The Holiday season is here, and we come bearing gifts! Taking us one step closer to Next Generation HDX, I am happy to introduce Adaptive Throughput.

Before we get into the details… In my previous post I talked about enhancements we introduced with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 1808 that allowed us to increase ICA’s max throughput by up to 100% from XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR. These enhancements are part of the foundation for Adaptive Throughput. If you haven’t read that post, or simply need a refresher, go check out Turbo Charging ICA – Part 1.

Now, Adaptive Throughput takes things to a whole new level. This feature improves upon the previous enhancements by increasing the ICA max throughput by up to 160% from CVAD 1808, and up to 400% from XenApp & XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR!

Wondering what that looks like? Check it out:

We also tested file transfer performance under the same network conditions by copying a 400 MB compressed file from the Server to the Client. These were the results:

  • XenApp & XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR
    • Time to complete: 19 minutes 28 seconds
    • Average transfer speed: 2.74 Mbps
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1811
    • Time to complete: 4 minutes 40 seconds
    • Average transfer speed: 11.40 Mbps

When we first started working on this, we immediately noticed the benefits of increasing the throughput. Pushing more data allows us to deliver higher frame rate and resolution, smoother video, transfer files faster from your virtual apps and desktops to your clients, and overall it just provides a much better user experience. There was just one thing that we needed to figure out: if any of the virtual channels was pushing significantly large amounts of data and competing with graphics, the interactivity in the session was negatively impacted, which is simply not acceptable. This is where the adaptive part of the feature came in. We added monitoring functionality to ICA that allows us to assess the interactivity in the session. If interactivity is above the max threshold, then the max throughput is decreased so that interactivity can recover.

Another change we made was the way output buffers are set. Up until Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1808, the number of output buffers was set and controlled by the client. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out CTX125027. Starting with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1811, output buffers are set and controlled by the VDA. This was done for a couple of reasons: 1) this allows us to dynamically adjust output buffers in session; 2) this allows us to more easily leverage this functionality with clients other than Windows and without any client-side configurations.

So, how do you turbo charge your ICA sessions? Just upgrade to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1811 VDA and Citrix Workspace app (CWA) 1811 for Windows, and you’ll be good to go. No configuration required!

For those wondering, support in CWA for Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and HTML5/Chrome will be added soon.

Happy Holidays!

Product Manager – HDX

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