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Citrix HDX 3D Performance Quick Tip

In our industry, customers have the misconception that software has to work out of the box for everyone. While that expectation is true for the most part, when it comes to a platform that hosts your desktops and applications it is very difficult to configure the software to work right out of the box for all environments, given the different variables that exist. Maybe, one day when Big Data Analytics is truly mastered and matured it can be incorporated into our software to be able to tune and configure appropriately. Until then, we stuck doing the hard work manually.

With that lets' talk about Citrix HDX 3D Pro. The key to a successful Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp deployment with excellent performance is understanding what to configure and how to configure it. Sometimes that is not very easy or apparent.

For instance, if you are looking to improve the performance of HDX 3D Pro, the key would be to tweak some Citrix Studio Policies appropriately, but which policies should you tweak? If you have played around with Citrix Studio, you know that the HDX 3D Pro Policies node is limited in terms of configuration. As a result, you have to tweak some of the other more generic policies in order to get the ideal performance. Here are some policies to consider:

  • EnableLossless -- Controls whether or not users are allowed to use the image quality configuration tool to control lossless compression
  • Lossy Compression level -- Controls how much lossy compression is applied
  • Moving Images -- Contains a section for XenApp and one for XenDesktop and controls compression for dynamic images, an important policy here is Progressive Compression Level which allows for faster display of images at the expense of lesser details
  • Visual Display -- This is a collection of polices that control the quality of images sent from virtual desktops to end user devices. The most important policy here is the Visual quality

I am pretty sure what is on your mind at this point is, what are the correct configurations for these policies? My answer is ... wait for it .... "It depends." I say this because in all my years working with server-based computing, I have come to the conclusion that tuning these environments is more of art than a science, and it really depends on whether you are configuring a LAN, WAN or Remote Internet Access, available bandwidth, number of users, and so on.

Citrix understands that too, so it developed the Image Quality Configuration Tool to allows users to tweak their user experiences in real-time and balance between image quality and responsiveness. You're probably thinking, "this is a mess of epic proportions -- users don't know how to do this." I somewhat disagree. I learned over the years that we underestimate users' capabilities and when given an easy tool to work with, they are willing to try and be self-sufficient technically. They will try and mess with the settings and see if they can optimize their experience. Think about it this way: You are getting the call either way, so this tool is a glimmer of hope that they might be able to do it themselves to some extent.

If you have other policies that have worked for you in the past that would improve the performance of the HDX protocol, please share in the comments section.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 07/07/2014 at 10:42 AM


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