One thing is clear. Brian and his cronies at BriForum really know how to put on a geek-fest! Two days of the highest calibre of speakers with a great range of sessions with perhaps a slight taste of GPU? I personally attended three sessions around GPU and I must say that Benny and Shawn’s was a standout for me!
For BriForum’s tenth year, there were thirty five sessions over two days. It was great but I was surprised that outside of the speakers and vendors, I didn’t see too many familiar faces. However, it was extremely good and I’d say to anyone who is thinking of going – definitely go next year! Also, if you’re not planning on going, go! It’s a great event with plenty of chances to network, speak to like-minded people, met vendors and hear the crème-de-le-crème of experts in our field talk about subjects they know intimately and feel passionate about.
One word of warning however. Shawn Bass speaks very, very quickly and gets quicker as the presentation goes on! Put him with Andy Morgan and POW! It’s like someone’s holding the fast-forward button down!
Anyway, the intention of this blog was just a quick update as I haven’t written anything in ages and to put across my top take away points from BriForum that have either made me think about the way I’m doing things, made me think “wow, I didn’t realise THAT!” or just something new I’ve learned. It’s pretty guaranteed that if you attend a BriForum, you will come out with more than one thing in all three of these categories!
Please bear in mind that these are my crazy notes and in order to keep the post size down, there isn’t always an explanation. If you do see a point and aren’t sure, just have a search around to find out more.
At the bottom of the post, I’ve included some useful resources/people to follow on Twitter who presented at BriForum and often put up good posts.
- OpenCL and CUDA do not work with vGPU.
- Lakeside SysTrack will apparently soon release an update to SysTrack 7 around GPU sizing and analytics for helping to size a vGPU deployment
- There is no intelligence between the frames per second on the GPU and the HDX frames per second. HDX is adaptive and will change the FPS in lower bandwidth scenarios. This means there is a lot of wasted FPS and GPU processing when going over the wire as the GPU card is not aware of the display delivery mechanism. NVIDIA say that the vGPU is limited to 60 FPS in order not to “waste” GPU processor.
- Apps such as MS Office 2013, Spotify, Skype and web browsers such GPU
- If you’re doing pass-through, you do not need to use the NVIDIA GRID cards unless you’re using vGPU. You could put 4 Quattro cards into a chassis and pass-through to 4 XenApp VMs and get great user density that way. Just bear in mind that Quattro are workstation cards and it would be depend on the chassis support but it is possible… (according to Shawn Bass)
- Aim for a 3-5 year lifecycle, not the vendor’s 7 year estimation.
- Big 3 vendors (CTX, MSFT, VMW) often release features for WinTel months/years before Linux x86/ARM receive it. When going Linux, watch out for the software update interval.
- ICA file support and PNAgent going away (i.e. Web Interface) is hurting Thin Client vendors. Make sure your TC has full support for StoreFront
- MSFT VDA licensing needed for all thin client devices (Windows, Linux etc.) $100 per device per year for the VDA
- Embedded browser support is a must (flexibility)
- Windows TC – pay attention to disk space. Go for the 16GB flash if you can afford it.
- Spend time evaluating your options
- Don’t assume it’s easy
Comparison of RemoteApp vs Citrix Published App
- Microsoft acquired company rather than develop their own RDP clients for non-Windows devices. Now support most devices via RDP
- Setting up a basic RDSH environment is simple, expanding it is hard.
- RemoteApps integrate into the local desktop so you see the thumbnails in the taskbar and will also integrate with the system tray if applicable.
- Will integrate with the Windows 8 start page so you’ll see icons for the RemoteApps.
- You need certificates – if you don’t have certificates, it WILL NOT populate the Start screen. You will have to access from the web portal.
- If you’re using a VDI environment and want to publish the apps, you manually configure registry keys per application (See screenshot). There are community tools to help you create the reg keys and config file. There is nothing in the mgmt. console that MSFT provide.
- Regardless of App-V version, optimise .NET 4 in hosted desktop environments
- Strongly recommend to use Shared Content Store to reduce disk IO and network throughput in SH environment
- Applications with integrations points (like COM) are CPU heavy to publish; for performance reasons disable these and maybe install these locally (integration points, not the app)
- In streaming scenarios, SMB is faster than HTTP
- Use App-V 5.0 SP2 HF4 in streaming scenarios. Much faster publishing time
Office 2007 vs 2010 vs 2013
- CPU resources are more in 2013. On memory, it uses 3 – 4x more memory than Office 2010.
- You will need 20% more servers when using Office 2013.
- It’s a 3D application, built on DirectX so uses GPU!
- Altantis ILIO USX allows you to have ILIO for your server-based workloads such as SQL, Exchange etc.
- Using Citrix PVS “cache in RAM with disk overflow” mode has benefits. Most of the XenApp writes go to the page file. In this mode, the page file is put in the disk overflow. So… ILIO will help as it puts everything on disk in RAM J
- For the fastest login experience, manually manipulate the User Shell Folders rather than use GPO and client-side extensions
- Using User Shell Folders, there are 20 folders you can redirect, with GPO there are 13
- When you redirect AppData (WTF?!?), you also redirect; Cookies, Network neighbourhood, Recent, SendTo, Start Menu, Templates
- SMB 2.x Redirector Caching is important and will scale with network latency, meaning it reduces LAN/WAN traffic for file calls
- Apps that have hard coded paths may ignore the SHGetKnwonFolderPath() and break folder redirection
- Make sure your file servers (where profiles are) are tuned for availability and performance
- Consider a profile management solution
- If your profile management solution supports profile streaming, enable it and don’t use folder redirection
Who to follow:
Helge Klein – Citrix CTP, Profile Management, Folder Redirection, Splunk,
Shawn Bass – Citrix CTP, Server-based computing, VDI, GPU/vGPU
Benny Tritsch – CTP/MVP, Server-based computing, Microsoft RDS, GPU/vGPU
Thomas Poppelgaard – CTP, Citrix virtualisation, GPU
Andrew Morgan – CTP, Thin Clients
Pierre Marmignon – CTP, creator of VUEM, logon optimisation