Citrix® MetaFrame® Presentation Server &
Microsoft® Terminal Server
Server-based computing, by definition, places the entire responsibility for data retrieval, processing, and
storage on the server. While this method of leveraging hardware and software resources can be very cost-effective,
it also places demands on resources that can degrade client performance. The performance of storage- and memory-intensive
user applications is especially sensitive to this model of computing.
Heavy loads can result in unacceptable
Under moderate to heavy server loads, users of Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server and Microsoft Terminal Server may
experience poor response times, extended log-in periods, protracted screen-refreshes, and very slow print queues. During
very heavy load periods, application startup times can increase to minutes instead of seconds, SQL queries and other
compute- and data-intensive operations can lengthen to the point where processes must be killed for lack of responsiveness.
Context switching and disk thrashing
As increased demands are placed on system resources – particularly storage resources – context switching rates can
quickly rise above healthy levels. At very high rates, the system is actually realizing less work. This is because
threads and processes are increasingly unable to access the resources they require, so the operating system must switch
many times from one waiting thread or process to another until it finds one with available resources. This condition is
frequently accompanied with high levels of disk thrashing.
Use processor and memory resources to
When disk I/O begins to constrain overall system performance, other system resources become underutilized.
By putting these resources to work, system performance is improved. Disk caches and RAM disks help optimize
system resource utilization by applying processor and memory resources to the I/O bottleneck.
Block-level caches, inserted into the I/O path of persistent data, cache the most active or all
data blocks. With deferred-writing enabled, a cache can dramatically improve context switching,
enhancing server responsiveness, resulting in a much more satisfying and productive user experience.
When access to temporary data – such as print spool files – is bottlenecked, RAM disks are an effective solution.
Click to view how to optimize Server Performance with Ramdisk.
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