I recently was involved in an assignment which involved upgrading Immidio Flex+ to VMware UEM. This upgrade is fairly simple, but can be pretty annoying for end-users, where an upgrade may impact their user experience.

First of all, I will try to explain what group policy extensions are and what they do. Group Policy extensions are extension (well duh) of the standard Microsoft Group Policy objects. They rely on the group policy service, have their own .adm(x) templates and are processed by the group policy engine.

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Recently I have been working on a performance scan for a customer. The customer wanted to have a newly built XenApp 7.6 environment validated. Ofcourse I used Login VSI to do the task at hand. While starting the validation, the customer expected to reach about 80 concurrent users on one physical host (with 3 virtual XenApp servers on it).

After getting VSI to run in the environment I started a first small test, with 30 users to see what the enviroment did.

BadAntiVirusConfig

Bad antivirus configuration

 

After seeing this test and reaching VSI max at 25 sessions (which comes to 8,3 users per XenApp server) I went back to the customer and told them my findings. The first thing I noted in the analyzer was that the IO baseline was high as they were on an all flash environment. So I suggested they have a look at the anti-virus configuration and especially the exclusions.

Turned out the antivirus configuration just didn't get applied. A next test we made sure antivirus was disabled on the machines and ran the same test, didn't reach VSI max on that. So I ran a test with 100 users. With the followin result:

GoodAntiVirusConfig

Good antivirus configuration

 

I was able to run 88 users without a problem on the servers (got a few stuck sessions because of an un-reliable outlook plugin making outlook crash).

The conclusion of the story. It is very important to have a good antivirus configuration for your VDI/SBC environment. Not only will it benefit the user density on your environment, it will also benefit the user experience on the environment.

 

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Do you recognize the following? You get a call for support about an issue an user is experiencing. The service desk provides you with some information in the call, but you require more information. Especially, how to reproduce the error? At this point you can do two things. The first is go to the service desk, ask them to call the user and let them figure out what the user is doing  to get the error. The second is, you can call the user yourself and ask them how to reproduce the error.

A problem with both methods is: I am not really good at remembering how applications work, where to click etc, especially if I don't know the application.

Here comes in the ever so handy Problem Step Recorder (psr.exe). You can ask your users to reproduce the problem with PSR enabled and have them attach the recording to the call. This way you won't have to remember how, where and what to click, enter, or whatever. It is well documented and easy to follow.

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Whilst working on a vdisk image for our XenApp hosted desktops I encountered an issue while converting the physical disk to vdisk. Since we are using PVS6.1 and I couldn't find much info about the error I was getting. It made me search on the internet and  found the following:

xenconvert
(source consulted on 23-10-2013 13:00)

Conversion of the disk does work(I get VSS_E_INSUFFICIENT_STORAGE errors though), I found it funny that Citrix boldly claims that XenConvert 2.5 is compatible with PVS6.1 and the target device software only has 2.4.1 included.

Turns out I got the VSS_E_INSUFFICIENT_STORAGE errors because I had a "system preserved" partition on my primary disk. Because the system preserved partition was 100mb in size it felt outside the size of the vdisk, xenconvert was trying to create. I deleted that partition (using this article), run xenconvert and everything is GO now.

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