I have seen a lot of scalability reports lately around desktop virtualization. This is good in that we can start to see how the different things we do can provide better capacity. However, one thing that does trouble me is when I see tests only allocating 512 or 768MB of RAM to a Windows 7 VM. Sure it works. And yes it does successfully complete the scalability test, but remember what the scalability test is testing. It is not telling you how many users YOU will get. It is telling you how well the infrastructure can scale and what bottlenecks … Continue reading VDI Resource Allocation
If you have been following my ongoing commentary regarding Windows 7 optimizations for virtual desktops, you have probably been wondering when all of this information will be put into a document. Well, it has finally happened. Based on many of the items Citrix Consulting has identified, we have our initial Windows 7 optimization guide for virtual desktops using the hosted VM-based VDI model. You noticed that I specified which FlexCast model this is for because if you end up doing local streamed or local VM you might wish to modify certain settings for those use cases. What you will also … Continue reading Windows 7 Optimization Guide for XenDesktop
I’m reading more and more Windows 7 optimization guides for virtual desktops and I’m starting to believe that many people are focusing too much on scalability and too little on the user experience. I’ve spoken about people taking optimizations too far before, but this time I want to talk about one item… the Recycle Bin? I don’t know about you, but I love the Recycle Bin. Just in case I accidently delete something, I know that I can get it back. But because many different virtual desktop implementations delete modifications upon reboot (Provisioning services included), the general recommendation is to … Continue reading Optimize Your Virtual Desktop Recycle Bin
I’ve been spending time developing the Citrix recommendations for Windows 7 optimization and came to an interesting conclusion: many of these settings sounds good, but they don’t really have much impact. I’ve now read two different studies on this: Ron Oglesby’s assessment Project VRC’s Deep Dive What have I learned? You will get minimal performance gains IF you optimize while still providing enough usability for users. Also, if you optimize too much you end up destroying the user experience. I posted a comment on the Project VRC’s recommendations to disable Windows Search. It is true that Search does take some … Continue reading Feller’s Law on Virtual Desktop Optimizations
I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on the lessons learned with Windows 7 migration. There are plenty of articles about optimizing the Windows 7 image (I’ve even authored a few of them in my Windows 7 Optimization section). However, I am left to wonder if some of these recommendations go too far. Most users want to personalize their desktop. They want to configure their own backgrounds. They want to configure their themes. They want desktop sounds to alert them of email messages. So why are we recommending that we disable all of these features? To save resources. Yes. … Continue reading Taking Virtual Desktop Optimization Too Far
If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around, does it make a sound? If a screen saver is running and no one is watching, does it matter? You can debate me on the first question, but the second one is a definite YES.
You remember long ago when fancy screen savers were all the rage? You remember the flying toasters right (if not either I’m too old or you are too young)? What about the fish swimming leisurely across your big (14 inch) CRT monitor? We don’t put as much thought into screen savers as we used to, but they are still there. Most of us simply use the default ones within Windows 7, that is, if we have one at all. But what does the screen saver have to do with virtual desktops? Actually, screen savers have a lot to do with desktop virtualization, especially in the hosted VM-based VDI model (at least if you are trying to optimize your environment). Continue reading “Screen savers and virtual desktops”
Some of you might be aware, others might not. Did you know that the mouse icon in Windows 7 (and earlier versions) has a shadow? I bet a bunch of you are looking for it now. It is hard to see, but it is there. Something that most people wouldn’t recognize as being on or off can have an impact on how much bandwidth is required for a virtual desktop.
Citrix XenDesktop and HDX are smart enough to not send the screen updates for the mouse image to the endpoint, instead they just send coordinates. Saves a lot of time if you think about how many pixels the mouse takes. But if you enable the mouse shadow (which is enabled by default), we are talking a different story. The shadow pixel changes must be sent across the wire because it isn’t just a shadow, it is a blending with the image on the screen. If you truly are interested in optimizing your Windows 7 desktop virtualization images, then disable the mouse shadow.
It’s pretty easy to do Continue reading “Optimize Windows 7 Visual Effects for Virtual Desktops”