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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