logoCitrix Technology Professional Award!

I’am extremely honored and proud to have received this award and to be part of a group of some of the worlds smartest people in the End User Compute and Virtualization industry. This is the result of years of hard work and community contributions.

For me receiving this award wouldn’t be possible without my employer SLTN Inter Access who facilitates me in doing what I do and my friends of the Dutch Citrix User Group community. Continue reading