What does all this talk about Citrix on Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) mean? Oh, and don't forget, WVD is now called Azure Virtual Desktop. Request Access to MSI's OIT Citrix Windows Environment; Connection Instructions your computer must be connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With Citrix—leveraging Azure Virtual Desktop—you can streamline operations, reduce infrastructure costs, and deliver secure user experiences across all your. 5620 W THUNDERBIRD RD
Autoscale helps to reduce cost in the cloud by shutting down machines that are not needed during off peak times or when there is low load on the catalog. On the flip side Autoscale helps to power on the required machines before a shift or workday morning logon storms to handle the anticipated load so that user experience is not affected by long logon times when VMs boot as the users log in during these times. Admins can also define disconnection and logoff time outs to ensure idle machines can be shut down.
Another advantage is the ability to identify primary lower cost resources, such as on-prem desktops or reserved instances and secondary pay-as-you-go instances resources. Resources in the primary zone, are booted up first before trying to consume resources from the more expensive secondary zone. Secondary zone resources can be used for burst usage or during a business continuity or disaster recovery event.
Hosts in the secondary zone would be turned off first as well when demand drops. To learn more about Autoscale read the Autoscale Tech Brief. With Autoscale the machines can be shut down to reduce compute costs. But the machine still exists in Azure and therefore the organization would be charged for the all the static costs including storage costs.
This feature allows MCS to create the virtual machine only when a power on command is given and deletes the virtual machine when it is shut down. Resulting in no components of a machine being present when the machine is shut down, including the storage disks. Requires the use of Azure Managed disks.
The Windows operating system assuming that a physical disk is locally available, performs a lot of small random write operations. In a virtualized environment, this means increased load on the drives that host the OS. By creating larger, sequential blocks of data, MCS can provide better disk utilization allowing organizations to reduce costs by utilizing standard disks instead of high-performance disks. Also, all reads are performed from the cache and only the data that is not in the cache is fetched from the disk.
Results from tests performed with the LoginVSI knowledge worker workload show, from the first an HDD with no cache, the user density comes out at Adding MCSIO fourth and fifth bar , with a small cache disk, user density increases to 76 or 77 users with the same workload. Compare it to SSD disks, which are more expensive, and it is observed that the user density improved slightly from 74 to Consider a scenario where 1, users need desktops.
Using Standard HDDs results in monthly cost savings West US 2 pay-as-you-go monthly pricing as of writing this document of approximately:. Effectively saving of approximately USD 1, per month for every 1, users in the environment. Read more about the testing and results here.
The setup and design of an environment is just the first part of getting VDI infrastructure for an organization. For that reason, it gets the most focus from cloud providers. But the Day 2 and onwards of running and maintenance of a large environment in my opinion is as important. Hosting VMs in public clouds obfuscate the running of the machines, but the admin must still ensure that the user experience is consistent and high performing day in and day out. Citrix gives full help desk visibility into user sessions, for both real-time debugging of specific user issues and performance, and broad visibility into the environment and trends.
The following is a list of some of the great features that Citrix brings to bear for the administrator and the help desk:. Learn about the analytics capabilities, visit the Analytics Tech Brief , or visit the website. In this section, the features that enhance the user experience when accessing their Azure Virtual Desktop resources are showcased. For over three decades, Citrix has been in the business of remote delivery of desktops and applications.
That experience led to various technologies designed to specifically come under the umbrella of HDX H igh D efinition e X perience. These technologies include the graphics remoting the encoding, decoding, and rendering of the session window , the compression technologies for various data types, the transport protocol used to send the data. Applied in different combinations, they optimize the user experience, decrease bandwidth consumption, and increase user density per hosting server.
Intelligent redirection - Intelligent redirection examines screen activity, application commands, endpoint device, and network and server capabilities to instantly determine how and where to render an application or desktop activity. Rendering can occur on either the endpoint device or the hosting server.
Adaptive compression - Adaptive compression allows rich multimedia displays to be delivered even on constrained network connections. HDX first evaluates several variables, such as the type of input text, video, voice, and multimedia , device, and display quality. It then intelligently adapts based on each unique user and session characteristics basis. See the Tech Insight video. Data De-Duplication - De-duplication of network traffic reduces the aggregate data sent between client and server.
It does so by taking advantage of repeated patterns in commonly accessed data such as bitmap graphics, documents, print jobs, and streamed media. Caching these patterns allows only the changes to be transmitted across the network, eliminating duplicate traffic. HDX also supports multicasting of multimedia streams, where a single transmission from the source is viewed by multiple subscribers at one location, rather than a one-to-one connection for each user. HDX adaptive throughput intelligently fine-tunes the peak throughput of the ICA session by adjusting output buffers.
The number of output buffers is initially set at a high value. This high value allows data to be transmitted to the client more quickly and efficiently, especially in high latency networks. Providing better interactivity, faster file transfers, smoother video playback, higher framerate, and resolution results in an enhanced user experience. Session interactivity is constantly measured to determine whether any data streams within the ICA session are adversely affecting interactivity. If that occurs, the throughput is decreased to reduce the impact of the large data stream on the session and allow interactivity to recover.
For more info, see the Tech Insight video. Read more about optimizing HDX bandwidth over high latency connections here. Hardware encoding and optimization for CAD based use cases. These technologies with HDX policies such as Optimized for 3D graphics workloads, Build to Lossless, Progressive display and so on make image rendering and the user interaction with the session as near native as possible, even in challenging network conditions. The settings that are best suited for the majority of use cases are preconfigured.
Admins use policies to fine-tune based on specific use groups that may have specialized needs. For example, the HDX 3D Pro policy is enabled for the set of users that require the graphics card for an application. Based on the sensitivity of the application the rest of the policies can be set to provide the desired experience. Build to Lossless — when interacting with a model the quality may be reduced to increase interactivity but when the user stops interacting with the model a lossless image is rendered.
The following side by side images showcases this feature. The Virtual Display layout feature lets the user define a virtual monitor layout to split up a single 4K display into up to eight monitors. The user can create various monitor layouts and apps can be easily moved between monitors. Windows display settings show the placement and scaling of each of the monitors. If the user wants to change the layout, they can define a new one by splitting the screen up by percentages of the client monitor resolution either horizontally or vertically.
The user can set the DPI for each monitor individually. In the current era, where new hires are being onboarded from home and organizations take longer to ship systems to their employees. The ability to work on multiple virtual screens, even though the user has just one physical one is a great productivity booster. To learn more see the video here. The rich set of policies available to fine-tune the delivery of the app or desktop are extremely useful.
The policies can be applied based on various criteria, such as group of users, a set of resources, a set of tagged objects and many more. The policies ensure the widest range of supported endpoints and devices while giving maximum control over the delivery of the session and what can and cannot be accessed by the user. Some examples are. Using HDX technologies and creating optimizations for the delivery of high-quality content and near native conferencing capabilities makes the entire remote desktop experience complete.
When accessing content or using conferencing solutions from a cloud based resource several unique considerations are to be kept in mind. As much as possible, the admin would want to ensure that media content is directly delivered to the user saving data ingress and egress cost in the cloud.
Another major consideration is the need to offload processing of media from the cloud-based resources to the client endpoint. Media processing when offloaded to the client reduces the load on the cloud resources, resulting in savings on compute cost while bettering user experience and server scalability. With BCR the media encoding, and decoding is done on the client, which helps alleviate the load of rendering media heavy websites on the session host running in Azure.
Browsing websites even casually, can use up a lot of CPU and Memory resources, as can be seen from this graph where 5 mins were spent browsing followed by a couple minutes of idle time. Enabling Browser content redirection, offloads the media rendering from the CPU and reduces Memory requirements for the browser on each cloud hosted machine. This offload leads to higher single server scalability and reduces ingress and egress data costs as these large video files are not being sent up to the cloud.
Building on top of the Browser content redirection technology, Citrix in partnership with Microsoft since the days of optimizing Skype for Business , gives admins a Microsoft Teams optimization solution. The ability to have the endpoint perform the encoding and decoding of the audio, video, and screen sharing bits of a call, increases the server scalability and call quality, by a significant margin.
For users working from home on latent connections this means that audio and video call or screen sharing data is transmitted directly between them rather than being sent up to the cloud-based resources and then sent back to the recipient. This additional latency can mean the difference between a barely understandable video call and a perfectly smooth one.
Consider a scenario in a global company, where two users in different locations want to have a Teams call with each other and the desktops are hosted in a different location. The following map depicts such a situation with one user in the Netherlands and another in India. The AVD resource location is US East and there was significant latency between these locations with the Azure region in the middle ms round trip.
The optimization reduces the latency by ensuring that in a call, the users are connecting directly to each other rather than having to hair pin to the AVD server in the East US region hosting the call. This results in a sub ms latency between the users one way in our example, that improves user experience immensely. And CPU consumption on the machines hosting the Teams call is also drastically reduced. To learn more about Teams optimization, see the Tech Insight video or read the Proof of Concept guide.
Most important to the user is a short logon time and session responsiveness. See how with Citrix technologies admins can reduce resource consumption by managing the applications running inside a AVD desktop while reducing logon times and making apps and desktops more responsive.
This is a win-win as there are cost savings to be achieved as well. AVD desktop while reducing logon times and making apps and desktops more responsive. Workspace Environment Management WEM uses intelligent resource management and Profile Management technologies to deliver the best possible performance, desktop logon, and application response times for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployments. But generally, processes will not relinquish these resources once they are allocated to them.
WEM in real time detects which processes are in the focus of the user. A portion of the RAM working set of apps that are not in focus can then be reclaimed. It is observed that even if these apps come back into focus, they generally need a smaller subset of the amount of RAM that was reclaimed from them. These actions optimize RAM consumption in the cloud and increase single server scalability. The following graph shows the amount of memory consumed by a set of sessions, with and without WEM.
CPU Optimization - If a process is detected to be hogging CPU resources, it might negatively affect not only the session that it is running in, but also slow down other sessions running on the same machine and even impact logon times for other users. When a process is detected to be hogging CPU resources for a defined amount of time , WEM automatically reduces the priority of the process.
THis action allows other processes to use the CPU and alleviates server load. When the process is seen to have returned to low CPU consumption overtime, then its priority is reset back to normal. To simulate a noisy neighbor, a user not part of the LoginVSI knowledge worker test run, is added to the test setup.
As can be seen from the following table, the inclusion of WEM, suppresses the effect of the CPU consuming noisy neighbor. Resulting in a higher number of users that can run on a single VM, even in this stress scenario. As WEM reduces CPU spikes, another important inference from the results is, that the response time for the user is much better. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops sessions have an almost ms lower response time when compared to the baseline at the instant VSImax is reached for the same number of users.
Both these results point to a much smoother and snappier user experience when WEM is in the picture. To deliver the best possible logon performance, Workspace Environment Management replaces commonly used Windows Group Policy Object objects, logon scripts, and preferences with an agent which is deployed on each virtual machine or server. The agent is multi-threaded and applies changes to user environments only when required, ensuring users always have access to their desktop as fast as possible.
Find more information about WEM and its benefits here. This solution helps solve several personalization challenges. However, Citrix is able to extend the capabilities to include items like. There are several scenarios where the admin would want to provide a desktop to power users and knowledge workers that want to be able to install apps on the desktops. These apps would not be persisted across session logouts with most solutions. User personalization layer is a VHD based solution just like FSLogix Profile Containers but has the additional benefit of persisting user installed applications across session logouts.
Note: It is not necessary for the entire OS image to be layered using App Layering to utilize this feature. To learn more about the user personalization layer feature see the Tech Insight video. Another advanced use case, one which is more prevalent when users are remote, is when a user wants to have multiple, concurrent sessions. With a VHD based profile solution, such as the FSLogix Profile Container or the user personalization layer alone, which requires the VHD to be mounted on the desktop that has the first session running on it, there is an inherent limitation.
This approach allows only one session to write back changes. So, when a user has a desktop session running and launches an app which writes to their profile, the changes made in the app are discarded. The changes made to the setting of the EMR app default schemes, macros, favorites, and so on , are not written to the profile when they log off from it. Citrix profile manager helps to synchronize files and settings that are changed in a Read-Only session. The centralized profile storage user store acts as the temporary storage for writes in the Read-Only sessions.
This allows each session to write changed files back and those changes are merge using the last writer win strategy at file level. DAT, are merged at registry key level. More information about this feature can be found at this link. Azure Files shares can be mounted simultaneously in the cloud and on-premises, on Windows, Linux, or macOS.
The benefit of having the personalization repositories in Azure, is that the data can be fetched quickly from the shares, making session launch and application data access much faster. Azure Files alleviates the need to set up, manage, and update the SMB store infrastructure physical or virtual windows machines. Azure Files can be used to move the data that is hosted in your data center to the cloud and then be accessed by machines in your hybrid environment.
Learn more about how to set up the same here. Citrix Gateway is the preferred app delivery solution for reverse proxy to Citrix resources, providing VPN-less access to resources for end users. With CVAD service and Citrix Gateway service enterprises now may provide remote access to apps and desktops without additional VPN requirements along with following benefits:.
Furthermore, Citrix Secure Private Access combines the capabilities of instant secure access to SaaS and web applications through single sign-on SSO , along with browser and cloud-based app controls, web-filtering policies and integrated user-behavior analytics to add an extra layer of security. Endpoint Point Access scans and contextual access help to determine the level of security that a URL would need.
Based on the result the system automatically determines whether the user can access the URL directly or the user must be redirected to a Secure Browser session where the URL is opened safely, or the URL needs to be blocked.
Citrix Analytics service using all these services as data sources provides comprehensive insights into user behavior. If you have resources on-prem and adopt AVD only, your users will have to access those resources in a different location no central management or access location. But if you use Citrix on AVD, management of resources for both cloud and on-prem happens in a central management location. In addition, you can provide users with a single point to log in and access all their resources.
As we all know, most business today demands a hybrid environment, and this is constantly changing with the continued need to modernize, migrate, and adopt the cloud to scale. This Citrix on Azure approach to managing resources is highly scalable and supports the ever-changing needs of businesses while providing an optimal user experience for both IT and end-users.
Coretek helps customers leverage Citrix solutions and technology to extend the value of Microsoft AVD. The customer's cloud journey started with Coretek in with the consolidation of five legacy Citrix sites into a single Enterprise Site and the migration to Citrix Cloud for both on-premises data centers and multiple Azure regions. The original solution was designed to create a business continuity plan for advanced preparation for workload bursting capabilities during storm events; however, it was flexible enough to accommodate needs unique to Additionally, the organization's increased need to support remote work, specifically in a 4,user environment spread throughout the Northeast Region of the United States.
From the time Coretek was first contacted to the provisioning of the th desktop, only 72 hours 3-days had transpired. The customer is currently expanding their Citrix Cloud footprint to frontend their Enterprise WVD strategy for and evaluating Windows 10 Multi-Session delivery capabilities for both desktop and application delivery in Azure.
Get in touch here. Jul 28, What is AVD? AVD offers several options for your virtual apps and desktops; you can: Set up a multi-session Windows 10 deployment that delivers a full Windows 10 with scalability Virtualize Microsoft Apps for enterprise and optimize it to run in multi-user virtual scenarios Provide Windows 7 virtual desktops with free Extended Security Updates Bring your existing Remote Desktop Services RDS and Windows Server desktops and apps to any computer Virtualize both desktops and apps Manage Windows 10, Windows Server, and Windows 7 desktops and apps with a unified management experience AVD provides, at a standard level, precisely what is needed to run virtual apps and desktops for a distributed workforce in a native matter-stock right out of the box.
What is Citrix? Situation The customer's cloud journey started with Coretek in with the consolidation of five legacy Citrix sites into a single Enterprise Site and the migration to Citrix Cloud for both on-premises data centers and multiple Azure regions. Impact From the time Coretek was first contacted to the provisioning of the th desktop, only 72 hours 3-days had transpired.
Using WVD on Azure enables you to:.
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