Your network is hurting your application experience


A few times a year I get addicted to Xbox. Once the kids go to sleep, I can easily spend hours playing Mass Effect, Fallout or Assassin’s Creed. The games are wonderful and immersive, which is why I spent over 100 hours playing Fallout 3 and another 100+ hours in Fallout New Vegas.  Unfortunately, I’ve experienced some annoying things with these games.  I’ll be in one of the final battles of Mass Effect 3 against the Reapers when the game starts stuttering.  Do you know how hard it is to aim when the system stutters? Game stuttering, system stuttering or … Continue reading Your network is hurting your application experience

Your network is hurting your video viewing experience


I just binged watched the first season of “The Expanse”. Awesome! (BTW, the books are even better.) I would say 90% of my TV viewing is done with streaming media either from Netflix, Amazon or my home library. Nothing is better at ruining a good viewing session than the spinning circle of oblivion as the video stream is being loaded. Unfortunately, I had the unfortunate experience of watching that spinning circle of frustration multiple times per episode. Running an Internet speed test revealed I had plenty of bandwidth but, for some reason, my latency was through the roof (400+ms). My … Continue reading Your network is hurting your video viewing experience

True or False: Citrix Provisioning Services requires PXE


Test your Citrix knowledge… True or False: Citrix Provisioning Services requires PXE Answer: False When using Provisioning Services, which is an optional component of XenDesktop, the target device utilizes a bootstrap file, which initializes the Provisioning Services stream. The target device must be able to obtain that bootstrap file, or else the stream will never begin. Unfortunately, I still hear people saying that the only way to accomplish this is with PXE, which is incorrect. Provisioning Services has a few different options for delivering the bootstrap file (these have been the most common approaches for many years): The DHCP Method: … Continue reading True or False: Citrix Provisioning Services requires PXE

RAM Smorgasbord


When I talk about virtual desktop specifications, we often break down our users into a few different categories (Light, Normal, Power, and Heavy). These categories correspond to the resources we allocate to the virtual desktop (assuming we are talking about the hosted VM-Based desktop model). This should be no surprise. This discussion directly relates to the resource allocation to the virtual desktops. We want to make sure we provide what the users require. No more and no less. Of course I always get the question about memory ballooning, memory overcommit, dynamic memory, etc. I briefly touched upon this in a … Continue reading RAM Smorgasbord

Fun TechTalk on XenDesktop Enterprise Design


One of the best things about my position is I get to talk to a lot of smart people, do some pretty cool things (like playing around with the iPad), and constantly learn. For example, any idea why you would modify the “Maximum Transition Rate”? Do you even have an idea what it is? I learn about all of these things every day that helps in the overall XenDesktop architecture. I’ve come to realize that building a XenDesktop environment isn’t really that hard, but if you want to do it right so that it scales and is optimized, then you … Continue reading Fun TechTalk on XenDesktop Enterprise Design

Optimize Windows 7 Visual Effects for 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”

Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image


Building a virtual desktop is simply a matter of installing the Windows operating system. Right?  Slow down… although this will work, it won’t give you the best performance and scalability.  One of the items that many people mistakenly forget to accomplish is to optimize the base operating system.  This is the 7th mistake out of the top 10 mistakes made with virtual desktops: Continue reading “Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image”