One of the new features of Branch Repeater 6.0 is the traffic shaping module that allows a better and more granular level of QoS for delivering protocols and applications over the WAN – including virtual desktops and applications. This traffic shaping feature of Branch Repeater coupled with the new HDX Multi-Stream implementation for XenDesktop 5.5 and XenApp 6.5 allows us to optimally prioritize HDX traffic when bandwidth is at a premium over WAN connections (Isn’t it always?).

For a very good explanation of these features, refer to this blog from Kalyan Valicherla.

What I would like to discuss here is how these features guarantee a better end user experience while accessing virtual desktops and applications under various bandwidth competing scenarios. For this, we considered two sample scenarios showing these features in action:

  1. Traffic Shaping between HDX and non-HDX traffic: With traffic shaping we can assign higher priorities to latency-sensitive protocols such as HDX delivering virtual desktops powered by XenDesktop compared to non-latency sensitive protocols such as FTP. Hence ensuring guaranteed required bandwidth for HDX sessions even while contending with large number of lower priority FTP (and other traffic types) over the same WAN link.
  2. Traffic Shaping for HDX Multi-Streams: With HDX multi-stream, we can apply Branch Repeater traffic shaping policies to each of the four (4) HDX streams (namely Realtime, Interactive, Bulk and Background) carrying group of virtual channels each. These streams are prioritized ensuring guaranteed bandwidth for latency-sensitive Realtime and Interactive streams over bulk and background traffic. For example, a HDX end user session primarily executing interactive traffic will receive higher priorities compared to other end users conducing heavy bandwidth consumption tasks such as watching video and printing large files over the same WAN link. Similarly, more granular performance benefits are exhibited by prioritizing different streams within a single HDX session guaranteeing user performance from various activities within their own HDX session.

This white paper ‘Citrix HDX Multi-Stream and Branch Repeater Traffic Shaping’ discusses the aforementioned scenarios in much more detail and provides the configuration steps required to implement these features in Citrix Branch Repeater and XenDesktop.

Link –

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Bhumik Patel