Citrix XenApp XenDesktop VDA optimization tools

Citrix Optimizer

The Citrix Optimizer is a Windows tool to help Citrix administrators optimize various components in their environment, most notably operating system with Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA). The tool is PowerShell based, but also includes a graphical UI.

Citrix Optimizer can run in three different modes:

  • Analyze – analyze the current system against a specified template and display any differences
  • Execute – apply the optimizations from the template
  • Rollback (available in PowerShell only for Beta release) – revert the optimization changes applied previously

Prerequisites

  • PowerShell v2.0 or higher
  • .NET 4.5.2 or higher

Installation

Extract the contents of the zip file to a folder on a VDA. There is no installer required.

How to Use Citrix Optimizer

To use the graphical UI:

1.  Double-click the executable CitrixOptimizer.exe to launch the tool.

2.  In the initial screen, select the template that you want to use or click “Browse” to find a template you prefer.

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3.  Once a template is loaded into UI, check or uncheck the optimization items that you want to apply. Expand the arrow at end of each item to see details.

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4.  Click on Analyze button to review the current state of your system. This action does not make any changes to your system.

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5.  Click on Optimize button to perform the optimization changes. It is recommended to create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machine before applying any changes to the system.

6.  Results of the Analysis or Optimization is displayed on the same page.

7.  Alternatively Click on “View Results” link to view the HTML report.

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8.  Click on “Save as new Template…” button to save the modified template into a new template.

 

To use the command line:

1.  Run elevated PowerShell.

2.  Use Get-Help CtxOptimizerEngine.ps1 to see usage examples.

3.  Follow the usage examples from step 2 to Analyze, Execute or Rollback optimizations.

Uninstallation

Delete the extracted files from the current directory.

VMWare OS Optimization tool (OSOT)

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7/8/2008/2012/10 systems for use with VMware Horizon View. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Local Analyze/Optimize
  • Remote Analyze
  • Optimization History and Rollback
  • Managing Templates

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Public Templates: You can share your templates, or get templates from the community:

Requirements:

  • Windows 7/8/10, Windows Server 2008 R2/2012/2016
  • NET Framework 3.5, SP1.

The VMware OS Optimization Tool guide and the Remote Analysis Tool User Guide are both available from the Download drop-down menu.

For more information, please see the Windows Optimization Guide (PDF).

Bugs: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool#bugs

LoginVSI template for OSOT

VMware’s OSOT offers built-in Windows desktop and server operating system templates (including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, Windows 2008 and Windows 2012). By enabling the default settings, we already concluded that VMware OS Optimization Tool gives an impressive VSImax increase of 44% in comparison to vanilla Windows 10.

the ultimate windows 10 tuning template for any vdi environment vanilla win10 vs vmware os optimization tool

But we think that there are even more tuning best practices for Windows 10. That’s why we decided to create our own template for VMware OS Optimization Tool and we are proud to announce that the first version is now available for download (for free).

Here is a list of the tuning best practices in the #VDILIKEAPRO Tuning Template version 0.1 based on the v58 template by the OSOT team. This template only contains additional tuning for Windows 10.

Test Results #VDILIKEAPRO Tuning Template v0.1

In the graph below you can see a comparison of VMware OS Optimization Tool with all the settings enabled versus OSOT fully tuned plus all settings of the #VDILIKEAPRO template for OSOT.

the ultimate windows 10 tuning template for any vdi environment vmware os optimization tool fully tuned vs vdilikeapro tuning

As you can see the #VDILIKEAPRO tuning template offers an additional 3.5% increase in VSImaxin addition to VMware OS Optimization Tool. VM Utilization goes down by 5.5% and IO patterns drop by approximately 10%.

Install the template

Installing the template is straightforward:

  1. Download and install VMware OSOT: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool
  2. Run VMware OSOT and open the My templates tab
  3. Click Import Template at the right bottom of the window
  4. Browse to the VDILIKEAPRO / Login VSI tuning template xml file
  5. Open the Analyze tab and select te My Templates\Windows 10 – Login VSI – VDILIKEAPRO template
  6. Click analyze to compare your system to the tuning template
  7. Apply tuning where needed
  8. Validate the performance and functionality impact, and provide tuned desktop to end-users

Download the OSOT template

The #VDILIKEAPRO Tuning Template is available for free. Download the Tuning Template Now:

Download Now

We look forward to your feedback! Any questions, bugs, suggestions and improvements can be sent to: [email protected]

Important note: Our tuning template disables some features that might be considered essential by some of your end users or security officers e.g. the windows firewall. Our tuning template disables some features that might be considered essential by some of your end users or security officers e.g. the windows firewall. So before your end users come after you with torches and pitchforks, always consider the tradeoffs between better performance and more features for your end users. When you are not sure if a tuning setting works for you, simply do not use it.

Please do NOT blindly apply the tuning we provide! We tested these tuning options in our own labs, and they might have a different impact in your own unique VDI environment with different hardware and software components. That’s why it is so important to test and validate these changes yourself. Login VSI is there to help you.

Also, please note that this template works with the latest version of OSOT (v80).

About the company Login VSI

The company Login VSI provides end-user performance insights for virtualized desktop and server based computing environments. Enterprise IT departments use flagship product Login VSI (for scalability testing) and new addition Login PI (for availability testing) in all phases of their virtual desktop deployment—from planning to deployment to change management—to build and safeguard a good performance, a high availability, and (as a result) a good and consistent end-user experience. For more information about Login VSI or for a free test license visit www.loginvsi.com.

Objective testing with Login VSI

Login Virtual Session Indexer (Login VSI) is the industry-standard load-testing tool for testing the performance and scalability of centralized Windows desktop environments such as server-based computing (SBC) and VDI. Login VSI is used for testing and benchmarking by all major hardware and software vendors and is recommended by both leading IT analysts and the technical community. Login VSI is 100% vendor independent and works with standardized user workloads; therefore, conclusions based on Login VSI test data are objective, verifiable, and replicable.

Login VSI–based test results are used and published in technical white papers and are presented at conferences. Login VSI is used by end-user organizations, system integrators, hosting providers, and testing companies. It is also the standard tool used in all tests executed in the internationally acclaimed research project VDIlike a Pro (formerly known as Project Virtual Reality Check).

How Login VSI works

When used for benchmarking, the software measures the total response time of several specific user operations being performed within a desktop workload in a scripted loop. The baseline is the measurement of the response time of specific operations performed in the desktop workload, which is measured in milliseconds (ms). Two values in particular are important: VSIbase and VSImax.

  • VSIbase: A score reflecting the response time of specific operations performed in the desktop workload when there is little or no stress on the system. A low baseline indicates a better user experience, resulting in applications responding faster in the environment.
  • SImax: The maximum number of desktop sessions attainable on the host before experiencing degradation in host and desktop performance.

VSIbase and VSImax provide proof (vendor independent, industry standard, and easy to understand) to innovative technology vendors of the power, the scalability, and the gains of their solutions.

Sources:

  • https://www.loginvsi.com/blog/520-the-ultimate-windows-10-tuning-template-for-any-vdi-environment
  • https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX224676
  • https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool

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