How does Workspace Environment Management Improve Windows Logon Time


I’ve been able to experience the results of implementing Workspace Environment Management into a Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop environment.  I was easily able to obtain at least a 50% reduction in logon duration.

I understand the why.

I want to now understand the how.

Let’s first examine the Windows logon process.

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Improving Logon Time with PVS Accelerator


The title is correct.  We can improve user logon time by implementing PVS accelerator in XenServer 7.1.

This actually makes perfect sense.

We already showed that PVS Accelerator drastically improves VM boot times because portions of the master vDisk image are cached locally.  Booting a VM equates to roughly 80% reads and 20% writes.  VMs using the same image are reading the same blocks of data. Due to this similarity, we are able to see huge network utilization reductions by using the PVS Accelerator cache. These reductions in the network utilization translates into faster boot times.

But what about logon time?

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Provisioning Services Accelerator


An interesting new feature was included with the XenServer 7.1 release: Provisioning Services Accelerator.

In a single sentence,

PVS Accelerator overcomes PVS server and network latency by utilizing local XenServer RAM/Disk resources to cache blocks of a PVS vDisk to fulfill local target VM requests.

Take a look at the demo video to see:

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How do I define failover servers for delivery groups


Although XenApp 6.5 worker groups do not exist in XenApp 7.x, we’ve seen how similar functionality is available.

Instead of comparing XenApp 6.5 with XenApp 7.x, let’s put some of these new technologies into practice by solving the following design requirement.

  • Define a set of XenApp hosts as failover servers for a group of XenApp hosts delivering the primary app? In addition, the failover servers have the following conditions:
    • The failover servers are a subset of servers hosting their own set of apps
    • The failover servers only host the primary app in the event the primary hosts are unavailable

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How do I increase Delivery Group (Worker Group) capacity


As described in the blog How do I migrate a XenApp worker group structure, we saw how the use of Delivery groups, application groups and tags allow us to replicate XenApp 6.5 worker group capabilities to XenApp 7.x. There are some operational differences between Worker Groups and Delivery Groups, namely, how do increase the capacity of the delivery/worker group.

One of the more interesting capabilities of XenApp 6.5 worker groups was in the ways an admin could increase worker group capacity.  By adding a server into a worker group, the capacity of the worker group increased.

Many organizations took this approach a step further by basing worker group membership on Active Directory group membership or Active Directory OU membership.  In the XenApp console, each worker group was assigned to a single Active Directory group or OU. Any server in the Active Directory group or OU would be a member of that worker group.

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