There was a very neat mechanism introduced into Citrix Studio a while ago called Studio templates. Recently, I got asked about the “High Definition User Experience” template. I didn’t actually know about it and once I investigated, I got very interested.

What are Templates?

In Citrix Studio next to the “Policies” tab, the next tab is “Templates”. The idea is you can create, save and load templates that set groups of policies. There are a few Citrix pre-installed templates including the “High-Definition User Experience” one for HDX, the template I was asked about.

So should I use the “High-Definition User Experience” template

Probably not. I’m not sure when this particular template was created and with what purpose, it sets a few policies relevant to “Legacy” graphics mode but mostly will give you the default policies. Additionally it will change the fps from 30 (the current default) down to 24 fps (the default back in XenDesktop 5.5). I’m not sure what the goal of this template was and I’m looking to revise it for future releases. However I’m sure the author had specific needs (possibly maintaining XD 5.5 behaviour) and our customers have a really broad range of needs and constraints, for example:

  • 2D users with branch offices on limited bandwidth
  • High-end CAD users on fast LANs whose priorities are performance and user experience
  • A wide range of end points (Linux thin clients, Windows Workstations, Mobile phones)

One Size Doesn’t Fit All for HDX

We have so many policies so that the product can be configured best according to the users’ needs. However this can lead to the risk of misconfiguring a system sub-optimally. Long-term we are looking to automate the optimisation and already there is a fair degree of this under-the-hood however I suspect there will always be a place to allow the system administrator the flexibility to override this to account for their specific needs.

So back to the templates – I want your feedback and help!

I don’t think a single HDX optimal template is possible however I think a selection tailored to certain standard use cases is. I noticed that Jason Southern, one of NVIDIA’s top solution architects has posted his default template for high-end GPU accelerated graphics in a high-speed LAN scenario over on the NVIDIA GRID forums, you can get it here.

This got me thinking, an experienced user in a specialised area like Jason has a lot of real world experience, but so do a vast number of our customers. When I look to rewrite the HDX templates for a future release I want to make sure they have been really scrutinised and account for real user needs rather than the academic perspective of “an ivory tower” product manager!

So……

TEMPLATE EXCHANGE

I’ve started a thread on our forum, TEMPLATE EXCHANGE, where I’d like all of you to post:

  • Your favourite templates and groups of policies
  • As much detail on the scenario the template is designed for e.g. LAN/WAN, low bandwidth etc…. basically why you have set that particular group of policies
  • Why you have chosen to set policies to particular numbers e.g. the 24 fps

In return, the HDX engineering and Citrix consultancy and support experts will provide feedback and also be able to learn what users really want. I’m hoping the community and other users will also take part.

It’s easy to import and export templates from the “Action” menu drop-down on the main Studio bar.

Vote for your most popular template

I’d love people to comment on any templates posted and let me know which are particularly useful using the “like” and comment functionalities. Perhaps we can even turn it into a competition.

NEW Templates available!

To kick-start this survey/project, I asked a few experts to post their favourite templates, and they are open to your scrutiny (can you beat the experts 😉 ) and available for you to download and try. Available TODAY:

This is a personal  project asking for feedback and as such Citrix cannot be responsible for the quality of the templates discussed, especially third-party ones, as such users should try these in test environments and not production environments.  Users should use their own discretion when implementing these policies and templates.

Ideally I’d like contributors to outline:

  • General reason for the profile being created, initial environment it was created for etc.
  • Breakdown of settings in list form i.e. Setting Name- Reason for each value
  • A synopsis of the impact on the session(s)
  • Copy of template to download

Update: One of my colleagues Fedi (the HDX Display Guru) has suggested useful information could include:

  1. Use case : Low bandwidth, Great user experience, Acceptable trade-off between user experience and bandwidth, etc…
  2. Which VDA OS this template is applied to : Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012 R2, etc…
  3. Chosen display mode : Legacy, H.264, DCR, HDX 3D Pro
  4. Type of Network ( WAN vs LAN) :
  5. Bandwidth :
  6. Number of users sharing this bandwidth :
  7. Used applications : Office, Internet Browsing, 3D applications, animations, videos, etc ..