Citrix XenApp Login Times – There is always (simple) room for improvement

Last week I had the chance to visit a new customer. I was introduced as a Citrix geek with a lot of experience and had to troubleshoot slow logon times and a few other problems the customer had in his Citrix XenApp environment ;-). This is what I like the most 🙂

I started with a few questions regarding the setup of the environment and asked which problems the customer had. It turned out that is was a small environment with 10 VDAs running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Citrix XenApp

Gathering Information

The first things I gathered:

  • Eventlogs of the DDC, StoreFront and VDA
  • Got the SMB settings
  • Checked Group Policies assigned and applied
  • Carl Websters Documentation script (I use it everywhere I can)
  • Got a list of Windows Hotfixes
  • Got a list of Citrix Hotfixes
  • Installation of Splunk Enterprise and uberAgent for advanced monitoring (the second tool I use everywhere I can)
  • Ran Citrix Scout and uploaded the file for a first basic check to CIS (CTX130147)
  • Ran Profile Management Configuration Checking Tool (CTX132805)
  • Ran Citrix UMP Log Parser (CTX123005)
  • Ran PVSDataTools (CTX136079)

I stayed for half a day and we agreed to check back after one week of data gathering through uberAgent.

One week later

I like the possibility to copy all of the uberAgent data from another environment to my machine for further analysis because sometimes it´s better to have quiet surrounding when you have to troubleshoot and analyze problems.

It turned out that the slow logon times actually weren`t so slow: 23,59 seconds is a good average.

Although I didn´t have a look at the underlying hardware and the storage system I wasn´t sure if I could do really much to improve the logon times. I was hoping to improve it to maybe 20 seconds because of the missing Feature Pack 3 for XenApp 7.6.

At a lot of customer sites the simple update to Feature Pack 3 improved logons times by 5 to 10 seconds.

Additionally, I had run my PowerShell script for Windows Server 2012 R2 RDS updates. You can find it here:

It revealed missing Update Rollups and Hotfixes. In detail these:

Rollup Packs

KB2903939 is not installed
KB2928680 is not installed
KB2955164 is not installed
KB2975719 is not installed
KB2984006 is not installed

General OS Updates

KB3092688 is not installed
KB3078689 is not installed
KB2981330 is not installed

Device Redirection & Printing

KB3073630 is not installed
KB3055615 is not installed

This is something I see very often at customers.

It´s so simple to improve logon times by taking care of the recommended Hotfixes

The customer installed the missing Microsoft Updates and all of the components of Feature Pack 3 and we analyzed uberAgent data again after one week.

What should I say?

Logon time improved from 23,59 seconds to 17 seconds.

Wow! To be clear: Only by installing Updates and a Feature Pack.

What other recommendations did I give?

  • Deactivate Group Policy Processing Mode in Merge Mode
  • Integrate the UPM best practices and some additional settings to improve logons further
  • Take care of the LogoffCheckSysModules registry entry because of some sessions stay open (CTX891671)
  • A few minor changes regarding printing issues and Internet Explorer configurations

Another side effect of uberAgent data gathering is that you can see which visited Internet Explorer Sites need the highest amount of RAM and CPU and these sites are not always the business-critical ones ;-). This can heavily affect the sizing of an environment.

The last recommendations aren´t set yet so I cannot tell you if they further improved the logon times. But I thought the improvement here was worth a mention.

Always use a tool that enables further insight over a period of time. uberAgent is perfect for that purpose.

I hope this was useful for some of you.




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