Quite often customer tells me that they want to optimize the Windows server performance by running some scripts found on the Internet and they are also setting a bunch of registry keys. In my opinion, this is not just dangerous but can also cause issues later and then everybody is analyzing while spending a lot of time. On the other hand, the same customers do nothing to optimize the user session and waste sometimes a lot of resources and again getting more likely issues.

Let me explain why you should NOT care about the server and focus on the user session.  

Citrix Netscaler & Certificates

Many of my customers struggle when it comes to certificates, and I mean just with the basics -- not the whole PKI stuff. Netscaler is Linux-based and that seems to make it even more difficult. Not to mention, people also tend to make things more complicated than they really are. In my opinion, to understand what you are doing should be a given (at least to some degree), but many out there just want step-by-step guides that they can work through. That is my explanation why many have issues when it comes to Netscaler and Certificates.

A detailed explanation of the 'easy way' will look like it's not so easy in comparison to the step-by-step guide but once understood it will be even simpler to do.

I must assume some things and I can not start without some basic knowledge:

I have lately dropped here and there comments about Citrix Universal Printer Server code name "Phaser" and actually some Citrix guys make fun of me because I'm so persistent with that topic since 2009! Why 2009? Well at iForum 2009 in Las Vegas, Citrix developer Gary showed the first bits (really just some command line exe) of project Phaser. Since then I keep telling Citrix to get it out of the door every time I have a chance. Now it seems it will finally happen after three years!

Ever heard of the Web Interface Session Sharing Key? Probably not but my guess is some companies are having issues with it without knowing. Of course they see sessions are not sharing and even open different sessions on the same XenApp server. I wrote an article about Understanding Citrix Seamless Engine some years ago and the article explains sharing issues with published applications but the Web Interface session sharing key is another story that I will explain here.

The Session Sharing Key plays a role when:

  • Using StoreFront/Web Interface site and Citrix Receiver/Workspace App at the same time
  • Using StoreFront/Web Interface site to launch a session Desktop and within Citrix Receiver/Workspace App
  • Using StoreFront/Web Interface site to launch a VM Desktop (XenDesktop) and within Citrix Receiver/Workspace App

Many Citrix or terminal server farms have problems with printer drivers and sometimes even the Administrator is not aware of that. Drivers that are not 100% multiuser aware can have a bad influence in many different ways. Often those buggy drivers can slow down the login process or cause high CPU consumption. In worst cases, printer drivers can even stop the login process for the whole server, kill the spooler service or can cause a blue screen of death (very rare with Windows 2003 and up). For the first two issues, the Citrix health monitor can help tracking the problem.

Ever heard of "context switches"? If yes, then you are probably an Administrator for a Citrix Presentation Server farm. Now this is not a Citrix related problem but the context switches are one of the default performance counters in the Citrix Resource Manager and obviously the most often raised alert. Other systems might also have issues with context switches but if there isn't an alerting monitor you will never know.

Page 1 of 2