Very often we (the Ask the Architects team) are asked which optimizations should be applied to a XenApp (6/6.5) server. What we typically do to answer that question is to dig through our personal knowledge repositories and try to come up with a good list of tweaks. Well, that is not exactly a very efficient process so we though it’s now time to comprise a comprehensive guide, that summarizes the most common optimizations.

Unfortunately there is a myriad of registry tweaks or GPO settings that can optimize a Windows Server, but many of them are related to very specific scenarios only and have the ability to actually limit the scalability in other cases. So we basically filtered out those “toxic” tweaks and summarized only the optimizations that apply to many (if not all) environments. Nevertheless it is important to test every change in detail before rolling it out to production. So please keep that in mind. Always!

The new guide (which can be downloaded here) is split into two sections.

  • Section 1 – Windows 2008 R2 Configurations: This chapter focuses on optimizations that are applied at the server level. We have split the chapter into general optimizations for XenApp servers and optimizations for XenApp servers which are provisioned by means of Provisioning Services (PVS). Furthermore we took a look at services as well some file server optimizations.
  • Section 2 – User Settings: This chapter focuses on user specific optimizations, which also includes a few XenApp Policy tweaks.

As mentioned earlier we tried to include common optimizations only. So there is a long list of things we skipped on purpose because of the aforementioned reasons. But in case you know an RegKey or GPO setting that we have missed out, please leave a comment or send me a mail and I’ll incorporate it into the guide.

Update: The Optimization Guide has also been added to the XenDesktop Design Handbook. You can find it within the Planning Guides section.