Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Services


This is a multi-part blog series focused on optimizing Windows 10 VDI Part 1: Optimizing default apps Part 2: Optimizing Windows services Part 3: Optimizing scheduled tasks As we saw in a previous blog, Microsoft added new default apps into the base operating system with each major release of Windows 10. These updates will have an impact on the user experience, especially in a VDI implementation. Windows Services Many of the new capabilities with the latest builds of Windows 10 also implements new Windows services. With each release, the number of services has steadily increased. Build 1507: 196 Services Build … Continue reading Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Services

Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Default Apps


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

Roughly every 6 months, Microsoft releases a new major update to Windows 10. Microsoft continues to add new capabilities into the base operating system that will have an impact on the user experience in a VDI implementation.

Default Apps

Microsoft expanded the list of default applications that come pre-installed within the base OS.

With each release, the number of default apps increased.

  • Build 1507: 24 Apps
  • Build 1607: 26 Apps
  • Build 1703: 31 Apps
  • Build 1709: 33 Apps
  • Build 1803: 35 Apps
  • Build 1809: 29 Apps

As shown in previous tests, leaving these apps part of the base operating system directly impact user logon time and overall system density. It is generally recommended to review the list of apps and uninstall those that are not necessary for the users.

To see a list of default Windows apps, run the following PowerShell command:
Get-ProvisionedAppXPackage -Online|Select DisplayName

Color Code:

  • Green: Remove
  • Orange: Consider removing
  • Red: Keep
  • Black: App does not exist on build

Continue reading “Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Default Apps”

XenServer PVS Accelerator Sizing – Part 2


As you might have read, I recently ran a few XenServer PVS Accelerator tests to determine a starting point for the cache size.  This initial investigation looked at Windows 10 and Windows 2012R2 for boot and logon operations.

Looking back, I determined that I want to include three additional items

  1. Impact of a larger cache size – Increase from 2GB to 4GB RAM cache
  2. Impact of applications
  3. Impact of Windows 2016

Before I get into the results, let me explain the graphs.

  • The blue, green and orange line denotes boot, logon and steady state operations. The first time those colors appear depicts the first VM; the second time the colors appear depicts the second VM. These colors are linked to the axis on the right showing percent of cache used.
  • The solid red area graph depicts the amount of network traffic sent from the Provisioning Services server to the host.  The line should initially be large and then diminish as the cache is used. It is linked to the left axis with bytes per second.

With that understanding out of the way, let’s look at the results.

Continue reading “XenServer PVS Accelerator Sizing – Part 2”

Sizing Windows 10 and Windows 7 Virtual Machines


After reviewing all of the scalability tests we conducted over the past few months, I thought it was time to revisit the recommendations for sizing Windows 10 virtual machines.  I also reached out to Nick Rintalan to see if this is in line with what is currently being recommended for production environments (if you disagree, blame him 🙂 ). A few things you will notice Windows 7 and Windows 10 recommendations are similar.  Microsoft’s resource allocation for both operating systems are similar.  The Windows 10 and Windows 10 scalability tests resulted in similar numbers. Density – Experience: For some of … Continue reading Sizing Windows 10 and Windows 7 Virtual Machines

Microsoft Office 2016 Impact on XenDesktop Scalability


A day doesn’t go by when I don’t open up at least one Microsoft Office application.  Even on weekends, when I’m not working, I usually open at least one application. It should be of little surprise that Microsoft Office is one of the most used set of applications in many RDS/VDI deployments. But what impact does Microsoft Office have on overall single server scalability? How does the impact change as we move users from Office 2010 to 2013 and onto 2016? As you can see, single server density decreases. Office 2010 gives us the best scalability. Office 2013 reduces single … Continue reading Microsoft Office 2016 Impact on XenDesktop Scalability

Microsoft Windows 10, Citrix XenDesktop and Logon Time


How long does your Windows 10 logon take? Logging into my lab, my logons felt long. True I’m not using server-level hardware that you would see in production, but my logon times felt too long because I don’t have logon scripts, complex group policy preferences, or even massive profiles. After reading the Rule of 30 blog by Nick Rintalan, I decided to investigate. I was interested in knowing if all of the Windows 10 optimizations I previously blogged about would have an impact Default apps Services Scheduled tasks User Interface Runtime Release ICA My first test was looking at the … Continue reading Microsoft Windows 10, Citrix XenDesktop and Logon Time

Provisioning Services Read Cache


As you can see, I’ve spoken numerous time about the Provisioning Services RAM Cache with Disk Overflow capability. Windows 10 IOPS Video Proof Reducing IOPS to 1 Read/Write Ratios XenDesktop 7.5 IOPS Digging deeper into IOPS ESG Spotlight on IOPS So yes, I like talking about this topic.  But now, I’m going to talk about something very slightly different… Cache 🙂 While I was working on capturing some images for my Citrix Synergy 2016 Tech Update session, I saw something interesting. I started my lab, started my Provisioning Services server and launched a Windows 10 virtual desktop.  According to the … Continue reading Provisioning Services Read Cache