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Citrix Virtual Apps Tips : Windows Server Optimizations

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Citrix Virtual Apps Tips : Windows Server Optimizations

Here you go to understand how to leverage endpoint user experience . To help customers on this way, Citrix has also “VDA optimizer” to review current setup and configurations within VDA machines. But when it comes to operating system optimization, I have two sides battling with each other. Although optimizing does improve single server scalability, I believe the more you mess with the OS the greater your chances are that you will break something.

Default Apps : Unlike Windows 10, which had numerous default apps that increased user logon time, Windows Server 2016 is free from such additions.

Services : Many of the services we disabled in Windows 10 are already configured as manual startup in Windows 2016.  Looking deeper, it would appear that many of these services are either started based on a request by an application or based on a scheduled task.If a manual startup service is disabled, then any application or system component that tries to interact with the service will fail.  This will result in application/system issues, support calls and long troubleshooting times.Based on that , the only service that you think about disabling is:

Note: Microsoft published a list of services that can and should not be disabled. Most services that can be disabled are configured for manual startup mode.

Service NameDefault StateDefault StatusHosted Apps WorkloadsHosted Desktop Workloads
ThemesAutomaticRunningDisableEnable – better user experienceDisable – better server density

Scheduled Tasks

Scheduled tasks will sporadically impact density as they only run when a trigger is tripped. When determining what to disable, we need to look at the value the task has in a non-persistent environment.  This assumption is based on the XenApp Best Practice of server consistency.

Scheduled Tasks – Applications

Application Experience \ Microsoft Compatibility AppraiserHelps resolve application compatibility challenges.
Application Experience \ StartupTaskDetermines if there are too many startup entries and then notifies
the user

Scheduled Tasks – Microsoft Customer Experience Program

AutoCHK \ ProxyThis task collects and uploads autochk SQM data if opted-in to the
Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Customer Experience Improvement Program \ConsolidatorIf the user has consented to participate in the Windows Customer
Experience Improvement Program, this job collects and sends usage data to
Customer Experience Improvement Program \KernelCeipTaskThe Kernel CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) task
collects additional information about the system and sends this data to
Microsoft. If the user has not consented to participate in Windows CEIP, this
task does nothing.
Customer Experience Improvement Program \UsbCeipThe USB CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) task collects
Universal Serial Bus related statistics and information about your machine
and sends to the Windows Device Connectivity engineering group at Microsoft.
The information received is used to help improve the reliability, stability,
and overall functionality of USB in Windows. If the user has not consented to
participate in Windows CEIP, this task does not do anything.

Scheduled Tasks – Safety

Windows Defender \ Windows Defender Cache MaintenanceCan be disabled in case an alternative virus and malware protection
has been implemented.
Windows Defender \ Windows Defender CleanupCan be disabled in case an alternative virus and malware protection
has been implemented.
Windows Defender \ Windows Defender Scheduled ScanCan be disabled in case an alternative virus and malware protection
has been implemented.
Windows Defender \ Windows Defender VerificationCan be disabled in case an alternative virus and malware protection
has been implemented.
Windows Filtering Platform \BfeOnServiceStartTypeChangeThis task adjusts the start type for firewall-triggered services when
the start type of the Base Filtering Engine (BFE) is disabled.

Scheduled Tasks – Maintenance

CHKDSK \ Proactive ScanNTFS Volume Health Scan
Diagnosis \ ScheduledThe Windows Scheduled Maintenance Task performs periodic maintenance
of the computer system by fixing problems automatically or reporting them
through the Action Center.
DiskDiagnostic \ Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollectorThe Windows Disk Diagnostic reports general disk and system
information to Microsoft for users participating in the Customer Experience
Maintenance \ WinSATMeasures a system’s performance and capabilities
Power Efficiency Diagnostics \ AnalyzeSystemThis task analyzes the system looking for conditions that may cause
high energy use.
RecoveryEnvironment \ VerifyWinREValidates the Windows Recovery Environment.
Registry \ RegIdleBackupRegistry Idle Backup Task

Scheduled Tasks – General

Mobile Broadband Accounts / MNO Metadata ParserParses information related to mobile broadband users
Power Efficiency Diagnostics \ AnalyzeSystemThis task analyzes the system looking for conditions that may cause
high energy use.
RAS / MobilityManagerProvides support for the switching of mobility enabled VPN connections
if their underlying interface goes down.
Shell / IndexerAutomaticMaintenanceMaintains the search index
WDI \ ResolutionHostThe Windows Diagnostic Infrastructure Resolution host enables
interactive resolutions for system problems detected by the Diagnostic Policy
Service. It is triggered when necessary by the Diagnostic Policy Service in
the appropriate user session. If the Diagnostic Policy Service is not
running, the task will not run

User InterfaceMany of the user interface optimizations have been used on Windows Server 2000 and beyond, consisting of good practices in order to hide administrative items from the user and to have more efficient overall usage by disabling a few user interface capabilities.

Disable default system ScreensaverHKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\ControlPanel\Desktop“ScreenSaveActive”=dword: 00000000
Hide Hard Error Messages[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows]“ErrorMode”=dword:00000002
Settings “Visual Effects to Custom”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VisualEffects]“VisualFXSetting”=dword:00000003
Disable “Show translucent selection rectangle”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]“ListviewAlphaSelect”=dword:00000000
Disable “Show shadows under windows”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]“ListviewShadow”=dword:00000000
Disable “Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ControlPanel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]“MinAnimate”=”0”
Disable “Animations in the taskbar”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]“TaskbarAnimations”=dword:00000000
Disable “Enable Peek”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM]“EnableAeroPeek”=dword:00000000
Disable “Save Taskbar Thumbnail Previews”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM]“AlwaysHibernateThumbnails”=dword:00000000
Disable “Smooth edges of screen fonts”[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Control Panel\Desktop]“FontSmoothing”=”0”
Disable the rest of the visual effects[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Control Panel\Desktop\]“UserPreferencesMask”=RegBin: “90,12,03,80,10,00,00,00”
Disable cursor blink rate[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Control Panel\Desktop]“CursorBlinkRate”=”-1″
Disable Internet Explorer First RunWizard[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Main]“DisableFirstRunCustomize”=dword:00000001
Reduce menu show delay[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\Desktop]MenuShowDelay”, “0”

SystemThe final optimizations are focused on system-level settings, allowing organizations to get the most value of their systems.

System – BIOS

Max PerformanceVerify BIOS is set for maximum performance and not low power.

System – Commands

Disable hibernatePowercfg -h off

System – Registry updates

Disable NTFS Last Access Timestamps[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]“NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate”=dword:00000001
Disable Memory Dump Creation[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl]“CrashDumpEnabled”=dword:00000000“LogEvent”=dword:00000000“SendAlert”=dword:00000000
Increase Disk I/O Timeout to 200Seconds[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Disk]“TimeOutValue”=dword:000000C8


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