Tag Archives: optimization

Optimize VDI: Windows 10 User Interface and Runtime (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)


This is a multi-part blog series focused on optimizing Windows 10 VDI

As we saw in previous blogs, Microsoft added new default apps, services and scheduled tasks into the base operating system of the Windows 10 Build 1703 (Creator Update). These updates will have an impact on the user experience, especially in a VDI implementation.

Continue reading Optimize VDI: Windows 10 User Interface and Runtime (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)

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Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Scheduled Tasks (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)


This is a multi-part blog series focused on optimizing Windows 10 VDI

As we saw in previous blogs, Microsoft added new default apps and services into the base operating system of the Windows 10 Build 1703 (Creator Update). These updates will have an impact on the user experience, especially in a VDI implementation.

Scheduled Tasks

Many of the new capabilities within the latest builds of Windows 10 also implements new scheduled tasks. Although the tasks do not run continuously, they will impact density when executing and many are irrelevant in a non-persistent VDI environment.

  • Build 1507: 130 Tasks
  • Build 1607: 166 Tasks
  • Build 1703: 165 Tasks

History has shown that optimizing Windows scheduled tasks can improve logon time and server density. It is recommended to review the list of scheduled tasks and disable those that are not necessary for the users.

To see a list of Windows services, run the following PowerShell command:
Get-ScheduledTasks

Color Code:

  • Green: Customer experience program tasks
  • Orange: Maintenance tasks
  • Blue: Tasks for applications
  • Purple: General system tasks
  • Red: Safety and security tasks

Continue reading Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Scheduled Tasks (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)

Achieving fast logon times


Wow! That’s fast.  That is the reaction users should have when they log onto their virtual desktop.

I’ve heard many talk about how slow or fast their logons are, but many times we tend to exaggerate.  I’ve discussed this topic before in two recent blogs:

So I thought it might be interesting to see the difference Workspace Environment Management has on the logon experience with VDI.

Note: Both of these examples mapped 5 drives, mapped 3 printers, used a 500MB roaming profile and executed a single logon script that queried a single AD Group.

Improving logon time is a fun topic because the experience is oftentimes so bad.  I heard (and I’ve complained) about the horrible experience.  On the opposite side, I’ve also heard many others bragging about how fast their logon times are.  What’s your logon time?  Excited to share or afraid to say?

Daniel (Follow on Twitter @djfeller)
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 VDI Handbook
XenApp Best Practices
XenApp Video

Windows Server 2016 Optimizations for Citrix XenApp


When it comes to operating system optimization, I have two sides battling with each other. Although optimizing does improve single server scalability, I believe the more you mess with the OS the greater your chances are that you will break something.

Default Apps

Unlike Windows 10, which had numerous default apps that increased user logon time, Windows Server 2016 is free from such additions.

Services

Many of the services we disabled in Windows 10 are already configured as manual startup in Windows 2016.  Looking deeper, it would appear that many of these services are either started based on a request by an application or based on a scheduled task.If a manual startup service is disabled, then any application or system component that tries to interact with the service will fail.  This will result in application/system issues, support calls and long troubleshooting times.Based on that , the only service that you think about disabling is:

Continue reading Windows Server 2016 Optimizations for Citrix XenApp

Windows 10 Optimization: The untold story


For a few weeks, people in my house kept bugging me to fix our Internet problem. From time-to-time, devices were not able to connect. No eMail. No NetFlix. No Minecraft (this last one was devastating).

I tracked the issue down to my wireless router. The 4-5 year old device was extremely hot. There were 50+ devices connected to it!

After purchasing a new one, all of the connectivity issues went away. As I started looking at the features of the new router, I saw that there is a traffic monitor built-in. So, I turned it on.

The thing I find interesting with this graph at 3 AM.


There is a spike in the middle of the night. I tracked this over a few days and the spike consistently shows up. After doing some digging, it turns out that these spikes are my Windows 10 PCs and my Windows 7 Media Center PC doing their nightly updates.

This brings about an interesting point with regards to Windows 10 optimization. Although we said in Windows 10 Optimization Results blog that the optimizations gave us about a 20% boost in server density, what we have to remember is that many of the optimizations we implemented won’t be accounted for in the test time period.

Take the scheduled task “Customer Experience Improvement Program \ Consolidator” as an example. It runs every 6 hours starting at midnight. In order for this optimization to be reflected in our test results, the test must be run at one of the respective intervals. If my test only runs for 1 hour, there is a good probability I will not have a test running when this task is executing.

Many of the other scheduled tasks run at startup. Most performance tests I’ve seen only focus on the steady state, which means most of the startup scheduled tasks are also missed as part of the test.

So does this mean our 20% benefit for running the optimizations are false? Of course not, but it does indicate that over the course of a workday or workweek, the benefit might be larger than 20%.

But in the end, nothing will ever be better than a real-world comparison.

Daniel ()
XenApp & XenDesktop Best Practices
XenApp & XenDesktop Videos

Windows 10 Optimization: Part 8 – The Results


Statistics are fun. It is amazing what interesting insights you can get from statistics. For example

  1. About 20% of workers would work harder if their employer offered a $1,000 shopping spree at the store of their choice – You hear that Citrix!
  2. About 20% of the people who watch the Super Bowl do so for football, the rest watch commercials
  3. About 20% of copy machine issues worldwide are caused by people sitting on them – That is awesome
  4. Over the past year, my blogs are 20% funnier

And my absolute favorite statistic is from Homer Simpson (who else):

  1. People can come up with statistics to prove anything Kent, forty percent of all people know that.

As you’ve seen, we’ve been creating a Windows 10 optimization guide. The Windows 10 optimization guide was focused on identifying, for VDI, as many of the extra components that would negatively impact server density, while focusing on balancing the user experience, as stated in the XenApp Best Practice: For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately.

Over the course of several blogs, we looked at optimizing the following items:

  1. Default apps
  2. Services
  3. Scheduled tasks
  4. User Interface
  5. Runtime
  6. Release
  7. ICA

Now the big question is

“What impact did these modifications have?”

First, it gave me something to blog about (This is a big deal. After 5+ years of blogging, I’m running out of ideas).

But most of you probably care about the second part… What was the impact on server density? And for this, my minions, I mean the Citrix Solutions Lab, took over. (We joke that the Citrix Solutions Lab should rename themselves to Feller’s Lab because it seems like they do a lot of testing for me – pity them).

For the series of tests, we had two different policies, one would simply turn on the Citrix “High Server Scalability” policy setting. This corresponded to Part 7 of the Windows 10 optimization blog.

The second policy we applied were all of the Windows 10 optimizations we discussed in Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Windows 10 optimization blog series.

Turning the Citrix Scalability policy on, gave us a 10% bump in user density.

Turning on the custom OS optimization policy gave us almost another 10% bump in density.

Turning both of these options on equaled roughly 20% more users on our physical host.

Definitely, not a bad start

Daniel ()
XenApp Best Practices
XenApp Videos