It’s very likely that the main complaint you hear from your end-users is frustration about the speed (or lack thereof) of their applications using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or what was XenApp or XenDesktop.
So what should an administrator do when they suddenly find themselves with a cranky Citrix environment and lack the Citrix troubleshooting expertise to fix it?
As an IT manager, your No. 1 goal is to ensure your IT environment runs smoothly. Is Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop the bane of your existence? Citrix application and desktop virtualization is good stuff, but it must be architected and managed properly.
From what we see every day in our work with small and large firms across the country, here's a list of the top 5 reasons Citrix is slow.
- 1. Misconfigured profiles — Proper time and attention were not given to selecting the correct profile type or thinking through the size of the profiles, including how and where the end-user data should be stored to deliver the right balance of performance and individual customization.
- 2. Improper OS optimization — The OS was not optimized properly when it was initially set up. Microsoft operating systems are not optimized out of the box for Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop. We have cataloged approximately 100 of these optimizations alone.
- 3. Run-away processes — These need to be managed, shut down and (optimally) prevented altogether. In these shared environments, preventing one runaway rogue Excel spreadsheet, for example, from impacting the end-user performance for the other users trying to get their work done.
- 4. Insufficient capacity — This isn’t as common as some of the other issues we see that make the Citrix experience slow, but it is one for which you’ll want to watch. Sometimes cookie-cutter Citrix environment builds fail to take into consideration the specific needs of a particular customer. We see undersized virtual machines, insufficient RAM, and inadequate network bandwidth. A slight variance at a very large scale can have a significant impact.
- 5. Insufficient staff expertise — This is not, by any means, a knock on in-house teams. Citrix is a complicated beast that requires the coordination of several sub-systems (SQL, Active Directory, storage, etc.) to perform properly and deliver an optimal experience. Poor design or a failure to understand how any of these sub-systems impact Citrix performance consistently leads to a less than desirable result.
Ok, I get it, but now what?
You have options:
Citrix is slow and you want to fix it. But is it really Citrix? Citrix is only to blame 20 percent of the time, according to our internal statistics. Perhaps the problem lies in any of the 13 systems that Citrix relies on to complete the delivery experience as part of your overall infrastructure. A slow Citrix environment can be attributable to any one of these infrastructure pieces gone awry. As you begin to analyze your environment, you’ll want to consider whether remediation is possible or if a complete rebuild is necessary to correct the issues. Often, a remediation will get a slow Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop environment back on track, but that’s not always the case. A careful assessment of your entire environment is required to make this determination.
2. Call a Citrix troubleshooting expert if you think you're in over you're head:
If most of your day is spent putting out fires (and whose isn’t?), taking the time to thoroughly analyze your environment, let alone rebuild it, might seem like a distant dream. You might want to consider utilizing Whitehat’s Citrix Managed IT Services™ program. Our team of seasoned IT professionals has decades of experience analyzing and repairing Citrix systems gone awry. We’ve developed an arsenal of proprietary tools and techniques that assess, monitor and repair Citrix environments.
Our Whitehat Performance Optimizer™, for example, improves the speed not only of the login process (a major user complaint, as you likely already know), but of all your systems that impact the Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop experience. Years of experience and expertise working with businesses throughout Texas have led to Whitehat’s creation of this tool, which examines and optimizes more than 400 functions – from server optimization to Windows OS–level tweaks and everything in between.
Most significantly, our Synthetic Benchmarking™ services are constantly looking for problems to fix before they get to your users. We work with your users to develop routines that simulate their entire daily workflow, from login to logout. As a matter of course, we run this routine and monitor response times. When we see a trend toward degradation, we proactively make system adjustments ideally before actual users notice a slowdown. It’s a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to IT and it’s unique to Whitehat.
A wide variety of factors can result in a slow and inconsistent Citrix environments. Understanding the causes and how to fix them can be a daunting task for even seasoned IT professionals, burdened with day-to-day operations issues and emergencies. Increase your company’s productivity in a measurable way by getting your systems and your users they help they need.
We have all experienced and know that not only is a slow system inordinately annoying, but it’s also a productivity-killer. Moments spent watching the spinning circle of death are precious moments your staff isn’t helping the business grow – and those moments add up quickly.
Learn more about Citrix troubleshooting and more by visiting Whitehat’s Citrix VDI page or our Managed IT Services page. You can also access other information, including case studies of companies in situations like yours, here.