Optimizing Desktops hosted on Citrix XenApp 6.x

Publishing desktops via Citrix XenApp technology is still a popular route many companies take due to user density, complexity, cost, etc. This technique of publishing a desktop from a XenApp server is sometimes refereed to as “hosted shared desktops” and is ideally suited for task workers where personalization is not required. Delivering hosted shared virtual desktop requires proper planning and configuration to maximize the scalability of server resources while providing users with an optimized and functional desktop environment. Citrix has released an optimization guide for delivering hosted shared desktops running on Windows Server 2008 R2 with XenApp 6/6.5.

Some of the changes specified in the guide optimize the user experience by enabling faster logons, reducing unnecessary prompts, and quicker screen updates. Others optimize performance and increase scalability by reducing unnecessary processor, memory, disk and network usage. However, certain modifications allow for greater scalability but at the cost of the user experience. As many organizations will demand a user experience similar to the traditional desktop, care must be taken when applying optimization settings.

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